The imperial style ship "Qianlong" possesses the strongest national characteristics of all the ships on the Yangtze River. It looks like a dragon, and the dragon symbolizes China and reflects the Chinese people's national spirit. The excellent food, beautiful accommodation, and a standard of service formerly available only to the royal family, make a voyage on the Qianlong reminiscent of the luxury enjoyed by the emperors during the most prosperous periods of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
The "Qianlong" echoes the life style and customs of the Kangxi and Qianlong periods of the Qing Dynasty. She combines the exquisite taste of the Han with the boldness of the Manzhu people's. There are several decks and many cabins. The carved beams, painted rafters, winding corridors, marble railings and golden sculptures are highly praised by visitors.
There are floating clouds and flying dragons carved on the doors, walls and pillars of the reception hall. Some of the dragons are frolicking with one another, and some are fiercely staring at each other, some swallow clouds and spit mist, and others hide their heads but expose their tails.
In fact, the dragon is the key motif throughout the ship. There are dragons in various postures everywhere, not only on the beams and painted rafters but also in the form of dragon beds and dragon chairs. There are dragon flags and dragon robes in the cabins and dragon shaped tableware and food in the dining rooms. The dragon theme carries on through to the musical instruments, cards, chess, paintings and calligraphy, as well as the songs and dances performed on board. The interior is decorated with five colored antique palace lanterns, and the red lacquered doors are as thick and clear as mirrors. The huge carved immortals and Buddhas are lifelike. In such an atmosphere the ship??s passengers can only feel happy and pampered.
All the waiters and waitresses working on the "Qianlong" are well-trained. They are familiar with the Qing Dynasty's court life and with ordinary people's needs, and they understand modern management techniques. They dress in Qing Dynasty costumes and serve passengers with the utmost care. Passengers will have a chance to see a wide selection of Qing dynasty costumes, including typical cheongsams, mandarin jackets and high shoes, in addition to the pheasant- like hair styles and long pigtails worn during that period. They will also have a chance to wear the yellow silk robes that rich people often wore in the past. They can fully enjoy this taste of the luxurious life once enjoyed by the imperial family.