The Victoria Queen has been rennovated and is now known as the Victoria Lianna. Our 4 night cruise was booked through Affordable Asia Travel as part of a larger China tour. Victoria Cruises advertises their cruises as being 5 star ships. From an American perspective this is not true. If you think of their ships as being a 3 star facility with 4 star service your expectations will be better met and you will be happy. Our upriver cruise began in Yichang January 12, 2014 and ended at Chongqing on January 16, 2014.
Dinner on embarcation day is not included. We were in an Executive Superior Cabin, which entitled us to perks like free internet, free happy hour, free soft drinks in the lounge all day, and 4 pieces of free laundry per day. The cabin was comfortable with a small balcony and a bathtub in the bathroom. There was plenty of heat, but it was either off or on without individual temperature control. There were two shore excursions offered per day. We bought a package that included one shore excursion per day: a tour of the 3 Gorges Dam, boat tour of one of the Yangtze trubutaries, and a tour of the Fengdu "Ghost City" Temple Hill. Those who did not purchase the shore excursions were not permited to disembark the ship. The shore excursions were worth the package price of $90 for the three excursions and included good commentary from fluent English speaking guides. The three other excursions that we did not purchase were about $45 per excursion.
The food on board was of a good quality and was tasty. Think good, not gormet, food with a selection of two or three entrees plus soup, salad, and dessert. Executive Cabin guests dine in their own dining room and have menu service for dinner, rather than a buffet. The Lianna's crew provided some nice folk dances for entertainment two of the nights. There were also Chinese lessons and Mah Jong (Chinese game) lessons offered some afternoons. A small gym was available for passenger use. The River Guide (like a cruise director) provided good commentary in both English and Chinese as we cruised through the scenic gorges along the river. You had to rise by 7 am to see some of the gorge areas. Transit of the locks at the 3 Gorges Dam was at night, but you saw the locks during the day on the Dam tour (if you took it). English speakers are a minority on these cruises, and only some of the staff speak English (beyond simple greetings). With a little patience and persistance, you will find out everything that you need to and will get what you need done.
All in all, a great cruise experience and a comfortable way to see the scenic areas of the Yangtze River. Upon disembarcation, we visited the Chongqing Zoo to see their Pandas. We saw 5 of them in their nice habitats and 3 of them were feeding during our early morning visit. Afterward, we visited the historic old town part of Chongqing for some shopping and snacking (both of which were good here).
Nice comfortable cabin with two twin beds, flat screen tv on the wall, small desk and sitting area, small balcony with two metal chairs, bathroom a bit bigger than many ocean cruise ships and has full size tub/shower unit. One bottle of water provided free per person per day. Hot water for tea or instant coffee also provided in each cabin.