Launched in 2009
The Violet Cruise sets off majestically into Halong Bay and you can catch the regal feel of this luxury ship in the water from the sundeck. A buffet lunch will be served in the dining room downstairs.
Our first excursion will be a paddle around Cua Van Fishing Village on either a bamboo boat rowed by local, or a self-steered kayak. This colourful village is one of just a handful remaining in the bay.
Next, we head to Tien Ong Cave. The history of human habitation in this grotto stretches back 10,000 years and our guide will point out evidence of this along the cave walls.
We head towards Luon Bo when back on the Violet Cruise to dock for the night. Halong Bay’s sunset will hopefully put on a show for us tonight. If not, then our wonderful chef certainly will, as he or she demonstrates some culinary excellence during the cooking demonstration.
Sit down for an elegant a la carte dinner in our charming dining room. You have the evening to yourself after this, so feel free to engage in any of our onboard activities. These include card games, board games or squid fishing with the crew, along with social drinks with other passengers or time to yourself in your cabin.
Meals: Lunch, Dinner
The sundeck will be the place to be in the early morning, as we start the day with a Tai Chi session accompanied by sunrise over Halong Bay. Pastries and hot beverages are served downstairs.
We begin cruising to Titop Island. Your energy levels might determine what you do here, as there are options for relaxing on the beach, swimming in the water, or climbing to the top of the island’s peak for stretching views of the undulating Halong Bay scenery.
A final brunch will accompany our final cruise back the harbour. Savour this before stepping off the Violet Cruise and bidding farewell to the friendly staff.
Our most gracious thanks for choosing the Violet Cruise as your vessel through Halong Bay 1 night trip. We hope to see you back on the sundeck at some point in the future!
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
07.45: You will be picked up by private car from your hotel lobby for 3.5 hour driving to Halong Bay. You will have a short break on the halfway (book your private transfer in the next step).
About 12.00: Arrive at Tuan Chau Harbour, you will be welcome on board.
The sundeck would be the best place to start your magical Halong Bay tour. It offers panoramic views of the bay as we prepare your buffet lunch, which will be served in the dining room.
We set sail for Cua Van Fishing Village, a floating community of families that have lived in the shadows of the limestone karsts for generations. We take a bamboo boat rowed by a local or a kayak around the beautiful village.
Tien Ong Cave is our next stop, one of the most recent discoveries in Halong Bay. The 1000 square metre cave has many fascinating stalactite and stalagmite formations, as well as evidence in the rock that points to human habitation more than 10,000 years ago.
Re-boarding the Violet Cruise, we set sail for our tranquil sleeping spot, Luon Bo. Take in the magic of Halong Bay during sunset on the sundeck, which will later be the location for a cooking demonstration by one of our wonderful chefs.
An elegant a la carte or buffet dinner will be served in the dining room, followed by an evening at your own leisure. Take the time to yourself in your cabin or have a few social drinks at the bar with fellow passengers.
Meals: Lunch, Dinner
Greet the new dawn in Halong Bay with a revitalising Tai Chi session on the sundeck, accompanied by hot beverages and pastries.
Moving onto our agile day boat, ‘The Sunset’, we will serve a full breakfast on the cruise over to Sung Sot Cave in the heart of Halong Bay. Translating to ‘The Surprising Cave’, Sung Sot is famed for its wonderful rock formations dramatically illuminated by colourful lights that accentuate their beauty.
Back on board The Sunset, we will have time to relax before arriving at a large area for kayaking beneath the peaks of forested mountain tops on the crisp jade water.
We head to a floating pearl farm as lunch is laid out for us on the day boat. The humble workshop of the pearl farm will show us exactly how pearls are grown and harvested in the area.
Returning to the Violet Cruise in the afternoon, you will have time for a relaxing spa treatment or to sunbathe on the sundeck.
More evening activities are available tonight, such as nighttime squid fishing, board games or card games with our friendly crew.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
More snacks and another Tai Chi class is the call of order for early risers looking to get snapshots of Halong Bay in its beautiful new daylight.
