FAQs

1. What are your working hours?
Our Reservation Dept. works from 08:00 AM until 05:00 PM ICT time from Monday to Friday. Emails sent after 5:00PM will be replied on the next day. For urgent requests after 05:00PM, please call us at: +84439264009, or send an email to Sales@orientalsails.com. Emails sent on weekend might be replied on the next Monday. We could not check availability of the cruise during lunch time from 12:00 PM until 13:00 PM every day. The cruise availability checking is made by phone so for requests sent on weekend or lunch time, please wait for us until the official time please
2. Should I book in advance?
Booking in advance is definitely better than late booking because you will have much time to check the prices of the cruises and select the best cruise for you. Nice cabins are often fully booked far in advance so you will not have many choices in the last minutes. In case of the bad weather, you will also get refund (find answer no 11 here). If you cancel the cruise in a certain time, you will also get your money back (please find the details of the cancellation policy at the terms and conditions page). Booking in advance also helps us and the crew team to prepare your trip better and you will also get to know everything about your trip before you go.
3. How to book a cruise – What steps?
Step 1: Send us your inquiry
If you like any of the cruises, the booking form is available at that cruise page. Please send us an inquiry so we can check the cruise availability for you. In case the cruise is not available on the expected date, we will recommend you another departure date or ask for further information from you to find out the suitable cruise for you. You can also send us “request for suggestions” if you are not sure what cruise to go with.

Step 2: Payment & Passenger’s Information
After you agree on what cruise to take, a deposit will be required to book the cruise for you. After the payment is made, we will also need the following passenger’s information to book the cruise. The information is required by the Authority in Halong Bay for overnight visitors.
Day trip passengers do not need to submit the information!

– Title (Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms)
– Full name as it appears on the passport
– Passport number
– Nationality
– Date of birth
– Expiry date of Vietnam entry visa (If the nationality holder does not need to apply for the visa, entry date and exit date are required)

Step 3: Booking Confirmation After the deposit or full payment and above information are received, we will book the cruise for you and issue the cruise voucher for your trip. Your booking will be completed!

4. What payment methods do you accept?
We can accept payment by credit cards online through Onepay which represents MasterCards in Vietnam. You can use MasterCards, Visa, Dinner Club, or American Express. We can also accept other methods such as bank wire transfer or Western Union. Please check more information at https://www.orientalsails.com/
5.Will I be charged for using credit cards in Vietnam?
Using credit cards in Vietnam is still not popular so you will be often charged from 2-4% of the amount paid by the banks here whether you are paying online or present your credit cards in Vietnam. However, we might offer FREE of charge for this fee applied in some special cases. Please contact us for more details.
6. How do I know my booking is confirmed?
After accepting to book the cruise, you have to pay for it. Once we receive your payment, your cruise will be reserved. We will issue the receipt for you then and ask for the passengers’ information to complete the booking for you. After the passengers’ information is received, we will issue the cruise voucher for you.
7.How can I cancel the booking? Will I be charged?
When you want to cancel a booking, please send a cancellation request by writing an email to us. We do not accept a cancellation by phone or fax. Please read carefully the cancellation policy of each cruise displayed at the cruise page. We note clearly about the time of cancellation and how much will be charged for your cancellation.
8.What time do I get picked up for the tour?
Unless you book a private car, the shuttle bus from the company will start to pick up different guests at different hotels in the old quarter of Hanoi from 08:00AM until 08:30AM for the tour so please be ready during this time for us. You should inform the hotel receptionist about your cruise trip so when the bus comes, the hotel receptionist will call you. Therefore, you do not need to wait at the lobby for such a long time! Sometimes, the shuttle bus can be 5 or 10 minutes late due to traffic or other guests. If after 08:40 AM, the shuttle bus does not show up, please call us to our hotline number please.

In case your hotel is located far from the old quarter of Hanoi, we will inform you if you need to go to our office or a most convenient address to get picked-up or the shuttle bus can pick you up at your hotel upon our booking confirmation!

9.Can you pick us up at the Hanoi railways station?
No, I am sorry that the Hanoi railways station is a crowded place with hundreds of local people, tourists, and vehicles so the shuttle bus from the cruise will not be able to recognize you there. In addition, the trains often arrive in the early morning while the shuttle bus start to pick up guests around 08:00 AM so you should find a hotel or a place to relax before our bus picks you up for the tour. It then takes 3 hours and a half from Hanoi to Halong Bay one-way so you should bear in mind this and prepare well for the trip. You can also find a hotel address near the railways station or we can suggest one to get picked if you would like! But having a place to stay is always better!
10. What do I need to bring for the Halong Bay tour?
For your convenience, you should bring some necessary things with you to Halong Bay such as original passports to check in, swim suite, sun glasses, hat, camera, insect repellent, suitable footwear for activities in Halong Bay such as climbing up steps to visit caves, kayaking, etc.

For unnecessary things, you can leave them at your hotel in Hanoi. The hotel will be happy to store them for you until your return!

11.What if the cruise is cancelled due to bad weather?
Storms normally come to the north of Vietnam from June until September so sometimes your cruise will be canceled due to bad weather.

