Heritage Cruises Binh Chuan Cat Ba Archipelago will be closed for innovation from 11st – 23rd September 2023
Hanoi,Vietnam – September 09, 2023 – Heritage Cruises Binh Chuan Cat Ba Archipelago, Vietnam’s first boutique cruise, Tripadvisor award of “the best of the best”, travelers’s choice award, level 3 sustainable travel award… will be closed for routine maintenance, scheduled from September 11th to September 23rd 2023.
“At Heritage Cruises Binh Chuan Cat Ba Archipelago, we prioritize the safety and satisfaction of our passengers. To ensure that our ship operates at its best, we regularly conduct maintenance checks and necessary repairs. This planned closure is part of our proactive approach to maintaining the highest standards of quality and service” said by Ms Huong Do – Coo of Lux Cruises Group.
During this period, the Heritage Ship will not be available for any bookings or voyages. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and kindly request your understanding and patience. Our team of skilled technicians and engineers will be working diligently to complete the necessary tasks within the given timeframe.
If you currently have a reservation with us during this maintenance period, our customer service team will be reaching out to you shortly to discuss alternative options. We assure you that your booking will be handled with utmost care, and we will do our best to accommodate any changes required.
You can also cruising with us on Emperor cruises legacy Halong (www.emperorcruises.com), The Emperor Cruises brand is inspired by the luxurious lifestyle of the last great ruler, Emperor Bao Dai. A 5 star cruise that customers will be treated as a King and Queen yourselves, indulging in experiences such as music, fine arts, architecture, culture, fine cuisine, history, and outdoor activities where everything is included.
Once the maintenance is completed, we will resume our regular operations on September 24th. The Heritage Cruises Binh Chuan will be ready to welcome you back on board for an unforgettable cruising experience along the breathtaking coastal landscapes.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this temporary closure, please feel free to reach out to our customer support team at [email protected] or hotline: +84 886 036 668. We are here to assist you and provide any necessary information.
Thank you for your continued support and kind understanding. We look forward to serving you again soon, offering even better experiences on the renewed and improved Heritage Cruises Binh Chuan Cat Ba Archipelago.
Heritage Binh Chuan Team.
100 years ago, the king of ships Bach Thai Buoi launched the first steamship in 1919 at Cua Cam, Hai Phong. 100 years later, Pham Ha – Founder and CEO of LuxGroup, has designed and built a new Made in Vietnam cruise ship named Heritage Binh Chuan, also located in Hai Phong.
Entrepreneur Bach Thai Buoi came up with the business philosophy of “Vietnamese people use Vietnamese products” and “People travel on our ships.” Following the ideas of the ship king Bach Thai Buoi, CEO Pham Ha has drawn many experiences and valuable lessons from predecessors and applied them in his career in business management, leadership art, delegation of power, and utilizing human resources effectively. The business philosophy of Bach Thai Buoi has been carried on by Pham Ha through initiatives such as “Vietnamese people travel in Vietnam” during the three years of the Covid-19 pandemic.
With permission from the family, Pham Ha cast a bronze statue of the ship king Bach Thai Buoi, placing it prominently on the Heritage Binh Chuan cruise ship (photo provided by Lux Group).
Heritage Binh Chuan carries a mission: “A ship becomes a heritage that transports travellers to seek dreams, imagination, and explore natural heritage,” as historian Duong Trung Quoc once said.
The space on the Heritage Binh Chuan cruise ship is designed to be cozy and filled with historical stories and cultural heritage, from photographs, paintings, architecture to the arrangement of musical instruments… and the cuisine, which includes dishes that reflect the cultural characteristics of the Red River Delta combined with European-style service to elevate Vietnamese cuisine.
All these elements make domestic and international tourists remember the destination and the Binh Chuan cruise ship with its unique and distinct cultural heritage, as remarked by historian Duong Trung Quoc.
Enjoying Vietnamese cuisine and listening to stories about Vietnamese cultural heritage is an attractive experiential product for international tourists (photo provided by Lux Group).
“Vietnam possesses a rich cultural heritage, but currently, we have not transformed culture into products or what is known as the cultural industry, like other countries have done. Take South Korea as an example; they have successfully turned their cultural elements into messages or products that tourists can access and transformed them into the cultural industry, creating values beyond factories and enterprises.”
Pham Ha, Chairman of Lux Group, hopes to continue the maritime business legacy of the ship king Bach Thai Buoi.
“Vietnam, with its 54 ethnic groups and 54 different cultural identities and ways of life, each region has its own cultural values, not to mention the cultural heritage, whether natural heritage, tangible or intangible cultural heritage… that will be attractive and the soft power for us to exploit and incorporate into tourism products,” said Pham Ha, Chairman of LuxGroup, who is concerned about creating Vietnamese cultural values on tourist ships, as well as enriching the nation through the business philosophy that the ship king Bach Thai Buoi successfully implemented.
