After a free morning, transfer to the station and take a high-speed train to the industrial city of Chongqing (approximately 2 hours), the gateway to the Yangzi River. Chongqing is the biggest city in China with a population of over 20 million in the city centre and suburbs sprawling along the river and up the steep hills behind. Board your river boat - your home for the next 3 nights.
Cruise down one of the world’s greatest rivers, with two full days on board a tourist class boat down river to Yichang. The Yangzi has inspired numerous poets, writers and travellers over the centuries. You will travel along one of the most picturesque sections, through the renowned Three Gorges. The dramatic 'Sanxia', as they are known in Chinese, stretch for 200 kilometres and vary from 100 metres to 300 metres in width. As well as relaxing and taking in the sights (now much changed since the implementation of the Three Gorges dam), you may have opportunities to visit some riverside attractions and towns on optional group excursions, including leaving the river boat to take a side trip down a tributary of the Yangzi River. If you prefer to stay on-board, perhaps take the chance to learn some Chinese words or how to write characters from your leader, how to play mahjong, sing some Chinese songs, catch up on your travel diary or just relax and chat with your group members and local travellers.
Our cabins are twin-share with private bathroom facilities. Full board buffet style, including local style breakfast, is provided while on the boat with typical (but often quite plain) Chinese cuisine. There's a chance to visit the supermarket in Chongqing before boarding in order to stock up on some favourite snacks, drinks or fruit for your journey, or to buy what you need if you have specific dietary requirements.
The gorges are spectacular and most travellers enjoy their time on the Yangzi boats but some words of warning are necessary. The Yangzi River region is one of the most industrialised and rapidly developing areas in China. We travel on Chinese tourist boats rather than luxury tourist vessels. We like to call it a river trip, rather than a traditional cruise.
The Chinese authorities oversee the travel of all boats on the Yangzi. We do everything we can to ensure standards are maintained for our river trip but some things are outside our control. We use a range of different boats, depending on availability and the date of our departure. All boats are of a standard that complies with our required safety standards, although the size and age of boat varies from trip to trip. As the departure times of the boats are subject to frequent change this can mean that we need to make some changes to our itinerary and at times we've been unable to see all three gorges due to the boat schedule or poor visibility. Any changes made will be done with the aim of giving you the best possible Yangzi experience but we'd like to forewarn you of the possibility. Your leader will update you of any known changes at your group meeting.
Yangzi River - Fengdu Temple
Yangzi River - Fengdu Temple Cable Car