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PRESS RELEASE # 265

Victoria Cruises Embarks On Agent Awareness Campaign to Educate Retailers on Cruise Line's Distinguishing Factors

NEW YORK, NY (Jan. 6, 2010) – In addition to being the leading innovator on the Yangtze River and the cruise line with the most five-star vessels as rated by the China National Tourism Administration, Victoria Cruises (http://www.VictoriaCruises.com) is also the only American-managed company to operate on the river. After launching a brand new ship in September and creating a new Executive Suite program for upscale travelers, the cruise line is now embarking on a marketing campaign to educate travel agents and their valued clientele on the advantages of traveling with an American-managed cruise line on China’s Yangtze River.

“Most importantly, booking one of our tour operator partners ensures peace of mind as our ships and facilities are top-notch in terms of safety, aesthetics and functionality – guaranteeing an enjoyable river cruising experience for even the most discerning traveler,” said Larry Greenman, manager of public relations and customer service, Victoria Cruises.

“Additionally, we excel in the culinary arts with delectable Chinese and Western specialties to impress any traveler,” said Greenman, noting that many tour operators have cited Victoria’s high quality cuisine as one of major reasons for selecting the cruise line as an exclusive partner for all Yangtze River tour components.

Victoria Cruises works with Philadelphia-based Concepts By Staib, Ltd. to continually improve its culinary program. Internationally-acclaimed chef Walter Staib and his senior chefs travel to China periodically to outfit the ships as well as to train and update the onboard chefs with the necessary skills and recipes to prepare high-quality Western dishes.

In addition, many of Victoria Cruises’ chefs train at the Tung Shing House in New York City, a restaurant owned by Victoria Cruises’ parent company, where they are able to further hone their culinary and communication skills.

Another incentive for North American travelers is the fact that Victoria Cruises works with The Navigators Group, Inc., a U.S.-based insurance company with global coverage. In addition to protection, this ensures that the infrastructure on all Victoria Cruises vessels is kept up-to-date and meets the highest safety and performance standards. “This comes back to the ‘peace of mind’ issue, which is an important component of any overseas vacation,” noted Greenman.

“In addition to lavish accommodations and delectable cuisine, we want travelers to feel confident and at ease so that they can truly enjoy their experience – and toward that end Victoria Cruises has spared no expense,” added Greenman.

“Victoria Cruises was historically the first cruise line to raise cruising to an American standard in the early stages if China’s tourism expansion,” said Natalie Lardner, Victoria’s newest cruise director, who has just completed her first year sailing China’s Yangtze River on the Victoria Rose.

“The historic changes taking place on the Yangtze have come to exemplify China’s modernization over the last 25 years. It’s such an exciting time there and it’s truly a privilege to be working with Victoria Cruises,” added Lardner, a Harvard graduate and former Museum of Modern Art translator. “The way our cultures are learning from each other is a fascinating process and it’s just as interesting for the passengers to experience that growing knowledge.”

Victoria Cruises is China’s pre-eminent cruise line with the most experience sailing the temple and pagoda-lined Yangtze River.

Rates and Itineraries

With the exception of the Victoria Prince, all Victoria Cruises’ vessels sail the highly-acclaimed Three Gorges Highlights program, both upstream (four nights) and downstream (three nights) between Chongqing and Yichang, as well the round-trip Three Gorges Explorer (seven nights) itinerary which features different excursions in each direction.

In addition to breathtaking scenery along the mist-shrouded Yangtze and fascinating onboard lectures and activities, highlights of the program include a tranquil sampan journey through the Yangtze’s scenic Daning River or Shennong Stream tributaries to the Small Gorges, an excursion to the impressive Three Gorges Dam in San Dou Ping – an extraordinary feat of engineering and major highlight of the river cruise – and a tour of a modern relocation village built in Fengdu for families who have moved as a result of the Yangtze’s rising waters brought about by the Three Gorges Dam (alternatively, the Fengdu excursion may be replaced by a visit to Mingshan Hill to observe statues of ghosts and demons).

Rates for the Three Gorges Highlights program on the Victoria Rose start at $770 per person, based on double occupancy, during peak season (April, May, September and October), and $710 per person, based on double occupancy, during the shoulder season (March, June, July, August and November). For Victoria Cruises’ five-star vessels, rates begin at $880 per person, based on double occupancy, during peak season, and $810 per person, based on double occupancy, during the shoulder season.

Rates for the Three Gorges Explorer program on the Victoria Rose start at $1,390 per person, based on double occupancy, during peak season, and $1,260 per person, based on double occupancy, during the shoulder season. For Victoria Cruises’ five-star vessels, rates begin at $1,610 per person, based on double occupancy, during peak season, and $1,470 per person, based on double occupancy, during the shoulder season.

The Victoria Prince sails Victoria Cruises’ Grand Yangtze Discovery program (six or eight nights) between Chongqing and Shanghai, which features additional shore excursions including Huangshan, one of China’s most scenic attractions also known as Yellow Mountain; the city of Wuhan, capital of Hubei province; and Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province, where visitors will experience the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum and a Qing Dynasty-style Bazaar surrounding a Confucian Temple.

Rates for the Grand Yangtze Discovery program start at $1,610 per person, based on double occupancy, during peak season, and $1,470 per person, based on double occupancy, during the shoulder season.

All Victoria Cruises programs sail through the massive Three Gorges, known as one of China’s most visually stunning natural treasures.

For more information, or to request copies of the new 2010 Victoria Cruises Yangtze River brochure, contact Victoria Cruises toll-free at 800-348-8084 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 achieved tremendous success by introducing the majesty of the Yangtze River to travelers worldwide. A true pioneer and innovator, Victoria Cruises delivers an unrivaled and unsurpassed Yangtze River experience.

China’s magnificent Yangtze River continues to awe and inspire and Victoria Cruises continues to be the finest guide for the journey.

For more information and a free color brochure or copy of the expanded DVD, contact Victoria Cruises at 57-08 39th Avenue, Woodside, NY 11377; phone (800) 348-8084, (212) 818-1680; fax (212) 818-9889. Send e-mail to contact@victoriacruises.com or visit the company in cyberspace at http://www.victoriacruises.com.

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