Paradise Sails: Adventure Without Compromise
Paradise Sails: Adventure Without Compromise
Paradise Sails is your ticket to an incredible, unforgettable Halong Bay experience, without sacrificing any of the comforts and quality of service that are characteristic of all Paradise cruises. You can’t beat the deals you’ll get on this boat, with ample cabin space, a full-featured spa, world-class dining, and all the activities featured on the itineraries of every Paradise cruise.
First Impressions: A Charming Wooden Boat
Whether you land in Hanoi or Hai Phong, booking a shuttle with Paradise Cruises means a friendly face will be ready and waiting for you, setting the tone for the start of your Halong Bay adventure. After a long flight, you’ll cruise in a comfortable van to the lounge at Paradise Hotel at Tuan Chau Island, the launching point of all Paradise Cruises.
The excitement in the air at Paradise Lounge as eager soon-to-be passengers from all over the world arrive and check-in, eager to cruise Halong Bay. From 10:30 am, you can approach the check-in desk, where the friendly concierge will confirm your booking and give you your first souvenir: a unique colored wristband to ensure you can always find the right cruise, and so that cruise staff know exactly how to assist you at all times. You’ll also receive tags for your luggage, which are transported and delivered all the way to your cruise cabin for you. You’re in good hands now, and your holiday has officially begun!
At 12:15, you’ll take an electric vehicle for a 3-minute drive to the pier, where you’ll first admire the impressive, traditional wooden junk boat. In typical Paradise fashion, you’ll feel like royalty from your very first steps onto the boat, with a gentle shower of rose petals falling from above as you walk through the entryway and are greeted by the smiling staff with a complimentary welcome beverage. The interior of the boat is embellished with beautiful dark wood carvings and tasteful decor, exuding a classic charm while maintaining a sense of modern sophistication.
The rest of the crew are waiting for you up a short flight of stairs in the dining room. Here you’ll receive a warm introduction to your cruise crew, including kitchen and spa staff, as well as the service staff who can assist you and answer your questions at any time during your stay. You’ll also be treated a traditional Vietnamese song and dance featuring the iconic Vietnamese conical hat, a fun and fascinating cultural glimpse into what lies ahead for your stay in Halong, and wherever else your journey in Vietnam takes you.
As the boat departs and reaches cruising speed you’ll see the famous limestone karsts seemingly shooting up out of the water, slowly drifting by as the boat begins its entry into the legendary Halong Bay. Finally--it’s what you came here to see!
You’ll then receive your room key. Head downstairs and your luggage will be waiting for you right outside your door. The biggest surprise of all comes when you first open your cabin door. Unbelievably, there’s space! The bathroom? Huge. The bed? Just as cozy and soft as you would hope. And depending on your booking, you can either explore the front lower deck from your room or enjoy your own private balcony looking out at the bay as it drifts by.
Luxury Begins with Lunch
The calm of Halong Bay is perhaps its most striking feature. As you drift away from Tuan Chau island, an almost tangible sense of peace and tranquility envelops your senses. With scarcely a sound except for the dull hum of the boat as it gently cruises along, you’ll immediately begin to feel relaxed and refreshed. It’s difficult to resist continuously snapping photos and recording video of the rock formations in those first few moments, and we don’t blame you--they’re absolutely breathtaking.
After settling into your delightfully luxurious new abode, you’ll be ready for lunch. Whether you’ve tried Vietnamese food before your cruise, or if this is your very first true Vietnamese meal in Vietnam, you’ll be amazed at the colorful, flavorful array of options. Delicious lemongrass chicken, fresh shrimp, and savory vegetable soup are among the highlights you’ll encounter in this first meal. Served in true Vietnamese style, every dish is meant for sharing. Try a little bit of everything, and have more of the things you like. You can even request a little bit extra of your favorite dish. Depending on availability, the staff is enthusiastic to accommodate. This is an excellent opportunity to practice saying “thank you” in Vietnamese: “cảm ơn!”
It’s almost overwhelming how much food you get when you first arrive. Just when you think the last dish has been set down, another incredible work of culinary art arrives! You’ll be spoiled for choice in your first meal aboard Paradise Sails, so don’t worry if you’re a picky eater; the sheer variety means you’re sure to try more than a few items that suit your taste, and that you can’t enjoy in quite the same way anywhere else.
After an amazing meal, the adventure begins. But you won’t have to sit idly and wait for the boat to arrive at the next destination. This is a great time to explore the facilities the boat has to offer. Climb to the upper deck and take in the gorgeous 360 views--get a few selfies in while you’re at it! Go down to reception to check out the spa menu and treat yourself! You can get started there and then, or book yourself an appointment later on so you don’t miss out on any of the afternoon activities. Nothing beats an invigorating and relaxing massage after a day of exploring and trekking in Halong Bay.
