Taking in Halong Bay's sights on a luxury cruise ship is certainly one way to live it up. Imagine the unique scenery provided by over 2,000 limestone islets, breeze in hair, and cocktail in hand – and no little plastic straw sticking out of your drink.
That is since Paradise Cruises, a leading luxury cruise provider in Vietnam, decided to withdraw the use of straws from all seven of its ships starting in August. “As plastic takes about 200 years to decompose, it poses a great threat to our oceans,” said General Manager Edgar Cavana. “A whopping amount is thrown into the water every single day. Not only does it make for an eye sore, it destroys marine life.”
Data recorded by Earth Day Network showed that Vietnam produced more than 1.8 million tonnes of plastic waste last year, making it the fourth-most plastic waste-generating country in the world.
Going straw-less is Paradise Cruises’ move to save up to 36,000 straws a year, which will otherwise be served to the passengers in its inventory of 130 cabins, said Mr Cavana. Passengers are encouraged to bring a reusable straw with them or not use one at all.
TIME FOR PARADISE
A holiday that lets you do your part for the environment and doesn’t skimp on the finer details in luxury cruising? That can be had on Paradise Cruises’ newest member of its fleet, the Paradise Elegance. The pampering starts when you are picked up from Hanoi in a six-seater van fitted with flat-screen TVs in the headrests and high-speed Internet access.
The 61m long and 13m wide Paradise Elegance, the largest vessel sailing overnight in Halong Bay, is equipped with 31 cabins that range from 25 to 35 sqm. Each comes with a private balcony, walk-in closet, rain shower and floor-to-ceiling windows.
If you can bring yourself to step out of your comfortable cabin, you’ll find upscale amenities, such as a spa with four treatment rooms, and dining room with a piano bar. But there’s no need to dine there if you so choose. Instead, you can order from the a la carte menus and enjoy your meal in your cabin, private balcony or sundeck, which can accommodate 70 people and has a circular bar.
Prices start from US$190 (S$260) per person. Visit paradisecruise.com for details.