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9 Victoria Cruises Asia Cruise Reviews

This 4 day River Cruise was part of a package. We were told the Victoria Lianna was a 5 start ship. What they forgot to mention that it was 5 star by Chinese standards, when in reality we thought it about a 2 1/2 star by western standards. ... Read More
This 4 day River Cruise was part of a package. We were told the Victoria Lianna was a 5 start ship. What they forgot to mention that it was 5 star by Chinese standards, when in reality we thought it about a 2 1/2 star by western standards. We paid for an upgrade at USD400 to a junior suite. The suite was located at the stern and was extremely noisy and the vibrations were quite extreme. Ship is very dated although they will tell you it was fully updated in 2011. Don't believe it. Check in was a disaster. We were part of a tour group of 39 and check-in took almost 2 hours. On a positive note the staff were friendly (although hardly any one on board spoke English), and the food was good, but not exceptional. Rooms were clean and beds comfortable. Be warned, no double beds on board, even in the suites....all small single. As long as you don't have high expectations you will enjoy your stay on the Victoria Lianna. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
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. ... 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). Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
We recently enjoyed a 4 day Yangtze River Cruise on the Victoria Jenna. This was part of a pre-cruise China land tour booked through Princess Cruises. We boarded the Jenna in Fengdu because the Yantze was too low for the riverboat to ... Read More
We recently enjoyed a 4 day Yangtze River Cruise on the Victoria Jenna. This was part of a pre-cruise China land tour booked through Princess Cruises. We boarded the Jenna in Fengdu because the Yantze was too low for the riverboat to meet us in Chongqing. After a four hour bus ride from Chongqing, we arrived about 9:00 pm. The steps down to the riverboat are steep and there is no railing but the entire crew was there with flashlights to assist us. Our luggage was promptly delivered to our cabin. The cabins are small but efficient. They have a sliding glass door and a small balcony. The room has two twin beds, a small closet, a small flat screen TV, and a desk and chair. The bathroom had a very small bathtub/shower. It definitely was sufficient for this short cruise. Every meal was a buffet except for the last night's dinner. A wide variety of Chinese food and a few western selections were available at every meal. The crew, including the cabin stewards, waitresses and bar staff, also provide the nightly entertainment. On the second night, the crew modeled and explained traditional Chinese fashion and its history. They entertained us with historical Chinese singing and dancing and some current hits on the third night. We were lucky to have superb weather throughout our trip. Of course, the highlight of this cruise is the amazing scenery along the Yangtze River. This was enhanced with excellent lectures by the riverguide. In addition, the riverguide gave a lecture in the lounge and shared pictures of his life with his family growing up on a farm, his wedding, his new daughter, and his new apartment which gave us a wonderful and delightful insight into the Chinese lifestyle. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
Arrived at 1830 for our 4 night cruise. Warmly welcomed by staff and Dick (cruise director from USA). Found we had been upgraded to a suite, and what a lovely experience. Huge double bed, flat screen TV, lounge area, double balcony, spa ... Read More
Arrived at 1830 for our 4 night cruise. Warmly welcomed by staff and Dick (cruise director from USA). Found we had been upgraded to a suite, and what a lovely experience. Huge double bed, flat screen TV, lounge area, double balcony, spa bath and separate shower. Food was quite good, would have liked to have snacks available in evenings. Our table were independent travellers and were a mixed bunch of lovely people who we got to know quite well. Lots of night sailing but good trips to Dam, Ghost City and mini gorges. Clean ship, not too formal, drinks available at docks at cheaper prices than boat to drink in room. Disembarked at Chongqing, beware of taxi drivers wanting 100 - 50 RMB for a 10 RMB journey to hotel. We walked down the road a bit and got a taxi for 20 RMB but could have asked for meter to be put on. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
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
