Bringing Contemporary China to Life

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We are delighted to announce a major refurbishment project for our boutique river cruise ship, Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer. Already the most luxurious ship on the Yangtze River, with the largest cabins and suites - all with private balconies - Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer is currently undergoing an exciting upgrade.

Focusing on a contemporary Chinese design, our designer, Premchit Chitrabamrung (Teenie) of Zengeo, will be bringing the same style and elegance of the newly renovated restaurant to the ship’s 38 Deluxe Cabins, 20 Suites and spa. We caught up with her to find out more about the renovation, and her inspiration for the project.

Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer Refurbishment 2017 Deluxe Cabin

Having worked previously on Sanctuary Ananda, Teenie knew that designing the interior of a ship had its challenges. “When designing the interior of a ship, weight and safety regulations are very strict. You can’t simply place chandeliers where you’d like, so the reflection of luxury has to be more understated,” Teenie tells us.

“When starting any project I’m working on, I like to research the ship’s route and the different destinations that will be visited and blend what I find with the design on board. This helps to give a seamless experience for guests both on and off board.” Teenie explains. Having spent several days cruising on board, what really grabbed her attention was the weather and general atmosphere of the region, so she was keen to incorporate this with her design. An example of this can be found in the Deluxe Suites’ new wallpaper which displays a flower native to the region, mudan (also known as peonies).

Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer Refurbishment 2017 Spa

“I drew inspiration from contemporary Chinese design as we wanted to reflect the growing talent currently coming out of China,” she explains. Incorporating contemporary aesthetics with a respect for traditional Chinese heritage, materials and craftsmanship, the interior of Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer now truly reflects modern China. “All decorative items and finishing touches have to be locally sourced in order to reflect the surroundings. Items such a candles, vases, paintings, cushions, runners and loose furniture were all sourced from local markets and suppliers in Yichang and Guangzhou.”

In addition to the work being done to the Deluxe Cabins, Suites and spa, the Imperial and Celestial Suites will also be redesigned in a similar style to the Mandarin and Jade suites, adopting a traditional Chinese style. Work is also underway to recondition the sun deck, toilets and excursion staircase. The overall result will be a ship that reflects the splendour of Chinese design, which dates back over 5,000 years, as well as blending seamlessly with the majesty of the Yangtze River.

Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer will recommence regular operations on 12th March. To find out more information, please contact your regional Sales Directors.