You’ll hear an announcement over the loudspeakers inviting you to join the first activity: Tung Sau Pearl Farm! You’ll see the boat drift closer and closer to an adorable floating house with a prominent “PEARL FARM” sign telling you exactly what to expect. Here you’ll have the chance to see the fascinating process by which pearls are “planted” in each oyster, then harvested, and eventually sold as stunning jewelry. You’ll learn the difference between oysters, different colors they produce, and how to determine the value and quality of each pearl, accompanied by a live pearl harvesting demonstration. This is a great opportunity for souvenir shopping. What better way to impress a loved one than with authentic Halong Bay pearl jewelry, directly from the source? For the budget-conscious, more affordable and just as beautiful Mother-of-Pearl creations are available--great for friends and family members.
If you’re eager to get out on the water and work off that lunch, you can then hop on a kayak and explore the pearl farm area, get up close to the limestone karst formations, and just enjoy being out on the calm water. If pearls don’t interest you, that’s fine too! Get out there and get the most out of this stop by spending the hour kayaking Halong Bay and enjoying the stunning sights.
After returning to the Paradise Sails cruise ship, you’ll be off to your second activity of the afternoon. The Paradise Cruise Halong Bay itinerary is flexible depending on cruising conditions, your next stop could be Ti Top Island or Sung Sot Cave.
Ti Top is a climb. 450 steps! So wear your most comfortable shoes and bring some water for this one. Don’t worry; you’ll have a chance to take a breather halfway up, and even here you’ll be treated to a fantastic view on the halfway platform. If you’re satisfied at this point in the journey, you can head back down and lounge on the beach, or even go for a swim in the gorgeous blue-emerald water. Those who are willing to make the rest of the climb will be rewarded with the best 360-degree view in Halong Bay. A cool breeze refreshes you at this height and benches are available so you can sit back, relax, and just take it all in.
Sung Sot Cave is its own magical adventure, aptly named “Surprise Cave” by the French colonialists who first happened upon it. While appearing like an ordinary cave from the outside, a climb up the steps and into the chamber soon gives way to a massive inner room with huge ceilings and a cavern that seems to stretch back endlessly. The stalactite and stalagmite formations are as stunning as the geometric patterns lining the arched ceilings. Though many natural attractions in this part of the world are soiled by tacky cement animals and LED lights, this cave is tastefully and carefully lit by halogen lights that really bring out the highlights and shadows of the enchanting rock formations in this cave. A winding path takes you all through the cave and backs out to a gorgeous view of Halong bay.
Exquisite Evenings on Paradise Sails
With all your adventures done for the first day, it’s time to head back to Paradise Sails for that spa treatment! Or simply relax in the restaurant, the deck, or your private room with a beverage. Paradise happy hour shouldn’t be missed: 2-for-1 beer, wine, and cocktails! You’ll also have a chance to watch a cooking demonstration, and learn how to make “gỏi cuốn” (Vietnamese fresh spring rolls). Try it yourself, and the kitchen staff will arrange it on a dish with some dipping sauce for you. The perfect delicious appetizer before you settle in for dinner.
Dinner is a highlight of Paradise Sails. You’ll have the opportunity to wear the traditional Bao Dai, worn by royal emperors and empresses in ancient Hue, the old capital of Vietnam. Admittedly, it’s funny to look around at the other international guests on the boat, all participating in this old Vietnamese tradition. But it’s so much fun! You can really live the fantasy now, and the service and food that comes with it really make you feel like you’re dining in a royal palace. You’ll have the choice between Western and Eastern dishes for dinner, and of course, any preferences or dietary needs will be gladly accommodated by our chef for each guest.
The end of your first night can be spent however you like. Have a few more cocktails, chat with the other cruise guests or enjoy an intimate evening alone or with your loved one. The Spa is still open, and a movie will play in the restaurant for anyone who wants a little pre-sleep entertainment. It’s your cruise, so have as of late or early of a night as you like.
Those who are early to bed and early to rise can take advantage of our included Tai Chi session on the roof the next morning, guided by one of your expert Paradise crew. There’s no better and more zen way to start your day than on the upper deck of Paradise Sails, watching the sunrise behind the mythical limestone karsts and enjoying that gentle cool morning breeze, with utter silence, calm, and stillness in the air.
Cruises Suited to Any Itinerary
Whether your adventure continues for another day and another night or concludes after your first night aboard Paradise Sails, your experience will be stunning and unforgettable. Those who opt for a 2-night stay can really get the most out of their experience of Halong--highly recommended for travelers who come from afar, as you won’t regret maximizing your time here. For those who are more limited on time, Paradise Sails also offers a quick day cruise to some of Halong Bay’s highlights, which will still give you a great experience of Halong while accommodating a more limited travel schedule.
Paradise Sails is not a compromise. It’s an experience and a magical adventure all its own. You can expect the same authentic experiences, premium comforts, and exceptional service that come standard with every single Paradise Cruise, and chances are you’ll be dreaming about a return visit soon after your experience with us. Paradise Sails is ready to welcome you for your unforgettable Halong Bay adventure.
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