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Southeast Asia 2 Weeks Itinerary

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Heritage Ocean Expeditions Following the Coastline of Vietnam from North to South

Luxury Cruise Tours

Heritage Ocean Expeditions Following the Coastline of Vietnam from North to South
Uniquely Vietnam Culture Tour 10 days

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Luxury Cruise Tours
10 days

Heritage Ocean Expeditions Following the Coastline of Vietnam from North to South

Heritage Cruises is a unique masterpiece and the vessel has high ceilings, full panoramic ocean views, hand-painted mosaic tiles, original artwork, and a four-poster colonial bed in the centre of each suite. Experience an enticing blend of authentic classical French Indochina design and elegant Vietnamese charm.

Starting from Hanoi, transfer to the Cat Ba Archipelago for 2 nights in the Gulf of Tonkin. Relax and enjoy sailing through the emerald green waters of Vietnam. Start by exploring the stunning limestone islands of Halong Bay before sailing to central Vietnam and docking in Danang to discover the port city, Hoi An and Hue. Cruise further south to Nha Trang for snorkeling, scuba diving, and a city tour before entering the Saigon River.

Onboard our Heritage Binh Chuan Expeditions, you will discover the Vietnamese central coast like never before, while you immerse yourself in the natural, cultural and historical sights of this breathtaking country.

Highlights of Heritage Binh Chuan Expeditions: 

  • Expedition on the very first luxury boutique ship cruising along the stunning secluded Vietnamese coastline.
  • 9 nights onboard our very best ship on an iconic voyage following the coastline of Vietnam for the very first time since the first 1920 voyage of discovery by the King of Cruise Ships, the Vietnamese nobleman Bach Thai Buoi.
  • Experience the natural wonders of Halong Bay and the Cat Ba Archipelago, explore the stunning islands, bays, beaches, lagoons by kayak, and so much more.
  • Discover historic seaside towns and iconic Vietnamese destinations with heritage walk in Hoi An and the former capital, Hue.
  • Sunset cruise in Nha Trang Bay with live entertainment, cocktails, and dinner.
  • Moonlight cruise on the Saigon River.
  • Enjoy a Captain’s Dinner including traditional entertainment.
  • Swim off the ship in secluded, pristine bays just perfect for swimming.
  • Dream, explore, immerse and relax on the iconic voyage of discovery on our proud Vietnamese journey on a heritage-inspired designer cruise ship.

Important Notes:

  • Arrival time at destination ports are in the late afternoon or early in the morning for excursions.
  • Embarcation 9am and disembarcation 4:00 pm.
  • Exact timings may change according to the weather and port conditions.
  • Departure 7 September 2020 and Arrival 17 September 2020. Departure: Hai Phong Port Arrival: Saigon Port

Tour Plan

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Day 1 - 7th Sept 2020: Lan Ha Bay - overnight on Heritage Cruise (L/D)

8:00 – 8:30 You will be greeted at your hotel to take the new highway to Got Ferry Terminal, Cat Hai Town, Haiphong City (if book our shuttle bus). You will travel on the longest bridge in Southeast Asia and be greeted at our lounge before boarding.

12:30 Board the Heritage Cruises boat and enjoy a welcome drink as you receive a cruise briefing, safety instructions and check in to your suite. Lunch is served at L’Indochine Restaurant.

12:40 Cruise to Da Chong islet, where you can see a heritage lighthouse built by the French more than 100 years ago. After lunch, cruise to Gia Luan Lagoon where limestone karst formations rise out of the sea. This quiet bay is untouched and remote, as not many cruise ships visit.

15:30 Approach the Ba Trai Dao beaches in Lan Ha Bay, a natural frontier between two provinces, Halong Bay and Cat Ba Archipelago. This is a secret hideaway with its pristine beaches, caves and coves, plus the natural beauty of about 400 limestone islands. Options include kayaking or swimming.

17:30 Head back to the cruise ship and grab a cocktail to watch the sunset over the Gulf of Tonkin.

18:30 Options include a tea ceremony, massage, or a Vietnamese traditional cookery class.

19:30 A memorable dining experience at the restaurant features local delicacies in an intimate setting.

21:30 Relax at the top-deck bar, try your hand at squid fishing. The bars are open late.

6:15 Practise Vovinam on the sundeck at sunrise, followed by coffee, tea and pastries.

