Pilgrimage to Vietnam May 15 – 28th 2019

Tour to Vietnam 2019 Canada

Pilgrimage to Vietnam

May 15th – 28th, 2019

With Fr. John Vandenakker of the Companions of the Cross
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Discover the natural beauty, culture, and faith of exotic Vietnam.
A country of 93 million (7% Catholic). Land of martyrs, saints, and shrines!

Day 1 (15 MAY): Depart Pearson International Airport (Toronto)
for our overnight flight to Southeast Asia via Air Korea.

Tour to Vietnam Canada 2019
Day 2 (16 MAY): Arrive Seoul, South Korea for a short layover. Continue on to Hanoi, Vietnam.
Upon arrival, transfer to our hotel for dinner and Mass.
Overnight at Thien Thai Hotel, Hanoi (4-star or similar). http://www.thienthaihotel.com/

Tour to Vietnam Canada 2019

Day 3 (17 MAY): Hanoi
Morning Mass at Saint Joseph Cathedral.
Visit Ba Dinh Square and the mausoleum where Ho Chi Minh lies in state (the ‘father’ of the country).
Visit the Ho Chi Minh Museum.
Visit the Temple of Literature: a peaceful place of outdoor walled courtyards and graceful gateways.
This monument is one of the best- preserved examples of traditional Vietnamese architecture.
Lunch at the ‘Seasons of Hanoi’ restaurant.
Late afternoon sightseeing tour of the Old Quarter by ‘cyclo’ (a bicycle-type taxi).
Stop to shop for arts and crafts. Dinner at a local restaurant.
Overnight at Thien Thai Hotel, Hanoi (same hotel as on Day 2).

Tour to Vietnam Canada 2019

Tour to Vietnam Canada 2019
Tour to Vietnam Canada 2019

Tour to Vietnam Canada 2019
Day 4 (18 MAY): Hanoi – Halong Bay
Depart Hanoi and drive to picturesque Halong Bay aboard a deluxe motor coach. (with free WiFi).
Arrive at Bhaya Group Cruise Centre (https://www.bhayacruises.com/).
Embark upon our cruise (4-star small ship or similar). Enjoy a welcome drink.
Lunch onboard as we cruise towards the southwest of Halong Bay, admiring
the many limestone islands (a UNESCO World Hertiage site).
Discover the mysterious Tien Ong Cave – with stunning stalactites and stalagmites,
it is one of the finest caves in Halong Bay. Celebrate a late afternoon Mass onboard.
Join in an exciting ‘Master-Chef Competition’ and fruit carving demonstration.
Learn to cook with authentic Vietnamese foods.
Relish the sunset over enchanting Halong Bay, while the ship anchors for an overnight stay.
Dinner onboard.
Late evening: retire to your cabin or join the staff for some squid fishing.

Tour to Vietnam Canada 2019
Day 5 (19 MAY): Halong Bay
Optional early morning Tai Chi lesson on the sundeck.
A full breakfast is served onboard. Weigh anchor and sail to Hang Trai Island, where we will transfer to the Bhaya Spirit (a ‘day’ boat) for the second day’s activities.
Sail the beautiful waters of Halong Bay, passing the Ang Du area and Hang Du island.
See where ‘Kong Skull Island’ was filmed.
Optional Kayaking and swimming in the private CocCheo Islet area.
Visit a floating pearl farm for a tour and a special local lunch (+ shopping).
Sail into the scenic Ho Ba Ham Area, – see Ba Men Temple, But Island, and Me Cung Cave.
Return to our main ship and celebrate a late afternoon Mass onboard.
After dinner, enjoy a relaxing evening.
Late evening: retire to your cabin or join the staff for some squid fishing.

