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4 Days Chongqing Essence Tour with Yangtze River Cruise

Classic Golden Route for a Yangtze River Cruise


This 4-day Chongqing Yangtze tour is the most classic route for a single Yangtze cruise experience in China! If you want a relaxing way to relax your body and feast your eyes with countless charming natural scenery, this short cruise trip is definitely the perfect one for you. You can choose your favorite ship among top cruise companies with over twenty 5 star ships - both new and luxury. Onboard, enjoy some peaceful moments at the private balcony with fascinating gorge scenery passing by; on shore, have some cultural shock by visiting the authentic sites to enrich your China experience. Of course, you won’t miss the opportunity with about half day city tour to catch the essences of Chongqing where you’ll board your ship.

Highlights of this tour:

    4-day Yangtze River Cruise from Chongqing to Yichang, Three Gorges, Three Gorges Dam, Three Gorges Museum, Hongya Cave, Liziba Metro Station

Basic Trip Information

from Request
  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in a 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according to your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
Travel Route:
Chongqing / Yangtze Cruise / Yichang
Travel Length:
4 Days & 3 Nights
Tour Code:
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Any day you want
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Your tour - at a glance

Day 1 Chongqing Embarkation

Day 2 Yangtze River Cruise through Fuling, Fengdu, Zhongxian County

Day 3 Yangtze River Cruise Sailing through Qutang Gorge and Wu Gorge

Day 4 Yichang Disembarkation & Three Gorges Dam Visit

Full Itinerary Day by Day

Day 1 Chongqing & Board Your Ship (L)

Ni Hao! Welcome to Chongqing, the Port City of Yangtze River Cruise! On this day, you’ll have the chance to fully experience the uniqueness of the Mountain City and culture of Yangtze River. First, be escorted to Three Gorges Museum (三峡博物馆) at the city downtown. The vast collection of more than 280 thousand pieces of precious historical relics will let you have an amazing understanding of the great Yangtze River and formation of the magnificent Three Gorges, and also tell you the gradual thriving of Chongqing from 3,000 years ago, to its war defense in 20s century, and developmental path to be one of the 4 prosperous municipalities in China. Stepping out from the museum, have a nice look at the People’s Assembly Hall (重庆人民大礼堂) that is popular with fancy classical exterior design and was listed into the History of Architecture compiled in London in 1987.

Later, be transferred to take Chonqing Rail Transit Line 2 (重庆轻轨二号线) from Huanghuayuan Metro Station to Liziba Metro Station (李子坝) to look at the city’s prototype from a different angle. Then, get off to have the never-seen magic of the train going through 11-storey block of flats, existing only in the fantastically structured Chongqing built against mountains.

After that, travel up to E’ling Park (鹅岭公园) and embrace the impressive panorama of Chongqing City which has been highly praised as “Little Hong Kong” with its well-arranged row upon row of modern skyscrapers and two winding rivers surrounding. Then, go down to visit Hongya Cave (洪崖洞), the must-see highlight to appreciate the layers of featured Ba and Shu regional wooden tilted houses overlapped leaning the mountain up to 11 storeys, which looks quite glittery lit.

After the tour, you will be escorted to Chaotianmen Dock (朝天门码头) to board the Yangtze cruise ship between 18:00-20:00. Your memorable Yangtze River cruise will sail around 21:00!

More notes and tips regarding the Yangtze River Cruise’s embarkation:

  • 1. There are 13 sub-piers of Chaotianmen Dock and different ships will dock at different piers. Please check the info with your travel consultant and know where to board your ship at least one day beforehand.
  • 2. The boarding time and departure piers change based on the cruise line, water level, season, weather and other factors. Your travel consultant will ensure you have the departure time and boarding pier before boarding.
  • 3. Some cruises do not include dinner on the embarkation night, you can have dinner or buy some snacks at Chaotianmen Square before embarkation.
  • 4. Chaotianmen Dock is currently under refurbishment and does not have escalators, only wooden stairs. When embarking or disembarking at Chaotianmen, you may need to carry your luggage up or down the stairs. If you have difficulty with this due to physical constraints, please inform your travel consultant in advance. They can arrange for a luggage porter to assist you for a fee of 20-30 RMB per package.
  • Three Gorges Museum Three Gorges Museum
  • Chongqing Light Rail Going Through a Building at Liziba Metro Station Chongqing Light Rail Going Through a Building at Liziba Metro Station
  • Chongqing City Panorama from Erling Park Chongqing City Panorama from Erling Park
  • Chongqing Chaotianmen Port  Night View Chongqing Chaotianmen Port Night View

Day 2 Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D)

In the morning, wake up leisurely and enjoy the gentle sunshine shining over the tranquil and beautiful Yangtze River. It will be colorful and interesting whether you decide to stay onboard or go ashore at river stops. 

Onboard, you will enjoy different kinds of activities, like practicing Tai Chi on the boat’s sundeck, drinking a relaxing morning coffee, attending a Yangtze River history and culture lecture, or taking part in the Captain’s Welcome Party and evening shows.

Next, follow a local guide and make a shore excursion in Fengdu County. Fengdu County (丰都), a vital part of the Three Gorges Reservoir Region, boosts unique natural and cultural landscape, including Fengdu Ghost City (丰都鬼城), Mount Shuanggui (双桂山), Snow Jade Cave (雪玉洞), Jade Emperor Scenic Area (玉皇圣地), Xiaoguanshan Folk Residences (小官山民俗村), etc.

Out of all these sites, Fengdu Ghost City (丰都鬼城) is the most famous and attractive one. It is filled with mysterious tales of the underworld, brutal tortures, and various types of demons and Chinese devils. Entering this ghost city, you will find many statues of demons and vivid scenes of their perfidious activities. Some cruise companies arrange the site visit as an included, and others classify it as optional, which requires extra payment; you may check with your travel consultant while booking.

