With so many choices available, it is rather hard to answer which one is "The Best Cruise" of Halong Bay. It really depends on what category of cruise you are looking at and what expectation you have for a cruise.
Day Cruise: Emeraude tops the list
Emeraude Cruise is the unique when it comes to day cruise. While most other cruise such as Image Day Cruise, Alova Day Cruise or Phoenix Day Cruise uses a different vessel (which is option smaller in scale and not as beautifully decorated), Emeraude uses the same vessel for both day cruise and overnight cruise. The food standard as well as the cruise program is the same, which makes Emeraude truly stand out from the rest.
** Note: the only disadvantage is that you will need to take a private car since there is no shuttle bus service available for Emeraude day cruise, which may make the cruise trip a bit pricey.
Best Value Cruise: Glory Cruise is unbeatable
At approximately $110 per person for 2 day 1 night trip with food and boarding included, Glory Cruise tops the list when it comes to value cruise. The amenities on board can match that of any other cruise in the deluxe range but the price is only a fraction. Glory Cruise offers both 2 day 1 night and 3 day 2 nigh trip and is planning to move its operation to Bai Tu Long Bay as well.
Best Activities: Dragon Pearl has it all
It is no wonder Dragon Pearl often ranks so high on Trip Advisor and other popular tourist forums. The cruise surpasses all others in terms of activities it offers. Not only does the cruise operate exclusively in the most beautiful part of Halong Bay but it also organizes it program in a perfect way. For example, dinner can be enjoyed in a cave or on the sundeck so that travelers can enjoy the scenic landscape while sampling the best local cuisines. The price for a 2 day 1 night trip on Dragon Pearl starts from $150/person.
Best Luxury Cruise: Paradise Peak Cruise
Paradise Peak Cruise
If you are used to world class service and would expect the same service type in Halong Bay, then definitely go for the Peak. Paradise is a team of vessel with all the 5 star quality and the Peak definitely ranks on top of all other else. The cruise is artistically designed with a cozy touch. With only 8 cabins on board, you are sure to be served to the fullest details. Each cabin or guest group will have a personal butler who will take care and help you with a perfect cruise trip.
Best new launch: Pelican Cruise
Although most cruises in Halong Bay are considered young compared with the Western one, some are relatively newer than the other. Pelican cruise was launched in 2012 and boasts the latest amenities available on board. For example, safety equipments are upgraded and full spa service are offered on board. It does not stop at the spacious new room feel: Pelican also beats other cruise launching at the same period by the friendly service it is able to deliver to guests. The good work of Pelican can easily be found in the raves available online and from the past cruise passengers.