Given that travel to China involves more than the short hop and skip to domestic cruise ports in the U.S., it makes sense to plan a detailed itinerary. A majority of the spectacular destinations within the country can be conveniently accessed by train or plane, but one can add a new dimension to a China trip by integrating a cruise on the Yangzi River. This lifeline waterway boasts an amazing touristic appeal laced with centuries of history and the functional matters of everyday life. Rarely will you find a travel segment that more authentically embraces the ambience of a region than Century River Cruises’ Yangtze River itinerary.
Virtues of Century Paragon
In addition to six other vessels, the company owns and operates the beautiful Century Paragon, which navigates the iconic Yangzi in a characteristic style on 3- and 4-night cruises year-round. The vessel is infused with Asian flair and modern design, expressing the heart and soul of the company’s cruise DNA. This common thread of decor is carried over into surprisingly resplendent suites, all furnished with balconies to fully appreciate the passing scenery. Deluxe Suites make up the major portion of the ship’s accommodations; however, upscale exclusivity is also available in 34 Executive Suites and two Presidential Suites, distinguished by their private lounge and restricted entrance. The generous use of rich marble and granite accentuates the immaculate appearance of the public areas, lounges, and the spacious main dining room. An alternative of a smaller, more intimate dining venue is available for a modest upgrade cost.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served buffet-style with entrées spiced by a moderate Asian influence yet conservatively tempered to satisfy Western palates. Enjoy characteristic Chinese dishes, soups, and seafood served alongside Americanized staples like omelets, grilled steak, chicken, and fish.
An effortless late-afternoon embarkation facilitates a relaxing, early-evening dinner immediately followed by an English-language orientation. Although the passenger mix is decidedly Chinese, designated English-speaking staff seamlessly blend cultures with an endearing Chinese charm and any….
By Steve Leland
Photo: Century Cruises