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 was excellent, and the travel service was good. I speak the language so getting to and from the boat was easy - albeit expensive by Chinese standards. In Yichang the boats dock outside of town in a scenic area and there are few taxis. Outside the gate and a few hundred yards up the hill is a pretty canyon with restaurants dug into the cliffs, and some outstanding food. Some others on the ship complained of the places their travel agents took them. The night we arrived we were told to board before 8, which we dutifully did, only to be told the boat would not leave until the next morning. We then left the boat, after signing a waiver, and went into town. They asked us not to return too late - before midnight. No problem. The boat is sizable and comfortable. The staterooms are of typical size for a cruise ship, with two single beds, and the public rooms are clean and simple. The air conditioning in the stateroom was too strong and even at the highest setting was freezing. The passengers were about half Chinese and half foreign (although many of Chinese were from Hong Kong and Taiwan, but there was at least one group from a textile company in Shanghai). It was a holiday weekend in China and that might have attracted more Chinese guests than usual. The foreign group included a fair number of expatriates living in China and the typical geriatric set on the cruise as part of a longer tour of China. It was a good combination of people and they mixed well. Dining tables were mostly assigned by tour group, while I think most people would have preferred to have mixed things up a bit. Tours were well organized, interesting, and mostly included in the cruise price. There were two add-on tours with a modest charge, but only one ran and it was worthwhile. Passengers were divided by language into tour groups and the local guides spoke English well. The dam tour was most interesting as was going through the five locks. Meals were in the main dining room. The separate menu dining mentioned on this site seems to have stopped. The food was well prepared, but the quantity was barely enough - plates were scrapped pretty clean. Breakfast and lunch were buffet style, and you needed to hit the line early or you would miss out. Although they said they ran breakfast from 7:30 to 8:30, we came down the first morning at 8:15 only to find them hauling off the last of the food. We asked for coffee, only to be told there was none. A complaint to the front desk resulted in quick action, with apologies all around and a fruit basket to the room, and great service from that point forward. The crew is all Chinese, most everyone you come into contact with speaks good English. I need to put a word in for the pastry chef - this guy could work at Crystal Lines. The cooking was good - a mix of Chinese and Western that went together well. They are not spending enough money on quality and quantity of ingredients, however. I felt like a poor kid whose mother knows how to make the best of very little - it was quaint, but not what I expected. China has come a long ways in service in the last decade. This line is not keeping up. The experience was very much like a 3 star hotel in most major cities. It is comfortable, but not up to the standard that modern Chinese and foreign tourists have come to expect from someone advertising a five star experience. There really is a niche here for a more upmarket offering. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
Victoria Queen By Jim Thornton China November 10, 2009 This was our sixth river cruise in contrast to our 13 ocean cruises. Our cabin was a deluxe cabin, called the Shangri-La Suite, on the port side of the second deck near the bow of ... Read More
Victoria Queen By Jim Thornton China November 10, 2009 This was our sixth river cruise in contrast to our 13 ocean cruises. Our cabin was a deluxe cabin, called the Shangri-La Suite, on the port side of the second deck near the bow of the ship and close to the bow stairway. We sailed on a four-day about 500-mile Yangtze River cruise from Yichang upstream (towards the west) to Chongqing. Each day there was something new to see like the controversial Three Gorges Dam, which is more than three and a half miles wide, and created a 20-mile long lake displacing over one million people and submerging their 13 cities, 140 towns, and 1,352 villages. Ship: Is one of the larger ships on the river. It and its identical Victoria Cruise ship (the Victoria Prince) were originally built in 1995, rebuilt in 2003, and refurbished in 2008. The ship has four passenger decks without elevators and carries 206 passengers with a crew of 121. Cabin: Our room was larger (622 square feet) than on the previous river cruises that we sailed on. There are two of these deluxe suites each consisting of a bedroom with king size bed with two nightstands and large outside windows on two sides of the cabin on the entire port and bow sides; a large private balcony over looking the bow, a couch, a small table, a small desk and chair, a TV set with two English language channels - CNN and HBO and lots of Chinese language channels and DVD player, two small clothes closets, a small refrigerator and mini-bar, and a large bathroom with a western toilet, two sinks, shower, and a bathtub. The ship has 93 standard cabins (211 square feet) with two single beds on the second deck; six junior suites (294 square feet) with two single beds on the second, third, and fourth decks, and two deluxe suites (458 square feet) with king size beds on the second deck. All cabins have and private bathrooms with separate showers, and balconies. The ship's electrical voltage is the same as the country's 220 volts at 50 Hertz. Laundry: A fee-based same day laundry service is available. Dining Room: There is a single dining room where breakfast and lunch is a serve yourself buffet and the buffet lines get very long and the food in mainly Chinese with a little western. At dinnertime, the individual Chinese courses are brought to your table and placed on a large common circular plate that rotates so that you may serve yourself. Chopsticks are always