20% Ponant Bonus
This PONANT brand-new itinerary invites you to discover Vietnam. Embark aboard Le Lapérouse for an 11-day cruise between sumptuous landscapes and timeless cities.
Your voyage will start in Ho Chi Minh City. Founded in the 17th century, this city formerly known as Saigon sits right near the Mekong Delta, a mythical river on which small, colourful boats throng on market days.
Le Lapérouse will then set sail for Nha Trang, a lively seaside resort with beautiful beaches bordering the turquoise waters of a bay dotted with tropical isles. Then, you will probably have the opportunity to enjoy the crystal-clear shores of wilder Doc Let, between dunes of immaculate sand, coconut trees and filao forests on the edge of the beach.
Your ship will then drop anchor at Quy Nhon, from where you will discover Ghenh Da Dia, an astonishing grouping of basalt rocks formed 200 million years ago by the meeting of molten lava and frozen water, giving the impression of perfectly juxtaposed columns.
Le Lapérouse will then navigate to Da Nang, a lively city renowned for its five “Marble Mountains” and its long beaches. It is the gateway to the charming old city of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
From Chan May, you will also have the privilege to visit the former imperial capital of Vietnam, Hué, and its mausoleums. These architectural treasures, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are surrounded by lush nature and are home to the tombs of the ancient emperors.
You will then head back to Hon La, from where you will be able to access the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its karstic landscapes and lush tropical forest shelter spectacular underground caves and rivers as well as impressive biodiversity, including several rare species.
Finally, you will discover the Bay of Ha Long, a real jewel of Vietnam, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sailing among the limestone pillars, grottos and arches of this site with its surreal atmosphere will undoubtedly be the defining moment of your cruise.
A brand-new cruise to discover various UNESCO Word heritages sites in Vietnam. UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the ancient imperial citadel of Huê, Hoi An ancient town, My Son Sanctuary, Phong Nha-Ke Bang...
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*Price is per person, based on double occupancy, based on availability, and subject to change at any time. The category of stateroom to which this price applies may no longer be available.
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Important trip details
Boarding conditions and passenger travel abilities
We invite you to read our boarding conditions and passenger travel abilities by clicking here.
Any new reservation implies the acceptance of these conditions.
The evolving COVID-19 health formalities are available in real time by clicking here.
Given the particularly changing international sanitary context, this itinerary as well as the land programmes and shore excursions may have to evolve according to port authorisations and governmental regulations in force at the time of your trip.
Therefore, for even greater peace of mind, we strongly recommend that you book your land programmes before and after your cruise with PONANT.
Health formalities related to COVID-19 will be confirmed to you before your departure.
In this exceptional context, your safety remains our first priority. The effectiveness of our procedures, our cutting-edge medical equipment and the smaller scale of our ships means we can offer maximum safety so that you can relax and enjoy your cruise. The revised passenger circuit and our enhanced hygiene measures can be found on this page: https://au.ponant.com/sail-with-confidence.
The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.
Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of your trip. Passport must contain at least two completely clear, blank, unused visa pages for each visa required, not including any amendment pages. Visa pages with stains or ink from other pages in the passport are not usable. Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should research the foreign entry requirements for the port country. Due to government regulations, regrettably, Ponant will have to deny boarding to any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation for this trip.
Warning about the use of drones: the use of drones aboard PONANT ships, whether they are sailing at sea, at a port of call or anchored, is strictly forbidden. The use of drones on land in the Arctic and Antarctic regions is also strictly forbidden by international polar regulations. In other regions, it may be possible to use drones on land if permission has been obtained from the relevant authorities of each country and each region travelled through, as well as a pilot’s licence that should be obtained from your home country. Passengers are responsible for obtaining these permits; they should be able to present them at all times. Passengers who do not obtain these authorisations expose themselves to the risk of legal proceedings.
Vietnam: a visa may be required, you can apply online at https://vietnamvisa.govt.vn. Note that some PONANT pre-cruise programmes require a double-entry visa.
Ideal clothes for life on board:
During the days spent on board, you are advised to wear comfortable clothes or casual outfits. The entire ship is air-conditioned, so a light sweater, a light jacket or a shawl may be necessary. When moving about in the public areas of the ship and the decks, light but comfortable shoes are recommended.
In the evening, you are advised to wear smart-casual attire, especially when dining in our restaurants where wearing shorts and tee-shirts is not allowed.
Depending on the itinerary and the program of your cruise, an Officer’s Evening with a white dress code may be organized. Therefore, we encourage you to bring a stylish white outfit for the occasion (otherwise black and white).
During the cruise, two gala evenings will be organised on board. Thus, we recommend that you bring one or two formal outfits.
A small shop is available on board offering a wide range of outfits, jewellery, leather goods and many accessories.
A laundry service (washing/ironing) is available on board, but unfortunately there are no dry cleaning services. For safety reasons, your cabin is not equipped with an iron.
