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Reliability of halongcruises.net?

Sydney, New South...
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Reliability of halongcruises.net?

Hi there,

I'm planning on booking a Halong Bay tour for this October, and have been hunting around for prices.

The lowest I've found for a particular cruise is on halongcruises.net.

Just wondering if anyone has booked through this website before and if it is a reliable source?

I know booking directly with the tour operator is recommended, but the tour operator does not allow me to pay via my preferred method and have not replied to my emails as to whether halongcruises.net represents them.

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Baulkham Hills...
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1. Re: Reliability of halongcruises.net?

G'day,

Your concerns are understandable. When I first investigated Halong Bay cruises, I had my suspicions. But I had read advice that booking through a travel agency was the recommended option as opposed to the tour operator. I think this is where you may have run into difficulty. The agent has access to all the tour operators and will liaise with them on your behalf. I took me a while to figure this out but I can fully recommend halongcruises.net

Email Andy at sales@halongcruises.net and he'll sort you out. I just came back from a trip to Hanoi and Halong Bay just last week with my gf and we couldn't have asked for a better cruise. Andy sorted everything out for me and answered my incessant questions prior to booking. He has perfect English and is prompt with responses. The tour operator he booked us with for 2days-1night was Halong Phoenix Cruiser. I can also recommend their services and the Phoenix Luxury boat in particular as this is a relatively new boat. The double room especially, though small, was quite impressive. Everything was included, transport from Hanoi, food, life jackets, they even handle our luggage.

I'll also take this opportunity to raise another point for other would-be travellers. As I mentioned I took a 2day-1night cruise. Really it's half a day followed by another half a day with one night on the stationary boat. As other ppl have noted, the drive there on a mini-bus takes 4 hrs from Hanoi. I was wondering why this is, as for most of us, 170km only takes about 2hrs. The road there is not a highway and the speed limits are slow, plus the traffic and one toilet stop. There is plenty of countryside scenery however. So you get there around midday, you go straight onto the boat. The next day the boat will come back to the wharf also around midday and the bus will take you back to your hotel.

For those who just want to see the limestone karst formations, despite what others may say, a one day cruise should suffice if you don't mind travelling for 8hrs on a bus in one day. I recommend the cruise I did 2/1 if you want to take in the scenery a bit more. Really, once you've seen a few limestone mountains you've seen them all. The longer cruises 3/2 or 4/3 are really for those types of travellers who like a bit more relaxation and luxury or want to do more activities and see more sights, like caves, beaches, islands, floating fishing villages etc.

Hope that helps.

2. Re: Reliability of halongcruises.net?

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Removed on: 18 May 2013, 02:05
Hanoi, Vietnam
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3. Re: Reliability of halongcruises.net?

These people are very mysterious. I would suggest that you book with a reputable travel agent or book directly with cruise operator.

Adelaide
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4. Re: Reliability of halongcruises.net?

Most reputable travel agents in Vietnam will book your tour for you. A quick forum search will turn up a heap of them that your fellow travelers have used and highly recommend. We used Indochina Voyages to do our booking for Dragon Pearl, and they were great. There are plenty of others out there, such as Vietland Discovery, Tonkin, Exotissimo, Buffalo to name a few.

Poster 2 does absolutely nothing to reassure me that this company is OK. In fact the opposite. I'd stick with either booking direct (you are then 99% sure of getting the boat you booked) or going through a proven recommended agent.

Baulkham Hills...
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5. Re: Reliability of halongcruises.net?

I can only recount from my own experience and I had no problems whatsoever with halongcruises. With communication, with service, with delivery, with payment etc.

I'm neither defending them nor promoting them. Just sharing my experience in answer to the query.

But yes, I still agree to book through a travel agent in Hanoi.

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6. Re: Reliability of halongcruises.net?

I also booked through Andy and felt he was extremely helpful, answering my emails late into the night and provided us with a Hanoi guide that was better than any guide book ( even giving us a heads up about local scams to watch out for) . Also once were in Vietnam he helped us with numerous other enquiries, booking train tickets etc. we had absolutely no trouble booking our halong bay 4 night cruise through this company. We were even taken to a fantastic coffee shop with the most amazing view of Hanoi to pick up our documents.

Sun Valley, Idaho
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7. Re: Reliability of halongcruises.net?

Being a travel agent for 30 years, I am very attuned to who I deal with. Halongcruises.net completely satisfied all my needs from arranging our VN visa, airport transfers and arranging the perfect Halong Bay cruise on the Red Dragon. We did not want to go where all the Halong Bay cruises go and the Red Dragon

perfectly suited our requests thanks to Andy at Halongcruises.net. He is MOST reliable & attentive to our requests and diligent in performing all. I understand my clients concerns with dealing with some unknown company so far away but we had no problems wtih Andy and his company and I am booking all my clients through his company knowing that they will be looked after properly and responsibly.

Ho Chi Minh City...
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8. Re: Reliability of halongcruises.net?

It sounds that this is a new agent since we have not heard about this when we searched for our trip to Halong Bay! Some other local agents you can check are Darian Culbert, Best Price and Asia Tour Advisor!

9. Re: Reliability of halongcruises.net?

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Removed on: 01 July 2013, 08:35
Wellington, New...
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10. Re: Reliability of halongcruises.net?

I also wish to endorse them and I haven't even been to Vietnam yet. We were due to leave a week ago but we had to postpone the trip and of course cruise very last minute due to a family tragedy. While travel insurance won't cover us as the person we lost already had a long term illness (which I think it totally unfair given she had an all clear in March for another 6 months, but I digress), Andy was able to postpose our cruise and save our deposit. I probably only remembered to email the day before we were due to go on the cruise with everything that was going on and he managed to negotiate with the operator for a change of date with no penalty. Andy answers all e-mails within 12 hours and is very accommodating with all queries and requests as others have stated.