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Halong Bay 2-Day 1-Night Itinerary

Last updated: January 11, 2022 / 914 Views

A Halong Bay 2-day cruise trip should be well-organized to optimize your scant time with all the must-sees and must-dos in the bay. Let’s take a look at our recommendations for the Halong Bay 2 days/1 night itinerary.

Halong Bay is such a great seascape on the land of descending dragons, where a huge number of tourists visit each year to enjoy the scenic atmosphere and breathtaking sceneries. The bay is best discovered within a couple of days to spend time visiting the main highlights, taking part in enjoyable activities, and tasting flavoursome local food. However, if you are on your self-planned trip, you must be confused by how long you should stay on the Halong cruise with an abundance of things to do and places to see. Normally, travellers decide on 2 days 1-night cruise in Halong Bay to save time for other destinations on land.

But first of all, let’s take a look at a glimpse of the 3 best itineraries in Ha Long Bay.

Popular Halong itinerary

  • Halong one day cruise: With the length of itinerary from 4 to 8 hours, Halong one-day cruise is a budget choice to cruise within a day. Following a day cruise tour, you can visit only 2 to 3 destinations, mostly Halong caves and fishing villages. Moreover, most Halong day cruise tours depart from Hanoi at 8:00 am and embark at 11:30 am then back to Hanoi at around 6:00 pm, which means you will spend more time transferring and less time sightseeing.
  • Halong Bay 2 days 1-night cruise (2d1n): It is highly recommended to take a Halong Bay 1 night cruise to visit either well-known or off-the-beaten-path destinations. Also, you can join a wide range of things to do like fishing, kayaking, swimming, hiking, cycling, and other activities onboard. The total length of the itinerary is around 24 hours which is suitable for most foreign travelers staying in Vietnam within one month.
  • Halong 3 days 2 nights cruise (3d2n): Compared to Halong Bay cruise 2d1n, the 3d2n itinerary will offer you an extra day to get more in-depth experiences in Halong. On the third day, you can have the chance to visit less-touristic sites that get closer to the locals and nature. The entire trip of 48 hours is best for those who are sufficient in time to fully experience the bay.

halong bay cruise itinerary compare

Halong cruise itinerary comparison

In general, there are 3 common itineraries of Halong Bay two day cruise, which take passengers to different routes and destinations for various travel experiences. Whatever you choose, you’d better follow one of our best Halong Bay 2 days 1-night itinerary recommendations which are highly recommended by previous travellers.


Classic Halong Bay 1 night cruise itinerary

Day 1: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Sung Sot Cave

8:30 – 11:30 am: If you book a Halong Bay cruise for 2 days, you’ll be picked up from your hotel to get to the ferry terminal via the new Hanoi – Hai Phong Expressway. All Halong cruises from Hanoi depart at around 8:30 am and arrive at the port at 11:30 am.

12:00 – 12:30 pm: Arriving at Halong Bay, you’ll be welcomed to embark on the cruise. It’s time to learn about the cruise briefing and safety instructions while sipping a welcome drink. After check-in, you can take a short rest after an excursion.

Stellar of the Sea - a typical cruise for 2 days itinerary in halong bay

Halong Bay 2-day/1-night cruise

1:15 – 2:00 pm: While cruising through the karst rock formations into the world of natural heritage, you will have lunch at the luxury restaurant on the cruise. Fill your stomach with a great diversity of deluxe Vietnamese set menu and fresh seafood dishes. After lunch, there are exhilarating massage and spa services for you to let your hair down. Let’s book with your cruise manager to ensure there is a room for you since the massage and spa on board are small enough to do a private therapy.

4:00 – 5:30 pm: The Halong Bay 2 days 1-night itinerary begins with a visit to Sung Sot Cave (Surprise Cave), one of the most magnificent and largest caves in Halong. To reach the mouth of Surprise Cave, you have to climb more than 50 steps and feast your eye on the mysterious natural vegetation of Ha Long Bay. Discovered in 1901 by the French, its original name is “Grotte Des Surprises” due to the amazing variability in the cave. Sung Sot Cave occupies an area of approximately 10,000m2, divided into two large chambers. Each has its own typical scientific value which features million-year-old stone stalactites and columns formed throughout millions of years. After the cave sightseeing, the cruise departs and sails for about 30 minutes to anchor overnight.

Sung Sot Cave - typical destination for 2d1n tour in Halong Bay

Sung Sot Cave, Halong Bay

6:30 – 7:00 pm: At twilight, almost all Halong Bay 1 night cruises offer a cooking class or fruit and vegetable carving lesson. The head chef will show you how to make and decorate some traditional Vietnamese dishes. Here you can get a deep insight into the Vietnamese culinary.

Enjoy sunset view on a 2 day itinerary Halong Bay cruise

Enjoy sunset view on Halong Bay boat tour

8:45 – 11:00 pm: After dinner, you should not miss out on some nightlife activities such as board games, cards, Parcheesi, bars, Happy Hour – buy one drink, get one free, and night squid fishing. End of the first day of Halong Bay 2 days 1 night itinerary, you will spend a night sleeping on board.


