Emeraude Cruise - Halong Bay - review by Rusty Compass
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Emeraude Cruise - Halong Bay

| 17 Jul 2017
Emeraude Cruise - Halong Bay

Price guide: From around USD$250 DBL/TWN 2day/1night

Our rating
17 Jul 2017

A classy modern reproduction of a paddle steamer that operated on Halong Bay during the early twentieth century - though it's looking a bit tired. The recreation of the original ship has been a labour of love for its Vietnam based French original owner, Eric Merlin, since he stumbled upon postcards of the original ship in a Paris market.

Note: The information provided in this review was correct at time of publishing but may change. For final clarification please check with the relevant service


While most Halong Bay cruises use various interpretations of the classic Chinese junk, The Emeraude is a very different experience, modelled on a French paddle steamer that plied the waters of the bay in the early twentieth century.

The Emeraude was conceived by Vietnam based French entrepreneur, Eric Merlin.  His passion for this project was sparked by a postcard discovered in a Paris market showing the original Emeraude cruising Halong Bay.  Merlin’s curiosity was sparked and he set about finding out as much as he could about the early twentieth century steamer.

His interest was so piqued, that finally he decided to recreate the Emeraude pulling together whatever information he could from a variety of France and Vietnam based sources. The Emeraude launched on Halong Bay in 2003 as the first luxury craft offering overnight stays.

Merlin no longer owns Emeraude. It's now owned by a major local tour operator.

The Emeraude offers 34 double and twin cabins and three distinct suites.

After 15 years in service, The Emeraude is looking a tad tired - but in some ways it's a nice contrast to other craft on the bay. And it does have some real period character.

The Emeraude’s itinerary is similar to that offered on other 2 day - 1night cruises. Check for the latest excursion details.

Brief - 2 day / 1 night cruise
Board in time for lunch, disembark mid morning day 2. Price includes lunch, dinner, breakfast, excursions. Drinks not included.

Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
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