January 23 – 31, 2022

From the misty mountains of the north to the lush rice fields of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam is a beguiling destination which rarely fails to charm. Timeless images of Indochina abound – conical-hatted farmers toil in bright green rice fields; junks drift through the mist on Lan Ha Bay; cyclo drivers ride through the narrow streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarter. But there is a new Vietnam emerging, in the upscale hotels, shopping arcades and fine dining restaurants of vibrant Ho Chi Minh City, and in the luxury designer beach resorts of Hoi An and Mui Ne. A country of contrasts where pleasant surprises await at almost every turn. But in Vietnam, one thing remains constant – the warmth, inquisitiveness, and positivity of its people, which remain the abiding memory of those who spend time in this alluring country.

 

Join Ryan & Malaka on this backstage access tour of the country’s most celebrated sights, sounds, and flavors!

Cost: $5,495.00 per person, based on double occupancy

Please inquire for single pricing

Optional Addition: Seaplane from Hanoi to Lan Ha Bay.

Price is subject to change if the minimum numbers are not met.

Call 1.888.722.3401 for more details (scroll down for journey details)

Consider adding a 3-day departure to explore Siem Reap prior to this unique journey

Street Scenes in Hanoi Vietnam

January 23, 2022 –  Welcome to Vietnam! Immediately upon exiting the aircraft in Hanoi, you will be met by an airport representative (carrying a signboard with your name), who will greet you directly at the arrival gate/air bridge.

You will be escorted to the exclusive fast lane immigration counter for expedited immigration and customs procedures. After retrieving your waiting luggage, you will be escorted to the arrivals hall outside the baggage claim area to meet your local private guide for your transfer to Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Hotel.

Transfer service to your hotel, the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel. (approximately 30 minutes)

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel, Hanoi

Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi, located on the banks of the Red River, is one of the most ancient capitals in the world, where travellers can find well-preserved colonial buildings, ancient pagodas, and unique museums within the city centre. A great place to explore on foot, this French-colonial city is also known for its delectable cuisine, vibrant nightlife, silks and handicrafts, as well as a multi-cultural community that’s made up of Chinese, French and Russian influences.

January 24, 2022 -This morning after breakfast and checkout, you will be met in the hotel lobby by your local private guide and transferred by road to Hai Phong via the new highway to Got Ferry Terminal in Cat Hai Town.

Upon arrival, you will be met at the Orchid Cruise Lounge & transferred by tender to the Orchid Premium Cruise ship.

OPTIONAL: Hanoi – Lan Ha Bay on seaplane #HAI601 @ 10:00am – 11:00am

(charter flight with 15 minutes’ scenic flight)

Departing from Noi Bai Airport, the destination for this short flight is the coastal port town of Ha Long Bay, the stunning UNESCO World Heritage listed bay. Enjoy fabulous aerial views over the countryside and experience the thrill of a water landing at the Tuan Chau Island Marina.

Traveling with seaplanes gives you a totally unique experience compared to any other kind of transportation. Only with our seaplane can you enjoy the fabulous aerial views over the countryside and be amazed by the thrill of water landing which have lured many savvy travelers from all over the world. The flight can be extended to include an additional 15-minute scenic tour over the bay, which allows you to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the thousands of limestone karsts jutting up from the jade green waters and see remote fishing villages before landing at Tuan Chau Island Marina

Orchid Cruise – Cat Hai, Haiphong, Vietnam

As the pioneer and leading cruise to ever design an itinerary throughout Halong / Lan Ha Bay, Orchid Cruises guarantee to bring you to an amazing special journey.

You will have a chance to discover the untouched, less travelled route of Ha Long bay. Orchid Classic Cruises offer 14 most luxurious cabins with professional crew members that are eager to provide you with the finest & most personalized service.

On board, you immediately feel at home. The very large suite with your own balcony welcomes you with fresh fruits and cozy living quarters.

