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China Yangtze River Cruise & Three Gorges Tour (I)

Yangtze River Cruise Tour

When planning to take a Yangtze River cruise tour, you must choose an optimal time to go. So it's important to know the weather of Yangtze River ahead of time when planning to travel there. The high season of Yangtze River cruise tours are in April, May, June, September, and October which is around spring or autumn. More tourists travel to the Yangtze River during these months. If any, the other months of the year are called shoulder season. However, the season division will vary according to the different cruise lines.

Usually in summer, it often rains heavily. So high water is common between July and September. People often thought of this period as the high water season or flood season. On the contrary, people regard winter season from October to December as the low water season or dry season because there is less rainfall. When you have a cruising itinerary in hand, you may find a note that says “You will visit the Gorges off the Daning River or Shenlong Stream depending on the river’s water conditions.”

Yangtze River Cruise Lines

Yangtze River has different cruise lines for tourists to travel. Generally speaking, Yangtze River is divided into two lines: upstream and downstream cruises.

The tourists going upstream can travel from the lower part of the river, such as Wuhan, Shashi or Yichang, to the upper part of the river, such as Chongqing and Fengjie. This line fits for the people who want to enjoy the scenery and take photos. The speed of this cruise route is only between 15 to 18 kilometers per hour. It’s much slower so that people can have enough time to enjoy themselves. This line’s price is also lower than that of downstream.

Contrary to the upstream, tourists traveling the downstream can travel from the upper part of the river, such as Chongqing and Fengjie, down to the lower part of the river, such as Wuhan, Shashi or Yichang. This line fits for the people who want to enjoy the shore excursion. The speed of this line is between 28 to 30 kilometers per hour. It’s faster than that of upstream so that tourist can view more scenic areas. The price of cruising downstream costs more than that of upstream.

yangtze river cruise

Popular Yangtze River Cruise Tour Lines

1. Yangtze River Cruise from Chongqing to Wuhan

Many people consider this cruise line as the most popular plan for tourists to travel. It should take you six days and five nights going upstream and four days and three to four nights going downstream. By traveling this route, you can see the wonderful Three Gorges, great Dam, Jingzhou (Shashi) and beautiful Wuhan.

Jingzhou (Shashi) is an old city, which is a historical and cultural city, while Wuhan is an important industrial and commercial center in the central part of China. Between Chongqing and Wuhan, there are several major cities in China. Tourists on-board can have enough time to enjoy the entertainment and see more Chinese culture-feature programs, such as Chinese painting, Martial arts, Finger-boxing classes. Therefore, this line is a favorite choice for tourists. Because of its popularity, the pricing of this cruise route is also higher.

2. Traveling from Chongqing to Yichang

3. Traveling from Chongqing to Jingzhou (Shashi)

These two lines are shorter compared to the cruise from Chongqing to Wuhan. The second line often takes four days and three nights in the upstream and three days and two nights in the downstream. The third line often takes five days and four nights in the upstream and three days and two nights going downstream.

Though their prices are lower, they still include all the major Yangtze river scenic spots just like the first line’s, such as the Three Gorges and the Great Dam. However, the main difference among the three lines is that the cruise does not pass the few major cities between the Chongqing to Wuhan cruise route.

Yangtze River Scenery - Daning & Shibaozhai

Cruising on the Yangtze river, you can enjoy the many beautiful scenic spots the river has to offer. Daning river is the first big branch stream in the Three Gorges. It goes through Wuxi and Wushan County in Sichuan Province. Over the Daning River, Longmen Gorge, Bawu Gorge and Dicui Gorge compose of a three gorges called “Little Three Gorges”. Its scenery is more beautiful than Big Three Gorges. So there is an old saying that goes, “The mountains and waters of Big Three Gorges is famous in the world, while the mountains and waters of Danning River is the most famous in the Big Three Gorges".

Longmen Gorge is also named Luomen Gorge. It is 3km long, which is the first gorge in Daning River and in Little Three Gorges. Bawu Gorge is the second gorge of the Little Three Gorges, which is 10km long. Finally, Cuidi Gorge is the third and the longest gorge of the Little Three Gorges, with a distance of 20km.

Shibaozhai is located in the north side of Yangtze River of Zhongxian County in Chongqing City. It’s said that in the ancient times, the fairy Nvwo left a five-colored stone when she was flying the sky. That stone she left is called “Shibao" (Stone Jewel). At the end of Ming Dynasty, a historical man Tanhong used this place as his camp. From then on, this scenery is named “Shibaozhai (Stone Jewel Camp)”.

White Emperor City (Baidi) lies on the north side of Yangtze River in Qutang Gorge Mouth. It’s said Gongsunshu presided himself as emperor at the end of Xihan. He often saw some white fog on a wall and it looked like a white dragon, so he called himself White Emperor. And then, he made this area as his capital.

After that, this city was named the “White Emperor City”. The White Emperor city is often associated with well-known poets such as Libai, Dufu, Baijuyi, LiuYuxi, Sushi and so on. All of them had written many beautiful poems about this place.

Continue to Part 2 >>

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