Life Resorts plots Ha Long Bay’s first customisable itineraries
VIETNAM – The age of exploration may be over, but for visitors to Northern Vietnam, the map just got a little bigger.
Last week Life Heritage Resort Ha Long Bay unveiled three overnight itineraries for guests of its private fleet; including the most extensive cruise route currently open to travellers within the UNESCO Natural Heritage Site.
Taking advantage of the compact design and shallow draft of its 22 heritage junks, Life Resorts’ itineraries are intended to offer travellers a choice between three distinct adventures through previously unexplored regions of Ha Long Bay.
Unfamiliar stops in the three itineraries – the Eastern, Central and Western Isles – take in Cong Do Island, a floating primary school, Ha Long’s largest fishing village, Cat Ba National Park, a sail through the international shipping channel and along the mouth of the Gulf of Tonkin.
“We’ve taken our years of first-hand knowledge of the bay and these waters and distilled them into these three incomparable itineraries,” said Chris Duffy, general director of Life Resorts.
“From the start, the plan was to allow visitors to experience Ha Long Bay in the broadest sense possible, while in the greatest comfort, privacy and safety,” said Duffy. “Already we’re sailing guests farther into the bay than any other cruise operator, and the feedback is overwhelming.”
By following the planned circuits, guests will sail a different area during each part of the voyage, staying in secluded anchorages overnight and never covering the same stretch of water twice. Itineraries can be customised to suit guests’ preferences.
Aimed at culture seekers and the adventurous, the Western Isles Itinerary sails guests on the border of the UNESCO boundary and Cat Ba National Park, stopping at Cua Van fishing village. The most far-reaching circuit open to Ha Long’s visitors, the Eastern Isles Itinerary skims the Gulf of Tonkin and circles Cong Do Island, providing a taste of the breadth and scope of the bay. The Central Isles Itinerary takes guests to their choice of famous attractions in the most-visited part of the bay, only a few minutes from the Life Resorts hub on Tuan Chau Island.