Experience the joys of small-ship cruising in Vietnam on a journey from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City

With miles of beautiful coastline, much of which most travellers don’t get the opportunity to witness, Vietnam shines with new light when seen from the comfort of a small cruise ship. Climb aboard the plush Panorama II for a memorable journey from Hanoi, in the north, to Ho Chi Minh City, in the south. Without forgetting iconic Ha Long Bay, lively Nha Trang and the old town of Hoi An, experience the destinations seldom seen by anyone but local fisherman. Contrast tiny islands and traditional village life with the likes of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, an unspoiled paradise where tourism is yet to gain a firm footing. The ideal combination of leisure and adventure, this comfortable small-ship cruise with Peregrine is bound to create to make lifelong memories for lovers of South East Asia.


Start
Hanoi, Vietnam
Finish
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Country
Vietnam
Style
Comfort
Theme
Adventure Cruising
Code
TTMW
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 48

Why we love this trip

  • Be enchanted by the dreamlike scenery of Ha Long Bay, Vietnam’s must-see natural wonder of limestone islands

  • Venture to where relatively few tourists have gone before – the extraordinary Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, where caves as long as 30 kilometres were discovered only recently

  • Spend time at the Vinh Moc tunnels and Khe Sanh Combat Base, both of which provide an eye-opening insight into the America-Vietnam war

  • Learn the fine art of rolling spring rolls at a cooking class in Hoi An, and partake in an onboard cooking demonstration and tasting with a top local chef

  • Experience Nha Trang the right way – with a traditional bamboo basket boat ride and some snorkelling

  • Gain insight into an age-old craft with a pottery demonstration in Bau Truc, the oldest pottery village in South East Asia

  • Drop anchor in Phan Tiet to see the gigantic Tra Cu reclining Buddha, the Fairy Spring and the remarkable sand dunes of Mui Ne

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is a small ship adventure cruise, which means you’ll be sailing on a yacht with 30–50 other people. The boat is spacious and comfortable, but it focuses more on the destination than onboard activities. Instead of a pool, we have the sea itself. Instead of a casino, we’ve got board games and a good book. There’s also no formal dress code to worry about. Wi-Fi is available for a small charge.

  • Our ship moves under engine power, rather than sailing, so all cabins will experience light engine noise when the ship is moving (and occasionally when we drop anchor). It’s probably worth packing earplugs if you’re a light sleeper.

  • If you’re concerned about seasickness, there are seasickness tablets onboard. The ship will experience some roll and pitch in choppy conditions, however all of our ships come equipped with stabilisers to minimise movement. Most of our departures run in peak season, when the seas are calmer. Your crew will do all they can to minimise any discomfort.

  • There are no lifts (elevators) on-board our ships, so you’ll have to navigate a few steep flights of stairs. Handrails are always available.

