Journey Through Vietnam
Discover Vietnam’s captivating beauty and enduring traditions on this 17-day journey. Experience the French-accented capital Hanoi; cruise through scenic Ha Long Bay; visit Da Nang’s acclaimed Cham Museum; explore the colorful village of Hoi An and the imperial capital of Hue. Explore the Mekong River Delta and bustling Saigon. Optional extension to the temples of Angkor.
We arrive in the Vietnamese capital today then transfer to our hotel. Tonight, we visit the bustling Ancient Quarter, where we enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. InterContinental Hanoi Westlake Hotel (D)
This morning we take a walking tour of Ba Dinh Square. Highlights include the marble and granite mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, the Presidential Palace, and thousand-year-old One Pillar Pagoda. Following lunch on our own, our tour of Hanoi features Hoan Kiem Lake; the marvelous Temple of Literature (c. 1070); and the infamous Hoa Lo Prison, also known as the “Hanoi Hilton” during the Vietnam War. We dine tonight at a local restaurant. InterContinental Hanoi Westlake Hotel (B,D)
This morning we depart on a full-day excursion to Ha Long Bay, a breathtaking waterway sprinkled with 3,000 islands and islets, limestone cliffs, secret grottoes, and hidden caves. Our tour includes a boat ride and seafood lunch. InterContinental Hanoi Westlake Hotel (B,L)
We fly this morning to Da Nang, Vietnam’s third largest city, situated on the south central coast. Upon arrival, we tour the acclaimed Cham Museum, which celebrates the Cham people’s Hindu legacy with a fine collection of sculpture and artifacts dating from the 7th to 15th centuries. After we reach our beachfront hotel, the remainder of the day is at leisure in this splendid setting. Hyatt Regency Danang (B,D)
This morning we visit nearby Hoi An, where a succession of Dutch, Chinese, Portuguese, and Japanese traders helped to build an architecturally diverse and colorful village where many ancient traditions still hold sway. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Hoi An’s Old Town is a charming car-free pedestrian zone lined with tailors, shops, and art galleries. This afternoon is at leisure to either remain in Hoi An on your own or return to our beachside resort for a relaxing interlude. Hyatt Regency Danang (B,L)
A morning walking tour of a nearby farming settlement reveals the daily life of a local community up close. Here, rice paddies occupy every spare patch of ground, water buffaloes plow the fields, and villagers ride to market with produce piled high on their bicycles. Later we enjoy a cooking lesson and dinner in Hoi An. Hyatt Regency Danang (B,D)
We depart this morning by coach for the ancient imperial city of Hue, whose palaces, temples, and tombs evoke its past grandeur as home to emperors and mandarins. We explore the Imperial City – enjoying a traditional cyclo ride along the way – housing the Forbidden Purple City complex where emperors lived with their families and now a UNESCO site. We also visit the busy Central Market. Tonight we enjoy a special Hue dinner, with traditional music. Saigon Morin Hotel (B,D)
This morning we cruise along Hue’s Perfume River to peaceful Thien Mu Pagoda, a Buddhist monastery that ranks among the city’s oldest and most important monuments. After admiring the seven-story octagonal tower, we visit the palatial Tomb of Minh Mang (c. 1840), with its pavilions and courtyards modeled after the Ming Tombs of China. This afternoon we see the tombs of Tu Duc, a gem of royal architecture; and Khai Dinh, an elaborate mix of ancient and modern, European and Asian. Saigon Morin Hotel (B,L)
Today begins with an early morning flight to Saigon. Upon arrival we board a motorcoach for the threehour drive south to the Mekong River town of Cai Be, then on to the busy river port and provincial capital of Can Tho. Victoria Can Tho Resort (B,D)
We rise early for today’s journey by boat to the lively floating market at Cai Rang on the Mekong’s lower reaches. After lunch together at a local restaurant, the remainder of the day is at leisure. Victoria Can Tho Resort (B,L)
An hour-long coach ride this morning brings us to the upper reaches of the storied Mekong. Here we board motorized sampans for an up-close look at river life. After lunch at a local restaurant, we continue by coach to Saigon (the name Ho Chi Minh City is used interchangeably). We reach our hotel late afternoon; dinner is on our own in this vibrant city. Sofitel Saigon Plaza (B,L)
A morning tour includes the former Presidential Palace, which served as the South Vietnamese government’s wartime headquarters. Now called Reunification Palace, it was here that the first Communist tanks rolled into Saigon on April 30, 1975; it remains preserved as a museum almost exactly as it was on that day. We also tour the History Museum. Schedule permitting, enjoy a briefing by foreign service staff at the U.S. Consulate this afternoon. Later we attend a traditional water puppet performance. Sofitel Saigon Plaza (B,D)
This morning we visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, the infamous underground network from which North Vietnamese forces operated in wartime. Tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner. Sofitel Saigon Plaza (B,D)
Following a day free for independent exploration, this evening we depart for the airport and our overnight flight to the U.S. Our rooms are reserved for our late check-out. (B)
We arrive in the U.S. and connect with our flights home.
Cost and Details
San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle $4,897
Boston, New York, Washington, DC $4,597
Denver, Portland (OR) $5,097
Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include airline taxes, surcharges, and fees of $802, which are subject to change until final payment is made.
Land Only: $3,595 (transfers not included)
Single Room Supplement: $1,495
Airline upgrades on round-trip Trans-Pacific flight:
Business Class - $5,995 per person (upgrades are subject to availability and pricing is subject to change). Upgrade prices are in addition to the costs above.
