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We did our research on junk boat cruises before we left Australia because of the some of the bad reviews we read about on the junk cruises.
We chose this company because they seem very reliable and we can say that our experience on the junk was excellent.
One of the things in Vietnam is finding someone who speaks English and our guide Manh was fantastic. His command of English was great except for the occasional singular or plural verb. In Vietnam this guy was a scholar.
We also recognize him for his politeness and courtesy, a good guide makes a difference to a tour and this guy really knew how to give foreigners a good time and keep them informed about their tour.
The junk tour kept to schedule which is something not experienced by some friends we meet along the way and they have some horror stories.
We were escorted to the boat, once we set sail, we were offered a 10 course Vietnamese meal which was very high quality and the guide is forwarding the recipe for the spring rolls.
Cost of drinks on board the vessel was very reasonable, the soft drinks were about $1.20 US and beer was about $1.75US.
Safety was noticeable on the junk; they were very stringent about safety and if you sat in the wrong spot or simply a place where your safety was comprised, you were asked to move. This was comforting to know that this was not just an old boat but a company responsible for your safety.
They took us to all the normal tourist attractions on what they call Route 1. We saw everything from the kissing rocks and other rock features.
We visited the floating fishing village and basically given about 40 minutes to kayak around the bay which was a wonderful experience including going through one of the major caves and saving hello to some of the locals around the village.
It was value for money, particularly because of this really good English speaking guide.
We were on a cruise ship and some of our friends experienced not so nice experiences including not seeing the main attractions or coming back significantly early, or being over charged for drinks. Our experience is one in which recommend the company we traveled with and are very pleased to support the company.
Very nice view and place:) tour guide Doan is very nice, keep up the good work and we wish u all the best maybe see again next time we really have a good time:)
We did the two day, one night cruise in Halong Bay. The cruise was quite good, but Mike was excellent. He made sure everyone was comfortable and he had a good sense of humor. He genuinely cared about sharing his country and making sure we had a good experience.
Visited January 2013
We decided to book a 3-day 2-night trip on Halong Bay and it was well worth it, even with cloudy weather. The food was INCREDIBLE, staff was excellent, great service, safe, clean, and fun! We enjoyed meeting folks from other countries and the staff had the schedule well planned out. I wish the weather had been nicer but that just means we’ll have to come back!
We took an eight cabin boat (8 couples), which offered just the right balance of social interaction and privacy. Shuttle from Hanoi, two days and a night on the boat.
The guide (“Lucky”, I think it’s Vuong in Vietnamese) was excellent, knowledgable in all aspects of Vietnam, friendly and open to any discussion or question. You don’t want your guide to just be an encyclopedia, rather to help you sense the flavour of Vietnam and Lucky deserves a high score on both. He made good use of the travel time from Hanoi with explanations and open conversation.
Food on the cruise was exceptional. Imagine a chef working full time for 16 guests. Cooking lesson was fun and the chef’s live display of ornamental sculpting of fruit and vegetables was brilliant, beats any Las Vegas magician act in hands down.
The boat includes a bar and stores kayaks on board for that highly recommended rowing stint to the monkeys island.
Cabins are spacious with individual shower and toilet.
We did 2 days 1 night and it was so much fun we spent our holiday with Alova Gold Cruise, we got an excellent services, good shuttle bus,delicious foods, kindly and nice staff and we have to say very well thank you to our Guide Mr Doan and Mr Hui who guided us very well.we feel very worth it and will recommend our friends from Indonesia and tell them how fun our holiday with Alova Gold Cruise.
We opted for the 2 day/1 night package. The tour started as soon as we piled into the van for the drive to Ha Long Bay; the tour guide, Mike, immediately began explaining bits of Vietnamese culture, language and food. It was a nice way to pass a few of the hours.
Upon arriving at the boat we were greeted with a clean boat, nice rooms and friendly staff. We enjoyed a great lunch and a beautiful cruise through the bay. All the while our tour guide provided us with infirmation about the history of Ha Long Bay.
We then did some hiking and later kayaking; the kayaking was a highlight of the trip. We went through a rock opening and into a gorgeous cove. Under the mist shrouded peaks we watches monkeys playing and birds flying overhead.
In the evening we had another wonderful meal, cooking lessons and happy hour. We really enjoyed the time to get to know the other people on our tour as well as talk more with our tour guide.
The next day, after a big breakfast, we visited a cave, had lunch and then headed back to Hanoi.
Great tour guide, great crew, incredible scenery. It was a great experience and one I would be happy to do again!
I and my friend were on Alova Gold for 1 night trip. The tour guide – Mr. Thang, together with cruise manager – Sydney did such a good job of the host and made us feel like at home. The tour guide was knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Food was great, too.
For the cruise, well… it’s so so I think. Clean cabin, hot water available. That’s all I need for a superior cruise.
One minus point was the life jacket when we did kayaking. It’s usable, however at not very good condition. All of them were very mouldy and to be honest, even I’m not super clean girl, it took me few seconds to wonder should I wear it?
Overall, he trip was smooth and we did have great time. Thanks a lot Alova team!!!