Vietnam by Land and by Sea

Program Overview

Journey through Vietnam, where natural beauty, sacred rituals, and cultural wonders come together on an exceptional 14-day expedition that includes a 7-night cruise from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to Hanoi. This program features guest speakers Kim Phuc, famously photographed as a child in 1972 Vietnam; Nick Ut, the Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer who took that iconic image; and Jim Laurie, a TV news correspondent during the Vietnam War. Enhance your experience with the Siem Reap and Cambodia Pre-Program Option.

Vietnam by Sea and Ankgor Wat

Program Details

February 22 to March 6, 2024 (Le Jacques Cartier)
From $7,195 plus air View Terms & Conditions
  • Uniquely designed 14-day land and cruise expedition through Vietnam, featuring the scenic beauty, rich culture, and history of Vietnam, including the South China Sea and Gulf of Tonkin.
  • Experience the full breadth of Vietnam afforded by a cruise of the South China Sea.
  • Visit three UNESCO World Heritage Sites—Ha Long Bay, Hue, and Hoi An.
  • Meet Kim Phuc, famously photographed fleeing a Napalm Strike when she was 9 years old, and learn more about her commitment to global peace.
  • Engage with Nick Ut, the Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer who captured that moment for the Associated Press and shared it with the world.
  • Hear award-winning reporter Jim Laurie talk about his days covering Vietnam and Cambodia for NBC News in the 1970's, including as a witness to the Fall of Saigon.
  • Join Nick Ut for an onboard workshop and hands-on coaching to elevate your travel photography.
  • Siem Reap Pre-Program Option in a world-renowned, 5-star hotel.

Day 1-2 - Depart home city/Cross the International Date Line

Day 3 - Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam

Day 4 - Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Day 5 - Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)/Embark Le Jacques Cartier

Day 6 - Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Day 7 - Cruising the South China Sea

Day 8 - Da Nang for Hôi An

Day 9 - Da Nang/Chan May for Hué

Day 10 - Chan May

Day 11 - Cruising the South China Sea

Day 12 - Ha Long Bay

Day 13 - Hanoi

Day 14 - Hanoi/Depart for home city/Cross the International Date Line/Arrive in home city

View detailed program itinerary >

Le Jacques Cartier

Exclusively Chartered, 5-Star Luxury Small Ship

  • Only 92 suites and staterooms, each with a private balcony.
  • All meals included on board the ship, as well as alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages throughout the cruise.
  • State-of-the-art theater ideal for enriching programming.

Two nights in the 5-star Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi. Situated in the heart of the Vietnamese Capital, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi has been Hanoi’s legendary landmark since 1901. The Hotel Metropole Hanoi was the first Sofitel Legend property in the world and is the recipient of numerous international awards for its fine service. This legendary landmark has contributed to the history and heritage of the city. The hotel has a long tradition as a luxury venue for prestigious events & as a popular rendezvous for business and leisure travelers including playwrights, ambassadors and heads of state.

Three nights in the 5-star Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra hotel, which offers the discerning traveler the ultimate in comfort and refinement by combining the traditional architecture of Cambodia with elegant French colonial style to create a resort of unsurpassed luxury. Set amidst a landscaped lake garden and surrounded by lagoons, the hotel offers visitors a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere.

Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Cambodia

Cambodia Pre-Program Option

This three-night pre-tour extension in Siem Reap immerses you in the rich culture and traditions of Cambodia and the Siem Reap province with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enjoy a private dinner at Kravan Temple in UNESCO World Heritage-designated Angkor Wat. Begin your exploration of this storied region with a visit to the royal walled city of Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Khmer Empire. Tour the area surrounding its UNESCO-designated complex, including the Terrace of the Elephants, Terrace of the Leper King, and Royal Palace. Nearby, visit UNESCO-inscribed Ta Prohm, a 12th-century Buddhist temple that remains largely untouched by man. Here, the dynamic life cycle between nature and humanity provides the basis for Ta Prohm’s legendary “lost city” tales. Continue your discovery with a tour of the 12th century Temple of Angkor Wat. the largest religious structure in the world which stands in testament to the centuries-long grandeur of the prosperous Khmer Empire. As darkness falls later that evening, you will head back into the temple complex for a dinner to remember. After being greeted by a traditional Chayam dance, you will dine under the stars with full table service among its famous temples with entertainment into the night. Enjoy luxury accommodations at the 5-star Sofitel Angkor Wat.