Included in Tour Price
Round-trip air transportation from listed cities; all flights within itinerary; 13 nights’ accommodations in Deluxe and Superior First Class hotels; 26 meals: 13 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 8 dinners; Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees; Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director; Educational lecture program/study leader with a minimum of 15 guests; Commonwealth Club representative at 20 guests; Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip; Luggage handling for one bag per person; Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
Not Included in Tour Price
Airfare when purchasing a Land Only package; costs of passports and visas; personal expenses such as beverages, laundry, room service, and meals not specified; airport transfers when purchasing a Land Only package; communication charges; gratuities to your Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director, which are at your discretion (suggested gratuities: $10-$15 per traveler, per day); optional sightseeing; and travel protection insurance. Additional baggage fees may apply and are subject to change at any time. You should confirm directly with your airline(s) prior to departure.
Optional post-tour extension
Cambodia: Angkor Wat: Feb 29-Mar 3, 2020
Cost: $995 per person, based on double occupancy
Single room supplement: $245
This is a moderately active tour and participants must be able to keep up with an active group of travelers. There is a considerable amount of walking on this trip. For the safety and enjoyment of each participant and the group, participants must be able to:
- Walk on average 2-3 miles at a steady pace. On this tour, guests will be walking in cities and town and should be able to walk at a steady pace during full days of site seeing.
- Be able to walk on cobblestone, gravel and pavement. Some walking excursions require good balance as you walk stairs and uneven pavement.
- Stand for up to approximately 2 hours at a time each day.
- Walk up and down stairs without hand rails, without the assistance of another person.
- You must be able to get on and off motorcoaches and boats on your own.
Hear from guest lecturers throughout the trip.
Terms and Conditions
Cancellations, Refunds and Changes
If you must cancel your trip, the effective date of cancellation will be upon our receipt of your written notification. Refunds for cancellations are subject to the following per person charges:
Cancel 95 days or more before departure: $200 charge
Cancel 94-65 days before departure: 50% of tour price
Cancel 64-30 days before departure: 75% of tour price
Cancel 29-0 days before departure: No refund.
If a guest makes any changes to their reservation within 94 and 30 days prior to departure, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. will apply a $100 per person administrative fee, in addition to any fees or penalties imposed by third parties. Changes are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed. If your reservation changes from double occupancy to single occupancy for any reason, you will be charged the single supplement. No changes are allowed within 30 days of departure. Upon reservation you must provide your full legal name as it appears on your passport as well as your date of birth and gender. In the event an airline ticket is issued with incorrect information you have provided, you will be responsible for charges associated with the ticket’s reissue.
We require membership to the Commonwealth Club to travel with us. People who live outside of the Bay Area may purchase a worldwide membership. To learn about membership types and to purchase a membership, visit our membership page or call (415)597-6720.
We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance, which is available for coverage of expenses in conjunction with cancellation due to illness or accident. Baggage insurance is also recommended. In the event you must cancel your participation in the travel program, trip cancellation insurance may be the only source of reimbursement. Information will be sent upon registration and can be viewed Travel Insurance Services website
The liability of the Commonwealth Club, as sponsor, and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc., as tour operator, is strictly limited. Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. purchases transportation, hotel accommodations, restaurant and other services from independent suppliers not under our control. We serve only as agents for these suppliers in securing tour arrangements, and therefore will not accept responsibility for wrongful, negligent or arbitrary acts or omissions of these independent contractors, their employees, agents, servants or representatives. The Commonwealth Club and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. are not liable for injury, damage, loss, accident or delay that may be caused by events not within our control, including without limitation, acts of terrorism, war, strikes, the defect of any vehicle, or the negligence or default of any third party. All coupons, receipts and tickets issued are subject to the terms and conditions specified by the air carriers, cruise line and other independent suppliers. We will make every effort to operate our tours as planned, but we reserve the right to make itinerary changes as necessary. If unforeseen circumstances require us to change a hotel, we will select alternative accommodations of the same or better quality.
Health and Medical Issues
We request that you be in good health to participate in an Odysseys Unlimited tour. There is a reasonable amount of walking, and you must be able to get on and off motorcoaches on your own. We regret that we cannot offer individual assistance; in such cases you must be accompanied by a companion who will assist you. Please note that our itineraries cannot accommodate wheelchairs. We reserve the right to remove anyone whose physical or mental condition, in our opinion, compromises the operation of the tour or detracts from the enjoyment or safety of the other passengers. In that event, Odysseys Unlimited and the Commonwealth Club assume no financial responsibility for any unused portion of the tour.
Air Transportation – Important Information
Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. includes in its tour price round-trip economy air from designated gateway cities as shown and contracts with those airlines the company feels provide the level of service, routings, and value necessary for your entire trip. While another airline may offer a more direct connection, it may be at a price unavailable at the lower group rates. You will receive your preliminary air schedule approximately 2½ months prior to departure. Please note that seat assignments on your international flight are usually done at airport check-in. Odysseys Unlimited is unable to guarantee any seat assignments. Due to the nature of tour operator tickets, other restrictions apply, including, but not limited to, frequent flyer mileage accrual, stopovers, alternate travel dates, upgrades, and airline taxes and fees. If you prefer to make your own travel arrangements, Land Only is available on most tours. Since international and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time, we recommend that if you choose to make your own airline reservations, you do not purchase non-refundable tickets or those with high penalties for changes. If you choose to make your own flight arrangements for an alumni tour and not use those provided by the tour company, we recommend that you do not do so until making your final payment to the tour company confirming details of your trip’s scheduled departure. However, if you choose to make your own flight arrangements, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. shall not have any liability for any loss resulting from tour cancellations or changes to tour dates.
Commonwealth Club of California-CST# 2096889-40