Arrive in Hanoi and transfer to hotel for check in. The rest of day is free at leisure.
Hotel: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
It is a French colonial Hotel in the heart of Hanoi, near Hoan Kiem Lake and the magnificent Opera House. Boasting a classical white façade, green shutters, original wrought iron detail, and a lush courtyard, the Hotel is one of the region’s few remaining of its era, recently restored to its former glory.
Day 2/ Hanoi City Tour – Private water puppetry peformance (B,L)
After breakfast, our morning tour includes Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (façade only), One Pillar Pagoda, Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple and the marvelous Confucian Temple of Literature. Afternoon, enjoy 1-hour pedicab ride through Hanoi’s Old Quarters. Then we will visit the mini stage of one famous puppeteer in Hanoi. We will enjoy 30-minute water puppet performance at his house’s mini stage. We not only get to watch the show but are also encouraged to handle the puppets. Then we have a warm talk with the puppeteer to learn more about the culture and story of the unique art originated in Vietnam’s wet rice civilization.
Back to hotel and have free time or you may take complimentary history tour "the Lost Bomb Shelter" of this hotel, an honorable mentioned in 2013 UNESCO Heritage Awards. (Please request reservation tour in advanced)
Day 3/ Hanoi – Ninh Binh (B,L)
After breakfast, drive to Ninh Binh and visit Van Long, an area of astounding natural beauty with limestone peaks whose splendor is on a par with Ha Long Bay. You will take a row boat trip along the Van Long River passing rice fields, natural caves, and grottos which make for a truly unforgettable experience. After lunch, visit the Dinh and Le temples of the Ancient Capital Hoa Lu. Hoa Lu is a small region which served as the country’s capital for 41 years. The sea and limestone mountain landscape provided defense for the kingdom during the Ly Dynasty. It is comprised of numerous palaces, pagodas, tombs, and pavilions. "BaoThien Tue" Palace, a popular architectural piece, is known for its gold and silver plating. Then transfer to hotel for check in. The rest of day is free at leisure.
Hotel: Emeralda Resort Ninh Binh http://www.emeraldaresort.com
Located on the edge of the Van Long Nature Reserve, Emeralda Ninh Binh Resort offers spacious, villa-style rooms with free internet access. Surrounded by landscaped gardens, it features a spa, 3 swimming pools and 2 restaurants.
Day 4/ Ninh Binh – Phat Diem Cathedral – Biking to local village (B,L)
Morning, visit Phat Diem Cathedral constructed from 1875 to 1899 and located approximately 28 km east of Ninh Binh. Known as one the most famous and beautiful churches in Vietnam, Phat Diem Stone Cathedral was uniquely designed, combining the architecture of Vietnamese religious buildings and Western church building styles. Lunch at local restaurant. Afternoon, we take a leisure bicycle ride to visit the local village, temples, and local market. Back to your hotel and the rest of day is at leisure.
Day 5/ Ninh Binh – Halong Bay (B,L,D)
In the morning, you will take a scenic drive to Halong and get on board Paradise Peak Cruise. Enjoy welcome drinks while your luxury cruise set sails into the Bay. Your butler will take note of your needs and desire. Special lunch will be served at any place you desire. Your first excursion is a visit to Tung Sau Pearl Farm, an area in Halong Bay dedicated to growing pearls and practicing a handmade technique based on Vietnamese tradition and Japanese technology, also a place for kayaking. Then we visit the magnificent Sung Sot Cave. Back to cruise for cooking demonstration or enjoy sunset cocktails on board (additional charge).
The Paradise Peak will anchor overnight at Coconut Tree Island. Enjoy your Paradise Royal Dinner your way - dine anywhere you want on the ship: your cabin, the sundeck or the restaurant. After dinner, the rest of the evening is yours to enjoy: squid fishing (if weather permits), a movie in your cabin, more drinks on the sundeck or even a spa treatment at Le Parfum Spa.
Cruise: Paradise Peak Cruise https://www.paradisecruise.com/paradise-peak
Oozing grace and elegance, Paradise Peak is the most luxurious ship cruising Halong Bay. Combining opulence, comfort and discretion, the top-of-the-line wooden junk not only meets but exceeds expectations. Each expansive cabin features a spacious balcony or private dining area, Jacuzzi, and includes a butler service. With a day spa, library and fitness room, an exquisite menu and world class wines, Paradise Peak is the epitome of deluxe cruising. Built from the finest materials, with attention paid to the tiniest of details, the Peak rules Halong Bay with style and sophistication.
Day 6/ Halong Bay (B,L,D)
Early risers can join practising Tai Chi on sundeck and breathe in the fresh morning air. After breakfast, transfer to the Paradise Explorer tender to go further into the Bay. We arrive at “must-see” Titov Island, hike to the top for stunning views of Halong Bay, or go for a refreshing swim in the cool, emerald waters. After visiting the must-see Titov Island, your next stop will be Trong Cave, in Bo Hon Island. Inside the cave, all visitors will be surprised by so many stalacties hung down from the ceiling. This is also an ideal destination for those who would like to kayak. After the morning’s excursions, a fresh and delicious Vietnamese set lunch is served in the restaurant. Continue visiting Cua Van Floating Village - the largest of five remaining floating fishing village in the Bay. Return to Paradise Peak. Enjoy dinner and free for your own activities on board.
Day 7/ Halong Bay – Hanoi Departure (B)
There is a Tai Chi demonstration on the sundeck for early risers. Enjoy the buffet breakfast while sailing across thousands of islets. Cruise ends at TuanChau in late morning. Drive back to Hanoi airport for departure flight. Have a safe journey!
B: Breakfast L: Lunch D: Dinner