The Pre-Program Option is available at an additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.

With specially arranged, acclaimed guest speakers:

Kim Phuc and Nick Ut at a Press Club EventKim Phuc—On June 8, 1972, 9-year-old Kim Phuc was photographed fleeing a napalm strike. The photograph, “Napalm Girl,” remains one of the most influential images from the Vietnam War. Today, Phuc is a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Peace and the author of Fire Road, the inspirational story of her unexpected survival and unshakeable faith. She shares her experience at global events and has received awards and recognitions, including six honorary doctorates, for work supporting child victims of war and her commitment to global peace. She has also inspired the nonprofit organization KIM Foundation International.

Huỳnh Công Út, known professionally as Nick Ut, is a Vietnamese-American photographer who began taking photographs for the Associated Press in Vietnam at age 16 after his older brother, Huynh Thanh, also an AP photographer, was killed in combat. His photo of Phan Thi Kim Phuc running toward the camera from a South Vietnamese napalm strike made history and won the Pulitzer Prize, among other major photographic awards. Immediately after making the photo, he rushed her to a hospital, which saved her life. Ut continued covering the Vietnam War for AP and also worked in Tokyo before being transferred to Los Angeles in 1977. He still works for AP as a photojournalist, and is still in touch with Kim Phuc, now living in Canada, whom he calls every week.

Jim Laurie

Jim Laurie

Jim Laurie is a distinguished international broadcaster, writer, and media consultant who has witnessed many defining moments in Asia’s history for over 50 years. He began covering Indochina for NBC News in 1972 and became the only American network correspondent to witness the fall of Saigon to the North Vietnamese in 1975. Laurie's memoir of his early days in Vietnam and Cambodia, The Last Helicopter: Two Lives in Indochina was published in April 2020. He is the recipient of a Peabody Award, two Emmy Awards, and an Amnesty International Award and has also co-produced, written, and directed several television documentaries.

Ready to Begin Your Journey?

We'll contact you. No obligation.

Reserve My Spot

Program Itinerary

Day 1-2 Depart home city/Cross the International Date Line

Depart your home city and cross the International Date Line.

Day 3 Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam

Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City, a vibrant convergence of Vietnamese heritage and French panache. Check into the 5-star Park Hyatt Saigon hotel for an evening at leisure.

Day 4 Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Enjoy a scenic tour of Ho Chi Minh City that begins at the imposing Reunification Hall Palace and includes stops at the neo-Romanesque-style Notre Dame Cathedral and the City Opera House, a stunning counterpart to the Petit Palais in Paris that recalls the city’s 19th century French-colonial history. Visit the Saigon Central Post Office, a stunning piece of 19th century French architecture from the city’s Indochina period. See Ho Chi Minh City Hall, Ho Chi Minh Square, and the Rex Hotel, famously used during the war for briefings. Spend the afternoon exploring the city’s culinary traditions with a choice of several included excursions.

Day 5 Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)/Embark Le Jacques Cartier

Explore the parts of the city you are most interested in with an included excursion of your choice. You may board a river boat to visit the astonishing Cu Chi Tunnels—a 75-mile underground complex built by Viet Cong that stretches from Saigon to the Cambodian border. Another option will be to embark on the “Ho Chi Minh City Past & Present” bus tour, which will take you to Chinatown, the Thien Hau pagoda, Cha Tam church, the Fine Arts Museum, and New Thu Thiem Bridge. You will also see the Marou Chocolate house and popular Thao Dien District. Board the ship this evening and enjoy traditional folklore and instrument performances.

