Days
13
Price from
$3,451NZD
Map of North Vietnam Coastal Cruising with Sapa including Vietnam

Journey into the misty, tribe-filled hills of northern Vietnam then explore the coast on a small-ship adventure

Travel to Sapa and uncover the jewel of Vietnam's verdant northwest. The region is home to terraced mountainsides descending into valleys like magnificent staircases, a multitude of minority cultures, and quaint villages hidden in the distant green hills. This adventure features a stay at a lodge deep in the misty mountains of Hoang Lien National Park, a stand out destination for budding shutterbugs with photographic opportunities around every turn. With plenty of scenery and exotic wildlife to discover, this is Vietnam at its picturesque best. Then embark on a small-ship adventure cruise which offers a chance to experience the coastline in a way few tourists have. Starting in Hanoi, visit not only Halong Bay, historic Hue, and the important war sites of Vinh Moc and Khe Sanh, but also the largely unknown natural paradise of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. This immense, unspoiled haven takes the ancient limestone scenery to the next level – or more precisely, underground. If there’s one natural wonder to see in Vietnam before it changes, this is the one.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Hanoi, Vietnam
Finish
Danang, Vietnam
Destination
Vietnam
Style
Peregrine
Theme
Adventure Cruising
Code
PAHSC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 48

Why you'll love this trip

  • Embark on several of Sapa's scenic day treks. With idyllic green landscapes, ethnic hill-tribe villages and hidden waterfalls, this is a slice of Vietnam that will linger long in the memory.

  • Your two night feature stay on the verdant hilltops surrounding Sapa will give you a stunning perspective of this beautiful country.

  • Be rewarded at the end of your trekking with spectacular views of the Hoang Lien mountains while enjoying the comforts of your hilltop lodge.

  • Pick a path through the terraced rice fields of Sapa, which shimmer like mirrors after being watered by local farmers.

  • Finish with a superb dining experience at KOTO, a Hanoi institution sponsored by The Intrepid Foundation dedicated to training disadvantaged youth in hospitality.

  • Witness the spectacle of early morning exercise at Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi. Here the local rituals could be anything from laughing yoga to ballroom dancing

  • Be enchanted by the dreamlike scenery of Ha Long Bay, Vietnam’s must-see natural wonder of limestone islands

  • 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

  • Spend time at the Vinh Moc tunnels and Khe Sanh Combat Base, both of which provide an eye-opening insight into the America-Vietnam war

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip includes a pair of day hikes—both are considered easy to moderate.

  • While the walking is not overly strenuous, terrain can be quite steep and unpredictable, with uneven and slippery or muddy surfaces. It's important to bring sturdy walking shoes.

  • Winter (November–February) can get cold, wet and foggy. Even outside of winter, Sapa is known for having four seasons in one day. It's best to pack layers and be prepared for varied conditions throughout the day (and for cooler nights).

  • This is a small ship adventure cruise, which means you’ll be sailing on a yacht with 30–50 other people. The boat is spacious and comfortable, but it focuses more on the destination than onboard activities. Instead of a pool, we have the sea itself. Instead of a casino, we’ve got board games and a good book. There’s also no formal dress code to worry about. Wi-Fi is available for a small charge.

  • Our ship moves under engine power, rather than sailing, so all cabins will experience light engine noise when the ship is moving (and occasionally when we drop anchor). It’s probably worth packing earplugs if you’re a light sleeper.

  • If you’re concerned about seasickness, there are seasickness tablets onboard. The ship will experience some roll and pitch in choppy conditions, however all of our ships come equipped with stabilisers to minimise movement. Most of our departures run in peak season, when the seas are calmer. Your crew will do all they can to minimise any discomfort.

  • There are no lifts (elevators) on-board our ships, so you’ll have to navigate a few steep flights of stairs. Handrails are always available.

