Feature image (above): Victoria Cruises’ Victoria Jenna, which launched in 2009 // © 2016 Victoria Cruises
The recent upgrade to the 378-passenger Victoria Jenna features new furniture and interior design. // © 2016 Victoria Cruises
Victoria Cruises, a luxury river cruise line sailing China’s Yangtze River, has upgraded its entire fleet, most recently the 6-year-old, 378-passenger Victoria Jenna. The 149-stateroom ship has five passenger decks, four elevators, two restaurants and 40 suites at various levels.
“Since the launch of Victoria Jenna in 2009, the vessel has been surpassed by our own innovations as we've modernized the rest of our fleet one ship at a time," said Larry Greenman, manager of public relations and customer service for Victoria Cruises.
The company retained the same New York-based interior design firm used for its other fleet renovations. Structurally, the hull of Victoria Jenna has not been altered, but virtually everything beyond that is new. The entire interior of the ship has essentially been superficially gutted and replaced, with new carpets, wall fixtures, LCD lighting, furniture, decor and more. Bathrooms have received much brighter lighting, and public areas have been totally reimagined.
The dining room is totally new, sectioned off to offer a more private atmosphere for groups and FITs, and includes a new buffet line. The entrance is elegant and a pleasing, upscale place to enjoy a happy hour. Both the dining room and Yangtze Club have new lighting that has transformed the atmosphere.
Just outside the entrance to Yangtze Club is a glass-enclosed women’s dress shop in the space formerly occupied by the computer room.
The main lobby now has extensive glass and mirrored areas. The glass-enclosed showcases with Chinese artifacts and costumes remain in place.
Like its sister ships, Victoria Jenna’s staterooms have private balconies, an important feature in the landscape of the Yangtze. Luxury amenity add-ons include personalized white-glove service, upper-deck placement, access to exclusive ship areas, complimentary Wi-Fi access, exclusive happy hours and enhanced culinary privileges, including a la carte service and wine and beer with dinner.
"This is a particularly meaningful milestone for us, as we've restored the 6-year-old vessel's position as the flagship at the forefront of our elegant, five-star fleet,” Greenman said. “It also signifies the completion of the extensive fleetwide redesign we began in 2010."
Victoria Jenna rejoined the fleet on April 11 on the Three Gorges Highlights itinerary between Chongqing and Yichang, where it will continue to sail with twice-weekly departures on Mondays and Thursdays. There are three- and four-night options (based on upstream or downstream cruising), and a standard shore excursion package is available for $90 per person. The package includes tours of Shibaozhai's famous red pagoda and the Three Gorges Dam, as well as a scenic journey on a traditional “sampan” boat through Goddess Stream, which is surrounded by striking mountain peaks and teeming with local wildlife, from monkeys to mountain goats.