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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
The cruise was an add on to a land tour of the major cities in China booked by Friendly Planet Travel. The first thing you notice when you walk on to the ship is the pervasive mold smell throughout. We were promised a "superior" ... Read More
The cruise was an add on to a land tour of the major cities in China booked by Friendly Planet Travel. The first thing you notice when you walk on to the ship is the pervasive mold smell throughout. We were promised a "superior" cabin but were put into a standard cabin that was so mildewed that my eyes started to water within ten minutes of arrival. After they argued with us regarding what is supposed to constitute a "superior" cabin (this one was eight feet wide with no closet and sofa width single beds) We paid $300 for an upgrade to a junior suite (BAIT AND SWITCH!!!!!!!!) that was marginally less mildewed than our original cabin that I could almost breathe in. At least we had a place to put our suitcases. The dining was the best part of the cruise. The wait staff was excellent and the food edible. The lectures were boring and more like sales pitches than informational programs. Because we both got sick from the mildew, we needed to visit the on board physician, Dr. Lee, who seemed quite personable and competent. None of the shore excursions matched the description given in the brochure. We were supposed to go through the locks at the Three Gorges Dam but instead sat on the boat for an entire day not moving and going nowhere. Instead they took us on a horrible bus ride to the dam where you couldn't see anything. AWFUL. They promised a ride on a sampan through one of the smaller gorges - never happened. Instead they took the riverboat upriver to a Chinese style shopping arcade. I feel we were totally taken in and it was probably the WORST cruise I have ever taken. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We boarded the Victoria Anna for what was supposed to be a "5 day 4 night" cruise. I think that needs to be corrected to a "4 day 4 night cruise" How day 1 can be counted as boarding at 9pm with no dinner supplied is ... Read More
We boarded the Victoria Anna for what was supposed to be a "5 day 4 night" cruise. I think that needs to be corrected to a "4 day 4 night cruise" How day 1 can be counted as boarding at 9pm with no dinner supplied is beyond me!!!! Cabins were just ok, very small but sufficient. When you get on you are hit with opportunities to upgrade your cabin and your dining option. We decided to upgrade our dining option, as the main dining room wasn't that large and sharing it with 350 odd people fighting with a buffet style, compared to upstairs with 50-60 and a peaceful meal was to good to pass up. We were very glad we spent the extra 200 yuan pp. The biggest problem with this cruise is the lack of activities. If you were not on a shore excursion there is literally NOTHING to do on board. The TV is all in Chinese with Chinese sub titles, there is nowhere to get a coffee or morning/afternoon tea, just nothing except sitting in your cabin or lounge. At one port we were very clearly advised that we were not permitted off the ship if we were not going on an excursion. It was made over the PA system numerous times, due to some Chinese law (which was fine and we understood) However, at the next port, my daughter and I spent 3.5 hours in our cabin with absolutely NOTHING to do, while an excursion took place. After talking to some of our group they asked if they were permitted to go ashore and they were told yes providing they go 1 hour after the tour departure and were back at the same time. When I found this out I was furious, as we had just wasted a whole afternoon bored to death in our cabin, when we could have gone for a lovely walk and for some afternoon tea. When I approached "Marion" the cruise director, and asked why it wasn't announced that we could go, I was told "because we have to pay a tax per person that goes ashore". When I said I was very upset at having wasted a whole afternoon, she shrugged her shoulders and walked away. Food is great but only at dining times. So there is no food available on board at other times. 2/4 days we ate lunch at 12 and had nothing else to eat until 7pm dinner. We had to resort to taking pastries and cakes after lunch to have later in the day. Getting off the ship was also an experience.We had to walk along a pontoon of about 1 k then up 100 steps (yes we counted) and then a further walk to our bus. All I can say is thank goodness we only had to carry our carry on luggage. If you are going on this cruise with high expectations, it is not the cruise for you. Very much a river cruise on a budget, and no services for people with any physical disabilities. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We accompanied friends on what we thought would be an amazing journey through the Three Gorges area of the Yangtze River. Overall the trip was "OK" but did leave a bit to be desired. The Victoria Anna is old an tired and must ... Read More
