Yangtze Explorer (also called Yangzi Explorer) under Sanctuary Retreats is the most luxury, and the only super 5-star ship on the Yangtze River. Carrying just 124 passengers, it offers the finest and the most personalized one-on-one service (highest crew to passenger ratio on the river of 1:1) to ensure every level of comfort for an intimate cruising experience.
Top Highlights of2021:
1. New and Innovative Discovery: the only Yangtze cruise taking you to explore world unique 816 Nuclear Military Plant, amazing White Crane Ridge Underwater Museum, etc.
2. Exciting Special Route of Shennongjia Summer Getaway: enjoy enchanting sceneries of World UNESCO natural heritage site of Shennongjia, world only place to close up with wild golden monkeys, seek the tracks of wild men, and enjoy a cool summer holiday, etc. (for cruises on July 26th and August 9th in 2020). Please check more about Special Itinerary of Yangtze Explorer.
- Chongqing - Yichang (4 days & 3 nights;)
- Yichang - Chongqing (5 days & 4 nights;)
- Special Summer Cruise with Shennongjia (5 days & 4 nights) (Special offer only on July 7th, July 28th and August 18th in 2019)
Yangtze Explorer Cruise Ship Reviews
Cruise Ship Rating: 9.9 out of 10. Read the reviews from the Real Travelers on Cruisecritics.com, Tripadvisors.com and Lonelyplanet.com below to better help your cruise plan.
My friend & I wanted to come to China & go on the Yangtze River on a cruise boat! I usually do all my own research & travel on my own without a guide & book all my own tours. I start my research out by always going to trip advisor. This is my second year in a row going to China. I fell in love with China & ran out of time to see everything I wanted to see last year. So I had to come back.
This was the highlight of our trip! I can't say enough about this boat or the crew on this boat! It was everything I expected & more! The boat only holds 129 passengers. Because of this the service from the crew is more one on one! The food was excellent on the boat! And the crew even did a performance one night for us! Simply amazing! They all looked & acted like they were professionals! Their costumes & the amount of costume changes they did was amazing! We went down river & the cruise was a 4 day 3 night cruise starting in Chongqing & ending in Yichang.
I would highly recommend this cruise & this cruise boat! I liked it so much I want to come back to China again & do the 5 day 4 night up river cruise on the Yangtze River Explorer! I would definitely book this again thru Wonder! He is simply the best! Way to go Wonder on doing such a fabulous job in helping me to plan this trip back to China! It was a trip of a life time!
- ---- Reviewed by Basketmiracle, April 11, 2019
Catherine Liu was my first contact and agency I used to schedule my Chinese National Holiday on a cruise ship down the Yangtze River. Everything on the cruise went very well! I highly recommend if you want a personal touch to a delightful vacation, then the Yangtze Explorer is the ship for you! Each and every staff member was very accommodating. I appreciate their attentive to making my trip enjoyable and personable. The sites and curricular activities were exceptional! The Three Kingdom lightshow was spectacular (especially if you’ve read the book and know the story). Thank you so much Catherine for your assistance. If you would, please pass my compliments to the entire staff of the Yangtze Explorer as each and everyone of them were very special.
I would like the next time to try this cruise upriver for 5 days! I like spending time in Chongqing too!
With high esteem and cordial good wishes,
- ---- Reviewed by Andy, November 3, 2018
We recently completed a 4 day upstream journey on the Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer, the best ship on the river. We decided to go top notch to avoid crowds and to be assured of a good experience since I am confident this will not be repeated by us. We booked through a China tour agency which was handling our trip overall in China. They did not try to upgrade us to this boat, it was my idea.
Once we boarded we were shown to our assigned cabin and the sales job began to upgrade us to a junior suite. While our original cabin was fine, the suite which was on a upper deck was huge and quiet. We had a king size bed, a large bathroom and a nice balcony with seating. If you decide to consider an upgrade upon boarding ....NEGOTIATE! Do not accept the first or second number offered. Also be sure you get beer and wine included with the suite. We had some laundry also included.
The other reason for booking this ship was that dinner is served ala carte and you get table service. Great table service! Breakfast and lunch is buffet but since there are fewer passengers the lines are short or nonexistent. The quality of the food was excellent. The lounge is a great spot to relax with a drink or coffee. They also have live entertainment in the evening which frankly was not that good but some passengers seemed to like it. T The journey is comfortable and interesting with three tours provided enroute. The staff is incredible for the most part although we did have one bartender who seemed to think she was in charge. We ignored her.
Another note: the ship tacks on a “service charge” which is due at the end of the journey. We assumed this was a tip for the crew. It is not. It is a tax for the government.
Highly recommended ship.
- ---- Reviewed by Travel_Pin_Man, Washington, September 18, 2018
Between visits to Beijing and Xi’an, we took a cruise along the Yangtze River from Yichang to Chongqing, and we loved it. We traveled aboard the ms Yangzi Explorer, the most intimate ship that plies the Yangtze; the experience was a delight. Our stateroom (we had a balcony room with a king size bed on the Xiling Deck) was beautiful, spacious and comfortable, as were the public spaces — including the Tang Theatre, the Dynasty Palace (aka the dining room) and the Explorer Lounge (with its live entertainment in the evenings). The staff was friendly, attentive and helpful, and the food — buffet breakfast and lunch and ala carte dinner — was amazing. And the shore excursions were interesting and well run. On our first full day of cruising we visited the Three Gorges Dam and a museum that focused on the building of the dam; on the next day we sailed up the scenic Shennong Stream and took a sampan trip farther up the stream where the ship could not navigate; and on the third day we toured a formerly top secret nuclear facility only opened to foreign tourists this year. And in between excursions there was wonderful scenic cruising along all three Yangtze River gorges. This was a fantastic cruise on a beautiful ship. Much credit goes to General Manager Teddy Garcia and his wonderful staff.
- ---- Reviewed by Njcavalier, New Jersey, July 30, 2018
What Our Customers Say about Yangtze River Cruise
You guys run a great operation Riley. I am very impressed with the Bamboo company. Guides and drivers in Guilin and Chengdu are all...
- By Kirk Dinesh
February 20, 2021
Good morning Tracy,
I just want to tell you that we had a great trip. Our guide Timo is the best guide we have had. He made this trip...
- By Anna
November 23, 2020
Beijing is fine. Tour guide and driver excellent. Hotel good but inconvenient with luggage. Food service poor. Great Wall and...
- By Graham
November 16, 2020
Schedule of Yangtze Explorer
- The above price range is based on a standard cabin for twin sharing.
- The prices are valid by Dec.31 of the year.
- Please enquiry for the exact price according to your nationality, cruising time and cruising route.
- Please quote us for the price may change during China's Golden Week (the first week of October) and Spring Festival.
- Limited winter schedules may be adjusted into other dates, cruise ships, etc. based on the arrangement of the cruise company.