Vietnam Essentials


Experience the highlights of Vietnam journeying from north to south. From the colonial charm of the capital Hanoi, and the sweeping vistas of Halong Bay of the north, to the quaint, UNESCO-listed Hoi An of the center, and onwards south to Ho Chi Minh City and the lush Mekong Delta, this comprehensive program offers an insightful look into this fascinating country.


  • 02 Night accommodation at Hanoi
  • 01 Night accommodation at Halong Bay Cruise plus Touring & Fullboard Meals
  • 02 Night accommodation at Hoi An
  • 02 Night accommodation at Ho Chi Minh City
  • Daily breakfast
  • Private Arrival & Departure Transfers Per City
  • Private Hanoi City Tour
  • Private Hoi An City Tour
  • Private Ho Chi Minh City Tour


Welcome aboard! 

On arrival in Hanoi you will be met by our representative with your name card in his hand who will transfer to your hotel and check in.  

Overnight in Hanoi

Sightseeing in Hanoi

After breakfast proceed on a sightseeing tour of Hanoi. Although it is the modern-day capital of Vietnam, Hanoi still retains the mystery and charm of past centuries, with its narrow lanes and traditional shop houses. Begin with an exploration of the vast Ho Chi Minh Memorial Complex. Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum which contains the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh (closed Mondays, Fridays and during September and October); and Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House where Ho Chi Minh lived from 1958 until his final days in 1969. Preserved in the same condition as during his life, it may be viewed through the windows. Continue to the miniature 11th-century One Pillar Pagoda which was rebuilt after being destroyed by the French in 1954, and then to the Temple of Literature with its walled courtyards and graceful gateways. Founded in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius, this was also the site of Vietnam’s first university. Afterwards, head to the Museum of Ethnology (closed Mondays and during Vietnam New Year). This museum showcases art, traditional clothing, and reconstructions of traditional longhouses from 54 different ethnic groups.

In the afternoon, visit Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple which contains an islet with the tiny Tortoise Pagoda. Along the way pass by other colonial landmarks such as the magnificent Opera House (may be seen from the outside only) and St. Joseph’s Cathedral.

Overnight at Hanoi

Private Transfer from Hanoi to Halong Bay with guide.

Cruise along Halong Bay aboard Pelican Cruise (or another cruise of your choice).

Have a welcome drink before the cruise briefing, safety instructions, and cabin check-in. Enjoy a Vietnamese buffet lunch as the ship passes by the most beautiful and quiet areas of Halong Bay such as Incense Burner, Dog Stone Islet, Fighting Cock, Soi Sim beach, and Coconut Tree Island.

You’ll visit a pearl farm in Tung Sau area, where you can learn how pearls are cultivated, harvested, and processed. You can also try some kayaking while you are there. Proceed to Ti Top beach for some swimming, if the weather permits. Named by President Ho Chi Minh after the famed Russian cosmonaut Gherman Titov, Ti Top island is famous for its fresh atmosphere, clean water, and smooth white sand.

As you sail along Halong Bay, partake in a range of activities (many of which are optional and at your own expense) that includes a traditional Vietnamese cooking class on the sundeck. Anchor at Luon Bo area for the overnight stay, and dinner will be served on board.

Overnight on board the Pelican cruise.

Cruise along Halong Bay aboard Pelican Cruise (or another cruise of your choice).  

Tai Chi session on the Sundeck. Coffee, tea, & freshly baked pastries will be served at the onboard restaurant. Visit Sung Sot Cave, a UNESCO World Heritage site located on Bo Hon Island. Head back to the cruise to check out and settle the bill. Have a buffet brunch, relax on the sundeck or dining room, and enjoy the scenery as the ship returns to Tuan Chau Wharf. With your private driver and guide, transfer from Halong to Hanoi Airport for the flight to Hoi An.

Overnight at Hoi An

*Please kindly note that this itinerary is based on inclusions on Pelican Cruise, other cruises may have different options. Inclusions at Pelican Cruise are subject to change.

After breakfast proceed on a sightseeing tour of Hoi An, a picturesque riverside town, was one of South East Asia’s major international ports during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. This walking tour includes many of the town’s highlights. Visit the Japanese Covered Bridge, constructed in 1593 by the Japanese community to link the town with the Chinese quarters across the stream. Near the bridge is Sa Huynh Museum which houses exhibitions from the earliest period of Hoi An’s history. Wander into the Tran Family Chapel, a 200-year-old house built for worshipping ancestors. Visit Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall, a Chinese pagoda built around 1690 and enlarged in 1900. It is typical of the Chinese clans in the Hoi An area and is dedicated to Thien Hau Thanh Mau, the Goddess of the Sea and Protector of Sailors and Fishermen. Also enter into a Lantern Making Workshop to see how the frame is made and the silk cloth put onto the lantern.

Overnight in Hoi An.

After breakfast, transfer to Danang airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City.

Sightseeing in Ho Chi Minh City

A vibrant metropolis, Ho Chi Minh City teems with energy, activity, and motion. Everywhere you look, you see the meeting of traditional and modern life. Begin with a tour of the historic center, strolling along Dong Khoi Street, formerly known as the Rue Catinat, the main shopping thoroughfare and heart of old colonial Ho Chi Minh City. Pass by classic European-style landmarks such as the ornate City Hall (Hotel De Ville), the old Opera House (both may only be viewed from the outside), and pay a quick visit to the neo-Romanesque Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office.

Afterwards dive into modern history with a tour of the Reunification Palace. Formerly the Independence Palace of the South Vietnamese president, this 60s style was famously stormed by tanks on April 30, 1975 signifying the fall of South Vietnam. It has been preserved in its original state, and the original tanks remain on display near the entrance gates. Continue to the harrowing War Remnants Museum, which comprehensively documents the travails of the long Vietnam- American War. Inside are detailed photographic exhibitions; outside is a collection of tanks, planes, and weapons. A powerful experience, this museum is guaranteed to provoke strong emotions. Finally, visit the Emperor Of Jade Pagoda, one of Ho Chi Minh City’s most interesting pagodas.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

After breakfast the day is free for you to explore this bustling capitol.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

After breakfast, transfer to the airport to board your return flight back home. 

Start Planning Now

Get in touch with us to book this vacation or customize it to your specific needs.