How do I get from

Ninh Binh to Cat Ba Island

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Cat Ba Island at a glance

High season

April - Nov
Place you can't miss
Hospital cave
Local currency
Good to know
Surprisingly enough, the Cat Ba islands aren’t a common household name (like Hanoi or Halong bay). Nonetheless, it’s a beautiful island that’s worth visiting. You can easily book a bus from Hanoi that will take roughly four hours. While it’s not a huge island compared to the others surrounding Vietnam, we recommend spending at least a few days there. You can "get lost" simply by watching the sunset or the fisherman work. If motorbikes are your thing, they're a great way to explore the city, and you can even join a tour where you’ll pass small villages and get insider information. Going on treks is another, wonderful way to get acquainted with the Island and see breathtaking Cat Ba. When you’re ready to move on to Hanoi or Ninh Binh, you can take one of our comfortable direct buses.

Your questions, our answers

Are there any stops during this ride?
Should I take food and water with me?
Can I take my bicycle / motorbike on board with me?
Is there a flexible cancellation policy?
What is the distance between Ninh Binh to Cat Ba Island?
What is the cheapest transport option from Ninh Binh and Cat Ba Island?
What is the frequency of departures per day?
Can I choose my pickup / drop-off location?
What is the luggage policy?
Can I book a ticket for the same day?
What is the most popular transportation service from Ninh Binh to Cat Ba Island?
What is the fastest transportation service from Ninh Binh to Cat Ba Island?
Who are the service providers on this route?

About the ride from Ninh Binh to Cat Ba

The town of Ninh Binh, located around 60 miles (95 km) from Hanoi, is the gateway to some of Vietnam’s most unforgettable scenery. Located a short distance from Ninh Binh is Trang An, a region known for its foliage-covered limestone karsts and lush surroundings. Explore the region’s caves and pagodas on a relaxing boat tour or head out to the equally stunning Tam Coc region. 

Cat Ba Island is the largest of 367 islands that make up the Cat Ba Archipelago and is known for its rugged landscapes and outdoor activities. While there, go on a hike in Cat Ba National Park or head to its sandy beaches. Spend the day cruising the waters of Lan Ha Bay, famous for its majestic limestone karsts, and discover secluded beaches and picturesque islands.

The distance from Ninh Binh to Cat Ba is around 123 km (76 miles) and takes about four and a half hours to cover. Depending on your budget and preference, you could either book a combined bus and ferry ticket or choose a private taxi and hop on a ferry to get to Cat Ba Island. 

Depending on which operator you pick, you will get to stay on the bus as it boards the ferry to take you across to Cat Ba, or you may need to disembark from your bus for the ferry crossing and board a new bus once the boat reaches Cat Ba Island.

Buses are a popular and economical option and provide travelers with multiple departure times, starting from morning, with the last in early evening. On the other hand, if you want to have flexibility, space, and privacy, you can choose to book a private taxi or even a luxurious limo!



How to get from Ninh Binh to Cat Ba

Taking a bus

If you want a hassle-free ride with minimal transfers, taking a bus is a good option. Passengers stay on the bus as it boards the ferry and makes the crossing. Cushioned seats and a travel time of around 4.5 hours make this a good choice for those looking for a comfortable and convenient ride.


Bus stations that take you from Ninh Binh to Cat Ba

Departing from:

  • Designated pick up point in Ninh Binh


Arriving at:

  • Designated drop off point on Cat Ba Island

Taking a bus/ferry from Ninh Binh to Cat Ba

With 11 departures every day, the bus and ferry combination ticket is the most popular way to travel to Cat Ba Island. Passengers can choose from early morning, late morning, and early evening departures. Travel time varies from four to five and a half hours. Ticket prices start from $11 per passenger, making it the most cost-effective way of traveling. 


Bus pick ups in Ninh Binh

  • Designated pick up points in Ninh Binh


Bus drop-offs on Cat Ba Island

  • Free hotel drop off available
  • Designated drop off points on Cat Ba 

Hiring a private car/taxi 

Perfect for those traveling as part of a bigger group or with children, private taxis provide privacy, extra space, and flexibility in timings. You can book a standard car, which is suitable for solo travelers and those traveling in small groups (up to 3). Bigger vehicles that can accommodate up to 5 passengers are also available. If you want to travel in style, you can book a luxurious limo that comes with plush seats and plenty of legroom. All private taxis offer hotel pick up and drop off, making the journey a convenient and relaxing one. 

How many departures from Ninh Binh to Cat Ba are there each day?

There are around 12 departures per day from Ninh Binh to Cat Ba Island. Travelers have the option of booking morning or afternoon departures, based on their timings. You also have the option of booking a private taxi if you need extra luggage space or are traveling with children.


Which operators can I book with for a ride from Ninh Binh to Cat Ba?

Ninh Binh to Cat Ba bus operators

  • Discovery Travel


Ninh Binh to Cat Ba bus-ferry operators

  • Daiichi Travel
  • The Long Travel
  • Good Morning Cat Ba
  • Cat Ba Discovery


Ninh Binh to Cat Ba car companies

  • The Long Travel


What is the most popular way to get from Ninh Binh to Cat Ba?

The most popular choice for Bookaway customers is the Economy Bus by Discovery Travel. Ticket prices start around $13 per passenger, and the travel time is four and a half hours. Passengers stay on the bus as it boards the ferry during the crossing. 

What is the fastest way to get from Ninh Binh to Cat Ba?

If you want to save on time or are keen on booking an operator with the shortest travel time, the Tourist Bus and Ferry by Daiichi Travel is the fastest way to get to Cat Ba Island from Ninh Binh. The bus takes approximately 4 hours to cover the distance, and they offer three departures: two in the morning and one in the afternoon.

What is the cheapest way to get from Ninh Binh to Cat Ba?

With ticket prices starting from $11, the Tourist Bus and Ferry by Daiichi Travel is the cheapest operator too. Travel time is around 4 hours, and the operator offers a small snack and bottled water. It is an excellent choice for backpackers and budget travelers.


What to see when traveling from Ninh Binh to Cat Ba?

The journey from Ninh Binh to Hai Phong, the town from where ferries to Cat Ba Island originate, takes around two and a half to three hours. Take a quick nap or sit back and take in the sights of the Vietnamese countryside. The fields and the surroundings take on a sparkling green hue after the monsoons. 

If you take the bus and ferry option that requires you to disembark at the Hai Phong harbor and onto the ferry, you can sit back and enjoy the cool breeze as you come upon the first views of Cat Ba Island.