One of Vietnam’s five UNESCO World Heritage sites, Halong Bay comprises more than 1,000 limestone peaks that rise up from the emerald waters. You’ll have plenty of optional activities to keep you busy, from swimming near sea caves to kayaking through secluded lagoons to trying out night fishing. A visit to several island villages provides insight into local life on the water!
Enjoy hot and cold running water and a shower in your ensuite bathroom; a dining room and licensed cash bar with extensive wine list; adjustable sun lounges on the sundeck; a recreation area with an assortment of board games, books and magazines; and a fully staffed crew that includes a customer services manager.
Day 1: Hanoi – Halong Bay (L, D)
After your guide picks you up from your hotel in Hanoi by comfortable coach, depart for the Tuan Chau wharf at Halong Bay — an approximate 4-hour drive away.
Upon arrival, join your fellow cruise passengers aboard the luxury boat, built to resemble a traditional Chinese junk. After a safety briefing and cruise orientation by your expert crew, enjoy a complimentary welcome drink and fruit as you relax, checking in to your deluxe single or shared ensuite cabin at your leisure.
Enjoy a delicious seafood feast for lunch, served on board while your 36-passenger boat coasts along beautiful Halong Bay. Listen to your crew describe fascinating seascapes and point out rocky limestone promontories the bay is renowned for. After lunch, you can enjoy sunbathing on the sundeck as you sip specialty cocktails made by the bartenders (additional expense).
Stop in the fishing village of Vung Vieng. Here, you can take a short, guided sea kayak adventure, using a lightweight kayak that’s easy to maneuver. Paddle past floating homes and wave at the locals. If you want to explore on your own, you can do an upgrade on a kayak rental to explore the area on your own.
After about an hour, kayak back to your cruise boat and drop anchor at a secluded area near Drum Cave (Trong Cave) to enjoy the rest of your afternoon swimming in the emerald waters.
After taking part in a cooking class, enjoy a sumptuous seafood dinner served on board. In the evening, relax in your cabin or join the optional onboard activities such as night fishing for squid.
Overnight: Ensuite deluxe cabin aboard a traditional junk boat in Halong Bay
Day 2: Halong Bay – Hanoi (B, L)
Relax with a morning tai chi class on the sundeck, following the fluid movements of your instructor as you practice this ancient martial art.
Then unwind and soak up more sun on the top deck, a perfect spot for photographing the natural wonders of the bay as your light breakfast (think pastries, coffee, and fruit) is served on the boat. From there, visit the Cave of Surprises (Sung Sot Cave), located on Bo Hon Island, which is actually an array of linked limestone islets. Upon arrival, climb the hundred stone steps to the mouth of the cave and explore the lit paths inside on a guided walking tour. The cave is the widest grotto in Halong Bay and features multiple stalactites hanging from its high ceiling!
See more stunning sights on your return to the Halong wharf as you enjoy a buffet brunch on the junk. When you arrive back at the Tuan Chau Marina, you'll be met by a vehicle for the four-hour journey back to Hanoi. End your tour with hotel drop-off upon arrival in the capital.