Hanoi: Arrival in Hanoi, private transfer to hotel. For your whole trip, you will be welcomed with the special honey treatment at both your hotels and cruise.
Hanoi City Tour: Morning start on the city tour visiting Uncle Ho, learning about his great life at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Presidential Palace, and his residential place (N.B. Closed on Mondays & Fridays). Next stop is the nearby Temple of Literature. The site of Vietnam’s first University, built in twelfth century, to teach the royals the Confucius theory. Lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon visit Museum of Ethnology, widely acknowledged as the best in the country which houses a display dedicated to Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minority peoples. A late afternoon cyclo tour of Hanoi’s fascinating Old Quarter followed by free time for shopping. Then attend a Water Puppet Show, a favorite experience for all visitors to Vietnam. (B,L)
Hanoi – Halong Bay:
7.30 – 08.00 Pick up by Cruise’s shuttle & drive to Halong City through the paddy fields in the Red River Delta.
10.00 – Stopover on the way for refreshments
12.00 – 12.30 Arrive at Tuan Chau Wharf . Transfer by tender to the boat
13.00 – 13.30 Check in and enjoy Welcome Drink, receive cruise briefing and safety instructions.
13.30 – 15.00 Start cruising. Enjoy lunch buffet with Vietnamese and International served.
15.10 – 16.30 Visit Bat cave by bamboo boat or kayaking. Enjoy quiet space and pure air.
17.15 – 17.50 Visit the beautiful Soi Sim beach for swimming (If the weather permits) or reach on the top of Soi Sim beach to have a panorama view of Halong Bay.
17.50 – 18.15 Back to the boat and free time. Massage service if order.
18.30 – 19.00 Cooking class on sundeck – How to make Vietnamese spring rolls. Then enjoy Happy Hour.
19.30 – 21.30 Dinner – Deluxe Vietnamese and International Set Menu Dinner
21.30 – 23.00 Evening activities include: Leisure time onboard.
Ha Long Bay – Hanoi:
06.15 – 06.45 Enjoy Tai Chi instruction on the sundeck
07.00 – 07.45 Coffee, tea and breakfast pastries is served in the dining room
07.45 Transfer by tender to the Sung Sot Cave.
09.00 – 9.30 Return to the boat then check-out.
10.00 – Have buffet brunch while cruising back through Halong Bay to the pier.
11.30 – Transfer by tender to Tuan Chau pier. Time to say goodbye to the crew
12.00 – 12.30 Return from Halong to Hanoi by shuttle bus.
14.00- Stop over the middle to visit a ceramics workshop
16.30- Arrive in Hanoi.
Hanoi – Hoi An: Private transfer to the airport for your flight onwards to Da Nang. Pickup on your arrival and transfer to your hotel in Hoi An. (B)
Hoi An: Free day. (B)
Cooking Class: After breakfast, own way to Red Bridge Restaurant (98 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Hoi An Ancient Town) – tour meeting point at 08:15AM. Visit Hoi An’s colourful market, and experience the amazing sights, sounds and aromas of this busy market, interact with the local sellers and purchase some of the ingredients to be used in the cooking lesson later. Then board the Red Bridge boat for a leisurely cruise (25 minutes) along the Hoi An River to the Red Bridge Cooking School. This is a chance to view local river life. On arrival, explore the cooking school’s herb and vegetable garden, before learning about some of Hoi An’s and Vietnam’s well-known dishes. The cooking lesson runs for about 2 hours – each dish is first demonstrated by the Red Bridge chef’s, before preparing the same dish yourself. Included in the class is a brief introduction to Vietnamese food carving (plate decoration). After the lesson, you may sit down and eat exactly what you have cooked.
Hoi An – Saigon & Bonsai Dinner: Transfer to Da Nang airport and catch the flight to Saigon. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. Late afternoon, pick you again for a Bonsai Dinner tour. (B,D)
Mekong – My Tho: The Mekong Delta is considered the rice bowl of Vietnam, producing sometimes three crops of rice a year and an abundance of fresh tropical fruits, such as longan, jackfruit, sapodilla and pineapple. The Mekong start in Tibet and journeys through seven countries before reaching Vietnam where it splits into nine tributaries and empties into the South China Sea. Early morning pick up from your hotel & head to My Tho province (2 hours driving). Today, travel by boat exploring the mighty Mekong, observing river life and sampling many local delicacies, including the elephant ear fish, for lunch. Travel on wide and narrow tributaries, visit orchards and local produce farms. Return toSai Gon. Evening at leisure. (B,L)
Departure: Transfer to the airport for your flight back home. (B)
Hanoi: Sheraton Hotel or similar
Halong: Pelican Cruise or similar
Hoi An: Hoi An Hotel or similar
Saigon: Rex Hotel or similar