Uncover the treasures along Vietnam’s coast on a small-ship adventure from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi

Vietnam’s idyllic coastline is enjoyed mostly by local fisherman, with many travellers delving no deeper than the drawcards of Ha Long Bay, Nha Trang and the cities of Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, Hue and Hoi An. Adventure cruising offers the best of both worlds – a way to experience not only those must-see icons, but the smaller gems that remain obscure to the outside world. Swim and snorkel around tiny islands, stroll along blazing sand dunes, gain insight into small-village tradition, and – perhaps most incredible of all – visit Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, an outstanding natural wonder of limestone cliffs and caves still largely untouched by the hand of tourism. Balancing leisure and discovery, comfort and adventure, this Intrepid small-ship voyage has all the makings of an unforgettable journey in South East Asia.


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

Why you'll love this trip

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

  • Enjoy a pottery demonstration in Bau Truc, the oldest pottery village in South East Asia

  • Stroll the tailors and artisan shops of Hoi An and take home that bespoke souvenir

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

  • 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

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

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 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.

Boats

Panorama II Adventure Cruising

Panorama II

For all our cruises in Asia and select departures in Greece, your home at sea is the M/S Panorama II.

Itinerary

Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City and be met by a Peregrine representative to transfer to our joining hotel. It’s here that you’ll meet the other travellers joining you on this adventure. In the afternoon you will be transferred to the port to board the Panorama II, your sailing vessel and home for the next week. With a fully stocked bar, restaurant and kayaks, snorkelling gear and plenty of deck space, this is the way to cruise Vietnam’s southern coastline. Settle into your cabin and meet the crew and captain, then head out on deck with a drink and enjoy the views.
Accommodation
  • M/S Panorama II (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Welcome Dinner
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
An arrival transfer is included if you are arriving today. You will be taken to a central hotel and transferred as a group to the ship. If you are arriving earlier, the arrival transfer is included if you have booked the Peregrine pre voyage hotel.
Cruise north to Phan Tiet and disembark to visit the Fairy Spring at Mui Ne, an otherworldly landscape of fresh water streams and eroded sand columns, where everything looks as if it could be out of a fantasy novel. Stop with time for lunch and a swim at a local beach restaurant (lunch not included) before returning to the Panorama II and continuing our journey north.
Accommodation
  • M/S Panorama II (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Fairy Spring Falls & Sand Dunes Visit at Mui Ne
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Board a bus after breakfast and travel to Phan Rang via the Po Klong Garai Temple and Bau Truc Ceramic Village, where traditional Cham clay techniques are preserved and demonstrated. Phan Rang is considered a centre for Cham culture and remnants of Cham towers dot the lush landscape along with rice paddies and orchards. The city is also home to Phan Rang Air Base, which was originally built by the Japanese during WWII then used by the US Air Force during the Vietnam War. It was seized by the People’s Army of Vietnam in 1975 and is still in use. Sail on to Nha Trang for an overnight in port.
Accommodation
  • M/S Panorama II (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Po Klong Garai Cham Towers Visit
  • Bau Truc Village Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
With palm trees, white-sand beaches and a hip cosmopolitan atmosphere, Nha Trang is often referred to as the Cannes of the Orient. Explore this coastal city on a guided walking tour this morning then enjoy a free afternoon to do as you please. The Cham towers, just north of the city, are on a site that’s supposedly been used for worship since the 2nd century, or you can stay closer to town and soak up the scenes on Nha Trang Beach. There are also a number of spas where you can rejuvenate with a mud bath or dip in the hot springs. Sail overnight to Quy Nhon.
Accommodation
  • M/S Panorama II (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Nha Trang City Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Continue on to Quy Nonh, a coastal city that focuses on fishing and agriculture. Witness a demonstration of Tay Son, a martial art unique to this region, and visit the ancient Cham towers, remnants of the Champa kingdom that flourished in the area over 500 years ago. There’ll also be time to relax on one of the region’s beautiful beaches, making the most of the warm, crystal-clear waters of Southeast Asia.
Accommodation
  • M/S Panorama II (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Twin Cham Towers Visit
  • Quy Nhon - Tay Son Martial Arts Demonstration
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Enjoy a relaxing day of cruising from Quy Nonh to our next stop, Danang. Enjoy the company of your ship mates or some solitude and a good book if you prefer.
Accommodation
