An S-shaped, narrow country, Vietnam stretches along the South China Sea and is only 30 miles wide at its narrowest point. Traveling by sea allows effortless exploration of a sizeable geographic area with the ability to see diverse highlights, from graceful stone mountaintop temples to secluded bays in memorable archipelagos. National Geographic Orion’s intimate scale makes it nimble and able to explore shallow bays and other hard-to-reach locations, and to observe village life up close.
On an expedition from Hanoi in the north all the way down Vietnam’s 1,000-mile eastern coastline to Ho Chi Minh City is an adventure through centuries of history and culture, from lively cities bursting with pagodas and temples to the stunning natural beauty of tranquil bays dotted with mountainous islets.
Actively explore the magnificent coast
On a two-week journey along the lush coast, actively explore by kayak, junk boat, and Zodiac as well as on foot, hiking sand dunes and beachcombing. From the colorful fishing village of Qui Nhon to the breathtaking landscapes of Ha Long Bay; and from Van Phong Bay’s mountain-encircled deep coral reef to the biodiversity of Con Dao National Park that stars sea turtles and dugongs, Vietnam’s seaside towns, harbors, bays, coves, and reefs are one more enchanting than the next.
A choice of experiences and effortless exploration
Short drives inland allow exploration of the ancient imperial city of Hue, the remains of a lost civilization in My Son, and an impressive Buddhist shrine obscured in the Marble Mountains.
Expertly crafted itineraries and experienced expedition teams ensure seamless, worry-free visits to the country’s most iconic sights. So whether you’re appreciating the diverse architectural heritage of Hanoi, swimming with colorful marine life in a secluded bay, walking through Vinh Moc’s DMZ-area tunnels, or admiring the craftsmanship of the ceramic mosaics at the monumental Khai Dinh Royal Tomb, a Vietnam expedition with Lindblad offers a variety of options for exploring according to your interests and desired activity level.
In addition to Vinh Moc’s extraordinary tunnels, we will see other reminders of the country’s more recent, difficult history including Con Son’s political prison in an incongruously spectacular natural setting; and the site of the former American Embassy in Ho Chi Minh City, where Americans were airlifted out of the country before the fall of Saigon. These sites of conflict are in stark opposition to the warm and wonderful welcome the gracious Vietnamese people show Americans today.
With no logistical worries and unpacking only once, your time is optimized and you are free to relax and fully immerse yourself in the history, culture, and natural beauty of this beautiful and multifaceted country.