Tour to Vietnam Canada 2019
Day 6 (20 MAY): Halong Bay – Hanoi
Optional early morning Tai Chi lesson on the sundeck.
A light breakfast is served onboard.
Weigh anchor and sail to the famous Cua Van ‘floating’ fishing village.
Tour the area via either kayak or traditional row boat.
Return to our ship, where brunch will be served in the restaurant.
Late morning: disembark and return to Hanoi.
Late afternoon Mass at a local Church in Hanoi (if time allows), or else back at our hotel.
Dinner at a local restaurant.
Overnight at Thien Thai Hotel, Hanoi (same hotel as on Day 2&3).

Tour to Vietnam Canada 2019

Day 7 (21 MAY): Hanoi – Hue – La Vang
Depart Hanoi for our short flight to Hue (in central Vietnam).
Upon our arrival In Hue, board our deluxe motor coach and travel to Quang Tri.
Have lunch along the way.
Upon our arrival, visit the historic La Vang Cathedral, then celebrate Mass
in the new Basilica of Our Lady of La Vang.
In 1640 a persecution of Catholics in Vietnam began and escalated in 1798.
Many churches were destroyed and more than 100,000
Vietnamese Catholics died as martyrs (Feast Day Nov. 24th).
Many others took refuge in the deep jungle of La Vang. One night in 1798 they were unexpectedly visited by an apparition of a beautiful lady among the branches of a tree. She appeared in a long cape, wearing the traditional Vietnamese long dress (‘ao dai’), and holding a child in her arms. There were also two angels by her side. She comforted and reassured the sick and weary refugees. She told them to boil leaves from the surrounding trees to use as medicine. She also stated that all who would come to this place would have their prayers heard and answered. All those who were present witnessed this miracle. The sick were healed. By 1802 they could return to their villages. Eventually a chapel was built to commemorate this extraordinary event. Ever since, it has been a place of pilgrimage for Vietnamese Catholics.
Return to Hue for dinner at local restaurant.
Overnight at Century Riverside Hotel Hue (4-star or similar). https://centuryriversidehue.com/


Day 8 (22 MAY): Hue
In the morning we will board a typical ‘dragon boat’ in Hue and enjoy the views of the city
while the boat cruises the Perfume River heading towards the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda.
Visit more of the major sites of Hue: including the Imperial Citadel within
the Forbidden Royal City and Khai Dinh tomb.
Mass at a local Church.
Enjoy an Imperial ‘royal’ dinner at a local restaurant while serenaded by traditional
Vietnamese musicians (guests are dressed in costumes)!
Overnight at Century Riverside Hotel Hue (same hotel as Day 7).


Day 9 (23 MAY): Hue – Danang
Depart Hue and drive to Danang aboard our deluxe motor coach.
In Danang we will visit the Cham Museum (Vietnamese antiquities) and have lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon we will visit nearby China Beach, where the first US combat troops
landed in Vietnam in 1965. Today it is a resort area.
Late afternoon: celebrate Mass at a local Church.
Dinner and overnight at Royal Lotus Hotel Danang (4-star or similar). http://www.royallotushoteldanang.com/


Day 10 (24 MAY): Danang – Hoi An
Depart Danang and drive to Hoi An aboard our deluxe motor coach.
Visit the ancient town of Hoi An (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), including: Hoi An Museum;
Japanese Bridge; ancient Chinese Temple. Time for shopping.
Celebrate Mass at a local church.
Dinner with special Hoi An dishes.
Overnight at Muong Thanh Holiday Hoi An Hotel (4-star or similar) http://holidayhoian.muongthanh.com/


Day 11 (25 MAY): Hoi An – Ho Chi Minh City
Transfer back to Danang airport for our flight to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon).
On arrival in HCM, the group will make a visit to the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary convent, where we will celebrate Mass, followed by lunch served by these Vietnamese sisters.
Afternoon tour of downtown HCM, visiting: Independence Palace; Old Post Office; Dong Khoi; Saigon Opera House, Saigon City Hall, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the War Remnants museum.
Dinner at a local restaurant.
Overnight at Northern Hotel Saigon (4-star or similar). http://www.northernhotel.com.vn/



