Mysterious waters and myriads of islets and limestone formations create the spectacular seascapes and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Halong, which means “descending dragon”, refers to legendary creatures sent down from the heavens to guard against invaders approaching from the sea. To protect the Vietnamese, the dragons belched out clusters of jewels to create an impenetrable barrier, which has since turned into over 2,000 beautiful limestone islets today dotting the bay.
Dedicated to well-being and serenity, this exceptional, off-the-beaten track three days – two nights’ journey named “Senses of Lan Ha” offers a deep insights into the outer Lan Ha Bay’s natural beauty, all while providing an active and holistic wellness experience. Only available aboard Heritage Line Ylang.
DAY 1: Tuan Chau – Viet Hai – Lan Ha Bay Mooring Point
After meeting at Heritage Line’s welcome lounge at the Tuan Chau Marina, we take a quick speedboat transfer to your luxurious floating home before starting our unique journey of exploring one of the wonders of nature – Lan Ha Bay and its main island of Cat Ba. The first highlight of the cruise is lunch, which is served in Ylang’s nearly 360-degree light-flooded, elegant restaurant. Enjoy a fine menu of tasty local, international or vegetarian dishes freshly prepared by our culinary team. Relax on the terrace deck or on your private balcony and soak in the enchanting aura which emanates from the surreal seascape. While we cruise along in the early afternoon, there is time to enjoy the ship’s vast wellness and spa offerings. Choose your favourite treatment from an extensive spa menu, or take a plunge in the pool with infinity-like vistas.
As we reach the shore of a small lagoon on Cat Ba Island, we hop on bicycles (e-cart transfers are also available) for a leisure pedaling along small paved roads towards the Viet Hai village. Little has changed in Viet Hai since the ancestors of the 80 households settled here centuries ago. Situated in a valley within the Cat Ba National Park and surrounded on all sides by think forest and mountains, the locals are isolated from the island’s other villages and towns. The only access is via sea. The community is self-sufficient, as the residents provide for themselves by cultivating vegetables and fruits in the next door fields, growing rice of cause in the valley, and go fishing out in the bay. This is truly unique and authentic opportunity to meet local inhabitants and experience their local daily life. We have a glimpse of local households, see how they make medicine organically from a tree bark and we can also try various homemade liquors.
Back on board, we are sailing a little bit to find an exclusive and undisturbed parking spot for the overnight mooring in the midst of southern Lan Ha Bay. Join an optional tea tasting lesson in the restaurant to learn about Vietnam’s traditional herbal teas and gain insight into their health benefits. Alternatively, get pampered with a spa treatment or take a sauna session in Ylang’s fantastic spa facilities. We can also provide you with a foot massage in the privacy of your suite. For dinner, you can choose assorted dishes from the delectable multiple course menu. After dining, we offer in the wellness studio a guided “singing bowl meditation”. This is an ancient Tibetan ritual which intends to invoke a deep state of relaxation – it alleviates stress and promotes a better night of sleep. You can also opt for one of the best ways to spend the evening by just taking a seat under the stars on the terrace deck or on your balcony to embrace the serenity of this surreal landscape. Or if you would like to fully immerse yourself in relaxation, our spa is open until late.
Meals: Lunch, Dinner
DAY 2: Lan Ha Bay Mooring Point – Ben Beo – Cat Ba National Park – Lan Ha Bay Mooring Point
Wake up early and have a coffee, tea or a pastry prepared in the restaurant before joining our Tai Chi session on the terrace deck. A great experience to ease your mind and muscles with the first rays of the sun touching the water. Afterwards you can re-energize from our wide selection of healthy or hearty breakfast offerings. Meanwhile, Ylang sails towards the very southern tip of Cat Ba Island. Here, we take our tender and visit one of a last remaining real authentic floating fishing villages, not far outside of the town of Ben Beo on the main island. This fishing village is home to approx. 300 families living in floating houses and making their living from fishing and aquaculture, much like their ancestors did. Get a close view of how the villagers live and work on the water in this unique community. We continue towards Ben Beo Pier, go ashore and travel a short distance along scenic island roads into the Cat Ba National Park. We like invite you for a leisurely and mindful walk (taking the same path both ways) through this lush, jungle-like forest to get a somewhat a feeling of this tropical island. Cat Ba National Park is designated as a biosphere reserve and hosts over 1,500 plant species, 78 avian, 20 reptilian and 32 mammalian species including deer, macaques and civets. Guests who would like to skip the light trekking, we bring back to the ship to enjoy Ylang’s facilities in the meantime.
Once all back on board lunch is served, and the luxury Ylang resumes sailing northeast through the stony maze of Lan Ha Bay. Eventually we reach a secluded spot in the bay which will be the basis for our afternoon activities. Ylang will anchor here and we offer our guests an afternoon of “at-your-own-choice”. Our tender is available to commute between a wonderful natural island beach for relaxing or swimming. Kayaks are available as well to explore the calm area on your own. A snacks and drink station is set up on the beach if you get thirsty or need a bite to eat. Guests who like to stay on the ship, or those prefer to return from the beach, can enjoy from a treatment from our spa menu, or use the steam bath or sauna as complimentary available wellness facilities. Enjoy this afternoon the fullest as the clock is not ticking and take back home long-lasting memories from Lan Ha Bay.
As the sun sets the ship is sailing further north to find is overnight mooring for the last night. Enjoy your last multi-course dinner in the ambient restaurant. We offering another guided “Singing Bowl Meditation” tonight to join optional, or simply unwind on your private balcony while taking in the tranquility of Lan Ha Bay.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 3: Lan Ha Bay Mooring Point – Tuan Chau
Wake up early and join our Tai Chi session on the terrace deck to ease your mind and muscles with the first rays of the sun touching the water. A traditional Vietnamese coffee, tea and breakfast pastries await in the dining room to start the day. It is time for Heritage Line Ylang to lift her anchors and cruise to a place called “Frog Lake”, a secluded area which is perfect for our energetic morning excursion. Go for a refreshing swim in the bay or explore this captivating marine landscape via kayak. The cliffs stretch vertically out of the water and you feel a sense of freedom while paddling through this labyrinth of jade-green water, rocks and vivid tree-topped islets.
Back on board, we serve a hearty breakfast while cruising back to our off-shore embarkation spot, from where we transfer you back to the welcome lounge at the pier by your speed boat. Savour the last moments of this unique journey while relaxing on comfy sun beds on the terrace deck.
Accommodation; daily (group) shore-excursions, sightseeing and transfers during the cruise; English speaking tour guiding on-and offshore; entertainment/activities during the cruise as mentioned in the program; welcome drink, brewed coffee, tea and mineral water; meals as mentioned in the program; passenger liability insurance; internet on the ship (subject to cellular network signal); complimentary usage of ship facilities (exclusive of spa treatments); port or anchorage fees; taxes.
Admission fee for Halong Bay or Lan Ha Bay; crew and guide gratuities; visa fees; shuttle bus or private transfers; personal expenses; other beverages than those stated under inclusions; medical services.