provided but so are forks. Tips: A suggested $10 (US) per passenger per day is suggested for the entire ship's crew, plus a separate $4 for the "River Guide". Evening Entertainment: Varies as the crew provides live music, dances, and acrobatics. Internet: There are several for-a-fee computers for passenger use to access their e-mail accounts, the Internet, etc. Bars: There is a bar on the fourth deck and it is a full bar. Meeting Room: Is on the fourth deck in the same large room as the bar. Tours: Visiting and seeing the Three Gorges, the relocated villages, the Three Gorges dam, the large ship locks, and the Xiling Gorge. These tours are included in the overall price of the cruise. Doctor: A Chinese trained medical doctor is onboard. Overall Opinion: This was our second Yangtze River cruise. The previous non-Victoria Queen cruise was on the Princess Sheena, a German built ship that contained a working German-standard water purification and sterilization system meaning that you could drink the water from the cabin's sink. On the Victoria Queen all your drinking water came from small commercial plastic water bottles. Each day in your cabin, one bottle was provided per passenger. In the dining room, you could order only a single small glass of water but there are no refills. Thus I could often take my bottle of water from my cabin to the dinning room. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
This is an older ship, but is a great experience. We had a Junior Suite which was large and had windows on two sides. The bath was adequate and included a tub. The cabin was attractive and beds were comfortable. A large screen high ... Read More
This is an older ship, but is a great experience. We had a Junior Suite which was large and had windows on two sides. The bath was adequate and included a tub. The cabin was attractive and beds were comfortable. A large screen high definition television with satellite access completed the accommodations. Non-suite cabins appeared to be small compared to major cruise ships, but were fine for a short cruise. Internet access was available, but large mountains rendered service less than completely dependable. Food at all meals was very good, and included Western selections at breakfast and lunch. Chinese selections at dinner were quite tasty and attractive. Ship's crew were extremely friendly and helpful, especially the Chinese cruise director, Campbell, who made sure all passenger needs were satisfied. On a slow afternoon, he made sure we knew we could arrange special movies to be viewed in our room, or in a larger venue. Evening entertainment was better than on some major ships, and the captain's welcome recession was much better, both as to choice of food and availability of sparkling wine. Included tours were well run and very enjoyable. There is a small boat tour of two of the gorges, plus a half day tour to the dam. There is a small gym with machines in good working order. Hair care and massage was available. We were sorry to leave the ship. Read Less
Sail Date July 2008
"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 ... Read More
"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 always kept clean. The crew is friendly, and many are very talented. The entertainment was wonderful (costumes, dance routines, etc). The shore excursions were well-planned and very interesting! The extra displays of art, goods-for-sale on deck 3, seemed distracting. The nail salon was not prepared to do anything except manicures; they'd didn't know how to nail fills. They struggled to put the beds into a king configuration (linens were for twin beds not king). The use of the top level dining room for suite guests was very nice --- breakfasts were very good throughout the cruise. Lunches and dinners in the main dining room all five days were extremely disappointing. The food was not good and we normally love Chinese food and in the past, have been eager to try new foods. We're rethinking this, given this ship's menu and food preparation. There was no alternative selections when the food was poor. There was lots of left-over food and people were not eating --- that should have been a clue to the food manager and chefs. Yet, the poor selection of food for lunches and dinners continued throughout the entire cruise. The Yangtze River and Three Gorges Dam were most interesting. The ship was comfortable and overall, very pleasant. If it wasn't for the poor food, we would have rated this ship much higher. They have work to do and must be ready to meet the needs of Western travelers if they want to continue to attract the tourists on this ship line. We are not new travelers to either riverboats or ocean liners -- if meals are not good, that spoils the trip and the reputation of the ship line! We hope the food service for the Victoria Anna improves for future travelers! Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
Yangtze River, Victoria Queen July 3-7 YiChang to Chungqing I took a four night upstream Yangtze river cruise on the Victoria Queen. The cruise started in YiChang and traveled upstream to Chungqing. I took this cruise as part of an ... Read More