Day 2: Halong – Titov Island – Hanoi

6:30 - 7:00 am: Enjoy coffee, tea, and breakfast served in the dining room. You can wake up earlier to catch the sunset moment from the cruise which gives more stunning views than on land. After breakfast, join Tai Chi lesson, the traditional Chinese material art, to refresh your second day on Halong Bay cruise 2d1n. This exercise is not only good for fitness and flexibility but also beneficial for the relief of pain and anxiety.

Tai Chi session on deck available for every 2 days itinerary

Tai Chi session on deck

7:45 – 9:00 am: The next destination of Halong Bay 2 day tour classic route is Titov Island, a crescent-moon-shaped island known for its calmness and crystal clear water. Spending around 1 – 2 hours on the island, you can climb to the peak of an expansive viewing deck to catch an awe-inspiring 360-degree view of Ha Long Bay. Then, take your time to have a swim and enjoy the beach relaxation.

titop island on halong bay 2 day cruise

Enjoy beach relaxation on Titov Island

9:30 am: It’s time to have a full breakfast on cruise. After that, you will have time to pack your luggage or chill out on the sundeck while the boat is heading for the pier.

11:30 am: The cruise itinerary ends at Tuan Chau Port, where you sit back and relax in the waiting room for return transportation.

12:00 – 4:00 pm: Time for transfer from Halong to Hanoi. You will be dropped off at your hotel or meeting point.

This classic route of Halong Bay 1 night cruise includes popular and touristy attractions in Halong. If you want something more authentic, move on to our two other recommendations of the best Halong Bay cruise 2 days 1-night itinerary.


Halong 2 day cruise to Bai Tu Long Bay

Day 1: Hanoi – Bai Tu Long Bay – Thien Canh Son Cave

8:30 – 11:30 am: Like many other two-day cruise itineraries, you will be picked up from Hanoi Old Quarter and transferred to the pier in Ha Long.

12:00 – 2:00 pm: After embarking on board, you will have lunch served tasty Vietnamese set menu and seafood dishes. This Bai Tu Long Bay Cruise itinerary is highly recommended for those in search of the untouched beauty and off-the-beaten-path route.

3:00 – 6:00 pm: The afternoon is time for an excursion to Thien Canh Son Cave, the “pearl of Halong Bay” located in the protected area of Cong Do Island. As one of the most valuable natural assets in Halong, Thien Son Canh Cave is a hidden charm of a unique ecosystem. After climbing almost 100 stairs to reach the cave, you should be amazed by the stalagmite system inside and the lush greenery towards the gate of heaven.

thien canh son cave on halong bay cruise 2d1n

Go cave sightseeing to Thien Canh Son

In addition to mysterious cave discovery, you can join kayaking or relaxing on the beach to explore deeper. Halong Bay has been voted as one of the top world’s 25 Kayak destinations by the National Geographic Adventures. You should have never missed out on this perfect kayaking location in Halong.

7:00 – 11:30 pm: It’s time for a special dinner fraught with appetizing Western dishes and Vietnamese traditional food, depending on the set menu of each cruise. After dinner, every Halong Bay cruise 2 days 1 night holds evening entertainments like playing board games or Vietnamese puzzle game, having a cocktail at the bar, and joining the Happy Hour game.

Day 2: Thien Son Canh Cave – Vung Vieng Fishing Village – Hanoi

6:00 – 7:00 am: Start the second day of the Halong Bay 2 day tour with a buffet breakfast and Tai Chi exercise on the sundeck. Most Halong Bay cruises 2d1n offer Tai Chi sessions while some others give Yoga meditation in the atmospheric natural landscape.

7:45 – 9:00 am: The next destination is Vung Vieng Fishing Village, one of the most 4 worth-visiting floating villages in Halong. Remaining the most authentic community and ecological awareness, Vung Vieng is a perfect attraction for travelers seeking local experiences in Bai Tu Long Bay. Here local residents live a modest life relying on the fishing industry and now the steady growth of the tourism industry. Coming to Vung Vieng fishing village, you can meet up with the hospitable and rustic people, as well as get a glimpse of local life and traditional cultures of the native people. The best way to explore Vung Vieng floating village is by bamboo boat or kayak tour.

vung vieng fishing village on halong bay cruise 2 days 1 night

Get an insight into the local life in Vung Vieng fishing village

9:30 – 11:00 am: Check out the cabin then join a cooking class to learn how to make spring roll, a delicious Vietnamese traditional dish. You will have lunch while cruising back to the pier.

12:00 – 4:30 pm: End of the second day of the Bai Tu Long Bay itinerary, you will be transferred by shuttle bus back to Hanoi. In general, the majority of Halong Bay cruises 2 days 1 night has the same activities on board but different routes to various attractions. Join this two-day tour to Bai Tu Long Bay, you can get the most brand new and authentic experiences.


Halong 2 days 1-night cruise to Lan Ha Bay

Day 1: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Lan Ha Bay – Dark & Light Cave

9:00 - 11:30 am: The journey from Hanoi to Halong Bay via the new highway takes around 2 – 3 hours, depending on the traffic. On the way, you will have a chance to contemplate Tan Vu-Lach Huyen Bridge, the longest sea-crossing bridge in Southeast Asia. If you book a two-day Halong Bay cruise, you’ll be picked up from your hotel to get to the ferry terminal.

