Xin Chao and welcome to Hanoi! On arrival, you will be met by your Emerald Cruises representative and transferred to your hotel situated in downtown Hanoi. Relax at the hotel, explore the city or wander Hanoi’s romantic West Lake. This evening, meet your Tour Director for your welcome briefing.
Today you will enjoy a full-day city tour of Hanoi. Including the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the final resting place of the revolutionary leader, the small but iconic One Pillar Pagoda and the Temple of Literature. After your EmeraldPLUS lunch at KOTO Restaurant, continue with a visit to Hanoi’s Old Quarter also known as the ‘36 streets’. Take a walking tour through charming Hang Be Market and around Hoan Kiem Lake, stopping at Ngoc Son Temple. This bustling area of narrow streets and alleys is home to literally thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. It is a great place to explore with plenty of photo opportunities. Later, attend a traditional performance from the famous water puppets, a unique Vietnamese art form depicting scenes from rural life and episodes of historical significance.
Full day city tour of Hanoi
Enjoy lunch at KOTO
Water puppets performance
After breakfast, leave Hanoi and travel to the stunning emerald waters of Halong Bay to board a traditional style junk boat. Cruise through the bays and islets enjoying the breath-taking scenery of this magnificent region. Learn more about the main livelihood of the locals in the area or relax on board. Towards the end of the day the boat sets anchor for the night among the karst formations and dinner is served on board.
One-way Scenic Flight Over Halong Bay (extra expense)
Halong Bay cruise
Today, you will be transferred to your day trip boat tour with private crew and cruise to the bay’s most untouched areas. Enjoy swimming on quiet beaches, visiting water tunnels, fishing villages or kayaking. Lunch is served onboard of the boat by your private chef. Return in the evening hours after a full day of exploration to your traditional junk boat.
Private boat tour to local beaches and activities on Halong Bay
Enjoy the morning in the middle of the bay while having breakfast and cruising through the magnificent rock formations, back towards port. Bid farewell as you transfer to Hanoi airport, with a stop en-route for a light lunch at a local restaurant. Fly to Ho Chi Minh City for your included two-night stay and, once you arrive, you’ll have time to stroll through the Colonial Quarter, experiencing every-day life. Admire the beautiful architecture of the Opera House, City Hall and the Old Saigon Post Office, and hear stories of French Indochina and how the era continues to influence aspects of modern Vietnamese culture.
Drive away from Ho Chi Minh City, through rice paddies and villages. Explore Cu Chi’s rugged grounds with a local guide and hear how the military constructed an intricate, underground network of tunnels during the French and American Wars. Once above ground, see other ingenious items used for defence, such as bamboo traps and camouflaged pits. Upon your return to Ho Chi Minh City, you will have an orientation drive, starting with a visit to the city’s most iconic building, Reunification Palace, formerly the Presidential Palace.
Cu Chi Tunnels tour
Orientation tour of Ho Chi Minh City
Evening Saigon street food tour (extra expense)
Today, transfer from your hotel to your Emerald Cruises Star-Ship, Emerald Harmony, where you will be welcomed on board by your captain and crew. Set sail to My Tho, the gateway to the Mekong Delta, with its floating markets and homes. This evening, enjoy your first dinner on board with your fellow travellers. Your Cruise Director will conduct a port talk to review the activities and itinerary for the days ahead.
This morning you will be taken to the village of Ðat Dua, where you will watch a coconut candy and fruit workshop. Then travel to the Tan Long Pagoda and return to Emerald Harmony to sail onwards to Sa Dec, a hidden gem on the Mekong Delta.
Visit to a workshop in Ðat Dua and visit to Tan Long Pagoda
Start your day with a visit to the Chinese Congregational House in Kien An Cung. Afterwards, visit the home of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le, then take a walk through the Central Market and peruse its many stalls. Return to Emerald Harmony and sail to My An Hung village. Recognised as a cultural and historical destination, this small village in rural Vietnam produces a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, specialising in red-hot chilli and peppers.
Visit to the Chinese Congregational House and the home of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le
Visit to My An Hung village
This morning is yours to explore on your own or, if you prefer, you can take part in a DiscoverMORE optional excursion to the Ramsar Bird Sanctuary. In the afternoon, embark on a journey to Long Khanh Island and visit a local family to learn about scarf-weaving. Then, visit the Hoa Hao Buddhist Pagoda and a grapefruit garden. Return to Emerald Harmony this evening and you’ll be delighted by a traditional Lion Dance performance on board.
