HALONG BAY, Vietnam – Paradise Cruises, creator of the most luxurious overnight cruise experiences on storied Halong Bay, is giving its inaugural fleet an overhaul that’s designed to make each vessel feel entirely new.
Renovation of the four Paradise Luxury boats, the first of which set sail in 2008, commenced in May and is expected to finish sometime in August.
The majority of the work is being carried out by Ho Chi Minh City-based Art House, a firm that specializes in hotel-and-resort interior design and “understands the local culture and history and the expectations foreign tourists have when they come to Vietnam,” said Paradise Cruises General Manager Edgar C. Cayanan.
To give the Luxury line a fresh look and feel, Art House is going into each boat’s 17 cabins and installing all new wooden floors, ceilings, curtains, carpet and beds.
“We’re calling the beds ‘dream beds’ because they have eight different layers (of cushion),” said Cayanan. “The goal was to make them feel more like home than your home, and I’m confident guests will find that we’ve achieved that.”
Guests will also have the option to choose from a range of superior pillows.
Most new furnishings are handmade, including the Oriental-style tables and chairs that now adorn the gourmet dining rooms.
Each vessel in the Paradise Luxury line is 41.5 meters long, has four decks and is loaded with restorative amenities, including a spa, bar and public Jacuzzi.
The largest room categories are the 23-square-meter Terrace Suites and Paradise Suites, of which there are 14 in total. The standout feature in the former is a private terrace with lounge chairs, while the highlight of the latter is a private Jacuzzi.
In addition to the Luxury line, Paradise Cruises operates five other vessels — divided into three categories — and the 156-room Paradise Suites Hotel, the first and only boutique hotel in Halong Bay.
The two Paradise Privilege boats have three cabins each, optimum for groups of up to six. The sole Paradise Peak vessel is designed to hold up to 16 passengers, with a personal butler dedicated to each cabin.
Paradise Cruises plans to renovate the Privilege and Peak lines next year. Like the Luxury line, they are available for one- and two-night cruises.
The two Paradise Explorers are primarily day boats, but can also be used to take guests aboard the other vessels to jungle-clad Cat Ba Island, the largest island in Halong Bay.
With more than 2,000 limestone karsts ascending from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin, Halong Bay makes for a mystical landscape. It ranks as Vietnam’s most popular natural attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Halong Bay is located three hours by car from Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city.
Every experience with Paradise Cruises includes premium shuttle service between Hanoi and Halong Bay. For more information about Paradise Cruises, or to book a cruise, visit paradisevietnam.com.