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Yangtze River Cruise

Yangtze River CruiseWhy a Yangtze River Cruise is special
The Yangtze River cruise offers 3 memorable highlights: When to go on a Yangtze River cruise
Timing makes a big difference.
Routes and direction
Most popular route of a Yangtze River cruise
It runs between Chongqing and Yichang. The length is 660 kilometers (410 miles) - about 10% of the Yangtze River's length.

Downstream vs. upstream
A downstream Chongqing to Yichang voyage (4 days, 3 nights) costs a little more than its upstream equivalent, but it saves you a day of travel.

The Three Gorges
The Yangtze River cruise passes through three spectacular river gorges in the middle of China.

What you see
Craggy, sheer mountain peaks along the riverside tower up to 1000 meters (3300 feet) above you. And interesting river barges pass by as you sit on the deck.

How the Three Gorges differ
Listings are in downstream order:
Shore excursion
They are typically included in the cruise fare. This compares favorably against ocean-going cruises, where they can sometimes be expensive extras.

These are three most popular shore excursions
About the Three Gorges Dam
Three Gorges Dam

World's largest
The dam is by far the biggest in both size and hydroelectric power generation. It's an astonishing engineering feat.

Three Gorges Dam up close
You pass through its incredibly large locks in your ship. The Three Gorges Dam is a Hillman Wonder Bronze Medal winner.

Negative effect of the dam
Unfortunately, from the tourist's perspective, it is raising the river water level behind it so high that formerly breathtaking rapid currents of the Yangtze River are all but disappearing. And, the water is permanently inundating some scenic and cultural riverside attractions (and forced over a million people to relocate).

Still a lot to see
Much of the stunning natural beauty of the sheer gorges remains. And, the visit to the new dam and its locks have substantially added to the cruise's appeal.

On balance
The Yangtze River cruise is still so exceptional that the sightseeing losses the dam caused should definitely not discourage travelers from making the voyage. Think of the marble statue Venus de Milo. She lost her arms but still is an object of beauty.

Read my Yangtze River Cruise Guide
I created a Yangtze River Cruise Guide to introduce you to the cruise options and tradeoffs.
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