Discover a local floating fishing village or kayak in the bay

January 24, 2022 – You will be welcomed onboard the Orchid Premium Cruise and then check in, enjoy a welcome drink and receive the cruise briefing and safety instructions. Start cruising and explore Halong Bay – one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature.

Proceed to Da Chong islet, where you can see a lighthouse built by the French over 100 years ago. Have an international buffet lunch while passing via the islets of Con Vit area. These amazing limestone karst formations rise up out of the sea in an impressive manner. This area is untouched, as not many cruise ships use the route via the Cat Ba Island – Thoi Quyt area – Coc Ngoi islet – through Gia Luan area which belongs to Cat Ba National Park.

Progress to Trung Trang cave by bus on Cat Ba island, which is located in the middle of Cat Ba National Park with Kim Giao forest surrounding the cave. Trung Trang Valley is the largest valley on Cat Ba Island. The valley covers an area of approximately 741 acres, has a depth of 32ft to 98ft and is around 9mi in the middle of Cat Ba National Park. Trung Trang Cave measures 984ft lengthwise through the mountains. The cave was carved by nature for more than 2,000 years. The cave has many stalactites that take on various shapes that will awe and inspire visitors to use their imagination.

In the evening, the Orchid Cruise will arrive at the less populated area at Tra Bau, located in Lan Ha Bay. You will enjoy the green emerald and cool water by swimming.

Returning to Orchid Cruise, you can watch the magnificent sunset over the Gulf of Tonkin. Onboard you may join a traditional cooking class. The chef will instruct you in the making of some Vietnamese dishes.  Massage services are available for an additional fee. Please book with the Cruise Manager directly.

A sumptuous, deluxe, a la carte dinner will be served by candlelight. Enjoy delicious local cuisine in an intimate, romantic setting

Enjoy the landscape of the bay at night up on the top deck. Relax whilst enjoying drinks from the bar. Try your hand at night squid fishing and/or watch a movie in the restaurant. Overnight on board in the Tra Bau area.

January 25, 2022 – Start early again with a nice and tasty traditional Vietnamese coffee, of which we hope will become part of your future morning routine to remember this special place on earth.

The day starts early onboard with a Tai Chi session on the sundeck. Breakfast is served in the dining room with a morning view of the bay’s landscape.

Transfer to Orchid Day Boat to visit Viet Hai village. You will take a bicycle trip along the village path and go through rain forests and dark tunnels. Enjoy the stunning scenery of rice fields on the way. Stop at the village to relax. Visit an ancient local house, made from straw, mud, and bamboo. You will have a chance to see the local life in a valley of local people. Optional electric car service is available.  Lunch served on the day boat.

Return to Orchid Cruise. Enjoying swimming in the untouched area. Then, you will join a traditional cooking class. The chef will instruct you in the making of some Vietnamese dishes. Watch the magnificent sunset over the Gulf of Tonkin.

A sumptuous, deluxe, a la carte dinner will be served by candlelight.

Enjoy the landscape of the bay at night up on the top deck. Relax whilst enjoying drinks from the bar. Try your hand at night squid fishing and/or watch a movie in the restaurant.

Vietnamese Egg Coffee

Ha Long Bay

January 26, 2022 – Why not rise early to witness the bay at its very best whilst enjoying an invigorating
Tai Chi session on the sundeck; after which you will be served breakfast. This morning A Tea Ceremony is served at the restaurant. You will learn how to enjoy
Vietnamese tea and Vietnamese culture at this ceremony.
Following your tea ceremony, begin checking out of your cabins.

After disembarking from the Orchid Cruise, you will be met by your local private guide and transferred back to the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Hotel (approx. transfer time: 2.5hrs). On arrival in Hanoi you will have some time at leisure to relax or independently explore the city if you wish.

Early this evening, you will be met in the hotel lobby by your local private guide for a Hanoi Old Quarter and Street Food Excursion, including dinner.

