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Century Legend Review

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Jeannine Williamson

The 196-cabin Century Legend is one of the most modern vessels on China's Yangtze River and is one of Century Cruises seven-strong fleet.

Catering specifically for western passengers and often chartered by river lines such as Uniworld and Avalon, Century Legend was launched in 2013; the same year as its identical twin, Century Paragon. Described as five-star plus, the vessel is much larger than European riverboats, offering scaled down facilities similar to an ocean ship. It was constructed in the Chongqing Donggang shipyard and designed by Yran & Storbraaten, the Norwegian navel architectural firm that has worked with lines including Seabourn, Disney Cruises, Holland America and Viking.

Amenities include a large indoor swimming pool, salon, fitness center, medical room and, unusually for river vessels, cabins situated on the sun deck.

The cabins located on six of the seven passenger decks and are made up of 156 Deluxe cabins (301 square feet), 34 Executive Suites (415) square feet), four Junior Suites (323 square feet) and two Presidential Suites (1,140 square feet). All have floor-to-ceiling sliding-glass doors that open onto a private balcony, with the exception of the eight Deluxe cabins on the lower Main Deck (Deck 2), which have large panoramic windows that do not open.

There are 32 Deluxe cabins on the Upper Deck (Deck 3), and the most cabins -- 66 in total -- are on the Promenade Deck (Deck 4), comprising Deluxe, Junior Suites and the two Presidential Suites, situated forward with wraparound balconies, a table, two chairs and two loungers. The Bridge Deck (Deck 5) has 64 cabins, made up of 62 Deluxe and two Junior Suites, and there are 23 Executive Suites on the Observation Deck (Deck 6). The 11 other Executive Suites are on the Sun Deck (Deck 7).

Standard amenities in all cabin categories include a bathtub and shower, sofa, coffee table, desk, hair dryer, quality cotton bed linen and memory foam bed topper, high-definition flat-screen TV, fridge/mini-bar, safe, individual climate control and complimentary bottled water replenished daily. The pair of Presidential Suites have a separate bedroom and living area.

Additional perks for suite guests include butler service, daily snacks and fruit and an Italian coffee maker. Passengers in the Presidential Suites can additionally order room service.

The onboard voltage is 220v, and all power points are of the continental two- or three-pin variety, so U.S., U.K. and other non-mainland European passengers need to bring adapters.

Meals are served at a single sitting in the main Globe restaurant and a la carte restaurant, the latter available exclusively to passengers in the Executive and Presidential suites. Other facilities include the library, a for-fee internet cafe, beauty salon, fitness center, cinema, card room and heated 2,153-square-foot indoor swimming pool. There is an onboard medical center as well as laundry service (both charge fees) and the ship has two exterior scenic elevators. The large lounge, with 12-foot ceilings, hosts evening performances and guest lectures, along with classes in tai chi and the traditional Chinese board game mah-jongg.

The vessel mainly sails on four-night upstream and three-night downstream itineraries between Chongqing and Yichang, including a transit of the Three Gorges Dam lock system and calls at Shibao Pagoda, the Three Gorges of the Daning River and the Three Gorges Dam. Additionally, there are seasonal winter itineraries, including a 10-night cruise from Chongqing to Shanghai.


Passengers: 398
Crew: 150
Passenger to Crew: 2.65:1
Launched: 2013

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