A Yangtze River cruise allows visitors to see some of the most stunning scenery China has to offer. China has thousands of years of history behind it, and a cruise up the Yangtze allows you to see some of its major highlights. Most cruises pass through the famed Three Gorges area, an area that's vitally important to the future of the river. Ships used for these cruises are especially well-suited to sightseeing. Many feature all-outside staterooms so you never have to miss a nice view. Most cruise ships are in the 3 to 5 star range, so the accommodations will be more than adequate. Ships used on the Yangtze often accommodate fewer than 200 passengers.
Many Yangtze cruises last 4 to 7 nights. This allows passengers to take in the amazing scenery while also being able to enjoy whatever activities are offered on the ship. Winter cruises offer some of the lowest rates, but may have a more limited itinerary. Spring and fall are usually the best times to go. Some of the ports that may be visited on a Yangtze cruise include Chonqing, Zhongxian, Wanxian, the Lesser Three Gorges, the Three Gorges, Wuhan, and Shanghai. Regardless of whether you're on a shorter or longer cruise, you'll be able to witness how the people of China live in rural areas.
Here are the favorite attractions commonly visited on a Yangtze cruise. These will help give you an idea of some of the interesting sights that await you.
Three Gorges Dam
The Three Gorges Dam is one of the largest hydroelectric plants in the world and located near Yichang City. During construction, great care was taken to make sure historical artifacts unearthed were protected. This impressive piece of engineering is open to tourists. Permanent exhibits are on display that highlight the dam's construction. The guides who provide tours speak English and are ready to answer questions visitors may have.
Yellow Crane Tower
The Yellow Crane Tower is located in Wuhan and is one of the most impressive pieces of architecture in the area. It's set in a lush, green area slightly away from the confines of the city. A flock of graceful cranes greets visitors when arriving in the main square in front of the tower. Some of the wall carvings in the area are very elaborate. Nearby Yueyang Tower also has impressive architecture and has a nice view of a nearby lake. Both of these several-story towers provide great photographic opportunities.
The Yellow Mountain is one of the most pristine wilderness areas on the Yangtze. Visiting this site just for the scenery is well worth it. Paved walking trails take visitors through forested areas, and peaceful streams run through here. The surrounding mountains have some impressive terrain. If you're fortunate enough to visit this site in the fall, you might get to see some colorful foliage. Many of the trees are tall evergreens, and you might even spot gingko biloba trees.