River Cruise Itinerary for Halong Bay and Red River Downstream | Pandaw.com
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DISCOVER THE BEST OF NORTHERN VIETNAM

HALONG BAY AND RED RIVER

10 NIGHTS FROM US$2,925 - MEMBERS FROM US$2,728
SAVE UP TO 10% AND NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON SELECTED DATES

Pioneer the Red River with Pandaw!

For the first time travellers will be able to 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. This is a combination of scenic beauty, lively and interesting (sometimes industrial) life of the river and exploring rivers where no other tourist craft operate.

Sailing deep into Highland Vietnam we will discover the mountain villages and a number of tribal areas. We will go as far as is navigable up the Song Red River and then down the little known Da or Black River. Note this is a new river expedition and itineraries and schedules very much subject to change due to uncertain local conditions.

Note that departures from December to March have an alternative itinerary covering a larger inland water cruising area on the coastal plain area. We cruise in beautiful rural areas as well as some interesting more industrial sections. Note the daily temperature range at this time of year can be from 7C to 21C and there is a higher chance of mists. 

"In North Vietnam we have an expression," says our guide Duoc -- or Duke, as his badge reads. "The Red River is our mother's milk."
Northern cruising: A journey up Vietnam's Red River - 24 Oct 2016 article by Colin Hinshelwood for CNN Travel

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10 NIGHTS FROM US$2,925 - MEMBERS FROM US$2,728
SAVE UP TO 10% AND NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON SELECTED DATES

Pioneer the Red River with Pandaw!

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IMAGES

EXPEDITION MAP

YOUR SHIP

EXTENSIONS

PRE CRUISE EXTENSIONS

Pre Tour Hanoi 1 Night

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Pre Tour Sapa & Hanoi 4 Nights

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Hue & Hoi An 4 Nights Pre Tour

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POST CRUISE EXTENSIONS

Post Tour Hanoi 1 Night

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Hue & Hoi An 4 Nights Post Tour

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OPTIONAL PACKAGE ADDONS

Private Dining

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Pre-Bookable House Wine Package

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Free Flow Drinks

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Free Flow Drinks & Wine Package

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ITINERARY

Upstream      Downstream

DAY 1 HOA BINH

Transfer to Hoa Binh, embark your ship at around 15.00 and set sail downstream for sunset and a night on the Da River.

More about Hoa Binh

DAY 2 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 an afternoon boat ride on the reservoir of Hoa Binh power station.

A traditional performance by local hill tribe people is given in the evening.

More about Hoa Binh

DAY 3 THE DA RIVER

In the morning, visit a museum and local village where villagers still wear traditional dress.

A day sailing downstream admiring the unspoilt beauty of the Da River, passing through the Ba Vi National Park with its rich and diverse tropical and sub-tropical flora and fauna before arriving at Trung Ha.

Our chef will share his skills in fruit carving and demonstrate how to create Vietnamese spring rolls.

More about The Da River

DAY 4 VIET TRI

After breakfast by coach through beautiful scenic countryside to the UNESCO praised village of Duong Lam then continue cruising downstream to Viet Tri. Take in the sights and sounds of the bustling river with all kinds of craft and activity.

Meet your guide in the dining room for a lecture on Vietnam, its history, geography and the boat people.

More about Duong Lam

DAY 5 LO - RED RIVERS

Take in the sights and sounds of the bustling river with all kinds of craft and activity. In the morning cruise to Tien Du ferry station to visit the Hung Lo Temple.

Continue by bus to Gia Thanh village, makers of the conical hats (known as ‘non la’). 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.

Afternoon excursion to a carpenter village famous for exqisite carvings and wood work techniques.

More about Lo and Red River

DAY 6 THE LOWER RED RIVER

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.

Enroute to Hanoi, stop at Bat Trang in the afternoon, a ceramic village (literally: ‘bat’ means ‘bowl’ and ‘trang’ means ‘workshop’). Bat Trang is a seven century-old pottery village, located in an area rich in clay.

