Luxury river cruise pioneers on China’s Yangtze, Victoria Cruises is replacing its regularly offered “Ghost City” shore excursion to Fengdu’s Mingshan Hill with a cultural visit to the city’s modern settlement village located on the southern bank of the river. The development is in response to passenger feedback regarding the number of stairs one must ascend to climb Mingshan Hill (a formerly available cable car is no longer operational) as well as an overall indication of travelers’ preference for cultural activities.
“Our passengers enjoy the scenic beauty of the Three Gorges and our tributary excursions, but feedback indicates that experiences which incorporate strong cultural elements tend to score highest,” said Larry Greenman, manager of public relations and customer service for Victoria Cruises.
“The modern settlement town provides full cultural immersion as guests will have the opportunity to meet local villagers and learn about their daily activities and way of life,” said Greenman, noting that many traditional practices are still in place, offering travelers a glimpse into the past and an appreciation for some of the time-tested methods that have been central to Chinese culture for centuries.
For example, visitors will observe an old stone mill dating back to the Jin Dynasty, which is still used to grind rice, wheat, beans and other grains into flour.
Passengers will enjoy spectacular views of the Yangtze throughout the drive through town, before stopping at the home of a local farmer who will discuss his life experiences with participants. Guests will have an opportunity to stop in town to visit some shops and the local market before returning to their cruise ship.
The Fengdu shore excursion costs $42 per person, however, Victoria Cruises recommends that passengers purchase its standard excursion package, which is available for $90 per person for departures of its Three Gorges Highlights itinerary. The comprehensive package includes the modern settlement village along with an educational tour of the Three Gorges Dam and a tranquil journey via traditional sampan along one of the Yangtze’s scenic tributaries – representing a total cost savings of $63 per person.
The excursion package, as well as an assortment of additional optional add-on excursions such as White Emperor City or Tribe of the Three Gorges, can be purchased at the time of booking and are fully commissionable, providing travel agents with opportunities to increase their revenue on each sale. Optional excursions can also be purchased onboard.
For more information and a free color brochure or promotional DVD, contact Victoria Cruises at 136-18 39th Avenue, 12th Floor, Flushing, NY 11354; phone 800-348-8084, 212-818-1680. Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.victoriacruises.com.
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