The worst thing about cruising through Lan Ha Bay aboard Indochine Cruise? Hint: Nothing. It is absolute bliss. Especially given Lan Ha Bay is much quieter (yet equally as beautiful) as it’s more well-known cousin – Ha Long Bay. And even better aboard a luxury five star vessel like Indochine! With a romantic colonial charm paired with opulent luxury, you will feel like a first explorer sailing through a vast prehistoric landscape.
This grandiose vessel is decked out with rich wood, marble and views wherever you look. We’re not kidding even our suites bathtub looked out over the bay. We chose to sleep with our curtains open so that we could be awoken by the sun’s rays poking through the early morning mist. It was seriously a once in a lifetime experience sipping a coffee on our balcony staring out into the abyss of mist and dramatic limestone. Even Ollie was welcomed with open arms onboard with a high chair awaiting him at every meal and staff eager to entertain him!
Table of Contents
Indochine Cruise Lan Ha Bay
Ha Long Bay is world-famous for its dramatic limestone mountains jutting out of the calm emerald green water. In recent times its popularity has also caused its own downfall, often being completely overrun by tourists. However Lan Ha Bay, just to the south of Ha Long Bay, showcases a near identical landscape, minus hundreds of other boats. Lan Ha Bay covers 7,000 ha, and is made up of around 300 karst islands and limestone sea rocks. There are numerous islands, caves and even beaches just begging to be explored.
Indochine Cruise is a brand new 76m luxury vessel, it is the largest overnight vessel in Lan Ha Bay. With 43 cabins capable of holding 83 guests and 50 staff. It offers 2-days 1-night trips, or 3-days 2-nights trips so that you can thoroughly explore the bay. This luxurious colonial-style vessel offers 4 levels of cabins from the Junior Suites to the Presidential Suite. All cabins on board are some of the biggest offered in the whole of Ha Long Bay. This cruise isn’t just about the stay though and has a jam-packed itinerary, of which you can choose to partake in things at your leisure. These include things from excursions to kayaking to squid fishing!
Inside Our Executive Suite Cabin
We were lucky enough to be allocated an executive suite, just one class below the presidential. Taking up a prime corner position on the third deck the Indochine Cruise executive suite presents you with an incredible view over Lan Ha Bay. Sprawling 54sqm the executive suite truly is enormous, especially considering you are out to sea! With just two of these suites onboard the vessel, we felt like absolute royalty!
The cabin feels opulent and oozing luxury from the moment you walk in. The first thing that strikes you is the light flooding in through the multiple windows wrapping around the room. Then you spot all of the little details like the intricate artwork spanning the roof, or the desk complete with vintage phone and fan. Rich wooden floorboards and thick curtains add to the rooms colonial presence. The enormous king-sized bed with indulgent linens, flat screen tv and air conditioner remind you that you are in fact in the 21st century. The room truly was spectacular and there was plenty of room for the three of us to really spread out.
Our jaws dropped to the floor when we stepped into the bright marbled ensuite. A large claw foot bath, complete with elaborate golden tap-ware had a prime position looking out the window to the glorious Lan Ha Bay. We enjoyed the most incredible bath here and could have stayed in there for hours, that’s if there weren’t so many activities to be doing! There is also a separate rain shower and his/her sinks as well as eco-friendly amenities.
The showstopper of the room though was definitely the enormous balcony stretching the length of the room. What better place to sip your morning coffee than on your own private balcony looking out at the ever-changing scenery. Staying in a room like this needs to be on your bucket list!
Check In & Departure
We had already flown to nearby Haiphong and made our way to Halong City. This meant we did not take the complimentary shuttle from Hanoi to the port. That’s where the Indochina Sails check-in lounge was for their various vessels. After a warm welcome, they collected our bags and invited us inside to relax on the sofas with a tasty welcome drink. Once all the passengers had arrived we boarded a small speedboat to take us all to our awaiting ship ‘Indochine Cruise’.
We promptly disembarked and were led to the main dining room of the ship. We were immediately stunned by the colonial charm of the boat and the spiralling wooden staircase. Tones of rich brown and gold were everywhere, we felt as if we had stumbled back in time to the golden era of cruising. Once all seated we had a rundown of the boat, the safety procedures and a preview of the itinerary. Most importantly though we were given the keys to our suites. After making our way to our suite our bags were already waiting for us in the corner of the room.