Yangtze River, Victoria Queen July 3-7 YiChang to Chungqing I took a four night upstream Yangtze river cruise on the Victoria Queen. The cruise started in YiChang and traveled upstream to Chungqing. I took this cruise as part of an extensive 22-day adventure tour with Overseas Adventure Travel, which is owned by Grand Circle. As this is a review of the cruise portion of the tour I won't be discussing the details of the land portion of the trip. As there are many choices for travel in China, I would like to point out that if you like traveling off the beaten track, enjoy traveling with a very small group of 16 people or less, are interested in learning first hand about the culture and people and are in fairly good physical condition then you should consider Overseas Adventure Travel. The trip was fantastic. We had 15 travelers and 2 guides and a driver. We all received personal attention from the guides, we could do extra-unplanned activities with the OK of the group and nearly everything was included. The Yangtze River Cruise Ship - The Victoria Queen was rather typical on the exterior of other ships sailing the Yangtze. The Victoria Queen was ~12 years old but had recently been expanded and refurbished for cruising the Yangtze. Everything looked fresh and new. There was no smoking on board except outside on the back of the ship, so there were no bad odors onboard. This ship has five public decks and no elevator. If walking up and down stairs is a problem, then this may not be the ship for you. The dining room is on floor 1, there are rooms on floors 1-4, mini suites on floors 2-4 and suites on floor 2 and an observation deck on floor 5. On floor 3 there is a library/ lecture room. On floor 4 there is a work-out center, card room, beauty parlor, and the Yangtze Club, which is the bar, internet center, entertainment venue and best observation area on the ship. Cabin - I stayed in cabin 303 on the starboard side of the ship. This cabin was right next to the bridge at the front of the ship. The cabin was spacious. I had the cabin to myself and had lots or space. All cabins were at least 210 sq ft and had a balcony, which was the width of the cabin and only two feet deep. Just wide enough for the two patio chairs. I would like to point out that if you have a choice you should try to be on the north side of the ship if you are traveling during the summer. This way you can sit on your balcony in the shade of the ship. China in the summer was hot during the day. It typically reached 95F during the day. It was still comfortable sitting outside during the day as long as you are sitting in the shade. Keep this in mind if you have a cabin choice. The cabin had two comfortable twin beds. Each bed had two fluffy and soft pillows. The sheets were soft and the bed was topped with a duvet. This was the most comfortable bed I slept in, in all of China. The room had great air-conditioning. It didn't seem very adjustable. I kept it on most of the time and was comfortable. The room had a TV with HBO and several other English speaking news channels. The TV was located high up the wall and was viewable from the two beds. There was no refrigerator, but I asked the room stewardess Annie for ice and an ice bucket full of ice appeared and was refilled with ice twice a day throughout the cruise. There was a small closet and bench for placing your suitcase. There weren't many drawers for storage that I can recall. There was a desk and chair. The bathroom was quite large. There was a sink and large countertop, WC and large tub/shower combination. There was always plenty of hot water. The room was supplied with high quality shampoos, shower gels, soaps and lotions. Food - The food was very good. But if you are expecting all the choices, and quantities typical on an ocean cruise then you may be disappointed. Breakfast and lunch were buffets. There were western and Chinese choices and lots of fresh fruits and veggies. I always found many things to try and enjoyed most of the selections. Dinners were served family style at the table. Most dishes were Chinese, but I feel that most people would find the food fairly good. There was nothing "unrecognizable, squiggly or slimy". There were also some western items served. There were always ~10-15 different dishes served and no one went hungry. Deserts we not spectacular. Deserts were rather bland or else were fresh watermelon. The meals came with your choice of bottled water, regular Coke, regular Sprite, hot tea or coffee. Beer and wine were available. The selection was sparse and the cost fairly high. I skipped the shipboard offerings and bought the local beer, which I enjoyed on my balcony. My only complaint with the dining room, as they seemed to rush you through meals. Before you were finished they would whisk away your plate, or utensils. It was aggravating. I can understand the employees trying to get their work done so they can have some free time. It just felt very rushed. Hey, I'm on a cruise. I expect to be able to linger over dinner, enjoy desert and a cup of tea. Also note that coffee and tea is available in the Yangtze Club every morning from 6:00 to 7:30 am. I always took advantage of this while checking my email, about 10 feet away at the internet center in the Yangtze Club. Service - The service was fabulous. Everyone was friendly and greeted you as you walked by. The cabin, as well as the entire ship was immaculate. There's not much to say other then it would be difficult to have better service on a ship. Entertainment - There were two cruise directors on the ship, Monika Pichler and Ernie Kemm, two river guides, Jacky Qin and Michael Sun, a kite master, painter, and