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Yangzi Explorer - Yangzi River Cruise Upstream - 4 nights




Yangzi Shennong Stream  







Upstream Itinerary – 4 nights – Yichang to Chongqing

Departures - every Sunday from mid March to late November.


Flowing from Tibet to Shanghai, the Yangzi river is the 3rd longest river in the world. For a short trip that is close to home, the Three Gorges region of this magnificent river is an area unsurpassed in sheer physical beauty, providing a view to the past, the present and the future of China.


The Sanctuary M.S. Yangzi Explorer introduces a new standard of cruising in China - more intimate and luxurious with the largest cabins and suites on the river, all with private balconies.





Day 1         Yichang


This evening you will board the Sanctuary M.S. Yangzi Explorer for your cruise to Chongqing.


Familiarise yourself with your home for the next 4 nights and meet your crew. The vessel is staffed by the most knowledgeable guides and has resources that support a programme of daily lectures, documentaries and cultural activities ensuring guests are educated, engaged and informed.


the boat



The ship will set sail on its upstream course the following morning through the Three Gorges region. The total length of this cruise is 660 kilometres (402 miles) and is considered by most Chinese to represent the single most scenic area in all of China



Day 2         Xiling Gorge and The Three Gorges Dam


Start your morning with traditional Chinese exercise and work up an appetite for the buffet breakfast. Learn from the certified Tai chi master and experience the soothing art form in the outdoor observation deck area or inside the Tang Theatre. Lectures and arts and crafts demonstrations will follow.   


After lunch arrive at the Three Gorges Project Dam Site, the largest dam construction project on Earth, measuring 2 kilometres in length and 180 metres in height.


The dam has 26 generators that, once in operation, can generate enough clean energy to reduce China’s reliance on highly polluting coal by up to 50 million tons annually.


Return to the ship in the afternoon and cruise through Xiling Gorge,  the longest of the Three Gorges, measuring some 76 kilometres in length.  One of the most memorable passages in the Xiling Gorge is through the Yellow Ox Gorge (Huangniu Xia) where the river widens and sweeps under the Huangling Temple that stands amid groves of orange and pomelo trees.


In the evening, enjoy the Captains welcome party. 




Day 3         Shennong Stream/Wu Gorge/Qutang Gorge


Spend the morning cruising Shennong Stream. Rising in the slopes of sacred Mount Shennong, the crystalline waters of the Shennong Stream are a highlight for M. S. Yangzi Explorer guests. The local Tujia people are famed river pilots who pull and pole local wooden longboats up some of the region’s most magnificent scenic vistas. Disembark at Badong and transfer to one of these longboats for a close up view. The scenery is unrivalled anywhere along the middle course of the river with rich forest and towering rock formations that are home to several species of endangered flora and fauna including the elusive Golden Hair Monkey and many varieties of medicinal plants.



 Yangzi scenery


 After lunch onboard, continue to the Wu Gorge noted for its sheer, looming peaks. The cliff faces rise so sharply that legend relates that the sun rarely penetrates to the river. The most famous of the peaks is the Shennu Peak (Goddess Peak), also called the “Observing the Clouds Peak”, which is believed to represent the figure of the maiden Yao Ji, the 23rd daughter of the Queen Mother of the West. According to Chinese folklore, Yao Ji descended to Earth when she was 18 and so loved the region of the Wu Gorge that she built a palace there. She also promised to guard travellers through the treacherous rapids and dangerous rock faces of the gorge by turning into the protective peak while her twelve handmaidens became the twelve sentinel peaks found throughout the gorge.


During late afternoon the ship will enter Qutang Gorge through two imposing cliffs, which resemble a towering door into some otherworldly destination.  Just 8 kilometres in length, the Qutang Gorge is the narrowest stretch of the river on your cruise itinerary, only 150 metres at its widest point.  The banks are guarded by sheer cliffs soaring 1,200 metres in height.




Day 4                   Fengdu/Wanzhou


After Tai Chi and breakfast, join an excursion either to Fengdu, a charming river village noted for its elaborate Daoist temple and bustling market, or, Wanzhou, a village that provides a unique glimpse into one of China’s remote communities. Gain insight, mingle with the locals and see how school children receive their early education. Gain an understanding of the impact of the Three Gorges Dam Project on the local farm families, the relocation program, compensation issues and their current livelihood.


Return to the ship for lunch which is followed by arts and craft demonstrations along with a lesson from the chef in Chinese dumpling making.


Your farewell dinner will be held tonight.



Day 5                            Chongqing


Disembark after breakfast


 Please call us for further information.


To view some personal photographs taken on a similar itinerary, click on the link below.