Hanoi is gateway to Halong Bay and the Red River Delta. This region, "the Bay of the Descending Dragon," is dotted with more than 3,000 mountainous islands, each with its own unique landscape. The islands are famous for their dolomite and limestone rock formations. At the western end of Halong Bay is Cat Ba Island, where Chinese and Vietnamese pirates settled during the late 19th century. Today a large section of the island is devoted to a protected national park.

Port: Hanoi (Ha Long Bay)
Experience

Hanoi (Ha Long Bay)

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  • Executive Collection Full Day Van

    PRICE is per vehicle

    This exclusive arrangement is designed to allow you the chance to customize your time ashore and discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle. With your private car and the personalized attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you will have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests and sightsee at your own pace. See the most famous sights or go beyond to create your own intimate connections and unique cultural encounters.

    The Executive Collection is recommended for the single/solo traveler, couples, family, friends, and special interest groups traveling together. It can also be an excellent choice for physically challenged guests.

    Capacity: 6 guests

    PLEASE NOTE: Private cars/vans/minibuses are ordered per vehicle (not per person), and only one person in the party need order the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide. Kindly note, however, that in certain ports only a driver/guide will be assigned (one person), due to limited availability. Entrance fees are not included in this price, in order to provide you with the most flexibility. In many ports, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited; therefore guests are encouraged to make their reservation as early as possible.

    Half-day private tours must depart between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 am, or after 1:00 p.m.

    Upon embarkation, please consult the Destination Manager onboard to personally discuss your itinerary requirements and set your departure time.

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  • Executive Collection Full Day Car

    PRICE is per vehicle

    This exclusive arrangement is designed to allow you the chance to customize your time ashore and discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle. With your private car and the personalized attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you will have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests and sightsee at your own pace. See the most famous sights or go beyond to create your own intimate connections and unique cultural encounters.

    The Executive Collection is recommended for the single/solo traveler, couples, family, friends, and special interest groups traveling together. It can also be an excellent choice for physically challenged guests.

    Capacity: 2 guests

    PLEASE NOTE: Private cars/vans/minibuses are ordered per vehicle (not per person), and only one person in the party need order the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide. Kindly note, however, that in certain ports only a driver/guide will be assigned (one person), due to limited availability. Entrance fees are not included in this price, in order to provide you with the most flexibility. In many ports, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited; therefore guests are encouraged to make their reservation as early as possible.

    Half-day private tours must depart between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 am, or after 1:00 p.m.

    Upon embarkation, please consult the Destination Manager onboard to personally discuss your itinerary requirements and set your departure time.

    Read More
  • Executive Collection Full Day Car

    PRICE is per vehicle

    This exclusive arrangement is designed to allow you the chance to customize your time ashore and discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle. With your private car and the personalized attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you will have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests and sightsee at your own pace. See the most famous sights or go beyond to create your own intimate connections and unique cultural encounters.

    The Executive Collection is recommended for the single/solo traveler, couples, family, friends, and special interest groups traveling together. It can also be an excellent choice for physically challenged guests.

    Capacity: 2 guests

    PLEASE NOTE: Private cars/vans/minibuses are ordered per vehicle (not per person), and only one person in the party need order the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide. Kindly note, however, that in certain ports only a driver/guide will be assigned (one person), due to limited availability. Entrance fees are not included in this price, in order to provide you with the most flexibility. In many ports, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited; therefore guests are encouraged to make their reservation as early as possible.

    Half-day private tours must depart between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 am, or after 1:00 p.m.

    Upon embarkation, please consult the Destination Manager onboard to personally discuss your itinerary requirements and set your departure time.

    Read More
  • Executive Collection Full Day Car

    PRICE is per vehicle

    This exclusive arrangement is designed to allow you the chance to customize your time ashore and discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle. With your private car and the personalized attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you will have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests and sightsee at your own pace. See the most famous sights or go beyond to create your own intimate connections and unique cultural encounters.

    The Executive Collection is recommended for the single/solo traveler, couples, family, friends, and special interest groups traveling together. It can also be an excellent choice for physically challenged guests.

    Capacity: 2 guests

    PLEASE NOTE: Private cars/vans/minibuses are ordered per vehicle (not per person), and only one person in the party need order the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide. Kindly note, however, that in certain ports only a driver/guide will be assigned (one person), due to limited availability. Entrance fees are not included in this price, in order to provide you with the most flexibility. In many ports, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited; therefore guests are encouraged to make their reservation as early as possible.