Day 12 (26 MAY): Ho Chi Minh City
Early morning Mass at the HuyenSy Church.
After Mass we will visit the Shrine of St. Matthew Le Van Gam.
Eldest son of a pious Catholic family. Matthew briefly studied at the seminary, but being the first-born, family obligations caused him to return home. He married a local girl, and was the father of four, two of whom were later murdered for being Christians. At one point he cheated on his wife; but he repented and she forgave him. He used this incident to re- examine his life and the faith. He decided that he would become closer to the Church, serve his diocese, and help the missionaries. During the persecutions of emperor Thiêu Tri in 1846, Matthew, a skilled sailor, smuggled a group of threatened seminarians out of the county to Malaysia.. Stopped on another run in July to save some diocesan clergy, he was arrested, beaten, whipped, and ordered to desecrate a cross to prove his renunciation of Christianity. When he refused, he was imprisoned for 10 months, regularly tortured, and eventually executed for the crime of helping the missionaries. He was beatified by Pope Leo XIII in 1900 and canonized
by Pope John Paul II in 1998.
Lunch at a local restaurant.
After lunch we will drive out to the infamous CuChi Tunnels for a visit. The Củ Chi tunnels were the location of several military campaigns during the Vietnam War, and were the Viet Cong’s base of operations for the Tết Offensive in 1968. The tunnels were used by Viet Cong soldiers as hiding spots during combat, as well as serving as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters for numerous North Vietnamese fighters.
Return to Ho Chi Minh City.
Dinner at a local restaurant.
Overnight at Northern Hotel Saigon (same hotel as on Day 11).

Day 13 (27 MAY): Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta
Drive out of Ho Chi Minh City and head for the My Tho pier in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam.
Here we will embark upon a local boat tour.
Our boat trip will take us to one of the islands in the Mekong Delta to see a traditional farmer’s home, enjoy some traditional music, view fruit orchards, and have the opportunity tosample exotic tropical fruits.
Then we will use Vietnamese flat-bottom ‘canoes’ to traverse the small canals, in the shadow of water coconut trees. Final stop is a visit to a coconut candy oven, and a tasting of some special local honey tea.
Lunch at a local restaurant.Celebrate Mass in a a local Church.
Return to HCM for an evening ‘farewell’ Saigon River Dinner Cruise.
Overnight at Northern Hotel Saigon (same hotel as on Day 11 & 12).


Day 14 (28 MAY): Depart Ho Chi Minh airport for our return flight back to Toronto (with a layover and change of planes again in Seoul, South Korea).

Terms & Conditions

Tour price per person (based on double occupancy) in Canadian (CAD) or US dollars (USD):
CAD $4,115 or USD $3,215
Single supplement (if desired): CAD $930 or USD $726

Rate includes:
Superior accommodation (4-star hotels & ship).
3 meals per day (breakfast, lunch & dinner) throughout the entire trip!
Round trip airfare (including taxes) from Toronto to Hanoi and return from Ho Chi Minh to Toronto.
Fully escorted (assistance) upon arrival and departure at all airports.
Services of a licensed English-speaking guide.
Deluxe motor coach transportation as per itinerary (with free WiFi).
Entrance fees to all attractions & activities as per the itinerary.
Tips already included for Guide, Driver & Hotel Staff.
Daily Mass & Rosary (while in transit).

Rate does not include:
Travel Visa for Vietnam (fee is CAD $100 or USD $80) + valid Passport
Travel & Health Insurance
Personal expenses

Conditions for departure:
Minimum group size is 20 fare-paying customers.

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RESERVATIONS & DEPOSIT

A deposit of CAD $500.00 or USD $380.00 per person is required within 7 days after a tour
invoice is issued. Reservations are considered confirmed after a deposit has been received.
Payment can be made by check payable to “JBC Travel” or by VISA or MASTERCARD.
Payment by credit card will be subject to 3% convenience fee.

