This tour will take you to captivating Hue, the old imperial capital and cultural treasure chest of Vietnam. Founded on the northern bank of Perfume River in the 17th century by the Nguyen Dynasty, Hue appears more like a massive open-air museum with hundreds of temples, pagodas, palaces and tombs. Departing the port, enjoy a scenic drive along the coastal road, bordering the brilliant blue East Sea. Upon arrival in Hue, drive to the remains of the Citadel, the magnificent court of the Nguyen emperors. Completed in 1832, the Royal Citadel of Hue occupies almost 1,000 acres of land, with stone ramparts standing over 20 feet high and huge Ngo Mon (Meridian) Gates. During the Vietnam War, some of the most intense fighting occurred in this region, leaving many buildings destroyed or damaged. Declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, the Citadel has undergone extensive restoration, bringing it back to its former glory. See the vast, wing-roofed Thai Hoa Palace (Supreme Harmony) and the ornate Imperial Library with its detailed ceramic sculptures decorating its roof. Visit the Forbidden Purple City, once the inner, exclusive domain of the emperors. After touring the Citadel, continue along the Perfume River to the elegant Thien Mu Pagoda, one of the most beautiful architectural structures in Vietnam. With its outstanding octagonal seven-story tower and adjacent prayer hall perched at the top of a hillock overlooking the tranquil river, the pagoda represents the finest in Buddhist design and a symbol of Hue. Following a buffet lunch of traditional Vietnamese dishes at a local restaurant, proceed to the Tomb of Tu Duc, the emperor of Vietnam for more than 35 years. Hidden behind an octagonal stone wall is the monarch's sepulcher, surrounded by a pavilion and temple, and guarded by stone sculptures of elephants, horses and soldiers. On your return drive to the ship, stop at the curious hat-craft village, where the conical-shaped bamboo hats common to Vietnam are made.