Luxury Yangtze Cruise Recommendations for Discerning Travelers

Posted on 23 Feb, 2017 Category: China,Guides

Cruising along the majestic Yangtze River, especially the most scenic section between Chongqing and Yichang, is a must for first timers or even frequent visitors to China. But when selecting a desirable Yangtze cruise, one may find it is hard to make a choice with so many options. Hence I write this article to compare six luxury and comfortable cruises which are especially suitable for discerning travelers.

Overview

The six Yangtze cruises recommended are the Yangzi Explorer, Century Legend, Century Paragon, Victoria Jenna, Century Diamond, and Victoria Anna. All of them are fully-equipped with restaurants, lounges, beauty salons, souvenir and gift shops, medical clinics, fitness centers, spa centers, libraries, bars, elevators, and cabins & suites featuring private balconies and private bathrooms. They also provide lots of interesting activities and entertainment, such as Tai Chi exercise, traditional shows, feature films, informative lectures on Chinese history and culture, and lessons in Mandarin language, mah-jong, calligraphy, etc. 

Although they share many things in common, they do have many differences which are summarized below.

Five-star Superior Cruise

Yangzi Explorer

The Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer boasts the most luxurious and most exclusive ship on the Yangtze River. Though small as it may be, it offers the largest and most beautifully decorated cabins and suites of their kind on the Yangtze River today. Most of its passengers are from Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France. Some business leaders like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Gerald Levin, among the few, are all one in choosing the Yangzi Explorer for their memorable journey along this majestic river.

Victoria Jenna cruiseYangzi Explorer

Basic information:

Basic information of Yangzi Explorer

Condition: constructed in 2008 and refurbished in 2017.

Meals: international buffet breakfast & lunch and a-la-carte dinner catering to western travelers. Lunches and dinners feature complimentary house wines, coffee and tea, local beer and bottled water. 

The restaurant in Yangzi ExplorerThe restaurant in Yangzi Explorer

Accommodation: 38 deluxe cabins (31m²/333ft²), 20 suites (39m²/420ft²) and four specialty suites - Jade and Mandarin Suites (81 m²/ 871 ft²), and Celestial and Imperial Suites (110 m²/ 1183 ft²). Connecting deluxe cabins and suites are also available. 

Specials: Carrying 124 passengers and 121 crew members, it boasts the highest crew to passenger ratio on the river of almost 1:1. The crew includes many multilingual staffs which are very dedicated. Complimentary Wi-Fi is connectable in each cabin & suite. Children are also offered a daily schedule of activities. The babysitter is available at an extra cost.

Price: $1096 - $1679.

Service charge: N/A

Observation Deck in Yangzi ExplorerThe observation deck in Yangzi Explorer

13 DAYS Best of China Tour with Yangtze Beijing - Xi'an - Guilin - Chongqing - Yangtze River - Yichang - Shanghai

Five-star Cruises

Century Legend & Century Paragon (sister ships)

The Century Legend & Paragon (sister ships) are luxurious new state-of-the-art ships designed by European architects and shipbuilders who specialize in sophisticated marine architecture and are well managed by European hospitality experts. Innovative features like over 2000 sq. ft. indoor heated swimming pool and the advanced E-propulsion system will surely give you an amazing Yangtze Cruise experience. Basically, these two ships are the same, so you can choose the one which matches your schedule best. 

Observation deck of Century LegendObservation deck in Century Legend

Basic information:

Basic information of Century Legend & Paragon

Condition: Built-in 2013 and started its maiden voyage in 2013, all trimmings are new and well maintained.

Meals: a western style buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for each day. There is also a VIP restaurant providing an a-la-carte meal.

The restaurant of Century LegendThe restaurant of Century Legend

Food served at the restaurant of Century LegendMeal in Century Legend

Accommodation: 156 deluxe cabins (28 m² / 301 ft²), 4 junior suites (30 m² / 323 ft²), 34 executive suites (38.5 m² / 415 ft²) and 2 presidential suites (106 m² /1140 ft²). 

A deluxe cabin of Century LegendA deluxe cabin in Century Legend

Specials: indoor heated swimming pool, KTV, Internet Cafe, and Cigar Bar. The cruise staffs are friendly and very helpful.

Price: $477 - $522.

Service charge: the total amount of RMB 150 for the whole cruise journey.

The swimming pool of Century LegendThe swimming pool in Century Paragon

Basic information

Basic information of Victoria Jenna

Condition: built and inaugurated in 2009.

Meals: Sumptuous western and Chinese buffets are offered at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Also, there is a separate a-la-carte dining room. The food is very delicious and of great variety.

Accommodation: 149 superior cabins (20.87 m² / 224.64 ft²), 35 executive suites (30.98 m² / 333.47 ft²), 3 deluxe suites (39.78 m² / 428.19 ft²) and 2 Shangri-La suites (54.6 m² / 587.71 ft² plus balcony of 20 m² / 215.28 ft²). 

