Cruising the Yangtze River since 2013, the luxurious Century Legend offers comfort and style at every step of this exotic river adventure. From the sensational seven-storey atrium lobby as you first step onboard, to the impeccable service provided by the English-speaking staff, guests can enjoy a truly relaxing and inspiring trip through some of the most iconic areas of China and Tibet. With itineraries chartered by Avalon Waterways, guests can enjoy the familiarity of a well-known and popular river cruise brand (including exclusive shore excursions for Avalon passengers), while also being able to savour the contemporary, state-of-the-art environment that the Century Legend offers. It’s also the first Yangtze-based river cruise ship that offers a huge indoor swimming pool perfect for free time onboard, and a pillar-less lounge which provides uninhibited views of the entertainment that evening bring.
Cruises on the Century Legend appeal to well-travelled, more mature guests from all over the world. The English-speaking staff onboard attract guests who are from English-speaking nations, including the UK, USA, Australia and Canada - but thanks to the Yangtze-river base, cruises will also appeal to travellers from elsewhere in the world, too.
Most guests who choose to embark on one of its itineraries will do so because of the cultural and sightseeing opportunities that are available. The multitude of walking tours and high altitude destinations visited mean that the majority of passengers tend to be physically fit in order to optimise their experiences onboard and off.
The main dining room onboard can be found on the Upper Deck, but there is also a VIP Restaurant on the Sun Deck. Breakfast and lunch are served in a buffet format, which features both Western and Chinese cuisine in order to appeal to everyone. Dinner is served from an a la carte menu, with complimentary regional wine, local beers and soft drinks available with all onboard dinners.
Complimentary hot drinks, including tea and coffee, are available from the Executive Lounge throughout the day.
There is a multi-functional lounge on the Observation Deck, where the majority of evening entertainment takes place, including cultural performances such as traditional Tibetan music and dance shows. Reserved seating is available. There are also ample opportunities to enjoy entertainment on land, thanks to trips and optional excursions such as Tang dynasty shows, the Peking Opera, acrobatic shows and Kung Fu performances.
Guests can also look forward to an exclusive welcome reception with cocktails and snacks, and welcome and farewell dinners that are highlights of the social calendar, such as the Captain’s farewell Chinese banquet dinner held in the main dining room.
In order to enhance the voyage further, the Century Legend offers a number of enriching onboard experiences, led by local artisans and experts, from calligraphy classes to culinary demonstrations. There is also a cinema room, a cards room, a well-stocked library, a variety of shops and a games room onboard. Wi-Fi is available for use in public areas and staterooms.
Onshore, guests will have plenty of sightseeing opportunities, including walking tours that offer the use of audio headsets to help enhance each visit. View the famous Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an, take a tour through the Hutongs of Beijing on a traditional rickshaw, and tick off all of the beautiful sights in the city, including the Forbidden City, Imperial Palace and Tiananmen Square. Guests can also take a tour of the Three Gorges Dam, including an exclusive boat ride along ‘Shennong Stream’ - one of the lesser gorges. The Great Wall is also a memorable showstopper.
There are 156 266 sq. ft. deluxe staterooms onboard as well as 40 suites, including four Junior Suites (Bridge and Promenade Decks), 34 Executive Suites (Observation and Sun Decks) and two Presidential Suites located on the Promenade Deck. Deluxe staterooms are situated on the Main, Upper, Promenade and Bridge Decks, featuring 35 sq. ft. private balconies with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors.
Amenities in the deluxe staterooms include comfortable beds with memory foam mattress toppers, soft & firm pillows and choice of configuration (twin or double), private bathroom with premium bath products, individual climate control, sofa, flatscreen satellite TV with movie channel, minibar, bathrobes & slippers, complimentary bottled water, hairdryer and safe.
Guests can also enjoy a nightly turn-down service for added luxury.
There is a luxurious indoor swimming pool onboard where guests can bathe, swim and relax during their free time. There is also a well-equipped massage and spa area on the Lower Deck, as well as a fitness centre.
There are two itineraries offered by Avalon Waterways for 2016 which include several nights stay on the Century Legend as well as hotel-based accommodation. The 16 day ‘Cultural China & Tibet with Yangtze River Cruise’ travels from Shanghai to Beijing, with four nights on the Century Legend that begin in Yichang and end in Chongqing. Highlights of this itinerary include a tour of the Three Gorges Dam site, tours of Shanghai and Beijing, a chance to visit a local family home in Lhasa (the mystical capital of Tibet) and a chance to view the famed Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an.
The 16 day ‘Enchanting China & the Yangtze River’ itinerary sails from Beijing to Shanghai and offers similar ports of call to the above itinerary, as well as providing unique opportunities including the chance to take part in a traditional tea ceremony in Guilin, enjoy an impression show in Lijiang and the chance to take a Dongba character lesson with a priest at the Museum of Nazi Dongba Culture. Guests can also see endangered pandas at a zoo in Chongqing and enjoy a mouth-watering dim-sum feast in Shanghai, as well as plenty of other sightseeing opportunities that contribute to a once-in-a-lifetime experience.