Neatly dividing China into north and south, the 6340km-long Yangtze River is the third longest river in the world, winding its way through eight very different provinces.
Although the river and life along the banks are fascinating in their own right, centre stage on a Yangtze cruise is the awesome journey through the upper reaches incorporating the Three Gorges on a cruise from Chongqing to Wuhan. The Three Gorges (Qutangxia, Wuxia and Xiling) were formed around 70 million years ago during movements in the earth’s crust. Towering perpendicular cliffs and sharp gorges give way to the Yangtze below. The first gorge passed through in the Chongqing to Wuhan direction is the shortest and narrowest of the three - Qutangxia Gorge. Here the dramatic 1,200m tall limestone peaks are often shrouded in mist and the river shoots through the narrow entrance with great haste. Next comes Wuxia Gorge, which straddles Sichuan and Hubei Provinces. Lined by twelve sheer peaks, Wuxia offers an awesome vista for some 45km. Finally is Xiling Gorge, the longest at 75km and comprises seven smaller gorges.
Cruises also sail through the new ship locks of the impressive Three Gorges Dam construction, built to provide a significant amount of China’s energy, curb the Yangtze’s tendency to flood and channel wealth back into the heartland.
To get you started with planning your holiday to Yangtze & Three Gorges, we have showcased below some popular itineraries requested by our clients which we hope will inspire your visit to China
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