halong bay vietnam cruise

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Halong Bay is a famously ethereal waterscape in northern Vietnam. One of the features of our Vietnam & Cambodia Private Journey is experiencing this magical setting by private traditional junk.

Photo by Catherine Karnow

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Vietnam and Cambodia Private Journey route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $4295  
Length: 13 days
Arrive: Hanoi, Vietnam
Depart: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Lodging: 10 nights in comfortable hotels (first class or deluxe option) 2 nights aboard private junk
Meals: All breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 2 dinners included
Activity: Archaeology, Cultural Adventures, Sea Kayaking
Trip Level: City exploration, cultural touring, optional easy biking and kayaking


  • Sea kayak among the limestone pinnacles of mystical Halong Bay, overnight aboard your own private junk
  • Bike the backroads around enchanting Hoi An and Hue
  • Extraordinary temples of Angkor, a World Heritage Site

The trip was fantastic. Guides, accommodations, drivers, overall service was excellent. We very much enjoyed the entire experience. Thank you!Jane S.—Newton, MA

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

The intriguing world of Indochine beckons with centuries of fascinating history and culture. On this Private Journey, begin in charming Hanoi, whose Old Quarter has been the city’s heart since the 15th century, then encounter the surreal beauty of Halong Bay by sea kayak, with an overnight aboard your own private sailing junk. Heading along the magnificent coast of the South China Sea, with a stop at China Beach, where American soldiers spent “R&R” during the Vietnam War, explore  picturesque riverside town of Hoi An, with an option for bicycling along lovely country lanes. After visiting the royal city of Hue, you grand finale is a private guided visit to Cambodia’s exquisite Angkor Wat, an ancient temple city lost in the jungle. We offer a pre-trip extension to Laos to explore the vibrant ancient town of Luang Prabang, a World Heritage Site of shimmering royal temples and fascinating hilltribe markets; a pre-trip extension to Sapa, the best place to see Vietnam’s fascinating traditional hilltribes; and a mid-trip extension to the peaceful green Mekong Delta.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-2
Ancient Hanoi

This charming, thousand-year-old city is graced by leafy boulevards, lakes, and stately French colonial buildings. The Old Quarter, the heart of Hanoi since the 15th century, is an incredible warren of winding streets and magnificent architecture. Explore on foot and by traditional cyclo-rickshaw with your private guide.

Days 3-5
Kayaking Halong Bay

The World Heritage Site of Halong Bay is a magical setting of thousands of sheer limestone islands soaring out of a jade-green sea. Its calm waters offer fantastic sea kayaking amid sea grottoes, hidden lakes, and coves with white-sand beaches. No prior kayaking experience is necessary, and your group can kayak as much or as little as you like. Your kayaking guide can lead you to intriguing spots including Three Peach Island, a wonderful place for a swim. Accommodation is on your own private sailing junk, staffed by a crew of three and a private chef. Return to Hanoi on Day 5.

Days 6-7
Traditional Hoi An

Enjoy a vivid sense of history as you walk the narrow streets of picturesque Hoi An, a trading port from the 15th to 19th centuries. Optional biking with your guide offers a delightful exploration of nearby My Son, an evocative Cham archaeological site.

Days 8-10
Royal City of Hue and Saigon

In Hue, Vietnam’s cultural and religious capital, explore the Tam Giang Lagoon and Royal Tombs by bicycle and walk through the Thien Mu Pagoda and Imperial Citadel.  On Day 10, explore vibrant Saigon.

Days 11-13
Angkor, City of Temples

Covered with intricate bas-reliefs and scattered across a tropical landscape, Cambodia’s royal city of Angkor is one of the most awe-inspiring sites in the world, and a lasting testament to the glory of a bygone Khmer civilization. Explore this architectural masterpiece of breathtaking temples and serene man-made lakes, and enjoy a sunset climb up Phnom Bakheng for spectacular views. Depart on Day 13.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

What the Trip is Like

This trip is rated Level 2, easy to moderate. It is designed to offer an enjoyable, active vacation. You need not have done any previous sea kayaking. Kayaking routes last from one to three hours, depending on your interest, and are largely protected from high winds and strong currents. The bicycling routes are optional; they are on relatively flat terrain and you will always have a support van along to offer a cool, refreshing drink.

Explanation of Trip Levels


When to go

October to March

For our Private Journey trips, you choose your own group and your preferred dates—there are no set departure dates. Private Journeys are available to groups as few as two people or as large as you like. Contact us for availability, questions, or to book your adventure!

Trip Cost

Prices valid through Spring 2016

First Class

$4295 per person, double occupancy
Single supplement: $680
Internal airfare: $540 (subject to change)


$5195 per person, double occupancy
Single supplement: $1460
Internal airfare: $540 (subject to change)

Call for discounted rates for groups of three or more.

