Victoria Anna Review

Editor Rating: 4.5
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Why Choose Victoria Anna?
  • Luxurious ship caters mainly to Americans
  • Spacious cabins with balconies and private bathrooms
  • Enrichment activities explore Chinese language, culture

Victoria Anna Overview

Victoria Cruises' latest vessel in its premier class of ships sailing China's Yangtze River, Victoria Anna, has the feel of larger, ocean-going vessels even as it exclusively traverses Asia's most dynamic and fascinating waterway.

Indeed, the Yangtze River, called China's "Golden Waterway," hosts 80 percent of the nation's inland shipping traffic. Fully one-third, or 450 million, of China's 1.3 billion people live along its banks. It shares the title of "Birthplace of China" with the Yellow River to the north, and recent archaeological finds have proved that the oldest Chinese civilizations developed here.

Population centers like Chongqing, home of Allied Command in the China - Burma - India Theater during WWII and now a city of 30 million, sprang up precisely because of their location on this important trading and strategic route. The Three Gorges Dam, the largest water conservancy project ever undertaken by man, makes the Yangtze a major source of hydroelectric power for this thoroughly modern, industrialized nation. The Three Gorges themselves, places of storied beauty, are a national treasure. All these factors combine to make the Yangtze River the cruise destination of choice for travelers interested in an authentic experience through the heart of China.

In this case, Victoria Anna provides an excellent backdrop for exploring this part of China. The locks of the Three Gorges Dam were nothing short of a marvel. Five in number, they were of staggering dimensions, especially compared to the locks at the Panama Canal. Passengers took advantage of the sunshine on the top deck as we waited for up to five other tankers and barges to berth themselves next to us for the vertical journey from one lock to the one above. Once we traversed the locks, the sublime scenery of the Three Gorges awaited us, with their craggy, sheer granite cliffs, huge caverns, precipitous, verdant slopes and broad valleys of terraced farmland. River guide, Daniel Li, gave informative commentary over the public address system during notable passages of the Gorges and lectured on the history of the Yangtze River in the Yangtze Room.

And Victoria Anna offers a lovely home base from which to explore. Highlights include a grand, three-story atrium, complete with two glass elevators, shopping galleries, specialty restaurant, fitness center, spa, Internet center, observation lounge, gigantic observation deck, and generous balconies in every stateroom.

As much as the ship's accommodations and luxury amenities impress, it is the friendliness and attentiveness of its staff that leave a lasting impression. As guests approach the ship from the pier, an honor line of ship's crewmembers greets each warmly with "good afternoon" and "welcome aboard." In the spacious lobby, cruise director Dick Carpentier makes the acquaintance of every passenger and from that moment on, is a fixture in their onboard experience. In his many capacities -- master of ceremonies, guide, companion and entertainer -- he is constantly looking out for the welfare of guests and seeing to their comfort. The rest of the ship's crew is first-rate.

One oddity -- at least in the river cruising mileau -- is that Victoria Anna operates like the Queen Mary 2, in which passengers in more expensive cabins can choose to dine in an alternative, more intimate restaurant, and those in standard staterooms eat in a more traditional dining room setting. Standard folk can purchase the option to eat all meals in the Sun Deck for $40 per day.

Victoria Anna Fellow Passengers

There were just 11 Chinese passengers onboard our sailing. However, the emerging Chinese middle class represents a target market for Victoria Cruises. Other passengers were equal parts American and European, mostly from Britain and Germany, in addition to some Australians. Staff members are fluent in English and Chinese, and most announcements and lectures are translated into Chinese.

Victoria Anna Dress Code

Dress is extremely casual with an emphasis on comfort. Shorts were common, as were tennis shoes. Many wore hats for sun protection. Evenings were also fairly casual with the exception of the Captain's Welcome Aboard Reception and the Captain's Farewell Dinner, during which women wore casual cocktail attire and men wore jackets and ties.

Victoria Anna Gratuity

Tips of $8 per person, per day are recommended. Envelopes are provided for this purpose and should be dropped in the "tips" box at the end of the voyage. Tour drivers, tour guides and boatmen may be tipped at the rate of 50 cents to $1 per person, per day.

Next:  Victoria Anna Cabins
By George Figueroa, Cruise Critic contributor

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Victoria Anna Editor Ratings

  • Category
  • Dining
  • Public Rooms
  • Cabins
  • Entertainment
  • Spa & Fitness
  • Family & Children
  • Shore Excursions
  • Enrichment
  • Service
  • Value-for-Money

Ship Facts

Ship Stats
Crew:  138
Launched:  2006
Decks:  5
Tonnage:  6,200
Passengers:  266
Registry:  China
CDC Score:  Not Yet Inspected
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3 Victoria Anna Reviews from our Cruise Critic Community

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Member Since 2011
1 review
0 forum posts
1 helpful vote
Sailed September 2011
I cruised the Yangtze River in China for three nights in Sept 2011. The entire ship smelled like bad curry initially. My cabin had a strong musty odor. I had to febreze the entire cabin! The cabin was large and had a good sized sitting ... Read more
Member Since 2009
1 review
34 forum posts
3 helpful votes
I am an American who have lived in China for many years, and a frequent cruiser. I finally got around to taking a trip in my own backyard - the Yangtze River. I booked online through one of the government owned travel agents and the price ... Read more
Susan Burleson
1 review
0 forum posts
2 helpful votes
Sailed October 2007
"Magical China & the Yangtze River". We traveled with a group of 28 and we, personally, booked a mini-suite. The ship, tho' new is already showing wear. Amenities are scant. The reception, dining, bar, and deck areas are lovely and ... Read more

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