During interactions with foreign tourists, CEO Pham Ha realized that they are very interested in and curious about cultural tours and experiences, including cultural customs, festivals, traditional costumes, cuisine, architecture, etc. Therefore, he has incorporated cultural elements into his tourism products, integrating them into cruise experiences to ensure that foreign tourists can deeply and delicately experience Vietnamese culture. www.heritagecruises.com
Lux Cruises’s Heritage Cruises Binh Chuan Cat Ba Archipelago to receive TripAdvisor’s Traveller Choice Award 2023 for the second time.
Vietnam’s 5-star boutique cruise, Heritage Bình Chuẩn, has been honored with a TripAdvisor award in 2023. This prestigious recognition comes from the “TripAdvisor 2023 Travelers’ Choice” category, based on thousands of comments and reviews from travelers worldwide.
Inspired by the legendary “king of ships” Bach Thai Buoi, Heritage Bình Chuẩn (www.heritagecruises.com) was launched in 2019 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Vietnam’s first ship built by renowned businessman Bach Thai Buoi. The cruise ship was meticulously designed by an art lover, resulting in an interior that exudes a sense of heritage.
Every space on the cruise ship has been utilized to provide guests with an immersive experience of art and the stunning scenery of Lan Ha Bay. Heritage Cruise embraces an Indochinese design style, drawing inspiration from the historic Bình Chuẩn ship. Along the corridors of the yacht, guests can admire photographs showcasing old Vietnam. The ship’s design maximizes natural light through skylights, arched stairs, and windows.
The cruise ship comprises four floors, with three of them housing 20 luxurious rooms of four different types, ranging in size from 33 to 48 square meters. The sundeck, located on the fourth floor, offers passengers the opportunity to recline on deck chairs and marvel at the beauty of the entire bay. The interior of the yacht features long corridors and impressive winding stairs.
At Heritage Bình Chuẩn, guests can enjoy comfort in every area, including restaurants, bars, swimming pools, reading rooms, and rooms with large windows overlooking the sea or rooms with bathing areas near the windows, providing unrestricted views of the lush Lan Ha Bay. During the two-day, one-night cruise, visitors have the chance to explore destinations like Ba Trai Dao and Bright Dark Cave, allowing them to connect with nature. Activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, and swimming are available for guests to enjoy.
Each room is equipped with two sets of Vietnamese costumes for both men and women, allowing tourists to capture memorable photos and “relive” the ambiance of the ship’s heritage. To enhance the overall experience for travelers, the staff members are dressed in 1930s attire, including four-piece dresses and scarves. The average room rates range from 500 to 700 USD per suite per night for two people. Guests can opt for maxi 3 night cruising experiences in the Gulf of Tonkin.
According to Tripadvisor.com, Traveler’s Choice to experiences and attractions with a high volume of above-and-beyond reviews and opinions from our community over a 12-month period. Each winner has passed our rigorous trust and safety standards. Fewer than 10% of Tripadvisor’s 8 million listings are awarded Traveler’s Choice, signifying the highest level of excellence in travel. www.heritagecruises.com
An exotic destination with pristine beaches, secluded lagoons, coves, tropical forest, and lakes allows you to discover the best places for kayaking, biking and hideaways.
Head out of Cat Ba Town to the entrance of the well-signposted Cannon Fort, just 15 minutes away, and take a leisurely 20-minute stroll to the fort. Take time to investigate the narrow passageways and go into the underground tunnels and rooms which were once used for storage or as sleeping quarters. The gun emplacements and enormous guns are still there, and the views across the island and sea are incredible. In one direction, are the green-clad limestone karsts stretching into the distance while the opposite side is dotted with colorful fishing boats, beaches, and the town itself.
Viet Hai village
No visit to Cat Ba is complete without a short visit, or even an overnight in Viet Hai village, a sleepy place in a valley, with high mountains as a backdrop. Despite the influx of visitors to the island, life has changed little in Viet Hai, where the locals live in thatched huts and mainly earn a living from fishing and farming, with just a few catering to the tourist trade. To reach Viet Hai take a 3-4-hour guided trek or cycle ride passing Ech (Frog) Lake, the island’s largest lake, or an hour’s boat trip from Cat Ba Town and then a 45-minute walk (or short ride by
electric car) to the village itself. Lush green paddies stretch along the valley floor and locals can be seen carrying water and produce on shoulder poles. Home-stays are possible or stay in a small, simple bungalow resort where the sound of frogs is the
only sound to break the silence at night.
CAT BA NATIONAL PARK
Cat Ba National Park was established in 1986, covers 9800ha of forest and 5400ha of marine habitat and is distinctive because of its limestone mountain range with an average height of 150m above sea level. The highest peak is Cao Vong at 322m. Adjacent to the mountains are white sand dunes, freshwater lakes and mangrove forests. The weather is pleasant throughout the year, with an average temperature of 23C and the dry season between November and April. The park is home to the largest primeval tropical forest in Vietnam with some hundreds of species of plants, including various rare trees that need to be protected. It is also home to several endangered mammals including the golden-headed langur. In the past there were thousands of these langurs on Cat Ba, but because of intensive hunting there are believed to be just a few dozen surviving. Other endangered species include the rhesus macaque, black giant squirrel, and civet cats.