    Half-day private tours must depart between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 am, or after 1:00 p.m.

    Upon embarkation, please consult the Destination Manager onboard to personally discuss your itinerary requirements and set your departure time.

    Read More
  • Executive Collection Full Day Van

    PRICE is per vehicle

    This exclusive arrangement is designed to allow you the chance to customize your time ashore and discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle. With your private car and the personalized attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you will have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests and sightsee at your own pace. See the most famous sights or go beyond to create your own intimate connections and unique cultural encounters.

    The Executive Collection is recommended for the single/solo traveler, couples, family, friends, and special interest groups traveling together. It can also be an excellent choice for physically challenged guests.

    Capacity: 6 guests

    PLEASE NOTE: Private cars/vans/minibuses are ordered per vehicle (not per person), and only one person in the party need order the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide. Kindly note, however, that in certain ports only a driver/guide will be assigned (one person), due to limited availability. Entrance fees are not included in this price, in order to provide you with the most flexibility. In many ports, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited; therefore guests are encouraged to make their reservation as early as possible.

    Half-day private tours must depart between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 am, or after 1:00 p.m.

    Upon embarkation, please consult the Destination Manager onboard to personally discuss your itinerary requirements and set your departure time.

    Read More
  • Executive Collection Full Day Car

    PRICE is per vehicle

    This exclusive arrangement is designed to allow you the chance to customize your time ashore and discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle. With your private car and the personalized attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you will have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests and sightsee at your own pace. See the most famous sights or go beyond to create your own intimate connections and unique cultural encounters.

    The Executive Collection is recommended for the single/solo traveler, couples, family, friends, and special interest groups traveling together. It can also be an excellent choice for physically challenged guests.

    Capacity: 2 guests

    PLEASE NOTE: Private cars/vans/minibuses are ordered per vehicle (not per person), and only one person in the party need order the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide. Kindly note, however, that in certain ports only a driver/guide will be assigned (one person), due to limited availability. Entrance fees are not included in this price, in order to provide you with the most flexibility. In many ports, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited; therefore guests are encouraged to make their reservation as early as possible.

    Half-day private tours must depart between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 am, or after 1:00 p.m.

    Upon embarkation, please consult the Destination Manager onboard to personally discuss your itinerary requirements and set your departure time.

    Read More
  • Executive Collection Full Day Van

    PRICE is per vehicle

    This exclusive arrangement is designed to allow you the chance to customize your time ashore and discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle. With your private car and the personalized attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you will have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests and sightsee at your own pace. See the most famous sights or go beyond to create your own intimate connections and unique cultural encounters.

    The Executive Collection is recommended for the single/solo traveler, couples, family, friends, and special interest groups traveling together. It can also be an excellent choice for physically challenged guests.

    Capacity: 6 guests

    PLEASE NOTE: Private cars/vans/minibuses are ordered per vehicle (not per person), and only one person in the party need order the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide. Kindly note, however, that in certain ports only a driver/guide will be assigned (one person), due to limited availability. Entrance fees are not included in this price, in order to provide you with the most flexibility. In many ports, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited; therefore guests are encouraged to make their reservation as early as possible.

    Half-day private tours must depart between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 am, or after 1:00 p.m.

    Upon embarkation, please consult the Destination Manager onboard to personally discuss your itinerary requirements and set your departure time.

    Read More
  • Executive Collection Half Day Car

    PRICE is per vehicle

    This exclusive arrangement is designed to allow you the chance to customize your time ashore and discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle. With your private car and the personalized attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you will have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests and sightsee at your own pace. See the most famous sights or go beyond to create your own intimate connections and unique cultural encounters.

    The Executive Collection is recommended for the single/solo traveler, couples, family, friends, and special interest groups traveling together. It can also be an excellent choice for physically challenged guests.

    Capacity: 2 guests

    PLEASE NOTE: Private cars/vans/minibuses are ordered per vehicle (not per person), and only one person in the party need order the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide. Kindly note, however, that in certain ports only a driver/guide will be assigned (one person), due to limited availability. Entrance fees are not included in this price, in order to provide you with the most flexibility. In many ports, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited; therefore guests are encouraged to make their reservation as early as possible.