Itinerary

Welcome to Vietnam. A complimentary arrival transfer is included if you're arriving today. In the evening, sit down to your first dinner with fellow travellers. Enchanting Hanoi stands in contrast to its southern counterpart Ho Chi Minh City, with an atmosphere that's a little less frantic, due in no small part to the abundance of lakes and parks to escape to.
Included Activities
  • Welcome Dinner
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
A complimentary arrival transfer will be provided if you arrive today, or if you arrive earlier and have booked with Peregrine to stay at the joining hotel.
Those feeling active can rise early for a leader-led walking tour this morning. This includes 'laughing yoga', tai chi and other lakeside activities enjoyed by Hanoi's local population. It's a great first taste of everyday life in Vietnam. Today you'll also visit a traditional water puppet theatre. Here your host Liem invites you into his home, a small-scale theatre that continues a long running family tradition, passed down from generation to generation. Witness not only the show itself but gain an behind-the-scenes insight into how the puppets are made and animated. Afterwards, return to the hotel for a 2 pm bus transfer from Hanoi to Halong to board the Panorama II.
Included Activities
  • Local Lunch
  • Hanoi - Old Quarter Tour
  • Hanoi - Local water puppet performance
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Transfer to a smaller local boat today for a tour around beautiful Halong Bay. Take in glorious views of this World Heritage-listed beauty and its pretty limestone islands. Kayaking along the bay is another great option.
Optional Activities
  • Kayaking from the Panorama II - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Please note - local laws require that we have a security guard on board our boat at all times during our time in the Halong Bay area.
Settle into a full day's sailing, heading south towards Hon Lang, which is located just north of Na Trang. Take the opportunity to relax with a drink, play some board games, chat with fellow travellers, or simply curl up on a comfortable chair on deck with a good book as the glorious coast streams by.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Arrive in Hon La at around 8 am, then transfer by bus to the unspoiled Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. Spanning 885 square kilometres and boasting some of Asia's most ancient limestone karst landscapes, this chunk of land is one of the last true paradises of Vietnam. Visit the Thien Duong cave (aka Paradise Cave), which clocks in at an astounding 31 kilometres long and was discovered only in 2005. Lunch will be in a local restaurant in Phong Nha. Later, set sail overnight for Vinh Moc, departing at midnight.
Included Activities
  • Phong Nha National Park Visit
  • Thien Duong Caves Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Arrive at 9 am in Vinh Moc, where another incredible, but very different, underground site is found. The tunnels here were built to shelter local communities in the Demilatarised Zone that separated North and South Vietnam during the war. As you'll learn, the tunnels grew in sophistication and depth, and many families resided in this underground village in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Some 17 children were born down here. Today you'll also visit the Khe Sanh Combat Base, where the bloodiest conflict of the Vietnam-America conflict took place.
Included Activities
  • Vinh Moc Tunnel site visit
  • Khe Sanh Combat Base visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Dock at Chan May, then transfer by road to Hue, the former imperial capital and hub of Vietnam's historic past. Here the group will split up into smaller groups for a guided tour of the city with local guides. This includes a visit to the Thien Mu Pagoda, an active Buddhist monastery that dates back to 1601. Here you'll enjoy some tasty vegetarian fare for lunch. Also visit the elaborate royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc, with its beautiful lake, frangipani and pine trees. Later, reboard the Panorama II and settle in for the evening. Your next destination is Danang.
Included Activities
  • Farewell Dinner
  • Vegetarian lunch at Hue Pagoda
  • Guided Walking Tour of Hue
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
With a free day in the seaside town of Danang, enjoy some swimming, snorkelling, kayaking or paddleboarding. Perhaps head ashore to explore the town, which is developing fast but not without some of its original charm intact. Perhaps visit the Ho Chi Minh Museum to read up on the revered revolutionary leader, or take a stroll to the impressive Dragon Bridge.
Included Activities
  • Welcome Dinner
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
As this is a combination trip, the makeup of the group may change today, with some passengers joining and others departing.
Travel by coach to Hoi An. This charming destination was originally a Cham port town, but has been influenced by a myriad of traders from various cultures over the ages. With its low tiled houses and tranquil feel, this is a delightful town to walk around. You'll notice a distinctly Chinese appearance here, with pagodas and assembly halls scattered along the small lanes. Embark on a tour of the town in small groups, and take a cooking class to learn to roll spring rolls, enjoying a sample or two of course. In the late afternoon, return to the boat for dinner on board. Set sail at 11 pm, spending the night at sea.
Included Activities
  • Hoi An City Tour
Optional Activities
  • Bike tour - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Enjoy a relaxing day of cruising around the Dao Ly Son Island, a location just south of Danang that's known for garlic production as well as its attractive shoreline. Also visit some mainland coastal beaches today. There will be time for some swimming off the Panorama II, as well as kayaking, snorkelling and stand-up paddleboarding.
Included Activities
  • Snorkelling
  • Kayaking from the Panorama II
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Visit the museum dedicated to Quang Trung, a revered emperor who ruled in the late 1700s and was a forerunner to the Vietnamese nationalist movement. After witnessing a Tay Son martial arts demonstration, head over to the Twin Cham Towers, some of the largest in South East Asia. After visiting some beautiful beaches where fisherman drift along in traditional basket boats, dine aboard the Panorama II and sail toward Nha Trang overnight.
Included Activities
  • Twin Cham Towers Visit
  • Quang Trung (Warlord Museum) Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Arrive in Nha Trang at around 8 am. Nha Trang has been referred to as the ‘Cannes of the Orient’, thanks to its cosmopolitan seaside atmosphere, but the star of the show is of course the beach and bay itself. While out on the bay you'll have the chance to ride in a traditional bamboo basket boat, an invention dating back to French colonial times among poor fisherman. As well as a visit to gorgeous Hon Mieu Island, enjoy a little snorkelling off Hon Mun Island, basking in clear blue waters among colourful coral and tropical fish. The night is then spent at port.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Travelling by bus, embark on a road trip from Nha Trang to Phan Rang. Pay a visit to the grand Po Klong Garai Cham Towers, an elaborate work of architecture dating back to around 1400 under King Jaya Simharvarman III. Head to Bau Truc, the oldest pottery village in South East Asia, and see some traditional pottery methods at work (this is a great place to buy a unique souvenir). Reboard the Panorama II at Phan Rang and set sail at 10 pm for Phan Tiet.
Included Activities
  • Bau Truc Village Visit
  • Po Klong Garai Cham Towers Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Travel to Tra Cu for a cable car ride to the Linh Son Truong Pagoda. Here you'll find an impressive reclining Buddha statue. At 49 metres long and 11 metres tall, it's the largest reclining Buddha in Vietnam. Also make a visit to Fairy Spring, a lovely waterfall amid the dunes. Take a stroll along the sand dunes of Mui Ne, an amazing geological wonder – the kind not usually associated with Vietnam. Sand-sledding is a popular pastime here, but it's enough to simply gaze at and snap photos of this enchanting landscape. Return to the boat for the overnight sail to Ho Chi Minh City, departing at 4 pm.
Included Activities
  • Farewell Dinner
  • Fairy Spring Falls & Sand Dunes Visit at Mui Ne
  • Cable Car to Linh Son Truong Tho Pagoda
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City at 7 am. After breakfast, disembark as the trip comes to an end. A transfer from the dock to the Peregrine hotel is included.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

