HUE, Vietnam — Azerai La Residence, Hue has launched an elegant 55-foot (17-meter) cruise boat, offering guests one of the most stylish and exclusive ways to experience the Perfume River in central Vietnam.
With its classic hardwood trim and bright red accents, as well as spacious private lounge areas in the front and back, the new boat provides a stark contrast in both style and substance to the crowded and noisy dragon boats so commonly seen in Hue.
The new vessel at Azerai La Residence, Hue, locally built and christened “Nam Xuan,” accommodates up to 16 passengers, and embarks on three different types of excursions: an afternoon tea cruise, a sunset cocktail cruise and a dinner cruise. The covered middle section of the boat serves as a dining room by night and sightseeing deck by day.
“If you compiled a bucket list of things to do in Hue, experiencing the Perfume River would certainly be in the top three. But unlike other river excursions in the city, ours offers a truly intimate and sophisticated way to see the city’s rich historical sites, beautiful mountain scenery and vibrant river life,” said General Manager Minh Phan Trong.
The cruises are available even to non-guests of the resort. Anyone who lives in Hue, or is passing through town, is welcome to join one of these excursions.
The afternoon tea cruise takes guests on a scenic 90-minute journey on the Perfume River, with a delicious assortment of sweet and savory treats, along with a range of teas, coffees and more. The boat departs the resort every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 3:30pm and returns around 5pm. The afternoon tea cruise is priced at VND 290,000 per guest or VND 490,000 per couple.
The sunset cocktail cruise sets sail at 5:30pm and plies the river at the golden hour, while guests are served a selection of hand-crafted cocktails, mocktails and delicious canapes. The 90-minute sunset cruise, priced at VND 340,000 per person, offers a truly memorable way to cap an afternoon in the former imperial capital.
The dinner cruise begins with a special La Residence cocktail at sunset as the boat pulls away from the resort’s pier and makes its way upriver toward the picturesque Thien Mu Pagoda, the oldest pagoda in Hue and the city’s foremost landmark. On the return journey the boat passes underneath the Truong Tien and Phu Xuan bridges. While on board, guests are served their choice of Western or Vietnamese fine cuisine and are waited on by their own private staff. Dishes on the Vietnamese menu include green mango salad with sun-dried beef, spicy prawn soup, fried squid with fish sauce, roasted giant river prawn with tamarind, and passionfruit mousse, among other choices.
The dinner cruise concludes with the release of beautiful candle-lit lanterns on the river. The two-hour dinner cruise, priced at VND 580,000 per person, offers a romantic outing for couples and a delightful excursion for small groups.
Private excursions can be arranged for up to 16 passengers for an afternoon tea or sunset cocktail cruise, and up to 10 passengers for a dinner cruise. Rates for a private afternoon tea cruise start from VND 1,280,000; a private sunset cocktail cruise starts from VND 1,360,000; and a private dinner cruise starts from VND 2,320,000. These rates are for the minimum group size of four people. Additional guests would be charged accordingly.
Azerai is a new story and brand of resorts offering guests simple elegance, refined design, and discreet and attentive service in places of unique beauty and cultural interest. Azerai is uniquely envisioned for today’s experienced urbane individuals, couples and families, and the portfolio includes three luxury properties in Vietnam: Azerai La Residence, Hue; Azerai Can Tho; and Azerai Ke Ga Bay. The brand was formed by Adrian Zecha, and the name is derived from Zecha’s initials and the latter part of a Persian word, caravanserai, which references the storied old inns of the Middle East.