8:30 Transfer to a speedboat to visit Viet Hai Village. Take a bicycle ride  or electric car through a rainforest tunnel that leads to a rice-field vista. Visit a traditional house in a village deep in a national park where you can observe the lifestyle of the local people and enjoy lunch on the village. Back to the speedboat to visit Lan Ha Bay.

13:30 Visit Lan Ha Bay where you can go bamboo boating, kayaking at Ba Ham Lake, enclosed by vertical cliffs (if the weather permits).

17:30 Back on Heritage Cruises, enjoy life aboard the vessel or in your suite, and with cocktail in hand watch the sunset over the Gulf of Tonkin. The chef will lead a Vietnamese cookery class.

19:30 Enjoy a fine-dining experience in the main restaurant.

21:30 Welcome the night at the bar on the top deck, or try squid fishing. The bars are open late.

Today, you will be on this iconic voyage along the legendary cruise route and unlock the most beautiful bays, beaches, and islands of Vietnam from Halong Bay to Danang. You will have more time to experience an enticing blend of authentic classical French Indochina design and elegant Vietnamese charm and discover more stories about King of Cruise Ship - Bach Thai Buoi, from whom Heritage Cruise derives inspiration. 

1. Excursion to Hoi An ancient town (full day)

From the 16th to 18th century, Hoi An was a thriving international commercial port for Chinese, Dutch, French, Japanese, Portuguese, and Arab traders. These people came primarily to trade in the high-grade silk, which is still produced in the area, as well as ceramics. Today, Hoi An is a quaint riverside town, popular with tourists for its eclectic architecture, tailor shops, and numerous cafés. Some of the buildings in the narrow streets have remained unchanged for more than a century. Enjoy a half-day walking tour through the narrow winding streets of the Ancient Quarter, visiting Chua Ong Pagoda, the Chinese Assembly Halls, the 200-year-old Tam Ky Ancestral House, and the Japanese Bridge. After lunch, take a short boat trip to a nearby island to visit a handicraft village specializing in ceramics, and the traditional boat-building yards.

2. Excursion to My Son Holy Land (6 hours)

Located 60km from Danang, My Son is the former capital of the ancient Cham civilization that ruled central Vietnam from the second to the thirteenth centuries. Their religion was primarily derived from Indian Hinduism and My Son is considered to be one of the best-preserved Cham sites in Vietnam. The complex is comprised of seventy Hindu-like towers and temples dating from the second century. This site is a must-see for those who are interested in architecture and ancient civilizations and is now one of five UNESCO World Heritage sites in Vietnam.

3. Hoi An Farmer to Fisherman experience

The very special “Farmer to Fisherman” tour takes you into the countryside and through the most beautiful scenery around Hoi An Town. By exploring the typical narrow roads by bicycle, and seeing sights such as water buffalo, rice paddy fields, organic vegetable fields, and local farming people, you will be surprised to find how peaceful the area is and how friendly its people are.

Get in touch with local life by using the fishing nets, riding conical basket boats, visiting a watery coconut palm paradise and meeting the Vietnamese people. The Farmer to Fisherman tour gives you a unique perspective on the Vietnamese way of life in rural and coastal communities.

Accompanied by your tour guide, commence the day by leisurely cycling along country roads witnessing Vietnamese rural life first hand, where you will see water buffalo working in a rice paddy field, ducks swimming in the paddies, or farmers tending their crops. The photo opportunities are endless. Later you will board our Hoi An eco-tour boat for a river cruise to meet local fishermen and enjoy the hands-on experience of traditional net fishing. You will have the opportunity to paddle an iconic Vietnamese bamboo basket boat while exploring coconut-palm flanked waterways. This tour provides you with a cultural window into the ways of life of both our farming and fishing communities

Shore excursions from Tien Sa Port (Danang) - Excursion to Ba Na Hills and its famous Golden Bridge (full day)

Ba Na is located 1,480m above sea level in the Truong Son mountain range, one hour from Danang. Ba Na was formerly a 1920s French resort and once boasted 200 villas, restaurants, and clubs. Its temperate climate, unspoiled forest, and spectacular views over the Ben Cat Sea and the Lao mountain range made Ba Na a popular retreat for both the French and the wealthy Vietnamese.

