CINNAMON CRUISES HOI AN
It’s hard to beat cocktails on the water at sunset and Cinnamon Cruises takes it to a new level: attentive waiters, white table cloths, first-rate food; charming solid wooden junk offering river views of one of the prettiest towns in the world all interlaced with twilight’s magical hues dancing over the Thu Bon River.
Many a time I’ve passed the striking Cinnamon Cruises junk bobbing exotically on the water at Bach Dang pier and thought: ’I should do that’. It took me a few years and a visiting friend but when I did, it was well worth it.
We boarded at 4.45pm and were immediately served Cinnamon Cruises’ colorful signature cocktail of gin, cointreau, grenadine and orange juice. (We were ‘immediately’ served all night because, as it turned out, we ended up the only customers on board.)
Romantic Dining Setting
Early evening on the Thu Bon River is a mass of activity with fisherman putting their prawn nets out for the night and residents returning home to Kim Bong Village on ferries chokka block with motorbikes. It was also interesting, if not arresting, to see so many massive hotel developments taking place along the riverside – could this all go pear-shaped I wondered, because surely there has to be a limit to supply and demand?
The food served on Cinnamon Cruises is surprisingly good although the appetizer of chips and mayonnaise had us both scratching our heads (but it did soak up the beer which was – thankfully – very reasonably priced!) A stand-out amongst the many courses were the humungous barbeque prawns: perfectly cooked, fresh, sweet and truly delicious.
The tables are set for a fine dining experience and are placed to allow a sense of intimacy but there is also plenty of room to move and I suspect the ship would get quite vibrant with more people on board.
If you’re a couple in the mood for romance, this cruise is particularly for you and should have many a man (or woman) going down on one knee (avoid this cruise at all costs if you’re not in to your partner).
A lovely end to this whimsical night were the wish candles, lit and lowered in to the water for you to watch as they bobbed delicately away.
What I'd Like to See
My main grumble with Cinnamon Cruises: I wished they’d stayed closer to the shore. So much is happening at this time of evening and it would have been far more interesting than being smack in the middle of a massive expanse of river which became slightly monotonous.
Also, I felt it was a tad over-priced – see their website for up to date prices – but then I am used to local prices and why be so picky – it’s a great experience and highly recommended.
You can also book through their website or phone them. They have several cruise options including a Finger Food and Cocktail Sunset cruise as well as Sightseeing and Cooking cruises.