Halong Bay & Five-Star Vietnam River Cruise
13 nights. October 2020. From £2795.00.
SAVE £100pp UNTIL 22 DECEMBER WITH PROMO CODE: WORLD
Take an extraordinary journey through one of South East Asia’s most evocative corners, on a specially chartered Pandaw River cruise vessel. On this luxurious journey of the senses, you'll experience a part of the world where time - for now at least - stands still. Here, age-old traditions are passed down through generations and defy the encroaching modern world, and the stunning scenery, through which you'll gently cruise, will etch itself upon your memory forever.
What's IncludedA night’s pre-cruise bed and breakfast hotel accommodation in Hanoi
10 nights’ full-board accommodation aboard five-star RV Angkor Pandaw, plus two nights on the aircraft
Main meals, locally made soft drinks, beer and spirits, jugged coffee and teas, mineral water, guide services, entrances and crew gratuities (excludes local guides and drivers)
Return scheduled flights to Hanoi via Singapore
Coach travel and transfers throughout
Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager (the ship’s guides will take care of you during the cruise)
Holiday HighlightsColonial Hanoi, Vietnam’s charming capital
The vast 'dark and bright cave' in Halong Bay
Five-star luxury on board RV Angkor Pandaw
Cruising from Halong Bay, through the Red River Delta and along the Da River, to Hoa Binh
Cruise the Kinh Thay River
The remote villages of the Lower Red River
Verdant Ba Vi National Park and ancient Duong Lam
See the vast Hoa Binh Dam
Enjoy traditional water puppet shows and dance performances, visit ancient pagodas and meet local artisans
Visit Hoa Binh's Muong museum
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
Day 1Fly from the UK, via Singapore, to the Vietnamese capital.
Day 2Meet your tour manager and transfer to elegant, romantic Hanoi, for an overnight stay. Enjoy an introductory walking tour of the Vietnamese capital, with its colonial architecture, labyrinthine old quarter, tranquil Hoan Kiem Lake and island Ngoc Son Temple. After the opportunity to rest and relax, enjoy your first taste of Vietnamese cuisine, dining in the hotel or nearby at your leisure.
Day 3After breakfast, board the coach to journey through a landscape of timeless paddies dotted with remote villages, to stunning, UNESCO-listed Halong Bay. The smiling crew of RV Angkor Pandaw, your luxurious, exclusively chartered floating home-from-home, will be waiting to welcome you aboard. Settle into your teak-lined cabin and, as you begin an evening cruise through the bay’s astonishing limestone scenery, enjoy a complimentary welcome cocktail before your first dinner is served. Later, retire to your cabin as the ship drops anchor in a sheltered bay.
Day 4Wake in dramatic Halong Bay, and cruise through its spectacular seascape, where countless limestone pillars and cone-shaped islands rise out of the water, as breakfast is served. A shore call brings the opportunity to head to the ancient village of Viet Hai aboard one of the ship’s bicycles or by motorised buggy. This jungle oasis draws visitors from across the globe to its pristine, verdant setting. Wander the village vegetable garden, and perhaps taste local produce, before returning to the ship to cruise further into beautiful Lan Ha Bay. Weather permitting, cocktails will be served on the beach (bring your swimwear) before dinner is served on board once again.
Day 5Another morning's cruise through beautiful Halong Bay gives you the chance to visit the spectacular Dark and Bright Cave, a vast chasm boasting giant stalactites and a bat colony, reached either by kayak or on a traditional fisherman’s leg-rowed basket boat. The rest of the day passes lazily by as you head into the Red River Delta to drop anchor near bustling Hai Phong. Enjoy a fruit-carving demonstration from the chef, who will also unveil the secrets of the famous Vietnamese spring roll, before another dinner is served.
Day 6Stretch out in the shade on a deck lounger, as your ship passes through the Kinh Thay River, North Vietnam’s key commercial waterway. Enjoy an entertaining on-board talk from your guide, and after lunch on board, join an afternoon excursion to the idyllic village of Thanh Ha. Here, as well as meeting the locals, you will be treated to a traditional water-puppet show. Return to the ship and enjoy dinner as she continues upstream.
Day 7Another relaxing day sees you sailing towards Hanoi, pausing en route to visit Bat Trang, an ancient pottery-making village. Here you will see craftsmen at work and be treated to the colourful sight of a lion and unicorn dance, an ages-old tradition dating back to the period when the Chinese controlled the region.
