Yangtze River - Best Tours & Trips 2019

58 Yangtze River tours from 35 tour companies. 59 reviews. 4.7/5 avg rating.
Flowing through the heart of China, the 4,000-mile-long Yangtze River offers a relaxing route of escape from the country's urban traffic and air pollution. Many Yangtze itineraries spend about nine days on the river and several more days in Shanghai and Beijing, one at the start and the other at the end of your voyage, depending on your itinerary. The cruises all stop at the Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest hydro-electric dam ... Read More
All Yangtze River cruises, tours, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages.
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Travel Style Travel Style Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.

Trip Type Trip Type Group 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 Tour 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 Ship 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 Guided 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.
Self Guided / Independent Tour 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 Ship 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.

Itinerary Focus

Lodging Level Lodging Level 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 From*

$ 470 $ 10,000+

Price Per Day

Trip Length

Countries

Physical Level Physical Level 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.

Travel Theme

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Rivers & Seas

Cities & Attractions

Activities

Solo Friendly Solo Friendly 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.

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Imperial Jewels of China

Viking River Cruises
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
13 days
$ 263 / day
$ 3,417
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
Highlights
  • Explore cosmopolitan Shanghai, imperial treasures like the Great Wall and Forbidden City in Beijing, and cruise the wildly beautiful Three Gorges region of the legendary Yangtze.
  • Visit the Great wall of China and explore its winding pathways and marvel
  • Visit Shibaozhai Temple, a 12-story pavilion built in 1650 along the Yangtze. 
  • See Old Shanghai and travel along the elegant Bund, stopping to admire some of its historic buildings and city views.
Visits:
Beijing, Great Wall of China, Shanghai, Terra Cotta Warriors, The Forbidden City, Three Gorges, Xian, China
View Trip

China & Yangtze River Cruise with Hong Kong

SmarTours
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
17 days
$ 176 / day
$ 2,999
From : $ 7,897
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Visit the Tiananmen Square (Beijing)
  • See the Great Wall (Beijing)
  • Learn about the Terra Cotta Soldiers (Xian)
  • See The Bund (Shanghai)
  • Enjoy an Yangtze River Cruise
  • Li River (Guilin)
  • See spectacular city view from Victoria Peak (Hong Kong)
Visits:
Yangtze River, China
View Trip

Three Gorges Highlights: Chongqing to Yichang

Victoria Cruises
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4 days
$ 245 / day
$ 980
From : $ 1,323
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Explore Chongqing, the “Mountain City”
  • Visit Shibaozhai and Fengdu’s “Ghost City”
  • Explore The Three Gorges.
Visits:
Chongqing, Yangtze River, Yichang, China
View Trip

17 Day Cultural China & Yangtze River Gold Ex ...

Pacific Delight Tours
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
18 days
$ 306 / day
$ 5,499
From : $ 6,269
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
Highlights
  • Visit some of China's most treasured UNESCO World Heritage sites including Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Beijing's 700-year-old Hutongs and Drum Tower
  • Visit to the renowned Great Wall of China
  • See the extraordinary Terracotta Warriors
  • Enjoy a traditional performance of music and dance from the Tang Dynasty period
  • Discover some of China's priceless pieces of ancient art at the Shanghai museum
Visits:
Beijing, Chongqing, Great Wall of China, Shanghai, Terra Cotta Warriors, The Forbidden City, Three Gorges Dam, Tiananmen Square, Victoria Peak, Xian, Yangtze River, Yichang, China, Hong Kong
View Trip

Family China & the Yangtze

Abercrombie & Kent
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
12 days
$ 500 / day
$ 5,995
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
Highlights
  • Embark on a three-night cruise upon the Yangtze River aboard all-balcony Sanctuary 'Yangzi Explorer'
  • Cruise with an A&K Young Explorers Guide who leads young guests in fun, age-appropriate learning activities, such as Mandarin lessons, crafts and games
  • Walk atop the less-visited Mutianyu section of the Great Wall - if you like, hop on a toboggan and ride back down
  • Visit giant pandas roaming freely in their natural habitat
  • Enjoy a dumpling-making demonstration for a unique Chef's Table experience
  • Stop at a pottery factory where you make your own miniature terra cotta soldier on a fun artisan visit
  • Ride Like a Local in a pedicab in Beijing through a hutong
Visits:
Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Great Wall of China, Shanghai, Terra Cotta Warriors, The Forbidden City, Three Gorges Dam, Xian, Yangtze River, Yichang, China
View Trip

Classic China & the Yangtze

14 days
$ 292 / day
$ 4,184
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Beijing touring, including Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, Great Wall
  • Beijing hutong tour and home visit
  • Traditional Peking Duck dinner
  • Xian’s Terra Cotta Warriors
  • Three-night Yangtze River cruise including Three Gorges and Smaller Gorges
  • Cruise aboard Premier Ship of Victoria Cruises
  • Included shore excursions
  • Visit to site of new Three Gorges Dam
  • Shanghai sightseeing: acclaimed Shanghai Museum, the Bund, Yu Yuan Gardens
Visits:
Beijing, Chongqing, Great Wall of China, Nanjing, Shanghai, Terra Cotta Warriors, The Forbidden City, Three Gorges Dam, Tiananmen Square, Xian, Yangtze River, Yichang, China
View Trip