Titop Island will be our final port of call. Depending on your energy level in the morning, you can opt to relax on the beach, go for a refreshing swim in the sea or climb the 400 steps to the peak of the island, where a 360° viewing platform gives you a lasting mental image of the stunning Halong Bay.
We set sail for the mainland harbour as we relish a final breakfast on the Violet Cruise. Wave goodbye to your crew and step off your cruise back at the Tuan Chau.
11.00: Get back to your car and drive to Hanoi. Arrive in Hanoi at around 15.30.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Bus pick-up time: 8:15 AM – 8:30 AM
Return Hanoi by bus: 3:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Pick-up point: Tuan Chau Marina, Tuan Chau Island, Halong City, Quang Ninh, Vietnam
Drop off point: Tuan Chau Marina, Tuan Chau Island, Halong City, Quang Ninh, Vietnam
Check-in: 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Check-out: 10:45 AM - 11:00 AM
• 50 % of the total cost is required to secure the booking.
• The remaining balance is to be paid 15 days prior to the departure date.
• In some special cases, you will be required to pay the full cost or a number greater or smaller than the standard 50% to secure your booking.
• In some special cases, the deadline for payment will be required sooner or later than the standard 15 days prior to booking.
Cancellation by Customer
• More than 30 days prior to check-in (departure date): Free of charge
• From 30 to 16 days prior to check-in (departure date): 10% of total rates
• From 15 to 10 days prior to check-in (departure date): 20% of total rates
• From 9 to 5 days prior to check-in (departure date): 50% of total rates
• Less than 5 days prior to check-in (departure date): 100% of total rates.
• No-Show: 100% of total rates
*** Cancellation notice from customer must be sent to us via email. Refund will be processed between 10 -15 working days.
Cancellation by Halong Bay Management Board due to bad weather
If the cancellation is made by the Halong Bay Management Board, following policies will be applied depending on the time of cancellation.
• When a cancellation is made before departure date- check-in date (if no services have been used): 100% refund.
• When a cancellation is made during the trip (some services have been used such as transfer, food, some amenities, etc.): used services will be charged, the rest will be refunded.
• When a cancellation is made before or during the departure date and the trip must be shortened from 2 nights to 1 night, 2 days 1 night trip, plus other used services will be charged, the rest will be refunded.
• The final cost will be confirmed by your consultant via email. In all cases, please contact us directly for any urgent help. We are here to support you!
Note: In case of a cancellation decision made by the Management Board of Halong Bay, an alternative travel arrangement will be made on request, or you will be refunded in accordance. In all cases, please contact our travel consultant via email or phone for support. We are always willing to provide you with any assistance you may need on or off board.
• PROGRAMS & SCHEDULES SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE.
• In case of adverse weather conditions in Halong Bay, the cancellation will ONLY be made by the Halong Bay Management Board. Usually the announcement will be declared very close to or on the departure date and our refund policy will come into effect.
There were three of us on the Violet Cruise – me, my husband and our 16-year old boy. We had the Dragon Suite at the bow of the boat, which was simply incredible! We added a third bed for our son, which was certainly not the most comfortable to sleep on, but this ended up being the only small grievance we had. The food was actual 5 star quality and would not stop coming out of that kitchen! It was presented beautifully, which is what I think put our teenaged son off it, as he prefers the standard western teen fare – burgers and chips. The staff were very polite and friendly with everyone, and actually outnumbered the guests! I went for a very relaxing foot massage during the cooking demonstration. There are only 6 cabins on board, so it felt very much like an intimate experience and that you were treated like a king or queen! Splash the cash on the Violet Cruise for sure, you will not regret it!