    Half-day private tours must depart between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 am, or after 1:00 p.m.

    Upon embarkation, please consult the Destination Manager onboard to personally discuss your itinerary requirements and set your departure time.

    Read More
  • Executive Collection Half Day Van

    PRICE is per vehicle

    This exclusive arrangement is designed to allow you the chance to customize your time ashore and discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle. With your private car and the personalized attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you will have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests and sightsee at your own pace. See the most famous sights or go beyond to create your own intimate connections and unique cultural encounters.

    The Executive Collection is recommended for the single/solo traveler, couples, family, friends, and special interest groups traveling together. It can also be an excellent choice for physically challenged guests.

    Capacity: 6 guests

    PLEASE NOTE: Private cars/vans/minibuses are ordered per vehicle (not per person), and only one person in the party need order the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide. Kindly note, however, that in certain ports only a driver/guide will be assigned (one person), due to limited availability. Entrance fees are not included in this price, in order to provide you with the most flexibility. In many ports, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited; therefore guests are encouraged to make their reservation as early as possible.

    Half-day private tours must depart between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 am, or after 1:00 p.m.

    Upon embarkation, please consult the Destination Manager onboard to personally discuss your itinerary requirements and set your departure time.

    Read More
  • Cruising On the Junk With Meditation

    Sail into stunningly beautiful Halong Bay on a classic Chinese junk and practice meditation on deck, guided by an instructor skilled in the techniques of Buddhist meditation.

    After boarding a traditional Chinese junk at the pier, you will cruise out into Halong Bay, a magnificent stretch of water dominated by steep, craggy limestone islands. The tranquil bay provides an extraordinary setting to practice meditation. In fact, it is so visually spectacular that it has been deemed a World Heritage site.

    Led by renowned performance artist and yoga/meditation instructor Doan Minh Hoan, the onboard session will begin with an introduction to Buddhist meditation. The artist will share her personal experiences with meditation, ways to increase positive energy, and techniques to enhance peace and happiness from within.

    Guided by Hoan, you will then practice meditation on deck, an experience enhanced by the gentle sea breezes and sounds of nature. You will endeavor to become more aware of what you’re experiencing moment to moment, without judgments or any thoughts about past or future concerns.

    Free time follows, during which you may take in the beauty of the bay and the limestone islands. Some of the larger ones are blessed with lakes, others are covered with dense foliage, and still other islands are hollow with enormous grottoes. You will also see other vessels on the water, such as big-sailed junks and flat-bottomed boats filled with wares for sale.

    Later, after dining on a vegetarian lunch, you will return to the pier.

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  • Tai Chi and Vegetarian Lunch At Zen Monastery

    Experience tranquility in a Buddhist monastery on Yen Tu Mountain by practicing tai chi, observing the monks in their daily routine and enjoying a vegetarian meal.

    After departing from the pier, you will settle in for an extraordinarily scenic drive to Yen Tu Mountain, where you will find its namesake Buddhist monastery. King Tran Nhan Tong founded Vietnamese Buddhist on the mountain in the 14th century after abdicating his throne to his son to lead a religious life. The elevated setting is absolutely magnificent and fittingly serene, as you will discover upon entering the monastery’s grounds.

    Here, an instructor will lead you in tai chi, a graceful form of exercise that was originally developed in China for self-defense. Today, tai chi is practiced to reduce stress and anxiety and to increase flexibility and balance. Tai chi is often described as “meditation in motion,” as it involves gentle flowing movements that most anyone can follow.

    At the conclusion of the tai chi practice, you will further explore the monastery and observe how the monks live day to day. You might also see them practicing Zen meditation, which is a significant part of their daily routine. You can’t help but be impressed by the monastery’s surroundings, which are exceptionally beautiful and calming. It’s no wonder that Yen Tu remains one of Vietnam’s most renowned pilgrimage sites.

    After meandering about the monastery, you will enjoy a vegetarian lunch before returning to the pier.

