October 17-20, 2010, I had Yangtze River Cruises from Chongqing to Yichang on Victoria Jenna, one of the 8 Victoria Cruises. This was my third cruise on Yangtze River Tour after my two previous cruises in 1989 and 2005. Last year’s cruise has given me very deep impression in terms of cruise service and luxury conditions on the ship.
I’d like to do a brief trip report on my Yangtze River Cruises in 2010. Hopefuly my report will be useful for those who are going to make a life-long cruise along Yangtze River, especially on Victoria ships. Much of my report is based on the daily schedule leaflet sent to my room by the deck attendent.
Brief introduction to the cruise staff Victoria Jenna as below:
Captain: Li Long Hai
Cruise Director: Dick Caroentier Operations Mgrs: Sarah / Samson Yang
Senior River Guide: Daniel Li Asst. Cruise Director: Natalie Lardner
Junior River Guide: Bobo Wu Executive Chief: Arthur Chen
Yangtxe Club Supervisor: Pauo Guo Front Desk Supervisor: Leo Wu
Dining Room Supervisor: Jack Ding/Oscar Yang Housekeeping Supervisor: Aaron Li
Sunday October 17, 2010 ( cloudy, 25 – 18 C )
6:00 PM This was the official boaring time. The first evening dinner was not included. You may grab a bit in the city of Chongqing after your Chongqing Tour before boarding. If you don’t mind the high prices of the food on the ship, you can have easy dinner on the deck 2 of Victoria Jenna.
Getting to the pier, I paid a porter rmb 10 to carry my suitcase to the ship simply because it was still a long walk to the boat. First I had to descend dozens of steps to the bank of the river, then crossed rickety platforms suspended over the water to my boat.
Boaring Victoria Jenna
After check-in, passengers were welcomed to the Yangtze Club on Deck 5 and met the staff and tested their skills. We tried one of the evening specials:”Victoria Vista” and “Slow Boat to China” – 28RMB a glass!
We were also told to gather here on the deck 5 the next morning to have the briefing on the staff, ship and services.
Deck 5 - Yangtze Club
10:15 PM We were informed to watch on our in-house movie channel #8″To Live”
Victoria Jenna was scheduled to depart Chongqing the next morning around 05:30am
Returning to my own room, we found the daily schedule leaflet the desk. The first day’s leaflet was focused on the rules and regulations relative to “passenger health and safety”, ”Strict smoking policy”, “Chit payment method”, ”in case of fire or evacuation”…
As a light smoker, I was happy to learn that smokers still had some social status on the ship – smoking allowed on the outer decks. I asked the cabin attedent for an ashtray. If your roommate dislikes smoking, you still have way out by smoking in the smoking room on the deck 5. I was lucky to travel alone in an executive roon - Room 519 on the 5th deck. The room was elegantly furnished according to a 5-star luxury hotel with a spacious balcony as well as a huge window because it was located in the corner of the stern.
The room was elegantly furnished according to a 5 star luxury hotel with a spacious balcony
Monday October 18, 2010 ( overcast, 18 – 16 C )
6:00 – 7:30 AM Early Bird coffee & tea service is available Yangtze Club Deck 5
7:00 AM: Dr. Ou teached the art of Tai Chi – shadow boxing Yangtze Club Deck 5
The term “Tai Chi” refers to the yin-yang principle of the interplay between two opposite forces in nature. Tai Chi is famous for its smooth movements and and explosive strikes. It is composed of eight primary postures (including warding off, rolling back, squeezing, pressing, splitting, pulling, elbowing-striking and shoulder-striking) and five steps (including advance, retreating, leftward steps rightward steps and steps when body being erect).
Dr. Ou teached the art of Tai Chi - shadow boxing.
8:45 AM All passengers were requested to be on Deck 5 and the Cruise Director Dick Caroentier introduces the staff, ship and services as well as important safety features.
The Cruise Director Dick Caroentier gave us a briefing.
9:15 AM “Ancient Waters, the timeless Yangtze” - an informative introduction to the Yangtze River and the Three Gorges by River Guide Daniel Li Yangtze Deck 5
Daniel Li was mainly responsibel for the guide service on the ship for the whole trip. He spoke fluent english with a sense of humor.
He spoke fluent english with a sense of humor
11:15 AM Chinese Medicine – Dr. Ou provides an insight into the theory and practice of traditional healing therapies.
Dr. Ou provides an insight into the theory and practice of traditional healing therapies.
