On a cloudy day in February this year, Halong Hub and La Regina Grand welcomed a special guest – ITV, the most popular commercial TV channel in the United Kingdom.
With ITV shooting their daytime show This Morning in four different locations across Vietnam, this was to be the grand finale of their filming adventure in Southeast Asia, after previous visits to Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An and Hanoi.
The ITV crew arrived at the Tuan Chau Marina in the morning, and straight off their buses they boarded a speedboat to take them to La Regina Grand, a luxury cruise ship anchored further off the coast.
Upon arrival on La Regina Grand, the ITV crew received a truly royal welcome – not altogether surprising given the ship’s name, Latin for “queen”. The welcoming committee included the ship’s captain as well as the cruise manager, who later that day also presented his impressive singing skills, to a rather stunned dinner audience.
With the newly arrived guests relishing their welcome lunch, La Regina raised the anchor and set sail for Lan Ha Bay, navigating a spectacular cruising loop between thousands of towering limestone karsts and isles in the area.
After lunch the ITV crew, whilst taking in as much of the breathtaking views around as possible, busied themselves with preparations for their work.
And… action! With the wonderful landscape in the bay serving as a backdrop for the occasion, the wheels of the camera were set in motion.
ITV’s presenter Lisa Snowdon graced the deck of La Regina Grand that afternoon, trying some local specialties with a Vietnamese Top Chef finalist and presenting Lan Ha Bay to viewers back home – although the gloomy skies behind Lisa must have seemed strangely reminiscent of what they can typically see from their own windows.
And while Lan Ha Bay did not pamper the ITV crew with a lot of sunshine on the next morning either, we do hope the views from La Regina Grand provided a fine final scene for the crew’s memorable trip to Vietnam!