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Yangtze Cruise FAQs & Tips

Cruising Yangtze River is not easy at all. There are so many details required to be checked to guarantee you a PERFECT trip. Which ship is the best for me and my family? When is the best time to cruise? Is there drink package onboard? How much do I tip?

Click below for responses to frequently asked questions to find the answers you are looking for!

Before Your Cruise

1. How long is the cruise vacation?

A Yangtze River cruise vacation needs about 4~11 days. The time needed varies according to different cruise line. Usually, the classic 4 days Chongqing to Yichang cruise line and the 5 Days Yichang to Chongqing cruise line are the most popular ones!

  1. Chongqing to Yichang Downstream: 4 Days and 3 Nights
  2. Yichang to Chongqing Upstream: 5 Days and 4 Nights
  3. Wuhan to Shanghai Downstream: 7 Days and 6 Nights
  4. Shanghai to Wuhan Upstream: 7 Days and 6 Nights
  5. Chongqing to Shanghai Downstream: 11 Days and 10 Nights
  6. Shanghai to Chongqing Upstream: 11 Days and 10 Nights

2. Yangtze River Cruises from Chongqing to Yichang are listed as lasting 4 days, but why it really covers only 3 Days?

For all the cruise lines, the first day usually starts from the evening and the last day usually ends at noon or in the early afternoon. Therefore, some visitors may hold a different view of the cruise length. 4 Days & 3 Night Chongqing Yichang cruise line, for instance, only covers 3 Days & 3 Nights in their opinion. However, the version of 4 Days & 4 Nights is more standard, because 4 different days are involved.

Check all Yangtze River Cruise Routes >>

1. When is the best time to have my Yangtze River Cruise?

The best time varies according to your different pursuits. Are you looking for the best weather & scenery or the best price? Normally, the best weather for a Yangtze River cruise tour comes in spring from March to May and autumn from September to November, while the biggest deals come in December.

What will the temperatures be during September?

September is still in the hot summer. You are recommended to pack your light T-shirts, skirts, pants, shorts, light jackets, sunglasses, sun hat, sun cream, and things alike to spend a summer holiday. Central air-conditioner is well equipped in Victoria Anna with an average temperature at around 26℃ in the whole ship all year round.

Check more about Best Time to Cruise Yangtze River >>

1. Are there activities onboard?

Yes. Your life onboard any ship on Yangtze River will be colorful. There are parties, Chinese painting lectures, handwriting class and so on waiting for you!

2. Is there a swimming pool onboard?

Not all the ships have swimming pool onboard. However, you can find a swimming pool onboard Century Paragon, Century Legend, President No.8, President No.7, Yangtze Gold 8, Yangtze Gold 7, Yangtze 1 and Yangtze 2.

Check more details of What to Expect Onboard >>

1. Do Yangtze River cruises include land tours?

Yes, all the ship journeys include at least 3 shore excursions, including the visit to the famous Three Gorges Dam. Besides, there are optional shore excursions including places of interests about culture, history, and natural sceneries for a great enjoyment for you to choose. You could check the itinerary of the ship you like for more details. Itinerary of Century Glory for your reference: Century Glory 4 Days & 3 Night Downstream Cruise Itinerary

Check all Yangtze River Cruise Shore Excursions >>

2. The cruise departs in the evening, what to do at the port city before the cruise experience?

Yes, all Yangtze River cruise ships make departure in the evening, and the day hours are for your travelling around by your own. Since the dinner of the boarding day is not included in your ship itinerary, you can take your time to savor the local food and snacks. And if you arrive at the city in the early morning, you can book a private tour to explore more of its highlights, culture, night view, etc.

Check more details of What to Expect Onshore >>

Which cruise Route I should choose?

There are more than 8 cruise lines on Yangtze River, including Chongqing Yichang cruise line, Chongqing Wuhan cruise line, Chongqing Shanghai cruise line, Wuhan Shanghai cruise line, and other 4 lines going in the opposite direction, etc. And the classic Chongqing Yichang line & Yichang Chongqing line are the most popular ones.

