Victoria Cruises, Orient Tours Renew Yangtze River Program

Victoria Cruises has renewed its agreement with Orient Flexi-Pax Tours, a division of ISRAMWORLD, through which the American-managed cruise line remains the exclusive provider of five-star Yangtze River cruises on all of the leading tour operator's applicable itineraries.

Celebrating their continued partnership, the two companies have confirmed that the popular 11-night Yangtze River Voyage – which also includes Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai – will be extended throughout 2011, in addition to other itineraries currently being finalized.

The comprehensive program features a luxurious three-night cruise aboard a five-star Victoria Cruises vessel as well as eight nights in upscale hotel accommodations at Peninsula Hotels in Beijing and Shanghai as well as the Sofitel Xi'an on Renmin Square.

Also included are domestic flights and airport transfers within China, 26 meals, intriguing sightseeing with an experienced English-speaking guide, and the USTOA $1 Million Travelers Assistance Program.

The deluxe 11-night Yangtze River Voyage includes the following escorted sightseeing experiences:

*    An excursion to the extraordinary 2,000-year-old Great Wall of China, one of the most spectacular structures ever built by man.
*    A visit to Tiananmen Square and nearby Forbidden City, an impressive architectural masterpiece.
*    A journey along the Sacred Path to see the elaborate Ming Tombs, lavish burial chambers of 13 Ming Dynasty emperors.
*    A visit to the Temple of Heaven, where emperors would go to pray since its construction in the 15th century.
*    An afternoon drive outside Beijing to the fabled Summer Palace, resort of the Empress Dowager.
*    A magnificent Beijing Opera performance.
*    A special Beijing Duck banquet.
*    A drive past the site of the 2008 Summer Olympics including the National Stadium and National Aquatics Center.

*    See the extraordinary life-sized Terra Cotta Warriors, arguably China’s most important archeological site.
*    A trip to the Shaanxi Provincial Museum to learn about one of the oldest Chinese cities and peruse artifacts from the eastern terminus of the Silk Road.
*    Time to visit the Great Mosque, one of the oldest in China, unique in that it is completely Chinese in its construction and architectural style.
*    A tour of the Han Tombs.
*    A special Tang Dynasty Dinner and Theater Performance.

Yangtze River:
*    A spectacular view of centuries-old pagodas and temples nestled along the mist-shrouded Yangtze River from Chongqing to Yichang.
*    Many onboard activities including morning Tai Chi lessons and a host of nightly entertainment options
*    An excursion to the impressive Three Gorges Dam Site in San Dou Ping, an extraordinary feat of engineering and major highlight of the river cruise.
*    Tour of the “Ghost City” of Fengdu at Mingshan Hill, complete with statures of spirits and demons.
*    Sail through the impressive Small Gorges of the Daning River, one of the Yangtze’s tributaries. The scenic journey will bring passengers to a floating dock near Dachang, where they will disembark to board a traditional sampan for a tranquil ride through the “Mini Gorges” of the Ma Du River, a tributary of the Daning River (Daning River excursion may be substituted with Shennong Stream depending on river conditions).

*    A leisurely stroll along The Bund, Shanghai’s famed waterfront promenade.
*    A visit to the classical Yu Yuan Gardens.
*    A tour of the Jade Buddha Temple.
*    A visit to the Children’s Palace, where lucky travelers may observe a performance by the school children.
*    A spectacular dinner followed by a dazzling Acrobatics Show.
*    Time for shopping at Nanjing Road.

The deluxe Yangtze River Voyage is priced from $2,445 per person, based on double occupancy, with departures scheduled throughout 2011.

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