Archive for the ‘Victoria Cruises’ Category

St.Lawrence River and Yangtze River

Monday, August 26th, 2013
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Yangtze River is to China is as St. Lawrence River is to Canada in terms of history, economy, geography, transportation, sightseeing and river cruising.

Saint Lawrence River river runs through Quebec and Ontario, the two provinces in Canada, linking the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. It also forms part of the international boundary between Ontario in Canada and New York in the United States.

St. Lawrence River is one of the largest estuaries in the world with a total length of 3,058 kilometres from the farthest headwater to the mouth and 1,197 km from the outflow of Lake Ontario, which is often regarded as St.Lawrence River itself.

Named after St.Lawrence River, Saint Lawrence Seaway is a system of locks, canals and channels that allows ocean-going ships to traverse from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes, as far inland as the western end of Lake Superior. The Seaway extends from Montreal, Quebec, to Lake Erie, and includes the Welland Canal. The seaway was opened in 1959 and it costed C$470 million, $336.2 million of which was paid by the Canadian government and rest by the American government. St. Lawrence Seaway is a great human project. The seaway works started in 1854 and completed in 1959 with a construction span of 5 years involving 22,0000 construction workers. The 6,5000 local residents living along the St.Lawrence River were relocated to make way fort the building of the cement roads, tunnels and bridges. Now Saint Lawrence Seaway is the largest water passage with a lock system.

St. Lawrence River is one of the most important destination for river cruising in the world.  Cruise the Saint Lawrence offers a unique, unforgettable Saint Lawrence cruising experience. Cruise the Saint Lawrence operate the 9 ports of call on the Saint Lawrence.
St. Lawrence Cruise Lines’ Canadian Empress offers warm-weather cruises along the St. Lawrence Seaway, which skirts the borders between New England and Canada.

Yangtze River in China is the longest river in Asia and the third-longest in the world. It traverses for 6,418 kilometers from its headwater glaciers on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in Qinghai eastward running southwest, central and eastern China before entering the East China Sea at Shanghai.  The Yangtze drainage takes one-fifth of the land area in China (PRC) and its river basin is home to one-third of the China’s population.

The Yangtze river is normally divided into three parts. The first part is the upstream area from the origin to Yichang, Hubei province; the second part is the midstream area from Yichang to Jiujiang, Jiangxi province; the third part is the downstream area from Jiujiang to the East China Sea. Yangtze River cruise usually refers to the cruise through the Three Gorges that are located between Chongqing and Yichang in the upstream area. The Three Gorges are Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge and Xiling Gorge, which are the most beautiful part of the Yangtze River.

The Yangtze drainage takes one-fifth of the land area in China (PRC) and its river basin is home to one-third of the China’s population. The Three Gorges Dam project has been Chinas greatest project since the construction of the Great Wall and the Grand Canal. The Three Gorges Dam is the largest hydropower station and dam in the world. The Construction started in 1994 and was finished im 2009.

Three Gorges & Dam Cruise is the highlight of the lifetime Yangtze River Cruise. Chongqing to Yichang route is by far the most travelled section of the Yangtze, winding through the Three Gorges and passing the namesake Dam. Typical Yangtze River cruises are paired with land tours, as well.Viking River and Victoria Cruises are the main cruise operators on the Yangtze River. If you plan your China trip, Yangtze River Cruise is highly recommended.

St.Lawrence River seen from the upper town of Quebec City

St.Lawrence River seen from the upper town of Quebec City

St.Lawrence River seen from the upper town of Quebec City

 

Saint Lawrence River seen from the old town of Montreal

Saint Lawrence River seen from the old town of Montreal

Saint Lawrence River seen from the old town of Montreal

Saint Lawrence River seen from Nun’s Island in Montreal

Saint Lawrence River seen from Nun's Island in Montreal

Saint Lawrence River seen from Nun’s Island in Montreal

Cruising on St.Lawrence River

Cruising on St. Lawrence River

Cruising on St. Lawrence River

Victoria Cruises are the main cruise operators on the Yangtze River

Victoria Cruises are the main cruise operators on the Yangtze River.

Victoria Cruises are the main cruise operators on the Yangtze River.

