Yangtze River Cruise FAQ

Winding its way 6,300 kilometres from western China to the East China Sea, the Yangtze River has the widest variety of outstanding tourist attractions, scenery and culture along its length. The building of the incredible Three Gorges Dam Site draws more attention from visitors worldwide. The common Chinese saying,‘If you haven’t travelled up the mighty Yangzte, you haven’t been anywhere’, well describes the its range of picturesque landscapes and culture diversity. Join us to start a memorable Yangtze Cruise journey.

Plan a Yangtze River Cruise

  • How to get started?
    This page will give you an overview how you can get the most out of your Yangtze Cruise. Alternatively you can ask one of our experienced travel advisors to do the work for you. They can perfectly fit the cruise in a travel package of your choice.
  • Which ship to take?
    You have three ways to start your search: When you have a fixed departure date in mind you can browse the cruise calendar or use the search engine to find the ones that fit. Alternatively you can browse the cruise ship page. If you are not totally sure which ship could suit you, feel free to contact one of our travel advisors for help. Call 86-773-2889566 or send a quick inquiry. A travel advisor will reply you within 24 hours.
  • How to choose a Yangtze Cruise cabin?
    Choosing a suitable cabin is very important for putting together a perfect Yangtze cruise. It is a personal decision, depending on a traveler’s budget and lifestyle. There are basically four essential factors to consider when making a decision: the ship’s star rating, cabin types, size and locations. Take the cabin size for example. The standard cabins are from 8 to 16 sq.meter not including bathroom. Most cabins measure 10- 12 sq. meter. Suites usually double the size of the standard cabin at 30-40 sq. meter with better decoration and more furnishings. You can visit the page for facitilies and services for each ship.
  • Upstream or downstream?
    This page will give you an overview how you can get the most out of your Yangtze Cruise. Alternatively you can ask one of our experienced travel advisors to do the work for you. They can perfectly fit the cruise in a travel package of your choice.
  • Package or cruise only?
    This page will give you an overview how you can get the most out of your Yangtze Cruise. Alternatively you can ask one of our experienced travel advisors to do the work for you. They can perfectly fit the cruise in a travel package of your choice.
  • What sights will I see on my trip?
    The cruise will allow you to enjoy some unique sights including superlative natural scenery, important historical sites. Some of the highlights from Chongqing to Yichang are:
    Chaotianmen: Chaotianmen is the largest harbor on the upper reach of the Yangtze River. It is an amazing place where the brown, muddy Yangtze meets the clear Jialing River.
    Fengdu Ghost City: Fengdu Ghost City: It is said to be the home of devil. It has an eerie feel to it with deserted streets, tower blocks, empty shops and banks. A visit to Fengdu requires a steep climb up many steps from the river level to the old town. A cable car usually operates from Fengdu to a nearby mountain scenic spot. Not wanting to climb the stair......no problem, stay on the ship and enjoy the scenery from the comfort of a deck chair.
    Shibaozhai: Shibaozhai is a rectangular rock with sheer cliffs, standing on the riverside. A 12-storey red wooden pagoda with upturned eaves stands on the top.
    Lesser Three Gorges: The Lesser Three Gorges refers to the three separate valleys of the Daning River with the names of Dragon Gate Gorge, Misty Gorge and Emerald Gorge. The gorges are truly spectacular. Sheer cliffs soar up towards the sky from the brown-green water. Mountain tops hover above the ribbon of mist, disconnected from their roots.
    Shennong Stream: Shennong Stream is a tributary of the Yangtze River. The crystal clear steam flows swiftly from north to south through deep gorges.
    Baidi City (White Emperor City): Baidi City clings to grand hills and cliffs. It is well known as "the Poet City". Many ancient scholars once visited it and left many literary relics.
    Gezhou Dam: The dam is 2,606 meters long and 70 meters high. There are 3 ship locks and even an elevator to lift smaller ships over the dam.
  • What is the best time to have the cruise?
    The best seasons to take a Yangtze River cruise are spring and autumn. To put it more specific, it is April, May, September and October when the weather is cool and comfortable. These four months are often called high seasons. Despite the factor of weather, the best time is in winter in terms of price. The prices are the lowest for the winter cruises and the highest in high seasons.

Making Reservation

  • What is the best time to have the cruise?
    Book a Yangtze Cruise ship is very easy. Just follow the steps in a certain ship page, fill in the reservation form and we will do the rest.
  • What forms of payment do you accept for the cruise?
    We are now able to offer 3 methods of Payment:
    1. Visa or Master Card secure online payment via PayPal.
    2. Visa or Master Card by fax
    3. Wire transfer. Cash payment, travelers' check and company check is applicable upon special request, but personal checks cannot be accepted.
  • Cruise Terms and Conditions
    Yangtze River Cruise operators reserve the right to cancel a scheduled sailing if they do not receive enough bookings for the sailing. This situation is more likely to occur during July and August but can also occur in September and October. The cancellations can occur even though they have previously confirmed the reservation made by My Chinatours for our customers.
    Cancellation of a sailing usually occurs 15-30 days before the scheduled date but can be as little as 7 days before the sailing. In the event that a cruise is cancelled we will do everything possible to rebook immediately on another ship, so that inconvenience is minimized. It is possible that an additional expense may be applicable if the available ship is more expensive than that of the original booking. Please be assured that these events are beyond our control but we are here to serve you and will do all in our power to make your trip as smooth as possible.