OUTFITS ON BOARD:
In your hand luggage, remember to bring any medicines that you need, and possibly a small spare bag of toiletries (in case of delay in the delivery of your baggage by the airline). Remember to always have your travel documents with you in case you need them: hotel vouchers, cruise vouchers, return flight tickets... Never leave them in your hold luggage.
All our cabins have a safe. We recommend not to go ashore with valuable jewellery.
Embarkation 23/10/2022 From 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Departure 24/10/2022 at 11:59 pm
Located near the Mekong delta, Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam. It is both the historic heart and economic hub. Formerly Saigon, the city is an imposing avant-guard metropolis. You can admire its famous central post office and its emblematic Reunification Palace. From 95 years of French presence, the city has kept some remarkable monuments, like the Cathédrale Notre-Dame with its neo-Gothic façade built in 19th century red brick. You’ll succumb to the magic of this hectic city, where everything is about contrast, like the very brightly-coloured district of Cholon, Saigon’s “Chinatown”.
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
Arrival 26/10/2022 early morning
Departure 27/10/2022 midday
Nha Trang, the capital of the Khanh Hoa province in Vietnam, is a coastal city with 300,000 inhabitants. Famous for its long, 7-km white sand beach along which runs Tran Phu Street, the city’s main thoroughfare, Nha Trang is a member of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club, an international association that includes 41 bays. The bay is the reason the city is sometimes called the “Riviera of the South China Sea”. You will have the opportunity to discover the city during a rather original experience: a tour in a rickshaw.
Arrival 28/10/2022 early morning
Departure 28/10/2022 early afternoon
When your ship calls at Quy Nhon you will be able to discover the Ganh Da Dia, an area of impressive basalt rock formations created by a volcanic eruption that occurred 200 million years ago. When the blocks of lava came into contact with the freezing water, neat vertical fissures appeared, forming an amalgam of columns whose surface, once cooled, became square, round or hexagonal. Some are vertical, others oblique, and in places they are of different sizes. Some of the structures almost look like piled up dishes. You will be able to discover this surprising rock formation which, although made entirely by nature, seems to have been perfectly designed by man.
Arrival 29/10/2022 early morning
Departure 29/10/2022 late evening
Mid-way between Ho Chi Minh City to the south and Hanoi to the north, Da Nang enjoys an ideal location in Vietnam. The old colonial town has skilfully navigated the transition to economic growth, becoming a wealthy tourist destination. With its five Marble Mountains, its 72-metre high Buddha and white sand beach, Da Nang will create some magical memories, made sublime by a secular culinary tradition that has nothing left to prove. It is also the gateway to the country’s treasures, including the cities of Hoi-An and Hue, which are both UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Arrival 30/10/2022 early morning
Departure 30/10/2022 evening
To the south-east of Thua Thuen-Hue province, Chan May harbour was developed around its industrial activity, but has since opened up to cruise tourism. This harbour enjoys an exceptional location on the Vietnamese coast, not far from Chan May, the doorway into the imperial city of Hue, the ancient capital of the country and listed by UNESCO as World Heritage site. Its royal citadel dating from the 19th century, inspired by the Forbidden city of Beijing, is a gem of architecture and history.
Arrival 31/10/2022 early morning
Departure 31/10/2022 early evening
From Hon La, your port of call, you will sail to one of the most exceptional limestone karst ecosystems in the world, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2003. Nearly 300 caves and over 100 km (62 miles) of galleries and underground rivers are scattered across this park with an extraordinary biodiversity which is also home to a large variety of protected species. The park’s reputation is on a par with the awe its treasures inspire. You will very likely have the privilege of visiting one of these caves. In this magical setting, surrounded by lush vegetation, you will witness a masterpiece that only nature could have created. Enjoy a pure moment of grace.
Located 170 kilometres east of Hanoi, in the gulf of Tonkin, Halong bay is a marvel of marvels. A must for all who wish to soak up the spirit of Vietnam, at once peaceful and mysterious. You’ll sail into the heart of this legendary natural beauty, not surprisingly listed as UNESCO World Heritage. Over approximately 1,500 square kilometres, the famous bay offers an infinite quasi supernatural and ghostly spectacle of limestone pillars rising from the sea in all shapes and sizes, sculpted by nature for centuries. This exceptional scenic beauty of this site includes myriad creeks, caves and other interior lakes to feast your eyes on.
Arrival 1/11/2022 early evening
Disembarkation 2/11/2022 at 7:00 am
Shielded by majestic karstic peaks, Halong reveals itself through a string of spectacular landscapes. Known the world over for its bay, listed with UNESCO, this city in northern Vietnam is lesser known for its heritage. That is a shame, as the authenticity and cultural richness of Halong is surprising. Boasting a unique mix of modern architecture and heritage from the dynasty of the Hung kings, the tourism capital of the Quang Ninh province promises unexpected moments in its bustling streets and breathtaking panoramas of one of the most beautiful bays in the world.
From the pier, start a panoramic city tour of Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon. A witness to the independence of Vietnam, this city changes as fast as the Vietnamese economy develops. The impressive contrast between the traditional and modernity is an eloquent example of how the Saigonese want to keep their identity despite of globalisation.
