Directions: Just off of Hoan Kiem Lake near its southern end.Phone: (+84) (0)24 39351888
Gorgeous way to spoil yourself if you feel that way inclined.
I was lucky enough to have a voucher passed on from a friend who won a trip on the Emeraude for 2 people. The replica paddlesteamer was gorgeous and it was lots of fun exploring each of the decks, relaxing on the comfy loungechairs, or sipping on a well-mixed cocktail.
Staff were were helpful (both during the booking process and onboard) & unobtrusive, and while the food was not gourmet, it was filling and tasty.
If the weather had been better we could have enjoyed more of the activities but we didn't mind doing not very much at all.
I hired the 3 days and 2 nights option for 2 couples and asked for 2 double bed cabins.
I ended up with 1 double bed cabin, and 1 twin bed cabin. They were fully booked so we had to take it.
The Booking agent had told us that food was included and drinks were not. The food was quite good but drinks were extremely expensive. The cheapest drink was 78.000 plus ++. A bottled tiger beer went for 98.000 plus ++ (this was the cheapest beer in the menu).
They offer squid fishing, which is performed at the back of the boat. However, the light they used to attract squids did not work well and it turn off. So every 5 minutes we had to go and look for someone to fix it, In addition, that part of the boat was quite dirty and smelled awful, and there were no chairs where one could sit down and have a relaxing fishing experience.
They have an interesting climbing and kayaking excursion which is not aimed at people past their 30s.
Not my first trip to Ha Long Bay but certainly the best! Boats on the bay annoyingly all do pretty much the same trip, in convoy, so the difference all comes down to quality. What I hadn’t appreciated, having a long time ago gone on a budget trip because I thought the quality aspect didn’t matter, is what a marked difference it actually DOES make to the overall experience and enjoyment of Ha Long Bay. I am happy to admit when I am wrong!
The trip I’ve just taken on the Emeraude was unrecognisable from my prior bargain basement experience (which was uncomfortable and frankly did nothing but detract from the beauty of the bay).
I was really looking forward to the Emeraude break and getting out of the city for the weekend, especially after looking at all the descriptions and images on their website, and it didn’t disappoint. It really did feel like an “escape”! The boat is gorgeous, staff were all extremely professional and helpful (from booking office, to shuttle driver, to staff on board), food was yummy and very good quality, and the atmosphere very serene and laid back.
There’s a generously packed programme of activities to participate in if you’re so inclined, or If you want to just chill on the comfy array of seats and loungers on deck then no one will bother you either.
We did a fair bit of relaxing, but also thoroughly enjoyed the kayaking, early morning Thai Chi, evening film viewing and especially watching the demo by the amazingly skilled chef whilst she turned tomatoes effortlessly into flowers and swans….( - very clever and surprisingly engaging to watch and participate in!)!
Thanks to all at Emeraude for a very enjoyable trip – I will definitely be recommending to friends in Hanoi, and family who visit.
I’m not an expat – Just passing through Hanoi but I came across this site and I wanted to mention a good piece of customer service. We’d booked three tickets for the Emeraude and were due to head off the next day when I realised I hadn’t made any provision for the journey there.
I contacted the sales office and was initially concerned to hear that their shuttle bus were full. However, despite it being my fault for leaving it so late, they managed to find a car that took us there and back in real comfort. The journey was smooth and the driver was fantastic but that, of course, was just the start.
The Emeraude was a wonderful experience in a fantastic part of Vietnam. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. To enjoy those views in such comfort was a total treat. My two nieces were with me and they kept remarking on how the next time they see Halong Bay on TV they can say…we’ve been there.
They haven’t always found it easy in Hanoi. Especially with the heat that you’ve had recently but they tell me that their best night’s sleep of the whole trip was in their cabin on the Emeraude. The air conditioner was stronger and cooler than at our hotel and the quiet waters of Halong Bay were a welcome break from the noisier city centre.
Anyway – just passing on my thanks and my impressions of the Emeraude. Thanks for being a real highlight of our stay in Vietnam.
If you like Emeraude Classic Cruises, Halong Bay...