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With miles of beautiful coastline, much of which most travellers don’t get the opportunity to witness, Vietnam shines with new light when seen from the comfort of a small cruise ship. Climb aboard the plush Panorama II for a memorable journey from Hanoi, in the north, to Ho Chi Minh City, in the south. Without forgetting iconic Ha Long Bay, lively Nha Trang and the old town of Hoi An, experience the destinations seldom seen by anyone but local fisherman. Contrast tiny islands and traditional village life with the likes of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, an unspoiled paradise where tourism is yet to gain a firm footing. The ideal combination of leisure and adventure, this comfortable small-ship cruise with Peregrine is bound to create to make lifelong memories for lovers of South East Asia.
Welcome to Vietnam!
In the evening enjoy your first tasty dinner with fellow traveller.
Hanoi is Vietnam’s capital city and home to seven million people. Traditional and refined, with French colonial architecture, tree-lined boulevards, scenic lakes and a bustling Old Quarter, Hanoi has a sophisticated charm. Observe elderly people practicing Tai Chi by the lake, with barbers and food vendors plying their sidewalk trade
This morning enjoy a leader-led walking tour. This includes 'laughing yoga', tai chi and other lakeside activities liked by Hanoi's local population. It's a great first taste of everyday life in Vietnam.
Later you will also visit a traditional water puppet theatre. Here your host Liem invites you into his home, a small-scale theatre that continues a long running family tradition, passed down from generation to generation. Witness not only the show itself but gain an behind-the-scenes insight into how the puppets are made and animated.
Afterwards, return to the hotel for a 2 pm bus transfer from Hanoi to Halong to board the Panorama II.
Transfer to a smaller local boat today for a tour around the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay. Marvel at the limestone islands that rise from the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. Rock sculptures jut dramatically from the sea and the numerous caves and grottoes have created an enchanting, timeless world. Kayaking along the bay is another great option.
Settle into a full day's sailing, heading south towards Hon Lang, which is located just north of Na Trang. Take the opportunity to relax with a drink, play some board games, chat with fellow travellers, or simply curl up on a comfortable chair on deck with a good book as the glorious coast streams by.
Upon arrival in Hon la you will transfer by bus to the unspoiled Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. Spanning 885 square kilometres and boasting some of Asia's most ancient limestone karst landscapes, this chunk of land is one of the last true paradises of Vietnam. Visit the Thien Duong cave (aka Paradise Cave), which clocks in at an astounding 31 kilometres long and was discovered only in 2005. Lunch will be in a local restaurant in Phong Nha.
Set sail overnight for Vinh Moc.
Arrive at 9 am in Vinh Moc, where another incredible, but very different, underground site is found. The tunnels here were built to shelter local communities in the Demilatarised Zone that separated North and South Vietnam during the war. As you'll learn, the tunnels grew in sophistication and depth, and many families resided in this underground village in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Some 17 children were born down here.
Later you will also discover the Khe Sanh Combat Base, where the bloodiest conflict of the Vietnam-America conflict took place.
Today you will arrive at Chan May and transfer by road to Hue, the former imperial capital and hub of Vietnam's historic past. Enjoy a guided city tour of Hue with a local guide. You will explore the Thien Mu Pagoda, an active Buddhist monastery that dates back to 1601. You will also discover the elaborate royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc, with its beautiful lake, frangipani and pine trees.
Later, reboard ship and settle in for the evening. Your next destination is Da Nang.
Today you will spend the day in the seaside town of Da Nang. Enjoy some swimming, snorkelling, kayaking or paddleboarding. You can also explore the town ,which is developing fast but not without some of its original charm intact.
Travel by coach to Hoi An. This charming destination was originally a Cham port town, but has been influenced by a myriad of traders from various cultures over the ages. With its low tiled houses and tranquil feel, this is a delightful town to walk around. You'll notice a distinctly Chinese appearance here, with pagodas and assembly halls scattered along the small lanes.
Enjoy a guided city tour of Hoi An and take a cooking class to learn to roll spring rolls.
In the late afternoon, return to the ship for dinner on board.
Enjoy a relaxing day of cruising around the Dao Ly Son Island, a location just south of Danang that's known for garlic production as well as its attractive shoreline. Also visit some mainland coastal beaches today. There will be time for some swimming off the ship, as well as kayaking, snorkelling and stand-up paddleboarding.
Today you will visit the museum dedicated to Quang Trung, a revered emperor who ruled in the late 1700s and was a forerunner to the Vietnamese nationalist movement. Afterwards witness a Tay Son martial arts demonstration and head over to the Twin Cham Towers, some of the largest in South East Asia.
After visiting some beautiful beaches where fisherman drift along in traditional basket boats, dine aboard the ship and sail toward Nha Trang overnight.
Nha Trang has been referred to as the ‘Cannes of the Orient’, thanks to its cosmopolitan seaside atmosphere, but the star of the show is of course the beach and bay itself.
Enjoy a half day tour of the city taking in the Ponaga Cham tower and the Ocean Institute which catalogues the marine life and fishing culture of the local area.
Enjoy free time for the rest of the day.
Travelling by bus, embark on a road trip from Nha Trang to Phan Rang. Pay a visit to the grand Po Klong Garai Cham Towers, an elaborate work of architecture dating back to around 1400 under King Jaya Simharvarman III. Head to Bau Truc, the oldest pottery village in South East Asia, and see some traditional pottery methods at work (this is a great place to buy a unique souvenir).
Travel to Tra Cu for a cable car ride to the Linh Son Truong Pagoda. Here you'll find an impressive reclining Buddha statue. At 49 metres long and 11 metres tall, it's the largest reclining Buddha in Vietnam. Discover the Fairy Spring, a lovely waterfall amid the dunes. Take a stroll along the sand dunes of Mui Ne, an amazing geological wonder – the kind not usually associated with Vietnam. Sand-sledding is a popular pastime here, but it's enough to simply gaze at and snap photos of this enchanting landscape.
Return to the ship for the overnight sail to Ho Chi Minh City.
Arrive in Ho Chi Minh this morning. After breakfast, disembark as the trip comes to an end.
All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.
|:||from AU $5,860|
All GetAboutAsia prices are based on twin share and depend on availability and season. All our itineraries can be customised including international flights and extra nights. For questions or further information, Enquire Now!
14 nights aboard your Cruise Ship. All GetAboutAsia accommodation is handpicked by us. Upgrades are available for this itinerary.
• Meals: 14 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 14 dinners
• Transport: small cruise ship, Zodiac, bus
• Accommodation: small ship cruise
• Included activities: welcome dinner, local lunch, Hanoi Old Quarter Tour, Local water puppet performance, Phong Nha National Park visit, Thien Duong Caves visit, Vinh Moc Tunnel site visit, Khe Sanh Combat Base visit, Vegetarian lunch at Hue Pagoda, guided walking tour of hue, Hoi An City Tour, Snorkelling, Kayaking, Twin Cham Towers visit, Po Klong Garai Cham Towers visit, Farewell Dinner, Fairy Spring Falls & Sand Dunes Visit at Mui Ne, Cable Car to Linh Son Truong Tho Pagoda
Availability of accommodation and season.