New road halves journey to Halong Bay cruises


It’s one of the most beautiful sites in SE Asia and certainly one of its most sought after shore excursions.

Now, Vietnam’s Halong Bay has a new and fast connection to Hanoi, so more shore cruisers will be able to enjoy the UNESCO World Heritage site.

The road opened last month, connecting capital city Hanoi and Halong Bay officially opened, cutting the four-hour drive time between the popular northern destinations in half.

“This is a game-changer,” said Nguyen Cao Son, chief operating officer of Paradise Cruises, the bay’s leading luxury cruise provider.

“The fact is, not every traveler has the ability to fit an overnight trip to Halong Bay into their schedule. And those that choose to, typically do so at the expense of visiting another beautiful city in Vietnam.

“But with the introduction of this new highway, tourists can now maximize their time and enjoy a lot more.”

The USD 572 million highway is one of two new major transport projects in Quang Ninh Province. A new international airport just east of Halong City is scheduled to open to air traffic in December this year.

“The timing couldn’t be better,” said Cao Son. “With so much happening in this region all the way up until the opening of the ASEAN Tourism Forum in January of next year, there’s no doubt visitor interest will be at an all-time high.”

He added: “There is no better way to see Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its breathtakingly beautiful limestone karsts rising up out of its emerald waters, than from a ship. In a nutshell, cruising dominates the travel experience on Halong Bay.

“The draw of Halong Bay is a major contributor to Quang Ninh Province welcoming as many as 12 million visitors for 2018.

“Last year, Quang Ninh accommodated 9.87 million tourists. As the official location of Vietnam National Tourism Year 2018, the province is slated to host more than 50 cultural, sports and tourism events this year.

In celebration of the highway opening and in an attempt to further drive tourism to Halong Bay, Paradise has rolled out a day-cruise promotion.

Available from now, the package starts from USD 80 per person and includes roundtrip transfer by shuttle bus from Hanoi, lunch aboard Paradise Explorer and all sightseeing fees as well as any taxes and service charges.

“Our day cruise is perfect for anyone who is short on time but still wants to explore the best of Halong Bay,” said Cao Son. “It also gives them the opportunity to experience Paradise’s 5-star service at a fraction of the price.

“Tourists and travel agents have been crying out for a luxury day cruise in Halong Bay for quite some time. Paradise Explorer fills the void.”