Maiden Voyage Bliss: A Grand Adventure on Century Victory through the Timeless Yangtze
- Departure Date: 2022-07-09
- Travel Length: 5 Days
- Group Size: 1
- Which Ship: Century Victory Cruise
- Highlights: Fengdu Ghost City, Three Gorges, Shennv Stream, Three Gorges Dam, Ship Lift
I had the incredible opportunity to enjoy the maiden voyage of Century Victory, a remarkable cruise ship operated by Century Cruises Company. The journey started on July 9, 2022, and I was part of this memorable experience. With a blend of excitement and curiosity, I eagerly awaited the enchanting destinations and exceptional amenities that awaited us on this grand voyage.
Century Victory - A Five-Start Cruise with Big Size
Cruise Gala Night Before Century Victory's Voyage (July 19, 2022)
In order to celebrate the maiden voyage of Century Victory, a splendid Gala Night was held prior to its departure. Fortunately, I was one of the individuals to attend this prestigious event. As a result, I had the privilege of boarding the cruise one day in advance. In the morning, I traveled from Chengdu to Chongqing via a high-speed train, which took approximately 1.5 hours. From there, I took a taxi to Chongqing Chaotianmen Port. As I arrived, I noticed a staff member wearing a white-blue T-shirt, holding a plate that read "世纪游轮 Century Cruise," waiting to assist guests like me. Following her guidance, I quickly located Pier #11. Free porter services were available for guests who chose Century Cruises, but I carried it myself as I had one piece of luggage.
The Reception at Chaotianmen Port
Upon passing through the security check and stepping foot on the ship, a staff member kindly handed me a warm towel to cleanse my hands. Their thoughtful gesture was much appreciated. The check-in process was straightforward, requiring me to simply scan my ID card. Although the room wasn't particularly spacious, it exuded a cozy ambiance. It was equipped with all the necessary toiletries, such as shampoo, shower gel, toothbrush, shower cap, comb, and more. There were two comfortable beds, a tea table, a sofa (which could be extended into an extra bed), a dresser, a television, air-conditioning, and Wi-Fi, etc. The balcony, furnished with a beach chair, provided me with a splendid view of the outdoors.
My Cabin - Deluxe Room
After a quick check of my room, I had the pleasure of attending a wonderful violin and cello show at the reception. Subsequently, the manager kindly led us on a tour of the various cabins and entertainment venues on the cruise. The President Suite and Victory Suite left us in awe, and some guests even jokingly expressed their desire to start saving money for a future stay in one of these lavish accommodations.
The President Suite on Century Victory
Next, we indulged in a delightful dinner onboard the ship. Century Cruises is renowned for its exceptional cuisine, and the food lived up to its well-deserved reputation. There were two distinguished restaurants to choose from, the Global Restaurant located on the second and third floors, and the VIP Restaurant (needed extra fee for Deluxe Cabin) on the fourth floor, a world of delectable dining awaits. In addition to the delectable cuisine one would expect on a 5-star cruise, the Global Restaurant also showcased a variety of local specialties originating from the Yangtze River area. Please note that access to the VIP Restaurant required an additional fee, exclusive to guests staying in the Superior Cabins and Suites.
The Global Resturant
Some Dishes of Our Dinner
Later in the evening, we gathered on the top deck to partake in the Cruise Gatsby Night. The live performances and K-pop dance captivated everyone, immersing us in the electrifying atmosphere. As the cruise set sail, the fascinating night view of Chongqing like flowing water. Feeling a bit fatigued, I eventually retired to my cabin for some rest. To my pleasant surprise, the sounds of the concert did not disturb my slumber, as the entertainment activities were arranged in the rear part of the ship, while the cabins were situated towards the front.
The Performance of Gala Night
Cruise Day 1: Chongqing Departure (July 10, 2022)
The next morning marked the start of Century Victory's 4-day 3-night voyage. With the afternoon approaching, new guests would soon be boarding the ship. Although I had initially intended to spend my morning exploring Chongqing City on foot, the sweltering heat made it nearly unbearable. Within a short period, my clothes were drenched with sweat, forcing me to seek refuge back on the cool and comfortable cruise ship. As the new guests arrived, the atmosphere aboard the ship once again came alive with excitement and anticipation.
The mealtime commenced at 19:00, and the buffet dinner was a feast for the senses. It offered a diverse array of meat, vegetables, seafood, and an impressive selection of drinks. While indulging in the delicious spread, a slight concern about my weight loss plan crossed my mind. Nevertheless, I couldn't resist sampling the tempting offerings.
Following the satisfying dinner, we gathered for a safety introduction meeting, ensuring that our cruise journey would be both secure and comfortable. Afterwards, the captain's welcome party took place on the top deck. One of the staff members invited me to join her in a dance, despite my limited dancing skills. Embracing the joyous atmosphere, I happily accepted her invitation. I even treated myself to three glasses of delightful cocktails during the festivities.
