Record-breaking aerial tramway across Ha Long Bay


Building a line to cross Ha Long Bay in Northern Vietnam, the DOPPELMAYR/GARAVENTA group surpassed all previous installations. The aerial tramway in XXL format is bristling with superlatives. 


Rich in superlatives, the new aerial tramway across Ha Long Bay commenced operations June 25, 2016. The ‘bay of the descending dragon’ attracts some seven million visitors per year. These visitors can now comfortably cross Vietnam’s number one tourist attraction. Ha Long Bay is best known for its thousands of natural islands. Termed the eighth wonder of the world by the Vietnamese, the bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Giant tower doubles as a lucky charm

The scope of current investments in touristic infrastructures in Vietnam is enormous. It is reminiscent of the activities during the pioneering days in the Alps in the mid-twentieth century. Wherever you cast a look, you see superlatives. Regard the towers, for example: One of the concrete towers was erected on either side of the bay. The one with a height of 123.45 meters (405 ft.) is the smaller one. The taller tower stands to a height of 188.88 meters (620 ft.). Not only has there not been a cable tower for an aerial tramway this tall before in the world, this height is also symbolic, as in Vietnam eight is considered a lucky number.


Ha long queen cable car
  • Contractor: sun-group
  • Inclined Length: 2.165 m
  • Vertical Drop: 88,5 m
  • Stations: 2
  • Towers: 2
  • Transport Capacity: 2.000 P/h
  • Cabin Capacity: 230 Personen
  • Speed: 10 m/s (36 km/h)





1.2 kilometers between towers

The installation has an overall length of 2,165 meters (7,103 ft) with a 1,206 meters (3,957 ft.) free span between the towers. 230 passengers can take a ride in the double-decker cabins from CWA. Construction time must be similarly record-breaking. From the first contact between the operators and GARAVENTA to the opening ceremony in June of 2016, it took just 19 months, including all authorization procedures. The installation complies with all applicable European guidelines and standards (CEN standards) for cableway construction. The cabins cruise at ten meters a second, which translates into 36 kph or 22 mph. The resulting transportation capacity amounts to an impressive 2,000 passengers per hour.

More than 1,000 tons of construction material

GARAVENTA supplied the entire electromechanical part of the line except for the control computer and software, which was supplied by DOPPELMAYR. The drive system, rolling gear, cabin suspensions, cable guides, tension weights, tower heads and cabins as well as the cables supplied by FATZER and the cable pulling machines weighed in at a total of more than 1,000 tons. Quite a lot of material had to be shipped to Vietnam.

The line was inaugurated with typical Asian pomp. Photos: GARAVENTA

Cable pulling was quite a challenge in itself. As the Ha Long Bay plays an essential role for freight transport with gigantic ships, all the cable pulling had to be performed 50 meters (164 ft) above the water. Among other equipment, a cable pulling machine with 65 tons pulling force and a deceleration machine with more than 60 tons braking force were used. The cables were pulled by the GARAVENTA specialists. To supervise all other mounting work, a chief assembly technician and supervisor from Switzerland was on site. With up to 15 local technicians, he saw to it that the biggest aerial tramway of the world was ready for handover to the operators at the agreed date. Ah