Cruising the Coast of Vietnam: South to North

Cruising the Coast of Vietnam: South to North

From $ 6,895 AUD


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. Peregrine 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 Peregrine small-ship voyage has all the makings of an unforgettable journey in South East Asia.

Trip Name
Cruising the Coast of Vietnam - South to North
Last Updated
  • 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
  • Experience Nha Trang’s islands and bay the right way – in traditional bamboo basket boats, as well as snorkelling
  • 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
  • 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


Travelling by sea is a fantastic way to explore, but it brings some challenges when weather conditions are not ideal. The itinerary may be subject to change, based on winds and sea conditions which may render anchorage and landing at some stops difficult. We reserve the right to change the itinerary for the safety of passengers and the ship. Shore excursions are subject to shore and weather conditions and are based on a minimum participation. Each days' schedule will be posted by the cruise co-ordinator listing necessary information such as arrival/departure times, meal times, days activities and other information. This is given as a guideline and is subject to change. 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 may need to dock at container or cargo ports or anchor off shore and tender to the port or beach. Different provinces have their own customs requirements and this will require us to complete formalities at numerous ports along the way as we negotiate the bureaucracy that can come with travelling in a communist country. You will be trailblazers on this trip, participating in an exciting new way to explore Vietnam and any of these challenges that we encounter are all part of the experience of doing something new. Bring your spirit of adventure and enjoy.

Day 1 - Ho Chi Minh City
Welcome to Vietnam. Meet your shipmates and leader at a central hotel, then transfer to your ship, the Panorama II, for boarding. Attend a welcome meeting and safety briefing onboard, then set sail at 5 pm. Enjoy a welcome dinner with fellow travellers and settle in for a night at sea.
Day 2 - Phan Tiet
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 sand dunes. Take a stroll along the 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 and snap photos of this enchanting landscape.
Day 3 - Nha Trang
Travelling by bus, embark on a road trip from Phan Rang to the bustling beachside town of Nha Trang. Pay a visit to the grand Po Klong Garai Cham Towers, an elaborate work of architecture dating back to around 1400 under King Jaya Simhavarman 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 Nha Trang, where you'll stay overnight at port.
Day 4 - Nha Trang
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 the beach and bay itself. Today 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. Sail overnight to Quy Nhon.
Day 5 - Quy Nonh
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, visit the nearby Twin Cham Towers, some of the largest towers of their kind in South East Asia. Head to beautiful beaches where fisherman use traditional basket boats, then dine onboard the Panorama II while sailing north.
Day 6 - Cruising day
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.
Day 7 - Hoi An
Travel by coach to Hoi An. This was originally a Cham port town, but has been influenced by a myriad of traders from various cultures over the ages. With its charming low tiled houses and tranquil feel, this is a delightful town to walk around. Notice a distinctly Chinese appearance here, with pagodas and assembly halls scattered along the small lanes. Tour the town in small groups, and take a cooking class in which you'll learn to roll spring rolls (and of course enjoy some yourself). In the late afternoon, return to the boat for a cooking demonstration and tasting with a renowned local chef, followed by dinner. Your next destination is Danang.
Day 8 - Danang
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.
Day 9 - Hue
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 there 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.
Day 10 - Vinh Moc
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.
Day 11 - Hon La
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.
Day 12 - Haong Bay
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.
Day 13 - Halong Bay
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. Enjoy a seafood lunch and dinner onboard (non-seafood is also available). The candle-lit dinner on the deck of the boat (weather permitting) is a truly memorable experience, as the views at sunset are stunning. 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.
Day 14 - Hanoi
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. To finish the day, farewell fellow travellers over a final dinner out on the town, before retiring to a local hotel.
Day 15 - Trip ends in Hanoi
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.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
30-03-201913-04-2019AUD $ 6,895LowerDeckStandardDouble
30-03-201913-04-2019AUD $ 7,600LowerDeckTwin
30-03-201913-04-2019AUD $ 8,310MainDeckPremiumDouble
30-03-201913-04-2019AUD $ 8,310MainDeckPremiumTwin
30-03-201913-04-2019AUD $ 8,780UpperDeckPremiumTwin/Double
25-04-201909-05-2019AUD $ 6,895LowerDeckStandardDouble
25-04-201909-05-2019AUD $ 7,600LowerDeckTwin
25-04-201909-05-2019AUD $ 8,310MainDeckPremiumDouble
25-04-201909-05-2019AUD $ 8,310MainDeckPremiumTwin
25-04-201909-05-2019AUD $ 8,780UpperDeckPremiumTwin/Double


Small ship cruise 7 nights


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