The Anh Duong QN 2598 vessel caught fire at around 6.30am near Titop Islet while on its way back to Tuan Chau Island after a night on the bay, local authorities said.
"Luckily all 21 people on board have been rescued and transported to land safely, including 14 foreign tourists, a tourist guide and six crew members."
Vice chairman of Quang Ninh Province People's Committee, Vu Van Dien, arrived at the site to direct the rescue work. He ordered an urgent investigation into the fire and tightened fire safety check-up at all tourist cruise boats operating on the bay.
"We're considering financial support for passengers who had assets damaged in the fire," Dien said.
Fire safety has long been a concern among tourists on cruise trips in Ha Long Bay, a world heritage beloved by many foreign visitors to Vietnam. Incidents like this have continued happening, even after officials reportedly stepped up inspection.
Local authorities have recently announced plans to replace all wooden boats and ships with metal vessels in the next five years.