If you’re considering exploring beautiful bays around the world on a cruise, Halong Bay with its numerous limestone karsts, caves, and islets of various shapes and sizes should be at the top of your must-see list.
In this article below, you will find all the information about the cruise ports and terminals of Halong Bay that will be useful for your trip, so don’t miss it.
How many cruise ports are there in Halong Bay?
Halong Bay is divided into 4 main parts: the center of Halong Bay (the center of the bay), Bai Tu Long Bay (to the northeast), Lan Ha Bay (to the south), and Cat Ba Island (to the southwest).
There are 5 cruise ports in Halong Bay where tourists can embark to visit each part of the bay. International cruise ports such as Cai Lan and Halong International Cruise Port welcome both international and national cruises. National ports such as Tuan Chau Pier, Hon Gai Port, and Got Pier are mainly embarking terminals for domestic cruises.
Therefore, don’t forget to check which port or terminal your cruise will embark from to arrange the right transfer.
International Cruise Ports in Halong Bay
There are 2 international cruise ports in Halong Bay that can receive a large vessel and international cruise ship: Cai Lan and Halong International Cruise Port (Sun Group port).
Cai Lan Port – The deepest cruise port in Halong
Location: No. 1, Cai Lan Street, Bai Chay Ward, Halong City, Quang Ninh Province (155 kilometers from Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam)
Invested by the Japanese government’s ODA in 1999, Cai Lan has become the first international container terminal in northern Vietnam. It currently consists of 3 piers.
Cai Lan is not only a freight port but also an attractive destination for international cruises due to the natural beauty of its landscapes as well as numerous investments in maritime transport and other infrastructures.
From Cai Lan, visitors interested in geography and geology or stalagmites and stalactites can take a guided tour of Thien Cung Cave or Sung Sot Cave. Those who want to learn more about local life can visit the Cua Van floating village to get a glimpse of the daily lives of the local inhabitants.
Halong International Cruise Port – The newest cruise port
Location: No.9 Halong Road, Bai Chay Ward, Halong City
Cruises departing from here: Scarlet Pearl, Dragon Legend, Dragon Pearl Junk
Located in the center of the Bai Chay tourist area, next to the Sun World Halong complex, Halong International Cruise Port is the ideal place for all kinds of national and international cruisers.
The port consists of four modern docks towards Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay, and Cat Ba Island.
Designed by Bill Bensley, one of the top five architects in the world, the terminal features a blend of Vietnamese and European culture and architectural design: a yellow color painted as the inspiration from the color of the ancient town of Hoi An in central Vietnam, a shape of an ocean cruiser with an elegant and sophisticated interior decoration, wooden poles and steel and wood ceilings.
Tourists can also easily find duty-free shops, restaurants, fast-food outlets, souvenir shops, etc.
National Cruise Ports of Halong Bay
In addition to the international ports that can embark tourists for a cruise in Halong Bay, there are three national ports that have terminals to embark tourists: Tuan Chau Port, Hon Gai Pier, and Got Pier (Hai Phong city).
Tuan Chau Port – The largest cruise port in Halong
Location: Ngoc Chau, Tuan Chau, Halong, Quang Ninh
Cruises departing from here: Paradise Elegance, Stellar of the Seas, Ambassador Cruise, Indochine Cruise, Capella Cruise
Located northwest of Halong Bay, 8 kilometers southwest of Halong City and connected to the mainland by a long bridge, Tuan Chau Pier is the largest pier in Halong Bay. It extends 8 kilometers into Halong Bay.
Tourists will need about 1h30 to get there from Van Don airport by car, or 3 to 3h30 from Hanoi. Tuan Chau is actually an artificial port built in Western style, equipped with a full-service lounge, ticket counter, information counter for visitors, offices for the police and customs.
Tuan Chau has a modern and beautiful indoor waiting room equipped with air conditioning, loungers, a bar, internet dedicated to businessmen and VIPs, and many duty-free shops and restaurants. Outside the port are long rows of benches where visitors are free to watch the maritime ports while waiting for departure.
Hon Gai Pier – The oldest cruise port in Halong
Location: Group 1, Zone 2, Bai Chay Ward, Halong City, Quang
Cruises departing from here include: Paloma Cruise, Swan Cruise, Oriental Sails, Signature Cruise
Located in East Halong, near Bai Chay Bridge, Hon Gai Pier is a popular departure point for cruises passing through or heading to Bai Tu Long Bay. Although it is smaller and less busy than others, Hon Gai Pier is an important transport infrastructure in Quang Ninh Province.
This port has the capacity to accommodate not only domestic cruises but also large international passenger ships and luxury yachts. It has become an attractive tourist attraction and the starting point for boat trips to Bai Tu Long Bay. Cruises departing from Hon Gai Pier often visit remote areas such as Thien Canh Son cave, Vung Vieng fishing village (Vong Vieng), and some beaches in Halong Bay.
To get to Hon Gai Pier, tourists will need to cross Bai Chay Bridge, one of the most beautiful cable-stayed bridges in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.
Got Pier – Hai Phong’s cruise terminal
Location: 356 Road, Cat Hai, Hai Phong
Cruises departing include Mon Cheri Cruise, Peony Cruise, Orchid Cruise
Located in the city of Hai Phong, Got Pier connects the interior of Hai Phong to Cat Ba Island. This port is the most common means of getting to Cat Ba Island, the largest island in Halong Bay. It is smaller than other piers such as Tuan Chau Port and Hon Gai Pier; however, it is the first choice for cruising to Lan Ha Bay.
To reach Got Pier from Hai Phong city, tourists must travel to Dinh Vu port by car or bus. Then, take the ferry to Ninh Tiep, which takes about 45 minutes. From Ninh Tiep, the next step is to make a quick transfer to Got Pier.