Luxurious Ambassador Cruise is teaming up with conductor Dong Quang Vinh to stage Halong Bay’s first orchestral cruise, showcasing instrumentalists, opera singers and ballet dancers in what’s poised to be a remarkable sunset concert.
The inaugural “Dreamy Voyage – Symphony of Heritage” on 22 December this year will begin with a red-carpet wine reception at Ambassador Lounge at Halong International Cruise Port from 3pm. Guests will then board Ambassador Cruise II for the concert in the UNESCO World Heritage site from 4.45pm – 6.30pm followed by a buffet dinner on the lavish vessel.
Dubbed “Vietnam’s music ambassador” by domestic and international media for his ongoing efforts to promote Vietnamese music to the world, Vinh will conduct Suc Song Moi Orchestra during the cruise. Featuring 30 Vietnamese instrumentalists, the orchestra will play four chapters, with four to five songs apiece. The chapters comprise classical opera and ballet music, Vietnamese music, film scores, and Christmas carols.
The program, to feature performances by award-winning tenor Nguyen Truong Linh and soprano Trang Bui, is packed with iconic music. Highlights include themes from ballets “Swan Lake” and “The Nutcracker”, as well as “Nessun Dorma”, “Hello Vietnam”, blockbuster Titantic’s “My Heart Will Go On”, “Joy to the World” and “Jingle Bells”.
Born into a family of esteemed traditional musicians, Vinh began learning to play the bamboo flute at nine with the Vietnam National Academy of Music, where today he is conductor and teacher of orchestral conducting. He is also the principal conductor of the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet, and artistic director and conductor of Hanoi Voices Choir. He has been a guest conductor of numerous international orchestras including the Shanghai Opera House Symphony Orchestra.
He described Halong Bay’s upcoming orchestral cruise as “something to be celebrated” because it would promote arts and culture in a unique setting, thus making orchestral music more accessible.
“My desire is to bring music to everyone and this is an irresistible opportunity,” the conductor said. “To take this enchanting music, usually performed in a large concert hall, and bring it to an open space, one as spectacular as Halong Bay, with a new audience of cruisers is particularly rewarding.”
Nguyen Cao Son, the chairman of Asia Premier Cruises (APC) Corporation, which owns Ambassador Cruise, added that the orchestral cruise marked the beginning of a series of exquisite themed cruises to be staged by the cruise line.
“An orchestral cruise is yet another first for Halong Bay from Ambassador Cruise, following the introduction of our day cruises and dinner cruises earlier this year,” he said. “The breathtaking backdrop of Halong Bay’s stunning limestone karsts will bring a whole new dimension to this atmospheric orchestral performance.”
The elegantly designed 45-cabin Ambassador Cruise II is home to spacious sundecks across two floors affording 360-degree vistas, two restaurants, two bars, an entertainment area for live music, large open-air jacuzzi and a five-metre glass bridge jutting from the vessel’s bow that inspires compelling photographs.
The 500-ton five-floor steel craft with a basement measures 90-meters long, 16-meters wide and 19-meters high, making it the largest and most luxurious ship to ever ply Halong Bay’s waters with a total of 10,000sqm of lettable space. Ambassador Cruise is the only Halong Bay cruise line to include an elevator system for the elderly and people with disabilities.