In this case, how much money you will be refunded depending on where you were announced the cancellation news!

+ If you are still in Hanoi and have not started the trip yet, all money paid will be refunded to you.

+ If you arrived at Halong Bay pier and the cruise informs you the bad news, you will pay the transfer fee only. We are pleased to prepare lunch on cruises for you if allowed, if not we will prepare lunch (a light meal) in a restaurant in the main land before drive you back to Hanoi. If you do not want to have that light meal, please tell the tour guide immediately, so that you won’t be charged for the meal. Normally, that meal costs about 10USD.

+ If you want to stay in Halong City and do not want to go back Hanoi, please tell the tour guide or contact your tour operator immediately for alternative solution.

+ If you are on your cruise already and are visiting Halong Bay when the bad news comes such as your cruise is not allowed to stay overnight, other arrangements will be made by the cruise for you upon your agreement. Otherwise, you will pay for the services and time that you have spent on the cruise.

12.What time will the shuttle bus get back to our hotels in Hanoi?
For one day trip, the shuttle bus will take you back to your hotels in Hanoi around 08:00 PM.

For two or three day trip, the shuttle bus will take you back to your hotels in Hanoi around 04:30 PM. If the traffic is good, the bus can arrive at Hanoi as early as 04:00 PM. If not, it can be as late as 05:00 PM.

13.Can the shuttle bus drop us off at the airport?
No, I am sorry that the airport is in the opposite direction with the way from Halong Bay to Hanoi so no bus passing or going to the airport. The shuttle bus from the cruises will bring you back to hotels in the Old quarter of Hanoi around 04:30 PM, then it will take one hour by taxi from the Old quarter of Hanoi to the airport so you should be at the airport around 05:30 PM if you take the shuttle bus from the cruises. Depending on your flight time, you can hire a private car to arrive at the airport as soon as 03:00 PM or drop off at Bac Ninh City then take a taxi on your own to the airport around 04:30 PM.
14.Warning!
• It takes 3 hours and a half by bus (mini van) from Hanoi to Halong Bay so prepare a music player and a pair of dark glasses to relax!

•All buses will stop at a shop on the way from Hanoi to Halong Bay and back for the driver to relax and guests to do toiletries or have cafe, meals. You do not need to buy anything if you don’t like.

•Drinks on board are not included in the prices. The prices are more expensive than in land, especially wine so please ask the prices before you order.

•Please never reveal your credit card information through phone, email or copy, fax to anyone in Vietnam for your card safety. You can use credit cards for payment online through secured gateway such as Onepay which represents MasterCard in Vietnam.

15.What happens if I experience seasickness on the boat?
From its sheltered position in the Bac Bo Gulf, Halong bay rarely experiences any violent waves. The waters of Ha Long, Lan Ha and Bai Tu Long bays are renown for their tranquility, making for ideal swimming and kayaking conditions. Some routes taken by the cruise will cross open seas, in which case the boat may be exposed to choppy waters and minor waves. However these rough interludes are for the most part brief before slipping back into the protection of the islets.

If you are often victim to seasickness you should make sure to bring with you any medication you would usually take to alleviate your symptoms. Otherwise it is recommended to avoid anything strenuous, even walking around the boat is ill-advised. Relax, fix your eye on a point on the horizon, and the feeling will shortly pass.

16. When is the best time to visit Halong Bay?
As with the rest of the Vietnam’s northern provinces, Halong bay does experience variances in weather in four different seasons of the year. The coldest months are from December to March, where there is little sunlight but the bay is shrouded in a delicate grey mist that adds mystery to the bay’s wild beauty. The temperature at this wintry period can drop to 12°C. The heat of Vietnamese Summer really comes into force from May til the end of August, ideal for sun bunnies. This time of the year is amazing for vibrant sunsets and clear blue skies, although there’s a chance you’ll experience the typical heavy but brief summer showers. Both Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November) are pleasant mediations, with clear skies, gentle breezes and tranquil seas. The endemic greenery of the area is consistent throughout the year, although Spring and Summer play host to a bay-wide blooming of exotic flowers.

Despite this generally predictable pattern, Halong bay is still located in a tropical area and therefore can be subject to sudden and uncharacteristic changes in weather. Vietnam will often experience ‘bon mua mot ngay’ (four seasons in one day). However, Halong bay is home to such a magnificent landscape that it is impossible to put a cloud over it- although not literally. The winter mists lend it a compelling mystery; the fierce summer sunlight reveals glorious sunsets; even a brief summer storm has its own wild beauty.

17. How far is that from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay?
The journey from Hanoi’s city center to Ha Long city is about 170 kilometres, and takes an average of 3.5 hours to complete. Your transfer will leave Hanoi by 8:30 am and will take you via a picturesque route through the country province of Hai Duong, with a pleasant scenery of rice fields, local villages, and mountain ranges.
18. What is the cruise policy for children?
Our cruises allow children to stay in the room with their parents, either with or without an extra mattress. Our policy is not to charge for children from 01 to 05 years old, sharing room with parents. Children from 6 to 11 years old are charged 75% of the adult price, sharing room with parents. Ages of children are counted based on year of birth.