 

Passing Qutang Gorge,  one of the three gorges on Yangtze River

Passing Qutang Gorge, one of the three gorges on Yangtze River

Passing Qutang Gorge, one of the three gorges on Yangtze River

 

Sunset over Yangtze River

Sunset over Yangtze River

Sunset over Yangtze River

Any questions, just drop a line. 

Yangtze River Cruise Daily Schedule – Victoria Cruises

Monday, June 6th, 2011
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Years ago I had Yangtze River Cruises from Chongqing to Yichang on Victoria Jenna, one of the plush Victoria Cruises. This was my third cruise on Yangtze River Tour.

I’d like to do a brief trip report on my recent Yangtze River Cruises. Hopefully 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 attendant.

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
6:00 PM This was the official boring 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 RMB10 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.

Boarding 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 attendant 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 room – 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 with a spacious balcony

Monday ( overcast )
6:00 – 7:30 AM   Early Bird coffee & tea service is available  on Yangtze Club Deck 5
7:00 AM: Dr. Ou teacher the art of Tai Chi – shadow boxing    on 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 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 teacher 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 responsible 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 MedicineDr. 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  on 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 escorted 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 appetizer 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 variety of Chinese traditional costumes and from all regions and periods of Chinese history with a surprise of two!

 

       I found our attendant 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 ( 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 sun setting

7:00 PM Victoria Jenna Farewell Banquet was served on the Deck 5 ( Yangtze Club )

Farewell Banquet was served.

 

 

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 ( 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 Buffet breakfast was available                                dynasty Dining Room Deck 2
8:00 AM     Victoria Jenna was docked at Sandouping, and guests 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 eastern section of the Xiling Gorge.

the eastern 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.

Any questions, just drop a line.

 

Victoria Jenna, Victoria Cruises – Yangtze River Cruises

Monday, October 18th, 2010
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Victoria Jenna (凯珍) is one of the 8 Victoria Cruises sailing on Yangtze River. Built in 2009, Victoria Jenna is the newest and best among the Victoria riverboats at the time of writing. We are lucky to be on board Victoria Jenna on Oct 17, 2010 and start our China Yangtze River Cruise downstream from Chongqing to Yingchang.

At 7:50pm we arrive at Dock No.11 of Chaotianmen Port where our Victoria Jenna docks waiting for us. 

At 7:50pm we arrive at Dock No.11 of Chaotianmen Port where our Victoria Jenna docks waiting for us.

From where we get off our bus to where Victoria Jenna docks, we have to walk down dozens of steps, then aross a floating bridge leading to the dock and enter Victoria Jenna.
 

Across the floating bridge leading to the dock and enter Victoria Jenna

 

So it is over 100 meters walking from the parking lot down to the dock, and if you have large suitcases, you are adviced to pay a porter available on the spot to carry them to the luggage cabin in Victoria Jenna.

We are given a warm welcome by the staff on Vicoria Jenna.

We are given a warm welcome by the staff on Vicoria Jenna.

Entering the river boat, we find ourselves directly in the lobby, which is on the second deck. The staff at the front desk are very helpful and friendly. The check-in doesn’t take long. Only after a several minutes after check-in, we all get our checked suitcases sent by the boat staff.

Victoria Jenna is a five-deck river boat. Beside normal stairs, she also has a lift much easier for us to come to different decks.

 

She also has a lift much easier for us to come to different floors.

 

First deck is for baggage claim as well as the rooms for tour guides. The gym and the clinic rooms are located on this deck.

The gym and the clinic rooms are located on the first deck.

 
All the guest rooms are on the 3rd, 4th and 5th decks. My room is on the 5th deck No. 519.

My Room No. 519 at Victoria Jenna

Apart from the guest rooms, on the 5th deck there are a smoking room, a wifi internet room, a lounge as well as a huge ballroom called Yangtze Club. The club is the only gathering place for all guests.
 

A huge ballroom called Yangtze Club. The club is the only gathering place for all guests.

The open-air observation deck is the on the 6th floor at the front.

I stay at Room 519 on the 5th deck. The room is elegantly furnished according to a 5-star luxury hotel with a spacious balcony as well as a huge window because it is located in the corner.

 

he room is elegantly furnished according to a 5-star luxury hotel with a spacious balcony.

My room also has a huge window because it is located in the corner.

Washing room

A closet with a lifejacket and pajama inside.

Lifejacket

Any questions, just drop a  line.