Halong Bay in Vietnam will be closed for at least two weeks, meaning no cruises—day or overnight—will be allowed, reports Heritage Line, a Southeast Asia river cruise operator. Additionally, Lan Ha Bay, which has already been closed for several days, remains closed until further notice.
“Heritage Line has just achieved a major milestone with our 10-year anniversary last year and for 2020, I had exciting growth plans that would carry us through the next decade. Unfortunately, those ambitious plans are placed on hold as the spread of COVID-19 has taken a toll on inbound travel to Southeast Asia,” said Heritage Line CEO John Tue Nguyen in a letter to travel advisors.
Nguyen said that the cruise line would take advantage of this period to continue to focus on developing its onboard experience, also taking advantage of the low-season for in-house training across its departments. The recovery period may take six months to a year, he estimated.
When asked by Luxury Travel Advisor, a representative of the river cruise line said that it still plans to launch its newest ship, the Anouvong, on the Upper Mekong in September as originally scheduled. That ship will have eight staterooms and two suites, and it will operate two itineraries: one from Luang Prabang to Huay Xai on the Laos / Thailand border, and an itinerary between Huay Xai and Vientiane.
The cruise line’s Violet, which operates in Halong Bay, recently wrapped a three-month renovation that included a complete overhaul of its suites and public areas.
This article originally appeared on www.travelagentcentral.com.