There are 2 options for this route: Luxury Transfer and Tourist bus with detail as below:
Luxury Transfer (Limousine van & seating bus)
- First, a Limousine Van would pick you up at your hotel in Sapa town at 07:30 - 08:00 AM
- Then, the Van would take you to Hanoi.
- Arrive at Hanoi around 13:30. Then, the van would drop you off at the meeting point to catch the Cat Ba Limousine Bus
- The bus Departs for Cat Ba at around 14:00 PM.
- Arrive in Cat Ba town at around 18:00. The bus, then, drops you off at your hotel in Cat ba town.
- Total 10 hours of transfer with pick-up and drop-off service.
Tourist bus (sleeping bus & seating bus)
- First, a sleeping bus would pick you up at the bus office in Sapa town around 08:00 AM (or 22:00 PM)
- The bus then takes you to Hanoi.
- Arrive at Hanoi around 14:00 (or 4 AM next day - you can stay on the bus until 5:30 AM)
- The Bus leaves for Cat Ba at 14:20 (or at 8 AM) and arrives at around 18:00 (or at 12:00) (drop off at your hotel around Cat Ba town).
- Total 9 hours of transfer with break time in Hanoi.
Local bus (we no longer provide this bus ticket)
- Direct Transfer at 20:30 from Sapa Bus station and arrived at Cat Ba around 7 AM of the following day.
- It takes around 11 hours of transfer instead of 9 hours as a Tourist Bus.
- Also, this bus just picks up and drops off at bus stations in Sapa and Cat Ba, no pick-up or drop off service at your hotel.
- The tourist-friendly bus mainly serves international travelers and has an English-speaking guide on-board.
- The Local bus focuses on serving local passengers so that the drivers barely speak any English.
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16 Nov 2018 on Google Review
15 Oct 2018 on Google Review
Update: A21 contacted me immediately and apologized for our experience and offered compensation. They also agreed to update their website to reflect the correct travel times and itinerary. Although, I would not use this bus company again, A21 Tours have provided excellent customer service and I would consider booking with them again.