Visit to Ramsar Bird Sanctuary (extra expense)
Visit to a local scarf-weaving workshop and Hoa Hao Buddhist Pagoda on Long Khanh Island
Lion Dance performance on board
As part of EmeraldPLUS, visit a unique family-owned Lanh My A silk producing factory. The silk product is created with dyes made from the mac nua fruit, a kind of wood tree, which originally came from Tan Chau silk village about 100 years ago. Here, you will learn more about the long-complicated silk making process and have a chance to touch the real Lanh My A silk. Continue the visit, embark one of our sampans to Evergreen island for a walk through a local village to get a glimpse into the lives of the local farming community. Re-board your luxury star-ship and cruise to the border between Vietnam and Cambodia.
Visit to family-owned Lanh My A silk producing factory
Visit to Evergreen Island
Wake up in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh. The city was once known as the “Pearl of Asia”, but it was almost entirely evacuated by the Khmer Rouge in 1975. This morning, we learn more about the Khmer Rouge and the darkest days of Cambodian history. A short drive will take you to the Killing Fields at Choeung Ek. Where you will have the opportunity to walk through the fields, visit the small museum and learn about this sad chapter in history. This afternoon, you will visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (also known as S-21). This is a former school that was converted to the main prison and torture headquarters of the Khmer Rouge. In the afternoon, you will have the opportunity to visit the majestic Royal Palace with its gardens and Central Market located in the heart of the city. In the evening, you will have a chance to experience an evening tuk-tuk ride through Phnom Penh ending on a rooftop terrace, where you will enjoy a beverage and take in the great views of the city as part of EmeraldPLUS.
Visit to the Killing Fields & Toul Sleng Genocide Museum
Visit to the Royal Palace and Central Market
Phnom Penh tuk-tuk drive by Night
Start your day with a visit to Wat Kampong Tralach and the Oudong Temples. Located North of Phnom Penh, Oudong is the former royal capital of Cambodia up until it moved to Phnom Penh in the 1800s. Important remnants on the temple sight include the burial sites of Khmer kings as well as religious artefacts dating back more than a hundred years. In one of the Oudong Temple there was a known large Buddha statue which was damaged during skirmishes with the Khmer Rouge which had the hill as one of their last strongholds. Receive a traditional Buddhist Blessing from the temple resident monks as part of your EmeraldPLUS. The afternoon is yours to continue exploring or simply relax on board of your Star-Ship.
Visit to Oudong Temples
Traditional Buddhist Monk blessing
Silk Farm tour at Koh Oknha Tei (extra expense)
Bid farewell to your Emerald Harmony Star-Ship in the morning and continue by road to Siem Reap for your included three night hotel stay. This evening, witness the Cambodian Circus, Phare, a spectacle of acrobatics, theatre, dance and music.
Today, start with a visit to Angkor Thom. The last capital of the Khmer Empire, it was a fortified city, home to priests, officials of the palace and military, as well as buildings for administering the kingdom. After the tour, visit the sacred Temple of Ta Prohm, which is overgrown by jungle trees and has been the backdrop to Hollywood movies.
Visit to Angkor Thom
Visit to Ta Prohm Temple
Vespa tour of Siem Reap (extra expense)
Rise early and embark on a fascinating journey to Angkor Wat. This UNESCO World Heritage-listed site is known for its elaborate decorations and intricate carvings throughout. Later this evening enjoy your farewell dinner accompanied by Chayyom dancers.
Sunrise visit to Angkor Wat
Visit to Banteay Srei (extra expense)
Visit to Tonlé Sap (extra expense)
Culinary tour of Cambodia (extra expense)
After breakfast this morning, you will be transferred to the airport to catch your onward or homebound flight.
This itinerary is a guide only and may be amended for operational reasons such as high and low water. As such, the cruise may operate altered from that stated above.
The world may have changed, however, our commitment to our guests and crew, the guest experience and their health, safety and wellbeing remains our key priority. We are working closely with Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), local and international Government Health agencies, to ensure our protocols exceed the latest regulatory requirements. Our Health & Safety Steering Committee oversees all health and safety policies and training with Emerald Cruises, ensuring you can travel with complete confidence that your wellbeing and safety are taken care of to the highest standard. In addition, we are implementing the most recent insights and technologies, with our Emerald Cruises team dedicated to exceeding the levels of cleanliness required in today’s travel climate.
