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The list aims to identify the destinations, activities, and time of year that are most popular for social media cruisers.
Vietnam stands together with countries known for their beauty, such as Canada, Japan, and Russia. Some 10,000 Instagram pictures of Ha Long Bay were posted, according to SeaHub.
Thanks to a coastline of 3,000 km, Vietnam has a host of beautiful beaches, bays, and islands that are ideal for sea travel, such as Ha Long Bay, Tra Co Beach, the islands of Co To, Quan Lan, Ngoc Vung and Cai Chien (in the northern province of Quang Ninh), Nhat Le Beach (in the central province of Quang Binh), Lang Co Beach (in the central province of Thua Thien Hue), My Son Beach (in the central city of Da Nang), Ly Son Island (in the central province of Quang Ngai), Quy Nhon Beach (in the south-central province of Binh Dinh), Tuy Hoa Beach (in the south-central province of Phu Yen), Nha Trang Beach (in the south-central province of Khanh Hoa), a series of islets such as Tam, Ong, Tre, Swallow, Binh Ba and others (in Khanh Hoa province), Phan Thiet Beach, large sand dunes, and the new tourist site of Phu Quy Island (in the south-central province of Binh Thuan), and many beautiful beaches on the country’s largest island, Phu Quoc, off the southern coast.
Vietnam also has a rich network of lakes, rivers, canals, and grottoes that also promote the development of boat trips, especially in the Mekong Delta. Last year, leading US lifestyle magazine Food and Wine named a cruise in Vietnam one of the eleven best trips on the globe for retirees.
It suggested either a river tour in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City or a boat tour on Ha Long Bay, a world natural heritage site with magnificent limestone rock formations rising from the sea.
The UNESCO-listed Ha Long Bay has always been one of Vietnam’s best-known tourism magnets and which many international travel sites have selected as one of most amazing natural wonders in Asia.
It was used to film the Hollywood blockbuster “Kong: Skull Island”, which hit theaters last March. The best time to take a trip to Ha Long Bay is from April to October.
The number of cruise ships visiting Vietnam was 404 in 2017, putting the country sixth among regional cruise tourism markets, according to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
The volume of cruise travelers from Asia has increased from 774,000 in 2012 to more than 3 million in 2016. The projected number for 2017 was 4.2 million.
“Vietnam has become an increasingly popular destination for guests from the US, Australia, and Europe as well as Asia, and cruising is one of the best ways to explore this magnificent part of the world,” said Mr. Farriek Tawfik, Director of Southeast Asia at Princess Cruises.
“In response to this demand, we have significantly expanded our itineraries to offer passengers a choice of sailings and exciting itinerary options.”
Princess Cruises, owned by the US-based Carnival Corporation, one of the world’s largest travel and leisure companies, brought over 58,000 visitors on 22 calls to Vietnamese ports last year, such as Phu My, Nha Trang, Da Nang, and Cai Lan.
It has recently announced it will increase the number of ships docking in Vietnam, and hence passengers, this year, with the latter to rise over 40 per cent compared to last year, as demand for cruises to the country grows.
Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing tourism markets in the world, welcoming 12.9 million international visitors in 2017, up 29.1 per cent against 2016.