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Century Cruises has announced the debut of two newbuilds — Century Legend and Century Paragon — on the Yangtze River in 2012. The new ships were designed by Yran & Storbraaton, whose ship designs sail for Seabourn, Silversea, Disney and others and supervised by EMS and Schiffstechnik Buchloh, two of Germany’s leading shipbuilding firms.
Among the ships’ revolutionary features are: the first integrated e-propulsion and rudder propeller System on the Yangtze, substantially reducing vibration and noise and significantly increasing the ships’ maneuvering capability; the first zero paint Yangtze cruise ships, with extensive use of high-tech compound panels for interior decoration and furniture and the first Internet-based remote-control surveillance system, providing maximum passenger security and safety.
“Century’s two new ships offer the ultimate in comfort and are true ‘green paradises,’ that will cruise in total harmony with the majestic Yangtze River,” said Alex Ye, vice president of marketing. “The ships are imbued with the Nordic values of green environment, low-emission and sustainability.
Each ship has a capacity of 398 passengers and features a choice of accommodations that include 160 deluxe – all with river view – staterooms, 34 Executive Suites and two Presidential Suites.
Connected by a private staircase, each ship has two Executive Decks located on the Sundeck and on Deck 5. Executive Suite guests may dine at an exclusive a la carte restaurant and also enjoy amenities such as a private reception area, a bar and a sundeck area plus 24-hour concierge service for food and beverages. The elegant, 366-square-foot Executive Suites are furnished with LCD televisions with video on demand, DVD players, minibars, Italian coffee machines and in-room Wi-Fi access. Guests can also avail themselves of a personalized butler service and free laundry service. Daily in-room snacks and fruits are also included. As a special touch, Executive Suite guests receive a “welcome” bottle of red wine and one special Western dinner in the Executive Club Restaurant.
The company claims the largest standard staterooms on the Yangtze with standard deluxe cabins on the two new ships measuring 301 square feet. All have balconies and amenities such as direct-dial phones, LCD Satellite televisions, automatically controlled air conditioning and spacious bathrooms with separate bathtubs.
In terms of public rooms, the ships have a spa/pool complex at 2,150–plus square feet with heated indoor swimming pools, bars, fitness centers, private relaxation areas and dressing rooms with showers.
Public areas and sightseeing elevators have been extended to the B1 deck on each vessel, and each has a seven-story Grand Atrium lobby that maximizes the onboard leisure area and provides spectacular views of the surrounding Yangtze scenery.
For entertainment, enrichment, seminars and meetings, the ships were designed with unobstructed 12-foot-high, multifunctional lounges featuring a center stage with a large LED screen, along with an auditorium-style HD cinema seating up to 150 guests and multilingual translation equipment for international meetings.
The new ships have two restaurants each: a spacious main restaurant featuring floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows and the Executive Club restaurant on Deck 6, primarily for Executive Suite passengers. For leisure hours, each newbuild has two bars, Wi-Fi access throughout the ships, a variety of shops, a game room, a library, two Karaoke TV rooms, a card room and a children’s play area.
Onboard enrichment includes lectures about the Three Gorges, cooking demonstrations featuring traditional Chinese and hot-pot cooking, and tai chi classes every morning. Evenings will bring performances by prominent professional folklore entertainment troupe on the Yangtze.
The current Century fleet is comprised of Century Star, Century Sky, Century Sun, Century Diamond and Century Emerald, featured in the programs of many internationally known tour operators.