We accompanied friends on what we thought would be an amazing journey through the Three Gorges area of the Yangtze River. Overall the trip was "OK" but did leave a bit to be desired. The Victoria Anna is old an tired and must have been through many refurbishments in it's time. Originaly we had opted for a standard cabin but one look at this saw us quickly fork out $1000 to upgrade to a suite!!! The suite was spacious and well appointed but, as with the rest of the ship, tired and dated. Despite numerous complaints about the air conditioning not working the temperature in our suite remained too hot for the duration of our voyage. We suspect that it was actually an economy measure and that they didn't want to turn on the air conditioning plant for a few "picky" westerners! Embarkation and disembarkation was through slums and construction sites over rickety pontoons. We had to stand waiting on one of these pontoons with our baggage for 30 minutes or more as the company had changed the access time without letting our tour company know. The baggage porters were local "coolies" who tied rope to the handles of our expensive luggage and then toted them with a bamboo pole much to our protestations at the time. The passenger mix was predominantly Chinese with a few Americans and us. We were persuaded to upgrade to the al a carte didning room for $100 and I quote "so we wont have to mix with the Chinese in the buffet" end quote. The food was terrible and possibly some of the worst we have come across. The breakfast buffet was tolerable but lunch and dinner, especially dinner, were almost inedible. The staff were very friendly and helpfull with the exception of the reception staff who's goal in life was to try and upsell services at every possible opportunity. There was nightly entertainment of reasonable quality and the bar area and drink service were quite good. There were daily information sessions conducted by Andy who was the shining star of the staff on the Victoria Anna. The daily morning tours were outrageously expensive for Chine and, consequently, were almost empty. The free afternoon tours were better attended and generally interesting with the exception of one bizarre excursion which took us some distance up a tributary to a plastic pontoon area to be serenaded by a group of Chinese tour guides singing what sounded like Chinese "pop" songs. We disembarked at a town near the Three Gorges Dam and transferred to another boat to be taken through the dam on the new "ship elevator" which was an exciting and interesting experience. We were subsequently put on a bus and taken for a very brief and abridged tour of the Three Gorges Dam area with a very interesting and funny guide who played the harmonica for our bemused entertainment. Was it an unusual and different experience that we enjoyed to some degree - yes. Would we do it again - no way! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We sailed on the Victoria Jenna from Chongqing to Yichang for 3 nights during our 3 week tour of China. I didn't really know what to expect but it was about 100% better than I ever imagined. It was a well needed peaceful break after ... Read More
We sailed on the Victoria Jenna from Chongqing to Yichang for 3 nights during our 3 week tour of China. I didn't really know what to expect but it was about 100% better than I ever imagined. It was a well needed peaceful break after going full speed for 2 weeks all over China! Our cabin was beautiful.....even better than when we sailed on Princess cruises! We had comfortable beds, large tv, sitting area, large bathroom and a nice balcony. Our cruise staff, Amy and Stephen, were so sweet and nice to us and to everyone. Stephen is hysterical.....great sense of humor. We had the amenities package so we ate in the dining room on level 6. Since this was their last cruise before winter vacation, there were only 2 other tables that were occupied....8 people total. Wow, we had that whole dining room almost to ourselves! (there was another dining room on level 2). They made a huge buffet for us every breakfast and lunch that was really, really good....everything you ever wanted....eggs, pancakes, pastries, sausage, bacon, French toast and on and on. You definitely would not go hungry on this ship! For dinner, you got to pick a choice of appetizer, entrée and dessert. The last night, I had duck with a spicy orange sauce that I wish I could eat every day!! OMG...it was that good! The food was 100 times better than Princess cruises in my opinion. Wine and beer is included in the amenities package....Happy Hour everyday! The shore excursions were interesting but it was cold and windy......probably would have been more fun in warmer weather but this is what we chose. The scenery was beautiful .....very hilly and green. The only bad part was passing through the locks at the dam from 11 pm to 3 am.......it is very, very loud and you will not be able to sleep. But, we got off the next day and had a nap when we got to our next hotel. All in all, I would definitely say........if you have a chance....DO NOT miss this cruise. It is a wonderful experience while touring China. An experience to not miss! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2016
Born in China and lived in the US for more than 30 year, I chose the Victoria Cruises because the cruise line claims that they are the only 'American company' on the Yangtze River. It turned out that the advertisement from the Victoria ... Read More
