One of Asia’s leading boutique cruise operators, Heritage Line, is charting blissful new channels by launching the first ever wellness and mindfulness focused voyage on Lan Ha Bay in Vietnam.
The limestone karst-studded seascape in the northern reaches of the Gulf of Tonkin have long been known for their life-affirming qualities. Now visitors heading out onto the water have been provided with further uplift to mind, body and soul on Heritage Line Ylang, a new 10-suite vessel that counts a sumptuous floating spa and onboard meditation and tai chi among its holistic calling cards.
Featuring a splendid blend of Asian-Vietnamese design with French colonial accents, the ship plies the pristine waters of Lan Ha Bay, a relatively uncharted marine wonderland just south of the more established tourist destination of Halong Bay. Although it retains all the majesty of its immediate neighbour, Lan Ha Bay sees a fraction of the traffic. The two seascapes are virtually interchangeable, but the lack of tourist boats imbue Lan Ha Bay with a more isolated appeal.
Unlike Halong Bay, it also has the advantage of numerous white sand beaches, some of which are pit-stops on Ylang’s dedicated three-day/two-night voyage, aptly named ‘Senses of Lan Ha.’
While the surrounding nature as well as the ship’s beautiful suites, which all come with a private balcony, in-room lounge area and spacious bathroom, are certainly attention grabbing, Ylang’s most unique selling feature is its emphasis on wellness. The expansive spa is one of the most luxurious facilities of its kind with a full range of therapies to choose from. The spa occupies half of Ylang’s upper deck and offers three private spa rooms, a cosy compartment for reflexology treatments, a sauna, steam bath and a wellness studio. Treatments are conducted using premium organic spa products from French cosmetics brand Thalgo. The holistic theme, meanwhile, also manifests in onboard activities such as special singing bowl meditation and early morning tai chi lessons on the upper deck of the vessel.
“The launch of Heritage Line Ylang has been momentous for us for a number of reasons,” said Andreas Schroetter, Heritage Line’s Director of Sales and Marketing. “Not only is it the first ultra-luxury vessel sailing a three-day itinerary in Lan Ha Bay, it is also one of the first ships in this destination that fully conceptualizes a journey focused on wellbeing.”
Indeed, the itinerary of the Lan Ha voyage has been carefully curated to keep the wellness thread running throughout. Offshore expeditions during the trip include soft hiking and cycling on pristine Cat Ba Island and kayaking on the emerald waters of the bay.
The ship’s culinary offerings also put an emphasis on health with multi-course lunches and dinners featuring fresh, light Vietnamese cuisine served in the ship’s restaurant, a spectacular glass-fronted affair featuring near-360-degree views of the bay. The food menu also offers vegetarian options and meals are customized for guests with specific dietary requirements.
“Lan Ha Bay is a very special place,” added Schroetter. “It’s every bit as beautiful as Halong Bay, but the peace, quiet and isolation makes it more of an exclusive and relaxing destination. That’s why we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to tailor Ylang specifically to the wellness market.”