Cat Ba island lies on a major migration route for waterfowl that roost in the mangrove forests. Around 70 different species of birds have been spotted here, including hawks, hornbills and cuckoos.
The details Flora
Tropical moist evergreen forest covers most of the park’s area with over 745 flora species belonging to over 123 families, including approximately 300 medical plant species. The richness of floral biodiversity here amazes visitors with its endangered plants, hundred-year-old trees, moss, lichen, and creepers. There are also regionally important habitat types including fringe coral reefs, mangrove forests, sea
grass beds, willow swamp forest and tropical limestone forest. Most of the habitats are under severe threat, especially due to encroachment. Because of these important habitats, Cat Ba was acknowledged as a World Biosphere Reserve in 2004.
Wildlife in Cat Ba National Park is plentiful with over 20 reptile and amphibian species and 32 mammal species including the golden-headed langur, which is found on Cat Ba but nowhere else in the world. Golden-headed langur live in small groups of 5-10 individuals in remote parts of theisland.
Cat Ba is an area of diverse bird species as it lies on a major migration route for waterfowl that roost in the mangrove forests. Around 70 different species have been recorded and visitors can easily spot kingfishers, sunbirds and magpies. Deeper in the forest, great hornbill and pied hornbill, the biggest bird residents in Cat Ba can be seen in pairs or alone, in the early morning or late evening.
A number of insect-eating bats live in various caves within the park, and Trung Trang Cave is most easy to access. When visiting please keep quiet so as not to scare the bats.
SUGGESTED WALKS IN CAT BA NATIONAL PARK
This is a good starting point for any route within the park as the guides can provide information and play a video about the park before visitors head off into the park. There is also a very informative Environmental Education Center from where maps can be bought.
Nature trails and points of interest
There is a nature trail network linking the headquarters and various points of interest within the park. The nature trails follow signboards or signs on tree trunks or on rocky cliffs and visitors must stay on the main paths and trails. It is recommended that walkers take a map, water and food (for some of the longer trails). Leech protection socks and insect repellent are also advised, especially during the rainy season. Long
trousers and good boots are needed at all times of year. A compass and binoculars are never a bad idea either.
Some suggested walks
1. Headquarters to Kim Giao forest.
Start from the park’s main gate, cross the zoo and botanical gardens and from the foot of the mountain go up the rocky steps, to the first intersection, and turn right to Kim Giao (a precious timber tree) forest
Terrain: easy. Distance: 1km. Walking time: 30 minutes.
2. Headquarters to Ngu Lam Peak
Start at the main gate and at the intersection, follow the main path. Cross over the Yen Ngua Peak (where the two mountains meet), turn left and keep walking to the top of the mountain. At an altitude of 210m stop to take in the view of the tropical karst forest and the sea beyond.
Distance: 1.5km. Walking time: 1 hour.
3. Headquarters to Trung Trang Cave
Start from the headquarters, walk around 1km towards Cat Ba town and a signboard for visitors is on the left side of the road. Trung Trang Cave has mysterious stalactites with amazing shapes and styles. Visitors can go through the cave and return to Headquarters. It is advised to take a torch if isiting the cave.
Distance: 3.5km. Walking time: 2 hours.
4. Headquarters to Ao Ech.
Start from behind the Headquarters and take care following the trail as the terrain is relatively hard, with lots of intersections. A newcomer may get lost without an accompanying guide. For the adventurous, this is an interesting route as it crosses hills, dense forest, and grassland.
Distance: 5km. Walking time: 2.5 hours (one way).
5. Headquarters-May Bau-Khe Sau
Start as route 4, pass May Bau Peak and continue down to the grasslands below (3km from the headquarters) and take a right-hand turn. Pass the primary school and through the limestone mountain forests and walk 2.5km along the main trail to Quan Y Cave. A lift in a pickup can be arranged from the cave.
Distance: 5.5 km. Walking time: 3 hours.
6. Headquarters-Ao Ech-Viet Hai fishing village-Lan Ha Bay.
Start as route 4 and from Ao Ech, keep walking along the main path to Viet Hai village (3 hours). A transfer by boat can be arranged to Lan Ha Bay, and from the bay to Cat Ba town (2 hours). This is a circular route, so a boat can be hired either in Cat Ba town or with the park's guides. A lunch break or an overnight at Viet Hai village are suggested for those interested in learning a little more about
local customs and culture.
7. Marine ecotourism route by boat
Start from either of the two main ports at Cat Ba town. Go through Ang Qua and Ang Vem to Lan Ha Bay, and if possible to Halong Bay. Visitors may stop at pearl cultivation spots and fish farms along the way. Short visits to the beaches at Van Boi, Cai Dua and Ba Trai Dao islands are recommended. Sailing time: 3 hours (by small boat).