Born in China and lived in the US for more than 30 year, I chose the Victoria Cruises because the cruise line claims that they are the only 'American company' on the Yangtze River. It turned out that the advertisement from the Victoria Cruises is a total misleading. On November 11, 2016, we boarded Victoria Grace and started our 4-day Chongqing to Yichang (the three gorges) cruise and it is the worst cruise we even taken (we took more than dozen of cruises including river cruise in Europe). The ship. The so labeled “5-star” ship is absolutely outdated and nowhere close to a 3-star ship, and there is NO elevator. The floors are uneven and you can feel the metal sheet waving underneath the carpet and hear the noise when walking on the floor. Decoration is at the minimal and pale, at least. The embarkation. First, all passengers had to walk about 2 km to board the ship carrying all luggage and there was no help from the ship. When we asked for help to move our luggage to our cabin after we got on the board, we were told that we had to pay for the service by using the local labor whom the ship allowed to do so. During check-in, we were immediately asked to pay gratuities (150 RMB per person) at front because we are not Chinese citizen (however, the ship asked us to pay tip again at the end of cruise which we declined for the experience we had). Be aware that there is no food provided for the first night. The cabin: We had a standard cabin which is small, tired, dated and smelly. Bed is soft, furniture, sheets, bedcover and towels are old. We had toilet and door lock problems during our 4-day cruise. Food: Buffet breakfast and lunch were provided, and dinners were either buffets or Chinese style table dinner. Foods was boring with limited choices. Sometimes passengers had to wait for items to be refilled. Service: The ship provided absolutely minimal service. No greetings, and smiling was almost non-exist. There is thermal bottle in cabin but the room attendant wanted passages to fill the hot water themselves. It was a great effort to get the waiter/waitress to bring a cup of tea or coffee to you during lunch or dinner. Some of the staff were doing better job than others. However, if you complain, then the situation became worse! There was one English speaking person on board but she could not do much because all she could do was listening and reporting it to her boss. Excursions: There were couple of included excursions that were good but the poor air quality and visibility greatly discounted the true beauty of the three gorges. The optional excursions were very expensive and not worth to take. In summary, if you want to cruise the three gorges, go with other cruise lines and do a good homework. Do not simply believe the advertisement and DO NOT go with Victoria Cruises! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Took a five day, four night Yangtze River Cruise on the Victoria Ann from Yichang to Chongqing. The ship was renovated in 2013 and has 133 cabins. Went with a Wendy Wu tour. We all had standard cabins which are similar to Caribbean cruise ... Read More
Took a five day, four night Yangtze River Cruise on the Victoria Ann from Yichang to Chongqing. The ship was renovated in 2013 and has 133 cabins. Went with a Wendy Wu tour. We all had standard cabins which are similar to Caribbean cruise cabins, maybe a tad smaller. However, the bathroom is a little larger than most standard cruise ships and they have a tub/shower combination. All standard rooms come with a balcony also. There were bulk toiletries-shampoo, shower gel, shoe mitt, shower cap. Could not hear noise from other rooms. Bed was comfy and soft. Washcloths were available in the rooms. Had BBC World News which was a treat as typically news is censored in China. Wifi was available for a charge. Room could use a little more of a cleaning-shower curtain, vacuum dust around edges of floor but cleaner than most rooms in China. Had eastern and western dishes served buffet style during meals. Coke, sprite, coffee and tea were included with meals but no diet soda. Happy hour discounts in bar area.Safe and refrigerator in room. Two bottles of complimentary water in room. Had various tours that you could sign up for along the cruise, some were included already with Wendy Wu. Had some entertainment at night but usually performed by staff. Andrew was the ships's historical guide-excellent presentations as we went along the Yangtze River and gave interesting classes also--Chinese 101, etc. Scenery was beautiful. Definitely would recommend going with Victoria Cruises as I believe that they are considered the luxury cruises on the YangtzeRiver. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
I chose it on price..but also on reviews. The Victoria Selina does not look impressive in photographs, but do not let that affect your decision. It is in a good state of repair and although not super luxurious everything is well ... Read More