During this city tour, including photo stops, you will discover the former Presidential Palace, now known as Reunification Hall. This historic building was made famous when a Vietnamese liberation tank crashed through its front gates on 30 April 1975, signalling the end of the Vietnam War. You will also see the famous Notre Dame Cathedral, a neoclassical structure dating back to the 19th century. On the other side of the square, the Central Post Office proudly shows its colonial style outside, and hides rare ancient maps decorated on the dome inside the building.
Your next visit is the Jade Emperor Pagoda. Built in 1909 in honour of the supreme Taoist god, this temple is a perfect example of a Vietnamese-style religious site. Replete with statues of divinities and heroes, locals celebrate a number of festivities at the pagoda, such as New Year’s, Buddhist and Taoist celebrations.
Then, you will head to the Fito Museum. Even though theirs is a modern society, many Vietnamese still use herbs to heal wounds or treat chronic diseases. You will visit the very interesting Herbal Medicine Museum to see how trees, herbs, and other plants are exploited for medical purposes.
Your last stop will be to Binh Tay Market, in the very heart of Cholon, more commonly known as Chinatown. The streets are full of life and colour, with bargaining being conducted at numerous street stalls.
Total : €45
Located west of Saigon, Cu Chi turned out to be the most war-torn area during the Vietnam War with the French and the American. Driving for 70 km (44 mi) out of the city centre and into the surrounding countryside, it is hard to believe you are entering a war zone of such strategic importance. This tour focuses on the ingenuity and resilience of the Vietnamese fighters who both lived and fought from underground tunnels. Originally constructed as a means to fight against the French by the Viet Minh, the tunnels were later expanded up to 11 metres (36 ft) below ground in hard soil using only rudimentary tools. Most tunnels were only 0.5–1 metre (2–3 ft) wide and 1.5 metre (5 ft) high, with thick roofs capable of withstanding the weight of tanks or the impact of bombs weighing up to 90 kg (200 lb).
En route to Cu Chi, a short photo-stop will be made at a rubber plantation.
On arrival at Cu Chi, a short video traces the history of the tunnels, their origins, design and construction. A military guide will explain with the use of dioramas the underground network, and display some of the tools and weapons utilised by the guerrillas. Much of the tunnel complex has been open and ventilated so that you can more easily experience the underground meeting rooms, kitchens, hospital and sleeping areas. More adventurous and agile tunnel explorers can experience an unlit passage, which has not been widened for the comfort of visitors! You will be tested to find the hidden tunnel entrances and be given insight into the ingenious methods that the Vietnamese soldiers employed to remain undetected and frustrate their enemies.
Refreshments and souvenirs are available in the nearby parking area, which also displays some military paraphernalia. On the return drive to Saigon, a stop will be made at the recently erected memorial nearby, which honours the ten thousand guerrilla soldiers who died during the fighting at Cu Chi.
Total : €40
From the pier, board your coach for a short transfer to the museum of vintage Vietnamese musical instruments. The museum is the home of instruments from all the 54 Vietnamese ethnic groups. It is the witness of the diversity and cultures of Vietnam, which speaks of Vietnam long and wonderful history.
Upon arrival, meet Mr Duc Dau, the artisan and caretaker of the collection. Raised in Hanoi, Mr Duc Dau is passionate with ethnic musical instruments from an early age. His passion led him to travel across the country to collect instruments and finally open the museum you see today.
While discovering the museum, discuss with him and his wife, who will tell you their travel stories, which span over 40 years of Vietnam history. Feel a part of Vietnam culture through this experience and enjoy the artistic makeup of instruments like the Central Highlands drums, Northwestern trumpets and flutes. Then, listen to Mr Duc Dau and his wife who will perform traditional Vietnamese music with vintage musical instruments.
Finally, re-board your coach for your transfer to a local restaurant for dinner before returning to the pier.
Total : €60
From the pier, board your coach for a 50-minute drive to the eastern suburb of Saigon. You will appreciate the quiet, rural area for your first stop.
With your guide, start your visit of the Ao Dai Museum. The ao dai is the Vietnamese national dress, symbol of all the beauty and elegance of Vietnamese women. This dress is for Vietnam what the kimono is for Japan. Enter the peaceful garden and reach the long house where you will discover 3 permanent exhibitions showcasing the history and the variety of ao dai. This atypical museum was dreamed up and created by Sy Hoang, a famous Vietnamese designer who wanted to create a place where visitors could discover the history of Vietnamese clothing and relax in the garden. After the visit, enjoy a snack and a refreshment and discover, on your own, the charms of the garden, with its ancient wooden architecture, bamboo bridges, rice fields and lotus ponds.
Re-board your coach and head back to Saigon. En route, stop to a local greeting workshop which supports local disabled people by organising artistic workshop for visitors who create their own vietnamese postcard. A fun and supportive moment awaits you there.
Drive back to the pier.