This classic tour of Vietnam in 2 weeks, north to south, takes you through vibrant cities, imperial ruins, faded colonial architecture dotted with reminders of the past, a peaceful bay of islands and the colourful life of the Mekong River. Beginning in charming Hanoi and continuing with a relaxing two-day junk boat cruise through the beauty of La Han Bay, followed by exploration of the enchanting riverside town of Hội An, the imperial capital of Hue, bustling Saigon and the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, this unforgettable trip concludes with a 4-day riverboat cruise up the Mekong, crossing the border into Cambodia and ending in Phnom Penh.
In the ancient capital of Hanoi, you’ll find a charming city with a rich history. From faded French colonial architecture to ancient temples to Communist landmarks, Hanoi has it all wrapped up in a package of sensory overload. Visit national monuments, Ho Chi Minh’s house, pagodas and temples, ride on a cyclo rickshaw through the backstreets of the French Quarter and glimpse daily local life. At the end of the day, watch the legends of Vietnam play out in a Water Puppet theatre.
Cruise of Lan Ha Bay
Cruise the quiet Lan Ha Bay area of the Halong Bay archipelago aboard a sumptuous Indochine-Vietnamese junk boat. Relax, or participate in activities on board, visit Cat Ba Island and meet the villagers. Enjoy a refreshing swim or try paddle-boarding off a secluded beach on Frog Lake.
Hội An and Hue
Explore the enchanting riverside town of Hoi An, with its narrow cobbled streets, merchant houses, market stalls, colorful lanterns and iconic Japanese Bridge. Later, appreciate the scenery of the Hai Van pass on the drive to the ancient imperial city of Hue, which is famous for its citadel, pagodas, and royal tombs. Visit the impressive seven-story Thien Mu Pagoda and the tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh.
Saigon and the Cu Chi Tunnels
Discover the ‘Pearl of the Orient’ on a tour of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and indulge in the famous Vietnamese cuisine on an evening food adventure. Check out all the major sights on a walking tour that includes the Saigon Opera House, the CIA building, Notre Dame Cathedral, the General Post Office, and Reunification Palace, which served as the home and office of South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu during the Vietnam War. The next day, you’ll hear more stories of the American-Vietnam war as you discover the maze-like Cu Chi Tunnels, a 136-mile network of underground tunnels used by the Viet Cong soldiers. Step back in time as you peek into the old storage areas, poke your head through camouflaged trapdoors, and crawl through military supply tunnels. Conclude with a mesmerizing show at the famous Saigon Opera House.
Mekong Cruise to Phnom Penh
Board a luxurious French Colonial riverboat and discover the charms of the Mekong River with its remote villages, historic cities, and ancient temples. A traditional sampan is used to navigate the tapestry of the narrow canals, giving you the opportunity to observe traditional life on an idyllic slice of the Mekong at Cai Be where all the activity is on the water. See the sights at the historic town of Sa Dec, visit the charming island of Cu Lao Gieng, and watch the women weaving traditional Khymer scarves at the island village of Hong Ngu, close to the Vietnam-Cambodia border. Finally cross the border into Cambodia, where you will observe a fascinating transformation in the riverfront architecture.
Please note this intrepid classic Vietnam tour is just a sample itinerary. The featured excursions, activities, and accommodations can be tailored to suit your taste, budget, and time availability in accordance with your personal wishes. All excursions and transfers are on a private basis (private transport with a private guide), with the exception of the two cruise portions, which are on a shared basis with other passengers.
Itinerary & Prices
|Long Quan Suite||$973||$1,460|
|Au Co Suite||$1,093||$1,640|
AM: After meeting at welcome lounge at the Tuan Chau Marina, we take a quick speedboat transfer to your luxurious floating home before starting our unique journey of exploring one of the wonders of nature – Lan Ha Bay and its main island of Cat Ba.
PM: The first highlight of the cruise is lunch, which is served in Ylang’s nearly 360-degree light-flooded, elegant restaurant. Enjoy a fine menu of tasty local, international or vegetarian dishes freshly prepared by our culinary team. Relax on the terrace deck or on your private balcony and soak in the enchanting aura which emanates from the surreal seascape. While we cruise along in the early afternoon, there is time to enjoy the ship’s vast wellness and spa offerings. Choose your favourite treatment from an extensive spa menu, or take a plunge in the pool with infinity-like vistas.
As we reach the shore of a small lagoon on Cat Ba Island, we hop on bicycles (e-cart transfers are also available) for a leisure pedaling along small paved roads towards the Viet Hai village. Little has changed in Viet Hai since the ancestors of the 80 households settled here centuries ago. Situated in a valley within the Cat Ba National Park and surrounded on all sides by think forest and mountains, the locals are isolated from the island’s other villages and towns. The only access is via sea. The community is self-sufficient, as the residents provide for themselves by cultivating vegetables and fruits in the next door fields, growing rice of cause in the valley, and go fishing out in the bay. This is truly unique and authentic opportunity to meet local inhabitants and experience their local daily life. We have a glimpse of local households, see how they make medicine organically from a tree bark and we can also try various homemade liquors.
