Haute cuisine on the high seas

It’s not every day that a two star Michelin chef visits Halong Bay, let alone cooks for guests on a cruise. But that’s exactly what happened when Chef Thierry Drapeau was invited by Paradise Vietnam to prepare a five course feast especially for the Paradise Elegance. And it wasn’t just French gastronomy that was enjoyed through the cruise: award-winning Argentinian wines were also in free-flow. And in the evening, guests enjoyed cognac and cigars in the Piano Bar.


The Haute Cuisine event — conceptualized by Paradise Vietnam and departing Tuan Chau Marina on 23 August — was the first of its kind not only for Paradise Cruises, but also in Halong Bay. Costing USD$3,500 per person, the experience was worth every penny.

Thierry Drapeau, chef and co-owner of the two-star Michelin restaurant Thierry Drapeau in the Vendée region of western France, was joined by representatives of Argentinean winery Trivento as they treated up to 40 guests to a gourmet lunch and dinner on an overnight cruise of Vietnam’s most famous natural attraction.


“The company you keep is a reflection of your personality,” said Edgar Cayanan, General Manager of Paradise Group Vietnam. “Aligning ourselves with the best in other walks of hospitality reinforces the reputation we’ve built. This event is a chance for Paradise Elegance to elevate the dining experience for our guests and emphasize our leading position in cruise line food and beverage.”

The special cruise began at noon, when the Paradise Elegance embarked on a journey cruising the thousands of limestone karsts that define UNESCO World Heritage site Halong Bay.


At sunset, guests on the sundeck were entertained by Quyen Van Minh — one of Vietnam's most well-known jazz saxophonists and his band. They listened to beautiful music enhanced by free flow champagne, and a wide selection of cocktails prepared by talented cocktails mixologists on board.

 And for dinner, Chef Drapeau welcomed guests to Paradise Elegance’s Le Marin restaurant for the main event: a formal, five-course meal that paid homage to authentic French cuisine. The exclusive evening concluded with live music in the Le Piano bar, a sophisticated space in which to enjoy vintage cigars and top-shelf cognac.

“What I liked most about this special event is that dining experiences touches people’s emotions,” said Edgar. “We hope that dinner [cooked by] a Michelin chef will not only bring French culinary [expertise] to Halong Bay, but also bring a brand new wave of cruise tourism to Halong Bay.”

With two more haute cuisine cruises planned for 2017, Paradise Elegance’s position as the finest dining experience in Halong Bay is well and truly cemented.

But it’s not just fine dining that sets Paradise Elegance apart. Measuring 61 metres in length, and 12 metres in width and weighing 900 tons, Paradise Elegance is the largest overnight cruising option in Halong Bay. The 31 cabins range in size from 25-35 square metres and feature private balconies, walk-in closets, and in the bathroom, rain showers and floor-to-ceiling glass doors. The steel boat is outfitted with an array of upscale amenities including a spa with four treatment rooms, and a piano bar with live music nightly.

For more information about the next Haute Cuisine cruise on Paradise Elegance, or to make a reservation, email info@paradisevietnam.com or call (+84) 906 099 606.