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How to Choose Your Yangtze River Cruise Ship

Currently, 26 ships are cruising on the Yangtze River, and new ones are launched yearly. Plus, these ships have many more similarities than differences, and some seem even almost interchangeable in their itineraries and daily routines. Choosing the Yangtze River cruise ship right for you is really hard work! To make things easier, here, in this How to Choose Yangtze River Cruise Ship Guide, we rank the cruise ships according to their different characteristics, including their size, service, and price... Whether you are looking for a family-friendly cruise, a romantic pick for two or a top luxury option, there’s a perfect ship match for you!

Best-value Yangtze Cruise Ships

If you have no specific preferences for the ships, why not choose these best-value ones?

These ships are the hottest picks of our customers, boasting almost all the wonderful characteristics like large cabins, luxury amenities, warm services and reasonable prices. The top picks include Century Oasis (and its sister ships Century Oasis and Century Glory), Victoria Sabrina, Victoria Jenna (and its sister ship Victoria Anna), Yangtze Explorer and Yangtze 3…

Tip: Sister ships on the Yangtze River means the ships are almost identical in layout, size and features. In addition, they are launched and operated by the same cruise company. Therefore, you will get virtually the same cruise experience on any of them.

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2024 Newest Yangtze Ships

We love new items, like new shoes, new phones, and new clothes and so on. It seems our happiness will be doubled when we use something shiny new, and so for the ships.

New ships usually suggest more “wow” factors, like larger size, more luxurious amenities, new technologies and more beautiful cabins. Everything is so great on a new ship, and it comes as no surprise why they are so popular among Yangtze travels. The only issue is that the price is higher compared to the old ships. However, it isn’t really a big problem because the cost of brand-new ships on the Yangtze River is still reasonable, at only 45~112 dollars higher.

New ship options on the Yangtze River include Century Oasis, Century Victory, Yangtze 3 and Victoria Sabrina, amongst which Century Oasis, with an unbeatable price, is the hottest and our pick of best recommended.

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Best Yangtze Ships for Luxury Lovers

Luxury ships offer the best cabins and amenities you can expect to find on the Yangtze River. And they have universally high crew-to-passenger ratios. The quality is evident in the soft-close bedding, oversized wardrobe and waiting bottle of Champagne. Besides, all the details are great.

If you are looking for the best luxury Yangtze ships, look no further than Yangtze Explorer, Century Oasis and Victoria Sabrina. These three ships represent not only the top level of three different ship companies but also the top luxury of all Yangtze River ships. Yangtze Explore, in particular, boasts an unprecedented 1:1 crew-to-guest ratio. Everyone onboard Yangtze Explorer will enjoy one-to-one VIP service.

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Most Luxury

Best Yangtze Ships for Budget Travelers

If your budget gets tight, you may prefer the budget ships with the most pleasing price. The cheap price doesn’t mean you have to ditch the quality. There are strict requirements for ships cruising on the Yangtze River. Once a cruise cannot match the requirements, it will be knocked out of the competing market. Therefore, you will still get luxury experience onboard the budget ships.

The following ships are our selects of the best budget Yangtze ships. There is not much price difference, but different shipping companies manage them and may sail on different days. You can choose the best one according to your preferred travel itinerary in China!

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Best Yangtze Ships for Family

Planning to cruise the Yangtze River with your family? You may want a ship with something for everyone. Whether you are looking for a great choice for multi-generational family travel or the best ship to please your kids only, these ships recommended below will give you a good bang for your vacation.

Yangtze Explorer, of course, is the best choice for everyone travelling with family. Their excellent one-to-one VIP service guarantees you a wonderful cruise trip without worrying much about your family members. Everyone will be very well taken care of. Besides, it offers exceptional discounts for families with children under 12. Century Oasis, Victory and Glory are also a good option because they are not only one of the newest and most luxurious ships but also provide the loveliest family suites, such as suites in pink hello-kitty style and the ones in panda style. Also, the newly created Victoria Sabrina has special themed cabins for family visitors, and the brand-new stylish, entertaining, fun facilities and activities make it another top choice for a family cruise trip!

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Best for

Best 5 Star Yangtze Cruises

Except for the 4.5-star cruise Yangtze 1 and the super 5-star Yangtze Explorer, all the other Yangtze River ships are in 5-star! If you do not want to try the budget but old Yangtze 1 or luxury but expensive Yangtze Explorer, how can you find your best ship from so many ships in the same level? Maybe you can check these best 5-star ships for your reference.

For travelers who prefer the luxurious level and price, you can select the most luxurious or most budget ships. However, if you do not care much about that, you can try the vessel below:

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Top Largest Yangtze Cruises

Large Yangtze River ships seem more prevalent on the Yangtze River, as evidenced by the fact that cruise companies keep rolling out new large ships. The large size of a vessel means it has more prominent places to create larger cabins and a more dizzying number of entertainment options. In addition to the classic reading room, fitness centre and bar, the large ships may also boast a swimming pool, VIP restaurant and more. If you do not know which to choose, how about booking the large ships?

At present, Victoria Sabrina is the largest, followed by Century Glory and President No.8 (and its sister ship President No.7).

* Check more about Top 8 Largest Yangtze River Cruise Ships >>


Top 4 Small Yangtze Cruises

Compared with large ships, small ships offer a sweet sense of intimacy. There will be a closer distance from your cabin to the sun deck, dining room, bar, and also the front desk. Besides, with fewer guests onboard, you will have a cozier atmosphere while dinning in the restaurant and sightseeing on the sun deck.

Yangtze Explore, Yangtze 1 (and its sister ship Victoria Lianna) and Victoria Katarina are the best small Yangtze ships we recommended for you. Yangtze Explorer is the best of best for travelers who have high requirements on service. Victoria Katarina is recommended for the visitors who prefer American-style management.

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Cruising Yangtze River with yangtze-river-cruises.com

Still feel trouble of choosing your best ship and 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!

2024/2025 Cruise Calendar

    New to Cruising?

    Do you have any questions about planning or booking a Yangtze cruise? The following articles introduce you to what makes cruising such a unique and memorable way to travel the Yangtze River, when is the best time to cruise Yangzi, how to choose your best route, how to choose a Yangtze ship, how to choose a cabin, what you can do onboard and ashore...

    1. Why a Yangtze Cruise?
    2. 2024 Latest Yangtze River News
    3. Best Time to Cruise
    4. Downstream or Upstream?
    5. How to Choose a Cruise Line
    6. How to Choose a Cruise Ship
    7. How to Choose a Cabin
    8. >> more guide info

    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.

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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.

    24/7 Customer Care

    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.