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  • Water Puppet Show

    Journey to the Royal Park Resort for an exuberant performance of water puppetry. Devised more than a thousand years ago by villagers from the Red River Delta in northern Vietnam to celebrate the end of rice harvests, mark religious festivals and entertain the royal court, water puppetry has evolved over the centuries from folk art to a more established art form. An important part of Vietnam's cultural heritage, this theatric form, not found anywhere in the world but Vietnam, has a traditional link to the earth, water and the local rice farmers, and is referred to as Soul of the Rice Fields. The puppets range in height from 12 to 40 inches and weigh from two to ten pounds. Many of the puppets are so heavy and complex that two or three people are required to manipulate them. During the performance, the puppeteers hide themselves behind a long screen and manipulate the wooden puppets with bamboo rods and strings while standing chest-deep in water. The show depicts events in the country's history, infused with a blend of poetry, fireworks and the watery reflections of the brilliantly colored puppets. A traditional Vietnamese band sitting to the side of the stage accompanies the performance with the alluring music of bamboo flutes, drums, bells and single-string violins. Following the exhilarating performance, return to the ship.

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  • Halong's Countryside

    * * FRENCH COLLECTION * *

    This tour is designed for those who love the beauty and charm of Halong's countryside, but are not fond of long drives.

    Depart Cai Lan port for the drive to the Yen Tu Buddhist Zen Monastery. As you pass by Halong's scenic countryside, you will cross many villages surrounded by bamboo fences and limestone walls. Upon arrival at the Yen Tu Buddhist Zen monastery, you will explore the history of Vietnamese Buddhist Zen. After the former Tran kings defeated Kublai Khan's troops in the 13th century, they abdicated their thrones, settled into this primitive forest to dedicate their life to Zen Buddhism and then introduced it to Vietnam. A photo stop will be made at the limestone mountains that resemble Halong on land.

    Next, your drive will continue along the charming countryside of Halong for a visit to the farmers' gardens, which are abundant with fruit trees. You will then walk into the village to see an authentic Vietnamese community with houses, village temples, street barbershop, coffee shops, and more. During your visit, you will have an opportunity to chat with the farmers, learn how they plant trees and raise the domestic animals, play with the children in the village, and meet some farming families. You will take a look at their altars to locate their ancestors, join them for a cup of local tea, and sample local foods, including sweet potatoes.

    Following your visit, you will re-board your coach for the return drive to the pier.

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  • Halong Countryside & Zen Buddhism

    This tour is geared for those who like to travel off the beaten path and discover what lies beyond the urban areas of a destination. Boarding your coach, you'll embark on a scenic drive that transports you into the lush green countryside, passing small villages that are surrounded by bamboo fences and limestone walls, rice fields and water buffalo.

    Visit a monastery dedicated to Zen Buddhism and learn the history of Vietnamese Buddhist Zen. After fighting a fierce war with Kublai Khan's troops in the 13th century, King Tran Nhan Tong gave up his throne to become a Buddhist monk, establishing a sect of Buddhism in this area. During your visit, the monks will show you how to meditate and restore your energy through using Zen techniques.

    After approximately one hour at the Buddhist center, you'll travel to your next destination, stopping along the way to capture photos of the rice fields and grazing buffalo.

    Arriving at one of the small villages, you'll disembark your coach and enjoy a walk through its streets, observing a real Vietnamese community, its homes, village temples and shops. You will be invited to the home of a local farmer where you will be encouraged to chat with him about life on the farm and how he grows his crops and raises the various farm animals. No doubt it will be a memorable experience interacting with the locals and seeing the altars erected to their ancestors.

    After an amazing and unforgettable time spent soaking in the culture and atmosphere of this facet of Vietnamese life, it's time to journey back to the pier where your tour concludes.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 1 1/2 hours of moderate walking and/or standing and a few steps. Tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair and are able to make their own way on and off transportation. Guests must be self-sufficient or if assistance is required, they should travel with a companion who can provide this. Lightweight, conservative clothing that covers the shoulders and knees will be appropriate. Comfortable, flat walking shoes, a hat, sunglasses and sun screen are recommended.

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  • Cruise the Monoliths

    Witness the breathtaking scenery from the decks of a wooden junk. Gliding through the gin-clear waters of the bay, absorb one of the most magnificent natural splendors of the Far East.

    Arriving to the junk pier in Ha long city, begin your fascinating cruise through Ha Long Bay, one of the world's outstanding natural wonders, resembling a geographic work of art with thousands of limestone islets soaring dramatically from the clear emerald waters. This densely concentrated zone of kharst islands, world famous for its spectacular scenery of grottoes and caves, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See tiny islands dotted with rock arches, sheer cliffs, innumerable white sand beaches and peaceful coves. Like sculpted cartoon characters, these limestone islands have fanciful names: Heavenly Gate, Tortoise Rock, Man Head Rock, The Isle of Wonders, Tea Pot Rock and Devil's Face.