You will start your walking street food excursion from your hotel. Your local guide will give you an insight into the intricacies and traditions of Vietnamese food culture, including details on ingredients and historical backgrounds of popular northern dishes. You will eat as you go, trying seasonal fruits and sampling a tasty French-inspired snack from a street cart. Walking through the maze of bustling streets that make up Hanoi’s Old Quarter, you will tempt your tastebuds with famed Hanoi dishes such as Bun Cha and Banh Cuon at a local eatery. Watch in awe as the skilled chefs demonstrate for you how these tasty dishes are put together. Continuing into the atmospheric heart of the Old Quarter, you will wander past street stalls and quiet residential lanes, where you can observe local life that has changed little since Hanoi was founded over 1,000 years ago. Your next two snack stops are at outdoor barbeque stalls. You will sit down with the Hanoi locals and sample various meat, vegetable and bread specialties that are flame grilled over hot coals for extra flavor. It’s then time for dessert as you venture down a small alley to join in the local tradition of feasting on fresh fruit served in a cup and smothered with crushed iced and condensed milk – this specialty is one not to be missed! Your local guide will then take you to one of Hanoi’s best kept secrets, a hidden street food restaurant to taste top some of the top ten street foods in Hanoi – Banh My, Vietnamese rice wine and the famous egg coffee. This hard-to-find café is one of the few left in the narrow streets inside the Old Quarter of Hanoi. If coffee is not your style, a cold beer awaits! At the end of this guided foodie excursion you are free to continue exploring the area or your guide will assist you with directions or a taxi back to your hotel.

Enjoy the remainder of your evening at leisure.

January 27, 2022 –

This morning after breakfast and checkout, you will enjoy one of the below activities. Each traveler can choose upon trip finalization which activity they would like to join (or if you wish to remain at leisure that is of course also up to you)!

Option one: Half day touring. You will visit the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology. The museum is packed full of information detailing traditional Vietnamese ways of life, from religious events to the symbolic rituals of all the Vietnamese ethnic groups, providing a rich tapestry of the cultural melting pot existing in Vietnam. The exhibition hall features everyday objects representing each group, a research center, library and auditorium. Here, you will learn about these ethnic groups, their cultural diversity and the uniqueness of each group and region, as well as, traditional values throughout the country. Continue to the impressive Tran Quoc Pagoda, a Buddhist pagoda in the center of West Lake. Alternatively, you may choose to visit the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university or Hoa Lo – the famed “Hanoi Hilton”.

Following your visit, you will be transferred to the Hanoi Airport

Option two: Shopping! For those who wish to go shopping, a vehicle with guide will be at your disposal to focus the morning on the pursuit of a variety of Vietnamese handicrafts, art, silk, embroidery, jewelry and home goods.

2:00pm Following your outings, you will be transferred to the Hanoi Airport.

Banh Mi Street Stall

Hanoi Old Quarter

Hội An, Vietnam

Upon arrival at Da Nang Airport, after clearing all customs procedures, please proceed to exit gate and look for your guide who will be waiting at the lobby, holding the signboard with your name on it.

Your guide will come to meet you up and transfer you to the Four Seasons Hotel in Hoi An. (approximately 30 minutes).

Enjoy the evening at leisure.

Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Hoi An

January 28, 2022 – This morning after breakfast, you will be met in the hotel lobby by your local private guide for a Cooking Class at The Field Restaurant, including lunch.

Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and come to Cam Thanh village – one of the most beautiful locations in Hoi An – to have some special experiences in being a real villager. Cam Thanh is attractive to visitors not only because of its peaceful beauty, but also its good-natured people who are mainly engaged in agriculture and therefore interested in tourism as well.

Ride a bicycle to Thanh Dong Organic Farm. Take a short stroll around the vegetable garden while listening to the life-changing stories of the villagers since they have been approached to teach methods of organic herb cultivation. Afterwards you will join the farmers and do some gardening activities like preparing and applying organic manure to the land, raking the ground, sowing, watering and picking vegetables.

