With over 3000 kilometres of coastline, just 50 kilometres wide at its narrowest, Vietnam is a destination to be explored by ship – enter Ponant’s L’ Austral.
The 132 cabin L’ Austral has three nine-night Vietnam voyages scheduled between Hong Kong and Ho Chi Minh during October and November 2016.
This is an opportunity to experience the richness of this enchanting country with its diversity of topography and history, contrasts of agriculture and urban settlements, ancient temples and remnant colonial buildings.
From rice fields to the infamous Cu Chi Vietcong tunnel network, exploring exquisite UNESCO World Heritage ranked Halong Bay or wondering at the Tombs of the Emperors on the Perfume River, the sights, sounds, tastes, aromas and tactile experiences that make up these PonantVietnam cruises will stimulate all five senses and leave you reeling.
Overnight on board in Saigon to experience the vibrant nature of the city – and have time to take a trip to the famed Mekong River. Mooring virtually in the centre of Saigon, rather than over an hour’s road trip away as so often happens, provides for another extraordinary experience, an unforgettable transit of the serpentine Saigon River, only possible due to L’Austral’s compact size. Enjoy the convenience of a ‘city centre’ mooring to explore the restaurants and city shops as well as Notre-Dame Basilica, the Museum of Vietnamese History, Chinese Cholon district, Le Van Tam Park and the Ben Thanh market.
Each voyage also includes a visit to Haiphong for access to Hanoi. Highlights include the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum and One Pillar Pagoda. Da Nang provides the opportunity to visit Hoi An, a sleepy village where time appears to have stood still – another UNESCO World Heritage site.
Onboard L’Austral, creature comforts prevail. Enjoy French luxury and ambience, and experience the difference small ship cruising offers; cool off in the swimming pool or enjoy spa therapy to ease tired muscles. An inclusive Open Bar provides guests the chance to relax with a beer, wines, champagne or, perhaps, a cocktail.
Hong Kong, Haiphong (for Hanoi), Ha Long Bay, Da Nang, Chan May (for Hue), Ho Chi Minh (two nights)
Hong Kong to Ho Chi Minh, nine nights, 26 October and 13 November
Ho Chi Minh to Hong Kong, nine nights, 4 November (reverse itinerary)