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Nice Yangtze Cruise Holiday on Board of the Century Sun

By Jola (Finland) | June 29, 2017 | 3225 views
  • Departure Date: 2017-06-18
  • Travel Length: 5 Days
  • Group Size: 2
  • Which Ship: Century Sun Cruise
  • Highlights: Three Gorges Dam Site, Shennv Stream, Shibaozhai Pagoda

Cruising is a storied way of travel, full of unique traditions and experiences you'll never enjoy any other way than on a cruise ship.

Yangtze River Cruise is one of the best ways to witness rural countryside of China from the modern metropolis - Shanghai. Hence, it is very popular for travelers taking an upstream Yangtze River cruise from Yichang to Chongqing and then connect other destinations by flight or high speed train. Follow Jola’s cruise experience with Century Sun and get inspired how life is going on the Yangtze River.

Upstream Yangtze Cruise with Century Sun

We started our Yangtze River cruise in Yichang, which we reached using the fast train service from Shanghai (8 hours).

The ship - Century Sun can accommodate some 300 passengers and it was fully booked at this time. Out of this 300 maybe a quarter were Western tourists.

Cabin & Service

The harbor is really small and as we arrived there quite early, we were able to complete the check-in quickly, without any queuing. The lady behind the counter was really helpful and spoke good English. We decided to upgrade to a bigger room and were offered free laundry and a bottle of red wine plus free access to the lounge, which is located just above the captain's bridge - needless to say, the views from there were spectacular. You can enjoy free tea, coffee and cookies there 24/7. We were missing fruits and cold drinks - otherwise it was a great retreat.

On the first night of the cruise (which by the way the ship spends in the harbor) there is no buffet dinner served - so either get your snacks from the little shop by the dock or you will need to use the "a la carte" option.

Internet is not free - but for 200 RMB you can get access for the duration of the whole trip. It works only in the lobby downstairs.


The restaurant is located on the first floor and it serves 3 meals per day. The meals are nice - most of the dishes are Chinese, but you can get your cereal and dark bread for breakfast if you miss them. If you have some restrictions, just mention it during check in. I was served vegetables, which were not on the buffet with every meal as I am vegetarian. With the meal you will also get free coke, sprite (but not zero option) and water.

The table is always the same, which makes things easier plus they tend to place foreigners together. So no worries if your Chinese is not fluent. The restaurant staff speaks good English.

If you fancy wine, they sell wines by the glass. Alternatively you can get a wine package. Normal package is 6 bottles - but we asked just for 3 as there are just 3 dinners on board. It was around 450 RMB in total.

Shore Excursions & Beautiful Scenery along Three Gorges

The ship makes a few stops on the way to Chongqing and a few tours are for free. You can also attend alternative tours for 220-280 RMB/person. We were happy with the local guides and really enjoyed their stories.

Otherwise, it seems that the time flies on a ship - as landscapes keep changing. You can just sit back and relax...

Disembarkation in Chongqing is also quite fast. Again the harbor is quite tiny, but with lots of stairs to climb. There are porters there waiting for your signal. For 20 RMB / bag they will carry it for you.

All in all the experience was positive - the staff was extremely polite, food quality good and plenty of it. Of course you need to be prepared for people rushing and overtaking you in the queue - so just go with the flow.

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