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China River Cruises

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China Travel Guide

You can see the cultural and historic sites of China on one of three major rivers - the Yangtze River, Li River, or Huangpu River. If you are a first-time visitor to China, take one of the Yangtze River cruise tours, as you will see more of the famous historical and natural sites of China, such as the Three Gorges Dam and China's Great Wall. Tours of this type usually last about 11 days. The Yangtze River, also known as the Yangzi River, flows 3,914 miles eastward to the East China Sea. The longest river in Asia, the Yangtze is also the longest stream to flow completely through one country. The river begins in the Tanggula Mountains, ascending at Jari Hill. With river cruise volume buys plus our low everyday prices you can save up to 50% versus the brochure price! Book your China river cruise today with AffordableTours.com, your discounted river cruise headquarters.

China Travel Guide
Showing 1 - 13 River Cruises

River Cruises

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Showing 1 - 13 River Cruises

Sail Date Operator Ship Departs Returns Length Price
Mar 08, 2021ScenicScenic SpiritHanoiShanghai31$14,695
Mar 22, 2021ScenicScenic SpiritHanoiShanghai31$13,795
Aug 18, 2021UniworldSanctuary Yangzi ExplorerBeijingShanghai14$7,799
Aug 20, 2021UniworldSanctuary Yangzi ExplorerBeijingHong Kong18$8,799
Aug 27, 2021UniworldSanctuary Yangzi ExplorerBeijingHong Kong18$8,799
Aug 28, 2021UniworldSanctuary Yangzi ExplorerBeijingShanghai11$5,699
Sep 01, 2021UniworldSanctuary Yangzi ExplorerBeijingShanghai14$7,799
Sep 03, 2021UniworldSanctuary Yangzi ExplorerBeijingHong Kong18$8,799
Sep 10, 2021UniworldSanctuary Yangzi ExplorerBeijingHong Kong18$8,799
Sep 11, 2021UniworldSanctuary Yangzi ExplorerBeijingShanghai11$5,699
Sep 18, 2021UniworldSanctuary Yangzi ExplorerBeijingShanghai11$5,699
Sep 25, 2021UniworldSanctuary Yangzi ExplorerBeijingShanghai11$5,699
Oct 09, 2021UniworldSanctuary Yangzi ExplorerBeijingShanghai11$5,699

China Travel Guide

China River Cruises Highlights

  • All meals included in the river cruise package
  • Nicely appointed river cruise ship accommodations
  • Professional English-speaking tour guides/drivers
  • Travel accident and casualty insurance (for specialized tours)
  • Luggage transfers between airports/hotels
  • Wi-Fi and Internet access onboard
  • High-speed train transport to Xian from Beijing
  • A visit to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China in Beijing
  • Tours of three major Chinese cities – Beijing, Chongqing, and Shanghai

China River Cruises Travel Tips

  • For the best scenery and weather, plan your China river cruise along the Yangtze River in the spring (from April to May) or in the autumn (September to November).
  • The cities along the Yangtze River include Shanghai, Wuhan, and Chongqing (where the river cruise usually begins), or Yichang or Shanghai (where the river cruise typically ends).
  • Most of the river cruises offer rail/air travel to get to major cities from and to river cruise ports.
  • Pack only what you will need. Therefore, make sure you have a passport or birth certificate with raised seal, photo I.D., and the basics, such as suntan lotion/oil (with a sun protection rating or SPR of at least 15), toothbrush/toothpaste, brush/comb, aspirin, shaver, and hygiene items. 
  • Take a camera that will give you high-resolution and professional shots of the attractions and scenery.
  • Purchase a universal plug adapter to stay connected.
  • Daywear and sightseeing apparel should be conservative and include a lightweight windbreaker (when traveling in the spring or fall); comfortable walking shoes or sandals, t-shirts, jeans, or lightweight slacks, shirts, or blouses.
  • You will have to take off your shoes, including socks, when visiting Buddhist temples.
  • Dresses and pantsuits should be worn by ladies, and jackets with ties should be worn by men at formal onboard dinners.
  • Small group tours include 1 to 18 people and mini-group river cruises accommodate 1 to 6 people.

