Luxury Tailor Made Journeys depart on the dates that work for you and feature expert local guides throughout your journey. The itinerary below can be customized to your interests.
ARRIVE HANOI, VIETNAM
Arrive in Hanoi, where you receive fast-track assistance through customs and immigration formalities before being met and transferred to your hotel.
HANOI | HO CHI MINH’S HOUSE
This morning, pay a visit to Ho Chi Minh’s stilted house, located among banyan and milkweed trees. Continue to the iconic, lotus-shaped One Pillar Pagoda, built by King Ly Thai To as thanks to the deity he believed helped his wife give birth to his son. See, too, the Temple of Literature (Quoc Tu Giam). Recognized as Hanoi’s first university, the temple is featured on the back of the 100,000 VND banknote. Proceed to the home of Mr. My, a former Vietnamese pilot who shares stories from his time during the Vietnam War, including the close friendship he developed with a U.S. pilot. After lunch at a local restaurant, pay a visit to the gatehouse-turned-museum at Hoa Lo Prison, used by the French colonists in Vietnam for political prisoners and later by North Vietnam for prisoners of war during the Vietnam War. Next, travel by cyclo (rickshaw) through the bustling Old Quarter along its time-honored streets before returning to your hotel.
HA LONG BAY | “WHERE THE DRAGON DESCENDS TO THE SEA”
Travel overland to Ha Long Bay — meaning “Where the Dragon Descends to the Sea” — and board your luxury boutique vessel. Relax over lunch and begin your passage into the magical bay, where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the waves like dragons’ teeth. Spend the afternoon discovering the bay’s treasures, including fascinating caves, pristine beaches and picturesque floating villages. You can even kayak in the Trinh Nu Cave area if you wish, or enjoy the view from the deck. Back on board your vessel, enjoy afternoon tea and a floating village-themed dinner. After dinner, opt to go squid fishing or relax on deck as the sun descends.
HA LONG BAY & HOI AN | TIME TO UNWIND
Rise early for a tai chi class on the sun deck, watching the picturesque bay scroll by. After tai chi, reward yourself with a healthful and light breakfast in the ship’s restaurant. Following breakfast, elect to luxuriate on the deck, hike to Sung Sot Cave (the biggest cave in Ha Long Bay) or swim at a nearby island. Enjoy a full brunch buffet as you cruise back to port. Transfer back to Hanoi, where you fly to Danang, and continue to your hotel in Hoi An. The remainder of your day is at leisure.
HOI AN | CHARMING OLD TOWN
Travel to Tra Que Village, where you visit a local home and sample juice made from freshly squeezed fruits, followed by a stroll through the village gardens where local farmers still use traditional farming techniques. You may even assist some farmers with their crop collection. Return to Hoi An this afternoon and set out on a walking tour. Visit the Old House of Tan Ky, Fukien Assembly Hall and the 400-year-old Japanese covered bridge.
HO CHI MINH CITY | ENERGETIC URBAN ENVIRONS
After a morning at leisure, transfer to the airport and fly to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, you are met and transferred to your hotel.
HO CHI MINH CITY | CHU CHI TUNNELS
Afterward, continue on to Cu Chi, a small community located northwest of Ho Chi Minh City, known for its network of deep tunnels that provided shelter and an effective source of infiltration for the Vietcong during the later years of the Vietnam War. The tunnels, which reached hundreds of miles in total length, housed storage rooms, makeshift hospitals and sleeping quarters. After experiencing the Cu Chi Tunnels, return to Ho Chi Minh City for lunch. Later, visit the Reunification Palace and the Historical Museum before hopping off the beaten path to explore St. Joseph’s seminary, a historic oasis of calm. Round out the day with refreshments in a hidden city locale, and then return to your hotel for the rest of the day at leisure.
DEPART HO CHI MINH CITY
Recently experiencing a resurgence of art and culture, Ho Chi Minh City is a lively, evocative hub of activity. Rise early for a cyclo ride through the streets as the city slowly comes to life. Stroll through a special section of Tao Dan Park, where locals congregate with their prized birds and the air is alive with birdsong. Next, visit the memorial park dedicated to a Buddhist monk remembered for performing self-immolation in protest of the South Vietnamese government in 1963. Changing from cyclo to vehicle, continue along Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street to visit a little-known, hard-to-find weapons bunker, as well as a food market and flower market. Then, sample some of the city’s most sensational pho at one of its best-kept-secret restaurants. Transfer to the airport and board your departure flight.
Note: Touring on board Hera Cruises is on a shared basis. Cruise itineraries are subject to change.
Enhance Your Journey
Elevate your experience with a host of options available for an additional cost.
HANOI CULINARY ADVENTURE
Explore Hanoi’s culinary scene, sampling traditional dishes prepared by local vendors in the Old Quarter, Dong Xuan Market’s food street and lakeside Truc Bach. Make one final stop to enjoy an egg cappuccino, a regional specialty no foodie should miss.
HOI AN CULINARY ADVENTURE
Enjoy a morning at the Market Restaurant & Cooking School in Hoi An, learning about regional spices, herbs, grains, veggies and fruits. Tour a vast array of specialty food counters, observing live cooking demonstrations, trying your hand at local recipes and sampling new flavors along the way.
HO CHI MINH CITY BY VESPA
Enjoy a night on the town and a culinary adventure as you explore Ho Chi Minh City from the back of an expertly driven Vespa. Buzz through neon-lit streets en route to lively District 4, where you experience local nightlife, cuisine and café culture rarely glimpsed by other travellers.
BEN TRE BY BOAT & BICYCLE
Explore tropical Ben Tre’s vast network of canals, village roads and bridges by sampan, rickshaw and bicycle, stopping to visit with a local family and a former Vietcong soldier who survived two years fighting the Khmer Rouge in Phnom Penh.