It was a bit of an ominous sign when we were driving to Halong Bay, that there was a gigantic thunderstorm for the entire 3.5 hour drive. We were relieved when we got to the security of the waiting lounge I won’t go into every small detail, but I’ll say that we had the water suite and were on the 1 night itinerary. Onboard with us, we only had one other couple, so the entire thing felt like a private cruise – even more so when we had become friends with the other couple. As with most other reviews I’ve read since returning, I found the staff to be absolutely superb and super enthusiastic about our good time, doing everything that could to make our trip special. Tourism is still budding in Vietnam, compared to many other countries, but the hospitality we’ve experienced here has been some of the warmest and most memorable from our trips around the world. They were excellent at knowing the boundaries of when to be helpful and when to leave you to your own devices, and they all operated in a naturally charming way, without any over-the-top showiness that some companies make their employees do. We hadn’t even considered the food before booking as we were focusing on other points such as itinerary and size of the boat. We were taken aback by how good the food was, considering we were on a boat in the middle of the ocean. We started with a superb five course lunch, which set us off nicely and filled us thoroughly. There is usually a starter, 3 mains and a dessert. My wife even got a gluten-free alternative for every single course, which was incredible and something we would struggle to get in the West, even though no one gives a toss about gluten in Vietnam. The gluten-free dessert she had for dinner was the best she’s ever eaten, beating her previous favourite which was cooked at a Michelin-starred restaurant! The boat was great, it felt very much like something out of the 1920s in terms of its aesthetics, but with all of the modern comforts. I read a review that stated that the finishing was a bit worn, which I can understand, but with the daily comings and goings of guests with heavy luggage, along with all the workings of a boat requiring timbers, metals, ropes and battling storms and humidity, I think this is fair enough! Honestly I felt like the slight fading added something quite charming to the Violet Cruise. We have nothing but good words for the Violet Cruise and we really regret not spending the extra night with them. The overnight itinerary was great, but another day in Halong Bay would have been perfect. A special way to see a special landscape – thanks for everything!
We were absolutely bowled over by the amazing service that we received on the Violet Cruise. The staff, the food, the room, the activities – everything was top class and I wouldn’t have changed any part of it. We’ve been on some excellent cruises before, but what really set this one apart was Mr Big, the cruise manager. His English is as fluent as mine and he has such a positive attitude about everything that it was impossible not to love him. He gave us a thorough briefing of the itinerary and its alternatives, then for the rest of the time, he was like an old friend – friendly, funny and considerate, but also still a tour guide in his professionalism, knowledge and organisation. It was even a couple’s honeymoon on the boat and he sang them a couple of songs. He’s a really great asset for the Violet Cruise! It was hard to fault the boat to be honest – everything was pretty luxurious. The beds were especially comfortable and the décor was very well done. Unfortunately I am incredibly sensitive to sea sickness, and even on this very smooth ride, there were a few times where I felt nauseous and had to lie down. Of course, this was in no way the fault of the company, but it is something to look out for if you are like me. All of the food was outstanding. They were very considerate of our dietary requirements and fed us incredibly well – we had neglected to bring snacks so we were worried that there wouldn’t be enough, but we were very wrong in this respect! Each meal was at least three courses and the quality was just sublime – many compliments to the chef. We did the activities in a very relaxed way, probably because there were so few people on board, meaning they didn’t have to ensure that 60 guests were accounted for, like with other cruises. The Violet Cruise really had everything we were looking for a lots of extra little things that we didn’t know we were looking for! An amazing cruise.
