Monday, October 27, 2008
Cruise Weekly Comment: Yangtze River
Cruise Weekly – Comment by Roderick Eime
It's difficult to know whether Victoria Cruises' Yangtze River product rates as true expedition and adventure or whether it follows a model developed by the great European river cruise companies.
Travelling aboard Victoria's MV Queen, as I am right now, clearly it must fulfill both roles. The 90m, 4600 ton, 200 passenger vessel is designed purely for river travel along the busy waterway between Shanghai and Chongqing. Most itineraries spend their time among the famous Three Gorges and the city of Wushan. We gaze continuosly upward at the features and the dizzying precipes of the Qutang, Wu and Xiling gorges with occaional shore excursions into regions of the Lesser Gorges, the famous “Ghost City” at Fengdu as well as the great dam itself.
When Victoria Cruises began in 1994, the landscapes were distinctly different. Thanks to the gradual rise of the river level since the controversial, mind-boggling Three Gorges Dam project, the old traditional villages along both banks have been replaced by unremarkable concrete apartments placed above the new waterline.
The gorges themselves have largely escaped transformation except for the consistently higher river level, leaving their quite stunning geographic features for the guests aboard the small fleet of tourist boats plying the waters. Fishermen and farmers have turned tour guides and construction workers and there are many arguments for and against.
Before setting out for this China cruise, consider your clients' preferences carefully. Food, cabins, facilities and service is superior to any other Yangtze Cruise company and compares favourably to Western standards.
More information at: www.helenwongstours.com