EVENT - MYTHICAL DRAGON BAY & HANOI
DAY 1: 2nd March 2014
In the early afternoon, you will transfer from the ship to the nearby Bhaya Junk, a beautiful vessel constructed in Vietnam. Like all traditional junks, the Bhaya is made entirely of wood, although this ship takes luxury to a new level and provides an exclusive onboard experience.
The cabins feature luxurious pillows and blankets. They are fully furnished and include air-conditioning, mini-bar, fan and private bathroom. Each room has a private window with panoramic view.
The dining room is particularly noteworthy for offering outstanding Vietnamese and international cuisine in a romantic setting. Additionally, the size of the Bhaya Junk allows this extraordinary vessel to cruise closer to the most scenic natural wonders of Ha Long Bay.
Soon after boarding, you will begin cruising the picturesque bay in the Gulf of Tonkin. Revered for its nearly 2,000 picturesque islands and precipitous limestone pillars, Ha Long Bay has been deemed a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Magnificent and imposing, these limestone karst formations rise out of the sea in unusual and intriguing shapes, with names that fire the imagination. For instance, Man’s Head Island resembles a man rising out of the sea and looking towards the mainland. Similarly, the Pair of Roosters looks astonishingly like two roosters. “Ha Long” means “descending dragon” and legend has it that a huge, dragon-like sea monster still resides in these waters.
While cruising along in the luxurious Bhaya junk, you will pass rock arches, sheer cliffs, white sand beaches and tranquil coves. There are also numerous grottoes, one of which you will explore, and lovely fishing villages. As dusk begins to fall on beautiful Ha Long Bay, a sumptuous dinner will be served, after which you may settle in to enjoy a relaxing evening onboard.
DAY 2 : 3rd March, 2014
Following breakfast onboard the Bhaya junk, you will drive to Hanoi in a minibus to tour its most magnificent attractions, beginning with imposing Ba Dinh Square. It is dominated by the impressive marble and granite tomb where Ho Chi Minh lies in state. You will visit outside the former president’s mausoleum, a nearby stilt house and One Pillar Pagoda, a curious little square structure that rises above a lotus pond.
Continuing on, you will see the Temple of Literature, an 11th-century building that is dedicated to Confucianism. In 1076, Vietnam’s first national university was built next to the temple. Here, you will walk through the tranquil five-walled courtyards and behold the pavilion where Vietnam’s men of letters once recited their poetry.
Following lunch, you will tour the infamous Hoa Lo Prison, also known as the Hanoi Hilton. You will see the rooms where the French imprisoned Vietnamese patriots and where American soldiers, including Senator John McCain, were held as prisoners of war.
Later, on the way to Hanoi’s fascinating Old Quarter, you will drive past Hoan Kiem Lake to see its island temple dedicated to Tran Hung Dao, a hero who fought against the Mongolian troops in the 13th century. The lake is also known as the Lake of the Restored Sword, and you will hear how the legend originated.
Upon arriving in the robust Old Quarter, you will enjoy free time to meander about shopping or simply enjoying this authentic slice of life in urban Hanoi. Afterwards, you will drive back to the ship and re-join the cruise.
Overland Program Step by Step:
The order of sites visited may vary to avoid congestion. The indicated times are approximate, provided here only for general reference and are subject to change.
2:15pm Transfer from the pier to the luxurious Bhaya Junk
2:30pm Cruise Ha Long Bay
6:30pm Dinner onboard the Bhaya including two cocktails for pre dinner and one bottle of wine per person during dinner
Overnight on the Bhaya Junk
6:30am Breakfast onboard the Bhaya Junk
7:00am Disembark and drive to Hanoi by bus
10:15am Explore Ba Dinh Square
11:15am Drive to the Temple of Literature
11:30pm Visit the Temple of Literature
12:00pm Depart for lunch
12:15pm Lunch including one soft drink or a local beer per person
1:15pm Drive to Hoa Lo Prison
1:30pm Visit Hoa Lo Prison
2:00pm Explore Hanoi’s Old Quarter
2:30pm Drive back to the ship
6:00pm Re-join to the ship
Special notes: Please pack one small bag per person, dress is casual and comfortable throughout. It will not be possible to enter Ho Chi Minh’s tomb on Mondays and Fridays. The drive to Hanoi is long and can be in excess of 3 ½ hours depending on traffic.
30-35 degrees Celsius (86-95 degrees Fahrenheit)
What to Bring:
One small overnight bag per person with casual clothing, walking shoes, a hat and sunscreen.
U.S. Dollar or the local Vietnamese Dong
Documents and Visa Requirements:
A passport is required.
One night on the Bhaya Junk
One breakfast and one dinner on the Bhaya Junk
2 pre dinner drinks (house wine, local beer, soft drinks, water)
One bottle of wine per person for dinner
Transfer from the ship to the Bhaya Junk
Entrance fees to Ha Long Bay and caves
Full-day sightseeing in Hanoi in a bus
One Lunch in Hanoi including one soft drink or a local beer per person
Any meals and drinks not listed above
Gratuities for drivers, guides and boat staff
Land programs that encompass multiple days ashore customarily include extensive and prolonged activity, while those of shorter durations typically have more moderate activity levels. However, each program varies and participants should be prepared to negotiate a mixture of surfaces, which may include inclines, cobblestones, sand, gravel or natural paths. There may also be a need to climb steps or stairs on occasion. Wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are advised to check with the cruise line in advance to see if any portion of the tour program may not be considered suitable for their individual situation. Weather-appropriate clothing, caps, sunglasses, and flat comfortable walking shoes are recommended.