Yangtze River - Best Tours & Trips 2019
Classic Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Guided Experiences Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ocean Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Tour Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Independent Package A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ocean Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.
Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Price Per Day
Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.
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Rivers & Seas
Cities & Attractions
Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.
Flights & Transport
Continents & Regions
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Yangtze River Trip Reviews
59 Yangtze River Tour Reviews - Summary 100% Recommend
Yangtze River Tours and Travel Guide
Yangtze River Attractions & Landmarks Guide
The Yangtze River flows for nearly 4,000 miles through the heart of China, essentially dividing the country between north and south and offering a relaxing way to escape China’s traffic-choked streets and urban air pollution. The full-length river cruises cover about 1,400 miles of the 4,000.
You don't have to miss out on China’s two major cities: many cruise itineraries start either in Beijing, China’s capital, or Shanghai, its most vibrant city. Yangtze River cruise itineraries often include multi-day visits to both on either end of the river voyage.
If you start in Shanghai, you can explore both old colonial-era Shanghai, along the waterfront Bund District, as well as the ultra-modern new city (using your ship as hotel and restaurant). If you start in Beijing, sightseeing includes the 15th-century-era imperial Forbidden City, huge Tiananmen Square -- regarded as the center of the Middle Kingdom -- and a trip to see part of the Great Wall, which lies outside the city.
Once on the cruise itself, the itinerary may include a stop in the ancient Chinese capital of Nanjing and another at Suzhou, known as the “Venice of the East” for its network of canals.
Yangtze cruises of whatever length all stop at the Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest hydro-electric dam project. While extremely controversial during its construction because it displaced more than a million people -- as well as flooding archaeological sites and altering the landscape of the scenic Three Gorges -- it's still an engineering marvel.
The ships all sail in daylight through the Three Gorges, which, though flooded by the dam and are now a reservoir, remain a scenic wonder. The Three Gorges are Xiling -- the longest -- Wu (which includes the gorgeous 12 Peaks), and Qutang, where you'll pass by sheer cliffs.
The river ships typically stop at villages along the route to visit pagodas, sacred mountains and other sites.
Some itineraries cover just the distance between Chongging and Yichang, which includes the Three Gorges. These take four or five days, depending on whether you're traveling downstream or upstream (Chongqing to Yichang is downstream and the faster trip).
Some longer Yangtze itineraries (approximately 11 to 16 days), will split more land time with time afloat.
All Yangtze River cruises, tours, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.7 for all Yangtze River trips.