Event Price 
Cabins range from $7,195 to $15,795 including air from Los Angeles (per person, double occupancy; cruise only; add $1,000 per person after July 7)

This exclusive nine-night cruise from the spectacular harbor of Hong Kong, "Crossroads of the East," to vibrant Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) aboard the Five-Star, small ship M.S. L'AUSTRAL showcases Asia's most intriguing destinations, the fascinating treasures of Vietnam--from the serene landscape of rice paddies to traditional pagodas and bustling sampan-filled harbors--and four UNESCO World Heritage sites. Tour Hanoi, Vietnam's dynamic capital and a romantic blend of old Asian and French heritage. Cruise along the majestic shores of Ha Long Bay. Visit the Forbidden Purple City in the former imperial capital city of Hue. Admire the Japanese-style covered bridge and the intricately carved Assembly Hall in beautiful Hoi An. Discover the mystique of ancient cultures and colorful traditions juxtaposed with modernity. Round-trip economy-class air from Los Angeles is included.

Event Itinerary 

Day 1: Depart Los Angeles, U.S ./ Cross the International Date Line
(Some flights may depart Los Angeles the evening of October 17.)
Day 2: Hong Kong, China / Embark M.S. L'AUSTRAL
Day 3: Cruising the South China Sea
Day 4: Haiphong, Vietnam, for Hanoi
Day 5: Ha Long Bay / Gulf of Tonkin
Day 6: Cruising the South China Sea
Day 7: Chan May for Hue / Da Nang
Day 8: Da Nang for Hoi An
Day 9: Cruising the South China Sea
Day 10: Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
Day 11: Saigon/Disembark ship / Depart for the U.S. / Cross the International Date Line / Arrive in Los Angeles, U.S.

Optional two night post-cruise: Hong Kong
Optional two night post-cruise: Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Number enrolled 
Type of activity 
Activity Level 

Moderately active


James Wright

James Wright is President Emeritus and Eleazar Wheelock Professor of History Emeritus at Dartmouth College. The son of a WW II veteran, he served in the Marine Corps before entering Wisconsin State University-Platteville for his bachelor's degree, and a masters and doctoral degree in United States history from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He joined the Dartmouth History Department in 1969 and from 1998 to 2009, served as the college's 16th president.

Wright is the author or editor of six published books. The seventh, "Enduring Vietnam: An American Generation and Its War", will be released in the winter of 2017. In 2012 he published "Those Who Have Borne the Battle: A History of America's Wars and Those Who Fought Them" (2012). Since stepping down from the Dartmouth presidency, Wright has written articles that have appeared in online publications, Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic, and the Huffington Post. The theme that runs through all of these is the way that American society largely ignores those who fight and sacrifice in the country's wars.

President Wright has worked with veterans since 2005 when he began visiting wounded Marines and soldiers in Washington, D.C. hospitals. In over thirty visits since then, he has encouraged the injured servicemen and women to continue their education. Wright was involved in the planning for the Yellow Ribbon Program that provided for private institutions to be included in the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, and he worked with the American Council on Education (ACE) to create a new educational counseling program for wounded U.S. veterans. This program still continues at Walter Reed Hospital.

Among his honors for his work with veterans, Wright was featured as "Person of the Week" on ABC World News and was recognized as New Englander of the Year by the New England Council. In 2009 he received a special Daniel Webster Award and the Veterans of Foreign Wars honored him with the Commander-in-Chief's Gold Medal of Merit Award. The New England Board of Higher Education recognized him in 2010 for his leadership on behalf of higher education and the advancement of educational opportunity.

He serves on the Board of the Semper Fi Fund/America's Fund, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), and the Campaign Leadership Committee for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Education Center.

James and Susan Wright live in Hanover where Susan continues to be involved with a number of projects, including serving as a docent at the Hood Museum of Art and serving as a board member of Colby Sawyer College and the New Hampshire Humanities Council.

On this trip, President Wright will discuss his work on the book "Enduring Vietnam" and the ways in which his interviews with veterans and his own travel to Vietnam gave him some insights into this American war. We will visit some of the places that were critical locations in this war. He will describe the assumptions that lay behind the American intervention in the war and will talk about the baby boomer generation that grew up with these assumptions. While describing some of the heavy costs paid by the Vietnamese in this war, Wright will discuss the experience and the cost of the war for Americans who served there.

Shared Program 
Columbia, Duke, Harvard, National Trust, UNC, Smithsonian
Operator Name 
Thomas P. Gohagan & Company