ULTIMATE BAY ADVENTURE

Any visitor to Nha Trang should take the chance to head out to the nearby islands with Emperor Cruises.

By Pham Ha on February 10,2017 12:00 AM

ULTIMATE BAY ADVENTURE

Photos: Pham Ha

We saw a night cruise for the first time in Vietnam, as it was passing by as we were enjoying a beer at the Sailing Club Nha Trang. So we called Emperor Cruises to book our adventure tour at the last minute, only the day before. The cruise was booked out but we had the option of taking a speedboat tour, a new service from Emperor Cruises, which we booked for the four of us for just $450 all-inclusive.

As Mark Twain once said, ‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’

Often referred to as the beach capital of Vietnam, Nha Trang, on the south-central coast, boasts stunning coastline with white sandy beaches and an abundance of marine life and thriving reefs, ringed by a necklace of mountain ranges. There are19 untouched islets that are just as hort boat ride away. You can board Emperor’s speed boat to explore these numerous islands; some inhabited and many dotted with idyllic fishing villages.

Our last-minute booking turned to be our most memorable trip ever. Absolutely superb; a fantastic adventure trip at Emperor’s private beach getaway in Nha Trang Bay. Tru Beach on Tre Island was amazing, with white sand coloured by coconut palm trees and clear water, where we could swim with very few others around. Trekking through the island was also a new experience; fun and with an adventurous spirit.

ULTIMATE BAY ADVENTURE

ULTIMATE BAY ADVENTURE

Emperor Cruises is the first and only luxury cruise operator offering five-star experiential travel in Nha Trang Bay. Its fleet includes a junk with a capacity of 32-40 passengers for day cruises around Nha Trang Bay, as well as sunset cocktail and dinner cruises. Its vessels combine classic elegance with modern comforts in a custom-designed, classic traditional junk style. Each has two decks that house a smart open restaurant, lounge bars, a small library, two rest rooms and two shower rooms. The cruise was inspired by the luxurious life of Emperor Bao Dai, Vietnam's last. Therefore, the boat itself is a discovery of the 1930s with an inspired design rich in history and royal heritage. Travellers experience every moment with Emperor Cruises by being treated as kings and queens, indulging in services such as music, fine art, architecture, culture, cuisine, history, and outdoor & indoor activities, and can hear tales of the life of Emperor Bao Dai.

Our tour guide, Bach, and the crew couldn’t have been kinder or more attentive. Lunch was delicious, served on the beach. The itinerary was not as we were originally told, but it didn’t matter one bit as we thoroughly enjoyed our day. As to the cost, whatever the price - just do it! You won’t regret it and will have a wonderful day out.

At about 9am we were picked up in the lobby of the Sunrise Hotel Nha Trang and taken to Nha Trang Port to board our Emperor’s speed boat for a full day of relaxation and discovery in the turquoise waters of beautiful Nha Trang Bay.

Once on board, welcome drinks were served while the cruise manager gave an introduction to the day’s program and the necessary safety precautions. As the boat left port and headed out, the spectacular landscape of Nha Trang Bay unfolded. The stunning waters are normally clear and calm, in various stunning shades of blue, which change colour in different weather and seasons.

As the boat arrived at wild Tru Beach, there was an opportunity to swim in clear waters, sunbathe on the beach, or take a walk across the island to reach the other side, at Dam Bay. You head to a protected area where guests can partake in the water activities of their choice, such as snorkelling, swimming or scuba diving (the latter costs a little extra).

This ‘Ultimate Adventure by the Bay’ is designed as an ocean adventure, maximising the time spent on the water and underwater and for being on the beach amid the natural beauty of the island. The many activities on offer include trekking across the island from Tru Beach to Emperor’s secret beach and the Mango bar, where you enjoy a delicious BBQ lunch. The fresh seafood is all caught by a local fisherman, Mr Hieu, and served immediately.

Enjoy snorkelling, scuba diving, fishing, kayaking and other beach activities. The sun, the sand, the speed boat and the seafood made us relish every single moment on the trip and not want to return to the mainland!

It is said that all of these entertainment options are inspired by the recreational activities of Emperor Bao Dai when he stayed at his villas in Nha Trang. The emperor used to take great pleasure in sailing around Nha Trang Bay, fishing on offshore islands, and relaxing and unwinding on empty beaches where he could enjoy the nutritious seafood reserved only for the emperors, such as lobster, abalone, tuna fish, sea cucumbers and salangane bird’s nest, which are abundant in the bay.

Tru Beach is a wild, almost empty beach that is dotted with many coconut palm trees and white sandy beaches. Some people in Nha Trang don’t even know the beach or Dam Bay exist, and it truly is one of the bay’s hidden gems.

Bai Cau Beach, meanwhile, is a small, white sandy beach on the south of Tre Island. It has recently been revamped and become Emperor’s secret beach, with fully-equipped services such as free basket boat rides, kayaking, snorkelling, fishing, other beach activities and a bar. Mr Hieu catches and prepares an exclusive seafood BBQ lunch every day. As a dream getaway in an idyllic, private destination, it made our holiday a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Late in the afternoon the boat returned to the mainland, at about 4pm. After a wonderful experience, we wanted to book the night cruise but it was too late. We will definitely comeback and can recommend the unique speedboat experience for any one visiting Nha Trang.

Hue and Nha Trang were two destinations in Vietnam on the rise in 2016, according to Trip Advisor, and Nha Trang has been chosen as one of the official venues for APEC 2017. Its infrastructure is improving, the airport is expanding, with new flights regionally and internationally, and more brand-name hotels and resorts have been opened. With 300 days of sunshine each year, Nha Trang has been among the top attractions for both domestic and international tourists for many years, with its deep blue waters and endless white sands.

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