This was one of the highlights of our trip. We did a 2 day / 1 night cruise on the bay with an amazing company called Indochina Junk aboard the Dragon Pearl 3 whom I would wholeheartedly recommend. We were picked up from our hotel and transported via mini van for a four-hour long and bumpy ride. We spent most of the time enjoying the wonderful food that kept on coming on the boat and relaxing on the top deck. However, we did get off the boat for a beautiful kayak around some islands, to explore some caves and visited Vung Vieng floating village.
I was not expecting the bay to be as impressive as it was, we had received a lot of bad press due to the pollution and the crowds on the bay. However, our tour company Indochina Junk has exclusive touring rights to World Heritage site Bai Tu Long Bay which is adjacent to Halong Bay so the trip was peaceful and the environment pristine.
The boat itself was fairly small (limit of 22 guests) and we met a few other young couples to enjoy the cruise with. Our only regret was not staying another night!