If time is of the essence this is the program for you! Explore the highlights of Vietnam from north to south, including a romantic cruise journey across the legendary Halong Bay and exploring Vietnam's signature destinations.
The additional surcharge applies for bookings on Christmas, New Year & Tet (Lunar New Year).
Arrival in Hanoi in the morning, greeting by the Vietnamese tour guide and transfer to the hotel. Check-in is around 2 p.m. (NO early check-in included). Then experience Hanoi's pulsating Old Quarter and St. Joseph's Cathedral in an electric car ride. Walk through the narrow and turbulent streets, most of which are named after the crafts or goods that were originally sold here, such as fabrics, medicine, etc. Then visit the Ngoc Son Temple on Hoan Kiem Lake. In between you take a short break and enjoy the famous egg coffee in a typical Hanoi café. Welcome dinner in a local restaurant in the evening.
The city tour begins in the morning. First, explore the Ho Chi Minh Complex (mausoleum only outside). Continue to the Temple of Literature, Vietnam's first university (from the 11th century). Here you can enjoy a respite of peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. In the late afternoon, visit a water puppeteer in your private home and enjoy an exclusive performance. Free time in the evening.
The afternoon is free at leisure.
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and head to Halong Bay. The bay itself was declared as a UNESCO Natural Heritage Site, Halong Bay covers an area of 43,400 ha and including over 1600 islands and islets, most of which are uninhabited and unaffected by humans, it forms a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars and is an ideal model of a mature Karst landscape developed during a warm and wet tropical climate.
Arrive at Tuan Chau International Passenger Port, embark on the traditional wooden junk followed by a welcome drink while the cruise manager briefing about the itinerary and safety info. A tasty lunch will be served on board when our cruise starts sailing towards the southeast of Halong Bay, passing by many stunning rocks and islets. Then we can join some activities such as rowboat or kayak (Kayaks can be booked in advance at reception with extra cost). Return to our cruise and rest of the day at leisure. Later, take part in a cooking demonstration with traditional Vietnamese food on the sundeck (or in the restaurant if weather does not allow). The boat cruises back through the Bay to its overnight anchorage. Dinner & overnight on board.
Flexible program of each cruise - subject to change
No private guide on board.
At dawn, the most magical time in the bay, you can optionally do meditation or yoga on the upper deck. During breakfast you gradually cruise back to Halong and visit a cave and various islands along the way, where you can swim again. A delicious brunch on board can be enjoyed at early noon, after which you will disembark from the boat. Transfer to Noi Bai airport to catch a flight to Hue. Arrival and transfer to your hotel in Hue.
Today you will explore the Imperial City of Hue, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After breakfast visit the Citadel that houses the Imperial Palace, then drive to Thien Mu Pagoda, a landmark of the city. Afterwards you visit a typical Hue garden house and have an opportunity to chat with your host. In the afternoon, take a boat trip down the Perfume River and visit the famous imperial tomb of Khai Dinh. Return to your hotel.
In the morning you will visit the Imperial Tomb of Minh Mang. Then you leave Hue and drive along the Lang Co lagoon over the Hai Van pass to the old trading town of Hoi An. In the afternoon, immerse yourself in the history of Hoi An, which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This exploration includes stops at the Hokkien Temple, the Japanese Bridge and some ancient houses. Learn about the local craftsmanship through a visit to a small lantern factory. Dinner in the old town.
Today you ride your bike to a rural village that is known throughout Vietnam for its organic cultivation methods. Here you get to know some local herbs, used extensively in Vietnamese cuisine and traditional medicine. At the end, enjoy a relaxing Herbal foot massage, a light lunch including a short cooking class with a local chef.
The afternoon is free for individual activities or an excursion to the ancient sanctuary of My Son (for an additional charge).
In the morning drive to Danang and visit the Marble Mountains before flying to the metropolis of Saigon. Upon arrival, transfer to the city's outskirts and visit the famous Cu Chi tunnels. After the tour head back to the city and dine at a local restaurant.
Pick-up at the hotel and drive to Ben Tre in the early morning. Here you will enjoy a boat trip along narrow and shady canals. Ben Tre is one of the most famous spots in the Mekong Delta. Here the river is dotted by islands and islets, some of which house traditional villages and some interesting industries. You will visit a family and taste fresh fruits in their garden. Lunch at the local family restaurant, after which you will visit some businesses dedicated to the production of bricks, sweet rice paper, mats and coconut by-products for export. If you wish, you can cycle a short distance (approx. 10-15km) through the bucolic landscape of villages and lush palm gardens. Return to Saigon in the early afternoon. When you arrive in Saigon, take a short detour to Chinatown and visit the Chinese temple of Thien Hau.
Today, tour the colonial district and its historic buildings such as the Reunification Palace (from the outside), the Notre Dame Cathedral (from the outside), the Post Office, the City Hall (from the outside), the City Opera (from the outside) and the Ben Thanh Market. The rest of the day is free. In the evening, enjoy a sundowner from a rooftop bar and dinner at a local restaurant. You will be brought to the airport in good time for your departure.