Pandas & Yangtze Cruise

Travel China Guide
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
16 days
$ 179 / day
$ 2,859
From : $ 3,898
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Must-see sights - the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Army, Giant Pandas 
  • Fantastic cruise tour on the Li River from Guilin to rural Yangshuo 
  • Have a once in a lifetime chance to get close to the incredibly cute treasure -Pandas 
  • Take in the impressive skylines of Shanghai as you walk along the Bund
Visits:
Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Great Wall of China, Guilin, Shanghai, Terra Cotta Warriors, The Forbidden City, Xian, Yangtze River, Yichang, China
View Trip

Golden Triangle & Yangtze

Travel China Guide
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
11 days
$ 139 / day
$ 1,529
From : $ 2,418
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Must-see sights in China - the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Warriors 
  • Unwind with a Yangtze River cruise tour & see the Three Gorges 
  • Take in the impressive skylines of Shanghai as you walk along the Bund 
  • Walk into a local Chinese family, interact & dine with the hosts in their home
Visits:
Beijing, Chongqing, Great Wall of China, Shanghai, Terra Cotta Warriors, The Forbidden City, Xian, Yichang, China
View Trip

Private Guided China Delights

Travel China Guide
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
11 days
$ 177 / day
$ 1,949
From : $ 3,327
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Must-see sights in China - Mutianyu Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Army

  • Walk into a local Chinese family, interact & dine with the hosts in their home
  • Try biking on the Ming Dynasty City Wall of Xi'an, or tour by electric car
  • Cruise on the Huangpu River to take in the impressive skylines of Shanghai
Visits:
Beijing, Guilin, Shanghai, The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Xian, China
View Trip

Impression China

Travel China Guide
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
14 days
$ 161 / day
$ 2,249
From : $ 3,198
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Must-see sights - the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Army, Giant Pandas 
  • See the giant pandas up close in the Panda Breeding and Research Center 
  • Soften and scent your body from head to toe on Yangtze River cruise 
  • Walk into a local Chinese family, interact & dine with the hosts in their home
Visits:
Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Great Wall of China, Shanghai, Terra Cotta Warriors, The Forbidden City, Xian, China
View Trip

China, Tibet & the Yangtze

14 days
$ 543 / day
$ 7,599
From : $ 9,347
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Visits:
Beijing, Lhasa, Shanghai, Tibet, Three Gorges, China
View Trip

Grand China & the Yangtze

18 days
$ 611 / day
$ 10,999
From : $ 13,529
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Visits:
Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, China
View Trip

Highlights of China & the Yangtze

11 days
$ 636 / day
$ 6,999
From : $ 8,609
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Visits:
Beijing, Shanghai, China
View Trip

Essential China

G Adventures
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
21 days
$ 136 / day
$ 2,849
From : $ 3,846
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Bargain in bustling markets
  • Walk the great wall and explore the forbidden city
  • Stand face-to-face with terracotta warriors
  • Visit a panda sanctuary
  • Cruise the yangtze
  • Ride a bamboo raft through yangshuo's karst landscape
Visits:
Beijing, Chengdu, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Three Gorges, Tiananmen Square, Yangshuo, Yangtze River, Yichang, Nanjing, Victoria, Victoria Peak, China
View Trip

Iconic China: Beijing to Tibet

G Adventures
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
15 days
$ 235 / day
$ 3,524
From : $ 4,335
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Enjoy a performance of shadow puppetry
  • Learn how to make tibetan momos (beef dumplings)
  • Get up close and personal with pandas at a sichuan breeding centre
  • Take in thangka art at a tibetan academy in lhasa
  • Cruise the mighty yangtze river on a luxury riverboat
Visits:
Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Lhasa, Potala Palace, Shanghai, Three Gorges, Three Gorges Dam, Tiananmen Square, Tibet, Yangtze River, Himalayas, Silk Road, The Forbidden City, Victoria, China
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Top Yangtze River Experiences and Attractions

Yangtze River Trip Reviews

59 Yangtze River Tour Reviews - Summary 100% Recommend

4.7 out of 5
Excellent 41
Great 18
Average 0
Disappointing 0
Terrible 0
Value
4.7
Guide
4.7
Activities
4.7
Lodging
4.7
Transportation
4.7
Meals
4.7

Tour Reviews Write a Review

Fabulous China trip

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

On October 13, 2016, we left for our trip to China & the Yangtze River Cruise. 27 people who couldn't wait to meet each other and most of all our tour guide, Mark Ma. To say that he's the best would be an understatement. Our trip was fabulous from the moment we met him til we boarded the plane, homeward bound. His knowledge of China is vast and his English is perfect. This is my 3rd trip with Smart Tours and I love traveling with them. The price is unbeatable for what we always get. From hotels, to transportation, tours and food Smart Tours can't be beat. The trip is physically demanding but the upside is I lost 6 pounds from so much walking. I can't wait for my next trip. Thanks!!

