Spanish family books Ha Long Bay cruise on non-existent vessel

By Vy An   July 29, 2018 | 03:11 pm GMT+7

Authorities are investigating how a Spanish family was cheated into booking a Ha Long Bay cruise on a vessel no longer in service.

A Spanish couple and their three children were stranded at the Tuan Chau Wharf on Thursday after they found that the vessel they’d booked for an overnight cruise on the Ha Long Bay had not been in service for several years.

The booking was made in March on Expedia.es, which collected $746 for a two-night tour on the Paragon Legend.

Some cruise ship owners at the wharf said the Paragon Legend had stopped operating in the bay several years ago. The management board of the bay also confirmed that there was no ship with that name active in the bay.

On learning of the family’s plight, the owner of the Pelican cruise decided to offer the Spanish family a free two-day-one-night tour of the world famous bay.

A local cruise ship owner offers a free two-day-one-night trip for the Spanish family on his Pelican cruise ship. Photo by Lighthouse Vu 

A local cruise ship owner offers a free two-day-one-night trip for the Spanish family on his Pelican cruise ship. Photo by Lighthouse Vu 

Ho Quang Huy, vice chairman of Ha Long City, said local authorities are investigating the incident. He said the probe was hampered by the fact that the online site where the tourists made the booking had no server in Vietnam.

Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh Province is one of Vietnam's biggest tourism magnets. The bay has been hailed by the U.S. travel guide site Smarter Travel as one of the best ecological spots in the world, while Business Insider has said that an overnight Ha Long cruise trip is a “must-try” travel experience in Asia.

The bay welcomed more than 28,000 foreigners during the first four months this year, according to the Quang Ninh tourism department.

 
 
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