Cat Ba Island
Many legends and mythologies surround the island’s name
From my vintage postcards of French Indochina, I treasure a rich collection about local life, people, landscape, townscapes and villages in the early 1930s, as well as some of the many legends and myths which have been handed down the generations. The first is the legend of the name ‘Cat Ba’, which means Island of women in Vietnamese, where, once upon a time the island used to be the realm of women who grew vegetables and supplied food to the men so that they could have the strength to fight off invaders.
Cat Ba island is also characterized by the Kim Giao tree (scientific name Nageia-fleury) whose origin is linked with an ancient legend. These species grow in Cat Ba National Park and the most notable characteristic of these species is that the wood changes color when it comes into contact with any toxic substance. Therefore, in the past, this kind of wood was often used to make chopstick for the king.
The legend surrounds a romantic love story between a talented man, Kim Ngan, and a beautiful princess, Giao Thuy. The man was poisoned by envious and sycophantic courtiers and died. The princess cried so much for her lover that she lay down by his tomb and died with grief. Afterwards, two trees grew from the tomb and local people named the species Kim Giao in their honor. Cat Ba is the largest of the 366 islands, spanning over 260 km 2, that comprise the Cat Ba Archipelago, which makes up the southeastern edge of Halong Bay, and is a new hotspot for cruises, cultural activities, heritage travelers, and holidaymakers.
The Ao Dai is the most recognizable traditional dress seen in Vietnam, and though western-style clothes are popular, this beautifully styled outfit is still worn throughout the country during Tet, at work, to weddings, and other national celebrations. Ao Dai mean “Long Dress” and is a two-piece garment. The bottom part consists of loose pants that reach the ankles. The top is a tight-fitting tunic with long sleeves and a high collar with two panels that float loosely down the front and back.
The Ao Dai is famously known to “cover everything, but hide nothing,” and it perfectly accentuates the long, lithe body possessed by Vietnamese women. On board Heritage Cruises, our in-house guests have the opportunity to try on a 1930s-stye Ao Dai, a memorable experience.
The Ao Dai has a long history which evolved over time; it can even be seen as a motif on the drums of the Dong Son, a Red River culture. Since then, both men and women have worn different variations of the Ao Dai. It has never been an official ceremonial dress but has always been used as an everyday outfit.
Now, with western fashions popular in Vietnam, the once “everyday” Ao Dai is now only worn on special occasions and by office staff in companies that require it. It has experienced a revival in recent years, and it’s extremely common now to see women navigating traffic on bicycles and motorbikes, expertly lifting the long panels away from greasy spokes and gears. Men no longer wear the garment as much as women do, confining it to traditional weddings and for photo shoots, popular with Vietnamese all over the country.
The variations in color of this unique national costume is striking: high-school girls wear white, female cabin crew on Vietnam Airlines wear red, and bank employees wear ones matching their company’s logo. It’s also quite common for older women to wear Ao Dais made of a velvety material and accentuated with a rope of pearls. The style of today’s Ao Dai remains close to the original, having changed very little in the last 100 years. However, in the last thirty years subtle changes have been made to the pleating and the length of the collar.
Many Vietnamese designers are now reinterpreting the Ao Dai, experimenting with new materials, decorations, and adornments. Many of their studios can be found in Saigon and Hanoi with prices ranging up to several hundred dollars for one of their creations. For foreign women traveling in Vietnam, Ao Dais make excellent handmade souvenirs. Shopping for material in Saigon’s Ben Thanh market is a good excursion, and you will make friends along the way by asking for suggestions and recommendations for tailors.
Numerous tailors can be found in Saigon, Hoi An and Hanoi that specialize in making excellent Ao Dais. Most of them can make the outfit in 24 hours or less. What better way is there to remember your fantastic trip to Vietnam? You’ll be reminded of this beautiful country every time you put on your Ao Dai.
Step into a world of refined elegance and unmatched luxury with Lux Cruises (www.lux-cruises.com), proudly presented by Emperor Cruises (www.emperorcruises.com) and Heritage Cruises (www.heritagecruises.com) Brands, its ethical business and corporate culture. As you explore our remarkable fleet of cruise ships, you’ll discover a harmonious blend of timeless beauty, exceptional service, and unforgettable experiences.
At Lux Cruises, we believe that every voyage should be an extraordinary affair, where indulgence and sophistication go hand in hand. Our meticulously designed ships are a testament to this belief, showcasing exquisite craftsmanship, attention to detail, and a commitment to providing the utmost comfort and opulence for our discerning guests.
From the moment you step on board, you’ll be enveloped in an atmosphere of refined sophistication. Our highly trained and dedicated staff members are passionate about curating unforgettable moments for you, ensuring that every aspect of your journey is flawlessly executed. Whether it’s a warm smile as you embark, a personalized greeting from your butler, or the seamless coordination of your itinerary, our team is committed to surpassing your expectations at every turn.