An Optional Excursion: Leaving Fengdu County, your cruise will reach and dock at Zhongxian County in the late afternoon, where a marvelous large-scale real landscape show is coming. The Feng Yan San Guo Show (烽烟三国) brings a cultural feast for Yangtze River cruise visitors to know the brilliant historical culture of the Three Kingdoms Period and the spirit of loyalty of great military officer Guan Yu (关羽). With amazing effects of lights, sounds, and special effects during the show, historical scenes seem to return vividly in front of you.

More notes and tips regarding today’s itinerary:

  • 1. Even sailing the same route through the Three Gorges, different cruises would have different shore excursion arrangements. The sites abovementioned refer to common and most frequent situations. The specific itinerary of the day depends on the ship you booked.
  • 2. Physical demands and dressing tips: Comfortable shoes are highly recommended since there will be a long distance walking at Fengdu Ghost City and many stairs to climb up at Shibaozhai Pagoda!
  • Peter's Family - Relaxing Yangtze River Cruise Peter's Family enjoyed a leisure break on Yangtze River Cruises
  • Fengdu Ghost City - Tianzi Hall Fengdu Ghost City - Tianzi Hall
  • Feng Yan San Guo Show Feng Yan San Guo Show

Day 3 Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D)

Today, you will sail through the essential section of the Yangtze River - Three Gorges (三峡)! You shall relax on the sun deck and soak up the breathtaking gorge scenery passing by as you drift through Qutang Gorge (瞿塘峡) and Wu Gorge (巫峡). While the ship cruises toward the mouth of the Gorges, especially at Kui Gate (夔门), you’ll hear the wind whistling fiercely and witness the rolling hills stretching towards the skyline, leaving you marvelling at nature’s ingenious workmanship.

Today’s shore excursions would mainly be arranged at counties along the Three Gorges, in Fengjie (奉节), Wuxian (巫县) or Badong (巴东). Different cruise companies draw up different itineraries. But in general, most luxury Yangtze River cruise companies, such as Century Cruises, Victoria Cruises and Yangtze Gold Cruises, etc., would port in Fengjie in the morning and offer an optional shore excursion (required extra payment) to the White Emperor City (白帝城). This famous ancient “Poem City” is mentioned in about 1,400 Chinese poems. A tour through the scenic area tells a touching story of Liu Bei (刘备) entrusting his son to his prime minister, Zhuge Liang (诸葛亮). What’s more, the Viewing Platform in the scenic area is the best place to take a photo of the top representative landscape of the Qutang Gorge, Kui Gate, the same scenery on the background of the CNY 10 Note.

Cruise journey continues. In the afternoon, your cruise will stop at Wu Gorge. You will take a shore excursion here by switching to a smaller boat to sail down a beautiful stream running in a narrow side gorge where you will have close-up views of high mountain peaks and hanging coffins on the steep cliff faces. Shennv Stream (神女溪), Shennong Stream (神农溪) and the Lesser Three Gorges (小三峡) are the frequently-chosen ones.

This evening, you’ll enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Party with all your mates and appreciate or join the fascinating dance show to spend a wonderful night.

More notes and tips regarding today’s itinerary:

  • 1. Besides the shore excursions mentioned above, two newly pop-up sites selected by cruise companies have gained high recognition from guests: Three Gorges Summit (三峡之巅) and Goddess Sky Road (神女天路). Both are constructed on mountaintops for customers to enjoy the panoramic view of the natural splendor!
  • 2. Different cruises have different shore excursion arrangements. The specific itinerary of the day depends on the cruise you booked.
  • Our Dearest Guests at Kui Gate, Qutang Gorge Our customers took a shore excursion to Kui Gate at White Emperor City, Qutang Gorge
  • Shennv Stream Shennv Stream

Day 4 Yangtze River Cruise & Yichang Departure (B)

After breakfast, you’ll begin to check out and disembark at Maoping Port. Today’s highlight is a morning excursion to Three Gorges Dam (三峡大坝), the world’s largest hydropower project, located in the middle of Xiling Gorge near Yichang. You will marvel at this gigantic dam from different angles, learn more about the background history of the Three Gorges Dam Project and enjoy the beautiful surrounding landscape and scenery. If you like, you can take an optional experience to sail through the Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift (三峡大坝升船机), the largest and the most sophisticated ship lift in the world, which takes only 40 minutes with fresh insight into the dam project. (Notice: During the peak season, the ship lift operation is in full swing. In some instances, you may not be able to find a seat and may have to stand. If you are worried about how the crowds might affect your experience, it is advisable to think carefully before joining the program.)

After the dam visit (around noon), you’ll take the bus arranged by the cruise company heading to Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal (宜昌三峡游客中心) for leave. The local guide and driver will meet you at the terminal and escort you to the airport or train station to catch your flight or train to next destination. Service ends!

Procedures for Leaving: enjoy breakfast onboard - pack your luggage - disembark at Maoping Dock - transfer to Three Gorges Dam (leave your luggage on the coach) - Dam visiting - take the same coach at the dam and shuttle to Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal - take our private car service.

Departure Ideas: You can take flights from Yichang Sanxia Airport to Shanghai, Xian, Beijing, Guangzhou and Hangzhou, etc. Or you can take high speed trains from Yichang East Railway Station to Wuhan (about 2hrs), Shanghai (about 8hrs), Beijing (about 7.5hrs), Hangzhou (about 7.5hrs), Chengdu (about 7hrs), Guangzhou (about 7hrs) and more cities.

  • Three Gorges Dam The Magnificent Giant Three Gorges Dam
  • Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal
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