If there’s a cruise line that has totally dominated China’s Yangtze River, it’s Victoria Cruises. They currently own seven five-star vessels which tour passengers through the most important spots along the legendary river. For those who grew up in the city, the Yangtze would seem like a scene from a fairytale. As one of the most well-preserved natural wonders of the world, it still ekes of old dynasties and ages when poetry and philosophy ruled the land.
Run by an American company, Victoria Cruises aims to fuse all of the comforts of a modern, Western ship while keeping the program, itinerary, and dining experience as close to the Chinese culture as possible. Cabins are elegantly furnished with flat screen TVs with BBC and HBO on the channel line-up. Once the passengers go out of their cabins, however, they get the authentic Chinese experience.
Every morning, Tai Chi is practiced in the exercise rooms of all seven vessels. Of course, guests can skip this one out if they plan to sleep the morning through, but those who would want to keep their mind and body cleansed throughout the trip would do well to join in the program. Later in the day, lectures about the Yangtze River and the Chinese culture are also held by historians and other experts in the field. There are also fashion shows displaying elaborate clothing trends during the Han Dynasty.
Passengers who are not up to socializing may also just stay in their cabins. Aside from satellite channels, they can also watch feature Chinese films. Those which aren’t dubbed in English will surely have subtitles, so English speakers are sure to enjoy them. Complimentary drinks are also served twice a day. Passengers can get free tea after breakfast and drink a free cocktail during the happy hour.
Basic luxury cruise amenities, like fitness rooms, spa, and beauty salons are also installed on all vessels. Chinese dishes are served in “banquet style” for meals and passengers can shop during their free time at the Victoria boutique.
Inclusive land tours
Victoria Cruises also include land tours to their already impressive cruise packages. Passengers will be guided through the finest temples surrounding the Yangtze River. The most impressive land tour is to the White Emperor City. There is a temple here commemorating the Emperor Gong Sunshu’s long reign.
While the city’s remains now lie in ruins, the old city did inspire a lot of poets during its peak. The White Emperor City is legendary because Sunshu was only a soldier before he was raised to the level of royalty. According to the legend, a white dragon-shaped vapor rose from a well, supposedly summoned by Gong Sunshu.
With or without the city, though, the view of the Baldi Mountain is still spectacular. The timelessness of the temple is also pretty inspiring, so passengers should bring their cameras during the tour.