Mid-Voyage Land Adventure: Imperial Hue & Capital Hanoi
Experience a comprehensive look at some of Vietnam's most outstanding attractions, ranging from the country's rich history and remarkable architecture to traditional customs and modern amenities. Visit the imperial city of Hue, discover the venerable French Quarter and colonial charm of Hanoi and enjoy an introduction to Ho Chi Minh City, still commonly known as Saigon.
02MIDCHM-F Imperial Hue & Capital Hanoi
Departure: February 27, 2013
Duration: 2.5 Days/2 Nights
Re-join ship: March 1, 2013 in Ho Chi Minh City
December 20, 2012 Extended to December 31, 2012
This Mid-Voyage Land Adventure requires advance booking through Silversea Reservations by December 31, 2012. Requests received after this date are on a space available basis only. Payment in full is due within 120 days prior to sailing. This programme is non-refundable if cancelled within 90 days of sailing.
This Mid-Voyage Land Adventure offers insight into ancient and modern Vietnam, fused together like a precious mosaic during centuries of tumultuous history. Visit the Imperial City of Hue, a World Heritage Site, and Hanoi, Vietnam's dynamic capital that boasts an intriguing blend of 'old' Asia, French heritage and modern innovations. Accommodation at the five-star Hanoi InterContinental Hotel offers a comfortable and luxurious two-night stay. On Day Three, fly to Ho Chi Minh City, where you rejoin the ship.
DAY ONE - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - Chan May/Hue/Hanoi
Leave the ship in Chan May and commence your overland adventure with a scenic road trip of less than 1.5 hours to Hue, the Imperial City of the Nguyen Emperors during their glory days from 1802 to 1945. The legacy of their reign includes the Citadel with the Royal Palace, modeled after Beijing's Forbidden City, and recognized as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993.
Follow the guide on a walking tour and experience a step back in time as you enter through the ornate Noon Gate. Proceed to the Palace of Supreme Harmony, once the site of official receptions and other important court ceremonies. The palace has been restored to its original grandeur, including lavish furnishings and columns inlaid with gold.
Next, take a dragon boat to visit the Thien Mu Pagoda, the revered symbol of Hue. Founded in 1601 by the Lord Nguyen Hoang, the pagoda was a hot bed of anti-government protests during the early 1960s. Today, it is a serene place where monks deliver incantations in the main temple and novices tend the bonsai garden. From here proceed to the Morin Hotel (or similar) for lunch.
After lunch, visit the Tomb of Emperor Tu Duc. Of the many imperial tombs scattered across the countryside, Tu Duc's is the most elaborate one, resembling a miniature royal palace with an attractive pavilion amidst lovely gardens.
Dong Ba market, the largest and oldest market in town, is where you will see the locals selling and buying. Here, you various handicrafts are also for sale. A brief stop will allow you to select some souvenirs, if you wish.
Conclude your visit to Hue with the transfer to the Hue airport for your flight to Hanoi.
Upon arrival at the Hanoi airport, you are met and taken to the five-star InterContinental Hotel. Situated on the shore of serene West Lake and adjacent to the famous 800-year-old Golden Lotus Pagoda, the hotel features elegant, contemporary Vietnamese design, vibrant colours and modern amenities. Check in to your deluxe room and relax before joining your fellow tour members for dinner at the hotel.
Overnight at the InterContinental - Hanoi.
DAY TWO - Thursday, February 28, 2013 - Full Day Hanoi Exploration
Following breakfast, set out and explore Vietnam's charming capital city. Hanoi never ceases to surprise its visitors. Whereas Ho Chi Minh City is newer and flashier, Hanoi's narrow 'tube houses' and French villas recall and old-world charm and a rich history that dates back 1000 years. In fact, Hanoi celebrated its 1000th anniversary in 2010. Due to the numerous tree-lined streets, Hanoi is also referred to as the 'Green City'.