12:15 – 1:30 PM Lunch buffet service is available Deck 2 ( Dynasty Dining Room )
The buffer lunch was very good with a spectrum of food ( appetizers, main courses, fish, pork, beef, fruit, rice, noodle, piza, desserts…)
Lunch buffet service is available
1:45 PM Shore Excursion: The Victoria Jenna is docked at Fengdu. All passengers go ashore to the city of “City of Ghosts”. The temple area on top of Ming Mountain. People pay tribute to the “King of the Underworld”. This was a walking tour excursion. There were many steps from the dock the road. We were divided by the ship management into several groups escoted by the tour guides from the local Fengdu CITS. We took the green car to the cable car station where we were requested to pay the cable car to the top of the mountain.
Disembark for the Fengdu excursion.
On the road, we took the green cars to the cable car station.
Cable car up to the mountain.
The Ghost Temple in Fengdu
4:30 PM Guests all passengers return to the boat and Victoria Jenna departs.
Posed before returning to the boat.
6:15 PM Captain’s Welcome Reception
Captain Li cordially invites guests for appertizers and refreshments Yangtze Club Deck 5
7:00 PM Dinner ( set dinner service) Dinner is not buffet service.
A big set dinner
9:00 PM Chinese Dynasties Show
The crew modeled a varity of Chinese traditional costumes and from all regions and periods of Chinese history with a surpirse of two!
I found our attendent among the models wearing a traditional dress who had served us while we had dinner.
Chinese Dynasties Show
10:15 PM In-house Movie ” Still Life ” on the cabin TV #8
Tuesday October 19, 2010 ( cloudy, 25 – 18 C )
6:00 – 7:00 AM Complimentary Early Risers coffee and tea was available Yangtze Club Deck 5
6:30 AM Again Dr. Ou teached the art of Tai Chi – the shadow boxing Yangtze Club Deck 5
7:00 – 8:15 AM Buffet breakfast was available Dynasty Dining Room Deck 5
10:00 AM Victoria Jenna approached the entrance to the first gorge, the Qutang Gorge. Of all the Three Gorges, Qutang Gorge is the shortest, but the most majestic.
Also known as Kui Gorge, Qutang Gorge is very narrow with its narrowest point at 100 meters. The passage through the 8km gorge only takes about 20 minutes starting from Baidicheng (白帝城) of Fengjie County to Daxizhen (大溪镇) of Wushan County. See Qutang Gorge which I wrote when I was on the cruise.
The boat approached the entrance to Qutang Gorge.
11:00 – 12:15 AM Buffet lunch was available Dynasty Dining Room Deck 2
12: 15 PM Passngers disembarked for the shore excursion – cruising on the Lesser Three Gorges. A smaller motorized vessel took us through the picturesque Lesser Gorges, along a tributary of the Yangtze River, the Daning River. Then we boarded a smaller motoried boats to take in the sights of the Mini- Three Gorge.
A smaller motorized vessel took us through the picturesque Lesser Gorges
The Mini- Three Gorge.
4:15 PM Guests returned to the Jenna and Jenna sailed.
4:50 PM Victoria Jenna approached the entrance to the second of the three gorges – Wu Gorge. Wu Gorge(巫峡), one of the Three Gorges between Qutang Gorge and Xiling Gorge. Wu Gorge is the most famous and beautiful gorge of the three, with a total length of over 40 km starting from the mouth of the Daning River( the Little Three Gorges ) of the riverside town of Wushan to the Guandukou Town of Batong( Guandukou is 17km west of the riverside town of Badong County ). See more information on Wu Gorge which I wrote when I was on the cruise.
Victoria Jenna approached the entrance to the second of the three gorges, Wu Gorge
Wu Gorge with the backdrop of the sunsetting
7:00 PM Victoria Jenna Farewell Banquet was servived on the Deck 5 ( Yangtze Club )
Farewell Banquet was servived
The performance by the crew on the banquet
After the show, Victoria Jenna approached the locks of the Three Gorges Dam. The passage through the 5-stage locks took about 3-4 hours.
In the lock.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010 ( cloudy, 27 - 16 C )
6:00 AM Complimentary Early Risers coffee and tea Yangtze Club Deck 5
6:30 AM Last chance for Tai Chi practice by Dr. Ou Yangtze Club Deck 5
7:00 – 8:00 AM Buffee breakfast was available Dynaty Dining Room Deck 2
8:00 AM Victoria Jenna was docked at Sandouping, and guestes went ashore to visit the largest hydroelectric project in the world, the Three Gorge Dam.
The Three Gorge Dam
The 5-stage lock.
10:45 AM All passengers returned to the ship, and we continued to sailing to the port of Yichang.
11:15 AM Victoria Jenna made its way through the easten section of the Xiling Gorge.
the easten section of the Xiling Gorge
11:30 AM Buffet Lunch was available.
12:45 PM Victoria Jenna arrives at the dock of the port of Yichang, our final destination.
We were leaving Victoria Jenna.