Check more about Yangtze River Cruise Routes >>

Best Cruise Ship

At present, there are more than 26 ships under the top 6 cruise companies sailing on the Yangtze River. Everyone has their preferences, be it the mist luxury, the newest, the most budget, the most family-friendly… You can check How to Choose Your Yangtze River cruise ship to find the ship right for you!

1. Which cabin or suite is best for me?

Cabins are different and classified and named into 3 to 6 kinds on the various kinds of ships of each cruise companies, and they are divided into mainly three types according to the size, facilities and services, namely the standard cabin, business & executive cabins/suites, and luxury suites. You are advised to select your perfect one according to your budget, preference or special needs.

Normally, standard cabins are the most budget and the best-value choice. Everything you are in need is already included in a standard cabin. However, if you are looking for a more luxury option, the suites may be better.

2. Is there single supplement?

Usually, you will share a cabin with another passenger of the same gender if you travel alone. And if you are not willing to share the cabin with someone else, you can choose to pay the single supplement to book the entire cabin. Some ships offer discount for single supplement, and if you book with us, we will find the best price for you!

3. Can I update the deck of my cabin?

Yes. Cabins are arranged from the second floor to the fifth or sixth floor of the ship. Usually, rooms at upper decks enjoy better natural views compared to those at lower decks. If you want to upgrade the deck of your cabin, you can tell your travel consultant in advance.

Check more about How to Choose the Best Cabin >>

1. What to pack for my first Yangtze Cruise?

You are suggested to take your travel documents, “Carry On” Luggage, conformation letter, casual clothes, address and telephone number list and daily commodities with you! Check more about Packing List suggested for Yangtze River Cruise >>

2. What kind of clothes should I wear and pack?

Since all the Yangtze ships are facilitated with central air conditioner with a temperature at about 26℃, you could feel warm when stay onboard. Therefore, you can wear as comfortable as you are at home.

And weather doesn’t very much at the port cities, but it is very different from season to season. Winter from December to February of next year can be very cold, especially when you are doing some sightseeing on the Sun Deck with cold wind blows. Therefore, you are suggested to wear some warm clothes, like down coats, knitwear, and thermal underwear. And during the summer from June to August (sometimes even September), the weather will be very hot, with a highest temperature for about 44℃. So, you are suggested to wear as cool as you can. T-shirts, shorts, sunglasses, hat are the best recommends. Weather in the rest months of the year is very pleasant. Casual spring clothing such as thin coats or jackets, long sleeves and shirts, light knitwear, jeans, pants, comfortable shoes, etc. is suitable.

Check more about Yangtze River Weather & What to Wear and Dress Code Onboard to know more.

3. Can I take my pets onboard?

Pets are not allowed to be taken aboard.

Can I pay the fees onboard by the Credit Card? Or I have to pay the cash?

Generally, there are no cash transactions onboard. Instead a tally of expenses is kept for each passenger. Before disembarkation, passengers are required to pay their bills by major currencies, like US dollars, British pounds, Euro, Chinese Yuan or major credit cards, such as VISA, MasterCard, or American Express. There is a currency exchange service available at the reception desk.

If I travel with my little kids, can they arrange extra bed for my children?

The extra bed rule onboard different ship may be different. Normally, an extra bed is allowed to be added on most ships after you give the pay. However, such a service may be not available onboard some ships, whose cabins are too small to hold an extra bed. You are suggested to contact your travel consultant for help!

Get inspired from Top Family-friendly Cruise Ships on Yangtze >>

If I am travelling solo, will I be charged a single supplement?

As a solo traveler, you will be paired up with another passenger of the same gender as per your passport information. If you’re not comfortable sharing a room with someone else, you also have the choice to pay for a single supplement to book the entire cabin.

1. Which port should I head to?

The boarding port is scheduled according to the cruise line you are going to experience. If your cruise line starts from Chongqing, you should go to Chongqing Chaotianmen Port to board your ship. And if you cruise line starts from Yichang, you need to go to Yichang Maoping Port (Sandouping Port if you cruise with Yangtze 1) for boarding.