Continue by experiencing a basket boat ride on the picturesque Co Co river, where you will have a chance to look at some unique fishing methods of the local fishermen. More interestingly, you may play some traditional Vietnamese folk games at the restaurant before the cooking class. Enjoy your lunch in a bamboo house surrounded by the sights of the river and rice paddies.

2:00pm : Afterwards, you will continue on a Hoi An – Path Less Traveled excursion.

Take a walk through Hoi An’s Old Town, with its hundreds of historic houses, congregation halls, pagodas and other notable structures. A key trading port from the 15th to 19th centuries, Old Town’s wide range of architectural styles reflect its indigenous and foreign influences, leading to the city becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. As you explore the seemingly endless myriad of alleyways, you will visit a number of local workshops, important cultural sites, and see how the locals spend their days.

Be prepared to greet a lot of people, as locals love to engage with outsiders, and are proud of their businesses that have grown up in these narrow alleyways. You then take a drinks break on a veranda overlooking the river. Watch fishing and tour boats glide through the waters, while enjoying a refreshing drink. From here you continue through the Old Town, while your guide tells you stories about the area, explaining local customs and fun facts about life here. You then pass over the famous Japanese Covered Bridge – your final stop of the afternoon. End with a visit to a local family who will show you the skills required to make your own handmade lantern.

Following your excursion, you will be transferred back to the hotel. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.

Enjoy your evening at leisure.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

January 29, 2022 – Welcome to Saigon! Upon arrival, collect your luggage and make your way to the arrivals hall, where you will be met by your local private guide and transferred to a nice restaurant for lunch.

Following lunch, you will continue with some sightseeing of the city.

Your first stop will be the Reunification Palace, the residence of South Vietnam’s former president before 1975. Later, you head to the War Museum, one of Vietnam’s most popular museums, which focuses primarily on the American side of the Vietnam War. Next, you will visit the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Post Office. Please note that the Cathedral is undergoing restoration through 2023 and will only be open for church services during this time.

Saigon is the country’s most dynamic city – a vital economic hub bustling with life. The city could be described as a reconciliation of Chinese and American influences, while retaining its distinct Vietnamese charm and character.

Modern office skyscrapers, next to Chinese pagodas, street markets, food vendors and imposing colonial buildings – they all create a fascinating, dynamic urban landscape.

A bit further, you come across The Café Apartment, an old nine-story apartment building that residents have converted into funky, stylish coffee shops and boutiques.

At The Café Apartment, there is a perfect place to relax for a traditional Vietnamese tea-tasting experience. You might not be a tea connoisseur, but you will find it fascinating all the same. After a long day of exploring, it is a great way to end the afternoon.

Following your sightseeing, you will be transferred to Park Hyatt Hotel Saigon

Park Hyatt Saigon

January 30, 2022 – This morning, you will be met in the hotel lobby by your local private guide for a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels, including a light breakfast and lunch.

After being transferred from your hotel to the pier, you will ride in a 5-star speedboat to Cu Chi. Along the way you will be served a light breakfast of pastries, sandwiches and fruit. You set out early to avoid the large tour groups, ensuring that your boat arrives before everyone else.

You will have an opportunity to uncover the secrets of the Cu Chi Tunnels, a vast network of underground passageways built and used by the Viet Cong to evade detection as they moved troops and supplies throughout Ho Chi Minh City’s northern district. During the visit, an English-speaking guide will introduce you to life along the banks of the Saigon River as your boat gracefully slips through knots of floating water hyacinths on this scenic boat trip. Enjoy a window into traditional Mekong river life and wonderful photo opportunities.

