NEW YORK --
Victoria Cruises this spring will introduce its seventh and largest
ship, the Anna, which embarks on its maiden Yangtze River voyage in
China on April 25.
With 154 guest
cabins, the Anna will be larger than the Katarina, which debuted in
March 2004 with 133 cabins.
attracted to the larger ships, said Larry Greenman, Victoria
Cruises manager of public relations and customer service. With
airplanes and ships, bigger tends to be more comfortable, and its
certainly more spectacular.
The Anna will ply
the Chongqing-Yichang route through the Three Gorges, the section
of the Yangtze that has the most dramatic scenery.
The cruise --
called Three Gorges Highlights -- takes four days downstream or
five days upstream. It is priced from $820 per person, double,
during the high season and $775 in shoulder season, one way. Shore
excursions are covered by an extra charge of $80 per
also offers the cruise as a roundtrip in a package called Three
Gorges Explorer, which leaves from and returns to Chongqing. The
high-season price is $1,500 per person, $1,400 in the shoulder
season. Shore excursions are covered by an extra cost of $225 per person.
top-of-the-line package from Victoria Cruises is the Grand Yangtze
Discovery, which sails from Chongqing to the mouth of the Yangtze
at Shanghai. Prices are $1,500 per person in high season, $1,400 in
shoulder season. Shore excursions cost $225 extra.
Booking via a
tour operator may result in better prices, thanks to volume
In addition to
being larger, the Anna will offer features new to Victorias fleet.
For example, the ship will have two elevators -- convenient for
every cruiser and necessary for some.
Four decks are
not a problem for most people, but those who have trouble climbing
stairs prefer elevators, said Greenman.
The Anna will
have a second, top-deck dining room with a la carte dining. The a
la carte option will cost passengers an extra $40 or so per
Victoria Cruises is offering a wider selection of Western-style
food on all of its ships in 2006, perhaps responding to the
challenge from Viking River Cruises, which has made availability of
Western meals part of its sales pitch since entering the China
river-cruise market in 2003.
other ships are the Prince and the Queen, with 93 cabins each, the
Star (103 cabins), the Empress (99 cabins) and the Rose (63
takes most of its bookings through tour operators. Among the
operators that offer Victorias Yangtze cruises are Pacific Delight
World Tours, Avalon Waterways (part of the Globus family),
Trafalgar Tours, Brendan Tours, Gate 1, Swain Tours, Travcoa,
United Vacations, Travel Bound and Uniworld.
information, visit www.victoriacruises.com or call (800)
reporter David Cogswell, send e-mail to [email protected].