China River Cruises Things To Do

  • Beijing
    Beijing

    As the capital of China, Beijing provides several main attractions that should be included on any river cruise tour of China. The sprawling city's history stretches back to ancient times (about 3 millennia). Yet the Chinese metropolis is known as much for its modern skyline as it is for its grand historic sites.  

    Best Time To Visit

    Visit Beijing in the spring or fall, when the temperatures are pleasant and the weather is sunnier.  

     

    You Should Know

    The Great Wall of China spans 13,171 miles. The "Wall" represents several fortification networks that were built across China's northern borders to safeguard Chinese empires and states against nomadic tribes. It was opened to tourists in 1957. The Summer Palace is made up of a large series of gardens, lakes, and palatial buildings. Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake are the most popular sections at the site. Motorists find that it is easier to get around by bike than by car during "rush" hour.  

  • Xian
    Xian

    River cruise guests usually take a high-speed train from Beijing to Xian during this part of their river cruise China tour. Xian's history spans back three millennia, which makes Xian one of the few cities in the world to have this distinction. China's Silk Road also begins in Xian City.  

    Best Time To Visit

    The fall and spring offer visitors better sightseeing opportunities and temperatures.  

     

    You Should Know

    Xian is home to the funerary statuary known as the Terracotta Army – sculptures that depict armies of the first Chinese Emperor, Qin Shi Huang. The relics were created to protect the ruler in the afterlife. Savor Biangbiang noodles and guan tang baozi in Xian eateries.  

  • Chongqing
    Chongqing

    From Xian, visitors normally travel by high-speed rail to the city of Chongqing, the true beginning point for river cruising down the Yangtze River. Chongqing is the third-largest city in China and sits in the center of a narrow peninsula. It is surrounded by the Jialing and Yangtze rivers. Two main pedestrian areas make Chongqing walker-friendly and its sites easily accessible. Its epicenter is Jiefangbei Square.  

    Best Time To Visit

    Visit Chongqing during the more temperate times of the year, or the spring and fall.  

     

    You Should Know

    Although Chongqing, at first sight, may appear to be a concrete jungle, it is also home to Eling Park, set on a hill in the narrowest part of the city's peninsula. The park is known for its viewing platform, covered bridge, and lake. The city's Nanshan Botanical Garden is famed for its large garden of Camellia flowers. The city is known for its Fuling pickle, or zha cai, which is regularly eaten here.

  • Three Gorges Dam
    Three Gorges Dam

    This concrete gravity dam is 7,660 feet in length and rises 607 feet. Approximately 37 million cubic yards of concrete and 463,000 metric tons of steel make up the structure. Because it submerges vast areas of the Wu, Xiling, and Qutang gorges for almost 400 miles upstream, the dam's resulting reservoir allows oceangoing ships to navigate inland from Shanghai to Chongqing.  

    Best Time To Visit

    The best seasons to visit the 3 Rivers Gorge Dam is during the spring or fall when the days are clearer and the temperatures are pleasant.  

     

    You Should Know

    The dam is the most productive hydroelectric dam worldwide, with the capacity to generate approximately 22,500 watts of electricity.  

  • Ghost City of Fengdu
    Ghost City of Fengdu

    The Fengdu Ghost City is usually the first spot that a river cruise ship coming from Chongqing will visit. The site used to be a burial area with shrines and temples and a small town. However, because of the building of the 3 Gorges Dam, the ghostly city is now underwater. Nevertheless, a hill and several temples remain behind the dam, which still can be seen.  

    Best Time To Visit

    Plan your sojourn during the months of April or May or September/October.  

     

    You Should Know

    The Door of Hell at the site features brightly painted images on frescoes about demons, including statuary. According to Chinese legend, Fengdu is the place where the devil resides. Spirits in the afterlife either go to Heaven or Fengdu.

