yangtze river Cruise
The Yangtze empties out into the South China Sea near the city of Shanghai.The Chinese call the Yangtze River, Chang-jiang, which means "Long River". The Yangtze River begins in the Tibetan Plateau and is fed by snow and ice melt from the surrounding mountains. The Yangtze River is the largest river in China and the third largest in the world. It is about 3,900 miles long.
Its width can range from eight to more than 1000 meters when the water rises.
The Nile and Amazon Rivers are larger than the Yangtze, but the Yangtze is special because it has so many people living near it.
An old saying goes “If you haven’t traveled up Chang Jiang, you haven’t been anywhere” because the river winds through some of China’s most spectacular scenery. In the western Wu Shan (Witch Mountains) it meets the world-famous Three Gorges renowned for their dramatic beauty, cultural treasures, religious and historical sites, and most recently for the building of the controversial Three Gorges Dam. Chang Jiang has always been a major means of transport and has a colorful and exciting history. Ships were pulled by hand through dangerous reaches by ‘trackers’ working from narrow paths cut into the steep cliffsides. The pilots and captains that picked their way through the whirlpools, rocks and wildly fluctuating water levels have achieved legendary status.
We board the first afternoon and give our guests a chance to settle in as we start our cruise up the Yangtze. Explore the ship, get comfortable and enjoy our welcome dinner. Tomorrow will see a new landscape and you’ll need some energy for exploring.
Nanjing This is the capital of Jiangsu province and offers us an opportunity to enjoy a model Chinese city – so much admired it will host the 2014 Olympic Games. Our excursion here will include the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum and a Confucious Temple. The Temple area also includes a thriving bazaar where excellent shopping opportunities can be had.
Mt. Huangshan Today finds us in the mountains and a trip up Mt. Huangshan. This area is a photographer’s dream, with the classic granite peaks speckled with twisted pine forests. Mixed in are the classic misty waterfalls so commonly seen in Chinese art. We’ll take the cable car up to the summit before we reboard the ship and continue upstream.
Day Four –
Wuhan After yesterday’s soul-pleasing exploration of nature’s bounty, we’ll stop and visit the cultural side today. At the Hubei Provincial Museum, we’ll encounter a huge repository of Chinese cultural artifacts – including amazing silks, gold artwork and priceless jade. Besides the displays, there are performances of traditional Chinese theater to enjoy.
Day Five –
Cruising Today we have a chance to recuperate and enjoy the scenery as we make our way west toward Yichang and the Three Gorges Dam. It’s a great time to absorb some of the sights seen so far and take advantage of the ship’s amenities.
Day Six –
Three Gorges Dam One of the wonders of the modern world, the Three Gorges Dam reaches skyward like a man-made cliff as it spans the mile-wide gap between the walls of the Xiling gorge. We’ll use the locks to raise our ship up more than 6 stories to access the upper Yangtze. An afternoon excursion to visit the dam itself will be particularly memorable.
Day Seven –
Three Gorges Once again, we slip from the modern world and into the ancient and natural world as we sail through the sheer walls of the gorges. A boat excursion, either to the Lesser Three Gorges or up the Shannong River immerses guests in the rare beauty off the main river.
Day Eight –
Fengdu This is the famous “Ghost City,” revered by three different religions. While the scary names (“Blood River,” “Ghost Torturing Pass”) bring up images of horror, the temples are actually uplifting and peaceful.
We arrive the following morning at Chongqing. Although the cruise ends here, you may wish to plan a visit to the zoo for a peek at China’s famous giant pandas.