This exclusive nine-night cruise from the spectacular harbor of Hong Kong, “Crossroads of the East,” to vibrant Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) aboard the Five-Star, small ship m.s. L’Austral showcases the Orient’s most intriguing destinations, the fascinating treasures of Vietnam—from the serene landscape of rice paddies to traditional pagodas and bustling sampan-filled harbors—and four UNESCO World Heritage sites.
A distinguished journalist and broadcaster, Jim Laurie has been witness to several of the most defining moments in Asia’s history over the past 40 years. Mr. Laurie was the only American network correspondent to cover the communist takeover of Saigon, Vietnam, on April 30, 1975. Subsequently, he opened the first American television bureau in Beijing in July of 1981 and reported from Beijing on the events of Tiananmen Square in June of 1989. Mr. Laurie has interviewed many historically influential Asian leaders, including China’s Deng Xiaoping, the Dalai Lama and Cambodia’s King Norodom Sihanouk. For 26 years, Mr. Laurie was a global correspondent for ABC News and NBC News. He is the winner of two Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award for his coverage of the Vietnam War and an Overseas Press Club Award. From 2005 through 2011, he was Director of Broadcasting at the Journalism and Media Studies Center at the University of Hong Kong. He has specialized in the study of media in China; continues to be a frequent visitor to China, Vietnam and Cambodia; and speaks on a variety of Asia-related issues. Since 2004, Mr. Laurie has specialized in the development of global television news channels. He has served as a consultant to three TV channels in India, the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera English Channel and China Central Television in Beijing. Currently he is advising on China’s growth as a media power in the United States. He is also the producer of recent documentaries including Cambodia Surgical Ward for BBC World News in 2010 and the environmental fi lm Earth Factor Asia: Making a Difference (KQED World San Francisco: February 2012). Earlier films include Vietnam: 25 Years Later (2000), China’s Unruly Dragon (1988) and Japan: Myths Behind the Miracle (1981).
1 Depart U.S./Cross the International Date Line
2 Hong Kong /Embark m.s. L’Austral
3 Cruising the Gulf of Tonkin
4 Haiphong, Vietnam, for Hanoi
5 Ha Long Bay
6 Cruising the South China Sea
7 Chan May for Hué and the Hai Van Pass/Da Nang
8 Da Nang for Hôi An
9 Day at Sea
10 Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
11 Saigon/Disembark ship/Depart for the U.S./Cross the International Date Line
Cruise itinerary is subject to change.