  • M/S Panorama II (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Disembark after breakfast and transfer Hoi An. Local guides will take you on a walking tour of this Heritage-listed city before leaving you to explore on your own. The city was a major trading port with the west from the 17th century onwards, and has a various architectural influences from Europe, China and Vietnam. Today the city is being restored and looks exactly like it did over a century ago. You will then be transferred back to the Panorama II to continue your Adventure Cruise.
Accommodation
  • M/S Panorama II (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hoi An City Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
There will be some passengers leaving the tour today and some passengers will be joining.
Depart at 9 am for the short sail to Chan May. From there, take a bus to Hue, the former imperial capital and hub of Vietnam's historic past. Here the group will split up into smaller groups for a tour of the city with local guides. You will visit the Thien Mu Pagoda (an active Buddhist monastery that dates back to 1601) and enjoy tasty vegetarian fare for lunch. Also visit the elaborate royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc, with its beautiful lake, frangipani and pine trees. Later, return to the ship for dinner, and set sail at midnight for Vinh Moc.
Accommodation
  • M/S Panorama II (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Vegetarian lunch at Hue Pagoda
  • Guided Walking Tour of Hue
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Visit the intriguing Vinh Moc Tunnels today. These were built to shelter local communities in the Demilatarised Zone that separated North and South Vietnam during the war. As you'll learn, the the tunnels grew in sophistication as well as depth, and many families resided in this underground village in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Some 17 children were born underground in this period. Today you'll also visit the Khe Sanh Combat Base, where the bloodiest conflict of the Vietnam-America conflict took place. Sail overnight toward Hon La.
Accommodation
  • M/S Panorama II (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Khe Sanh Combat Base visit
  • Vinh Moc Tunnel site visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Arrive in Hon La at around 9 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. You'll visit the Thien Duong cave, also known as Paradise Cave, which is an astounding 31 kilometres long and was only discovered in 2005. Later, set sail for Halong at 7 pm.
Accommodation
  • M/S Panorama II (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Thien Duong Caves Visit
  • Phong Nha National Park Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Settle into a full day's sailing, heading north towards Halong, 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 curl up on a comfortable chair on deck with a good book as the sea streams by.
Accommodation
  • M/S Panorama (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Transfer to a smaller local boat today for a tour around beautiful Halong Bay. Embarking at Bai Chay (Halong City West), soak up the views of this World Heritage-listed beauty and its pretty limestone islands. You'll also visit a cave in the area. During the warmer months your leader will discuss the option for swimming from Ti Top Island. Kayaking along the bay is another great option.
Accommodation
  • M/S Panorama II (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Kayaking - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Disembark after breakfast, then transfer by bus to Hanoi, arriving around midday. Your leaders can offer suggestions for lunch. In the afternoon, embark on a walking tour of Hanoi, which includes a visit to a traditional water puppet show. 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 a behind-the-scenes insight into how the puppets are made and animated. For the final night of the trip, head out on the town with fellow travellers for an optional farewell dinner, and retire to a local hotel.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hanoi - Local water puppet performance
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Those feeling active can rise early for an optional leader-led walking tour this morning. This includes 'laughing yoga', tai chi, and other lakeside activities enjoyed by Hanoi's local population. The trip comes to an end after breakfast at the hotel.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

13 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 12 dinners

Transport

Small cruise ship, Zodiac, Bus

Accommodation

Small cruise ship (13 nights), Hotel (1 night)

Included activities

  • Welcome Dinner
  • Fairy Spring Falls & Sand Dunes Visit at Mui Ne
  • Po Klong Garai Cham Towers Visit
  • Bau Truc Village Visit
  • Nha Trang City Tour
  • Twin Cham Towers Visit
  • Quy Nhon - Tay Son Martial Arts Demonstration
  • Hoi An City Tour
  • Vegetarian lunch at Hue Pagoda
  • Guided Walking Tour of Hue
  • Khe Sanh Combat Base visit
  • Vinh Moc Tunnel site visit
  • Thien Duong Caves Visit
  • Phong Nha National Park Visit
  • Hanoi - Local water puppet performance

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).

PORTS:
Except for the occasional large ship calling into the larger cities as part of a world cruise, coastal cruising is quite new to Vietnam. The infrastructure for passenger ships is not available everywhere and varies greatly meaning that at times, we will need to dock at container or cargo ports or anchor off shore and tender to the port or beach.

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

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