The Captain's Welcome Party
Upon returning to my room, I accessed the television to check the time of the next sunrise and promptly set an alarm. It was important for me to wake up early enough to witness the captivating sunrise over the majestic Yangtze River.
As the night wore on, the cruise started its journey with smoothness. Throughout the voyage, I seldom felt any jolts or disturbing noises. It was fascinating to learn that the cruise had implemented innovative techniques to prioritize environmental sustainability. This commitment to being more eco-friendly was evident in the seamless and serene sailing experience.
Cruise Day 2: Onshore Experience along the Yangtze (July 11, 2022)
Thanks to the helpful information provided on the television, I managed to make my way to the top deck at 5:45 in the morning for sunrise. As the sun ascended, the sky transformed into a breathtaking palette of orange and red hues. It was truly an incredible sight, and I felt privileged to witness such a magnificent morning.
A Glorious Sunrise Spectacle
After reveling in the beauty of the sunrise, I made my way down to the bar to enjoy a cup of morning coffee. The offerings were delightful, with a selection of approximately five types of bread or cake, and an assortment of five different fruits. Coffee, tea, and milk were readily available to complement the meal. Following the leisurely morning tea, we had the opportunity to practice Tai Chi under the guidance of a skilled master. It was a serene and invigorating experience.
Century Victory Morning Tea
Next, it was time for breakfast. The breakfast buffet encompassed a variety of options. There were a range of beverages available, including milk, coffee, and soybean milk. The Chinese food section featured porridge, canned fruits, dried fruits, noodles, steamed corn, various meat dishes, and more. As for Western options, there were cold cuts, doughnuts, pasta, cookies, and other assorted items. Due to travel restrictions at the time, the availability of Western food options was limited as China was not fully open to foreign travelers.
Great Breakfast Time
In the morning, an exciting onshore attraction awaited us: the Fengdu Ghost City. After enjoying a satisfying breakfast, we gathered on the second floor of the cruise, eagerly anticipating the arrival of our guides. Once they were ready, we disembarked the ship and found ourselves at the scenic area, situated along the banks of the Yangtze River. To reach the Ghost City, we first climbed around 100 steps and then boarded a shuttle bus. From there, we began our ascent up the hill to explore the fascinating Fengdu Ghost City. Despite the scorching July heat, the visit was interesting. Guided by an informative travel guide, we delved into the realm of traditional Chinese legends that reflected the culture of punishing evil and embracing goodness. It was an insightful experience, learning about the values and beliefs embedded within the stories.
Fengdu Ghost City Landscape
After the sightseeing adventure, I opted to take a cable car (available at an additional fee) to descend from the hill. The cable car delivers a great view of Fengdu, and surrounding environment. Returning tour the cruise, I was greeted with the enticing aroma of a rich and delicious lunch awaiting our hungry group.
Some Dishes of Our Lunch
In the afternoon, I joined a group visit to the captain's bridge. Our cruise guide provided us with an informative introduction to the bridge and the fascinating mysteries behind piloting a cruise ship. It was truly intriguing to learn about the intricate operations involved in navigating such a vessel.
Visiting Captain's Bridge
After a satisfying dinner, I decided to take an excursion to watch the Feng Yan San Guo show (available at an additional fee), which required an additional fee. I had heard rave reviews about the performance and was eager to witness its splendor firsthand. Needless to say, it did not disappoint. The show boasted a magnificent set and an engaging storyline. The performers showcased their talents, including a multitude of horses, soldiers, and dancers. The attention to detail and high level of skill on display were truly impressive. To enhance the audience's experience, the auditorium even rotated, providing different perspectives throughout the show. If you possessed a good understanding of the Three Kingdoms era, you would undoubtedly find yourself immersed in the experience. Overall, the show was well worth the investment of time and money. However, there was one minor drawback - the backrest of the seat was a bit short, making it slightly uncomfortable. Nonetheless, this small inconvenience did not detract from the overall enjoyment of the performance. On our way back to the cruise after the Feng Yan San Guo Show, we had the opportunity to admire the enchanting night view of Zhongxian from the bus. It was a delightful bonus to our evening.
Feng Yan San Guo Live Show
On that day, the exceptional service provided by Century Cruises left a lasting impression on me. Here are four instances: 1) As we disembarked the cruise for our onshore experiences, the considerate staff would kindly provide each of us with a bottled water and remind us to take precautions against the high temperatures. 2) Upon returning to the cruise, they always offered us refreshing tea and water, ensuring our comfort and hydration. 3) When it was time to ascend several steps to reboard the cruise in the darkness, they kindly used torches to light our way, ensuring our safety and making us feel truly looked after. 4) The cruise also provided free midnight snacks in the Global Restaurant onboard the cruise. Guests could indulge in delectable treats such as dumplings, noodles, rice wines, and more. To ensure availability, it was advisable to make a reservation at the reception in advance.
