Ha Long Bay, located in the Gulf of Tonkin in northern Vietnam is known for its stunning natural beauty with thousands of limestone cliffs rising from the emerald green waters, reports LLM.
Designated by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage Site, it is undoubtedly one of the most popular destinations in Vietnam, and the best way to explore Ha Long Bay is to stay on-board the many cruise ships that sail in the area. I checked in for two days on the Peony Cruise – and it was as pretty as it sounds.
Peony Cruises is a five-star luxury cruise company that offers a variety of tour packages for visitors to explore the Ha Long Bay. The company has two ships, the Peony and the Peony II, both of which offer a luxurious and comfortable stay with every amenity that one can imagine.
Elegantly designed and furnished, the ship has a spa, an open upper deck with a jacuzzi, mini swimming pool and a bar dishing out cocktails. The restaurant on the lower deck offers panoramic views of the Ha Long Bay while serving Vietnamese and international cuisines.
All cabins on Peony Cruises are spacious and well-equipped with private balconies that offer stunning views of the bay. Each cabin has its own ensuite bathroom, air conditioning, mini bar and fruits basket. Guests can choose from different cabin types, such as exclusive suite, family suite, and deluxe cabins depending on their preferences and budget.
One of the highlights of Peony Cruises is the exceptional service provided by the staff. From the moment guests step on board, they are greeted with warm hospitality and personalised attention. From hotel pickup to transfers, staff members are highly trained and attentive, ensuring that guests have a comfortable and enjoyable experience. The guides on the ship are also knowledgeable about the history and culture of Ha Long Bay and are happy to share their insights and recommendations.
The food on Peony Cruises is another highlight of the whole experience. Being the only vegetarian on the ship, the staff would take menu approvals before preparing the meals and I was pleasantly surprised with a four-course lunch served on the table while other guests enjoyed their buffet. The kitchen was also very efficient in accommodating other food requests and allergies.
Excursions and activities
In addition to enjoying being on board, guests can also participate in a variety of activities like kayaking, squid fishing, Tai Chi classes, and visits to local fishing villages and caves. The activities are well-planned and organised, allowing guests to fully immerse themselves in the natural beauty and culture of Ha Long Bay.
Our itinerary included Lan Ha Bay, a hike to and through Trung Trang Cave, a boat ride to Dark and Bright cave where you also have an option to go kayaking, a visit to a fishing village on the Cat Ba Island, a cooking class on how to make Vietnamese spring rolls, a cocktail party at sunset, and an early morning Tai Chi class on the deck. The caves and grottos within the cliffs were fascinating to explore, with their impressive stalactites and stalagmites.
In a nutshell
Peony Cruises is a great choice for visitors looking for a luxurious way to explore Ha Long Bay. The ships are well equipped, staff are friendly and attentive, and the activities on offer are diverse and interesting. Whether you are travelling solo, as a couple, or with family and friends, Peony Cruises is sure to provide an unforgettable journey through Ha Long Bay.
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