    A stop is made at impressive Thien Cung Cave, with a chance to climb up. Continue to enjoy this relaxing cruise through the stunning landscape.

    Please note: Guests who wish to enter the Thien Cung Cave must negotiate approximately 100 steep steps up and down.

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  • Kayaking in Halong Bay

    Experience the scenic beauty of Halong Bay in a unique new way during this scenic and exhilarating journey via boat and kayak.

    Depart the pier for the brief walk to the junk pier, then embark a junk boat for a 1.5-hour cruise along Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Calm waters, mountains and caves highlight the idyllic beauty of this famous bay. As you cruise past many small islets of varying shapes and sizes, your guide will tell you stories about them.

    Next, you will embark a kayak from the ladder of the junk boat, and spend the next 2.5 hours gliding along the tranquil surface of the sea. You will proceed through some beautiful caves with such unusual names as Surprising Cave, and see coral in the water beneath your kayak. A stop will be made in the middle of an empty cave to listen to the birds singing on the top of the mountain. From here, you will paddle on to other caves, some of which are totally dark and others in the open where locals can be seen collecting clams from the abundant waters.

    Following the kayaking portion of the tour, you will re-board the junk boat and cruise back to the pier.

    Please note: This tour involves an approximately 1.5-hour cruise on board a local junk boat, and a total of 2.5 hours of leisurely kayaking, including stops. Guests will embark their kayak from the ladder of the junk boat. This tour is only recommended for guests in good physical condition.

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  • Full Day to Hanoi

    Discover the striking natural beauty and turbulent past of Vietnam's crown jewel during this long and at times fast paced, but memorable visit to Hanoi.

    Depart the pier for the approximately 2.5-hour drive to the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi, with a short comfort stop at a large souvenir store in Dong Trieu. The drive gives you a glance at the scenic view of the Red River Delta and its farming activities. Hanoi is the jewel of Vietnam’s crown; an exquisite city boasting glorious French-Colonial architecture, numerous lakes and bustling, bicycle-cluttered streets.

    Upon arriving in Hanoi, you will drive by Senator John Mc Cain’s statue along the West lake, near Tran Quoc pagoda, symbol of Vietnamese Buddhism. Continue your drive to the imposing Ba Dinh Square, which is dominated by Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum complex. Stop by the impressive marble and granite tomb in which the father of the country lies in state. Leaving your coach, you will begin your walking tour in the Mausoleum area. Although an interior visit is not possible, the building itself makes for a memorable photograph. Walk past the former French Governor's residence and the tranquil lotus ponds at the entrance to Ho Chi Minh's Cottage. Further on, you will find the rebuilt One Pillar Pagoda, its origins shrouded in legend. Re-board your coach for a drive to the Temple of Literature. Adjacent to the temple is Vietnam's first national university, built in 1076 AD. Enjoy walking through the tranquil five walled courtyards and see the pavilion where "men of letters" once recited their poetry.

    Following lunch at a Hanoi restaurant, continue to Hoa Lo Prison, where most Vietnamese patriots were imprisoned by the French. Also referred to as the "Hanoi Hilton", where captured American pilots were held during the Vietnam War. You will see where John McCain and Douglas B. Peterson, ex-Ambassador to Vietnam, were imprisoned after they were shot down.

    Then continue your city drive to Hoan Kiem Lake, where you can see the Ngoc Son Pagoda perched on a tiny island in the middle of the lake. Hoan Kiem Lake is also known as the Lake of the Restored Sword, and you will learn about the legend from which its nickname originated. Leave your coach for a stroll around the ancient quarter, or 36 Street District. The streets here are named after the tradesmen that worked in them, including such monikers as Tin Street, Paper Street and Silk Street.

    Then head back to the port, making a short comfort stop about mid-way.

    Please note: The drive to and from Hanoi is approximately 2.5 hours each way, dependent upon traffic. There is approximately 2-hours of moderate walking which includes some steps and uneven surfaces to negotiate. The tour is not recommended for wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns who are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing that covers knees and shoulders, sun protection and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. There will be a few occasions when shoes will need to be removed. Photography and video is not allowed in certain areas of Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum. The order of sites visited may vary and photo stops are dependent on traffic conditions. Shopping time in Hanoi will be limited.

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