Day 6 Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Begin your day with the “Good Morning Saigon” excursion to see locals doing their exercises in Tao Dan park, the Su Thien Chieu monument, and local markets. Sip a Vietnamese coffee or try Pho noodles before embarking the ship. Enjoy lunch on board and then cruise the coast of Vietnam. Special guest speaker Phan Thi Kim Phuc will present a “Lessons of Life” lecture and discuss the iconic “Napalm Girl” photo that was taken of her in 1972. Jim Laurie, an acclaimed journalist who saw the fall of Saigon when covering the Vietnam War, will also speak on board this evening.

Day 7 Cruising the South China Sea

Savor a day at sea as Vietnam’s natural landscapes unfold.

Day 8 Da Nang for Hôi An

Surrounded by the Marble Mountains and clear-blue waters, coastal Da Nang is known for its sandy beaches, forested hillsides, and food culture. Prior to the 14th century, nearby Hoi An was the commercial capital of the Cham Empire and a strategic global port. This captivating UNESCO World Heritage Site preserves more than 800 buildings from the 15th to 19th century that emanate a timeless, mystical aura. You may opt to take an included excursion or enjoy time at leisure.

Day 9 Chan May

See breathtaking views of the coastline as you cruise from Da Nang to Chan May. The countryside awaits in Chan May as you experience a small boat cruise down the Perfume River and a scenic drive to the 19th century Tomb of Tu Duc—one of the most impressive of the royal mausoleums, designed by Emperor Tu Duc himself during the Nguyen dynasty.

Day 10 Chan May/Hue

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Huê, located on the banks of the Perfume River, was the Imperial City of the Nguyen kings from 1601 to 1945. Drive from Chan May to explore its Imperial Citadel, the Noon Gate, and Thai Hoa Palace. See the Imperial Enclosure of the emperor’s residence, palaces, temples, and state buildings and the Purple Forbidden City, a citadel within a citadel formerly reserved for the royalty of the Nguyen Dynasty. Visit the 17th-century Thien Mu Pagoda, one of the holiest in Vietnam.

Day 11 Cruising the South China Sea

Enjoy a day at sea, surrounded by majestic scenery, and attend lectures featuring Phuc and Laurie.

Day 12 Ha Long Bay

Board a traditional Vietnamese junk for a private cruise and experience the ethereal beauty of Ha Long Bay, the “Bay of the Descending Dragon.” This UNESCO World Heritage Site is characterized by a seascape of over 1,600 emerald green pinnacles that soar from the bay’s tranquil waters. Cruise between limestone islands with wave-eroded caves and walk among the tapering stalactites and stalagmites in the natural grottoes of Thien Cung, the Heavenly Palace Cave. This evening, check into the 5-star Sofitel Legend Metropole.

Day 13 Hanoi

The undeniable charm of this enigmatic capital city resides in its time-honored rituals and compelling fusion of Vietnamese, Chinese, and French-colonial influences. A morning tour takes you past Hoan Kiem Lake—the mythical Lake of the Restored Sword—where a red wooden bridge leads to the jewel box Ngoc Son Pagoda. Walk among the 36 streets of the 13th-century Old Quarter, named after guilds formed in the Middle Ages. Visit the Hoa Lo Prison Museum, or “Hanoi Hilton,” where American pilots, including late Senator John McCain, were held as prisoners during the Vietnam War. Enjoy lunch on your own before joining an afternoon tour of the UNESCO-designated Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long—built in the 11th century by the Ly Viet Dynasty. Proceed to Ba Dinh Square, where the revered father of the nation lies in state in the granite Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Starkly juxtaposed against the Beaux Arts-style Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh’s modest two-room stilt house where he lived from 1958 until 1969, was built to reinforce the revolutionary leader’s image as a “man of the people.” Walk past this landmark to the 11th-century One Pillar Pagoda, one of Vietnam’s most iconic temples. Visit the Temple of Literature, a Confucian sanctuary and paradigm of traditional Vietnamese architecture. Attend a special event this evening.

Day 14 Hanoi/Depart for home city/Cross the International Date Line/Arrive in home city

Following breakfast in the hotel, transfer to the airport for your flight home, crossing the International Date Line.