A Yangtze cruise is the best way to experience the legendary Yangtze River. As the third longest river in the world after the Nile and Amazon, the 6,300 km Yangtze plunges from the Tibetan plateau to flow through the exquisitely beautiful and dramatic Three Gorges region on its way to Shanghai ending in the East China Sea. A Yangtze river cruise will take you through a variety of beautiful areas in the region, giving you a closer look at the many faces of China.
Yangtze River cruise travelers will be happy to learn that the Yangtze’s Three Gorges region boasts some of the world’s most spectacular landscapes, with misty mountains, breathtaking gorges, lush green bamboo groves and serene riverbanks. Along its long and winding course lie some of China’s greatest cultural treasures and natural wonders. It bisects the country and has historically marked the division between north and south China.
The most dramatic part of the River is the Three Gorges region; all Yangtze cruise itineraries include a cruise along this 240 km stretch. The three larger gorges on the Yangtze are the Qutang Gorge, the shortest and narrowest of the three with the most spectacular scenery; the Wu Gorge, noted for its magnificent lush green mountains frequently shrouded in mist, and the Xiling Gorge, at 75 km the longest of the three, with narrow, precipitous cliffs. In addition to the three large gorges, you will take a special cruise boat up the Daning River through the Lesser Three Gorges or along the narrow Shennong Stream. Narrower than the great gorges, the canyon scenery is even more dramatic, and Yangtze River cruise travelers can see a number of historical sites along the way like hanging coffins and the ancient plank road carved into the cliffside. The Three Gorges experience on your Yangtze cruise also includes a visit to the dramatic 12-story red Shibaozhai Temple perched alongside the Yangtze, and a tour of the immense Three Gorges Dam project site and museum.
The Three Gorges Dam, was originally envisioned by China’s first president Sun Yat-sen, to help control flooding along the Yangtze River, which had been a major problem for people living nearby. The rainy season in China is May - June south of the Yangtze River and July - August north of it, creating a four-month flooding season. Touring the Three Gorges Dam is one of the highlights of any Yangtze River cruise; because of the monumental scale and ambitious nature of the project.
Cuisine on the Yangtze River ships is a highly praised dining experience and is reflective of China’s ever rich culinary landscape, with a fusion of western dishes. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all western and Chinese buffets, all served in the single-seating main restaurants, with marvelous picture windows, which invite the dramatic scenery of the Yangtze.
Generally, complimentary bottles of water are supplied in your stateroom each day on each boat.
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner on board are all western and Chinese buffets.
- Special dietary requirements, such as diabetic or vegetarian, are accepted on board, but need to be
advised in advance at time of booking.
- Meal time will be posted in a daily events schedule distributed to each cabin.
- The legal drinking age on New Century Cruises ships is 18 years old.
Check-in time on board
While the crew is preparing staterooms for arriving guests, you can relax in the ship’s lounge or leave your luggage with the staff and explore the embarkation city on your own.
Entertainment & culture programs on board are very colorful, including: Yangtze River Briefing, Culture lectures, along with an assortment of the following activities - Feature Films, Tai Chi, Chinese Calligraphy, Mahjong, Chinese Folk Dance, Chinese Cooking Lessons and Kite Flying.
The ship shopping arcades have a wide variety of Chinese gifts and souvenirs for family, friends or personal collections, as well as useful select toiletries. Some ships also offer a tailor who offers custom-made silk jackets and dresses, neckties and other items.
Most ships offer Massages, Reading Rooms and Beauty Salons onbaord where you can totally relax yourself after a shore excursion or kill your time in the afternoon. Lounges, bars on board are good choices to meet new friends.
International / local phone calls and faxes are available at the reception desk and the Business Center on all ships. Each ship is also equipped with Internet access and an Internet cafe on board. All of these services are fee-based and you can sign these charges to your account and settle them at the end of the voyage.
Water: Drinkable water is offered through the cabin thermos and complimentary bottled water. Please do not drink the tap water.
Electricity: Onboard electricity is 220 volts throughout all ships staterooms will have one or two 115V outlets for North American guests to use with shavers, etc., in the bathroom and/or desk area. Rooms generally have a combination of plug configurations but the standard Chinese three pin design is the most usual which is also used in Australia and New Zealand.
The onboard language is English. Your Tour Escort, Program Director, key staff and tour guides all speak English.
Dress aboard and ashore is casual and suggest you dress comfortably and bring sturdy walking shoes for sightseeing excursions. Dinner attire is “evening casual,” and the Captain’s Dinner is dressy, but not formal.
Some ships have some fitness equipment. Guests enjoy getting their exercise during daily shore excursions, and promenade decks provide opportunities for “power walks” while enjoying the scenery.
Laundry services are available for a fee but dry cleaning is not available onboard.
In China there is a small clinic and a physician onboard your ship, however the physician may not speak fluent English. A staff member fluent in English will assist you. If you are feeling ill, inform the Reception desk immediately.