A Holiday Surcharge will apply for travel between December 18, 2015, and January 10, 2016. The surcharge amount will depend on the exact dates of travel and availability of featured accommodations.

Prices are not guaranteed until services are confirmed.
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Laos: Luang Prabang Extension
   from: $840
Sapa Hilltribes Pre-Trip Extension
   from: $1040
Mekong Delta Mid-Trip Extension
   from: $995
Bangkok Extension
   from: $645
Phuket Extension
   from: $795
Chiang Mai Extension
   from: $470

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $600
90 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum fee: $250 per person
61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Services of professional English-speaking private regional guides for northern Vietnam, southern Vietnam, and Cambodia
  • Accommodations as noted in the Full Trip Brochure for First Class Option or Deluxe Option
  • All breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 2 dinners included
  • Perception sit-inside kayaks, paddles, PFDs (life jackets)
  • Cannondale bicycles, helmets, and support van for optional bike routes
  • All arrival and departure transfers
We will check availability of the specific hotels listed in the itinerary for the dates you request. If the hotels are not available, we can book comparable hotels (surcharges may apply).

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare; any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure; optional activities; airport departure taxes; optional tipping or gratuities to staff; additional hotel nights made necessary by airline schedule changes or other factors; pre-trip expenses such as medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, or passports and visas; and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Hotels in Hanoi

Days 1 to 2 (2 nights),
Day 5 (1 night), Hanoi, Vietnam

In Hanoi, we stay at one of the following properties based on choice of accommodation and availability:

Private Junk

Private Junk

Days 3 to 4 (2 nights), Halong Bay, Vietnam

Overnighting aboard a private junk in a secluded cove of Halong Bay is a unique opportunity to capture the evening and early morning vistas of this ...
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Anantara Hoi An

Anantara Hoi An

Days 6 to 7 (2 nights), Hoi An, Vietnam

Set along the scenic Thu Bon River in Hoi An’s French colonial quarter, the Anantara features three restaurants and guest rooms with one queen ...
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Hotels in Hue

Days 8 to 9 (2 nights), Hue, Vietnam

In Hue, we stay at one of the following properties based on choice of accommodation and availability:

Hotels in Saigon

Day 10 (1 night), Saigon, Vietnam

In Saigon, we stay at one of the following properties based on choice of accomodation and availability:

Hotels in Siem Reap

Days 11 to 12 (2 nights), Siem Reap, Cambodia

In Siam Reap, we stay at one of the following properties based on pricing and availability:

Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions options:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:


Laos: Luang Prabang Extension

Gilded Temples and Traditional Buddhist Culture of Laos

Cultural Adventures
3 days  -  Level 2


wat arun bangkok thailand

Bangkok Extension

Discover the Beautiful Cultural Monuments of Bangkok

Cultural Adventures
3 days  -  Level 1

Chiang Mai Extension

Explore the Wonders of Northern Thailand

Cultural Adventures, Walking, Wildlife & Natural History
3 days  -  Level 2

Phuket Extension

Explore a Jewel Set in the Andaman Sea

Cultural Adventures, Sea Kayaking
4 days  -  Level 2


mekong delta vietnam rice paddies bicycling

Mekong Delta Mid-Trip Extension

Biking the Rural Roads of the Mekong Delta

Cultural Adventures
3 days  -  Level 2

Sapa Hilltribes Pre-Trip Extension

Encounter Vietnam’s Tribal Peoples and Explore Lively Markets

Cultural Adventures, Hiking / Trekking
4 days  -  Level 2

Client Comments

The trip was fantastic. Guides, accommodations, drivers, overall service was excellent. We very much enjoyed the entire experience. Thank you! Jane S., Newton, MA The pacing, the logistics, the thought given to the sites visited, the hotels selected, the mix of activities, the opportunity for 'downtime,' the late check-out and early check-in at the hotels, the quality of the guides—all of these things made for a first-class experience and a spectacular vacation. Gillian F., Philadelphia, PA We loved our trip!! Great hotels, itinerary, guides, and service. Richie H., Salt Lake City, UT I cannot think of one thing to change. It was terrific. Margaret C., Richmond, VA I couldn’t have been happier—great itinerary and guides, everything was A+. Jeannette H., Lahaina, HI
This was a fabulous trip. We got to see and learn so much, and had really wonderful accommodations and service. It was beyond anything I was expecting. Anne T., Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada This was our first Private Journey. I have just raved about the structure of the trip, the people involved, and the accommodations. Really wonderful. Gail L., Boulder, CO We loved our trip, especially kayaking and three different bike experiences in three very different villages. Sunrise and sunset at Angkor Wat were great! Fran and Merrill L., Encino, CA All five of our guides took the time to explain and show us things that they were proud of and found unique to their country. I felt they were sharing special secrets and stories that only we—as their guests—were being told. Ruarri T., Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada