Ultra-luxury cruises in Bai Tu Long Bay

Ha Linh - Mar 22, 2018 | 07:39 AM GMT+7

TheLEADERArtsy and young in spirit, Emperor Cruises Halong is a boutique and regal cruise with a story to tell.

Many parts of Bai Tu Long Bay remain pristine

Halong Bay is one of the New Wonders of the World and tourists flock to sail its karst-dotted waters. However, a few miles away there’s another bay – just as beautiful with less crowd. Emperor Cruises Halong opened in March 2017, providing guests with a unique twist in the natural wonder of Bai Tu Long Bay of Vietnam.

“I personally love this five-star boutique cruise because it evokes a time when an expedition voyage to the Far East was a luxurious privilege for the most sophisticated and elite people of society,” said Chris, the Experience Manager aboard Emperor Cruises Halong

The Emperor Cruise was inspired by the lavish lifestyle of Emperor Bao Dai, Vietnam’s last monarch. He was educated in France and influenced by the quintessence of French culture. Annam is protected by the mother protectorate France until 1945.

The boat offers a lavish lifestyle

Built in the style of the 1930’s, each suite features interesting stories of his life. There are 8 en-suite cabins with a private balcony, ocean views, a butler service and a limousine,” Chris said. 

“Emperor Cruises bears a warm atmosphere featuring artistic architecture and wooden interior design. I like this whole bespoke boat with its art gallery and the state-of-the-art decoration of wooden twin stair. That's why I love working on this artful cruise ship and talk to our clients in the ultimate atmosphere and show them our passion for cruising, history, culture, heritage, and arts of Vietnam in this sublime natural wonder,” said Chris.

Operating in Bai Tu Long Bay, the boat provides 8 suites, including two signature, four staterooms and two royal suites that fuse royal design with the elegance of Indochina in 1930s.

“Our owner chose the fundamental pillars of the cruise to be a heritage, lifestyle, boutique, specialty cruise with a story to tell,” said Chris.

“We are not just unique but also different. The unique difference that makes us stand above others, being seen as the first artful cruise in Vietnam.”

Cruising artfully, Emperor Cruises aims to bring a truly all-inclusive cruising experience, enjoying every single moment on board, where passengers are treated like kings and queens with exquisite cuisine, 24-hour room service and an interesting itinerary featuring many fun activities. The cruise boasts luxury that comes with adventure (on the water and underwater).

View sunset on the sundeck

Moreover, travelers can choose to dine whenever and wherever their wish. There are unlimited free massage and sauna services, food and beverages, which are not billed at the end. Emperor Cruises Halong is a combination of the best of French “Art de Vivre” fused with a distinctive regal glamor and local flavor. Here Vietnam is moving forward but has kept the best from the French period in terms of culture, lifestyle, cuisine, architecture, and arts.

Emperor Cruises is not just a cruise. With an interesting destination on itself, it has a collection of old photos, ceramic, and potteries, antique objects, artifacts, royal bronze manuals. For example, stepping into a Royal Suite on the upper deck The King, and Queen Suite covers 70 square metres, and is among Emperor Cruises' largest rooms. 

It is ideal for travelers seeking to enjoy charming accommodation, beautiful sightseeing and majestic sunsets and sunrises. The suite comes with a royal butler and limo service and a private menu has been designed by the famous iron chef David Thai with a private drink menu list to choose.

The Queen Suite

“It contains a bathroom with jacuzzi, and a walk-in shower for guests to enjoy the bay from every corner while being secluded, private and impossible to leave,” said Pham Ha, architect and co-founder of Emperor Cruises. 

“It is an exclusive hideaway for “savoir-Vivre” travelers who wish to enjoy Vietnamese arts, culture, history, architecture, music and gourmet cuisine" he added.

“The whole boat is bespoke and personalized. We define luxury as personal and experiential. Guests will have a double bed to sleep in maximum comfort, privacy and an element of intrigue throughout the stay. 

With a private butler and limo service, dining and spa options in-suite or in the wine cellar cave, movies on demand and a private bar, we have created something with that WOW factor that cannot be found anywhere else.” explained Ha.

The portrait of King Bao Dai on the wall

Even some of the original paintings in the cruise are from one of the most famous Vietnamese artists of Vietnam; Pham Luc who has been referred to the Picasso of Vietnam. 

Guests can actually experience an artistic spirit from their first step into the cruise ship, through its curated paintings and antique collection displayed on the walls of the lobby and hallways, handpicked by this cruise owner.

That’s just the physical part of the cruise. Another highlight attracting luxury travelers is its hosting of many artistic and culinary events, as art exhibitions, as famous local singers, live television shows, fashion shows from leading local designers, and international music from local and foreign artists. That is art that comes to life, not just art on canvas or on a wall. 

“There is another form of art of serving that people can only feel through our team, our services, as well as the atmosphere of the croisière des arts, or through a culinary journey that brings art to dishes, presenting ‘Art de Recevoir’ and ‘Art de la Table’,” Chris said.

“We craft unique dining experiences, not just menus but a dining experience to remember. It is about creating experiences that have the power to change and stay with our guests forever,” he added. 

With spectacular panoramic bay views, Emperor Cruises Panorama Restaurant and Lounge exclusively offer a new level of exquisite services and luxury experiences for the most discerning travelers.

The cruise also boasts a vibrant restaurant, an art-café, an art-tea, Can Chanh Royal Palace Restaurant offering guests a tantalizing choice of Western and Asian cuisine for breakfast, lunch, tea, cocktails, dinner, and midnight snacks. Vietnam’s fashionable crowd love the sophisticated art-café, which evokes French elegance and old-world glamour.

Kayaking in the tranquil bay

The spacious Hanoi Bar 1945 is welcoming, with its wooden floors, intimate atmosphere, and classy features, each designed to enhance the cruising experience of in-house guests. There is an extensive selection of wines, beers, cocktails, liquors, and spirits available to enjoy in this laidback environment while being entertained by the local talented violinist, guitarist or pianist. Guests can enjoy the seven art cinema on this lower deck.”

“Being a design-based cruise ship but still a boat with a boutique concept, we care about our guest’s experience, offering them a lifestyle, artisan and concierge services. We want to create memorable moments that focus on local culture and arts,” he said.

Live music at night

“Travel is all about places, experiences and memories. We create places that reconnect people on this masterpiece in the natural masterpiece of Bai Tu Long Bay. 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. The most powerful memories are built from a shared moment of discovery or a shared moment of change,” Chris said.