Day 8Today you'll arrive once more in teeming, fascinating Hanoi. Highlights here include visits to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the former leader’s traditional house, the Imperial Citadel and the fascinating Temple of Literature where Confucius once sat, thinking. Take in the notorious Hanoi Hilton prison and enjoy a (less sombre) guided visit to a coffee shop to learn about Vietnam’s coffee industry. Your ship will moor overnight in the city, enabling you to dine aboard or ashore at your leisure.
Day 9Cruise inland into a pastoral landscape occasionally punctuated by bustling, commercialised towns. Step ashore to journey through paddy fields studded with startling limestone outcrops – a classic North Vietnamese scene unchanged in centuries – and visit two of Vietnam’s most important Buddhist pagodas, at Thay and Tay Phuong. Your memorable day of exploration will finish with a visit to a traditional carpenter’s workshop where some remarkable artefacts are exquisitely fashioned. This evening, you’ll arrive in Viet Tri, gateway to the Vietnamese Highlands.
Day 10Another morning’s cruise sees you enter the Lo River, which flows south from China and through Vietnam's northern mountain ranges. Head to the busy ferry station at Tien Du for the short drive to traditional village Gia Thanh, where iconic, conical Vietnamese hats are fashioned by hand, from palm leaves and bamboo, to a 3,000-year-old design. Another drive brings you to the Hung Lo Temple at Viet Tri, where traditional stories are still passed from generation to generation through the medium of Xoan singing – yet another example of how daily life remains unchanged in rural Vietnam.
Day 11Enjoy a relaxing morning’s cruise through the verdant, mountainous landscape of Ba Vi National Park, with its tropical flora, before arriving in Hoa Binh, at the southern edge of the Highlands and the last port of call for Angkor Pandaw, this afternoon. Another fascinating included excursion brings you to ancient Duong Lam village, birthplace of two Vietnamese kings and where the houses still are fashioned from mud and clay. Back on board, you'll also have the chance to enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour that will include the galley and engine room.
Day 12Your last full day on board brings the opportunity to explore Hoa Binh, home to the Muong ethnic group and site of a fierce battle during the Indochina War of 1951-52. Take a morning boat ride to South East Asia’s largest hydroelectric dam and, this evening, round off your wonderful tour of this unspoilt part of Vietnam with a visit to a rural village to enjoy a traditional dance demonstration. A last dinner on board offers opportunities to reflect on the wonders of the past few days with fellow guests.
Day 13Disembark Angkor Pandaw after breakfast, bidding farewell to the crew and guides, and board the coach for a morning visit to another local village untouched by the modern world. After a stop for lunch, the final highlights of your tour will be visits to the 1,000-year-old Soc Son temple, with its hill-top pagoda and giant bronze Buddha, and to beautiful Thanh Chuong Palace to see its exquisite art collection. A final drive through the Vietnamese landscape brings you back to Hanoi airport where you'll check in for your overnight flight home via Singapore.
Day 14Arrive back in the UK, early this morning, at the end of a wonderful Vietnamese adventure. Back to top
Hotel transfer timesThe transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately 45 minutes.
Travel vaccinationsRequirements and advice can vary over time, and from person to person, so please contact your GP about eight weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or any other preventive measures.
Passports and visasBritish citizens require machine-readable passports when travelling overseas. Until 30 June 2021, British Citizens do not require a visa for single entry visits to Vietnam if staying for less than 15 days.
Luggage allowanceYou are permitted to take one suitcase per person on the aircraft, which should not exceed 23kg.
Changes to your hotelsShould circumstances require, we reserve the right to accommodate you in alternative hotels, of a similar standard, nearby. Full details of your hotels will be sent with your Final Travel Documents.
Road ConditionsIn developing countries road networks are continually being improved and expanded, which can lead to roadworks and rough road surfaces increasing journey times. Some journeys are made on winding mountain roads and passes, which may also make for slow travelling. Many roads do not have separate pavements or safety barriers, and great care should be taken when crossing or walking alongside roads.
River water levelsThe cruise sailing schedule may have to change depending on water levels. The ship’s crew reserve the right to do this at any time.
Special requirementsIf you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
Disabled accessThe majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Itinerary changesOccasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
Foreign Office Travel AdviceVisit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.
Terms and conditionsOffer applies to new bookings only on Long Haul air-inclusive holidays made between 10 Dec–22 Dec 2019 inclusive. Excludes all departures with late-availability pricing. The discount will be added to your order when you apply the correct promo code and will be confirmed before purchase. This offer is subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time. Prices shown when booking do not include the £100 discount which will be applied to your booking once the correct promo code (WORLD) has been entered and will be confirmed before purchase. The discount applies to your final holiday price (excluding Holiday Insurance) at the time of booking. Offers are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time. Back to top