It is one of the most popular routes in China combing profound history, various culture and gorgeous scenery. Since the opening of Beijing- Chongqing high-speed rail in May, 2016, trip to Beijing, Yangtze and Shanghai is perfect with comfortable trains and luxury cruise ships.
Beijng to Chongqing
Since May, 2016, high-speed trains (G trains) join in the train list of Beijing- Chonggqing route, shortening half of the time than normal trains. There are now two G train starting from morning and arriving in the evening. If taking the earlier one, it just perfect timing to catch up any of the luxury Yangtze cruise ships.
If prefer overnight train, Z3 and Z95 are the quickest.
Please note all trains departing from Beijing West, and arriving Chongqing North Station except two going to Chongqing Station.
Yantze River is the third-longest river in the world. It offers unique cultural heritage of China and some spectacular scenery including the Three Gorges and the Dam Site. The navigable section is from Chongqing to Yichang and onto Shanghai, but most of the cruise ending at Yichang. The dreaming cruise journey takes 4 days and 3 nights (5 days 4 nights from Yichang to Chongqing) offered by 3-4 ships from different cruise company.
The most popular cruises are Victoria Cruises, Century Cruise, President Cruises and Yangtze Gold Cruises. All ships are 5 stars and meet the high standards of national criteria.
When planning your cruise trip, you need to consider your preference of Cruise Company, type of rooms and travel date.
Yichang to Shanghai
Yichang is one of the stations of Shanghai-Chengdu high-speed way which is one of the four major railways in China. More than 7 D trains stop at Yichang plus two Z and K trains.
Most of the cruises disembark at Yichang New Century port in the city around 1pm. To catch up the train immediately up your cruise ship, you need to choose trains departing later than 14:00pm. Taking train departing from 12:00 to 13:30, you need a private transfer to pick you up around 10:30am from Three Gorges Dam Site.
Beijing, often described as one of the most historic and cultural cities in China, Beijing's position as the capital city make it very appealing. Beijing has a cosmopolitan atmosphere and it has a lot to offer for tourists.
Attractive sights includes Temple of Heaven, The Forbidden City, Great Wall of China, Hutong, Summer Palace, National Museum of China, Panjianyuan Market, Tian'anmen Square, Lama Temple, Olympic Green, 798 Art District etc.
5 full day visit is recommended and if time permit, you can extent to 4-5 days to have deep insight visit. Suggested routes: Day 1: Arrival Beijing Day 2: The Forbidden City, Tian'anmen Square, Jingshan Par, and Hutong Tour Day 3: Great Wall and 798 Art District or Olympic Park. Day 4: Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace and Lama Temple Day 5: Take daytime G trains to Chongqing.
Sightseeing in Chongqing
Chongqing has a significant history and culture and serves as the economic center of the upstream Yangtze basin. It is also an important inland port. Numerous luxury cruise ships and ferry boat terminate at Chongqing, cruising downstream to Yichang, Wuhan, Nanjing and Shanghai. Chongqing also has many historical and cultural sites to offer for tourists including People's liberation Monument, Ciqikou, Hanging Cave, Dazu Grottoes.
Day 1: Arrive Chongqing from Beijing at evening hours around 08:20pm. Stay overnight in hotel. If no interest in Chongqing city, you can board ship tonight immediately arriving the port. Day 2: Full day visit of Chongqing including city enssentials - People's liberation Monument, Ciqikou, Hanging Cave or a day tour of Dazu Grottoes. Board cruise from 6pam -8pm.
All the ships from Chongqing to Yichang offering almost the same itinerary. Differences exist in the onboard facilities and services and room type.
Day 1 Board the ship from 5:00 to 7:00pm and depart Chongqing at 9:00pm. (Dinner is not included.) Day 2 Traditional Chinese Tai Chi. Shore Excursion to Shibaozhai. You have the option of visiting Fengdu Ghost City (RMB295 per person). Captain's Welcome Dinner. Victoria Costume Show. Captain Welcome Dinner. Victoria costume show. Day 3 Traditional Chinese Tai Chi. Sail through Qutang Gorge. Shore Excursion to Goddess Stream(3:15pm-6:15pm). Sail through Xiling Gorge. Farewell Buffet. Optional tour of White Emperor City (RMB 295 per person). Day 4 06:30 Learning traditional Chinese Taiji boxing 07:30 Shore excursion to The Three Gorges Dam Site. 13:00 Arrive in Yichang. Lunch is not included.
Xian had been the capital of 13 dynasties and kingdoms in China's history. The ancient city encircled by the City Wall still well preserved and maintains a lot of its old charms.
The most-visited sights in Xian are Terracotta Army, Ancient City Wall, Mount Huashan, Banpo Museum, Gao Family Courtyard, big and small Wild Goose Pagoda. Plan at least 1 – 1.5 days in Xian to enjoy the essentials.
Day 1: Arrival in the evening by D train from Pingyao Day 2: Terracotta Army, Ancient City Wall, Wild Goose Pagoda. Then take evening train to Beijing or Shanghai.
Yichang mainly serves as transit hub and not many offer to tourists. Visitors always board train or flight immediately after disembarking at Yichang.
Sightseeing in Shanghai
Shanghai's diversity begins with its architectures. The city features an abundance of historic buildings left over centuries, but at the same time keeps up with the latest trends in modern structures. It is also a large international and cultural center.
Shanghai's essential includes Oriental Pearl TV Tower, The Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai Museum, Jin Mao Tower, Shikumen, The Bund, Yuyuan Garden, Zhujiajiao, M50, Xintiandi, The Old Street etc.
Suggested routes: Day 1: Arrive in the late evening by train from Yichang. Day 2: Take a full day sightseeing including Oriental Pearl TV Tower, The Bund, Yuyuan Garden. Evening leisure walk at Nanjing Road. Day 3: Full day suburb visit to Zhujiajiao Water Town and M50 or Qibao Ancient Town. Day 4. Depart from Shanghai.
1. Suggest to take Yangtze Cruise from April to October as there are 3-4 ships each day during this period. Only one or two ship operating every week from November 15th to the end of Mar next year and is likely to change or cancel.
2. Chongqing Side trip ideas: Chengdu is 1 hour train journey from Chongqing and frequently trains available between these two cities. The Giant Buddha, Emei Mountain, Giant Pandas and surprisingly beautiful Jiuzhai valley is in the area. You can take a few days package to Chengdu before Chongqing, or only one day tour from Chongqing to Chengdu covering the city essentials and Panda base.
3. Shanghai Side trip ideas: Shanghai is in the heart of Yangtze Delta. It is easy to go with train to Suzhou, Nanjing, Wuxi, Huangshan, Hangzhou.