Check more about Yangtze River cruise ports >>

2. How to get to the port?

All Yangtze River cruise itinerates start from the port (it will be the Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal for cruises from Yichang), and thus travelers are required to get to the appointed port or cruise center on their own. Luckily, all the Yangtze ports and cruise center are located in the city downtown. And you can ride a taxi to get there after steeping out from the airport or train station.

However, considering the complex traffic conditions of different city and there may still be problems for reaching the detailed wharf, getting to Yangtze River ports by private car is the most convenient way! Plus there are free hours for you to getting around the port city, booking a short tour with private car and guide service is the top pick for most of our customers!

Get more details of How to Get to Yangtze Cruise Ports >>

1. When can I access my ship and cabin?

You can embark the ship during the boarding hours, which is usually from 18:00 to 21:00. After checking in, you can get to your cabin with your card.

Tip: For the exact boarding time, there is a slight difference of different ship company. You are advised to check your conformation letter for the real-time info.

2. Is there porter service available?

Yes. Since there are many stairs at the port and there is still a relatively long distance from the land to your ship, you are suggested to book a porter service in advance. The service is charged for about CNY 20~25 per piece. And the price varies at different port. You can contact your travel consultant to book the service.

Check more about Yangtze River Cruise Embarking >>

During Your Cruise

1. Are meals included in the price? Or do you have to pay for meals separate?

The daily meals specified with “B”, \"L” and “D” in our itinerary are included in your cruise fare. However, the dinner on your embarkation day as well as the lunch on your disembarkation day are not arranged, so you can taste some special food of the local city for the excluded meals.

The meals onboard are usually served in buffet style to suit every taste. However, aside from those meals offered, there are also chargeable meals for you to choose.

2. Does the ship offer Vegan dining options? No meat, fish, fowl, dairy and eggs?

Yes, Yangtze River cruises offer vegan dining options. You can notify your travel consultant in advance or tell the staff at the reception desk when you are checking in. And then the chef will prepare the food well according to your needs.

3. Can we take drinks from the bar into the restaurant?

Normally, the drinks ordered in the bar cannot be taken into the restaurant. However, all the drinks sold in the bar are sold in the restaurant too, and the prices are usually the same as or even cheaper than those in the bar. If you want some drinks during dining, you can ask the staff in the restaurant for help, and they will be glad to help you!

Check more about Yangtze River Cruise Dining >>

1. Do you offer drink packages?

Yes, there are several kinds of drink packages onboard, including soft water packages, red wine packages, beer packages, extra-value packages, etc. The prices of those packages may vary from RMB 200 to RMB 800. These prices are different according to different cruise ships. And the prices on downstream cruise and upstream cruise are different too. Please refer to the actual price onboard. If you are in need, you can ask the reception desk for help, with your room card carried.

2. Can I bring liquor with me when I board?

Usually, wines and other drinks and food are allowed to be brought onboard, and to your room. However, it is not allowed to bring your own drinks and food to the dining halls or bars on your ship. You can enjoy in your cabin as freely!

Check more about Yangtze River Cruise Drinks >>

1. Are there clothes hangers in the closet in stateroom, if so, how many?

There are usually 3 hangers around in the closet. If you need more, you can ask the reception desk for help!

2. Is there a hairdryer in all cabins?

Yes, usually there is a hair dryer in the drawer of the cabin or bathroom onboard. If you can't find one in your cabin, you can get one from the staff at the reception desk.

3. Is there a bathroom in every cabin?

Yes, each cabin of Yangtze River Cruises has its own private bathroom onboard.

4. Do all cabins have a balcony?

All the suites on Yangtze ships have a private balcony, and most of the cabins are equipped with a private balcony too. Besides, the private balcony can be found at all the cruises on our website.

However, some ships also provide budget cabins without balcony for passengers to choose.

Check more about Yangtze River Cruise Accommodation >>

Check more about Yangtze River Cruise Facilities >>

1. Do Yangtze River cruises have laundry services?

Yes, all the Yangtze River cruises offer the laundry service onboard. If you need such kind of service, just put your clothes into the bag and tell the reception desk by calling or in person, and then the staff will come to your room and collect your clothes to do laundry. After it is finished, the staff will send your clothes back to your cabin. Laundry service needs extra payment, which is charged by piece of your clothes. To know the detailed price, please ask the reception desk onboard for help.