  • Fuling
    Fuling

    Sitting at the confluence of the Yangtze and Wu rivers, Fuling is located in the southeastern part of Chongqing municipality and was once the capital of the Ba Kingdom.  

    Best Time To Visit

    Visit Fuling during the spring or fall, when the temperatures are pleasant.  

     

    You Should Know

    Yutai Shan ("Rain Platform" Mountain), was once a place where ancient people prayed for rain. The site is close to Wulong County, reputed to be a national geological park.

  • Wuhan
    Wuhan

    Located on the central plain of China next to the Yangtze River, Wuhan was the most prosperous city in this part of China in the late 1800s. It is now known as a major economic, cultural, financial, transportation, and educational hub.  

    Best Time To Visit

    To take advantage of a more pleasant climate, visit the city in the spring or fall.  

     

    You Should Know

    Jade sculptures and silk flowers are popular souvenirs. Take a long walk in the East Lake ecological scenic area, which is also home to China's largest city lake.

  • Shanghai
    Shanghai

    Shanghai is both a financial and cultural mecca. It features traditional gardens, ancient sites, and some of the tallest buildings in the world. The Bund in Shanghai oozes energy similar to London and New York City. The city boasts its own cuisine and dialect and is home to two large international airports. You can tour the Yangtze Delta for up to six days, visa-free when visiting Shanghai. From the city, it is easy to take a river cruise or bullet train to other ports or attractions in China.  

    Best Time To Visit

    Plan your Shanghai visit for the spring or fall.    

     

    You Should Know

    The top TripAdvisor activity is strolling the Bund promenade, featuring beautiful skyline views of the city's skyscrapers and colonial-era structures. Visit Zhujiajiao Water Town, with its bridges, canals, and architecture – a place where you can take a trip to the countryside.  

China River Cruises When To Visit

Quick Facts

Typically, fall and spring are the best times to see China on a river cruise, as the temperatures are milder and it is easier to see the sights. Just make sure you avoid travel around the first of May, which is China's Labor Holiday, or during the last part of September, up to mid-October. This is when the country's National Holiday takes place, so there are more crowds.

  • Summer - June to August - Best Season

    If you want to visit when there are fewer crowds and wish to take a family river cruise holiday, you might consider the summer, from June to August. While it is hot during this time, there are also fewer tourists. China river cruise boats feature temperature-controlled air so you will experience less discomfort.

  • Winter - December to February - Low Season

    If you wish to travel when the river cruise prices are at their lowest, you might consider traveling during the first part of winter. It is especially auspicious to travel in December when the Three Gorges flame red with its mountains of crimson leaves. However, low water levels also mean fewer river cruise sailings along the Yangtze River.

China River Cruises Frequently Asked Questions

What Are China River Cruises?

Typically, China river cruises are China tours scheduled along the Yangtze River. They normally begin and end in the major cities of Beijing and Shanghai. The river cruise tours include travel by train to destinations, such as Xian, and give tourists the ability to experience natural sights, such as the Three Gorges Dam, or visit river cities, such as Chongqing.

What’s Included on China River Cruises?

When you take a China river cruise, you get to take off-shore excursions conducted by a professional, English-speaking guide. You can also customize your river cruise trip and take a group river cruise journey. Mini river cruise groups comprise one to 6 passengers, while larger groups may have up to 18 travelers. During your journey, you will receive all your meals free and have Wi-Fi and Internet access.

What’s the Best River Cruise of China River Cruises?

You can choose from a variety of China river cruise offerings online. The best river cruise holiday is one that fits with your travel needs, personally and financially. To learn more about a tour's amenities, work with AffordableTours.com to get more information about pricing and the best times to go.

How Much Do China River Cruises Cost?

A river cruise trip price depends on the length of the river cruise, the type of river cruise, the cabin you select, and the season in which you travel. During the spring or fall, expect to pay $350 per person per day for a more luxurious trip lasting about a week or a little longer.

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