Preparing for the cruise

  • How do I get to the ship?
    All Tour packages arranged by My Chinatours include pier transportation. We will meet you at your hotel, airport or train station and then transport to your ship. If you book a cruise which is not part of a package, we suggest that you also book a transfer service from your hotel or airport. The ship's pier is not widely published and changes frequently. The ship may be difficult to locate. Use of our transfer service will ensure that any problems are avoided. My Chinatours provides a no profit transfer service for the convenience of customers. Our transfer service will ensure that you get to the correct pier but also have the following advantage:
    1. If your arrival flight to Chongqing or Yichang has been delayed, our guide will try to negotiate with the cruise ship company to wait for you to arrive.
    2. Our transfer service includes a porter's service from the vehicle to the cruise and vice versa. The distance from the set down to the ship can be 200-300 meters.
    3. Our tour guide will help you to check in at the cruise ship.
    4. Most cruise ships do not include the dinner on the first night. Our guide could help you find a good local restaurant for dinner. The guide will also take you to a supermarket to buy snacks and water before boarding as these are very expensive on the ship.
    If you wish to find the ship by yourself we provide the ships contact information in our confirmation letter. You need to confirm the ships' pier at least half day ahead of schedule. Please contact us if you need any help. (Phone number is listed on your confirmation letter.) The final decision rests with you regarding the transfer service and in an emergency we will always do our best to help you. We will not however, refund any monies lost as a result of a problem in finding the prier if no transfer service has been requested.
  • Do we need tickets or any vouchers to board the Yangtze Cruise ship?
    You do not need any tickets or vouchers. You just need to tell your name and show your passport.
  • How shall I dress on the ship and how many formal nights are there on my sailing?
    No special formal dress is required on the ship. Be sure to take clothes that are suitable for the shore excursions or to enjoy scenery from the ship deck. Clothes to protect you from the hot sun in summer and strong wind in winter are essential. Usually most ships will have two formal nights, the Captain's Welcome Cocktail Party and Dinner and the Captain's Farewell Dinner. The ship suggest that appropriate dress is:men coat and tie, and ladies a dress or pantsuit, but the decision is yours to make based on your baggage restrictions.

Onboard Services

  • Are there any limits for luggage?
    There are no rules for the number of the pieces or weight of personal luggage on your cruise ship however closet space is limited. There is a luggage rack in every room and a luggage deposit service is available. If you are a member of a travel group, your luggage will be sent to the ship in time for your check in. The luggage will be sent to your cabin by the bellboy when your cabin is assigned. The bellboy will help you however the ship usually charges $1 per piece, arrival or departure. Please note this is not tip and you have to pay upfront for this service. If you want to tip the bellboy do it when the job is finished.
  • Is there free bottled drinking water supplied on board?
    Some ships supply free bottled water. A container of hot water should be supplied in each room for drinking. Bottles of water are available on sale in each ship for around 10 RMB( 1.25 USD) per/bottle.
  • Are there laundry services on board?
    Yes, laundry service is available including washing and pressing but no dry cleaning on board.
  • Is Internet access available onboard? Can we stay in touch with my family?
    Internet services on the cruise ship can be unreliable. Most ships have internet cafes which can be used for a fee. Rooms are not internet equipped.
    Other secretarial services including photocopying, simultaneous translating typing, personal computers, fax capabilities may be available for a fee.
  • Are there medical services onboard?
    Professional medical services are available on almost all cruise ships and every ship has a doctor on call and two registered nurses in attendance.
  • What about passengers with special needs? Are physically challenged facilities available onboard?
    If you have special medical, physical or other relevant needs such as wheelchair characteristics, you must inform your travel advisor in writing at the time of booking to know if they can provide appropriate assistance or not. Over the years, cruise lines have aimed to improve their facilities so that travelers who are wheelchair-bound or otherwise physically challenged can enjoy a cruise as fully as possible. Handicapped staterooms on ships for special needs are often "converted" ones from regular-sized cabins for the physically challenged. On some ships, narrow corridors, lips on the doorways, steps in public area are unavoidable. Ships cruising along the Yangtze River may inevitably docks in some of the rural area like small towns or villages, where elevator and cable cars are not always available. Wheelchair access may be limited and even impossible, so we recommend that passengers with special needs travel with a companion who can provide required assistance. Before booking your cruise, ask your travel advisor to check the accessibility of the ship's public areas and cabin amenities.
  • I have problems with long time walking. How can I take the shore excursion?
    For the shore excursion, there are many local heavers; two of them will carry you with a bamboo chair. We think that it will be very convenient and helpful for you.
  • Do I have to participate in the cruise line's organized activities?
    The organized activities include shore excursions and activities on board. On a cruise, the choice is yours. You may do what you want. You can do it all or just relax on the deck.
  • What about tipping?
    Tipping is a matter of individual preference. Additional tips for any staff member who has provided some special service are at your discretion. Tips to shore excursion guides are also at passenger's discretion. The ship will have a box at the front office where tips can be given. There's may a suggestion of $5 per person per day but of course this is entirely at your discretion.
  • How do I pay for onboard purchases?
    Credit cards or on-board signature accounts are two alternatives used instead of cash on ship.You can pay by your credit cards or sign your list and pay them when you check out just like what you do in most of China's hotels. Major credit cards acceptable include Visa and Master Cards,etc.

Afterwards

  • How do I pay for onboard purchases?
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