Cruise Day 3: Three Gorges Exploration (July 12, 2022)
It was yet another day filled with anticipation, as I had been eagerly expecting the breathtaking beauty of the Three Gorges. I woke up early in the morning, hoping to catch another stunning sunrise, but unfortunately, the angle wasn't ideal for capturing its full glory. Nevertheless, I enjoyed a cup of morning coffee before being invited to join in the morning exercise by a friendly crew member. It was a simple activity, but it brought a sense of fun and vitality to the start of the day.
After a delightful breakfast, we embarked on another onshore adventure - a visit to the White Emperor City in the renowned Poem City Fengjie (available at an additional fee). A bus transported us to the scenic area, where we began our ascent up the hill. While the climb was not overly steep, the hot summer weather made it challenging. However, as we reached the summit, our knowledgeable travel guide led us through various historical sites. Notably, the Stele Inscription Exhibition Hall showcased a rare bamboo leaf stele, one of only three in the entire country, with the others located at Lingyin Temple and the Xi'an Beilin Museum. Additionally, we had the opportunity to see the fascinating display of suspended coffins found in the Three Gorges region at one of the exhibition halls. The best highlight of White Emperor City was the perfect vantage point it offered to admire Kuimen Gate the Qutang Gorge.
Statues Housed in White Emperor City
View of Kuimen Gate from White Emperor City
In the afternoon, as the cruise set sail once again, we traversed the majestic Qutang Gorge. Almost everyone eagerly made their way to the top deck to enjoy an unobstructed view of the gorge. However, personally, I found the scenery of Wu Gorge, which we would encounter approximately two hours after passing through Qutang Gorge, even more enchanting. The abundance of lush vegetation and the presence of beautiful clouds made it attractive. I couldn't help but yearn to visit the gorge again in autumn, when the leaves would be adorned in vibrant hues of red.
A Snapshot of Qutang Gorge from the Cruise
The Mystical Serenity of Wu Gorge
At around 3 o'clock in the afternoon, we reached the Shennv Stream. Upon disembarking from our cruise ship, we transferred to a smaller boat that would take us on a memorable journey through the stream. As we ventured deeper into the gorge, we were greeted by towering peaks that seemed to touch the sky, each with its own fascinating legend to behold. The temperature pleasantly dropped, creating a comfortable atmosphere. Our guide, dressed in traditional attire representing the Tujia Minority, was not only friendly but also incredibly helpful, enriching our experience with their knowledge and insights. To ensure our safety during the trip, only three tourists at a time were allowed to visit the poop deck for sightseeing, granting us an uninterrupted view of the breathtaking surroundings.
Shennv Stream Scenery
After the journey through Shennv Stream, we eagerly expected another exquisite dinner on board. It marked our final evening aboard the cruise, and a hint of reluctance filled the air as we neared the end of our voyage. As night fell, we sailed past Badong County, and the sight before us was truly stunning. The alluring night view compelled me to swiftly grab my camera and capture the beauty that unfolded before my eyes, preserving the memory for years to come.
The Night View of Badong County
After enjoying the night show from 8:30 to 9:30 pm, I returned to my cabin to begin packing my luggage. The realization that my time aboard the cruise was coming to an end filled me with a mix of nostalgia and anticipation for the adventures that waited for me beyond this journey.
Cruise Day 4: Disembarkation and Three Gorges Dam Experience (July 13, 2022)
On the final day of my trip, I once again woke up early to catch another sunrise. The cruise had already docked, providing a picturesque vantage point to admire the beauty of the sun rising over the tranquil waters of the Yangtze River. Alongside fellow early risers, I was filled with excitement as we marveled at the sunrise before us. There was no morning tea or exercise session that day, as we proceeded to enjoy a hearty breakfast before preparing for disembarkation.
I enjoyed the sunrise from my cruise
To enhance our trip, we transfered to a smaller sightseeing ship in order to experience the Ship Lift (available at an additional fee). This vessel consisted of four floors, with public seating located in the front part of the second and third floors, and a VIP observation deck situated on the fourth floor. As the ship glided forward, the sight of the Three Gorges Dam gradually came into clear view. When the doors of the lift opened, our ship smoothly entered, and as the doors closed, we descended in a seamless and almost magical manner.
My Ship Lift Experience
Following the awe-inspiring Ship Lift experience, our journey took us to Tanzi Ling Park, where we were treated to a 360° panoramic view of the majestic Three Gorges Dam. A bus then transported us to the Three Gorges Tourist Center in Yichang. From there, I embarked on a bus journey to Yichang East Railway Station, where I boarded the high speed train that would take me back to Chengdu.
Three Gorges Dam View from Tanzi Ling Park
During the train ride, an unexpected surprise awaited me - a breathtaking sunset unveiled before my eyes.
Watching Sunset on My Train
In that moment, I couldn't help but feel a deep longing for my little daughter. While the trip had been filled with joy and adventure, no matter how far I traveled, my heart yearned to return home. I knew that in the future, I would have another Yangtze River Cruise, perhaps on the same ship, along the same route, but next time with my beloved family by my side.
Read more about Century Victory
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Chongqing / Yangtze Cruise / Yichang / Zhangjiajie