Indulgence knows no bounds aboard Lux Cruises. Our stunning staterooms and suites are designed with your comfort in mind, featuring lavish furnishings, luxurious amenities, and breathtaking views of the surrounding ocean. Unwind in a haven of tranquility, enveloped in sumptuous fabrics and surrounded by elegant touches that elevate your experience to new heights.
Culinary excellence takes center stage on Lux Cruises (www.lux-cruises.com). Our team of world-class chefs is dedicated to creating gastronomic masterpieces that tantalize your taste buds. From delectable international cuisine to exquisite regional specialties, each dish is crafted with the finest ingredients, showcasing the rich flavors and culinary traditions of the destinations we visit. Indulge in a symphony of flavors, complemented by impeccable service and an extensive selection of fine wines and spirits.
As you sail with Lux Cruises, you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in captivating destinations and captivating experiences. From secluded beach excursions to immersive cultural encounters, our expertly curated itineraries showcase the best of each region, allowing you to connect with the local heritage, natural beauty, and vibrant communities that make each destination unique.
Lux Cruises is more than just a cruise; it’s a gateway to unforgettable memories and transformative experiences. Whether you seek a romantic getaway, a family adventure, or a celebration of life’s special moments, our sales team is here to assist you in creating a personalized journey that exceeds your expectations.
Escape the ordinary and embrace the extraordinary with Lux Cruises. Elevate your travel experience to new heights and embark on a voyage of indulgence, where impeccable service, exquisite accommodations, and awe-inspiring destinations seamlessly blend into an unforgettable journey. It’s time to set sail and create memories that will last a lifetime. Sail with purpose with us and enjoy how we deliver happiness and serve you from our heart.
1. We Educate New Generations about the Heritage.
We reconnect guests to our people in the past and present, culture, nature and the surrounding world through magical walking trails, trekking adventures, kayaking experience, ocean explorations and hand-on lessons about herbs and plants. Explore, learn, respect, celebrate, enjoy!
2. We Give our Guests Better Sleep.
The importance of sleep goes away beyond just boosting mood or banishing under-eye circles. Our all en-suites cruises are designed with fengshui in mind, natural light, private balconies and ocean views. We selected handmade mattresses, organic pillows and duvets, linen, sleep apps, a agar wood fragrance and so much more to ensure that day ends in a peaceful slumber.
3. We Create Dishes that are Experiential, Nutritious and Devoted to Well-Being.
As part of our innovative approach, Eat with Lux Cruises (Emperor Cruises and Heritage Cruises), our top chefs source the finest organic ingredients and create low-sugar and low-sodium dishes, and gluten, soy and hormone-free options because well-being start from within.
4. We Know that Optimum Health is Built on Planning and Commitment.
Nutrition, sleep, movement and holistic spa treatments as well as yoga and mindfulness are the building blocks of Lux Cruises integrated wellness. And supporting this is the introduction of smart Technology in the form of a wellness screening and fusion tics combine with in-house expertise to deliver personalized programs that bush boundaries and deliver results.
5. By Uniting Renowned Health Authorities.
The Heritage Spa or White Lotus Spa Brands, comprised of experts in the fields of nutrition, sleep, and cardiovascular and complementary medicine. Lux Cruises create an integrated approach to wellness.
6. We Need the Way on a Journey of Discovery.
As pioneers we uncover new practices and built meaningful relationships with both modern and traditional practitioners. We work in partnership with leading experts to deliver high-tech and high-touch wellness programs. The result is a unique layered approach to wellness we call pioneering wellness, on a journey of discovery for your mind, body and soul.
7. We Create Memories, Not Just Meals.
Locally inspired and sustainably sourced, cuisine is designed to appeal to those seeking a taste away from home. Ingredients come from resort gardens, local farmers, markets and fishermen and are served by our chefs and hosts from around the world in unique backdrops to transform meals into unforgettable moments. Moments make memories.
8. We Craft Unique Dining Experiences, Not Just Menus.
We invite top chef to create unique and authetic culinary experiences. Inspiration doesn’t start and end with a name on a menu, it is about stories, passions, highlighting culinary, creating experiences that have the power to change and stay with the people forever.
9. Always Listen Rather than Talk.
Our ultimate approach to service begins with empathy and a desire to understand the guest’s needs and wants, both spoken and unspoken. Because we understand that people are driven by emotions, our intuitive approach to service means that every guest receives a richer and more personal experience.
10. By Being Refreshingly Human.
Fun and quirky aren’t values that you would ordinarily associate with the hospitality and wellness business. But then again, we are anything but ordinary. Our curiosity and desire to explore allow us and our guests to discover unexpected ways to reconnect every single day.