14 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 14 dinners

Transport

Small cruise ship, zodiac, bus

Accommodation

Small ship cruise 7 nights

Included activities

  • Welcome Dinner
  • Local Lunch
  • Hanoi - Old Quarter Tour
  • Hanoi - Local water puppet performance
  • Phong Nha National Park Visit
  • Thien Duong Caves Visit
  • Vinh Moc Tunnel site visit
  • Khe Sanh Combat Base visit
  • Farewell Dinner
  • Vegetarian lunch at Hue Pagoda
  • Guided Walking Tour of Hue
  • Hoi An City Tour
  • Snorkelling
  • Kayaking from the Panorama II
  • Twin Cham Towers Visit
  • Quang Trung (Warlord Museum) Visit
  • Bau Truc Village Visit
  • Po Klong Garai Cham Towers Visit
  • Fairy Spring Falls & Sand Dunes Visit at Mui Ne
  • Cable Car to Linh Son Truong Tho Pagoda

Dates & availability

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Important notes

BOOKING CONDITIONS
Adventure Cruising trips have a deposit of A$600 per person (different amounts apply in other currencies) and the balance is due 90 days before departure.
If a booking is cancelled 90 days or more before departure - the cancellation fee is the full loss of the deposit paid.
If a booking is cancelled between 89 and 31 days before departure - the cancellation fee is 50% of the total booking cost, or the deposit, whichever is greater.
if a booking is cancelled 30 days or less prior to departure - the cancellation fee is 100% of the total price of the voyage.
Other fees may apply for air tickets and other arrangements booked in conjunction with a voyage.

SINGLE TRAVELLERS
Rooming on this trip is twin-share. Single travellers will share a Twin room with another traveller of the same gender. If you’d prefer not to share, a single cabin supplement is available at an additional charge.
Please note, it is not possible to share with a stranger in any double cabin category (as bedding in these cabins is one double bed).

This trip is made up of 2 shorter itineraries. Danang is the start/end point for the shorter trips so there will be some changing over of both passengers, and possibly tour leaders in Danang.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.