Boats

Panorama II

On this itinerary, you'll be travelling aboard the Panorama II

View ship information

Itinerary

Welcome to Hanoi. You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. There will be a welcome meeting at 6 pm where insurance details and next of kin information will be collected. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend the meeting. Subject to availability, additional accommodation may be arranged. If you find yourself with free time before the meeting, why not visit the Temple of Literature or Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum.
Accommodation
  • Lan Vien Hotel or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh Complex: Ho Chi Minh, Stilt House and Museum - VND80000
  • Hanoi - Village Discovery by Bike Urban Adventure - USD33
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Your journey to the verdant mountains of northwest Vietnam begins with a private vehicle ride to Sapa (approximately 5 hours). Considered a summer capital by the French in the early 20th century, Sapa’s grown into the crown jewel of Vietnamese tourism since being opened to international visitors in 1993. The mix of ethnic cultures, eye-popping scenery and hill-tribe villages make it an ideal place to see on foot. Trek about 5 kilometres / 3.1 miles from the center of Sapa town to Cat Cat and return, one of the oldest Hmong ethnic minority villages in the region. Here you’ll see rice growing on terraced fields using traditional methods of cultivation, plus the Hmong people’s famed method of making cloth from hemp and dying it deep indigo.
You will have an evening to relax and enjoy crisp mountain air and vistas. 

Notes: Total trekking time today is 2.5 - 3 hours.
Accommodation
  • Victoria Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sapa - Cat Cat Village trek
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast meet your local guide and drive to Lao Chai. From here you delve deeper into serene Vietnam with a trek past isolated mountain hamlets to Ta Van (approximately 7km / 4.4mi). Passing rice terraces and farm animals you’ll have opportunities to learn about the daily life and traditional culture of the Hmong people. The trek may vary depending on local conditions. Afterwards you’ll need a well-earned rest and rest is what you’ll find at your hilltop lodge in Hoang Lien National Park. After arriving via private vehicle (approximately 1 hour) take in the views from your private room across the valley in this majestic location. Perhaps even take a massage or simply unwind at the lodge’s hilltop spa.

Notes: Total trekking time today is 1.5 - 2 hours.
Accommodation
  • Topas Ecolodge or similar (feature stay) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sapa - Guided trek with local lunch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Please note on occasion we may stay at an alternate lodge in the Sapa region if Topas Ecolodge is fully booked.
Make the short trek to Lech Village and back this morning. About 5km / 3.1mi from Sapa, the village is home to the Red Dao ethnic minority, a remarkable people whose culture has remained relatively unaffected by outside visitors. Your camera will get a workout as you encounter the stunning vistas and rice paddies of the Thanh Kim valley. Stop to try the regional speciality of 3 colours sticky rice. This dish is so named as the rice is coloured with locally sourced natural ingredients such as leaves and flowers. Afterwards, the day is yours to spend as you please. Those with the energy can venture down further scenic trails (ask your leader for a recommendation). There are many more hill-tribe cultures and photographic opportunities to be found in the surrounding hills. Alternatively, simply sit back and soak it all up from your perfectly appointed lodge.