11. By Being Part of the Local Fabric.
Travel is all about places, experiences and memories. We don’t build castles on hills. We are rooted in the history, local culture and heritage. Our architecture and building practices follow indigenous designs and utilize local architects and artisans. Our food comes from local farmers and fishermen. We curate expertly global immersive experiences from passionate owner and travel experts. Our local knowledge of the best fishing holes, diving spots, best dawn, sunrise, sunset places, underground, happenings and restaurants in founded on our local relationships.
12. By Living for Today and Planning for Tomorrow.
In our development, design and daily operations, we act responsibly to measure and minimize our carbon footprint and impact on the environment, all though active management of energy, water waste, biodiversity, purchasing and chemicals usage. By giving Mother Nature a major say in everything we do, we protect the long-term future of our business. With ESG policies, we create better places for people to live in and better place for people to visit.
13. It Starts from Within, From an Innate Belief in Doing Good.
Born optimists, we see goodness and potential for the greater good in everything. We could not hope to care for our guests if we did not first care for our people and the communities we are part of.
14. We Reintroduce People to Themselves, Other, and the World Around Them.
In such a world, human connections suffer. Using our intuition and applying it in the form of emotional hospitality removes these everyday barriers and leaves us open to bonding once again with the world, nature, others and ourselves.
15. We Create Places that Reconnect People, the Present and the Past.
Connections can be fleeting and easily forgotten. To sustain them we strive to create memories. To be lasting they must be unique – not just a perfect martini, but a perfect moment. Moments make memories. The most powerful memories are built from a shared moment of discovery or a shared moment of change.
Heritage Bình Chuẩn, a brand of Lux Cruises Group, Vietnam’s most luxurious cruise line, has been ranked among the top cruise ships in 2023 according to TripAdvisor, the largest global travel platform. TripAdvisor awards the Travellers’ Choice based on millions of reviews and opinions from travelers worldwide, considering criteria such as service, quality, and satisfaction.
Heritage Bình Chuẩn embodies the stories of Vietnam’s cultural heritage, history, art, architecture, fashion, and culinary excellence. The cruise ship is newly built based on the Bình Chuẩn vessel, once owned by the Vietnamese ship king Bạch Thái Bưởi, who launched the first ship running from Hải Phòng to Sài Gòn.
From its departure point a century ago, Heritage Bình Chuẩn not only takes passengers on a journey to explore Lan Ha Bay with its hundreds of beautiful islands and beaches resembling a “paradise,” but also offers a space of traditional culture and the beauty of Vietnam’s natural heritage.
Moreover, stepping onto the cruise ship allows guests to travel back in time and learn about the business ventures of the “Vietnamese ship king” Bạch Thái Bưởi and the life of the “Vietnamese Picasso” Phạm Lực through his collection of 100 artworks displayed on the ship.
“We take pride in pioneering the luxury cruise travel experience and combining it with adventure in the most beautiful bays of Vietnam, such as Hạ Long Bay and Cát Bà Archipelago, for travelers to seek exploration, dreams, relaxation, and immersion in this natural heritage of the Gulf region,” said Phạm Hà, CEO of Lux Cruises Group, the company that owns Heritage Bình Chuẩn.
The prestigious TripAdvisor award gives us more confidence to expand our brand to the Saigon River, Quy Nhơn, Nha Trang, Phú Quốc, and the Cát Bà Archipelago, offering unique cruise experiences in the coming year,” added Phạm Hà.
After four years of operation, Heritage Cruises has consistently received prestigious awards, including The Guide Awards, Booking.com, Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence 2020, TripAdvisor’s Traveler Choice 2022, and most recently, the Best Luxury Private Charter Yacht in Vietnam awarded by the Luxury Lifestyle Awards 2022 (USA).
Travel and Leisure has introduced this boutique cruise ship as a masterpiece amidst the wonders of the natural world, inviting families to visit and experience the most beautiful sea regions in Asia.
The largest website states: “Evey year, we award travelers’ favorite destinations, hotels, restaurants, and things to do around the world, based on reviews and ratings collected over the past 12 months. So our Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best winners are decided by you: real travelers from all over, sharing real opinions and stories.
The 2023 winners are a celebration of everything we did last year—all the places we discovered and all the times we just said “yes” to new adventures. We’ll reveal the winners by category throughout the year, so keep checking back for the latest”.
TripAdvisor presents the Travellers’ Choice award based on millions of reviews and opinions from travelers worldwide, covering hotels, destinations, landmarks, as well as brands and products. This annual award honors the Traveller Choice Awards 2023 across criteria such as service, quality, and customer satisfaction.
[Hanoi, Vietnam – June 16, 2023] – Heritage Cruises, an extraordinary sailing experience inspired by the legendary Bach Thai Buoi, known as the king of ships, has been honored with a prestigious nomination for the highly coveted title of World’s Best Boutique Cruise Line 2023. This esteemed recognition marks a significant milestone as Heritage Cruises receives its first-ever nomination for this internationally acclaimed award.