Departing from the ship was just as smooth sailing and simply a reversal of the procedure. It was a sad feeling departing the ship that we had called home for the night and it will certainly go down as one of our most unique travel experiences. Upon arrival back on land, we were provided with a transfer service back to Hanoi.
Knowing that we would be transferred back to Hanoi we didn’t quite know what to expect. Thinking it could be a very uncomfortable ride. Little did we know the minivans are more like limousines. Decked out in black with dark tint they certainly looked the part. Inside everybody had a seat that would not be out of place in a cinema, it was very very comfortable. To top it off the van even had wifi to keep us occupied for the journey! It was a thousand times better than the tourist bus that I took years ago in my backpacking days, that’s for sure!!
There is no shortage of activities provided so you will never be bored. And if you just want to sit in your room admiring the view, that is allowed to. You are provided a schedule during the safety briefing of what activities will be offered. Some always are, whilst others are subject to change based upon the weather or boat schedule.
For us, that meant a visit to the Dark and Bright caves. You have either the option of kayaking or being rowed by a local in a traditional bamboo sampan boat. Whilst they did have a kayak suitable for the three of us, we thought with a tired toddler the boat may be a better option. What amazed us was that they actually row through their feet! This short journey felt like a prehistoric expedition and was such a surreal experience.
The next day, there was an early morning visit to Cat Bat island for a bike ride around a local village. We didn’t have the chance that trip but they also often visit a floating fishing village, a very unique site. Onboard activities were also aplenty. Tai Chi classes, cooking demonstrations and even evening squid fishing! You also get the opportunity to go for a swim. With temperatures pretty cold, nobody was brave enough to jump in haha!
One of our favourite spots on the boat was definitely the top deck. A massive area giving you a 360-degree view o your incredible surroundings. With loads of sun-beds and various seating options, this is the ideal place to hangout and lap up Lan Ha Bay.
Whilst there may not have been a pool there was a large jacuzzi aboard the boat capable of fitting numerous people. This cool hangout was full of plants and enclosed from the elements so felt truly tranquil. There was even a spa onboard offering up massages, although we didn’t have one we could imagine it to be an awesome experience.
Dining aboard Indochine Cruise
How Kid-Friendly Is Indochine Cruise?
We were pleasantly surprised by just how child-friendly the Indochine Cruise is. After all, some of the luxury vessels do not accept children whatsoever.
The cabins aboard Indochine are some of the biggest in Lan Ha Bay. This is great news for families wanting to spread out and have some room to breathe. There are TVs in the room if you need a bit of downtime and the baths make bath time a breeze. A cot was set up awaiting our arrival to the room and its wooden style was not out of place in the room.
Ollie’s meals were always eaten thanks to the chefs. The buffets tended to always have suitable things for little kids, whilst during the sit-down dinner they tailored a meal specifically for him. There was also high chairs available – we all know how hard it is to get a little one to eat unrestrained haha!
The vessel being new is in great condition with all of the relevant safety precautions and measures with well-trained staff. Whenever travelling by smaller boat on expeditions they always ensured Oliver had a child-sized lifejacket. Additionally, places like the balcony were secure and the rails adequate protection (of course still need supervision).
Kids are well looked after aboard Indochine cruise with loads of suitable activities for all ages to have a fun time cruising Lan Ha Bay. Jenga, board & card games, kayaking, squid fishing and more are all bound to keep them occupied. You can even visit the captains and have a turn of steering the boat!
Book Your Stay aboard Indochine Cruise in Lan Ha Bay
Address: Lan Ha Bay, Vietnam
Luxury king cabins start at approximately USD$350 for a 2 day 1 night cruise. Enquire now!
Have any questions or comments about our stay at Indochine Cruise Lan Ha Bay? Let us know in the comments below…
LIKE THIS POST? PIN IT FOR LATER
Disclosure: This post was created in partnership with Indochina Sails. As always, all the reviews and opinions expressed are based on our personal view and experience.