Avalon Waterways has signed a two-year partial charter agreement for 2013 and 2014 with Yangtze River cruise line Century Cruises, ending its current charter program in China with Victoria Cruises.
Avalon is the second river cruise operator to switch from Victoria to Century. Earlier this month, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection signed on with Century
Both companies have an allotment on Century’s two new 398-passenger ships, the Century Paragon and Century Legend, which are launching this fall.
Uniworld has negotiated an allocation of 34 staterooms per sailing on both the Paragon and Legend, while Avalon is keeping its group sizes to a maximum of 20 passengers per sailing, per ship.
“We were looking to upgrade our current product offering on the Yangtze and the new Century ships provided us that opportunity,” said Patrick Clark, managing director of Avalon.
“The Century Legend and Century Paragon provide a level of comfort, luxury, and relaxation never before available on the Yangtze,” Avalon touted in a release, adding that the vessels feature the largest standard cabins on the Yangtze, two exclusive executive decks, and a huge indoor pool and spa area.
The agreement with Century increases Avalon’s Yangtze capacity “slightly” for 2013, said Clark.
For 2013, Avalon is selling an 11- and 15-day cruises between Beijing and Shanghai. There are several optional pre- and post-cruise tours, including in Hong Kong and Mongolia.
Included in the price of the cruise will be all meals (excluding the farewell dinner) in the VIP restaurant on the sun deck of the ships; shore excursions; wine with all dinners; and reserved seating for evening entertainment. Follow Michelle Baran on Twitter @mbtravelweekly.