Shore Excursions from Halong Bay brings you an incredibly wonderful experience due to the services and nearby attractions that are worth a visit, such as Halong Bay, Yen Tu Mountain, the capital city Hanoi, and Ninh Binh. Among these, Halong Bay & Halong City is an unmissable destination. From here, tourists can go sightseeing, swim at the beach, sunbathe at Titov Beach or discover Yen Tu Mountain, Ba Vang Pagoda, Halong seafood market or Quang Ninh museum to understand more about Halong local people’s life.

But how can you experience these services from a cruise ship? Let’s delve deeper into this with Halong Transportation.

International cruise ships to Halong Bay (Quang Ninh) typically start arriving in the autumn, from October, and continue through the spring months until March of the following year. However, the exact number of passengers on each ship is not usually determined, as cruise ship operators usually provide passenger information a few days in advance or are still receiving tour booking information from passengers. These are luxury cruise ships that have been visiting Halong Bay for many years, such as Mein Schiff, Viking Orion, Silver Muse, Celebrity Solstice, and Silver Whisper, etc…

Which port do cruise ships dock at in Halong Bay?

Toàn cảnh cảng tàu khách Hạ Long nhìn từ trên cao

The question of which port cruise ships dock at in Halong Bay may seem simple, but not everyone knows the answer. In fact, even passengers on cruise ship may not be aware of it. For some reason, passengers on cruise ships are informed that the ship will dock at Cai Lan Port or Vinashin Port (using tender boats).

However, that was the situation in the past. Since 2018, Quang Ninh has put into operation the Halong International Cruise Port, located in Bai Chay Ward, Ha Long City. This is considered the first dedicated passenger port, with the ability to serve two ships simultaneously, with a maximum tonnage capacity of 225,000 GRT and a total capacity of 8,460 people.

Picking up passengers from cruise ship

Travel agencies that want to access the inside of the port to pick up passengers from cruise ship need to go through the same customs procedures as at other cruise ports. There will be a fee for vehicles entering the port (approximately $22) and a passenger pickup fee (around $25 per person). Of course, these fees will be included in the service prices offered to tourists. Overall, service prices will increase significantly.

For example, if you are traveling with a group of 10 people to explore the coastline from Halong Bay, you will have to pay an additional $22 + $25 x 10 = $272. Wow! That’s quite a substantial amount, isn’t it?

How can you save on these fees?

While it’s not as strict, tourists exploring the Shore Excursions from Halong Bay can walk 1.1km (apx. 15 mins) to exit the port (at Chan May and Nha Trang ports, passengers are not allowed to leave on their own if no one is picking them up).

After leaving the international cruise port in Halong Bay, anyone can pick up passengers for Shore Excursions from Halong Bay, or you can also take a taxi and explore the city on your own. Typically, Halong Transportation often pick up passengers right at the ticket hall of the Halong International Cruise Port.

Walk to lobby

When the Shore Excursions from Halong Bay finished, passengers will be returned to the Lobby of Halong International Cruise Port, and passengers will then make their own way to the port bridge and back to the cruise ship.

Although this method is a bit more complicated and may take some extra time for passengers exploring the coastline from Halong Bay to travel to and from the port, it can save a significant fee.

After leaving the cruise port, the next step for passengers exploring the coastline from Halong Bay is to choose a tourist destination that fits the cruise ship’s schedule. You need to carefully check the cruise ship’s arrival and departure times (usually arriving in the morning and departing in the afternoon or the following day).

Below are the 4 must-see tourist attractions from cruise ships:

Halong Bay Day Tour or Sunset Tour

Most of day-tour & sunset tour cruise docked at Halong International Cruise Port, same port of International cruise ship. Thus it is very convenient to choose one to discover Halong Bay. But it is cheaper & safer for guests to book with a reliable company in advance.

Halong Transportation offers various types of day-tour in Halong Bay, from wooden boat to 5-stars cruise, with very competitive price, from $30/pax.