Today, you can reach Ba Na Hills via the most modern cable car system in Southeast Asia, from which you can see the panorama of Danang City from on high. After leaving the first cable car, visit The Golden Bridge, an exotic structure and one of the world’s most striking pedestrian bridges, as described by the British ‘Guardian’ newspaper, a French wine cellar, Le Jardin d’Amour, consisting of 9 gardens and the Linh Ung pagoda. The second cable car takes you to a charming replica French Village, complete with Parisian architecture, a cathedral, cobblestones, street vendors, and buskers.

After a buffet lunch, join in in the fun at the indoor Fantasy Park where there is a huge selection of arcade games and rides, a Fairy Forest, Dinosaur Park, 4D and 5D rides, a Freefall Tower, and a mega 3D 360-degree cinema. This is the ideal place to watch the Vietnamese at play. Descend by cable car and return to the ship.

Spend your time enjoying the natural beauty and numerous onboard activities during your trip from Danang to Nha Trang to realize that "Cruising is the best way to see and feel Vietnam."

1. Nha Trang Island and city tour (4 -6 hours)

Nha Trang is a charming seaside resort and home to the ancient Po Nagar Cham Towers, built between the 7th and 12th centuries; the site was used for Hindu worship as early as the 2nd century AD. Close by is the rocky Chong promontory, the fine Nha Trang Cathedral, and the Lang Song Pagoda. Stop to visit the Pasteur Institut, founded in 1895 by Dr Alexandre Yersin (1863-1943). Dr Yersin's library and office are now a museum, while the institute continues to actively coordinate vaccination and hygiene programs for the country's southern coastal region. Finally, stop at the Oceanographic Institute, founded in 1923 and home to a variety of colorful local marine specimens, including seahorses. Continue by boat to Mieu Island to visit the Aquarium before returning to Nha Trang and the ship.

2. Sunset Cocktails and dinner on Emperor Cruise Nha Trang Bay

You will be picked up from the ship and transferred to Hon Tam Port for the 3-hour cruise along the coast in Nha Trang Bay. At 5.30pm, board the Emperor Cruise and watch the sky change from just a hint of color to shades of deep orange, purple, and red as you enjoy a cool drink on the open-air sun deck. As the sun sets the boat heads out into Nha Trang Bay, and you

enjoy a delicious seafood dinner as you are entertained by musicians who play against a stunning backdrop of the stars, moon and the city lights. There is no better way to spend a tropical evening than on an Emperor Cruise, where the staff go out of their way to ensure it is a memorable one. At 8:30 pm return to the ship.

3. Nha Trang islands and Snorkeling (Full day)

Pick up from the ship and transfer to Cau Da pier for your boat trip through Nha Trang Bay. Your first stop is the Tri Nguyen Aquarium on Mieu Island. You then head out to Hon Mun Island, the best location for snorkeling, where you can see a multitude of colorful corals and fish. Continue to Mot Island for relaxation, swimming and watersports. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant on the island before stopping at a fishing village on the way back to shore.

4. Nha Trang cycling tour (6 hours)

This is a special tailor-made cycling excursion, the ideal way to experience the “true” Vietnamese countryside and culture.

Pick up from Nha Trang port then transfer to Dien Khanh citadel. Start cycling through peaceful and picturesque Dien Binh villages, stopping at an orchard, village market, administration center, and local home. Continue to Memento, a characterful country house, for refreshments such as Vietnamese coffee or fresh coconut milk. Try your hand at fishing, have a traditional massage, or a special herbal hair treatment (at your own expense). Finally, drive to a local restaurant for a typical Vietnamese lunch, with local specialties such as spring rolls, before returning to the ship.

1. Local life experiences in Saigon (full day)

Begin the tour with a visit to FITO - the first private Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine in Vietnam, with an amazing collection of 3,000 items relating to the development of traditional medicine. Implements used to prepare indigenous herbs and objects commonly found in traditional pharmacies can be seen in the galleries, as well as ancient books and documents on traditional Vietnamese medicine. Afterwards, explore Ho Thi Ky - the largest flower market in Saigon, which supplies flowers to the city and some provinces in the south of the country. Founded in the 1980s, this is a rare place that retains the characteristics of old Saigon and has recently become a favored destination for travelers. Next visit Cholon, the Chinatown district of Saigon, to discover the area’s markets, shops, and the Cantonese Thien Hau Pagoda. Head back to the city center to visit Ben Thanh Market, where an incredible display of fresh produce is offered. Enjoy a stroll through the market exploring the variety of goods for sales. In the afternoon, visit the War Remnants (or History) Museum, and the former Presidential Palace. From the Palace, stroll to the major sights of colonial Saigon including the Old Saigon Post Office, Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat), the Continental Hotel, Opera House and City Hall. Note: History Museum closed on Mondays.

