Yangtze River Cruise


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Yangtze River Cruise is a cruise line company operated by Chengdu Bamboo International Tours Co. Ltd. The company attracts English-speaking travelers from all around the world. Cruises range from four to nine days and are offered year round. The company's fleet consists of 22 ships. The company offers tours of various cities along the Yangtze River in China.

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The Good

  • Unique entertainment
  • Great amenities
  • Dining options


Onboard entertainment options vary depending on the ship selected, but there are plenty of activities for travelers of all ages. These selections aid travelers to learn more about Chinese culture. Options include Tai Chi, Mahjong, Chinese painting, movies, vegetable carving, and folk dancing.


At the start of the cruise, passengers are given a tour of the facilities. The ships feature fitness gyms, libraries, bars and lounges, business centers, shopping centers, spas and salons, and swimming pools and recreational decks. These also vary depending on the ship selected. The Captain and crew then throw a welcome party complete with folk dances and traditional music.

Dining Options

Passengers start the day with an buffet assortment of freshly-baked breads and pastries, fresh fruits, cereals, yogurt, bacon, and eggs. Lunch is comprised of hot and cold appetizers, mouth-watering soups, and more than twenty Chinese and Western specialties. Dinner features a choice of six appetizers and eight delicious Chinese gourmet meals. Passengers are arranged in a group of ten at meal times based on cultural and religious background and dietary preferences.


Yangtze Cruises offers four types of cabins for passengers to choose from: standard, junior, deluxe, and supreme deluxe. Each room features an LCD television, telephone, internet access, private bathroom, private balcony, and floor-to ceiling windows. Standard amenities found on all Yangtze River Cruise ships include:

  • Buffet Style Dining
  • 24/7 Customer Care
  • VIP Service
  • Free Luggage Service
  • Four Types of Cabins and Suites

Travel Consultants

The company provides professional travel consultants to help travelers research and plan their cruise. The staff is highly knowledgeable of the area and factors that can affect the enjoyability of a voyage. One-on-one VIP service and 24/7 customer care is offered to inform customers of travel changes and tips to help their journey be as smooth as possible. The company can help travelers customize their cruise and can also assist in transfers from the airport to the cruise ship.

The Bad

  • Strict meal times
  • Service fees
  • Offshore Food Choices

Strict Meal Times

Meals are arranged on the Yangtze River Cruise ships at fixed times for one hour each. Special dietary preferences can be arranged, but these must be ordered in advance a day or half day early. Ships that are rated three stars and up provide free limited beverages, but guests will need to pay extra if they desire more to drink. Water purification and sterilization facilities are available on board, but guests are advised strongly not to drink the water. Bottled water is available to drink at ports of call.

Service Fees

All travelers are required to have a prepaid tourist visa that can be obtained from your local embassy. The passport must have at least two blank pages and have six months' run time. The cruise line offers assistance to passengers in need of this item. Other service fees guests will be responsible for include:

  • Laundry Service
  • Internet Service
  • Business Services
  • Medical Services
  • Onboard Shopping and Spa Services

Shore excursions can be very challenging for certain passengers. These excursions require a moderate level of fitness due to the area's rugged and uneven terrain. Passengers with mobility issues or who require wheelchair assistance may not find this cruise to be the best choice for their circumstances.

Offshore Food Choices

Offshore food choices can take some getting used to. The local restaurants all serve Chinese food and Western food is extremely rare. These restaurants are used to catering to tourists and will provide forks if chopsticks are an issue. The local markets can be disturbing for some passengers with tanks and boxes featuring scorpions, crickets, snakes, and live sea horses that are cooked openly at food stands.

The Bottom Line

Yangtze River Cruise is a perfect choice for older couples seeking to learn more about Chinese culture and experience it firsthand. The company's year-round cruises range from four to nine days and are affordable for most passengers. Onboard entertainment focuses exclusively on Chinese culture and provides a wealth of options to keep passengers busy. The company also employs trained and highly knowledgeable travel consultants to help passenger plan a voyage customized to their unique needs and to assist in transfers to and from the airport.

The cruise line is not a good fit for passengers with mobility issues due to the rough terrain of the area during shore excursions. Guests are advised not to drink the tap water aboard the ship and meals are arranged at fixed times on strict schedules. With the lack of customer reviews, it is very difficult to judge the cruise line's overall customer service.

Overall, we would recommend using another cruise line for your travel needs. Visit our recommended cruise lines.