YANGTZE RIVER CRUISING
YANGTZE RIVER CRUISING Overview
The shores of China’s Yangtze River present an ever changing mix of ancient and modern cultures as your cruise ship glides along one of the world’s largest inland waterways. From the style and flair of Shanghai, a city quite different from any other Chinese city, to the extraordinary natural landscapes of the Three Gorges then onwards to the ancient ‘Ghost City’ of Fengdu just 176 kilometres downstream from Chongqing, the mixture of history, culture, engineering feats and spectacular scenery that presents itself along this main artery of China will enthral and amaze even the most jaded of travellers.
For over a decade, Victoria Cruises has been the leader in Yangtze River cruising. With one of the largest fleets on the river, outstanding service and innovative itineraries, Victoria Cruises is well placed to deliver an unrivalled Chinese river cruising experience. The American-owned Victoria Cruises welcomes guests from across the globe. All of the premier ships in the Victoria fleet are either new or newly rebuilt, with each cabin featuring a balcony for viewing the magnificent Yangtze River scenery, internet access, air conditioning and satellite TV Victoria's vessels feature cabins in four categories - standard, junior suites, deluxe suites and shangri-la suites.
BAR AND DINING
Victoria Cruises offer excellent cuisine (Chinese with Western specialties), with breakfast and lunch served as a buffet and dinner served as a Chinese banquet. Meal times are indicated on the daily schedule. In addition you will also be served tea and coffee in the early morning and afternoon tea daily. Bottled water is provided in your cabin daily.
EXCURSIONS AND DAILY SCHEDULES
All cruises offer daily group shore excursions to visit the main sites and cultural attractions of the area. The itinerary lists the main stops of your river expedition, however these depend on the river conditions and other local factors. A detailed daily schedule for the following day will be placed in your cabin every evening.
Victoria Cruises offer a wide variety of entertainment onboard their cruises from cabaret shows and fashion shows presenting some of China’s elaborate fashions dating back to the Han Dynasty, to lectures on Chinese history and culture, early morning Tai Chi lessons and evening Karaoke and dancing.
From 01 March 2011 Victoria Cruises will impose a flat service tipping charge to all of their cruise itineraries. This new charge will affect our ‘Grand Yangtze’ group tour and the ‘Pure Yangtze’ and ‘Yangtze in Focus' independent packages.
Passengers will be required to pay this amount on check in on your cruise. As this amount is now a component of our advertised tipping amount, the Tipping amount for the 'Grand Yangtze' will be as below for all departures for 2011.
Total Grand Yangtze group tour tipping – USD119.00 (AUD132.00) per person to be distributed as follows:
YANGTZE RIVER PLACES OF INTEREST
The city of Shanghai, known locally as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’, is located on the banks of the Huang Pu Jiang River with a population in excess of 14 million, making it China’s second largest city. There are many places of interest in the city such as the majestic Yu Gardens and the fascinating 1920’s architectural style ‘shikumen’ buildings. Shanghai’s Nanjing Road is world famous for shopping and a visit to the Pudong area with its array of modern sky rises is not to be missed.
The ‘Southern Capital’ – is located on the southern bank in the lower reaches of the great Yangtze River and was originally a walled town built in the Eastern Han period (25-220 AD), also referred to as the Stone City. Eight dynasties established their capitals in the city between the third and fourteenth centuries. In the sixth century the Sui Dynasty established its capital at Xian and ordered the destruction of all earlier dynastic buildings in Nanjing. The city flourished again during the Tang Dynasty and the founder of the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuan Zhang, set up his capital here and built palaces, temples and pagodas enlarging the city wall to make it the longest city wall in the world.
Set on the west Jianghan Plain, Wuhan is the biggest city in Central China and the capital of the Hubei Province. Located at the confluence of the Yangtze River and the Han River, Wuhan is largely composed of three separate cities; Wuchang, Hankou and Hanyang. The city site was first settled in the first century during the Three kingdom era as part of the Wu Kingdom. Wuhan has played an important role in the modern Chinese history, when late in the 19th century a far sighted official of the Qing Dynasty orchestrated the establishment of factories and an arsenal to begin the industrializing Movement of China.
The contstruction of the Gezhouba (Gezhou Dam) at Sandouping changed this sleepy town into a thriving metropolis. Situated at the entrance to the Xiling Gorge, it is the economic and cultural centre of the western Hubei Province. Located a few kilometers to the north of the city is the awe inspiring Three Travellers Cave. Here both Tang Dynasty and the Song Dynasty poets inscribed their works on the cave’s walls.
The Three Gorges
One of nature’s most extraordinary sculptures carved along the Yangtze River from Fengjie in the east, the San Xia (Three Gorges) – Qutang Xia, Wu Xia and Xiling Xia. Qutang Xia is the shortest at just 8 kilometres but also the narrowest and most dramatic. Below Wushan is the 40 kilometre long Wu Xia (often referred to as the Witches Gorge) with cliffs so sheer that the sun barely penetrates to the river below. Xiling Xia is the longest and deepest gorge with cliff walls rising to 4, 000 feet. It is actually comprised of seven smaller gorges with colourful names such as Horse Lungs and Lantern Shadow.
Three Gorges Dam
The largest water conservancy project ever undertaken by man is the Dam at Sandouping, located right in the middle of Xiling Gorge – the longest of the three gorges. The aim of the dam project is to achieve flood control, hydroelectric generation, and improved navigation; when completed it will be 2,335 metres long, 186 metres high, 18 metres wide at the top and 130 metres wide at the base. The higher waters will allow vessels the opportunity to access previously unreachable parts of the river system, offering undiscovered sightseeing opportunities. The whole construction is scheduled for completion in 2009, making it a 15 year project.
Located on the northern bank of the Yangtze, 176 kilometres downstream from the city of Chongqing, Fengdu is known as the ‘Ghost City’. With its many temples containing sculptures of demons and devils, it is a popular shore excursion for travellers along the river. The town gained its reputation as the ‘Ghost City’ in the Eastern Han Dynasty when two officials from the imperial court came to the region to practice Taoist teachings. Their surnames Yin and Wang, when combined sound very much like ‘King of Hell’ in Chinese hence the local people started calling it the ‘Ghost City’.
The largest commercial centre of Southwest China, Chongqing was built against a mountain, which is where the nickname ‘Mountain City’ comes from, and is surrounded by the river at the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing Rivers. The city’s origins date back to over 3,000 years and it is known to have served as the capital of the Ba Kingdom prior to 316BC. More recently the city served as the wartime capital and headquarters of Chiang –Kai Shek’s Nationalist government during the Second World War. Chongqing is the ideal starting point for an upstream cruise on the Yangtze River.
YANGTZE RIVER CRUISING Group Tours