Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift - World's Largest and Most Sophisticated Ship Lift
Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift, also called Three Gorges Dam Ship Elevator, is not only the largest but also the most sophisticated ship lift in the world.
2021 Arrangement of Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift Experience
Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift Will be Closed from October 21th to September 25th
The Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift will be closed from 8:00am on October 21th to September 25th for maintenance. During then, all the Yangtze ships will pass the Three Gorges Dame via the Five-stage Ship Lock.
Travelers can personally reveal and have a better know about the last mystery of Three Gorges Dam Project by experiencing the latest construction of Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift.
Yangtze 1 is the only ship offers the fresh and awesome experience to sail through Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift for free.
In the whole year of 2022, Victoria Cruises, Century Cruises, Yangtze Gold Cruises and Yangtze 2 will offer optional experience (additional charge) to sail through the new Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift both for downstream and upstream.
Yangtze Explorer will offer optional experience (additional charge) of Ship Lift for upstream cruise. It definitely should be a fresh and special experience for travelers to Three Gorges Dam.
Top Yangtze River Ships to Experience Ship Lift
How Yangtze Cruise Performs Ship Lift?
Travelers can experience ship lift at Three Gorges Dam with all the Yangtze River cruise ships no matter you take 4 Days & 3 Nights downstream cruise from Chongqing to Yichang or 5 Days & 4 Nights upstream cruise from Yichang to Chongqing. The following is Victoria Cruises’ detailed arrangement to sail through Ship Lift. You may check it for reference. (Please note that the time arrangement of different cruise companies may vary based on the real situation, but experience will be the same.)
For downstream travelers:
Your ship will dock at Maoping Port on the last day of your downstream cruise. You’ll change onto a sightseeing boat sailing down to Three Gorges Dam Site to pass through the Ship Lift (optional experience for extra pay). When the sightseeing boat comes out the ship chamber, it will continue sailing to the lower part of Yangtze River and usually docks at Huanglingmiao Port. Here, you’ll change to a sightseeing bus heading to Three Gorges Dam Site for further sightseeing. After the dam visiting, the cruise company will provide transfer service sending travelers to Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal (near Yichang No. 9 pier which is across from Wanda Plaza; about 50 km for 1~1.5 hours’ bus ride). Travelers will arrive in Yichang downtown area around 13:30. (Note: We advise you take a train after 15:30 and take a flight after 16:00).
For upstream travelers:
For travelers who take an upstream cruise from Yichang to Chongqing, you should arrive at Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal or Yichang East Railway Station during 16:00~21:00 on the first day and take the bus arranged by the cruise companies heading to Maoping Port (about 50 km for 1~1.5 hours’ bus ride) for embarkation. On the second day after lunch around 14:00, you’ll first visit Three Gorges Dam Site and then around 16:30 switch to a sightseeing boat at Huanglingmiao Port to sail through Ship Lift (optional experience for extra pay). Get back to your ship at 18:00 and continue your ship to Chongqing.
Ship Lift VS Ship Lock
The maximum difference between the upstream and downstream water level is 113 meters. Now, shipping traffic can not only pass the dam by means of a two-lane, five chamber lock chain, but also by the vertical ship lift.
There is a saying: “Ship lock for large vessels and ship lift for small vessels”. Ship locks were like stairs. Walking up or down stairs is certainly much slower than taking the lift. That’s to say, large-sized vessels still need to spend about 4 hours passing through the dam’s five lock while mostly small and medium-sized vessels, with a dead weight under 3000 tonnes, can get across the dam by ship lift in 40 minutes.
Apart from faster speed, the ship lift is also safer. It could be dangerous if the ship catches fire in ship locks. But on the lift, with its open space, the chance for such a situation developing is much smaller.
Three Gorges Dam Ship Locks Unavailable in 2022: as the national policy of “the Belt and Road” to develop the economy of the Yangtze River region, the Three Gorges Dam ship locks is only accessible for cargo ships, so all commercial passenger ships will not able to pass the ship locks in the 2019. However, you could still appreciate the ship locks or take the new experience of the amazing Three Gorges Dam ship lift at the Three Gorges dam site. Feel free to ask our travel consultant if you have any questions.
How does ship lift work?
Sightseeing Boat to Sail through Three Gorges Dam Ship lift
When a ship heads upstream (for travelers, it usually means pass through Three Gorges Dam from Yichang to Chongqing), first, it has to enter the ship chamber from the lower gate, then the lower gate is closed and the ship chamber ascends through climbing device. When the water level in the ship chamber is the same with that of upper part of the reservoir, the upper gate is opened and the ship can sail into upper bay. If a ship heads downstream (for travelers, it usually means pass through Three Gorges Dam from Chongqing to Yichang), the procedure is just opposite.
How does ship lock work?
When a ship heads upstream, it first has to get into the fifth chamber. Close the fifth chamber and make the water level in fifth chamber the same with the fourth chamber. Then, open the gate between fifth chamber and fourth chamber and ship goes into the fourth chamber. Follow the step, the ship can cross the five chambers by passing six gates. If a ship heads downstream, the procedure is just opposite. More about ship lock, please visit The Three Gorges Dam Ship Lock.
Know More about Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift Structure
Designed according to German industrial standards, Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift is the last component in the Three Gorges Dam complex and mainly consists of an upper bay, an upper gate, a ship chamber, a lower gate and a lower bay. With a lifting height of up to 113 meters, internal dimensions of 120×18×3.5m (useable space) and moving mass of approx. 34000 tonnes, the vertical ship lift is the largest of its kind in the world.
Vertical Section of Three Gorges Dam Ship lift
Horizontal Section of Three Gorges Dam Ship lift
The main components of the structure are four 169m high reinforced concrete towers. The four towers are built on a continuous foundation slab, directly on granite rock. Between the towers the steel ship chamber, which is 132m long, is suspended from 256 ropes that are connected with counterweights via 128 double rope pulleys at the tops of the towers. Each pair of towers on the long sides of the ship chamber is flanked by shear walls. The walls and towers are connected by coupling beams distributed evenly over the height. Two bridges between the towers are located above the ship chamber, one for the central control room and one for a visitor platform.
Travel with yangtze-river-cruises.com
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More Yangtze River Cruise Shore Excursions
- Three Gorges
- Three Gorges Dam Site
- Fengdu Ghost City
- Shibaozhai Pagoda
- White Emperor City
- Tribe of Three Gorges
- Lesser Three Gorges
- Shennong Stream
- Ship Lock
- Shennv Stream
- Baiheliang Museum
- 816 Nuclear Project
- Quyuan Temple
- Mini Three Gorges
- Mount Jiuhua
- War Fire of Three Kingdoms
- Return to The Three Gorges
- All Shore Excursions & Attractions
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