Me and my husband booked onto the 3 day itinerary of the Violet Cruise – which was a surreal experience! I’m not sure what we expected, but the cruise delivered SO much more than we thought. We booked into the Moon Suite. It was pure luxury, let me tell you; it even had a jacuzzi to go with the large balcony with sun loungers! It was also enormous and that was a big surprise when we first walked in. We would have been happy with the room in a Western hotel, when you consider that it was on a boat in Vietnam, it becomes something really special. The whole of the appearance of the boat was very attractive – like cruising on the set of a Miss Marple! The upper deck was a really nice space to watch the bay as you sail through it. A typical meal was about 5 courses, which was great as we got to try lots of new things. By the time the fourth rolled around, we usually had to tell them not to make the last one for us as there was no way we’d be able to finish it! They also have a very impressive wine list on board considering the size of the boat. Everything was decently priced. The staff were really excellent – shoutouts in particular go to Mr. Big, Sammy and Tony. They were so lovely to us and really made the cruise special. You could tell that they genuinely just wanted us to enjoy ourselves, which is a very refreshing attitude! and genuinely just wanted to make sure we had a nice time. First day’s activities – We departed on the boat at 12.30 and did our first activity around 2pm. We went to a small cave to learn about the geography, then to a small fishing village to learn how the locals live in the bay. There is the sampan boat road by a local, who doesn’t seem to speak any English but is very smiley nonetheless, or you can opt for the kayaking for $15 per person. We did the second one and got to explore around ourselves, which was definitely worth it. Second day’s activities – We got up for sunrise at 6.30 and had tea and coffee before our tai chi class. After that, around 8, we left for the day boat and had breakfast there. We went to a bigger cave, did some more kayaking and had a swim. We had a great lunch then visited a pearl farm. We had already visited a touristy pearl place before on the way to the bay, so this trip just killed a bit of time really. We arrived back on the main boat before sunset and joined a new set of passengers. Third day’s activities - another tai chi session and breakfast before we went to Titop island. We climbed to the top, quite slowly as its 400 steps, but the view from the top was so worth it. We went swimming down below after that, but it was quite busy and there are a lot of boats waiting for their passengers to finish, so it’s not quite the picture of paradise that we had in our heads (the second day was much closer to that). We returned to the boat for showering, packing and eating brunch before we left. I feel that 3 days is the perfect amount of time for cruising – 2 would have been too rushed but 4 would have been a little tedious! As it was, we got off the Violet Cruise fully happy with the experience! We paid our bar tab at the end and it was pretty darn high, but that was more because we were partying with some honeymooning Mexicans than it was because of the price of the drinks! A long review, I know, but this was the complete experience on the Violet Cruise and it was so near to perfect that I felt I had to do it justice. Simply amazing – you won’t know for sure until you go!
We were very excited for our two-night sailing on the Violet Cruise, but about 5 days before the departure date, someone phoned us and told us that the Violet Cruise would not be available for the second evening, meaning that we would conclude our day on the Jasmine Cruise instead. We were disappointed of course, but were still able to enjoy our holiday and were very glad that it wasn’t cancelled due to a storm! The staff were very apologetic and tried their best to ensure our transition was flawless. Our first day with Violet was stunning. We spent much of it in disbelief as to how beautiful Halong Bay really is in the flesh. The service from the crew was excellent and we had some very tasty meals and fun activities. For the second day, all of our luggage was taken to the Jasmine Cruise (they even offered to help us pack!) and we were dropped off on the Violet Cruise’s day boat. We had the entire boat to ourselves, with the company of a friendly captain, chef and tour guide. They told us to feel like the king and queen of the boat for the day – and it didn’t feel anything other than that! We had a great lunch on this boat and went to a floating village and cave. As we were the only ones on the boat, the itinerary was a lot more relaxed and we were able to proceed through activities at our own pace. Between all of these activities, we sipped on wine and relaxed on sun loungers in absolute paradise. Our original disappointment was turned right on its head. We spent the final evening and morning on the Jasmine Cruise, which I have left a separate review for. Excellent service. Big props to Violet Cruise!
