For the first time travelers will be able to explore the key sites of Northern Vietnam by river ship traversing the Red River delta and its main tributaries, connecting the wonders of Halong Bay with the excitements of down town Hanoi, and then on into the interior, well off the beaten track. This is a combination of scenic beauty, lively and interesting (sometimes industrial) life of the river and exploring rivers where no other tourist craft operate.
Day 1: Hanoi - Halong Bay
Transfer from Hanoi International Airport (if you arrive flight is in the afternoon, you’ll extend one more night in Hanoi before embark) to Halong Bay to embark the cruise with a stop for lunch enroute. Cast off in the late afternoon for an evening sailing to drop anchor in a sheltered bay amidst the amazing island scenery.
Day 2: Halong Bay
Morning sail around Halong Bay and beyond with its 1,500 dramatic limestone islands and extraordinary rock formations, dating back 20 million years. We will visit by local boat a local floating home, kayaking or taking a rowing basket boat to bright & dark limestone caves.
Day 3: Halong Bay
Morning continue cruising in Halong Bay then we will enter the river in the afternoon and setting sail to Pha Lai. Observe the lively and interesting life of the river, a key commercial waterway. We will anchor mid-stream.
Day 4: The Thai Binh River
Morning sail on Thai Binh river. Excursion to Thanh Ha commuinne for water puppet show & village walkabout. Continue cruising to Ninh Giang.
Afternoon walking tour in Ninh Giang commute and visit a local market to taste the home made special cake BANH CAI. Then we continue by bus (25min) to Stork's Island before we return back to the ship for dinner.
Day 5: Bat Trang Village
Today we will be cruising towards Hanoi. Enroute, stop at Bat Trang, a ceramic village, in the afternoon.
Day 6: Hanoi
Dropped anchor in the bustling city of Hanoi, passengers will visit some highlights of this Asian metropolis, must see’s like the notorious Vietnam war prison known as the Hanoi Hilton, temple of literature where Confucius did his thinking and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Afternoon walking tour of Hanoi including a visit to a coffee shop where we learn about Vietnam’s famous coffee making industry. Before returning to your ship you will enjoy a traditional unicorn and lion dance at the jetty.
Day 7: The Lower Red River
Morning sail through day from Hanoi up the Red River to Viet Tri, not the most picturesque of towns but an excellent base for going deeper into Highland Vietnam. Going ashore we visit a timeless Arcadian Vietnam with emerald green rice paddies punctuated by lime stone rock formations. Of particular interest is the Thay and Tay Phuong Pagodas, hardly known, yet with exquisite temples dating from the 8th and 11th century and home to some fine Buddhist statuary carved from jackfruit trees.
Afternoon excursion to a carpenter village. We will arrive in Viet Tri in the evening.
Day 8: Lo River
In the morning cruising to Tien Du ferry station to the conical hat making village of Gia Thanh. Take in the sights and sounds of the bustling river with all kinds of craft and activity. By bus we continue to Hung Lo Temple.
Day 9: The Da River
Enjoy a day sailing downstream admiring the unspoilt beauty of the Da River. We pass the Ba Vi National Park with its rich and diverse tropical and sub-tropical flora and fauna before arriving at Hoa Binh. We will visit the UNESCO village of Duong Lam.
Day 10: Hoa Binh
Hoa Binh was the site of a major battle with the French in 1951 & 1952 and is home to the Muong ethnic group.This morning we will take a boat ride on the reservoir of Hoa Binh power station and visit a local village and tonight you will enjoy the traditional performance of local hill tribe people.
Day 11: Disembarkation
Disembark after breakfast (08.30am) and visit a museum and local village where villagers still wear traditional dresses. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant, followed by a transfer to Hanoi airport or drop off point Sofitel Plaza. The trip can be extended with a visit to the center and south of Vietnam.
Cruise Price Includes:
- Entrance fees,
- Guide services (English language),
- Gratuities to crew, main meals,
- Locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.
- Transfers between ports of embarkation and Hanoi International Airport at the start and end of the voyage.
Cruise Price Excludes:
- International flights, port dues (if levied),
- All visa costs,
- Fuel surcharges (see terms and conditions),
- Imported beverages such as wines, premium spirits and liqueurs, fancy soft drinks like Perrier, espressos and cappuccinos at bar
- Tips to tour guides, local guides, bus drivers, boat operators and cyclo drivers.