On the way back to the ship watch a traditional unicorn and lion dance at the jetty. This dance originated in China and spread over Southeast Asia.

More about Thay and Tay Phuong Pagodas

DAY 7 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.

More about Hanoi

DAY 8 LUOC - THAI BINH - KINH THAY RIVERS

Observe the lively and interesting life on the river before reaching next destination in the afternoon.

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.

Drop anchor near Hai Phong Port.

The Water Puppets are a tradition which dates back as far as the 11th century, originating in the villages of the Red River Delta. The stories tell the day-to-day life of rural Vietnam with a strong reference to Vietnamese folklore. The puppets are made of lacquered wood, and the performers are in a waist-deep pool hidden behind a screen.

More about Thanh Ha and Water Puppets

DAY 9 HALONG BAY

Cast off early morning along the river before entering Halong Bay’s amazing island scenery with its 2,000 dramatic limestone islands and extraordinary rock formations dating back 20 million years.

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.

Continue cruise around Halong Bay until dropping anchor in Rang Dua.

More about Halong Bay

DAY 10 HALONG BAY

Morning sail around Halong Bay and beyond with its 1,500 dramatic limestone islands and extraordinary rock formations, dating back 20 million years.

Stop at Viet Hai Village and explore on mountain bike or electric buggy, visiting 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 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!

More about Lan Ha Bay

DAY 11 HALONG BAY

Morning sail to Tuan Chau Jetty. Disembark and transfer to Hanoi Airport or Pan Pacific Hotel Hanoi with stop for lunch at a local restaurant.

More about Halong Bay

DAY 1 VIET TRI

Transfer to Viet Tri, embark your ship and set sail downstream for sunset and a night on the Red River. Tonight we enjoy a traditional dance on board.

More about Viet Tri

DAY 2 THE LO RIVER

In the morning transfer to Gia Thanh village and visit the conical hat making village. Then continue by bus to visit Hung Lo Temple where we will enjoy a UNESCO recognized "Hat Xoan" performance. In the afternoon will moor in Minh Chau to visit a carpenter village and smith's village in Vinh Phuc province.

DAY 3 UPPER RED RIVER

We will visit the UNESCO praised village of Duang Lam, then sail downstream on the Red River and visit a timeless Arcadian Vietnam with emerald green rice paddies punctuated by lime stone rock formations. Of particular interest are the Thay and Tay Phuong Pagodas, hardly known, yet with exquisite temples dating from the 8th and 11th century and home to some fine Buddhist statuary carved from jackfruit trees.

DAY 4 HANOI

Dropped anchor in the bustling city of Hanoi, passengers will visit some highlights of this Asian metropolis, must see’s like the notorious Vietnam war prison known as the Hanoi Hilton, temple of literature where Confucius did his thinking and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Welcome back to the ship by Lion Dances.

DAY 5 THE LOWER RED RIVER

In the morning going off shore to visit Bat Trang ceramic village followed by a Unicorn Dance. Sail down the lower Red River to Dien Xa Bonsai village.

DAY 6 DAY RIVER

After breakfast we visit Dien Xa Bonsai village followed by lunch. In the afternoon, visit the famous Phat Diem stone Cathedral and a local house where they make rice wine. Back to the ship then sail up the Day River to Ninh Binh.

DAY 7 NINH BINH

In the morning we will visit Thung Nang, taking a rowing boat to the so called "Halong on land" in Ninh Binh. In the afternoon we visit the quaint village of Pham Phao where guests can walk around the village visiting a host family where musician instruments have been made and repaired for generations. Listen to the owner who plays every instrument within his family run business. We visit local Woodworking Artisans who produce items for local and international markets. We visit a century old covered bridge and take the chance to taste fresh BBQ Pork Skewers and Rice Cake Rolls at the village markets if the weather permits us.

DAY 8 LUOC - THAI BINH - KINH THAY RIVERS

Observe the lively and interesting life on the river before we reach our next destination in the afternoon.


