Embark in Hong KongArrive in Hong Kong and embark the L'Austral between 5 and 6 PM. Settle in to your cabin and attend a welcome dinner. Familiarize yourself with the ship and her staff as you set sail.
At SeaAs you embark and head towards your first destination, continue to get to know your ship and her amenities. Acquaint yourself with your "home" for the next several days.
Haiphong, VietnamHaiphong is an industrialized city with the largest ports in Vietnam, however its surrounding rural area is still very traditional. Choose from two optional excursions. First, Take a drive into Vihn Bao and visit a village family to see how they work on wood. Continue to visit the village temple where you can drop a pomelo in the crescent shaped well in front of the village God. You can visit with other families who raise buffalo, or make a stop at the village courtyard to enjoy a puppet show. Alternatively, spend the day exploring the capital city of Hanoi. Visit Ba Dinh Square, the Temple of Literature, the Ngoc Son Pagoda, and enjoy lunch at a local Hanoi restaurant.
Ha Long Bay, VietnamEnjoy several options for exploring Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for the mountains and caves that highlight its idyllic beauty. See the area by sea on a Junk as you enjoy a gentle cruise through remarkable green water. Or choose to glide through these calm waters by kayak. You can also enjoy a short drive to visit the Yen Tu Buddhist Zen Monastery and the Halong farmers' gardens.
At SeaFollowing the first leg of your voyage, spend time relaxing in the library or enjoying the passing scenery from the deck.
Da Nang, VietnamFrom the port of Da Nang, choose from several optional excursions. Visit Hoi An, a lovely riverside town and a World Heritage Site, which has remained unchanged for centuries. Initially an important trading port, Hoi An boasts some of Vietnam's most historic architecture as well as temples and community houses. Join a coach tour inland to Hue, the 19th-century Imperial City of Vietnam. Here visit the Royal Citadel, the Heavenly Lady Pagoda, the tomb of Emperor Tu Doc, and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. If you don't want to choose one or the other - you can also opt for a full-day excursion that includes both unique sites.
At SeaWhile your ship cruises, take advantage of your ship's luxurious amenities.
Nha Trang, VietnamNha trang is a small sleepy town that spreads out along the length of a beautiful sandy beach, with a backdrop of hills and rocky outcroppings. Choose to see the city by pedicab, passing along the coast, museum, stone church, main street downtown, Tran Phu bridge, and Ponagar ancient tower. Alternatively take a coach tour to the Hindu Temple of Po Nagar whose towers are now crumbling, but stand as evidence of the ancient Cham civilization. Visit also Long Son Pagoda, and the Dam Market in the center of Nha Trang. On your way back to the ship, visit an embroidery workshop.
Sailing the Saigon River / Ho Chi Mihn, VietnamSpend the morning cruising the legendary Saigon River. Enjoy the scenery as you sail into the bustling harbor of Ho Chi Mihn city. Historic, heroic, crowded, and booming - Ho Chi Minh City is still commonly referred to as Saigon. Choose an optional excursion to discover the metropolis. On your way to the city center, see grand old buildings such as the "wedding cake" style Hotel d'Ville and the historic Rex hotel. See colorful markets selling everything from chilies to French baguettes and, of course, an endless stream of bicycles, cyclos and motorbikes. Your panoramic tour includes a number of cultural and historic landmarks throughout the city. Alternatively, depart the city for Cai Be to visit the centuries-old floating market along the banks of the Mekong River. Embark a private boat for the highlight of the day: a chance to discover the day-to-day life of the friendly locals living along the Mekong. Your trip takes you through a maze of canals, past many boats, and on to one of the many islands in the delta to visit the traditional homes of fruit farmers and fishermen. Stroll in a mandarin orchard, and visit an ancient teakwood house located within the orchard.
Ho Chi Mihn, Vietnam / Sailing the Saigon RiverDepart Ho Chi Mihn and cruise back down the Saigon River. Relax on board as you enjoy the ever-changing scenery.
At SeaOn your last day at sea, take time to reflect on the remarkable sights, smells, and sounds you have encountered on your trip.
Disembark in SingaporeFollowing breakfast on board, disembark in Singapore. Transfer to the airport for your homeward journey.