Me and my wife were both adamant that we were going to be spending 3 days in Halong Bay rather than the standard 2. Halong Bay is such an amazing point on the world’s grand map that we didn’t want to come all the way from London for just one night. Now that every time we hear of Halong Bay, we can look back with fond memories of the Violet Cruise and everything they did for us. Right from the get go, the staff greeted us beautifully and provided an unbeatable service for the entire remainder of our time with them. The schedule of activities, meals and relaxation could be hard to operate thoroughly, but this was done impeccably by the crew, all with good humour and a positive attitude. Sammy, the cruise director, was exceptional. He organised everything to perfection, like a conductor of an orchestra, while also being very funny and chatty at the same time. The Water junior suite was our accommodation, which was very roomy and had excellent furnishings all round. We were amazed by the food, which we weren’t expecting much from, but everything was excellent and you could tell that it was very fresh, especially the seafood! One of the big advantages to the Violet Cruise over other boats is its tiny capacity of just about 12 people, meaning you get to know the crew and your fellow cruisers quite well before the end! We had very friendly guests on our cruise and felt lucky to have them there. We have been mentioning this cruise non-stop to our friends since returning home! It really was amazing. Thank you so much!
There was just one other couple on our cruise! It’s a very small boat so I can’t imagine this is very rare, but it was really nice and we are so glad it worked out this way. We had the excellent water suite, which is at the front of the boat and gives some beautiful views of the limestone mountains around the bay as they slide past. It was a very comfortable room and there is a splendid balcony as well. I had gotten a bad stomach just before leaving for Halong Bay, so I was unable to eat the delicious-looking forward that the other 3 got! They tried their best to say it wasn’t very special to spare my feelings, but I could tell they were enjoying it! The staff were very kind and they made me some plain rice and gave me some bananas so that I would feel better. The service was actually fab not just in the meal times, but every time we saw the staff during our time on the cruise. They are a lovely bunch who are always smiling and looking to help your good time in any way that they can. The cave and the floating village trips were awesome and a really good way to learn some of the history and culture of the bay! The beach visit was a bit of a nothing-trip, but we were only there for an hour after all, so it wasn’t that bad. I really recommend the Violet Cruise to anyone looking for a sleek and professional way to see Halong Bay. The biggest highlight of our holiday for sure!
There are so many cruises to choose from when going to Halong Bay, but there really is only one Violet Cruise. We were impressed by their services right after the smooth 3.5 hour journey to the bay, with a tourist and bathroom break stop halfway. You wait in the little reception area at the harbour before the cruise it ready to take you on. Sam, the manager, kept up our high impressions with his very friendly and professional attitude. We took the Water Suite, which was a great room with plenty of space and wasn’t lacking in any luxury (we had a hot tub in the bathroom)! Our balcony was front-facing, so we got some excellent views of the bay during sunset, which we watched twice because we booked onto the 2 night trip. Overall, we went to two caves, one fishing village, one pearl farm and an island. On board, there were cooking classes, tai chi and meals which were all included. The cocktails and alcoholic drinks were not included, but were all very reasonably priced. The outstanding service, delicious food and the intimate experience of the Violet Cruise really make it stand out from the other itineraries we saw. If you’re going to fly from your home country all the way to Vietnam, book on this cruise and endure 8 hours of return travel time – make sure you go with a respected company that treats you as an individual, not like some of the other cattle car tours we saw. I also definitely recommend the 3 day tour over the 2 day tour, given the effort it takes to get here.
Just these two nights spent on the Violet Cruise were the most special part of our two-week holiday in northern Vietnam. Everything in between the first introduction and the final farewell was amazing – we had the friendliest and most polite staff I’ve ever had the honour of working with – just a lovely bunch of young people! The Moon cabin was super comfortable and plenty spacious enough for everything we needed. It was at times like that, and when we were eating the delicious food, hard to believe that we were on a boat at all – everything looks and feels like a luxurious hotel, but with the most amazing and always changing view in the background! The trips planned for us to engage in during the day were all very good. I would highly recommend doing the two night cruise, even though the vast majority of people seem to do the one nighter. We had a lot of chances to relax properly and head out into the less explored areas of the bay. Thank you Violet Cruise for the perfect end to our Vietnam trip.
