There is no trouble when there is preparedness. Careful planning can make the difference between a memorable experience for a lifetime Cruising on the Yangtze River. After reading the below items, you may find some ideas in planning your cruise.
Choose the best time to take cruise
The best seasons to take a Yangtze Cruise are spring and autumn. In summer, the river flood may occur after heavy rainstorms in July and August. In winter, the weather is cold and windy, the price is relatively low. Some ships suspend operation during winter because of insufficient bookings. Usually, April, May, September and October are considered as the high season, and the price is higher.
Determine the best time and length of your cruise
Cruises are contingent upon available vacation time and/or your family members' various commitments to work and school. In addition to the length of the cruise itself, you need to plan travel time to and from your embarkation point.
Select a cruise route
Select a cruise route that appeals to you, an upstream or downstream route? Cruises downstream refer to the cruise ships that leave from Chongqing, and then continue downstream to Yichang, Wuhan or Shanghai. While the upstream routes set out from Shanghai, Wuhan or Yichang and head to Chongqing. Actually there is no material differences between these two sailing directions, the cruise companies have tried to arrange the cruises to pass the most splendid parts of the gorges during the day time. However, the following advantages and disadvantages for both sailing directions are still worth considering when you plan the cruise trip.
Advantages: Faster speed and no night sailing. Berthing at daytime by scenic spots, allows more time for traveling around on shore.
Disadvantages: There is shorter time for appreciating the Three Gorges since the cruise ship is moving quickly.
Advantages: Slower speed enables more extensive appreciation of the sights. some of cruises costs less. There are more activities and entertainment on board in which Chinese culture can be experienced.
Disadvantages: Some night sailing so a few onshore sights are missed in order to reach the next scenic spot on time.
At present, the Yangtze cruise routes include: Chongqing-Yichang(3nights/4days), Yichang-Chongqing(4nights/5days), Chongqing-Shanghai(6nights/7days), and Shanghai-Chongqing (8nights / 9days).
Choose an ideal ship
Easy Tour China can reserve 30+ star rated cruise ships running on Yangtze River. Our travel specialist will choose the ideal ship, which can fit into the itinerary of the clients and meet your demands. Generally speaking, we recommend the clients to take the cruise launched or refurbished within 3 years, which are newer and more comfortable. The famous fleets on Yangtze River are Victoria Cruises – the only fleet run by an American company, Century Fleet with all 5 star cruises on Yangtze River. Other fleets like President Series and OTC Victoria Fleet are also popular among tourists. Please visit our web pages about Yangtze River ship to find more details on each ship and its sailing schedule.
Check the safety and health codes
Check the safety and health codes of the ship you intend to board to make sure it's safe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains a list of cruise ships and their health records, and you should consult its website before making your purchase.
Choose the suitable cabin
Generally speaking, the cabin types on Yangtze cruises include standard cabins, junior suites, deluxe suites and presidential suites. More and more ships built a balcony to each cabins. If without a balcony, the cabins are a little cheaper. Some ships charge an extra fee for choosing the cabin at a higher deck. Therefore, please feel free to let our travel specialists to know your requirements, we can find out a suitable cruise based on your budget and travel style. Usually the rate of deluxe suite is 4-5 times of the rate of a single passenger based on a twin sharing.
Examine your cabin options.
If you have children, you want to book an assigned cabin in advance, which allows you to tailor the sleeping arrangements to fit your particular needs. Individual cabins may vary slightly, and if yours aren't assigned, you may find that they don't have what you need. If you're getting multiple cabins, make sure they are located next to each other or across the hall and see if you can get cabins with adjoining doors or larger staterooms.
Passengers with wheelchairs must notify your travel specialists of East Tour China at the time of booking with sufficient information as to the size and other applicable characteristics of their wheel chairs to insure that the booked cabin is suitable for wheelchair entry. Conditions may preclude passengers with wheelchairs from going ashore at certain ports of call.
Know the conditions of the Yangtze cruise ships
There are quite a few cruise companies in operation on Yangtze River. The ships we recommend to the clients can be classified as 4 star and 5 star classes based on the standards of China Tourism authorities. Please understand that these river cruise ships cannot compare to those ocean liners: cabins not as spacious, facilities and amenities are limited. But as river cruise, these ships are comfortable enough for most passengers, and can meet regular travel requirements.
Generally, the cabin size of 4 star cruises is more or less 15 square meters (161.5 square feet) plus a private balcony if there is one, while the 5 star cruises have the standard cabin of around 20-22 square meters (215-237 square feet), the regular cabin size of the newly launched 5+ cruise liner might be as large as 25 square meters (269 square feet).
Most ships provide the services and facilities: reception desk with safety deposit, beauty salon, health clinic, gym, sundeck, laundry, business center (internet, fax and phone call), shops, conference hall, card room, reading room, banquet hall, bar/café, massage, sauna, etc.
Decide to take package or cruise
If you book a cruise alone or a complete package with us is of course up to you. The advantage of a package would be that we could tailor made your personal China experience with all tour components fitting perfectly together or you can choose one of our Yangtze Cruise packages and customize it your way. If you take the standalone cruise we suggest to book at least the transfer from the hotel to the ship with us, so that we can guarantee a smooth check-in procedure.
Pack for the trip carefully
Casual clothes are recommended to be prepared. Light jackets, Jeans, T-shirts and lightweight windbreaker are packed for springs and autumns. If you plan to cruise in summer, hats, sunglasses and sun block are necessary for preventing from the long hours of hot sunshine. In winter, you’d better prepare the cold protective clothing and a rainproof coat. Besides, you should pack a formal suite for the formal night onboard because some of the luxury lines, like Regal China, Victoria and East King & Queen have the Captain's Farewell Dinner. Jacket and tie for gentlemen and dresses or pantsuits for ladies are recommended. Also, there are Tuxedos to be rent on the ships if you prefer to.
Easy Tour China provides a tour service confirmation for the package tour tourists, they will be picked up at the airport or train station and transferred to the cruise. The local guide will help the clients with check-in service. For the clients who only booked a Yangtze cruise without transfer service, they will find the cruise ship and board by themselves, we are going to send the clients the tour confirmation together with a voucher, which is the boarding certificate during check-in at the ship.
Our liability for loss or damage is limited by the the cruise ticket contract, we recommend that all guests check their own insurance coverage before departure.
Check your camera and video recorder, and make sure their batteries are full charged.
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Senior Travel Specialist