Excursion to Thanh Ha Commune with village walk and a private water puppet show set under shade by a beautiful pond of lotus and lilies. 

We drop anchor near Hai Phong Port, the gateway to Halong Bay. 

DAY 9 HALONG BAY

Cast off early morning along the river before entering Halong Bay’s amazing island scenery with its 2,000 dramatic limestone islands and extraordinary rock formations dating back 20 million years.

Exploring Halong Bay, we stop at 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.

We continue our cruise around Halong Bay until we drop anchor in Rang Dua.

More about Halong Bay

DAY 10 HALONG BAY

We make a stop at Viet Hai Village and continue our journey by mountain bike or electric buggy to visit the village’s vegetable farm and typical village houses. It is a breathtaking trip along a small road winding its way through the limestone rocks.

In the afternoon we will continue cruising towards Lan Ha Bay for a visit to a floating fishing house.

Weather dependent, we will end the day with cocktails at a beautiful beach in Halong Bay.

More about Halong Bay

DAY 11 HALONG BAY

Morning sail to Tuan Chau Jetty. Disembark and transfer to Hanoi Airport or Pan Pacific Hotel Hanoi with stop for lunch at a local restaurant.

More about Halong Bay

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WHATS INCLUDED

Cruise Price Includes: Entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes. Transfers between ports of embarkation and Hanoi International Airport at the start and end of the voyage.

Cruise Price Excludes: International flights, port dues (if levied), laundry, all visa costs, fuel surcharges (see terms and conditions), all beverages except local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes and tips to tour guides, local guides, bus drivers, boat operators and cyclo drivers.

TRANSFERS & JOINING

DAY 1 HOA BINH

TRANSFER FROM HANOI AIRPORT
We do pick you up from Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport – seat in coach. Last departure is no later than 12.00 noon. Please look for a Pandaw sign with your name on in the arrival hall. Arrival Hoa Binh for embarkation at 15.00.

Please note: Guides and drivers are not allowed inside the terminal building. We will be waiting for you outside with a Pandaw sign. Hanoi Airport has two exits; if you don’t see us, please try the other exit on the same level (30 meters).

TRANSFER FROM HANOI CITY
For passenger already in Hanoi the night before, please meet us at:
PAN PACIFIC HOTEL HANOI
1 Thanh Nien Road, Ba Dinh District
10000 HANOI
VIETNAM
Tel +84 4 382 38888

Registration at hotel lobby 11.00. Coach departs from Pan Pacific Hotel Hanoi at 12.00 noon. Arrival at Hoa Binh Jetty at 15.00.

PASSENGERS WITH OWN ARRANGEMENTS
Please arrive at Hoa Binh Jetty (behind AP Plaza Building) for embarkation at 15.00.

DAY 11 HALONG BAY

DEPARTURE TRANSFER SERVICE
Disembarkation at 10.00 Tuan Chau Port at Halong Bay. Please note this is a seat in coach service to the airport, domestic flights must depart after 18.00, international flights after 19.00.

DAY 1 VIET TRI

TRANSFER FROM HANOI AIRPORT
We do pick you up from Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport – seat in coach. Last departure is no later than 12.00 noon. Please look for a Pandaw sign with your name on in the arrival hall.

Please note: Guides and drivers are not allowed inside the terminal building. We will be waiting for you outside with a Pandaw sign. Hanoi Airport has two exits; if you don’t see us, please try the other exit on the same level (30 meters).

TRANSFER FROM HANOI CITY
For passenger already in Hanoi the night before, please meet us at: 11.00am
PAN PACIFIC HOTEL HANOI
1 Thanh Nien Road, Ba Dinh District
10000 HANOI
VIETNAM
Tel +84 4 382 38888

Registration at hotel lobby 11.00am. Coach departs from Pan Pacific Hotel Hanoi at 12.00noon.