12:00 - 12:30 pm: Arriving at Halong Bay, you’ll be welcomed at your Lan Ha Bay cruise. It’s time to embark on the cruise, check in, and take a short rest after an excursion. You’ll have time enjoying a welcome drink provided with a cold towel, receiving cruise briefing and safety instructions before checking in to your cabin.

12: 40 pm: While cruising into the world of natural heritage, you will have lunch at the luxury restaurant of Halong Bay cruise. Here you’ll fill your stomach with a diversity of Vietnamese and Western cuisine as well as fresh seafood dishes in Halong Bay.

Halong Bay cruises 2d1n which proceed to Lan Ha Bay give you the chance to marvel at awe-inspiring scenery and impressive limestone karst formations rising on the sea. On the route via Cat Ba Island, you can have an opportunity to contemplate the over-100-year-old lighthouse built by the French in Da Chong Islet and the unspoiled area like the Gia Luan area, Coc Ngoi islet, and Thoi Quyt area.

3:00 - 4:30 pm: In the afternoon, the itinerary of the Halong Bay 2 day tour will continue with the exploration of limestone caves. Depending on each cruise, tourists will have chances to visit different caves, mostly including Dark & Light Cave. You will be surprised by breathtaking masterpieces of nature in dry caves, while cave water offers beautiful sites for kayaking or bamboo boat rowed by local people.

Dark and Light cave of halong bay two day cruise itinerary

Kayak at Dark and Light Cave in Lan Ha Bay

Some of the Halong Bay tours 2 days 1 night arrange itinerary to discover Tung Sau Pearl Farm, an area dedicated to growing pearls and practicing a handmade technique based on Vietnamese tradition and Japanese technology.

4:30 – 5:00 pm: After sightseeing and kayaking, you can immerse yourself in the green emerald and cool water by swimming. The cruise usually gets in the less populated area at Tra Bau, located in Lan Ha Bay. Hence, you can enjoy your own space and stay calm after the first day in Halong Bay.

5:30 pm: The cruise will anchor overnight in Lan Ha Bay. The most expected thing to do should be to watch the magnificent sunset over the Gulf of Tonkin and enjoy a complimentary sunset party on board. Also, you can take part in a traditional cooking class where you’ll be instructed in making traditional Vietnamese dishes and cooking demonstrations with the chef. Alternatively, you can join the Happy Hour Deal or the massage service onboard.

7:30 pm: A deluxe dinner awaits you with a great dining experience on the Halong Bay cruise. Enjoy the tasty local food prepared and served for you by excellent onboard catering staff. Some of the Halong Bay one night cruises set the dinner in a traditional concept that gives you the opportunity to dine like a King or a Queen in traditional Bao Dai dress. What a delightful meal with a unique theme!

Dining onboard of a two-day Halong Bay cruise

Dining on the sundeck of two-day Halong Bay cruise

9:30 pm: At the end of the two-day itinerary in Halong Bay, it’s essential to find a restful moment at night. Don’t spend time at your cabin; it’s time for relaxation at leisure. You can try some evening activities like savoring drinks at the bar, watching movies in the restaurant, or just putting your feet up then enjoying the landscape at night on the top deck. Additionally, one of the most exciting activities on overnight Halong Bay cruises is night squid fishing, so let’s try your luck.

Day 2: Cat Ba Island – Trung Trang Cave – Hanoi

6:00 am: The second day will be perfectly mesmerizing when you wake up in the sound of the sea and watch the stunning sunset on the top deck. You’d better join the invigorating Tai Chi session in the refreshing morning air. The breakfast and coffee/tea are served after the Tai Chi session. Upon completing breakfast continue the journey and head out to explore the bay.

7:45 am: The next destination of the Halong Bay two-day cruise trip depends on the different itinerary of Halong Bay cruises. Mostly the cruises progress to Trung Trang Valley on Cat Ba Island, which is situated in the middle of Cat Ba National Park with Kim Giao forest. This is the largest valley covering an area of approximately 300 hectares with a depth of 10m to 30m. Trung Trang Cave is the most beautiful natural stalagmite and stalactite cave formed more than 2,000 years ago.

trung trang cave on halong bay 1 night cruise tour

Visit Trung Trang Cave in Cat Ba Island

10:00 am: It’s time to return the boat for packing and check-out procedures. Simultaneously, the brunch is served whilst the boat cruises back to the pier. Join the Tea Ceremony to learn how to enjoy Vietnamese tea and culture with the crew team.

12:00 - 3:00 pm: The cruise return to the quayside of southern Halong Bay, where tourists disembark. You will arrive in Hanoi at around 3:00 pm, and it’s the end of a two-day itinerary in Halong Bay.


After spending two days tour in Halong Bay, you definitely wish you’d have more time to get a deeper insight into the culture, cuisine, and people here. These best Halong Bay cruise 2 days 1 night includes the most worth-visiting attractions and must-try activities in Halong Bay.

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Hong Nhung

(Images source: Internet)


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