Notes: Total trekking time today is 2.5 - 3 hours.
Accommodation
  • Topas Ecolodge or similar (feature stay) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sapa - Tea with local family
  • Sapa - Sample 3 colours sticky rice
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Return to Hanoi (approximately 5 hours) and use free time to discover its many treasures. Perhaps visit Hoan Kiem Lake, the excellent Ethnology Museum or the Hanoi Social Club. In the evening, sit down to a farewell dinner with your fellow travellers at KOTO restaurant. This philanthropic Hanoi institution is a long-time friend of Peregrine and is supported by our sibling charity, The Intrepid Foundation. Not only is it a lovely place to dine, it's also a great cause, doubling as a hospitality training program for disadvantaged local youth.
Accommodation
  • Lan Vien Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hanoi - KOTO dinner
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
You will have free time today until the evening welcome meeting at the hotel for the Adventure Cruise part of your tour. Afterwards you may like to sit down to your first dinner with fellow travellers. Enchanting Hanoi stands in contrast to its southern counterpart Ho Chi Minh City, with an atmosphere that's a little less frantic, due in no small part to the abundance of lakes and parks to escape to.
Why not soak up all that Hanoi has to offer on an immersive one-day Urban Adventure tour? Visit www.urbanadventues.com for more details.
Optional Activities
  • Hanoi - Citadels, Karsts & Cycle Urban Adventure - USD88
  • Hanoi - Hanoi Street Food By Night Urban Adventure - USD31
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today you will be saying goodbye to some of your fellow travellers and hello to new travellers joining the Adventure Cruise.
Those feeling active can rise early for a leader-led walking tour this morning. This includes 'laughing yoga', tai chi and other lakeside activities enjoyed by Hanoi's local population. It's a great first taste of everyday life in Vietnam. Today you'll also visit a traditional water puppet theatre. Here 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. Afterwards, return to the hotel for a 2 pm bus transfer from Hanoi to Halong, to board the Panorama II.
Accommodation
  • M/Y Panorama II (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Local Lunch
  • Hanoi - Old Quarter Tour
  • Hanoi - Local water puppet performance
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Transfer to a smaller local boat today for a tour around beautiful Halong Bay. Take in glorious views of this World Heritage-listed beauty and its pretty limestone islands. You'll also visit a cave in the area and have the option for swimming from Ti Top Island. Overnight on board the Panorama II.
Accommodation
  • M/Y Panorama II (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Kayaking from the Panorama II - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Settle into a full day's sailing, heading south towards Hon Lang, 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 simply curl up on a comfortable chair on deck with a good book as the glorious coast streams by.
Accommodation
  • M/Y Panorama II (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Arrive in Hon La at around 8 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. Visit the Thien Duong cave (aka Paradise Cave), which clocks in at an astounding 31 kilometres long and was discovered only in 2005. Later, set sail overnight for Vinh Moc, departing at midnight.
Accommodation
  • M/Y Panorama II (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Phong Nha National Park Visit
  • Thien Duong Caves Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Arrive at 9 am in Vinh Moc, where another incredible, but very different, underground site is found. The tunnels here were built to shelter local communities in the Demilatarised Zone that separated North and South Vietnam during the war. As you'll learn, the tunnels grew in sophistication and depth, and many families resided in this underground village in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Some 17 children were born down here. Today you'll also visit the Khe Sanh Combat Base, where the bloodiest conflict of the Vietnam-America conflict took place.
Accommodation
  • M/Y Panorama II (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Vinh Moc Tunnel site visit
  • Khe Sanh Combat Base visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Dock at Chan May, then transfer by road to Hue, the former imperial capital and hub of Vietnam's historic past. Here the group will split up into smaller groups for a guided tour of the city with local guides. This includes a visit to the Thien Mu Pagoda, an active Buddhist monastery that dates back to 1601. You'll enjoy some tasty vegetarian fare for lunch at a pagoda. Also visit the elaborate royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc, with its beautiful lake, frangipani and pine trees. In the evening, enjoy a final dinner onboard with your shipmates.
Accommodation
  • M/Y Panorama II (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Farewell Dinner
  • Vegetarian lunch at Hue Pagoda
  • Guided Walking Tour of Hue
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Disembark in Da Nang after breakfast.
Accommodation
  • M/Y Panorama II (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

12 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 9 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Taxi, Small cruise ship, zodiac, bus

Accommodation

Comfortable hotel (3 nights), Lodge in Sapa (2 nights), Small cruise ship (7 nights)

Included Activities

  • Sapa - Cat Cat Village trek
  • Sapa - Guided trek with local lunch
  • Sapa - Tea with local family
  • Sapa - Sample 3 colours sticky rice
  • Hanoi - KOTO dinner
  • Local Lunch
  • Hanoi - Old Quarter Tour
  • Hanoi - Local water puppet performance
  • Phong Nha National Park Visit
  • Thien Duong Caves Visit
  • Vinh Moc Tunnel site visit
  • Khe Sanh Combat Base visit
  • Farewell Dinner
  • Vegetarian lunch at Hue Pagoda
  • Guided Walking Tour of Hue

Dates & availability

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Important notes

BOOKING CONDITIONS
Adventure Cruising trips have a deposit of A$600 per person (different amounts apply in other currencies) and the balance is due 90 days before departure.
If a booking is cancelled 90 days or more before departure - the cancellation fee is the full loss of the deposit paid.
If a booking is cancelled between 89 and 31 days before departure - the cancellation fee is 50% of the total booking cost, or the deposit, whichever is greater.
if a booking is cancelled 30 days or less prior to departure - the cancellation fee is 100% of the total price of the voyage.
Other fees may apply for air tickets and other arrangements booked in conjunction with a voyage.

SINGLE TRAVELLERS
Rooming on this trip is twin-share. Single travellers will share a Twin room with another traveller of the same gender. If you’d prefer not to share, a single cabin supplement is available at an additional charge.
Please note, it is not possible to share with a stranger in any double cabin category (as bedding in these cabins is one double bed).

ARRIVAL TRANSFERS:
An airport arrival transfer is included. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking.

Essential trip information

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