Three Gorges Yangtze River Cruise and Big Dam Tour

Chongqing-Yichang Yangtze River Downstream 4-day Cruise Tour


• Taking a Yangtze cruise is a popular way to discover China. There is an old saying: "on a slow boat to China." Why not relax on a slow boat in China, on the beautiful Yangtze River. 

• A Yangtze River Cruise will take you through the center of China while allowing you to see some of the most spectacular scenery imaginable. 

• There are several impressive guided shore excursions on offer during a Yangtze cruise, including such classic attractions as the Three Gorges Dam, and the Fengdu Ghost City.



Day 1: Arrive in Chongqing

You will fly to Chongqing, where you will begin your Yangtze River cruise. Upon arrival in Chongqing you’ll be met at the airport at your guide, and you’ll be taken to the cruise ship. You will have a welcoming dinner on the cruise ship, and you will spend your night on the boat. You’ll have the rest of the night to walk around the boat.

Day 2: Chongqing-Fengdu Ghost City (B,L,D)

At 8:00 am you’re your ship will depart from the harbor, and your cruise down the mighty Yangtze River will begin. Yangtze cruise ships travel slowly for passengers to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Broadcasts from the ship’s PA system transmit information on shore excursions or from guest lecturers to your cabin, ensure that you will not miss a chance to see any extraordinary scenery, even if you are relaxing in your cabin.

After breakfast on the ship you’ll take a visit onshore in order to visit the Ghost City of Fengdu County. It used to be a burial area with scores of temples and shrines and a small ancient town. Due to the construction of the 3 Gorges Dam, the ghostly city is underwater. However, a hill and dozens of temples remain in the big artificial lake behind the dam. So that part can still be visited. It is a large burial and temple area. The area above the “Door of Hell” remains. It is interesting that Chinese have traditional conceptions of hell that are somewhat similar to Western ideas. At the site, people can see statues and frescoes about hell with brightly painted images of demons and other eerie items.

You can spend the rest of the day enjoying the scenery from the cruise ship, and in the evening a dinner will be held aboard the cruise ship. 

Day 3: Badong-Xiling Gorge (B, L, D)

Today on your cruise, you will be visiting Badong county, a bright pearl inlaid along the corridor of the Splendid Yangtze River, to be one of the highlights of the Yangtze Three Gorges cruise, and almost all cruise ships stop here for a shore excursion.

You will take a small junk boat from the cruise ship in Badong to Shennong Stream. Shennong Stream is a tributary of the Yangtze River, and its fast-flowing, crystal clear water runs southwards through deep gorges. The stream races past large and small karst caves, flocks of swallows, sheer cliffs, deep gorges, waterfalls, three-colored springs, rapids, the ancient plank path, a suspended coffin in the cliff, groups of ancient tombs and marvelous karst formations. There are displays of Chinese art and of artifacts saved from the construction of the 3 Gorges Dam and the artificial lake. It instructs on the 3 Gorges region, the 3 Gorges Dam, the history of Chongqing and the surrounding area, Chinese history, and prehistoric times.

You'll also sail into the western section of Xiling Gorge, the longest of the Three Gorges (at 66 kilometers, compared to Wu Gorge at 44 kilometers and Qutang Gorge at 8 kilometers). Xiling Gorge was renowned for its winding waterway that suddenly narrowed into treacherous rapids or skirted over dangerous shoals. Despite the risks (Xiling Gorge was dubbed as a "death passage"). Ships were compelled to pass through its waters regularly, as there was little alternative. It was also for this reason, among many others, that the Three Gorges Dam project was justified. It has turned what was once a "death passage," where many ships went aground, and some even destroyed, into a gent waterway whose surface today more fittingly be compared to the tranquil waters of a lake. Xiling Gorge is the last of the Three Gorges. It marks the end of the narrow, twisting, and turning corridor that has been so treacherous in the past.

In the evening, various shows and performances will be held in the cruise ship. These include costume shows, magic shows, traditional Sichuan Opera, and magical Mask Changing.

Day 4: Three Gorges Dam-Yichang (B)

In the morning you will arrive at the enormous Three Gorges Dam. Construction was begun in the '80s and was completed in 2008. It backs up the Yangtze River for 550km, making it the world's largest dam. Because the water rises to a level of 185m behind the dam, millions of people have had to be resettled, bridges moved, and historical relicts secured. The energy production capabilities of the dam are estimated at 84.7 billion kilowatts, equivalent to 18 nuclear reactors.  

The Three Gorges Dam is the largest water conservancy project undertaken by man, and various Chinese officials have dreamed about the plan for hundreds of years. It is 2,335 meters wide on the top, and 130 meters wide at the bottom. The views from the top of the dam are stunning, so don't forget to bring your camera!

You will then arrive in Yichang, where you will be met and taken to the airport by your guide. You will fly on to your next destination, ending your tour.

Yangtze Cruise Video

Our ship Victoria Jenna is passing the first gorge (Qutang Gorge).

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  Operated by China Adventure Club, a division of Great Wall Adventure Club, LLC.