  • Swimming at Titov Beach
  • Sunbathing at Titov Beach
  • Hiking on Titov Island
  • Exploring caves such as Sung Sot, Thien Cung, and Thien Canh Son
  • Rowing boat trips at Luon Cave/fishing village Vung Vieng/ Tra Bau Cave/ Sang Cave
  • Enjoying the breathtaking views of Halong Bay
  • Enjoy sunset in Halong Bay from sunset cruise and have dinner on boat

Depending on the chosen tour program: Half-day tour/Full-day tour/Sunset tour, visitors exploring the Shore Excursions from Halong Bay can enjoy various experiences. It’s not possible to participate in all activities on a single tour.

Yen Tu Pagoda

Yen Tu Pagoda in Quang Ninh Province has long been famous for being the Sacred “Capital” of Vietnam. Here, you can immerse yourself in the peaceful atmosphere and learn about Vietnamese’s historical value associated with this destination.

History of Yen Tu pagoda

Location: Yen Tu Mountain, Thuong Yen Cong, Uong Bi, Quang Ninh Province
Opening hours: 6 am – 6pm daily
Ticket fee for Sight-seeing: 40,000 VND/adult, 20,000 VND/child
Ticket fee for Cable car: from 180,000 VND/adult/one-way & 260,000 VND/adult/roundtrip


  • Long-distance hiking
  • Pilgrimage to temples, Buddhist rituals
  • Enjoying the fresh air
  • Taking cable car rides for sightseeing

Dong pagoda in Yen Tu pagoda

From my observations and experience of going to Yen Tu pagoda, Tet holiday is considered as the tourist season as a huge number of visitors converge on this pagoda to celebrate the Spring Festival held on an annual basis. During this time, thousands of people flock to Yen Tu for spring travel and prayers for themselves, their family, relatives and friends in the hope for a new year of freshness, luck, happiness and prosperity. Besides traditionally showing respect for spiritual beliefs, there are a variety of other activities, especially for expats who are clueless about or not used to our long-standing customs.

Ba Vang Pagoda

Ba Vang Pagoda (also known as Bao Quang Pagoda) preserves unique Buddhist cultural values, especially Truc Lam Yen Tu Zen. The pagoda was built in 1706 by Buddhist Monk Tue Bich – a descendant of Truc Lam Yen Tu Zen and then restored several times. The current architecture is the result of the renovation in 2011.

Ba Vang Pagoda

Location: Ba Vang Mountain, Quang Trung Ward, Uong Bi City, Quang Ninh Province.
Opening hours: 6 am – 6pm daily
Ticket fee: Free
Ideal travel time: 4 – 6 hours 

Ba Vang Pagoda

Main attractions

  • Stone Gate

  • Tam Quan Trung & Tu Bi Waterfall

  • Statues of Buddha

  • One Pillar Pagoda and Ban Nguyet Lake

  • Bo De Garden

  •  Tam Quan Noi

  •  Main hall

  • Godly Well

Ba Vang Pagoda

The pagoda warmly welcomes pilgrims and visitors throughout the entire year. There are no entrance fees to the pagoda. While there is a donation box available for those who wish to contribute, such donations are entirely voluntary. Your visit is valued for your presence, not your purse.

Cai Bau Pagoda

Cai Bau Pagoda from the past is still a famous place in Quang Ninh, where it attracts a lot of tourists. This temple is considered a spiritual destination for every local tourist, as well as the whole country, to visit each year. Coming here, visitors will be impressed by the terrain here with the back leaning against the mountain, the front is Bai Tu Long Bay. Let’s explore details with Impress Travel & Halong Tours. Handbook of experience going to Cai Bau pagoda in Quang Ninh, before starting the journey.

Location: Hamlet 1, Ha Long Commune, Van Don District, Quang Ninh Province
Opening hours: 6 am – 10pm daily. Open 24 hours on public holidays & New Year’s Day
Ticket fee: Free
Ideal travel time: 4 – 6 hours 

Tourists from all over the country when traveling to Cai Bau pagoda. Not only visiting the diverse architectural works, historical and cultural relics. Or take excursions to see the poetic beauty of the natural scenery. But also attracted by the abundance of major festivals of the year such as Buddha’s Birthday, Vu Lan Festival…

Main attractions

  • Main hall
  • Steeple
  • Empty floor
  • Triple gate

chua cai bau quang ninh

Halong Transportation provides city tour to all of these tourist attractions for 6-8 hours per trip, from $30 per person. With professional helpful knowledgable driver, we guarantee to bring guests a wonderful trip in Halong City.

Categories: OUR TIPS