We are continuously updating our protocols to safeguard both the health, safety and the experience of our valued guests. You will be informed about these important procedures, well in advance of your journey departure, which may include the following information and guidelines:
Medical Evaluation & Test
To ensure all of our guests are safe and well before your journey with us begins, we will require you to complete a pre-departure medical health evaluation. During the phased embarkation process you, and your fellow passengers, will be tested for COVID-19 by a medical specialist. This will allow you to relax with complete peace-of-mind when you board our Star-Ships, in the company of other like-minded travelers.
Our Dedicated Team
Our Captains, Hotel Managers and Cruise Directors, alongside their exceptional teams, will deliver a first-class level of service during your time traveling with us. You can enjoy the same exciting program of on board and on shore experiences, tailored to smaller groups to allow for safe social distancing. The team are readily available to ensure every detail of your journey with us is memorable, for all the right reasons. They will ensure health and safety protocols are followed on a daily basis.
Having the best crew to look after you is at the heart of our core values at Emerald Cruises, and we will go the extra mile to ensure our crew is healthy in doing so. All crew will be regularly tested for COVID-19 and will have daily temperature and health checks. They will also be trained and regularly briefed on all aspects in preventing COVID-19 amongst themselves as well as our guests. They will go beyond the ordinary to make your cruise a truly exceptional experience.
Contact-Free Check In & Check Out
We have adjusted the various touchpoints of your journey, allowing you to check in and check out in a completely contact-free way. Through a phased embarkation you will be able to arrive and depart from your Star-Ship smoothly and with safe social proximity in mind. And, of course, every time you return to your Star-Ship, our crew will be there to greet you with a warm smile.
Briefings & Screenings
Our medical expert will host mandatory briefings and screenings. These events are designed to ensure every member of our guests and crew are healthy, and also offer an opportunity to allay any concerns or ask any questions you may have about our safety protocols.
Enhanced Cleaning Commitment
Our on board crew will be increasing and enhancing our already frequent and high standard cleaning protocols in public areas and suites, leaving surfaces and spaces spotless. Additional care and attention will be paid to high contact zones, such as communal restrooms and dining facilities.
Socially Aware Dining
You can expect the same delightful dining experiences when you travel with us, savoring a choice of dishes inspired by regional cuisine and local produce. We are adapting and redesigning our on board food and beverage service to ensure extra care is taken in order to minimize social contact. We will serve our delicious food a la carte or via served buffets.
The spacious surrounds of our ships in combination with the guest numbers provide ample room for you to relax, allowing for an abundance of personal space. We are introducing contact-free movement across our Star-Ships to further reduce risks. Contact-free hand sanitizer dispensers will be readily available in all public spaces and guest corridors on board, whilst automated doors and contact-free guest servicing will minimize the number of touchpoints.
Our Star-Ships are equipped with air circulation systems. These systems ensure there is no re-circulation of inside air on board the ship. When you are relaxing in your suite you will be breathing air from outside the ship that is channeled directly to your suite. The air will also be released from your suite directly to the outside.
Smaller Groups & Social Proximity
Discovering the local culture of your destination is the highlight of every river cruise. Create memories to cherish during our choice of on shore excursions. You will travel in smaller groups, allowing for a more intimate travel experience, whilst respecting social proximity and destination specific regulations. To enhance your sightseeing, you can utilize our digital headsets, which will act as your personal tour guide and travel map.
Carefully Selected Local Partners
As well as enhancing our health and safety protocols on board and with our crew, we’re working closely with our local partners. We have forged long-standing relationships with our local partners, all of whom have been carefully selected for their expertise and high levels of service, and are committed to ensuring your safety. They will receive extensive training to adhere with our enhanced protocols. We will also introduce strict control and screening procedures for anyone boarding our Star-Ships.
Wellness Throughout Your Journey
Your wellbeing is our number one priority, both during your time on board and on shore. Journey to and from your destination with complete peace-of-mind. All transport vehicles will be equipped with hand sanitizer and will undergo deep cleaning after every journey, surpassing the high industry standards required. You can also rest assured that we will monitor social proximity, allowing you to travel safely, with plenty of personal space.
We are committed to continually reviewing and updating our protocols and guidelines as new information becomes available, to ensure that our guests can travel safely in the many destinations we operate in.
Emerald was awesome. It offered us cultural experience that was unusual and authentic. We felt like we got to know the countries we visited. We are looking to book with Emerald again in Europe. Local and tour Director was the best
first emerald waterway tour was excellent ! excellent and unique excursions included plus good optional tours offered loved the Vespa ride, ox cart and rickshaw ride Hoi Ann and Halong bay are highlights emerald staff very welcoming to us
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