2. Saigon Historic Landmarks and Hidden Charms (half day)

Highlights: See Saigon’s highlights on this revealing half-day city tour. Learn about Vietnam’s cultural past from older Saigonese residents and follow up by exploring some colonial buildings and hidden corners that exemplify the local culture and the city’s colorful heritage.

This tour begins at 08:30 or 13:00 and starts with a visit to the iconic Saigon Central Post Office built between 1886 and 1891. Based on the design of French architect Foulhoux, it has a unique vaulted ceiling with wrought-iron beams and columns reminiscent of industrial architecture,

which is now considered a symbol of Saigon and one of its most famous landmarks. Stop for a chat with Mr Duong (if he is available), who enjoys local notoriety for his professional love letter-writing skills.

Walk along Dong Khoi street, formerly rue Catinat, and pay a visit to Gia Long Palace – Ho Chi Minh City Museum to admire its beautiful architecture and learn about the history of the city through the ages. Continue to Le Loi Street to meet a local artisan who specialises in traditional engravings.

Next, stroll through the old central market before arriving at the city’s oldest colonial-era apartment, built in 1886, and see what the young creative Vietnamese are up to in their funky boutiques and coffee shops. Sit down at one of the stylish cafés and chat with a local resident who moved here in 1975.

· Optional (combined with half-day program): Enjoy a unique dining experience at NOIR; lunch in the dark before returning to the ship

Noir - Dining in the Dark: Of the five senses, sight dominates. Take away sight, and our other senses emerge to interpret the world from another perspective. Smell becomes more subtle. Taste becomes more acute. Hearing becomes more sensitive. Touch becomes more delicate. We invite you to experience a culinary journey through taste, smell, touch and sound. This is not simply dining, but rather a uniquely mind-altering experience where smell, taste, touch and hearing unite to bring you a completely new journey of the senses.

3. Cu Chi Tunnels and Vespa City Tour (full day)

Travel to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels in style on one of Les Rives’ luxurious speedboats, while learning about life on the river as you glide through the floating hyacinths. Explore the historic tunnels, from the weapons to underground bunkers. If you are feeling extra adventurous, you can even crawl through genuine Viet Cong tunnels and try the local cassava root, which the fighters sustained themselves on for years. After the blast from the past at the Cu Chi Tunnels, enjoy a traditional Vietnamese lunch right by the river and then relax as the graceful Les Rives speedboat takes you back to Saigon.

At roughly 1pm, you will be picked up on a restored vintage Vespa from Tan Cang pier to show you the best way to get off the beaten track in Saigon. While cruising through the bustling streets like a local on the back of a scooter, see the sites that you would never find on your own. Learn about Saigon life, such as the small family businesses in the big city, the Chinese community and their influence on medicine, Vietnamese customs and religion, and much more. Finish at a hidden, serene Buddhist Pagoda which has yet to be found by most tourists. At around 4:30pm, the tour comes to an end and you will be dropped off at the ship.

(From 08:00am to 16:00pm – 8 hours duration by Speedboat)

Pick up at the port and then transfer to Tan Cang Pier, where you depart to the Mekong Delta area (Ben Tre province) by luxury speedboat. On board, enjoy a light breakfast from the Pat’ a Chou bakery and enjoy the watery panorama as it passes by. Upon arrival in Ben Tre, walk through the local market to observe daily life and see the many delicious local fruits, products and goods on offer. This is just perfect for photography. Experience the peaceful atmosphere of river life from a small rowing boat as you pass through narrow canals. Taste the special Snake/Scorpion wine (optional), hear stories about the local plantations, or enjoy a cup of honey tea from a local family recipe as you listen to the traditional folk music “Don Ca Tai Tu”, which

was handed down over 100 years and listed by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage. Get on a Vietnamese Lambro Tuk–Tuk, a vehicle used to transport locals to school and work) and ride the winding village road past local houses and gardens. Visit a small family business making coconut candies and learn how they waste nothing, using absolutely every part of the coconut. Cruise to a riverside restaurant with panoramic views, where lunch will be served, including the typical Elephant Ear fish of the Mekong Delta. After lunch return to the ship.

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