Ha Long bay to have another five-star cruiser

Oriental Sails Company will operate a five-star cruiser on Ha Long bay from September 15.

Director of Oriental Sails Company Bui Van Chi was quoted by the Communist Party of Vietnam’s online newspaper as saying that that the Starlight Cruise is a big luxury cruiser with 32 cabins, a restaurant, two guest rooms, a library, a massage parlour, a wine cellar and a mini golf on board.

Chi said his company will run the vessel in the short term and expects to have five cruises in 2015.

During the inaugural month, each visitor will be offered a price of 185 USD for a two-night and one-day tour, and then the price will be raised to 215 USD.

Heritage sites to be given special relic status

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has asked the National Cultural Heritage Council to recognise 13 heritage sites in seven provinces and cities as special national relics.

After being approved by the council, the list will be submitted to the government for consideration.

Five of the Hanoi’s historic sites have made the list: Ngoc Son Temple at Hoan Kiem Lake, Phu Dong Temple in Gia Lam district, two temples dedicated to Hai Ba Trung (Trung sisters) in Phuc Tho and Me Linh districts, and a communal house in Tay Dang, Ba Vi district.

Jetstar Pacific sells over 136,000 tickets for 2014 Tet

Low-cost carrier Jetstar Pacific has announced that it started selling air tickets for the Lunar New Year from September 9, with 136,000 seats to meet travel demand during Vietnam ’s most important festival which will come by the end of the next January.

The carrier forecast that travel demand will rise sharply within 40 days before and after the Tet holiday.

Tickets will be sold on www.jetstar.com, Jetstar Pacific’s agents and ticket offices nationwide.

HCM City has new four-star hotel

Liberty Central Saigon Riverside Hotel was put into use last week after over two years of construction, supplying an additional 170 four-star rooms for the market.    

Located on Ton Duc Thang Street in District 1 and opposite Bach Dang Wharf, the hotel having 22 floors and two basements is invested by Saigontourist Holding Company, Que Huong Liberty Corporation and Caric Company.

In addition to 170 rooms, the hotel has a restaurant, coffee shop, meeting room, swimming pool and fitness center.

Que Huong Liberty Corporation is offering a 38% discount on room rate of this new hotel from now until the year-end as announced on its website.

According to the HCMC Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, HCMC had had around 40,900 new guest rooms since the start of the year.

Hanoi festival promotes craft village tourism

A craft village tourism festival will take place in Hanoi over October 9–12, featuring exhibitions, food tastings, and folk games in Red river delta provinces.

The festival’s 300 stalls will be split between five areas, including a 20 stall recreation of the capital city’s craft streets, and a 50 stall promotional section for Hanoi’s hotels and tour operators.

Two other areas are reserved for airlines and food tastings, while the remaining space will host folk games, chess competitions, and water puppetry and hip-hop performances.

The festival’s organising board has plans to showcase the processions that were emblematic of craft villages like Bat Trang (ceramics), Son Dong (handicrafts), Van Phuc (silk), and Ngu Hiep (basket weaving) in days gone by.

It will also encompass seminars on developing tourism to support contemporary craft villages and the preservation of tradition through craft competitions.

Travel agencies will introduce local tourism package deals with discounts of at least 20% off regular prices.

The event celebrates National Tourism Year 2013 and marks the 59th anniversary of Hanoi’s Liberation Day (October 10).