Amazing! Me and my family of husband and two teenaged kids went on this boat and we all had a fantastic time – which is pretty rare with two teenagers! It really was top quality and everything we had hoped for. The bay is absolutely stunning and very unique. There are indeed a few other ships around here, as we were warned, but it does nothing to detract from the beauty of the bay. We did some fun trips out and also some great activities on the boat itself. Of these, the cooking class and tai chi class were very educational and fun. The boat is very comfortable and the staff are really great. We had one of the cabins on the lower deck, but it was facing the front so our balcony was very close to the captain and his crew, so it might be a good idea to request one further back. We had a great moment when we were on the front of the top deck, watching the sunset with some cocktails – that’s the instant image that comes up whenever asks me how my Vietnam trip was. I was racking my brain, trying to think of something for improvement, and honestly the only thing I can think of is that, given what we paid for the cruise, the welcoming drink could be some relatively cheap champagne, instead of the non-alcoholic juice they gave us. I’m clutching at straws here. Thanks for a great time, Violet Cruise!
We kicked off our 3 week tour of Vietnam with this tour on the Violet Cruise, heading through Halong Bay. It was completely smooth sailing, both figuratively and literally, for the whole cruise, with excellent organisation really enhancing our experience. Our manager, Mr. Big, introduced himself at the departure lounge to all of the passengers, then we proceeded onto the boat. They put us in the Dragon Suite, which featured an excellent balcony as well as massive windows through which we could watch the beautiful bay. There was even a jacuzzi in the bathroom! Very impressive. After a delicious lunch, we began the tour proper with our first activities, the fishing village and the cave visit. We got back onto the boat after this and did a fun cooking demo where we learnt how to make spring rolls, right before dinner. The cooking demonstration and happy hour really promote a social vibe, so we got talking with lots of different passengers, which was really nice. We had a beautiful, clear and sunny morning when we did the Tai Chi the next day. I decided to stay on the boat during the final excursion, a trip to the island. I had a great massage on board instead, and my husband came back and told me that I had definitely made the right choice! I just wish there was more time on board to try out all the luxurious facilities properly, but the itinerary is quite tight and doesn’t allow for a huge amount of relaxation. A really great trip overall, though. I have to thank Mr. Big and his friendly team for bringing it all together!
We originally booked this tour with a tour company in the UK, who told us that this was the only boat left available on the dates we chose, and it was a bit more expensive than the one we were initially looking at. We paid the extra because Halong Bay has been on the top of our travel list for a long time and there was no way we were going to Vietnam without seeing it. It turns out we got very lucky with this! The Violet Cruise is a really lovely boat with some wonderful staff. I had arrived onto the boat slightly unwell, possibly due to a dodgy meal or maybe just general travel sickness, but the cruise manager Sammy and all of the staff, including the chef, looked after me beautifully and made sure I could still enjoy something I had been looking forward to since we booked it 3 months prior. I couldn’t eat much while on the cruise, but my husband confirmed that it was absolutely delicious, and I saw that it was presented beautifully and there was a LOT of it! Our junior suite was very spacious and had a great bathroom attached. There were two sun loungers on the balcony, meaning we had the option of relaxing there or on the top deck with the other guests. We felt very safe the whole time and there seemed to be a good attitude to safety – rather different than to the rest of the country! As we had hoped, this was 100% the highlight of our trip to Vietnam. We have to thank Sammy and the crew for making this happen and for giving me a chance to enjoy it through their kindness. Thank you so much Violet Cruise!
Our entire overnight trip to Halong Bay was pure magic! We stayed in the very romantic Moon Suite, with a balcony and lots of floor space. The food was fantastic and the service was even better. My husband isn’t the biggest fan of seafood, so the crew made real efforts to make sure that he got something that he liked instead. We didn’t make it off the boat a lot to do the excursions – our priority was to lounge about on the deck, but we could see how the activities could be fun for much younger people than us! What we did do was the Tai Chi at 7 in the morning, which was actually very nice. The one time we did make it off the boat, we wished we hadn’t, as we went to the beach which was quite crowded and there wasn’t that much to do there. We really loved the size of the boat as well as it meant that everyone was cruising together and we had a great time because of that, along with many other factors.
