This journey will take you to discover North Vietnam. The first thing not to be missed is the immersion in the city of Hanoi, with a rich history of a thousand years and an inimitable mixture of ancient culture, colonial charm and modern-day luxury. You will be in direct contact with the locals, transferred by boat through the Van Long lagoon and you will experience an unforgettable cruise among the small islands of vertical shapes that protrude out of the water in Halong Bay.
Day 1: Arrival in Vietnam and puppet show on the water
At the airport, your guide will greet you and take you to your hotel to unload your luggage. After check-in, you will have some free time before the water puppet show and the welcome dinner at the colonial restaurant.
Day 2: Hanoi, capital of Vietnamese heritage
After breakfast, you will start visiting Hanoi from the temple of literature, the oldest university in Hanoi. You will ride an hour in a rickshaw in the old city of Hanoi and you will continue with the discovery at foot of the old quarter of the city, divided into streets according to the different trades. Around the Hoan Kiem Lake, you can also visit some markets.
Day 3: Temples of Ninh Binh and Van Long lagoon
Start your day in Ninh Bin after having breakfast at the hotel, visiting 2 temples of Hoa Lu, dating back to the 11th century, and dedicated to the ancient kings Dinh and Le. These temples are surrounded by splendid hibiscus gardens, pools with lotus flowers and frangipani flowers that spread a delicate fragrance. Later a visit to the Van Long Lagoon is planned: a boat will be waiting for you for an unforgettable ride through a beautiful natural landscape.
Day 4: Bicycle tour to Tam Coc-Bich Dong and visit to the Thung Nham bird park
Today you will discover the charm of Tam Coc-Bich Dong and Thung Nham by bicycle, also known as the “Ha Long Terrestrial Bay” or the “second best cave in Vietnam”. The entire region consists of the system of limestone caves and historical sites linked to the Vu Lam Palace of the Tran dynasty. You will climb a small sampan to visit the Thung Nham bird park: with more than 4000 species of birds, it is one of the most characteristic places of this area. Also, you can explore Hang But (about 500m long), with a magical view of stalactites and stalagmites, including a large Buddha-shaped stalactite sitting next to an underground river. Don’t miss a visit to the orchard of tropical fruits in this area.
Day 5: Fishing Village in Halong Bay
Today we will embark on a cruise in Halong Bay where you will be greeted by our friendly crew. Enjoy a welcome drink. A delicious lunch will be served during the cruise through the magnificent views of Halong Bay. Visit the fishing village of Vung Vieng with local rowing boats or kayaks to explore the interesting daily life of the inhabitants. Once back on board, enjoy a happy hour with a special menu. There will also be a demonstration of Vietnamese cuisine to which everyone can participate: the dishes will be served in the evening. Sunset will make Halong Bay wonderful. You can take advantage of our on-board services or simply relax at our well-stocked bar with an assortment of local and international specialities, try fresh squid,
Day 6: Cong Dam beach of Halong Bay
Tai Chi session on the upper deck of the ship for those who get up early: a great way to get the energy levels needed for today’s adventures. You will be fascinated by the delicacy of Halong Bay in the early hours, while you will enjoy the buffet breakfast with the best brand of local coffee and fruit juices. The route towards the Cong Dam area, famous for its crystal-clear sandy beaches. Enjoy kayaking, swimming or just relaxing on a beautiful secluded beach. Lunch on board. Cooking course to learn the preparation of traditional roles.
Day 7: End of the program
The best time to view Halong Bay is early in the morning. Even today we will offer you a Tai Chi session on our upper floor: it is always the best way to feel in harmony with the surrounding area. This morning a light breakfast will be served and we will continue with the last leg of the journey between Thien Son Canh cave and the islets, wild and mysterious beauty at the centre of the world heritage. Check out your cabin and have delicious brunch as we continue the cruise to the harbour. After greeting our staff, you will be transferred to Hanoi by coach. End of service.