For Just ₹10,000 Take This Ultra-Luxury Cruise To A Hidden Pandora-esque Destination

Tripoto
4th Nov 2016

Don't we all dream of going on a voyage at least once in our lifetime? But we often ignore the urge, dismissing it as a luxury beyond the ordinary. I had the same thoughts till I visited Vietnam. In Hanoi last year, in the month of November, I came about a dreamlike cruise that would help me experience some stunning natural sites on earth. And guess what? I went for it and I am glad I did as it was the best money I ever shelled out of my usual backpacker budget.

Photo of For Just ₹10,000 Take This Ultra-Luxury Cruise To A Hidden Pandora-esque Destination 1/1 by Shipra Shekhar
Viola Cruise. Source.

About the Viola Cruise

You can explore Hạ Long Bay which is one of the seven natural wonders of the world with the Viola Cruise. I went through several cruise companies and chose this cruise as it had the most value for money and was hands down the best.

Enjoy the views from the sundeck. Source.

Photo of For Just ₹10,000 Take This Ultra-Luxury Cruise To A Hidden Pandora-esque Destination by Shipra Shekhar

Have dinner served on the reserved table. Source.

Photo of For Just ₹10,000 Take This Ultra-Luxury Cruise To A Hidden Pandora-esque Destination by Shipra Shekhar

Passage in the cruise. Source.

Photo of For Just ₹10,000 Take This Ultra-Luxury Cruise To A Hidden Pandora-esque Destination by Shipra Shekhar

Evening on Hạ Long Bay. Source.

Photo of For Just ₹10,000 Take This Ultra-Luxury Cruise To A Hidden Pandora-esque Destination by Shipra Shekhar

Viola Cruise features 16 luxurious and comfortable cruise cabins complete with a sundeck, an incredible dining room and a bar. Enjoy the views of the sea from your air-conditioned room that comes with hardwood flooring, a cloth rack, a wardrobe and a seating area. In the afternoon, you can relax in the common lounge area or lie down for a tan on the rooftop sundeck. You will also go on little wooden boats from the cruise to explore the pearl farm, the bamboo floating village, kayaking in the sea and several other adventurous activities.

I had the time of my life as I enjoyed the magnificent views of the limestone islands and shimmering South China Sea from the comfort of the private balcony of my super-luxe yet cozy room.

Accommodation

There are 16 cruise cabins of three types on the Viola Cruise — Deluxe Cabin, Luxury Cabin, and Honeymoon Suite Cabin.

Deluxe Cabin

Deluxe room. Source.

Photo of For Just ₹10,000 Take This Ultra-Luxury Cruise To A Hidden Pandora-esque Destination by Shipra Shekhar

Bathroom with a view. Source.

Photo of For Just ₹10,000 Take This Ultra-Luxury Cruise To A Hidden Pandora-esque Destination by Shipra Shekhar

This cabin is ultra cozy and has a large window with an excellent view of Hạ Long Bay. The spacious room is suitable for a small family. Enjoy the beautiful sceneries of the bay and sleep comfortably when you choose this cruise. A free welcome drink on arrival, bottles of water, and a hot buffet breakfast all days is included in the price.

Luxury Cabin

Luxury room. Source.

Photo of For Just ₹10,000 Take This Ultra-Luxury Cruise To A Hidden Pandora-esque Destination by Shipra Shekhar

Enjoy the hot-water shower. Source.

Photo of For Just ₹10,000 Take This Ultra-Luxury Cruise To A Hidden Pandora-esque Destination by Shipra Shekhar

I was sharing this room with an American girl I had met while travelling. The cabin is ideal for couples and friends travelling together. The room has cozy wooden furniture and a private balcony that provides a comfortable and cozy setting to hang out, share a cocktail or just enjoy the fabulous view of Hạ Long Bay. A welcome drink on arrival, daily fresh fruit, tea, coffee, bottles of water, and daily hot buffet breakfast is included in the cruise package.

Honeymoon Suite

Honeymoon suite. Source.

