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HA LONG BAY



Its name literally means Descending Dragon, a reflection of the ancient legend that describes fire-breathing beasts saving Vietnam from ocean invaders.  It was their thrashing tails and the jewels and jade they used as missiles that are said to have combined to form the 1,960 islets.

The myths lie side by side with scientific evidence suggesting that prehistoric Soi Nhu people lived there as early as 18,000 BC.  They were followed by the Cai Beo, till 5,000 BC. They left their marks, as did French tourists. While visiting in the 19th century, they decorated the grottoes with drawings and messages, some of which are visible today. And, while half a millennium ago it was described by noted Vietnamese poet and scholar Nguyen Trai as a "rock wonder in the sky", it has also been a place of fierce sea battles.

Kublai Khan's Mongol boats were defeated alongside countless skirmishes with Chinese forces.  More recently channels were mined by the US Navy during the American War. Since then it has been a backdrop for countless movies including the Oscar-winning French epic, Indochine.  Its sweeping panoramas contributed greatly to the movie's much-praised cinematography.

Now, in the 21st century, it is universally acknowledged as an unmissable corner of Vietnam.  Indeed, the site ranks as the #1 tourist attraction in the country. The Vietnamese say if you haven't seen Halong Bay, then you haven't seen Vietnam.

Certainly, as fast-developing Hanoi becomes progressively more frenetic, Halong Bay's grandeur and calm seems increasingly serene by comparison. It is the perfect antidote and yet it remained, until recently, a best-kept secret - despite its captivating beauty.

In 1994, it was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the bay has also been shortlisted as one of the world's new Seven Natural Wonders.

For visitors, each season presents a different Halong Bay.  Blue skies, sunshine and swimming in the summer.  Misty, atmospheric and mysterious in the winter. It continues to attract and inspire in the 21st century, with writers and photographers flocking to capture its natural beauty, but perhaps Ho Chi Minh was right after all. In truth, to truly grasp and appreciate its wonder, you really must see it with your own eyes.


Emeraude Classic Cruises


 
The new 55-meter Emeraude offers passengers an extraordinarily posh vantage on the magnificent karst seascape of Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1994. Planked decking. A canopied sun deck with potted plants. Fine dining and, in addition to the three suites, 36 classically appointed, air-conditioned cabins replete with beadboard wainscoting and brass fittings that evoke the romance of a bygone nautical age.
 

 

The Flavor

Dining on the Emeraude reflects the ambitions and aspirations of the vessel itself. Vietnamese ingredients, enhanced by European culinary traditions, create a culinary experience without peer on Halong Bay. Quality, good taste and elegance define every buffet in our classic wood-panelled dining room.

Lunch

After you board the Emeraude, the lunch buffet is quickly served.  Look out for classics like chicken cordon bleu alongside pork tenderloin and a range of salads and lighter options. Fresh spring rolls offer a local flavour alongside other mouthwatering dishes from fresh seafood.

Dinner

In the evening, dining is a stylish affair.  The buffet includes rump steak and fresh Halong Bay steamed prawns. The selection includes shellfish, salads, soups and rice dishes. For dessert, choices vary from a range of cakes to old favorites like bread and butter pudding. There is also an array of tropical fruit.

Breakfast

Wake early to enjoy sunrise and it won't be long before aromas from the kitchen find you. Bacon, chipolatas, scrambled eggs and cold cuts await.  A chef cooks omelets to your specifications.  A rice congee or "chao" adds local flavor while croissants and pastry add a European touch. Italian Lavazza coffee is served.

Drinks

Throughout your cruise, bars in the dining room and on the sundeck ensure satisfaction for every thirst.  A lengthy wine list caters to all tastes.  Cocktails beg to be drunk on the deck at sunset as canapés are served. For beer drinkers there is a range of international and local brews. Alternatively enjoy a coffee served hot or iced depending on the climate. A pot of green tea adds an additional authentic touch. Relax, we'll bring it to your table. 


Room To Relax:

Deluxe & Superior room

Emeraude's twin and double rooms each feature innerspring mattresses to ensure a comfortable night's sleep. Each room is equipped with all the necessary amenities, from air conditioning to hot showers. Ultimately, the greatest attraction remains outside your cabin door. Each room opens directly onto the deck. Superior rooms are located on lower deck with deluxe rooms on the upper deck. 


Paul Roque Suite

Named after the original Emeraude's first owner, this was the vessel's suite. At nearly 25 square metres, it is the smallest of the three but has a trump card. The popularity of the Paul Roque Suite remains unrivalled due to a private deck. The deck features both sun loungers and chairs for uninterrupted relaxation.

Suite Emeraude

At 25 square metres, the luxurious Emeraude Suite is roomy enough for a queen-sized bed, as well as a large sofa and space to entertain, which makes it a favourite with families. Its cream and green colour scheme adds warmth and nostalgia to the wooden fixtures and flooring.  A sundeck location on the starboard side and ample windows deliver wide views across the bay. Outside, an adjacent sitting area is the perfect place to enjoy a drink or relax and marvel at the passing scenery. 
 
Captain's Suite

Also housed on the sundeck and benefiting from the same stunning views is the Captain's Suite. At nearly 25 square metres, the port-side suite is spacious and comfortable and lined with colonial-era bamboo matting.  On the wall, antique maps will help you plot the vessel's path through the karsts and islands of Halong Bay. 



The cruise through Halong Bay wends among otherworldly karst formations and opens up views of one stupendous seascape after another. Be sure to key on the following attractions, as well. Changeable conditions and tides can affect the route, visibility and anchorage, but the following spots should be visible from the sun deck.

The Itinerary: 

DAY 1 

12:00 - 12:15 Register/Check-in at Emeraude Café (Halong Bay)
12:15 - 12:30 Embarkation
12:30 - 12:35 Captain Raises Anchor
12:35 - 14:30 Cruising Halong Bay
12:45 - 14:00 Vietnamese Buffet Lunch
14:00 - 15:00 Free & Easy
15:00 - 16:00 Guided Shore Excursion to Sung Sot Grotto 
16:00 - 16:30 Crepe Station on Sundeck and cruising to Pearl farm
16:30 - 17:30 Kayaking* or Swimming at Pearl farm
18:00 - 18:30 Vietnamese Fresh Spring Roll Cooking Class(Sundeck)
18:30 - 19:00 Complimentary Canapes on Sundeck
19:00 - 21:00 European dinner buffet served (Dress Code: Smart)
21:00 - 22:00 Bills Settlement (Optional)
20:00 - 22:00 Squid Fishing (Seasonal)
20:30 - 23:00 Silver Screen "Indochine"

DAY 2 

06:00 - 07:00 Coffee, Tea, Cookies and Muffins Served on the Sundeck (Complimentary)
06:30 - 07:00 Learn ancient art of Tai Chi on Sundeck
07:00 - 08:00 (Summer Program) Swimming and Kayaking at Ho Dong Tien Area
07:00 - 07:30 (Winter Program) Cruise to Luon Cave
07:30 - 08:00 (Winter Program) Bamboo Boat Ride inside Luon Cave
08:30 - 10:00 Energizing Full Breakfast Served
08:00 - 10:30 Cruising Bai Tu Long Bay through Ba Hai and Hang Ma Islands
08:00 - 09:00 Leave Luggage Outside of Cabins
10:30 - 11:00 Disembarkation
11:00 - 11:15 Drop Off Point – Emerald Café






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