medical doctor and Tai Chi instructure, Dr Liu. What!? a medical doctor is an entertainer? Yea, sort of, Dr Liu gave a lecture and demonstration of Chinese medical treatments like acupuncture, massage and suction cups. The Chinese medical treatments were available to the passengers as well as western medicine. The lecture from Dr Liu was very interesting. Try to be the person he demonstrates on. Unfortunately I don't think he will demonstrate on you if you are female, as you must remove your shirt! The cruise directors were very friendly and efficient. The Ernie Kemm was a talented singer and piano player and entertained the crowd daily. The Monika Pichler was a wealth of knowledge and very open with information about the ship and the Yangtze. Monika also seems to know the idiosyncrasies of the internet service onboard. She can help you if you are having trouble. The river guides seemed adequate. Maybe it was just me, but I don't need someone to tell me that a rock formation looks like an elephant. There were lots of interesting facts I'm sure. I just avoided listening to the river guides and sat in peaceful quite on my balcony. Tai Chi lessons were given every morning in the Yangtze Club and were well attended. There were lectures and demonstrations by the kite master and painter. I skipped these, so have no comment. Every night there was a show put on the cruise staff. I attended these and even though they were not professionals they were interesting. There were fabulous Chinese costumes, dancing, recorded music and a staff/cruiser talent show. There was the Captain's welcome aboard cocktail party held in the Yangtze club on the first evening, that was very nice. Sparkling wine and hors d'oeuvres were served. We all toasted to an enjoyable cruise and had a great time. Internet - There were four laptops available for internet access in the Yangtze club. The cost was 50 Chinese yuan or $6.00 for the entire cruise. I jumped on this offer and think it was well spent. The service is dialup and could be extremely slow while cruising through the gorges. Never the less I was able to check my email, write a few emails and post to the Cruise Critic board so it met my needs. Since there were so few people on board, computers were always available. I never had to wait for a computer. Access is limited to 20 minutes if people are waiting. But this never occurred on my cruise. Tours- Everyday there was a tour. Everyone left the ship and took the daily tour. The tours were divided up by the groups you were traveling with. So since I was traveling with a group of 15 people, we toured daily with our OAT group and trip leader. The tours were lead by the Victoria Cruise trip guide and a driver. Here is a summary of the three tours I took. 1. Three Gorges Dam - This tour was excellent. We took a bus to an area just river from the spillway. You could see the completed powerhouse, the spillway with the powerful water and mist and the in progress second powerhouse and cofferdam. Next we drove to a lookout point above the dam which had a great model of the river and dam project and a great lookout for taking pictures. While driving to the lookout and back we went over the ship locks which we would be traveling up as soon as we returned to the ship. I purchased a small finely carved beach wood lion at the gift shop at the lookout point for about $6.00 that I really love. Be sure to bargain. 2. Lesser Gorges scenic area - Another excellent trip! We took a boat through the Shennong stream where we saw monkeys and wooden coffins in the walls of the gorge. This was very cool. The walls on both sides are the river are very steep and covered with vegetation...beautiful. After about 40 minutes we got off the large boat and got into small wooden boats. We were dragged upstream by these very buff guys. When we reached the top we turned around and rode the rapids down. Lots of fun and very pretty. We got back on the larger boat, and made the return trip to the Victoria Queen. 3. Wanzhou, Relocation City and the Three Gorges Museum - really lame. This tour took us to the Three Gorges Museum. Not so good. This museum featured the story of the wooden coffins such as we saw in the lesser gorge the previous day. Kind of a let down after seeing the real thing. Next we went to a families apartment. Very uncomfortable experience and not too interesting. Families in old brick primitive structures are forced to relocate to modern, spacious apartments due to the dam. Seemed like a good thing to me. Finally taken to a rip-off store selling silk clothing. Don't buy here. It's about 5X more than you will pay in Hong Kong. I should mention that if stairs are a problem then getting off the ship and climbing up the 300 stairs to get to the tour bus could be an issue. I'm relatively young and in fairly good condition, but I can tell you that going up the 300 steps had me puffing and sweating. Embarkation and Debarkation were not an issue on this ship. You walked on, you walked off. No problem. This was a fabulous trip that I really enjoyed. Hope this review gives you some idea of what a Yangtze River cruise will be like. It was relaxing, interesting, and slow paced. But a Yangtze River cruise is the only way to see this part of China the will be undergoing dramatic changes during the upcoming years. Laura Read Less
Sail Date July 2004
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