Yangtze River Cruise FAQs
By Tony Anderton.
Thinking about a Yangtze River Cruise, but not sure what to expect? Here are some helpful tips and photos to set the mood.
To read about Tony Anderton’s recent Yangtze River cruise with Victoria Cruises aboard the 216-passenger Selina, click here.
When should I go?
Weather on the Yangtze is highly seasonal — foggy in winter and blisteringly hot in the summer months. Late spring or the early fall are the most popular times for international visitors.
Where should I board the cruise?
The cruises can be joined either in Chongqing or downriver above Yichang. My recommendation is Chongqing — and the chance to see the dramatic night skyline lit up by an ocean of neon. A dramatic way to start the voyage
Is there Wi-Fi on board?
We all want solitude, but not too much. I found the on board Wi-Fi very reliable, but you will have to pay a modest supplement for access.
What is the food Like?
The range and quality of meals on board was very good and seemed to more than satisfy tastes of all the travellers I met, with international, Chinese, and vegetarian options. But for any special dietary needs I recommend to consult with the cruise company in advance of your trip.
Are there any extra activities on board?
If the excursions, passing scenery and the chance to chill out and read are not enough to fill up your time, additional on-board activities include Tai Chi, Mah-jong, dumpling making and talks about traditional Chinese medicine. In the evenings the crew don costumes and put on an array of entertaining live performances — with the chance for some audience participation. If all else fails there is a TV in each cabin and a nightly movie.
Do I need to speak Chinese?
No, but it would definitely enhance your experience! The key members of the crew speak excellent English (and other languages). Cruise Director Marion and River Guide Tom Pang were excellent hosts. On shore all excursions are led by an experienced English-speaking local guide.
What should I know about the Yangtze before I go? What should I read?
There are some wonderful accounts of life and travel on the Yangtze.
➢My pick is “The Yangtze Valley and Beyond” an exhilarating travel narrative by the intrepid Isabella Bird — based on her 1899 journey on the Yangtze.
➢Honourable mentions go to Peter Hessler for “River Town” and Simon Winchester for “The River at the Centre of the World.”
➢Photographer Nadav Kander’s “Yangtze – The Long River” is a stunning visual interpretation of contemporary life along the river.
What will the scenery and on board life be like?
Have a look ….
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