I chose it on price..but also on reviews. The Victoria Selina does not look impressive in photographs, but do not let that affect your decision. It is in a good state of repair and although not super luxurious everything is well ordered and well presented inside. The bar and dining room are both very attractive public spaces. It was very reasonably priced, and our twin bed cabin with en-suite was spotless, with comfortable beds and excellent bathroom. But it was the staff that made the cruise so enjoyable. The staff on our cabin floor were excellent, practising their English at every opportunity. Translation software made questions easily answered, but their service was faultless. The food had great variety, suiting all. And it was buffet, plentiful and tasty. We had a banquet on our last night..fabulous. Side trips from the ship were well organised by our Cruise director and enjoyable despite soaring summer temperatures. Our guides spoke good English; sometimes excellent, allowing questions to be asked and answered without resorting to software. The on board river guide, Tom gave excellent talks in English about the Yangtze and about the Gorges as we travelled and we enjoyed each evening's entertainment at which he was a great M.C. We saw a professional version of our own waiter's mask switching dance in Beijing last night which showed us just how good he was. We recognised at the time how much work the staff put into their evening performances of minority ethnic dancing and other things...and how multi-talented they are. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Victoria Jenna “an unreservedly positive experience” Sailed the VICTORIA JENNA , on a 7 nite/8 day cruise Chongqing to Yichang (return), April 2016. Can easily say, overall was the most outstanding cruise trip ever ... Read More
Victoria Jenna “an unreservedly positive experience” Sailed the VICTORIA JENNA , on a 7 nite/8 day cruise Chongqing to Yichang (return), April 2016. Can easily say, overall was the most outstanding cruise trip ever taken by us. - the Jenna, was essentially a “new” ship, just on it's second trip out after refurbishing, with everything working to our satisfaction - we were booked into an Executive Suite on deck 5, a large room with two double beds, new updated bathroom, ample storage, and outside balcony - room location was very close to Executive Lounge, a large area on deck 6 utilized for all our meals, daily Happy Hour (wine, beer, snacks), and designated as a quiet area to hang out during the day for coffee, tea, and snacks, allowing us to meet new friends ... the Lounge was very popular with us with the attention and service provided second to none - excellent meals more than met our expectations ... buffet breakfast and lunch served, with an a la carte dinner menu ... a mix of Western and Chinese - passenger mix was mostly non-Asian with use of English-Mandarin on equal basis - central to our cruise success was the Jenna”s Cruise Director (Dick) who demonstrated time after time that he was a master of his trade. His Jenna staff, youthful and vibrant, was ALWAYS on top of everything, no matter what department - onboard entertainment was above average – the costumes, traditional music and dance - the Jenna River Guide (Steven) was very active providing timely and informative commentary as we wound our way thru the Gorges and other areas of interest - the Yangtze sights, as advertised, provided us with great scenery thru the various gorges and the dam itself. Made three off-ship excursions (two via excursions on smaller vessels plus the dam tour itself) ... our favorite was on a small vessel thru the Gorges of Goddess Stream ... highly scenic and a must see. Overall, the Yangtze scenery was very good and spectacular in many spots ... in certain areas the perpetual mist resonated with some of the Chinese paintings that one comes across - the Jenna provided us with a relaxed atmosphere. All land excursions were well organized and led by very experienced English speaking guides - Wifi on the Jenna was great ... both for internet speed and reliability (note: no Google or Facebook access in China) - special assistance was proactively provided by the Jenna front office to ensure the ease of boarding and that offloading went smoothly, including arrangements for ground transportation back to our Chongqing hotel and even calling the hotel the night before from the Jenna to ensure that the hotel would be ready for our early checkin ... all this was done without asking - the Jenna team quickly saw upon boarding that I had limited personal mobility (canes) and really stepped up to provide all kinds of additional assistance to ensure I could get to wherever I wanted, literally every step of the way, including the land excursions. Can”t say how much I (and especially my wife) appreciated this - to top it off, this cruise was very close to our 50th anniversary and Victoria Cruises made sure we would well remember ... a very special dinner was planned and personally prepared and served to us by the Executive Chef (Jack Shapensky) on our last night, including a large anniversary cake that we were pleased to share with others ... this was a big and pleasant surprise to us and totally unexpected Would I recommend Victoria Cruises and the Victoria Jenna? ... the answer can be said in one word ... ABSOLUTELY! Our experience was 5 Star without question, far exceeding all (high) expectations, with the Jenna being a great complement to some wonderful Yangtze scenery. Special kuddos to Victoria Cruises and the Jenna team under Cruise Director Dick Carpentier. The very high level of service quality provided by a staff who sparkled at all times, the standout ship, the amenities, and the Yangtze itself, made for a most memorable trip Only wish that Victoria Cruises sailed to more places than the Yangtze ... if/when they do, we will be lined up for Booked this cruise through Victoria Cruises office in New York Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We sailed on the Victoria Sophia as part of a Magic of the Yangtze trip and sailed down the river from Shanghai to Chongqing staying on the boat for 8 days. A number of tours off the boat was also included in the packaged holiday cost at ... Read More