Specials: artist corners, Happy Hour. The crew staffs are youthful and vibrant and provide a high level of service.

Price: $352 - $397.

Service charge: the total amount of RMB 150 for the whole cruise journey.

Victoria Jenna

Victoria Cruises is the only American cruise line currently sailing the Yangtze River. Victoria Jenna is of a modern blend of European-Asian design, built to international maritime regulation standards and fully equipped with Wi-Fi and international telecommunications systems. 

Victoria Jenna cruiseVictoria Jenna

Basic information

Basic information of Victoria Jenna

Condition: built and inaugurated in 2009.

Meals: Sumptuous western and Chinese buffets are offered at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Also, there is a separate a-la-carte dining room. The food is very delicious and of great variety.

Accommodation: 149 superior cabins (20.87 m² / 224.64 ft²), 35 executive suites (30.98 m² / 333.47 ft²), 3 deluxe suites (39.78 m² / 428.19 ft²) and 2 Shangri-La suites (54.6 m² / 587.71 ft² plus balcony of 20 m² / 215.28 ft²). 

A restaurant in Victoria JennaRestaurant in Victoria Jenna

Specials: artist corners, Happy Hour. The crew staffs are youthful and vibrant and provide a high level of service.

Price: $352 - $397.

Service charge: the total amount of RMB 150 for the whole cruise journey.

Crew performance in Victoria JennaCrew performance in Victoria Jenna

13 DAYS China Tour with Chengdu and Yangtze Cruise Beijing - Xi'an - Chengdu - Chongqing - Yangtze River - Yichang - Shanghai

4-star Cruises

The following two cruises are certified 5 stars by the China National Tourism Administration, while according to our years of promotion experience and feedbacks from our guests, we suggest you take them as 4 stars.

Century Diamond

The Century Diamond belongs to the same company with the Century Legend & Paragon. It is equipped with advanced purified water systems providing purified water to cabins & suites, being the first Yangtze cruise offering drinkable tap water to every cabin & suite. It features spacious public area and hotel style facilities and provides high-quality services, giving the best value for money!

Basic information:

Basic information of Century Diamond

Condition: built in 2008 and started its maiden on August 29, 2008.

Meals: a western style buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for each day. There is a separate a-la-carte restaurant.

Accommodation: 112 deluxe cabins (25 m² / 269 ft²), 4 junior suites (28 m² / 301 ft²), 14 deluxe suites (30.4 m² / 327 ft²) and 2 presidential suites (78 m² /839.6 ft²). 

A deluxe suite at Century DiamondA deluxe suite in Century Diamond

Specials: Cigar Bar, Internet Café (internet is accessible here with 24 hrs available). 

Price: $382 - $442.

Service charge: the total amount of RMB 150 for the whole cruise journey.

A lounge in Century DiamondThe lounge in Century Diamond

Victoria Anna

Coming from the same company with Victoria Jenna, Victoria Anna is also of a modern blend of European-Asian design, offering comfort and cosmopolitan chic. It is well appointed and has a feel of an ocean-going vessel. The cruise adopts western management and staff members are fluent in English and Chinese. It is the first Yangtze cruise ship adopting 5-star hotel management software applications which connects all departments, aiming to improve overall service. It is highly cost effective.

Lobby at Victoria AnnaLobby in Victoria Anna

Basic information: 

Basic information of Victoria Anna

Condition: built in 2006 and refurbished in 2013.

Meals: sumptuous western and Chinese buffets are offered at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Also, there is a separate a la carte restaurant. 

Meal served at Victoria AnnaMeal in Victoria Anna

Accommodation: 89 superior cabins (21 m² / 226 ft²), 40 executive suites (29.7 m² / 319.69 ft²), 2 deluxe suites (34.68 m² / 373.3 ft²) and 2 Shangri-La suites (58.8 m² / 632.92 ft²). 

Specials: Happy Hour.

Price: $352 - $397.

Service charge: the total amount of RMB 150 for the whole cruise journey.

A standard room at Victoria AnnaSuperior cabin in Victoria Anna

A Comprehensive Comparison

A Comprehensive Comparison of Yangtze Cruises

Note

The price listed here is for reference only and may be changed from time to time. Generally, the price includes the onboard accommodations as paid for, daily meals, entertainment & activities, and scheduled shore excursions. The sites of shore excursions may vary between different cruises, such as Three Gorges Dam Project site, Shennong Stream and Fengdu Ghost City. And optional shore excursions are also provided by most cruises at a different price. For details, please consult your tour consultant or contact us at .

Complemented the Yangtze cruise sightseeing tour are many wonderful city tours, such as Beijing, Xi'an, and Shanghai. You can let us tailor-make your own China tour based on your interests. 

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