With unsurpassed natural beauty and a basin that’s home to one third of China’s population, you can bet a cruise down the Yangtze is going to be one to remember
If ever there was a reason to step aboard a cruise ship, it would be to discover the Yangtze. But while cruising’s popularity has rocketed among Australians, there are still some who can’t quite bring themselves to book a cruise due to its stigma of being more for those of the “senior” persuasion. And yet, a river cruise along Chang Jiang (to give the Yangtze its Mandarin title, meaning Long River) is the perfect way to get up close and personal with a country while never compromising on creature comforts. These opulent vessels couldn’t be further removed from the floating “theme parks” that grace ocean cruising playgrounds. With a maximum of around 300 passengers, they afford the opportunity to enjoy spectacular landscapes and ancient towns as passengers revel in a tranquility seemingly lost in the bustle of modern life. Nowhere does river cruising come into its own more than on the mighty Yangtze in China. The Yangtze is the third longest river in the world after the Nile and the Amazon. A meandering 5,686 kilometres long, it rises on Mount Geladaindong in the Tibetan Plateau and disgorges into the Yellow Sea at Shanghai. This vital waterway traverses the heart of China, but it’s the upper reaches that are the popular cruising playgrounds for the variety of sumptuous vessels that have opened up this mysterious river to a worldwide audience of inquisitive travellers.