Mekong’s leading river cruise line Lotus Cruises has announced the launch of a new, boutique, 14-cabin ship called RV Mekong Muse.
Paradise Grand set to ply waters of Lan Ha Bay
One of Vietnam’s leading providers of luxury hospitality services will sail into uncharted waters with the launch of its inaugural cruise on Lan Ha Bay, situated just south of famed Ha Long Bay. A UNESCO biosphere, Lan Ha Bay is a geological extension of Ha Long Bay minus its large tourist numbers and is home to 300-odd towering limestone karsts, emerald waters, and white sand beaches. Paradise Vietnam will unveil the first of two Paradise Grand vessels, set to be the most luxurious overnight vessels to ever ply Lan Ha Bay’s waters, in January 2020.
The five-deck steel craft measures 70 meters long and 13.5 meters across at the beam, caters to up to 80 passengers, and houses 39 spacious cabins with separate walk-in closets, ensuite bathrooms, and private balconies affording vistas of the bay.
Paradise Grand’s plethora of conveniences range from a butler service for all guests, a fine dining menu crafted by celebrity British Michelin-starred chef John Burton Race, and live music at an elegant bar, to an indulgent spa, a reading area, and a vast sun deck and sky lounge with panoramic views dominated by the bay’s dramatic limestone karsts.
Highlights on the new cruise’s one-night and two-night itineraries include kayaking on Lan Ha Bay and trekking and cycling in Cat Ba National Park on Cat Ba Island, as well as a cooking class, Vietnamese wine tasting, and sunrise tai chi onboard.
Passengers check-in at Paradise Vietnam’s exclusive lounge on Tuan Chau Island before departing for Cat Ba Island on the region’s first high-speed ferry, Paradise Express. In a first for the area, the double-decker ferry with 198 airline-style seats slashes the current commute from Tuan Chau Island, the gateway to Ha Long Bay, to Cat Ba Island in Lan Ha Bay from 45 minutes to 12 minutes.
“Lan Ha Bay is breathtakingly beautiful and Paradise Grand makes for an exciting new horizon for us,” said Mr. Edgar Cayanan, General Manager of Paradise Cruise. “We are drawing on the best of everything we have learned since launching our first boat more than a decade ago.”
Ranging from 28 sq m to 35 sq m, Paradise Grand’s 39 cabins across four cabin types – Grand Balcony, Executive Grand Balcony, Grand Balcony Suite, and Captain’s View Grand Suite – will feature parquet wooden flooring, neutral and gray palettes, and floor-to-ceiling windows. The Grand Balcony Suite and Captain’s View Grand Suite also have bathtubs.
The Paradise Grand ships will be available for private charter, targeting wedding ceremonies, birthday parties, corporate events, and other special occasions.
Since putting its first boat on the water in 2008, Paradise Vietnam has made a name for itself as the premier luxury cruise operator on Ha Long Bay. Paradise Vietnam also owns and manages Ha Long Bay’s first boutique hotels – Paradise Suites Hotel and Paradise Trend Hotel – and a burgeoning portfolio of restaurants in Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Da Nang, Hoi An, Nha Trang, and Ho Chi Minh City.