Four cruise ships operating on Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh Province have been suspended for 10 days for overcharging tourists and violating safety regulations.
|Ha Long Bay. Photo by VnExpress Photo Contest/Dang Thanh Phuong|
On June 1, a group of 17 tourists hired the Hai Au 06 cruise ship to travel around Ha Long. They had already bargained a deal with the boat’s owner. However, after the trip, the group had to pay an additional cost of VND300,000 ($14) for so-called service charge and each dish was charged at VND30,000 more than agreed.
The incident was reported to city authorities and an investigation into the cruise ship as well as three other ships belonging to the operator.
According to authorities, the allegations are true and may have an adverse effect on the cruise ship business on the bay. All four boats inspected did not meet safety regulations in terms of lifesaving and firefighting equipment.
In May, Quang Ninh Province also suspended a cruise ship in Ha Long Bay after a group of tourists reported they were fleeced for a family lunch on board the boat.
The group included five adults and three children and had been given a menu with prices before they boarded the Hong Long ship on May 15.
To the group’s surprise, all the dishes were twice or even three times more expensive than the prices advertised in the menu.
The group had to pay VND6 million ($270) for their lunch and VND1.5 million ($67) for a two-hour cruise around the bay that did not stop at any of the attractions and was cut short due to bad weather.