How to Plan Shanghai Yangtze River Tour - Eight Steps to Plan a Perfect Shanghai Yangtze Tour

Best Time to Visit

Shanghai is an international city visited by tourists and business travelers all the year round. Autumn, from mid-September to mid-November, is the most comfortable season, being neither too hot nor too rainy. Spring, from mid-March to mid-May, is the second best time to visit for the mild weather. Check Shanghai Weather, Seasons & Best Time to Visit

There are Yangtze ships sailing on Yangtze River all the year round even during the winter time. Based on the weather condition, the best seasons should be spring and autumn. More specifically, the best times to cruise are from April to June, and September to November. But there is no discount during the peak seasons. If you cruise in summer or winter, you could take a ship with lower prices. Decide your travel time according to your schedule and budget. Learn more about Best Time to Cruise on Yangtze River

Yangtze Cruise in Autumn

Cruise Yangtze River in Autumn

Upstream or Downstream Cruise?

Along Yangtze River, you could take either downstream or upstream cruise. To start a Yangtze cruise tour from Shanghai, it is better to get an upstream cruise - Yichang to Chongqing, Shanghai to Chongqing or Wuhan to Chongqing. Among the three routes, most travelers choose Yichang to Chongqing cruise, taking 5 days and 4 nights on Yangtze River.

But, if you want to save one day on Yangtze River, the downstream cruise is for you. It takes 4 days and 3 nights from Chongqing to Yichang.

Three Gorges in Spring

Three Gorges in Spring

Which Yangtze Cruise Ship to Take?

All the Yangtze cruise ships run between Yichang and Chongqing. You could choose ships among Victoria Cruises, Century Cruises, Yangtze Explorer, and President Cruises etc.

The newest cruise on Yangtze: Century Paragon, Century Legend, President 7, President 8;
The best-value cruise on Yangtze: Victoria Jenna, Victoria Anna, Century Sun, Century Sky;
The family-friendly cruise on Yangtze: Century Paragon, President 7, Yangtze Explorer;
The Budget but Luxury Cruise on Yangtze: Century Sun/Sky, Yangtze 2, Victoria Grace

Different cruise ships have different schedule. Pick your preferred one and confirm the cruise ship is right for your schedule. If you don’t mind which ship to take, just tell us your travel date and our travel consultants will arrange the best cruise to match your time perfectly.

Yangtze Cruise Ship

Choose Yangtze Cruise Ship

Choices of Transportation

There are several ways to get from Shanghai to Yangtze cruise ports - Yichang Port and Chongqing Port.

If you take the upstream cruise from Yichang to Chongqing, you could go from Shanghai to Yichang by flight (2 daily flights available for 2 hours) or high speed train (6 D trains available for 7.5-8 hours). If you take the downstream cruise from Chongqing to Yichang, it’s better to travel Shanghai to Chongqing by flight (more than 20 daily flights for 3 hours’ transfer).

>>Check more details about How to Get from Shanghai to Yangtze Cruise Ports

High Speed Train from Shanghai

High Speed Train from Shanghai

Choose Accommodation in Shanghai and on Ship

In Shanghai, you’ll stay in the downtown area of Shanghai. You could select your hotels from luxury, comfortable or cheap hotels with good location, close to tourist attractions, easily transfer to train station and airport.

How about the accommodation on Yangtze cruise? Usually, there are three or four types of cabins onboard - Standard Cabins, Junior Cabins, Deluxe Suite or Presidential Suite. They are located on different deck plans. For example, if you book presidential suite, you’ll stay on higher deck with more comfortable room and better location for scenery viewing. Different cabins on different deck plans have different prices. Select your favorite one and quote with our travel consultant.

Yangtze Cruise Cabins

Cabins on Yangtze Cruise

Meals & Dining

Dining options are a lot. In Shanghai, your guide will arrange to dine in comfortable restaurants near the tourist attractions. No matter you are a foodie or a vegetarian, you are sure be treated the way you like.

As for dining on Yangtze cruise, some cruise companies arrange buffet meals (both Western dishes and Chinese dishes) for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some companies arrange buffet breakfast and lunch and enjoy Chinese table dinner. If you like the buffet meals for the whole Yangtze trip, please feel free to let us know and we could arrange the ship right for you.

Dining on Yangtze Cruise

Dining on Yangtze Cruise

Explore Highlights of Shanghai & Yangtze

From the metropolis Shanghai to stunning Yangtze River, there is a sharp contrast to explore the urban and rural areas, modern and old China. You never get bored when visiting these two destinations.

Shanghai is the modern China’s capital, a new look of China opening to the world and more and more closely connecting with the international communities. It is better to spend 2 or 3 days in Shanghai for free or guided exploration. Visit The Bund of Shanghai, Nanjing Road, Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center, Yuyuan Garden & Bazaar, Jade Buddha Temple, Zhujiajiao Water Town, Tianzifang, Xintiandi, Shanghai Museum, Renmin Square. Learn more about Things to Do in Shanghai

From Yichang to Chongqing, there are so many sites to explore. You could have a half day trip in Yichang before boarding Yangtze cruise. On Ship, you’ll enjoy colorful cultural activities onboard and interesting shore excursions to Three Gorges Dam Site, Shennv Stream, Shennong Stream, Tribe of Three Gorges, Shibaozhai Pagoda, Fengdu Ghost City and White Emperor City. After disembarkation in Chongqing, take some hours to Ciqikou Ancient Town, Eling Park, Three Gorges Museum to know more about Yangtze River and Chongqing.

The Bund of Shanghai

The Bund of Shanghai

Explore Destinations beyond Shanghai and Yangtze River

Traveling Shanghai and Yangtze River only takes you 6 to 7 days. If you want a longer China Yangtze Cruise vacation from Shanghai, you could extend to Xian (2 days), Beijing (3 days), Guilin (2-3 days), Chengdu (2 days) and Lhasa (4 days) etc. All the destinations have stunning attractions to explore and help you get a complete picture of China. You could check our Shanghai Yangtze River Extension Tours or just go ahead to customize your China trip.

Lhasa Potala Palace

Lhasa Potala Palace

Recommended Shanghai Yangtze Tours

Top 3 Shanghai Yangtze tours chosen by most customers to explore Shanghai Yangtze in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.

Immerse in the Spring Flowers in Your Yangtze River Cruise Tour

7 Days Shanghai & Yangtze Cruise Tour (Upstream)

Shanghai / Yichang / Yangtze Cruise / Chongqing

Shibaozhai Pagoda

6 Days Shanghai & Yangtze Cruise Tour (Downstream)

Shanghai / Chongqing / Yangtze Cruise / Yichang

Gorgeous Scenery of Three Gorges

12 Days Classic China Tour with Yangtze Cruise

Shanghai / Yichang / Yangtze Cruise / Chongqing / Xian / Beijing

Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once inquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.

Customize a Trip

Have a question? Get answers from our travel experts or guests

  • Your Question:
  • Your Name:
  • Your Email:
  • Submit