Paradise Cruises, the creator of the most luxurious overnight cruise experiences on storied Ha Long Bay, will debut Paradise Sails on January 1 - a culturally-enriching cruise on a classic wooden junk (albeit with sails).

Paradise Cruises’ General Manager Edgar C. Cayanan said its inaugural fleet of four Paradise Luxury 17-cabin vessels will be rebranded Paradise Sails from January 1.

“We’ve come a long way since our very first boat, a Paradise Luxury vessel, which set sail in 2008, but as the adage goes, all good things must come to an end,” Mr. Cayanan said. “With that said, we are lifting this product to the next level by going back to our Vietnamese roots as we reinvigorate the dining experience to apply sails to the vessels.”

A highlight of Paradise Sails’ one-night and two-night itineraries is a royal “Bao Dai” dinner experience, during which guests dress like kings and queens in iconic “ao dai”, Vietnam’s traditional outfit, and indulge in Vietnamese favorites such as deep-fried Ha Long crab spring rolls, grilled marinated chicken in lime leaves, and grilled local fish in banana leaves.

In addition to an interactive Vietnamese cooking demonstration and sunrise tai chi on the sun deck, other highlights include hiking to the peak of Titov Island, which affords spectacular vistas of Ha Long Bay and its towering limestone karsts, as well as walking through Sung Sot, the bay’s largest cave.

Each vessel in the Paradise Sails line is 41.5 meters long, has four decks, and is loaded with restorative amenities, including Le Parfum Spa, offering an array of massages, facials, scrubs and wraps, as well as a bar.

The rebranding follows a renovation of the fleet that gave it a fresh look and feel, with new wooden floors, ceilings, curtains, carpets, and beds in each boat’s 17 cabins. Most furnishings are handmade, including the Oriental-style tables and chairs that adorn the gourmet dining rooms.

The largest room categories are the 23 sq m Terrace Suites and Paradise Suites. The standout feature in the former is a private terrace with lounge chairs, while highlights of the latter include a mini-bar and LCD TV.

The Bao Dai dinner is named for the last ruler of the Nguyen Dynasty, who was also the last emperor of Vietnam. Born Vinh Thuy in 1913, he became emperor upon the death of his father in 1925 and assumed the name Bao Dai, meaning “preservation of grandeur”.

In addition to the Paradise Sails line, Paradise Cruises operates sleek and modern Paradise Elegance steel vessels and the top-of-the-line wooden junk Paradise Peak, designed to hold up to 16 passengers, with a personal butler dedicated to each cabin.