Read more
Operator SmarTours

China's Hidden Gem

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

While China is a very hectic, very overwhelming country, it is also a country filled with incredible natural beauty. For the average tourist, these beautiful sites are largely inaccessible or extremely difficult to access due to a combination of language barriers and lack of public transportation. One of these gorgeous areas is located between Yichang and Chongqing: the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River.

With this in mind, many cruise companies have begun offering multi-day trips down the Yangtze River, making the relatively inaccessible easily accessible. One such cruise company is Victoria Cruises. They have a range of vessels and itineraries to suit one’s needs. We decided to hop aboard their most prestigious boat, the Victoria Jenna, for a five night/four day cruise luxurious cruise through the gorges. Newly renovated this year, the ship exudes class and comfort.

The rooms aboard the Victoria Jenna were clean and quite spacious considering we were on a ship. To compliment the five-star standard within the rooms itself, the Victoria Jenna offered ample facilities for it’s guests. Whether you want to lounge on the rooftop or grab a drink at the lovely Yangtze Club bar, there’s something for everyone. The dining options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner were fantastic; the Victoria Jenna offered an array of food from Asian to Western cuisine.

Of course, one of the main reason people cruise is for the excursions. We were lucky enough to go on all of the included and optional tours offered on the Victoria Jenna, and I’m thrilled that we did. They outsource local guides that are truly knowledgable about each and every site.

Last but not least, I was astounded by the staff; never have I seen a staff so attentive and friendly. A very special shoutout goes to Dick, our Cruise Director, who made sure that everything we needed was taken care of; Steven, our River Guide, who not only knew the in’s and out’s of the Yangtze, but also taught Mahjong and Chinese 101, on top of playing MC for the week; and Maggie, our fantastic waitress for every meal in the Executive Lounge, who not only knew us by name, but knew all of our food and drink preferences as well.

I wouldn't cruise down the river with any company other than Victoria Cruises! It was truly the highlight of my month-long journey in China.

Thanks again!
Sarah

Founder, The Five Foot Traveler

Read more
Operator Victoria Cruises

A trip of a lifetime enhanced by the input of a brilliant CEO who was extremely knowledgeable of all aspects of her job

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

A trip of a lifetime enhanced by the input of a brilliant CEO who was extremely knowledgeable of all aspects of her job. Saw some wonderful sights met the nicest of travelling partners and survived the challenge of so many different foods and meeting so, so many natives.

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Operator G Adventures

Awesome China

4.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0

SHANGHAI Hotel: Excellent. Shanghai Tours: Excellent. BEIJING Hotel: Excellent. Beijing Tours: Excellent

Read more
Operator SmarTours

Excellent intro to china

4.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0

Excellent intro to china

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Operator G Adventures

Beautiful, fun, great-value river cruise on the Yang-Tze River

4.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0

We had a great time on this cruise. My wife and I chose this as the end of our 3 week adventurous honeymoon throughout Western rural china. It was also our first river cruise. We'll definitely be doing another.

Overall, the ship we were on, the Victoria Liana, was a little old. Still very nice and comfortable but some of the floors (decks) were slightly warped, some of the furnishings were a bit worn. Normal wear and tear. Nothing to make it look shabby but it also did not look 5 start ultimate luxury.

The price was right - compared to other trips we saw we got an amazing deal. We also got an even better deal because on entering the ship they tried to upsell us a suite. We did the tour, they give us a price, I counter-offered about 1/4 of that and they said no. I told them that we were happy to stay in the regular cabin but if no other guests offered to pay more for the Presidential suite, then our offer still stood. Sure enough, shortly before leaving port the Front Desk Manager told us we could have the suite for the price we offered. What a deal!

For about $200 more, total, we got a private whole deck to our selves in the bow with our own lounge chairs, a large living room with huge windows on 2 sides and a nice bedroom. It really made the trip awesome. Especially since the top outside deck looked like it got crowded when going through some of the most scenic areas. the privacy, especially on our honeymoon was appreciated.

Overall, the staff was very friendly and polite and spoke good english, or good enough. Everyone was local chinese except for a the Cruise Director who was a Bulgarian woman with excellent english skills. Some of the attractions and day tours were included and some were optional and extra charge, though not outrageously priced like some other cruises we've heard about.

I would be mindful of ordering wine as we got a bottle of white that was from 2003. No bueno. Other than that, food was decent. All the western tourists - about 35 in total - ate in a separate dining room. Buffet. There were also about 200 or so local Chinese passengers. I assume they paid a cheaper 'local' price but they all ate in a much larger dining room and had a different local chinese menu. It felt slightly weird being segregated that way but not too awkard.

The views were amazing. Watching peaceful countryside, farms, then highrise mini cities, then gorges and mountains go by was interesting, entertaining and relaxing.

They had some nightly entertainment which the staff put on which was enjoyable if not a highlight.

Overall we had a great voyage and are glad we selected this company. There are definitely more luxurious options but we got a huge bang for our buck and really enjoyed the trip.

Read more
Operator Victoria Cruises

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.

Three Gorges

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.

Cruise Lengths

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.

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