DAY 11 HALONG BAY

DEPARTURE TRANSFER SERVICE
Disembarkation at 10.00 Tuan Chau Port at Halong Bay. Please note this is a seat in coach service to the airport, domestic flights must depart after 18.00pm, international flights after 19.00pm.

VISA INFORMATION

Please visit http://cibtvisas.co.uk for further VISA information.

TESTIMONIALS

This was the most amazing immersion in Vietnamese history, culture, cuisine and lifestyle - posted by Glenice and Ian Warner

By far the most enjoyable and educational of my prior three trips with Pandaw, yet they had been excellent too - posted by Tom Herzfeld

Sailing with Pandaw was everything we hoped it would be, and more - posted by Janice and Greg McDougall

We really loved everything about this cruise and will continue to travel with Pandaw in the future - posted by Stephen Winter

Thank you Pandaw for a wonderful trip - posted by James and Hilary Alton

The Red River - Up Close and Personal - posted by Lucy Allison

I have cruised with Pandaw many times but the food served on this cruise was exceptional - posted by Julie Wheeler

Thanks for another great cruise/holiday with the Pandaw Family - posted by Narelle Richards and Martin Peelgrane

Our Captain and crew did a fantastic job in some trying conditions, Halong Bay was stunning to see - posted by Trevor and Gail Harvey

Well, what a trip - the Angkor Pandaw ship is a treat to travel on - posted by Bruce and Carmen McVicar

It felt like we were among friends rather than staff just doing their job - posted by Maureen Raywood and Susan Norris

The crew of RV Angkor Pandaw, are amazing and are to be congratulated - posted by Meredith Wise and Stephanie Mooney

The excursions, the surprise treats, the variety of experience, and the comforts aboard were all ideal for us - posted by Carolyn and Craig

Wendy Evans, dedicated Pandaw fan and traveler - posted by Wendy Evans

Thank you Pandaw for showing us such fascinating parts of the world - posted by Sandra and John Scott

I can without doubt recommend this cruise to anyone contemplating it and we will do another in the near future - posted by Jon Human

The ship and the crew were excellent. We enjoy all very much. - posted by Gerhard Ohly

I know, this sounds exaggerated, but I tell you I'm still absolutely thrilled! - posted by Emmy Frei-Werlen

The boat is of the highest standard, and the crew were there to make sure we had everything we needed - posted by Helena Tenne

Pandaw never fails to impress - posted by Trevor and Jan Greenwood

Always something to see and do, and so relaxing! - posted by Lex Lees, Australia

I really can't express how superb it was - posted by Jarvis & Gillian Ranson

Review on trip advisor - posted by Chris B

A selection of some of the world's greatest travel experiences - posted by Douglas Shachnow

This was our second trip with Pandaw, and we would certainly consider another - posted by Donald Huse

We loved every bit of the trip - posted by Heather Foster & Chris Currey

We have been frequent travellers all our life, but this travel was really a highlight - posted by Sarah & Pablo Rosenthal-Almirall,

Had a great trip. Crew of ship and local guide Vu all excellent - posted by Maree O'Born

TRAVEL BLOGS

Remembering Hoa Binh - Heaven and hell in a Vietnamese river town

Pandaw’s highly popular 10-day Halong Bay and Red River expedition is not specifically designed for the Vietnam War buff, who will find ple.... read more

 

Pandaw's Vietnam Cruise Is Unlike Any Other

Click Here to read travel writer Sandra Scott's testimonial blog of her Halong Bay and the Red River cruise on the 18th March 2017 on-board the .... read more

 

Halong Bay and the Red River - Filming of the Pandaw Production

Blog by Spencer Butt, Pandaw IT Manager, filmed together with David Lumsden, Pandaw Art Department. Firstly, I must thank all of our guests.... read more

 

Lion-ised in Hanoi: Pandaw passengers get the warmest of Vietnamese welcomes

It's often hard to tell Pandaw passengers' photos of their experience from those of the professionals paid to provide glossy images for promotio.... read more

 

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