Yangtze River Cruise, China

Longest in Asia, third largest in the world, the Yangtze River is one of China’s most scenic, yet populous geographies. You can read more about its colorful history and current state of affairs here but to fully enjoy it’s beauty, splurge for a room with a view on one of China’s premier cruise ships. You’ll spend your days simply lounging on your balcony, soaking in everything the Yangtze has to offer.

A bit more about the cruise…

Must research

Most cruises sail out of Chongqing and over the course of 3 nights, arrive at the port of Yichang. To make sure you book the ship that’s right for you, here is a site where you can find out more about what the various ships offer. We went with President No. 7 and would absolutely recommend. The food was excellent, our accommodations clean and highly comfortable, and the crew was wonderful.*

*We needed to book transportation to get to our train upon departure from the cruise, and together with our local guide for the day, our cruise director and she diligently worked to secure us a car.

Must know – itineraries

Your itinerary will vary based on the ship you go with, but we truly preferred ours as they included a number of great excursions as well as daily cultural activities on board. Here are a few things we loved and recommend:

On board
  • Daily tai chi classes are available – although very early! Our ship held them every morning at 6:30am! Too early for us but nice to know you could join if you’d have liked.
  • Májiàng class. This is a common Chinese game, frequently played in tea houses throughout China. The ship is furnished with Májiàng tables and the crew offers a class to teach you the basics.
  • Snuff bottle painting cultural lecture
  • Chinese silk embroidery demonstration (sounds boring but was actually pretty interesting!). This is a diminishing but highly detailed art form, now mostly being passed down through generations. The explanation was interesting, and the examples of double-sided embroideries were extraordinary! Note: Might not be a “guy” thing!
Excursions*
  • The 12-story pagoda at Shibaozhai. Traverse over the “drunken bridge” to climb the narrow wooden steps of this 300+ year old wooden 12-story pagoda. Once you’ve reached the top, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view of the glistening Yangtze River below.
  • Ride a traditional wooden “pea-pod” boat down the Shennong Stream. This is a beautifully serene ride down a narrow stream, atop teal blue waters with massive cliffs on either side.

*These excursions were all included as part of our cruise, but there were other excursions we could have added on if we had liked.

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