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Cruises, Special Cruise Deals, Cruise Lines, Cruse Destinations, Luxury Cruises…Everything About Cruises by Travel Author/Editor Lillian Africano

Victoria Cruises Announces 2015 Schedule

Adds Shibaozhai Shore Excursion, Touts Executive Amenities

Victoria Cruises has launched its 2015 sailings along China’s mist-shrouded Yangtze River and reintroduces Shibaozhai , a 12-story wooden pagoda in Zhong County that is often referred to as “The Pearl of the Yangtze,” as a regular shore excursion. Prices will remain the same for 2015 with rates starting at $880 per person, while the five-star cruise line emphasizes its Executive Amenities upgrade, which provides access to exclusive ship areas and other VIP perks from an additional $200 per person.

Rates for 2015 departures of Victoria Cruises’ Three Gorges Highlights program in a private balcony Superior Stateroom begin at $880 per person, based on double occupancy. Four-night upstream departures out of Yichang will operate daily excluding Tuesdays, while three-night downstream cruises will depart out of Chongqing six days per week from Sunday through Friday. Victoria Cruises will offer daily departures for the Three Gorges Highlights program during the summer.

A shore excursion package inclusive of all standard excursions costs an additional $90 per person and includes tours of Shibaozhai and the Three Gorges Dam as well as a scenic journey on a traditional sampan through Goddess Stream, surrounded by beautiful peaks and teeming with local wildlife from monkeys to mountain goats. Once just a brook, the Three Gorges Dam raised the water level of Goddess Stream and it now flows from the southern bank of the Yangtze, opposite Goddess Peak. (may be substituted with Shennong Stream, based on river conditions).

Passengers can also opt to sail the full navigable length of the river between Chongqing and Shanghai with Victoria Cruises’ eight-night upstream or six-night downstream Grand Yangtze Discovery program. The expanded sailing encompasses all the highlights of the three- and four-night cruises with additional sightseeing east of Yichang, including cultural Wuhan, scenic Jiuhuashan (Mountain of Nine Lotuses) and bustling Nanjing, where passengers will visit the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum.

Rates for the Grand Yangtze Discovery program in a private balcony Superior Stateroom start at $1,610 per person, based on double occupancy, while the excursion package costs $240 per person. Upstream sailings will depart every other Friday, while downstream departures will operate every other Saturday. The Grand Yangtze Discovery program will not operate in July and August.

Travelers sailing on upstream departures can gain an introspective glimpse into the local life of the Xiling Gorge region, with opportunities to see Toad Spring, statues of the ancient Ba nationality, scenic Dragon Stream, Monkey Hill, Lover Bridge and Huanglong Waterfall on the Tribe of the Three Gorges optional excursion, available for an additional $45 per person (weather permitting).

Guests sailing on cruises in either direction have the chance to participate in an optional excursion to White Emperor City (weather permitting), which overlooks the Western end of the Qutang Gorge. A refuge for would-be kings and poets seeking inspirational views, legend has it that in 25 A.D. white vapor in the shape of a dragon rose from a well and Gong Sunshu, a soldier who had been headquartered there, declared himself the “White Emperor.” A temple built to commemorate Gong’s reign dates back more than 1,950 years. The optional excursion to White Emperor City is priced at $42 per person.

All Victoria Cruises sailings use new or newly-renovated five-star ships with luxurious amenities, exciting onboard activities and authentic cultural performances in the evenings.

Passengers can maximize their enjoyment by upgrading to Victoria Cruises’ Executive Amenities Program featuring enhanced ship placement and a host of VIP additions including “white glove” service, access to exclusive ship areas, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, enhanced dining privileges, shoe shine service and reserved seating for evening entertainment (must be reserved in advance).

The Executive Amenities Program starts at $1,080 per person, based on double occupancy, with accommodations in a private balcony Superior Stateroom on the Three Gorges Highlights itinerary, and $1,910 per person for the Grand Yangtze Discovery program. Lavish Executive, Deluxe and Shangri-La Suites are also available for an additional cost.

For more information or to book, contact Victoria Cruises toll-free at 800-348-8084 or visit the website .

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