Meet with the locals on an immersive private guided tour. Visit the UNESCO World Halong Bay and the UNESCO World Luang Prabang. Various activities to meet local families/villages and learn their lifestyles. Traditional dance and listen about history or culture of Vietnam and Laos. Biking or electric buggy to visit villages. Kayak or local basket boat rowed at Halong Bay
If you arrival at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi early morning, you will meet the cruise representative, or driver, and take the coach at the airport. The coach will leave the airport no later than 10:30 to Halong and should arrive Halong Bay at 14:00.
Should you stay in Hanoi last night, please meet the cruise representative at Pan Pacific Hotel lobby at 09:30. You will then be driven to Halong Bay.
Upon arrival and meet the cruise, you will embark the cruise ship, followed by lunch on board. Cast off in the afternoon with a welcome cocktail for an evening sail, dropping anchor in a sheltered bay amidst the beautiful island scenery.
Morning sail around Halong Bay and beyond with its 1,500 dramatic limestone islands and extraordinary rock formations, dating back 20 million years.
We make a stop at Viet Hai Village and continue our journey by mountain bike or electric buggy to visit the village’s vegetable farm and typical village houses. It is a breathtaking trip along a small road winding its way through the limestone rocks.
In the afternoon we will continue cruising towards Lan Ha Bay for a visit to a floating fishing house.
Weather dependent, we will end the day with cocktails at a beautiful beach in Halong Bay.
Our exploration of Halong Bay continues and we stop at the so called “Dark and Bright Cave”. Take a kayak or a local basket boat rowed by fishermen and enter this remarkable cave into an enclosed area similar to a crater. Bats can be heard in the cave and massive stalagmites hang from the ceiling.
In the afternoon, we leave Halong Bay and are enter the river where we drop anchor near Hai Phong.
Observe the lively and interesting life of the Kinh Thay river, a key commercial waterway.
Afternoon excursion to Thanh Ha Commune with village walk and a private water puppet show set under shade by a beautiful pond of lotus and lilies.
We continue cruising until late evening and drop anchor midstream.
This morning we will sail on the Lower Red River and Day River. Afternoon visit the Dien Xa Bonsai Village where we will walk to the bonsai village and meet with local artists and share their bonsai experience. Cruise on Day River towards Ninh Binh City.
In the morning we will visit Tam Coc, taking a rowing boat ride to visit the so call "Halong on land" in Ninh Binh. In the afternoon we visit the quaint village of Pham Phao where guests can walk around the village visiting a host family where musician instruments have been made and repaired for generations. Listen to the owner who plays every instrument within his family run business.
We visit local Woodworking Artisans who produce items for local and international markets.
In the morning we sail upstream on the Red River to Phat Diem Cathedral visit the famous stone cathedral of Pat Diem. We then continue on the Red River to 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.
Morning going off shore to visit Bat Trang ceramic village then 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 a shore 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. We will arrive in Vinh Phuc in the evening.
In the morning we go ashore to visit the UNESCO praised village of Duong Lam. In the afternoon, visit the carpenter and smith village of Ly Nhan. We sail upstream on the Upper Red River to Viet Tri. Enjoy traditional dances on board.
Disembark after breakfast and visit the conical hat making village of Gia Thanh. By bus we continue to Hung Lo Temple. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant, followed by a transfer to your hotel in Hanoi. The rest of the evening is at your leisure.
PLEASE NOTE: The itinerary for this expedition is indicative only and subject to reconnaissance. As we travel to remote areas, changes to the itinerary will inevitably occur. A flexible approach is required if you book this cruise.
After breakfast, you will transfer to Hanoi airport for your onward flight to Vientiane. Transfer from the airport, you meet the local driver and transfer you to meet the ship, followed by lunch. Afternoon exploration of the delightful French city including visits to the golden Pha That Luang Stupa, Sisaket Temple, the President’s Hall, Wat Prakeo Temple and the Phatouxay monument. Set sail late afternoon, enjoy a welcome dinner on board and overnight near Vientiane.
Cruise upstream on the Mekong, passing lush jungle scenery and tiny riverside villages. Morning presentation on the Lao language. Afternoon cooking demonstration on the upper deck. Arrive in Ban Xanakham to moor overnight.
Afternoon visit to the French administrative town of Pak Lai with many colonial buildings and a bustling local market. This town boasts the largest elephant festival in South East Asia, usually in February.
Morning visit and walking tour to Khamo tribal village, a typical village, set on the banks of the Mekong amidst lush jungle. In the afternoon pass through the Xanyaburi Hydro Electric Power Plant.
In the morning visit a Hmong village and continue upstream to the village of Ban Mouang Khai. Afternoon sightseeing by minibus visiting the jungle pools and dramatic Khaung Si waterfall then on to a butterfly garden. Arrive in the heart of the temple city of Luang Prabang where there is a buzzing night market and many great cafes and some good local restaurants.
In the morning explore by tuktuk this well-preserved and unique world heritage site with its many Buddhist temples, libraries and royal palace. Visit the National Museum and have the afternoon free to explore the beauty and unique atmosphere of Luang Prabang on your own. Enjoy traditional Laos dancing on the upper deck late afternoon. Moor overnight in Luang Prabang.
Early morning walking tour to see the alms offering by the local people to hundreds of monks who walk around the city every morning. Passengers are invited to join in with offerings we provide for the alms giving. Morning sightseeing by local boat exploring the unique Pak Ou Caves, a Buddhist sanctuary with spectacular limestone cliff faces. Evening cocktails on a sandbank. Sail upstream on the beautiful Mekong towards Ban Bo.
Morning visit to a local Khamo village. Sail upstream on the Mekong passing Pak Beng towards Pak Sit.
Early morning walking tour in a Khamo village then cruise through stunning scenery to the border of Laos and Thailand. The night is spent on the Lao side in the Huay xay area where we take a late afternoon village walk.
Cruise upriver to the Town of Chiang Sean for border crossing at the Golden Triangle. Farewell cocktails and Thai traditional dance on board for your last evening.
Disembark by 8.30 in Chiang Sean and group transfer to hotel/airport. En route, explore the Golden Triangle including a visit to the opium museum. You have car drive to Chiang Rai (2 hours) or Chiang Mai (6 hours) to take your international departure flight.
You will reach Chiang Rai at 15.30 and Chiang Mai at 17.30 so we suggest to book a hotel in Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai after your cruise.