We sailed on the Victoria Sophia as part of a Magic of the Yangtze trip and sailed down the river from Shanghai to Chongqing staying on the boat for 8 days. A number of tours off the boat was also included in the packaged holiday cost at the various places it stopped including Nanjing, Wuhan and the three Gorges. So first of all the boat which was (according to them) 5 star but I'd put it nearer 3+, the cabins were in essence all the same (except the rather expensive suites) and were of a similar size to most big Cruise ships, functional but not over spacious. All of the areas were kept very clean and the staff were excellent as was the food (mostly buffet style) provided in the restaurant. As per most ships nearly all purchases aboard were charged to your ship board account to settle at the end, the exception being the on-board artists which preferred cash for decorated jars, paintings, engraved stones etc. As part of booking early we received a $200 on board credit to our account but we couldn't use this to pay for any optional trips, on-board artist products or the mandatory service charge (staff tips) so effectively had to use the $200 just to buy drinks. To be honest for the first 3 days we were very disappointed with the scenery down the Yangtze as it's all industrialised and sailing for some 500 miles with factories either side of the river bank and being accompanied by coal barges and container ships down the river was no fun. In general most of the tours they do from the boat are quite reasonable and do show you more of rural China but the one trip I'd recommend is an optional trip to the "Tribe of the Three Gorges" which goes to a very beautiful, peaceful and picturesque area. On board the boat there weren't many activities planned during the day with the exception of some talks presented by the boat's English speaking River Guide who was quite excellent and provide us with some Chinese history as seen by the Chinese people. On some evenings the boat's staff put on various shows (Chinese costume, culture etc.) and these were all very good. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2014

The Victoria Queen has been rennovated and is now known as the Victoria Lianna. Our 4 night cruise was booked through Affordable Asia Travel as part of a larger China tour. Victoria Cruises advertises their cruises as being 5 star ... Read More

The Victoria Queen has been rennovated and is now known as the Victoria Lianna. Our 4 night cruise was booked through Affordable Asia Travel as part of a larger China tour. Victoria Cruises advertises their cruises as being 5 star ships. From an American perspective this is not true. If you think of their ships as being a 3 star facility with 4 star service your expectations will be better met and you will be happy. Our upriver cruise began in Yichang January 12, 2014 and ended at Chongqing on January 16, 2014.

Dinner on embarcation day is not included. We were in an Executive Superior Cabin, which entitled us to perks like free internet, free happy hour, free soft drinks in the lounge all day, and 4 pieces of free laundry per day. The cabin was comfortable with a small balcony and a bathtub in the bathroom. There was plenty of heat, but it was either off or on without individual temperature control. There were two shore excursions offered per day. We bought a package that included one shore excursion per day: a tour of the 3 Gorges Dam, boat tour of one of the Yangtze trubutaries, and a tour of the Fengdu "Ghost City" Temple Hill. Those who did not purchase the shore excursions were not permited to disembark the ship. The shore excursions were worth the package price of $90 for the three excursions and included good commentary from fluent English speaking guides. The three other excursions that we did not purchase were about $45 per excursion.

The food on board was of a good quality and was tasty. Think good, not gormet, food with a selection of two or three entrees plus soup, salad, and dessert. Executive Cabin guests dine in their own dining room and have menu service for dinner, rather than a buffet. The Lianna's crew provided some nice folk dances for entertainment two of the nights. There were also Chinese lessons and Mah Jong (Chinese game) lessons offered some afternoons. A small gym was available for passenger use. The River Guide (like a cruise director) provided good commentary in both English and Chinese as we cruised through the scenic gorges along the river. You had to rise by 7 am to see some of the gorge areas. Transit of the locks at the 3 Gorges Dam was at night, but you saw the locks during the day on the Dam tour (if you took it). English speakers are a minority on these cruises, and only some of the staff speak English (beyond simple greetings). With a little patience and persistance, you will find out everything that you need to and will get what you need done.

All in all, a great cruise experience and a comfortable way to see the scenic areas of the Yangtze River. Upon disembarcation, we visited the Chongqing Zoo to see their Pandas. We saw 5 of them in their nice habitats and 3 of them were feeding during our early morning visit. Afterward, we visited the historic old town part of Chongqing for some shopping and snacking (both of which were good here).

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