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New luxury cruise ship to set sail on Yangtze River

(Xinhua)

08:09, August 16, 2011

WUHAN, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- A luxury cruise ship will set sail in two weeks to the Yangtze River's Three Gorges Dam amid a tourist rush to the world's biggest water conservation project, a tourism agency in central China's Hubei Province said Monday.

The "Yangtze River No. 2," a 139-meter long, six-storey cruise ship, will embark on its maiden voyage from the southwestern Chongqing Municipality to the Three Gorges Dam in Hubei's Yichang City on Aug. 29, said Wang Lidong, deputy manager of Changjiang (Yangtze) Cruise Overseas Travel Co., the operator of the ship.

He said the four-day downstream cruise will cost 3,500 yuan (548 U.S. dollars) per person, while the upstream cruise from Yichang to Chongqing will take five days and cost 3,800 yuan.

More than 11,000 people have made reservations for the cruise ship for the coming three months, said Wang.

Yangtze River No. 2, the third luxury cruise ship to set sail this year, is dubbed the largest river cruise ship. It can accommodate up to 452 people and has a swimming pool, a theater as well as luxury suites equivalent to a five-star hotel, he said.

Wang said he was optimistic of the market, now that touring the Yangtze on board a luxury cruise ship has become a new trend among Chinese.

Last year, a record 310,000 people toured the Yangtze on luxury cruise ships. Wang expected the figure to hit 450,000 this year.

The Three Gorges Dam consists of a 185-meter-high dam, a five-tier ship lock, a reservoir and 32 hydropower generators. ' The project generates electricity, controls floods by storing excess water and helps to regulate the Yangtze River's shipping capacity.

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