This was a really great part of our month-long adventure in Vietnam, certainly one of the best! We took a private driver from Hanoi to Halong Bay, who was super friendly even though he didn’t speak a word of English. Xam, the cruise manager, was just as friendly, welcoming us onto his beautiful ship with a beaming smile and very polite mannerisms. We had the Phoenix Suite onboard, which was absolutely stunning. This is a great option to go for for the best views of the bay from a cabin. The food was also phenomenal and very plentiful – I saw a lot of stuffed faces after those dinners! We stayed for two nights which is a great experience, and it also means you get to do the surprisingly fun cooking demonstration and the wonderfully peaceful tai chi class twice! All I heard about before booking was how crowded Halong Bay is, but I can’t honestly say I agree with this assessment – we had nothing but positives (except maybe the weather)! We received a really great service on the day boat during our second day in the bay, courtesy of our tour guide Bobby. Booking this option meant that we got to go to two different caves, both of which were jaw-droppingly cool. The staff ensured we had a great time over the whole 3 days and seemed determined to make this a really special cruise for everyone on board. They also respect guests’ needs for privacy as well, and know when to leave you to your own devices. There was a really great touch at the end of the cruise when the manager of the company greeted us in as friendly a manner as his staff and referred to us by name. Brilliant work by everyone involved! Bravo Violet Cruise.
I’m not sure who does the staff scheduling for the Violet Cruise, but we ended up with 18 staff for 6 guests on board! We weren’t complaining though, as the staff were great and really fun to talk to. Mr Big especially was amazing. He was the cruise manager and his English was almost perfect. He was very friendly and kind, and was determined to assist us even if there were 17 other members of staff he could have called upon to do so. Our junior suite room was excellent, with a very comfortable bed and a small balcony on the outside for watching the bay go past. The bathroom was also well-equipped and had everything we needed – and the TV came with movies pre-downloaded, but we never go any time to watch them! The boat is so well kitted out with gym equipment, sauna and massage facilities. We indulged in a bit of these but were quite content just to stare at the bay. There was also a beautiful top deck with sun loungers and a better view than from our room, so we stayed there for a lot of the time. Berillaint food! Really top class, with excellent services to boot. The itinerary is a little full, so we didn’t get as much relaxing time as we’d have liked. I think if we go again, we will just stay on the boat while others engage in the activities. Overall though, what a splendid trip! Hats off to Mr. Big and the team!
We had a really excellent cruise with Sammie and the team on the Violet Cruise. We booked a sea-level room that had a balcony at the front. We were very lucky to have some cloudless skies and pretty acceptable temperatures, but even more lucky to meet the two other couples on the boat and share our great time together. The activities were all of the highest order, especially the cave and the fishing village visits. To get into the caves, you need to climb up about 400 stone steps, so be sure to bring some decent footwear and you should be golden. We had a swim and did some kayaking as well, which was very nice. The food was absolutely delicious and featured a good variety that covered lots of different palettes over the 3 days that we ate. Our last day was a real scorcher as we had booked for a trip during the hot season, but that actually meant that there were fewer tourists in the bay and, as a result, fewer boats.
There were only four of us on this trip through Halong Bay with the Violet Cruise. It felt very much like a charter cruise after we became friends with the other couple on board, and we were delighted to be sharing it with them! I’m a bit awkward at mealtimes, given that I have a pretty nasty fish allergy, but the crew were excellent in sorting this out as they took a lot of care in making sure there wasn’t even a hint of seafood in there. We did some great activities, but you should make sure you get to Titop Island just to see how bizarre it is there! It’s a bit nuts trying to leave the harbour, as everyone tries to do that at the same time, but once you’re into the bay, it’s actually fine. We’d heard a lot about crowding with the boats, but the only time we saw it was right at the start and the end. We were very lucky with the weather and also the timing of the full moon, which appeared bright in the sky in the night. The sunrise around 5am the next morning was even more magnificent and it’s a memory that I will surely keep forever. The crew were all very friendly and engaging with us, which made it an even more special experience. Great trip!