Established in 2019, Heritage Cruises was brought to life by Pham Ha, the visionary founder and CEO of Lux Cruises, with the vision of celebrating the revered Bach Thai Buoi and reviving Vietnam’s rich cultural heritage. Pham Ha, along with the entire team and corporate culture at Lux Cruises, takes great pride in this well-deserved nomination.
Featuring 20 lavish cabins that can accommodate up to 60 passengers, Heritage Cruises boasts an exceptional staff-to-guest ratio of 1:1, ensuring personalized and attentive service throughout the voyage. The cruise line specializes in 1 to 3-night expeditions in the Gulf of Tonkin, with a particular focus on the captivating Lan Ha Bay and the enchanting Cat Ba Archipelago.
Heritage Cruises has been the recipient of numerous international and national awards, underscoring its commitment to excellence and further solidifying its reputation as a premier boutique cruise line. These accolades are a testament to the company’s unwavering dedication to delivering an extraordinary and immersive cruising experience.
The term “boutique cruise” refers to a type of cruising that offers an intimate and personalized approach compared to larger, mainstream cruise ships. Borrowed from the retail industry, where it typically describes small, stylish, and specialized shops that offer unique and curated products, the concept of boutique cruises centers around exclusivity, attention to detail, and a more intimate ambiance. These cruises often feature smaller ships with a limited number of cabins or suites, providing guests with a tailored and personalized experience. The focus is typically on delivering high-quality service, immersive itineraries, and distinctive amenities.
Boutique cruises offer a range of features, including gourmet dining experiences, luxurious accommodations, personalized service from a dedicated crew, and unique activities or excursions. They often cater to specific interests or themes, such as cultural exploration, adventure, or relaxation, aiming to establish a more intimate and immersive connection to the destinations visited.
Today’s travelers’ never-ending search for something “new and different” inspired the evolution of boutique hotels and cruises. But what exactly is a boutique cruise? While there is no strict definition of a boutique cruise, the genre does tend to have some common features. Here are top ten characteristics of boutique cruises such as Heritage Cruises: Size, Individuality, Design, Character, Culture, Service, Gastronomy, Clientele, Sense of a place, Authenticity.
With voting for the World’s Best Boutique Cruise Line 2023 set to commence from June 14 to September 15, cruise enthusiasts and travelers worldwide have the opportunity to cast their votes. The highly anticipated gala dinner and awards ceremony will take place in Dubai on October 15, 2023, where the winner will be revealed and celebrated.
To support Heritage Cruises and cast your vote, please visit https://worldcruiseawards.com/award/world-best-boutique-cruise-line/2023
Under the visionary leadership of Pham Ha, the company has realized his childhood dream of showcasing the beauty of Vietnam from the North to the South by constructing 30 ships that sail along the Vietnamese coastline. For more information about Heritage Cruises, please visit www.heritagecruises.com.
About Heritage Cruises:
Owned by Lux Cruises, Heritage Cruises is a boutique cruise line in Vietnam that offers a unique and immersive sailing experience. Established in 2019 to honor Bach Thai Buoi, the king of ships, Heritage Cruises brings Vietnam’s rich cultural heritage to life through meticulously crafted voyages. With a strong emphasis on excellence and personalized service, Heritage Cruises has received numerous international and national awards.
Cruise along Ha Long Bay listed among 15 travel ideas to explore Vietnam’s hidden gems including Heritage Bình Chuẩn
Australia’s Lonely Planet Magazine has recommended 15 top travel experiences to discover the culture, cuisine and the hidden gems of Vietnam.
Ha Long Bay
It is said that cruise tour is the best way to explore the world heritage site Ha Long Bay, which is dotted with karst limestone mountains rising out of emerald waters.
For those who want a luxurious overnight stay to watch the sun come up on Ha Long Bay, Heritage Cruises, Indochine Cruise, Paradise Cruise and Stellar of the Seas are worth considering.
All five-star cruise ships in Ha Long are equipped with luxury cabins and modern amenities like bars, swimming pools, a golf club, a gym and spas.
They also offer outdoor adventures like kayaking, cave exploring, onboard cooking classes, squid fishing at night and excursions to floating villages.
If Ha Long is crowded, its sister Bai Tu Long Bay is an alternative choice where there are still few tourists.
Other experiences include tasting Hue’s imperial cuisine, watching rare monkeys on Son Tra Peninsula, exploring a UNESCO-protected Hindu temple complex, visiting the Cao Dai Temple, jumping on a motorbike, conquering Ban Gioc Waterfall, breathing the fresh air in Da Lat, visiting Dak Lak’s coffee plantations, discovering Vietnam’s Maldives in Phu Yen…
In Vietnam, coffee is enjoyed at all times of the day, from the first glass at breakfast, to meetings, dates or social gatherings with friends and family. Coffee has a special place in Vietnamese culture, and this simple drink forms the epicenter of daily life. Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in a coffee demonstration when cruising aboard a luxury boat with Emperor Cruises, on the pristine Bai Tu Long Bay. The presentation allowed me to really understand the origins of coffee in Vietnam, the steps involved in making the perfect cup coffee, and the various regional differences in how people enjoy their coffee from North to South.