Self-service laundry service is not available (except onboard Century Glory). However, tap water that is purified and sterilized is available in the bathroom of your cabin, so you can use the water to do some hand laundry.

2. Is there WiFi on the ship?

Usually, majority of the Yangtze River ships offer free Wi-Fi at some of its public areas. The service is even free of charge in the cabins and suites on some newest ships, such as Century Glory, Century Paragon, etc. While, onboard other ships like Yangtze 1, there is no free Wi-Fi service provided at all. However, you can still have opportunities to surf the internet at the Internet Room. The Internet Room is equipped with computers, and you can check email, post to Facebook and check in for your flight on these computers, etc. Extra charge is needed for the internet service. For customers who need high-speed Internet, you can also rent a Wi-Fi apparatus on the ship.

Check more about Yangtze River Cruise Service >>

What is the standard of dress expected for normal dinners onboard?

There is no strict requirement about dressing for the parties and dinners onboard, but you are suggested better to avoid too short skirts, trainers, sports clothes, round-neck shirts, jeans, and other too casual things. If you want to join those occasions with better experience, we suggest ladies prepare long skirts (or knee length) and comfortable kitten heels or low heels, and gentlemen prepare casual shirts, casual suits and thin shoes.

Check more about Yangtze River Cruise Dress Code >>

Are there any suggestions for gratuity onboard?

There are two kinds of gratuities on Yangtze River Cruise, one is called the Service Charge (mandatory gratuity), and the other is volunteer gratuity.

The Service Charge is the fee every guest has to pay during Yangtze Cruise tour. A set fee of CNY 150~200 is required (passengers more than 12 years old). Such a service charge is needed onboard all the ships of Century Cruises, Victoria Cruises, President Cruises and Changjiang Cruises.

Aside from the Service Charge, you can also give additional tipping to the crew and guide according to the service you’ve received. And this is so called the volunteer gratuity. About 1~2 dollar or 10~15 Chinese Yuan are suggested.

Check more about Yangtze River Cruise Tipping >>

After Your Cruise

1. When to disembark?

Usually, you will get off the ship at about 8:00 in the morning. After that, you can ask a taxi or private car to the airport or train station to catch your flight or train. If your cruise ends at Yichang, the ship experience will be end at about 12:30~14:00, because you will visit the Three Gorges Dam first at that day.

2. How to get from the port to the airport or train station?

The best way to get to the airport and train station from the disembarking port is by private car, especially when you are in hurry. For independent travelers, you can also ask a taxi.

Check more about Disembarking >>

Check more about How to Get away Cruise Ports >>

Cruising Yangtze River with yangtze-river-cruises.com

Still feel trouble about planning your Yangtze River cruise tour? Have plans to travel more China tourist destinations? Travel with www.yangtze-river-cruises.com and let us take care of everything for you! The tour can be tailor-made according to your group size, time, physical condition, plan, interests, budget and other special need. No matter you want to put port cities (Chongqing or Yichang) into your Yangtze River trip or cover several destinations together or even extend your Yangtze cruise tour all over China, www.yangtze-river-cruises.com can provide you best tour guides and experienced drivers with comfortable private cars in any of the destinations. Our English-speaking tour guide will accompany you all the way, showing you the best traveling route and telling beautiful stories in each of the destination. 

Please feel free to contact us if you need any help or customize the tour with free quotation!

Not easy to find the right cruise ship/itinerary for you? Please contact one of our Yangtze cruise specialists to save your time and money. Click the right button to send an online inquiry and we will get back to you within 0.5~23.5 hours.

Your can rely on our expert knowledge and endless enthusiasm!

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Why Cruise with yangtze-river-cruises.com

The Local Cruise Agency

Located in Chongqing, the significant Yangtze pier, we are the leading local travel agency for traveling to the Yangtze River and China.

Ultra-Low Prices

Specialized in the Yangtze River cruise booking for several years, we have great relationships with all ship companies.

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With one-on-one service, our cruise experts provide 24-hour support and are always patient and friendly to make your travel as easy as possible.