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Victoria Cruises Sets Sail In 2008 With Exotic Itineraries, Exceptional Pricing For Voyages On China’s Yangtze

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Committed to delivering an unmatched and equally unforgettable Yangtze River sailing experience in China, Victoria Cruises (www.victoriacruises.com), the premier innovator and pioneer along these mighty waters, is pleased to present an exciting series of itineraries for 2008. Currently, Victoria’s vessels are in the midst of major refurbishments so as to keep the quality of the ships and the vacation experience at optimum levels.

In 2008, Victoria Cruises is offering a variety of programs varying from four to nine days – Three Gorges Highlights, Three Gorges Explorer and Grand Yangtze Discovery. Prices and sailing dates listed below are valid for 2008.

Three Gorges Highlights

The upstream (five days) and downstream (four days) programs between Chongqing and Yichang – the Three Gorges Highlights itinerary – remain popular favorites among travelers. The opportunity to sail through the verdant valleys that comprise the Three Gorges (Qutang, Wu and Xiling Gorges) and visit the Three Gorges Dam, an engineering marvel, leaves an indelible picture in the imagination.

Prices start at $675 per person, based on double occupancy in a standard cabin during the shoulder season (March 16-31, June, July, August and November) and $720 per person, double, in peak season (April, May, September and October). Rates in junior suites, deluxe suites and Shangri-La suites are available. Rates vary per vessel in the Victoria Cruises fleet. Shore excursions cost an additional $80 per person. The upstream program sails daily except Tuesday, and the downstream program sails daily except on Saturday.

Three Gorges Explorer

Providing a comprehensive, in-depth view of the impressive Three Gorges region in China, the eight-day Three Gorges Explorer program takes travelers on a roundtrip journey, Chongqing-Yichang-Chongqing, offering different shore excursions in each direction and spectacular views of dramatic scenery, deep valleys, verdant landscapes and breathtaking vistas.

In addition to the spectacular Three Gorges and Small Gorges, travelers are treated to shore excursions to New Zigui, a new city built to accommodate families who relocated as a result of rising Yangtze waters; Yichang, the cultural center of the western Hubei Province; Fengdu, referred to as the “ghost city” because of its temples and statues of ghosts and devils; and Wanzhou, the “Gateway to East Sichuan.”

Prices start at $1,200 per person, based on double occupancy in a standard cabin during the shoulder season (March 16-31, June, July, August and November) and $1,300 per person, double, in peak season (April, May, September and October). Rates in junior suites, deluxe suites and Shangri-La suites are available. Rates vary per vessel in the Victoria Cruises fleet. Shore excursions cost an additional $225 per person.

The program sails daily except Saturday.

Grand Yangtze Discovery

The Grand Yangtze Discovery encompasses the magnificent Three Gorges area as well as the intriguing and historic sites along the Eastern part of the Yangtze River. Journeying between Chongqing and Shanghai (upstream for nine days and downstream for seven days), this itinerary offers a window into the soul and spirit of China and its people.

Highlights include the Three Gorges, the massive Three Gorges Dam, the Huangshan mountain range and one of China’s most outstanding scenic attractions, Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province, and Nanjing, capital of the Jiangsu province, where cruisers will experience the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum and a Qing Dynasty-style Bazaar surrounding a Confucian Temple.

Prices start at $1,400 per person, based on double occupancy in a standard cabin during the shoulder season (March 17-31, June, July, August and November) and $1,500 per person, double, in peak season (April, May, September and October). Rates in junior suites, deluxe suites and Shangri-La suites are available. Rates vary per vessel in the Victoria Cruises fleet. Shore excursions cost an additional $225 per person.

The downstream program sails on Mondays, and the upstream program sails on Sundays.

Victoria Cruises

Victoria Cruises’ portfolio of seven ships comes in two categories – premier and classic. Premier ships (the Victoria Anna, Victoria Katarina, Victoria Empress, Victoria Prince, Victoria Queen and Victoria Star) are new or newly-rebuilt ships featuring enhanced facilities such as private balconies in every cabin, more spacious public areas, and a higher level of comfort, sophistication and décor throughout the ships. In the Classic ship category is the Victoria Rose (rebuilt in 2001). Although smaller than the other ships in the fleet, the Victoria Rose maintains the same high quality standards of the company’s other vessels. All ships maintain the highest international safety standards.

In April 2009, Victoria Cruises will grow its fleet to eight vessels with the introduction of the new Victoria Jenna. When the Victoria Jenna edges out of port on April 26, 2009, it will be the largest and most luxurious vessel plying Yangtze waters.

For guests’ dining pleasure, all ships in the Victoria Cruises’ fleet feature menu items conceived by acclaimed chef Walter Staib and his company Concepts By Staib, Ltd. Victoria Cruises had hired Concepts By Staib, Ltd. several years ago to expand its menus with more Western-style specialties that would complement the existing Chinese food as well as train the Victoria Cruises’ food and beverage staff in successfully implementing the recipes.

Based in New York, Victoria Cruises established new standards of excellence for sailing China’s Yangtze River when its first ship edged out of port in 1994. Since that time, Victoria Cruises has achieved tremendous success by introducing the majesty of the Yangtze River to travelers worldwide. A true pioneer and innovator, Victoria Cruises delivers an unrivaled and unsurpassed Yangtze River experience. An American-managed company, Victoria Cruises operates the largest fleet of vessels with the coveted five-star rating from the China National Tourism Administration.

China’s magnificent Yangtze River continues to awe and inspire and Victoria Cruises remains the finest guide for the journey.

For more information and a free color brochure or promotional DVD, contact Victoria Cruises at 57-08 39th Avenue, Woodside, NY 11377; phone (800) 348-8084, (212) 818-1680; fax (212) 818-9889. Send e-mail to contact@victoriacruises.com or visit the company in cyberspace at www.victoriacruises.com

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