After a short documentary, your guide will lead you through the historic Cu Chi tunnels, dug by resourceful guerrilla fighters to provide communication, hospitals, food, and weapon caches during numerous conflicts. A traditional Vietnamese lunch of local specialties like lemongrass chicken and caramelized clay pot pork will be served after your visit to the tunnels. You will then board your boat for the scenic trip back to Saigon.

Upon arrival back at the hotel, enjoy the remainder of your afternoon at leisure.

This evening, you will be met in the hotel lobby by your local private guide for a Vespa Foodie Experience, including dinner.

First stop at Café Zoom to relax and watch the world go by while enjoying a cocktail and appetizer. You then head to a favorite local eating spot where you can experience Saigon’s nightlife the way locals do – all from the back of a vintage Vespa scooter.

Take a ride to Chinatown and then head to District 4 through busy streets and alleyways for nightlife and street seafood – places where you will not see any foreigners. Leave District 4 and head to District 3. Passing through downtown Saigon, you can take in the sights on the way to Banh Xeo, where locals go to eat out. Then continue on to a hidden Vietnamese-style coffee shop for a taste of local music. After this continue on to a lively bar to enjoy drinks and live music.

Following your foodie experience, you will be transferred back to the hotel

Saigon by Motor Bike

January 31, 2022

Three hours before your scheduled flight departure, you will be met in the hotel lobby by your local private guide and transferred to the Saigon Airport.

Upon arrival at the airport, you will check-in for your onward travels.

Call Jolene DiRocco at 941-951-1801 at extension 106 now to reserve your space on this unique journey today!  You may e-mail at jolene@admiraltravel.com

Cost: $5,495.00 per person, based on double occupancy

Deposit: 25% non-refundable trip deposit required to confirm.

A $50 per person Admiral Travel booking fee will apply.

OptionalSeaplane from Hanoi to Lan Ha Bay

Inclusions:

  • Overnight accommodation is inclusive of hotel tax, hotel service charges and includes daily breakfast
  • 2D1N Orchid cruise (Shared cruise/private cabin)
  • Private transfers and transportation on tour
  • Sightseeing with Local English speaking guides (escort guide)
  • Entrance fees and boat rides
  • Meals as specified (included soft drink/ mineral water)
  • Airfares: Hanoi – Da Nang / Da Nang – Saigon (Economy class with airport tax)
  • Cold towels and water on sightseeing days
  • Welcome pack
  • International Airport Assistance Service on arrival in Hanoi
  • Vietnam visa letter and stamping fee

Exclusions:

  • Other Airport Assistance Service
  • Alcoholic beverages on Orchid Cruise
  • Other meals where not mentioned in the program
  • Other flights & airport taxes
  • Hotel early check in/ Late check-out
  • Overweight luggage
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips & gratuities
  • Other services not listed in inclusive column

Please consider a pre-stay in Bali at one of our fantastic partner properties!

These hotels are primarily located in two distinct regions on the Island of Bali. Some are situated on the Southern coastal region where white sand beaches, turquoise waters and breathtaking sunsets reign supreme. The Southern Coast is also known as one of the best areas for nightlife and cuisine. The others are located in Ubud, the artistic and energetic hub of the Island known for its world-class yoga, wellness and spirituality retreats. Your Admiral Travel Advisor can find the perfect location for you to soak up some of the Balinese magic prior to embarking on our cruise.

PLEASE NOTE: 

  • Founder’s Journey will always be priced at or below published rates, but never higher.
  • Travel with like-minded individuals on these exclusive departures.
  • Enjoy a welcome cocktail party to meet your fellow travelers.
  • A hosted dinner will be offered during one night of the trip with the Hiltons.
  • On many occasions, optional shore events are offered as an option that only our group is invited to join.
  • Special global relationships that the Hiltons have formed over the years will allow you privileged access opportunities.
  • Trips are offered well in advance to give ample time for your future planning.
  • Minimum numbers must be met in order for the Hiltons to host the journey.
  • The Hiltons reserve the right to adjust the duration of their participation should any schedule conflicts arise.