Halong Bay and Red River Cruise

11 Days, from AU $4,027

Local on a scooter in Vietnam

Cruise ship in Halong Bay

Local sitting on a bench

Magical view on the river

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Explore the key sites of Northern Vietnam by river ship traversing the Red River delta and its main tributaries, connecting the wonders of Halong Bay with the excitements of down town Hanoi, and then on into the interior, well off the beaten track. Sail deep into the highlands of Vietnam to visit the mountain villages and tribal areas, explore the key sites of Northern Vietnam traversing the Red River delta and its main tributaries, and combine scenic beauty with the lively and interesting life of the river. This cruise will leave you with lifelong memories.

This cruise can go downstream or upstream on selected dates 2019.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: Halong Bay

Your journey will begin with a transfer from Hanoi International Airport or at the meeting point where you will embark your ship with a stop for lunch en route. Cast off late afternoon with a welcome cocktail for an evening sail, dropping anchor in a sheltered bay amidst the beautiful island scenery.

Day 2: Halong Bay

You will start your day with a morning sail around Halong Bay and beyond with its 1,500 dramatic limestone islands and extraordinary rock formations, dating back 20 million years. Afterwards you will have a stop at Viet Hai Village which you can explore by mountain bike or electric buggy to visit the village’s vegetable farm and typical village houses. It is a breath-taking trip along a small road winding its way through the limestone rocks. In the afternoon you will continue cruising towards Lan Ha Bay for a visit to a floating fishing house. Weather dependent, end the day with cocktails at a beautiful beach in Halong Bay - bring your swimwear!

Day 3: Halong Bay

Exploration of Halong Bay continues with a visit to the so called “Dark and Bright Cave”. Take a kayak or a local basket boat rowed by fishermen and enter this remarkable cave into an enclosed area similar to a crater. Bats can be heard in the cave and massive stalagmites hang from the ceiling. Depart Halong Bay and enter the river to drop anchor near Hai Phong. In the afternoon, our chef will share his skills in fruit carving and demonstrate how to create Vietnamese spring rolls.

Day 4: The Kinh Thay River

Observe the lively and interesting life of the KinhThay river, a key commercial waterway. Meet your guide in the dining room for a lecture on Vietnam, its history, geography and the boat people. Afternoon excursion to Thanh Ha Commune with village walk and a private water puppet show set under the shade by a beautiful pond of lotus and lilies.

Return to ship and continue cruising until late evening, dropping anchor midstream.

Day 5: Bat Trang Village

Today, you will spend the day enjoying the view on your way to Hanoi. Enroute, stop at Bat Trang in the afternoon, a ceramic village. On the way back to the ship watch a traditional unicorn and lion dance at the jetty. This dance was originated in China and spread further over Southeast Asia.

Day 6: Hanoi

Drop anchor in the capital and bustling city of Hanoi to visit some highlights of this Asian metropolis. Must-sees include the notorious Vietnam War prison known as the Hanoi Hilton, temple of literature where Confucius did his thinking, and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.

Afternoon walking tour of Hanoi’s old quarter, including a visit to a coffee shop to learn about Vietnam’s famous coffee-making industry.

Day 7: The lower Red River

Morning sail through the day from Hanoi up the Red River to Viet Tri - not the most picturesque of towns, but an excellent base for going deeper into Highland Vietnam. Go ashore to visit a timeless Arcadian Vietnam with emerald green rice paddies punctuated by limestone rock formations. Of particular interest are the Thay and Tay Phuong Pagodas. Afternoon excursion to a carpenter village famous for exquisite carvings and wood work techniques.

Evening arrival in Viet Tri.

Day 8: Lo River

In the morning cruising to Tien Du ferry station to the village of Gia Thanh, makers of the conical hats (known as ‘non la’). Take in the sights and sounds of the bustling river with all kinds of craft and activity. The ‘non la’ are handmade with palm leaves and bamboo. There is no machinery available to create this work of art. Their origin dates approximately 3,000 years back. By bus continue to Hung Lo Temple.

Day 9: The Da River

This day, you will be sailing downstream while admiring the unspoilt beauty of the Da River. Pass through the Ba Vi National Park with its rich and diverse tropical and sub-tropical flora and fauna before arriving at Hoa Binh after which you will pay a visit to the UNESCO-praised village of Duong Lam. 

In the afternoon, take a tour of the ship including the galley, crew area and engine room.

Day 10: Hoa Binh

Hoa Binh was the site of a major battle with the French in 1951 & 1952 and is home to the Muong ethnic group.

The Hoa Binh Dam at the Black River is the largest hydroelectric dam in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. Take a morning boat ride on the reservoir of Hoa Binh power station and visit a local village. A traditional performance by local hill tribe people is given in the evening.

Day 11: Hoa Binh

Disembark after breakfast (08.30am) and visit a museum and local village where villagers still wear traditional dress.

Lunch will be served at a local restaurant, followed by a transfer to Hanoi airport or drop off point Pan Pacific Hotel Hanoi.

Travel Styles

All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.

Superior:from AU $4,027

All GetAboutAsia prices are based on twin share and depend on availability and season. All our itineraries can be customised including international flights and extra nights. For questions or further information, Enquire Now!

Important Information


10 nights aboard your cruise ship. All GetAboutAsia accommodation is handpicked by us.

  • Entrance fees
  • Guide services (English Language)
  • Gratuities to crew
  • Main meals
  • Local mineral water
  • Jugged coffee, teas and tisanes
  • Transfers between ports of embarkation and Hanoi International Airport at the start and end of the voyage

Info Exclusions:

  • International flights
  • Port dues (if levied)
  • Laundry
  • All visa costs
  • Fuel surcharges
  • All beverages except the ones mentioned in inclusions
  • Tips to tour guides
  • Local guides
  • Bus drivers
  • Boat operators
  • Cyclo drivers
Price Dependent:

Availability of accommodation and season.

Trip Information

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"We loved the Halong Bay cruise - it was awesome. So we definitely be booking this one again." — Mr and Mrs Reiman, Hobart, September 2019

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