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We opted for the one day cruise as we weren't sure about the weather conditions in Halong Bay and if it would be OK to spend the night there. And our decision turned out to be good as the day cruise is quite comprehensive and you cover almost everything.
One thing you must ask your travel agent is the cancellation policy if there are typhoons and the cruise gets cancelled. Alova refunds you the money in this case. They pick you up from the hotel and have a English speaking guide.
On the way to Halong Bay they stop at a big artifact showroom but dont buy anything from there as you will get it cheaper in Hanoi and after that you reach Halong Bay. There your guide will have your tickets ready and will take you to the cruise boat.
The ship is great with good interiors and you are seated comfortably. They give you enough time to go on the upper deck and explore the ship. And later they serve appetizers and food ( Please note that they have vegetarian options and you should specify that at the time of booking)
And then a mesmerizing journey begins...Go on the upper deck and enjoy the scenic view and you could grab a local beer( on extra payment)...After taking you around they dock the ship at the Boating Harbor....Here you will be given an option of either taking a boat which will be rowed by a boatman or a Kayak . Do go in for a Kayak to enjoy the surroundings....The scenery is awesome and you will not feel like going back.
After this they take you to a cave and our guide showed us things which we would have missed otherwise. All in all a great trip and I would recommend Alova Day Cruises as their service is good and they are cheaper than the others