The popularity of Yangtze River cruises is rising. Touring the Yangtze on a luxury cruise ship has become a new trend among Chinese. A cruise on the mighty Yangtze River is a must for both domestic and foreign travelers alike. The experience captures the essence of China with its awe-inspiring scenery.
The Yangtze River No. 2, a new luxury cruise ship, will set sail on August 29 on its maiden voyage on the Yangtze River from Chongqing to the Three Gorges Dam in Hubei’s Yichang City.
The 139-meter long, six-story cruise ship, will embark on a downstream four-day voyage that will cost 3,500 yuan ($548) per person. The upstream return cruise from Yichang to Chongqing will take five days and cost 3,800 yuan.
Considered the largest river cruise ship to date, the ship can accommodate up to 452 people. Amenities include a swimming pool, a theater, and five-star luxury suites.
More than 11,000 people have made reservations for the cruise ship for the next three months, according to Wang Lidong, deputy manager of cruise operator, Changjiang (Yangtze) Cruise Overseas Travel Co.
Last year, 310,000 people cruised the Yangtze on luxury cruise ships and Wang expects the figure to reach 450,000 this year.
Another Yangtze luxury cruise operator, Century Cruises recently announced plans to introduce two new ships in 2012, with additional ships planned that could bring its fleet to 10 by 2015 – making them the largest cruise line on the Yangtze River.
The Century cruise line offers luxurious services that include professional European concierge service. Passengers can select from Western-style dining and Chinese buffets, and can upgrade to sumptuous, 4-course Western-style meals for dinner. Other luxury offerings include live entertainment and a choice of onboard leisure activities, such as cultural performances, calligraphy classes, and Chinese cooking lessons.
The Yangtze is the world’s third largest river, and as a result of the “Three Gorges Dam” construction, it is the only the river in the world that can be explored by cruise ship all year around. The dam project has made the river deeper and its channels safer to navigate.
photo credit: century cruises, chinatours