Back on board, we are sailing a little bit to find an exclusive and undisturbed parking spot for the overnight mooring in the midst of southern Lan Ha Bay. Join an optional tea tasting lesson in the restaurant to learn about Vietnam’s traditional herbal teas and gain insight into their health benefits. Alternatively, get pampered with a spa treatment or take a sauna session in Ylang’s fantastic spa facilities. We can also provide you with a foot massage in the privacy of your suite. For dinner, you can choose assorted dishes from the delectable multiple course menu. After dining, we offer in the wellness studio a guided “singing bowl meditation”. This is an ancient Tibetan ritual which intends to invoke a deep state of relaxation – it alleviates stress and promotes a better night of sleep. You can also opt for one of the best ways to spend the evening by just taking a seat under the stars on the terrace deck or on your balcony to embrace the serenity of this surreal landscape. Or if you would like to fully immerse yourself in relaxation, our spa
Ben Beo, Cat Ba National Park & Lan Ha Bay Mooring Point
AM: Wake up early and have a coffee, tea or a pastry prepared in the restaurant before joining our Tai Chi session on the terrace deck. A great experience to ease your mind and muscles with the first rays of the sun touching the water. Afterwards you can re-energize from our wide selection of healthy or hearty breakfast offerings. Meanwhile, Ylang sails towards the very southern tip of Cat Ba Island. Here, we take our tender and visit one of a last remaining real authentic floating fishing villages, not far outside of the town of Ben Beo on the main island. This fishing village is home to approx. 300 families living in floating houses and making their living from fishing and aquaculture, much like their ancestors did. Get a close view of how the villagers live and work on the water in this unique community. We continue towards Ben Beo Pier, go ashore and travel a short distance along scenic island roads into the Cat Ba National Park. We like invite you for a leisurely and mindful walk (taking the same path both ways) through this lush, jungle-like forest to get a somewhat a feeling of this tropical island. Cat Ba National Park is designated as a biosphere reserve and hosts over 1,500 plant species, 78 avian, 20 reptilian and 32 mammalian species including deer, macaques and civets. Guests who would like to skip the light trekking, we bring back to the ship to enjoy Ylang’s facilities in the meantime.
PM: Once all back on board lunch is served, and the luxury Ylang resumes sailing northeast through the stony maze of Lan Ha Bay. Eventually we reach a secluded spot in the bay which will be the basis for our afternoon activities. Ylang will anchor here and we offer our guests an afternoon of “at-your-own-choice”. Our tender is available to commute between a wonderful natural island beach for relaxing or swimming. Kayaks are available as well to explore the calm area on your own. A snacks and drink station is set up on the beach if you get thirsty or need a bite to eat. Guests who like to stay on the ship, or those prefer to return from the beach, can enjoy from a treatment from our spa menu, or use the steam bath or sauna as complimentary available wellness facilities. Enjoy this afternoon the fullest as the clock is not ticking and take back home long-lasting memories from Lan Ha Bay.
As the sun sets the ship is sailing further north to find is overnight mooring for the last night. Enjoy your last multi-course dinner in the ambient restaurant. We offering another guided “Singing Bowl Meditation” tonight to join optional, or simply unwind on your private balcony while taking in the tranquility of Lan Ha Bay.
Start the day with a hearty breakfast buffet in the restaurant as the Au Co cruises towards Lan Ha Bay.
Enjoy swimming at the beautiful beach in Lan Ha Bay named Ba Trai Dao Beach. The area is easily recognized by its three rounded peaks of equal height, said to resemble peaches when viewed from afar.
Later, we return to the Au Co for some time at leisure to relax or try the jacuzzi and onboard spa or join the Bridge and Engine room tour to discover the boat.
PM: Lunch is served in Halong Restaurant while the Au Co passes the beautiful karst towers of Lan Ha Bay to reach Cat Ba Island.
We arrive in Cat Ba Island at around 14:30. Choose a bicycle and pedal to Viet Hai Village – a small village nestled in the heart of Cat Ba National Park with your tour guides. While there, visit Bhaya Café – a simulation of Vietnamese ancient house and learn about “Viet Hai Community Farm” & “Save the Langurs”, two of the cruise’s corporate social responsibilities projects.
At 17:00, we return to the Au Co for some time at leisure to relax. Enjoy Happy Hour deals with complimentary snacks at Lan Ha Open Bar with buy one get one free available on a vast selection of drinks.
Later, join in the signature Barbecue Party to enjoy exquisite fusion cuisine onboard. Relax in your cabin, chat with new friends at the Lan Ha Bar or join a fruit-carving session with the kitchen staff in the restaurant.
Cruises & Lodges
This sumptuous Indochine-Vietnamese junk offers relaxing culinary-themed journeys to Lan Ha Bay.
A river expedition vessel with modern state-of-the-art design and the highest levels of luxury.