Following breakfast, depart the hotel for Ba Dinh Square. The huge square is dominated by the monumental shrine that contains the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh, the revered father of the country. Your pre-reserved visit will avoid standing in a long line to enter the mausoleum and file past 'Uncle Ho' laid out in a glass sarcophagus. Guards ensure that a strict protocol is followed: no shorts or tank tops, and no bags or cameras may be taken inside. The mausoleum can only be visited from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Leaving the shrine, your guide will take you on a walking tour of the huge square and the garden behind it, site of the One Pillar Pagoda and Ho's stilt house. Take a look inside this humble abode, which Ho preferred to living in the palace.
Continue by coach to the Temple of Literature. Dating from 1070, the temple complex is Vietnam's historical seat of learning where Vietnam's first national university was inaugurated in 1076. Take a stroll through the tranquil, walled courtyards and see the pavilion where 'men of letters' once recited poetry.
A different perspective is offered during your next visit to the Hoa Lo Prison, known to Americans as 'Hanoi Hilton'. The prison's most famous inmate was John McCain, the U.S. pilot who later became a senator. Today a museum, it features various war relics.
Proceed with a sightseeing drive through Hanoi's bustling streets heading toward Hoan Kiem Lake. Also known as the Lake of the Restored Sword, a tiny island in the lake features the Ngoc Son Pagoda steeped in local myths and legends. These days, vendors, hawkers and freelance money changers are vying for business along the lakeshore.
Next, you have an opportunity to explore the Old Quarter. With its labyrinth of narrow streets, food stalls and frenetic street life it remains the soul of Hanoi. A mindboggling array of souvenirs and craft items are tempting would-be shoppers. After some free time, join the coach for the drive back to the hotel. There is time to relax before dinner is taken at one of the city's many fine restaurants.
Overnight at the InterContinental Hotel - Hanoi.
DAY THREE - Saturday, March 01, 2013 - Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh City
After breakfast and check out, you are transferred to the Hanoi airport for a two-hour flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, you are met and transferred to the port, where the ship is ready to welcome you back from your Vietnamese Sojourn.
Please note: This tour requires extensive walking in Hue and Hanoi. Your visit to Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum has been arranged with a pre-reserved entry time. No bags or cameras are allowed to be taken inside the mausoleum and moderate dress code is strictly enforced. The sequence of sites visited may be altered depending on flight times. Space is limited, but a minimum of participants is required to operate this excursion. A Vietnamese visa will be issued on board the ship and the visa fee charged to your shipboard account. Guests on this overland excursion are required to bring one passport photo with them.
· Two-night stay at InterContinental Hotel (or similar) - Hanoi
· Two breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners(lunch includes two drinks - choice of local beers, soft drinks, mineral water; dinner includes two drinks - choice of house wine, local beers, soft drinks, mineral water)
· Flights Hue/Hanoi and Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh City (Economy Class).
Business Class may be requested at time of booking at a supplemental charge, subject to availability.
· All sightseeing and transfers as per itinerary
Any meals and drinks not specified above, Vietnamese visa, gratuities to drivers and tour guide, charges incurred by the airlines for excess or overweight luggage, laundry, telephone calls, cancellation insurance and other personal items.
All Land Adventures require a minimum number of participants in order to operate as described. If this minimum number is not met, Silversea reserves the right to offer the programme at a different rate based on private arrangements, or to cancel the specific departure. Silversea's published cruise cancellation policy will remain in effect. All Land Adventure fares are subject to change and are not guaranteed until payment is received in full by Silversea. All Land Adventures are non-transferable and non-refundable for any reason, within 90 days of sailing. This description is a general overview of this programme. Our local operator reserves the right to substitute other sites if local situations, including holidays and weather, require. The programme described in this brochure is provided by independent contractors. Silversea acts solely as ticketing agent. Silversea shall have no obligation or liability of any kind to guests for the business practices, acts or omissions in connection with or arising out of arrangements with independent contractors, including but not limited to airline carriers, ground-tour operators, and hotels since they are neither agents for nor employees of Silversea Cruises. Silversea's liability does not extend beyond the vessel.