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VIctoria Cruises Announces Major Renovations to Expand 'Executive Deck' Amenities Fleet-Wide

NEW YORK, NY (Dec. 13, 2010) – Victoria Cruises (http://www.victoriacruises.com) is planning major renovations over the winter season to expand its critically acclaimed Executive Deck privileges – previously available on only three of its ships – to the rest of its five-star fleet on China's Yangtze River. The Victoria Queen and Victoria Star are currently undergoing extensive alterations, including the installation of elevators and the addition of a new deck featuring an à la carte dining room and executive lounge similar to those on the Victoria Jenna, Victoria Anna and Victoria Katarina. The Victoria Prince is being totally reconstructed this winter, and will offer an improved guest experience in 2011. The Victoria Empress is undergoing maintenance with additional enhancements to pave the way for Executive Deck perks.

Beginning March 2011, Executive Deck passengers on the Victoria Prince, Victoria Queen, Victoria Star and Victoria Empress will enjoy "white glove" Concierge service, access to exclusive VIP areas, private cultural lessons and reserved seating for evening entertainment. Executive Deck passengers on the Victoria Anna, Victoria Jenna, Victoria Katarina, Victoria Queen and Victoria Star will be offered a la carte dining privileges, while passengers on the Victoria Empress will have reserved window seating in the main dining room. On the Victoria Prince, an a la carte dining program is now being planned for the entire ship.

"With our tour operator partners applauding the success of our Executive Deck program, we felt it wise to extend these benefits to the rest of our ships," said Larry Greenman, manager of public relations and customer service for Victoria Cruises.

"At the same time, we're taking advantage of reduced passenger traffic during the winter season to bring their look and feel as well as on board amenities up to speed with that of our newest ships. Whole decks will be completely gutted and rebuilt to new enhanced specs, while the Victoria Queen and Victoria Star will benefit from new decks entirely," noted Greenman, hinting that the alterations to some vessels will be so extensive, the cruise line is planning to christen them with new names for their relaunch in March.

As an American-managed company adhering to the strictest Western standards, Victoria Cruises retained an interior design firm from New York. The firm just returned from China where it completed its assessment of the renovations. In line with the firm's projections, Victoria Cruises commenced renovations immediately in order to guarantee completion by the start of the March 2011 cruise season so as not to impact passengers.

"Executive Deck level upgrades have proven popular with our most discerning guests, particularly those who come to us through tour operators catering to affluent markets," said Greenman. "As we introduce these upgrades to the rest of our five-star fleet, they become the new standard in small luxury river cruising on China's Yangtze."

Farewell Victoria Rose

With the recent and current renovation of all its five-star ships, Victoria Cruises will retire the last remaining vessel in its "classic ship" category – the Victoria Rose.

"While there is technically nothing wrong with the ship, it's simply not on par with our premier vessels, and with the market trending toward upscale river cruises, the Victoria Rose is no longer needed," said Greenman.

The last sailing of the Victoria Rose departed on Nov. 30, 2010. With its retirement, Victoria Cruises is now an exclusively five-star fleet as well as the Yangtze's largest.

Contact Victoria Cruises at 212-818-1680 or visit www.VictoriaCruises.com.

Victoria Cruises

Based in New York, Victoria Cruises established new standards of excellence for sailing China’s Yangtze River when its first ship edged out of port in 1994. Since that time, Victoria Cruises has introduced the majesty of the Yangtze River to travelers worldwide. The American-managed company operates the largest fleet on the river with the coveted five-star rating from the China National Tourism Administration. A true pioneer and innovator, Victoria Cruises delivers an unsurpassed experience on a variety of itineraries varying from four to nine days including the Grand Yangtze Discovery, Three Gorges Highlights and Three Gorges Explorer.

Victoria Cruises has earned numerous awards over the years and most recently received the 2010 TravelAge West WAVE Award Editor’s Pick for Best River Cruise Line as well as Best New River Cruise Ship with the launch of the luxurious Victoria Jenna. Travel Weekly also recently selected the Victoria Jenna as a Silver Award Winner for the Magellan Awards’ River Cruise Ship category.

For more information and a free color brochure or promotional DVD, contact Victoria Cruises at 57-08 39th Avenue, Woodside, NY 11377; phone 212-818-1680; fax 212-818-9889; e-mail contact@victoriacruises.com or visit www.victoriacruises.com.

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