Tours & Itineraries cruises river cruise China

River Cruises In China

river cruise in china
Maria Cristina
Maria Cristina

Taking a river cruise is on top of every traveler’s to-do list as a unique way of exploring China. Aside from owning several man-made wonders like the Great Wall, Terra Cotta Warriors, and the Forbidden City, China also boast beautiful scenery and a plethora of rivers that weave through these scenic landscapes. Two of the world’s longest rivers belong to China – the Yangtze River (“long river”) and the Yellow River (“cradle of Chinese Civilization”). Expect to see breathtaking landscapes, mystifying pagodas and temples, and a peek into the daily life of rural and small-town communities by the river banks. Experience the rich culture and heritage of the most populated East Asian country by hopping on a river cruise. Here’s a rundown of the best river cruises in China.

1. Enjoy a romantic night cruise down the Pearl River; Guangzhou (from USD 19.0)

Enjoy the cruise down China’s third-largest and Guangzhou’s largest river – the Pearl River. The trip takes around 70 to 110 minutes, departing from Dashatou Wharf, and will take you around the most popular sites in Guangzhou like the Haiyin Bridge, Sun Yat-Sen University’s North Gate Square, Xinghai Concert Hall, Canton Tower, Liede Bridge, Zhujiang International Beer Museum, and Haixinsha. The boat has three floors with several seats, offering awesome views of the passing nighttime scenery. The Buffet Hall and VIP area on the top floor and offers romantic meals along with drinks and lovely views of the region. The highlight of the trip is the gorgeous historical sites and the one-of-a-kind Guangzhou architecture that lines both sides of the river.

Pearl River Night Cruise in Guangzhou(Dashatou Wharf)

274 reviews

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2. Perfect cruise for first-timers in Shanghai (from USD 14.0)

A cruise down the Huangpu River is perfect for first-time travelers in Shanghai. The cruise will take you to the heart of the city and pass through several of the popular town attractions, including the Shanghai Disneyland Resort. A fully flexible ticket allows you to tour the river and the city at any time of the day. Enjoy the mix of old and new architecture like the Fengjing and Zhujiajiao Ancient towns during the day and neon lights of the modern Shanghai towers during the night. Starting from the Bund, the boat cruises along the Huangpu River with a view of the modern Pudong. Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Shanghai Center, International Finance Center, Jin Mao Tower, and Shanghai International Convention Center are just a few of the sights you’ll see on this river cruise.

【Instant Confirmation】Huangpu River Cruise(Qingjiang Line)

Duration: 1 Hrs Duration

1305 reviews

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3. Experience the Li River village life on a group tour; Guilin (from USD 96.8)

river cruise in china | experience the li river village life on a group tour; guilin

The best way to experience the busy village life of Guilin is by joining a group on a day tour river cruise. This waterway flows through Guilin city up to Yangshuo, passing through several villages and limestone hills along the way. You can take a bamboo raft trip or go hiking to explore the terrain, but taking the river cruise is the best. A guided cruise will tell you the history behind the attractions you’ll pass by. The relaxing sight of water buffalos and traditional bamboo rafts with fishermen on them adds to the rustic charm of the trip that takes around four and a half hours. Look out for the Daxu Ancient Town that’s overflowing with ancient Chinese Homes and the Elephant Trunk Hill that looks like the real animal drinking from the river.

Guilin City Li River Cruise and Yangshuo Group Day Tour

Duration: 8 hour

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4. Enjoy a whole day of sightseeing on the Li River: Guilin (from USD 98.0)

river cruise in china | enjoy a whole day of sightseeing on the li river: guilin

Join the one-day Li River cruise and enjoy the lovely scenery and local folk culture of Guilin. Your group will meet at the docks to begin your boat tour. The trip will take four and a half hours, as you go around the riverbanks enjoying a modest Chinese-style lunch while cruising. There will be a stopover at Yangshou and guests have four hours to explore the picturesque town. Go shopping at the West Street for snacks and local handicrafts. You can watch the Shangri-la show and be acquainted with the local culture. At the end of the tour, you will be returned to the Guilin downtown, with a drop off at the train station.

Guilin: 1-Day Li River Cruise & Sightseeing

Duration: 1 day

12 reviews

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5. Explore three gorges in five days (from USD 70.0)

Book a trip on the five-star Chinese boat that will take you on a cruise along the Yangtze River. Yangtze River or Chang Jiang is China’s longest river measuring 6,379 kilometers (3,968 miles). It is also the world’s third longest next to the Amazon and Nile Rivers. The cruise will take you on a five-days and four-nights trip traveling from Yichang all the way to Chongqing, including the Three Gorges, namely Qutang, Wu, and Xiling Gorge. The journey includes free meals starting on the second day, luxurious accommodations, and shore explorations. Depending on the boat schedule, the three locations may vary, so you will get the final itinerary right before you start the tour.

Yangtze River Cruise from Yichang to Chongqing Upstream in 5 Days 4 Nights

Duration: 5 days

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Explore China on a river cruise

China has so many rivers and wonderful places waiting to be explored. The river scenery reflects the lifestyle and culture of the Chinese, and by going on a cruise you will have a deeper appreciation of their country and natural surroundings. When visiting East Asia, remember to include a river cruise in China in your travel plans.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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For Tina, she loves to travel because she gets to learn a new culture, meet new people, make a new set of friends, acquire new tastes, see new sights, and experience a different lifestyle! The...Read more

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