FINAL PAYMENT

Final and full payment is required 90 days prior to departure.

TOUR PRICE

Tour price includes air and surface transportation as arranged. Tour price is quoted in Canadian
or United States dollars. All prices are subject to change without notice.

CANCELLATIONS

All cancellations must be made in writing to JBC Travel. The date of receipt of the cancellation notice will determine what penalties, if any, will be assessed, in accordance with the following schedule:
After the booking was confirmed: CAD $300.00 or USD $250.00 per person.
60-31 days prior to departure: 50% of the tour price per person.
Within 30 days prior to departure: 100% forfeiture of the tour price per person.

INSURANCE

JBC Travel recommends that all tour participants ensure that they have sufficient trip cancellation, hospital/medical, and baggage insurance coverage prior to departure.
Contact us for additional information.

COMPREHENSIVE TRAVEL INSURANCE RATES (offered via JBC Travel)
(For Canadian pilgrims in CAD – via Allianz Global Assistance):

Ages

0-60

61-65

66-70

71-76

Premium

$258

$324

$399

$479

(For US pilgrims in USD – via iTravelInsured Inc.):

Ages

0-39

40-49

50-

59

60-64

65-69

70-74

75-79

80-99

Premium

$96

$125

$164

$202

$233

$269

$304

$373

REFUNDS

There will be no refunds once the tour has commenced. There will also be no refunds for unused tour arrangements, domestic and international flights, ground transportation and hotel accommodations.

PASSPORT AND VIETNAM VISA

A valid passport is required which must be valid for at least six months after the scheduled return of the tour. Visa is required for Canadian or United States nationals visiting Vietnam. The current visa fee for a single entry to Vietnam is CAD $100 for Canadian citizen and USD
$80 for US citizen. Visit https://visa.mofa.gov.vn/_layouts/registration/ApplicationForm.aspx for more information. JBC Travel cannot accept responsibility for alternate or additional land or air arrangements incurred by tour participants with improper documentation.

BAGGAGE

JBC Travel can assume no responsibility for lost or damaged baggage. Baggage allowance currently in effect on trans-Pacific flights is two (2) pieces of checked baggage with dimensions not exceeding 62 inches (158 cm.). However, baggage allowance for intra- Vietnam flights is reduced to one (1) piece of checked baggage. Excess baggage charges are the responsibility of the pilgrim.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS

Currently none of the areas included in the itineraries require certificates of vaccination. However, this is subject to change at any time.

AIR TRANSPORTATION

Air transportation is based on round-trip economy group fares out of Toronto by Air Korea. All fares quoted are subject to change without notice by the airline.

MEALS

There will be three meals a day. Daily breakfasts will be always provided in the hotels, and lunches and dinners will be served at local restaurants.

ACCOMMODATION

4-star hotel accommodations are used where available and are based on double occupancy in a room with private bathroom. Single supplement charges are indicated in the brochure programs.

TRANSFER AND SIGHTSEEING

All transfers and sightseeing are by air-conditioned motor coach with free wi-fi or other conveyance.

RESPONSIBLITY

JBC Travel Canada Ltd., acts only as agent and/or intermediary for the independent suppliers. The suppliers who provide transportation, conveyance, or accommodations are independent contractors and are not agents or employees of JBC Travel. JBC Travel assumes no liability for any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity. JBC Travel reserves the right to withdraw any tour published in this program and to substitute hotels if necessary. JBC Travel further reserves the right to decline, accept or to retain any person as a member of any tour at any time should it be determined that the participant presents a significant risk to the health or safety of himself/herself or others despite repeated warnings from the local land operator.

For more information or to register for this pilgrimage please contact:
JBC Travel
286 Kent St., Ottawa, Ontario K2P 2A4, Canada
Call toll free: (888) 206-3075 ext #103 Or Contact Us


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