The Origin of Coffee in Vietnam
Cà phê, café or coffee, depending on which language you speak, originated in the West, and the French have been importing it into Vietnam since colonial times. Back then, coffee was a drink reserved only for the nobility, French officials or intellectuals. Gradually, coffee has become a favorite drink in the lives of all Vietnamese people. In the 1870’s, the first coffee trees were planted at churches in Ha Nam, Quang Binh, Kon Tum Province by monks. In 1888, the first coffee plantation was established in Ke So, Tonkin by the French residing the riverside area. As it became more popular, other plantations were created in highland areas such as Phu Quy, Nghe An, Dak Lak and Lam Dong. Today, Vietnam is the world’s second largest producer of coffee beans and has developed its own distinct coffee culture. Across the country, cultivation focuses on three main types of coffee: Arabica, Robusta, and Excelsa (also known as Liberian coffee).
The sophistication of coffee is reflected in the drinking style of Vietnamese people, who each have their own unique way in which to enjoy it. They don’t consider it a quick caffeine fix to wake you up in the morning like in America. Instead, they sip a cup of coffee and think about life in the same way you might indulge in a good glass of Scotch. The beans are mixed in different ways to create various flavors. The three main coffee styles in Vietnam are filtered, iced, or with condensed with egg or coconut to enhance the taste.
Coffee in Vietnam is often brewed in small metal filters known as a “phin” (which comes from the French word, “filtre”). The Vietnamese filter is akin to a tiny coffee pot that looks like a hat sitting atop the cup or glass. Inside is a chamber for the ground coffee beans, which are placed inside, and hot water is added and allowed to percolate through the small holes. The process can take up to fifteen minutes to complete, and this harks back to the Vietnamese ritual of taking one’s time over coffee.
Iced Milk Coffee
Iced milk coffee (Cà phê sữa đá) consists of filtered coffee with condensed milk, which adds a sweet taste to the typically bitter coffee. Iced milk coffee and iced black coffee are the two most popular types you will find in coffee shops or at home. Vietnamese iced milk coffee was voted one of the 15 best coffees in the world by the renowned American travel magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, and is also considered one of the top 10 most unique and delicious coffees of the world by Bloomberg.
While adding an egg to your coffee appears very strange to foreign visitors, egg coffee is a favorite of the residents of the country’s capital, Hanoi. Egg coffee is made up of coffee, eggs, and milk—three simple ingredients that when mixed, create a unique flavor. This coffee must be enjoyed as soon as it has been mixed and is still hot. In Hanoi, egg coffee is famous as a culinary specialty, first appearing in the early 20th century. The most famous coffee shop is Giang Café.
Differences in Coffee Culture
Different regions in Vietnam have their own distinct way of preparing and enjoying a coffee. For example, Southerners often wrap ground coffee in a thin fabric bag and cook it in an earthenware kettle, preferring to drink iced coffee. Northerners usually choose filtered coffee and black or brown coffee beans that have a very strong flavor. All coffee shops have their own unique character and styles, and many have been operating from generation to generation.
For the Saigonese, iced coffee is a popular drink for all ages. When you say “Coffee?,” it is an excuse to invite friends for good conversation. The cups of coffee become the link between two or more people. You will see men who are drinking coffee with the daily newspaper, sitting on low plastic stools on the sidewalk, while the coffee shops are full every morning. “Cafe bệt” is a humorous term used in Saigon, where everyone sits freely on the ground to drink coffee. Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica is the ideal place for this type of coffee. Here, black coffee and milk coffee are not brewed using filters, and they are often served in plastic cups with straws so you can drink on the move.
One of Hanoi’s oldest cafés, Cafe Lam Hano is a one-room establishment that is practically a historical monument. Its proprietor, Nguyen Lam, provided coffee, and often loans, to the city’s impoverished artistic community during the war. Rumor has it that he is sitting on an art collection now worth a fortune. He serves Vietnamese-style hot and iced coffee to a crowd of faithful regulars. Many of the great names in Vietnamese painting have passed through here: Nguyen Sang, Nguyen Tu Nghiem, Van Cao and Bui Xuan Phai, a veritable collection of masters in Vietnamese art culture.
Cafés in Hanoi are commonly named after the owner, and many streets are devoted to coffee shops, such as Hoe Nhai, Phan Dinh Phung, Nguyen Huu Huan and Trieu Viet Vuong. In Hanoi, coffee is the most favorite drink of artists, the elderly and businesspeople. They consider drinking coffee as an art that hides a long story.
Hanoians have a much greater variety of names for their coffee compared to the Saigonese. One regional specialty is brown coffee (cap phe nau). It is served with condensed milk without ice, and is considered far more bitter than the Saigon version. Because of its small size and dense population, Hanoian coffee shops are simpler than in Saigon, and locals prefer to drink in small cafes in the Old Town or on the sidewalk.