Exploring The Yangtze River is not an easy feat. It is the third longest river in the world – spanning over six thousand kilometers – and has traditionally been used as a natural border to demarcate northern and southern China. The Yangtze River is a major conduit for transportation, commercial or otherwise. It’s also peppered with cruise tours that take the legwork out of any journey, while keeping the spirit of exploration intact. Check out some of them that depart from Chongqing below, in this guide brought to you by Singapore Airlines.

Sanctuary Retreats
Chongqing: Hongya Caves with Sanctuary Retreats
Visit the Hongya Cave on your Sanctuary Retreats tour.

Many would assume living on a cruise is uncomfortable, but Sanctuary Retreats proves that it isn’t the case. Hosting the largest cabins and suites on the river, it has 38 deluxe cabins, 20 suites, and four specialty suites that can hold up to 124 guests in total. While on board, there are six different spa spaces and a two-floor theatre to relax and unwind in.

Choose the Rail and River tour for a six-day jaunt beginning in Chongqing and finishing in Wuhan. Before boarding the cruise ship, travelers will be given a day and a half of leisure time in Chongqing too. Make sure you visit Hongya Caves while you’re there. Ciqikou is another worthy destination to visit. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, it was used as a port and market town, and was known for its porcelain production. Today, you can find shops selling local handicrafts and snacks.

For more information, visit here.

Victoria Cruise
Chongqing: Victoria cruise on Yangtze River
Enjoy the serenity on a Victoria Cruise | Dong Zhang, Unsplash

Victoria Cruise covers a longer journey along the Yangtze River from Chongqing to Yichang and vice versa. This four-day, three-night cruise explores the Three Gorges and stops along historical and cultural areas of interest in Chongqing. One of them includes a short shore excursion to Chongqing’s Jade Emperor Scenic Area, renowned for its ornate statues of the supreme deity that was thought to have ruled over Heaven. Another is the White Emperor City, the city chronicled in The Romance of the Three Kingdoms series.

For more information, visit here.

Yangtze River Cruise
Chongqing: The Yangtze River
The Yangtze River | Image credit: China Discovery

Like Victoria Cruise, Yangtze River Cruise also offers a condensed route for those seeking to discover Chongqing’s essence without spending too much time. The four-day tour starts with a Chongqing land tour and ends at Yichang. The Three Gorges Dam and the Shibaozhai Pagoda, a two-story wooden pagoda from the 16th century, are two sights to look forward to on this Yangtze Cruise.

What distinguishes this cruise from others is the short trip along Shennv Stream, a tributary in Wushan County along the Yangtze River. Here you can enjoy the views of steep mountains and one of the oldest burial methods in China – suspended coffins on cliffs – a cultural rarity today/

For more information, visit here.

Chongqing: 816 Underground Project
Venture into 816 Underground Project with Uniworld | Image credit: CNN

The cruise tour of Uniworld promises a relaxing 14-day ride through China with a range of activities and sights to participate in. Each room has a private balcony that allows each guest to enjoy the view of the river from the comfort of their own space. Uniworld hosts a cruise tour around Tibet too, apart from the more common land highlights of Shanghai, Beijing and Xi’an. In one of its stops, visitors can set sail from Chongqing and travel to the 816 Underground Project site, originally built as a covert nuclear plant as part of the world’s nuclear arms race in the 1960s.

For more information, visit here.

This article was first published in Lifestyle Asia.
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