Pandaw Cruise – Halong Bay and Red River (December to March)

Explore the key sites of Northern Vietnam by Pandaw Cruise river ship, traversing the Red River delta and its main tributaries, connecting the wonders of Halong Bay with the excitements of downtown Hanoi, and then on into the interior, well off the beaten track. This is a combination of scenic beauty, lively and interesting (sometimes industrial) life of the river and exploring rivers where no other tourist craft operate.

Sailing deep into Highland Vietnam we will discover the mountain villages and a number of tribal areas. We go as far as is navigable up the Song Red River and then down the little known Da or Black River. Note this is a new river expedition and itineraries and schedules very much subject to change due to uncertain local conditions.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant for availability, latest offers, pre and post cruise touring options and flights.

Day 1: Hanoi – Halong Bay

Transfer from Hanoi International Airport/Meeting point to Halong Bay to embark the cruise with a stop for lunch enroute. Cast off in the late afternoon for an evening sailing to drop anchor in a sheltered bay amidst the amazing island scenery.

Day 2: Halong Bay

Morning sail around Halong Bay and beyond with its 1,500 dramatic limestone islands and extraordinary rock formations, dating back 20 million years. We will visit by local boat a local floating home, kayaking or taking a rowing basket boat to bright & dark limestone caves.

Day 3: Halong Bay

Morning continue cruising in Halong Bay then we will enter the river in the afternoon and setting sail to Pha Lai. We will anchor mid-stream.

Day 4: The Thai Binh River

We are sailing on the Thai Binh River to Thanh Ha. Enjoy a walk through the village of Thanh Hai and experience the water puppet show performed by the local villagers. Back to the ship for lunch while the ship is continuing into Luoc River. Afternoon excursion to Ninh Giang to visit local market & learn about the homemade special cake (BANH GAI). Continue by bus(25min) to Stork’s Island.

During dinner the Pandaw will continue to Kim Son, Ninh Binh Province.

Day 5: Day River

This morning we will visit the famous stone cathedral of Phat Diem. Afternoon sail upstream from Day River to Ninh Binh City.

Day 6: Ninh Binh

In the morning we will visit Tam Coc, taking a rowing boat ride to visit the so call “Halong on land” in Ninh Binh. Afternoon excursion is to visit the bamboo and rattan village where they make their products for both domestic and oversea market.

Day 7: The Lower Red River

In the morning we sail upsteam on the Red River to Dien Xa village where we will walk to the bonsai village and meet with local artists and share their bonsai experience. We then continue on the Red River to Hanoi.

Day 8: Hanoi

Dropped anchor in the bustling city of Hanoi, passengers will visit some highlights of this Asian metropolis, must see’s like the notorious Vietnam war prison known as the Hanoi Hilton, temple of literature where Confucius did his thinking and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Afternoon walking tour of Hanoi including a visit to a coffee shop where we learn about Vietnam’s famous coffee making industry. Before returning to your ship you will enjoy a traditional unicorn and lion dance at the jetty.

Day 9: Hanoi

Morning going off shore to visit Bat Trang ceramic village then sail through day from Hanoi up the Red River to Viet Tri, not the most picturesque of towns but an excellent base for going deeper into Highland Vietnam. Going a shore we visit a timeless Arcadian Vietnam with emerald green rice paddies punctuated by lime stone rock formations. Of particular interest is the Thay and Tay Phuong Pagodas, hardly known, yet with exquisite temples dating from the 8th and 11th century and home to some fine Buddhist statuary carved from jackfruit trees. We will arrive in Vinh Phuc in the evening.

Day 10: The Upper Red River

In the morning we go ashore to visit the UNESCO village of Duang Lam. In the afternoon, visit the carpenter and smith village of Ly Nhan. We sail upstream on the Upper Red River to Viet Tri. Enjoy traditional dances on board.

Day 11: Viet Tri

Disembark after breakfast and visit the conical hat making village of Gia Thanh. By bus we continue to Hung Lo Temple, Lunch will be served at a local restaurant, followed by a transfer to Hanoi airport or drop off point Pan Pacific Hotel Hanoi.

Inclusions 
Meals: All meals & locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.
Transfers: Transfers between the meeting point and the ship at the start and end of a voyage.
Accommodation:10 nights on-board the Pandaw Cruise
Guide: English Speaking Guide
Gratuities: Gratuities to crew on board the Pandaw Cruise
Entrance Fees & Touring: Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary
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