Century ships to launch on Yangtze in January

By Michelle Baran

Century Cruises, a Chinese river cruise line with an office in the U.S., will introduce its two new Yangtze River ships, the Century Paragon and Century Legend, in early January as opposed to this fall as previously expected.

The later delivery, however, will not impact any sailings, according to the company, as the inaugural cruise is still slated to take place in March as initially planned.

The inaugural voyage for the 398-passenger ships will be a cruise between Chongqing and Shanghai.

The delay is in part due to the complexity of the new technology behind the ships’ emission-reducing e-propulsion and rudder/propeller systems, which the company didn’t want to rush, according to Richard Xie, director of sales and marketing for Century.

At least two major river cruise companies have charter agreements with Century on the new ships, including Avalon Waterways and Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection.

The two new ships will bring the company's total Yangtze fleet size to seven.

Century has not said how much it is spending to build the new vessels, but there is a long list of bells and whistles on the two ships, including a 2,153-square-foot indoor pool area and a 150-passenger movie theater.

There will be 160 outside-facing cabins on decks two, three and four that measure 301 square feet each. Additionally, there will be 34 executive suites on decks five and six, measuring 414 square feet each, and two presidential suites on deck three, at 1,141 square feet each.

An executive floor on decks five and six will include an a la carte restaurant, bar and sundeck, all for the exclusive use of guests staying in the suites.

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