Set sail along the Yangtze River with these cruises from Chongqing

It’s no easy feat to explore The Yangtze River. it is the world’s third-longest river – spreading over six thousand kilometres and was historically used as a natural barrier to divide the North from the South of China. Presently, the Yangtze River is used mainly for transport, commerce and leisure cruising.

For those with a knack for exploration, Yangtze River cruise tours take all the legwork out of your trip.

(Image credit: Photo by Dong Zhang on Unsplash)

That said, these cruise tours offer plenty of different destinations, catering to all travellers of differing needs. Whether it’s just for a couple of days or a lengthy exploration, there is something for everyone.

(Image credit: Shane Young)

Scroll down to check out some of the cruise tours around Yangtze River that departs from Chong Qing.

Sanctuary Retreats

Many would think of cruise-living as overcrowded and cramped, but you will not have any trouble on board the cruise tour with Sanctuary Retreats. Playing host to the largest cabins and suites on the river, one can find 38 deluxe cabins, 20 suites and four speciality suites: all for a maximum of 124 guests. Indulge in one of the six individual spa rooms, learn how to make a dumpling or two, or even watch a movie in their two-floor theatre.

Consider the Rail and River tour, a six-day jaunt that starts in Chongqing, and ends in Wuhan. Travellers will be given a day and a half of leisure time in Chongqing before embarking the cruise ship.

Make sure to visit Hongya Caves while you’re in Chongqing, a building complex built on a cliff just next to Jialing River. In the evening, it becomes completely illuminated and many visitors come to explore the numerous shops and restaurants then. Another worthy destination to visit on your own would be Ciqikou. It was used as a port and market town during the Ming and Qing dynasties famous for its porcelain production. Today, holidaymakers can find quaint shops selling local handicrafts and snacks in Ciqikou.

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Victoria Cruises

If you’re just looking for a slightly longer journey, Victoria Cruises has a concise itinerary covering the Yangtze River from Chongqing to Yichang and vice versa. This four-day, three-night cruise explores the Three Gorges and includes stops along historical and cultural areas of interest.

One of the stops includes a short shore excursion to the Jade Emperor Scenic Area in Chongqing, famous for its ornate statues of the supreme deity who was believed to have ruled over Heaven.

Another on-shore excursion included in the journey would be the White Emperor City. If the name sounds familiar, it may be because the city was chronicled in ‘The Romance of the Three Kingdoms’. It is famed as the site where the former King of Shu, Liu Bei, entrusted the care of his sons and kingdom to military strategist, Zhuge Liang.

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Yangtze River Cruises

Similar to Victoria Cruises, Yangtze River Cruises also offers a condensed itinerary for those seeking to discover the essence of Chongqing without spending too much time. The four-day tour begins with a land tour in Chongqing and ends with disembarkment in Yichang.

Familiar sights on this Yangtze Cruise include the Three Gorges Dam and the Shibaozhai Pagoda, a two-storey, 16th century wooden pagoda. What sets this cruise apart from others is the short excursion along Shennv Stream, a tributary along the Yangtze River in Wushan County. Here, you are privy to close-up views of steep mountains and one of China’s oldest historic mysteries: suspended coffins on cliffs.

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Grand Circle Cruise Line

The award-winning Grand Circle Cruise Tour holds the crown for the lengthiest tour in this list. Apart from actually cruising from Yichang to Chongqing, this 21-day tour covers five other cities, namely Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an, Guilin and Hong Kong. An English-speaking program director will connect travellers with local culture and uncover hidden gems along the way.

Guests will board the cruise in Yichang and visit the Three Gorges Dam along the way. Upon disembarkation in Chongqing, guests will be able to learn more about World War II history at the Stilwell Museum, as well as the famed pandas in the Chongqing Zoo. This tour is perfect for travellers looking to make the most out of their journey in China.

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The Uniworld cruise tour offers a luxurious 14-day trip around China, including a range of activities and attractions for one to indulge in. The ship itself holds up to 124 guests and 124 staff members, ensuring a guest to staff ratio beyond compare. Each room is fitted with a private balcony so that every guest can enjoy the view of the river from the comfort of their own space. For an unconventional experience, Uniworld hosts a cruise tour inclusive of Tibet, apart from the other more common land highlights of Shanghai, Beijing and Xi’an.

Guests will set sail from Chongqing and venture to the site of the 816 Underground Project in one of its pit stops. Nestled deep in the mountains, it was originally built as a covert nuclear plant as part of the world’s nuclear arms race in the 1960s. The semi-completed site was then abandoned in the 1980s when the Cold War began to thaw. It was later opened to the public for visiting in 2010 and has since been serving as one of the most unique tourist spots in Chongqing.

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