Onboard Activities :
Ethnic Costume Show
Cruising with The Au Co is not only a relaxing vacation to the incomparable scenery of Halong Bay but also a voyage of indigenous culture discovery. Everything has a local connection, from the shore excursion that brings you a local floating village to traditional musical performance during dinner.
In the center of all that is an ethnic costume fashion show onboard. Vietnam is home to 54 different ethnic groups which is the richest and most complex ethnic makeup in the whole of Southeast Asia. The custom of the most famous tribes will be selected for the show, giving you a glimpse of Vietnam cultural diversity.
Continue your fabulous day with an exciting activity onboard. At around 5.30 pm to 6.00 pm, we will hold a “Masterchef Competition” where you have a fun time before dinner. Back to the ship after your outdoor excursions, take a shower and get ready to join us for Masterchef Competition.
Our Head Chef will be the host for this “show”, he will guide you to make the most famous and tasty Vietnamese dish - “Nem” (Spring roll). Started as a cooking demonstration, the Chef introduces ingredients needed and how to choose the best one. Then he walks you through each step to roll a spring roll with the perfect shape. Learning cooking with us, you not only know how to make the dish but also learn more about the local culture. Gastronomy has become an ambassador for Vietnamese culture in which spring roll is one of the signature culinary specialties. When our chef finishes with his part, it’s your turn to cook the spring roll yourself. It is much more fun in a competition what we call a Masterchef Competition.
Put on an apron and a chef hat, you are ready to get into the tournament to find the Masterchef. This is an exciting elimination tournament. There are two contestants in each round. The winners will go to the next round. It keeps going until we have the final winner. The “Masterchef” will be awarded a small gift and a certificate at dinner time the same day.
Masterchef Competition promises to be a great start for your evening with a lot of fun and laughs. It’s lovely to try your hands with gentle rice papers and various grinded gradients, you would find out how skillful you are and remember this moment as a memorable time during your trip. Taste hot and crispy deep-fried Nem you made by yourself, wow, it is likely the most delicious food you have ever tried.
Time and location: 6:00 pm (subject to change, depending on itinerary)
On the sundeck or in the restaurant (depending on weather conditions)
People are familiar with Japanese or Chinese tea ceremonies but Vietnam also has a distinctive tea culture of its own. The tea we use and the way we drink it are much different with what you see in other countries. The Vietnamese have a preference for tea with a strong taste. The most popular kinds of tea are green tea and dried tea. Each kind has its own unique taste. The quality of the final cup of tea depends on both the quality of the tea itself and how it is prepared. Joining our Vietnamese tea ceremony on board The Au Co, our Tea Master will share tips to choose high quality tea and the steps to making the perfect cup.
Fruite Carving Lession
In the evening come and witness the traditional art of fruit carving in our special demonstration. You will see firsthand how the beautiful presentations on your buffet table are created. Join us as fruit and vegetables, including carrots and pumpkins, are transformed into roses, carnations and much more. Our chef will explain and demonstrate each step to make the carving, before you get a chance to try it yourself. Create beautiful flowers and birds from normal vegetables. There will be a little competition for guests joining the fruit carving. The winner will get a surprise gift from our chef. This is a great way to spend your evening with your family or a group of friends.
Taichi Class On Sundeck
Rejuvenate yourself in preparation for a busy day of exploration with a Tai Chi class on board The Au Co Cruise. While Tai Chi originated in China, the lessons introduced on board are basic and have been simplified so that everyone can follow. Our Tai Chi trainer will guide you through each part of the lesson. Tai Chi exercise is a gentle way to release stress and fatigue. This particular martial art can also improve strength and flexibility. Fresh air from the bay combined with soothing traditional Vietnamese music will help you to achieve total relaxation.
Cinema On The Sea
Experience movie night on board The Au Co Cruise with Cinema by the Sea. An outdoor space will be set up for a mini cinema. Our crew selects both recent blockbusters and movies about Vietnam to show. All movies are updated regularly and have English subtitles. If squid fishing or fruit carving don't take your fancy, watching a movie at the bar can be the perfect way to unwind. Enjoy some captivating cinema while sipping a cocktail under the night sky in Halong Bay.
Offboard Activities :
The three-day two-night cruise enables The Au Co to take guests further, and explore areas of Halong Bay more thoroughly. Biking is often one of the guests' favourite activities during The Au Co Cruise. Our guests will have a chance to bike in one of famous Halong's traditional village located in the midst of the jungle. The village covers a total area of 86.25 km² with a population of just 213 people. The total distance for biking is about 5 km. There are some low hills and a tunnel. It should be easy for everyone to keep up but there are some other options available. You can choose either to bike in and out of the village or use an electric cart. Our tour guide will lead the biking group and introduce guests to the site. Take your time to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery.
Visiting Community Farm
The village in Au Co's itinerary is called “Isolated Paradise” due to its seclusion from the outside world. To support the local community, and its economy, The Au Co Cruise helped to build a community farm within the village which provides jobs and an extra income for local villagers. The fresh vegetables grown here are brought back to the kitchen on board and used as ingredients for meals in The Au Co restaurant. The vegetables here are mainly seasonal and are grown using traditional farming methods, completely free of pesticides and other chemicals. Sweet potatoes, cucumbers, jicama are some of the typical vegetables to be found on the organic farm. You will have an opportunity to see a real-life operational Vietnamese farm and how the local people work here.
Kayaking in Halong Bay
Kayaking is a must try when you visit Halong Bay. With your kayak and paddles, you are free to explore limestone caves and secluded beaches. The water in Halong is calm which makes kayaking easier. During your journey with The Au Co Cruise, guests will have the choice to kayak in both Ba Ham Lake and Dark & Bright caves. Featuring many beautiful beaches and thousands of karst towers in a variety of shapes and sizes, kayaking in these areas will be a highlight of your cruise. Aboard The Au Co, we provide guests with sit-on-top kayaks. This type of kayak is light and easy to control, making it easy for beginners to operate. There are private kayaks onboard during the cruise so guests can go anytime they like provided the ship is in one of the designated kayaking areas.
Trekking is an exclusive activity that is only offered on our three-day two-night cruise. Halong's largest island is an ideal places for this activity. The island covers an area of 354 sq km, endowed with green forests, limestone mountains and karst caves. One part of the island was declared a national park. The trekking tour involves climbing to a cave. There will be a tour guide for the entirety of the trek, who knows the area and is experienced in trekking. During the trek, guests can see rare endemic species of fauna and flora. Many species in the national park are very distinctive and are listed in the World Red Book. The most typical example is the Cat Ba Langur in which protection projects are dedicated to.
Wake up in Au Co suite, fill your lungs with fresh air and enjoy the magnificent scenery from the terraces on the upper deck. Located on the bow of the ship and relishing stunning views of the bay, the Au Co suite offers you the utmost in luxury and privacy. Spaciously designed and comfortably furnished, the suite comes with a queen-sized bed and an en-suite bathroom with a free-standing tub. The suite is the ideal place to relax, and decorated in elegant tones and contemporary artwork you will feel right at home.