Photo of For Just ₹10,000 Take This Ultra-Luxury Cruise To A Hidden Pandora-esque Destination by Shipra Shekhar

Enjoy complimentary Red-Wine. Source.

Photo of For Just ₹10,000 Take This Ultra-Luxury Cruise To A Hidden Pandora-esque Destination by Shipra Shekhar

The Honeymoon Suite is perfect for newly-weds. It has a private balcony where you can enjoy a romantic evening in the mesmerising backdrop of Halong Bay with the love of your life. A welcome drink on arrival, a bottle of red wine, daily fresh fruit, tea, coffee, bottles of water, and daily hot buffet breakfast is included in the cruise package.

Dining

Enjoy 8-course dinner. Source.

Photo of For Just ₹10,000 Take This Ultra-Luxury Cruise To A Hidden Pandora-esque Destination by Shipra Shekhar

Sunset. Source.

Photo of For Just ₹10,000 Take This Ultra-Luxury Cruise To A Hidden Pandora-esque Destination by Shipra Shekhar

Enjoy a drink at the sundeck. Source.

Photo of For Just ₹10,000 Take This Ultra-Luxury Cruise To A Hidden Pandora-esque Destination by Shipra Shekhar

Choose from a selection of alcohol onboard. Source.

Photo of For Just ₹10,000 Take This Ultra-Luxury Cruise To A Hidden Pandora-esque Destination by Shipra Shekhar

The dining room is located on the second floor of the Viola Cruise. Get ready for a gastronomic journey through Vietnam with an eight-course feast. The dishes on the menu are similar to those served in a traditional Vietnamese family meal. You will have a chance to understand the Vietnamese culture along the voyage.

The bar on deck showcases an excellent selection of spirits, wines and beer and are available at an additional cost.

Source: Viola Cruise

Photo of For Just ₹10,000 Take This Ultra-Luxury Cruise To A Hidden Pandora-esque Destination by Shipra Shekhar

Source: Viola Cruise

Photo of For Just ₹10,000 Take This Ultra-Luxury Cruise To A Hidden Pandora-esque Destination by Shipra Shekhar

Other activities you can enjoy on this cruise:

• Squid fishing • Cooking classes • Tai Chi • Hiking • Cave exploring • Fruits carving classes • Kayaking • Board games • Swimming • Massage and spa

Essentials

Hạ Long Bay. Source.

Photo of For Just ₹10,000 Take This Ultra-Luxury Cruise To A Hidden Pandora-esque Destination by Shipra Shekhar

Best time to visit Hạ Long Bay

October to December is an ideal time to visit Hạ Long Bay with the weather being pleasant and calm.

It is best to avoid the wet season from July to September as there is a high chance of storms and typhoons during that period and it can sometimes lead to a delay or cancellation of the cruise.

Recommended for

Anyone who dreams of being on board a luxury cruise without exhausting all the savings in the bank account. This is one of the cheapest and best cruises that will take you around the spectacular setting of the world-famous Hạ Long Bay. So it doesn't matter whether you are just a couple of friends, a couple in love, a family on vacation, or a backpacker needing a time-out from all things frugal, you are going to have the time of your life.

Cost

A reasonable ₹20,778 and upwards for a Deluxe Cabin that accommodates two people for two days and one night.

Viola cruise

Photo of For Just ₹10,000 Take This Ultra-Luxury Cruise To A Hidden Pandora-esque Destination by Shipra Shekhar

Getting there

Hạ Long Bay is 162 km away from Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. Round-trip fares from Kochi to Hanoi start at ₹13,836 onwards. Book in advance to get the best price. You can apply for an approval letter to visit Vietnam online and carry a printout of it to get a visa-on-arrival. You can reach Hạ Long Bay from Hanoi in four hours by a bus or taxi. This transfer is inexpensive and is usually included in the cruise package.

If you are really low on time or want a royal treatment, you can opt to reach Hạ Long Bay from Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on a seaplane. This journey takes only 45 minutes and costs $175 or ₹11,358.

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