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Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer Cruise: Downstream from Chongqing to Yichang

4 Days
On request

DELUXE | CRUISE: Embark on an exciting voyage along the Three Gorges region of the Yangtze River, marveling at the spectacular scenery and embedding yourself in the rhythms of the culture. Enjoy a wide range of cultural activities like Tai Chi sessions and dumpling-making classes aboard a deluxe cruise ship with the highest crew-to-passenger ratio on the Yangtze when not making shore excursions to take in some of China’s most fascinating landscape.

This 4-day river cruise takes you down the Yangzi River through the incredible Three Gorges region aboard the most luxurious ship on the river, Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer.

On your China vacation, you’ll explore the vitality of the Yangzi River, enjoying remarkable cities and towns, ancient Daoist temples, and the incredible beauty of the river and its famous gorges. Your cruise begins in Chongqing, one of the fastest growing cities on the planet and home to world-famous spicy cuisine. In Chongqing, board Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer, the most luxurious ship on the river.

The 62 expansive cabins and suites of Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer feature private balconies and premium comforts. The vessel has been restyled to feature the best in contemporary Chinese design. It also has the highest crew-to-passenger ratio of any ship on the Yangtze, ensuring the best in personalized service. While cruising down the Yangtze River, you will immerse yourself in Chinese cultural experiences, such as calligraphy classes and tea ceremonies. Learn how to make dumplings and then rejuvenate your body with Tai Chi classes and traditional spa treatments.

Aboard Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer, you’ll take in the gorgeous scenery of the Three Gorges region. Marvel at the sight of Xiling Gorge, the longest of the three gorges, running almost 70-kilometres long. Watch traditional boatmen work their trade at Badong, a riverside county along the Wu Gorge. Pass through the Kui Men gate at Qutang Gorge and stand in awe as you’re seemingly engulfed by the towering rocks. As well, stop by the Three Gorges Dam Project, the largest engineering project in the world, to learn about damming the mighty Yangtze and how it impacts the surrounding regions. Disembark in Yichang, a small city in western Hubei province.

This adventure down the Yangzi River allows you to marvel at China’s grandest landscape from the unmatched comforts of Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer.


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At Goway we are experts at designing personalized itineraries to suit your special interests, tastes and budget. Let us arrange your ultimate travel experience today.
4 Days
On request

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Embark in Chongqing

Welcome on board the Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer.

This afternoon, board the Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer for your cruise downstream to Yichang.

After you've settled into your cabin you can join your fellow guests in the Explorer Bar. The large windows allow you to enjoy the night-time cityscape of Chongqing as we sail deeper into the Three Gorges region of the mighty Yangtze River.

Tonight, we will host an optional embarkation dinner (not included) followed by a welcome safety briefing and talk on the 816 Underground Project, before we depart Chongqing.

Duration3 Nights

Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer

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    Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer

    With the highest crew-to-passenger ratio (1:1) and the largest cabins and suites on the Yangtze River, the Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer sets the standard for intimate and luxurious river cruising in China. Onboard facilities include a la carte dining, a spacious luxury spa, an observation deck, …

    With the highest crew-to-passenger ratio (1:1) and the largest cabins and suites on the Yangtze River, the Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer sets the standard for intimate and luxurious river cruising in China. Onboard facilities include a la carte dining, a spacious luxury spa, an observation deck, 24-hour room service, a two-floor theatre, library, and beauty and fitness facilities. A team of internationally-trained chefs and a well-stocked wine cellar ensure dining aboard the Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer is a superb experience. Innovative a-la-carte menus featuring the finest of Chinese and continental cuisine, served with complimentary house wines, local beers and other refreshments at all lunches and dinners, are hallmarks of the Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer experience.


    • A la carte dining
    • Beauty and Fitness Facilities
    • Library
    • Luxury Spa
    • Observation Deck
    • Theater

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Day 2


Start your morning with an early bird tea or coffee and a traditional Tai Chi lesson, led by our certified Tai Chi Master and work up an appetite for the buffet breakfast.

This morning, choose between a visit to an intriguing, secret project, hidden in the mountains of Fuling - The 816 Underground Project or the White Crane Ridge Underwater Museum and a local market tour.

The 816 Underground Project is the world's largest artificial military cave. Over 50 years ago, more than 60,000 constructers, came to Jianzishan, an uninhabited place among mountains and forest, to start work on a top-secret construction project of a monumental scale. The work continued for 17 years and was nearly completed when the government decided to suspend it, before any nuclear material could be produced. Now as the secrets of military caves are revealed, you will be able to look at the true face of 816 project hidden for 50 years.

Alternatively, you can choose to visit to the White Crane Ridge Underwater Museum and local market tour. The museum will take you some 148 feet under water to admire the river bed and the intricate ancient rock carvings left there many years ago. Learn about the Yangtze river, it's flora and fauna, while enjoying this fascinating museum. Your next stop will be the local market, where you will gain insight into the region's rich culinary culture. This is a daily market where farmers meet to buy and sell a variety of goods, ranging from fruit and vegetables to fish and meat and of course a whole array of pickles - which Fuling is famous for.

Return to Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer for a lunch buffet in the Dynasty Dining Room, followed by demonstrations such Chinese foot reflexology and traditional Chinese medicine in the Tang Theatre. This is followed by the Captain's welcome reception, complete with complimentary canape's.

Tonight, you have a chance to attend an epic open air live action show (not included in cost), dramatizing the lives and battles of feudal lords and their armies from the ancient Han dynasty. Based on the famous 14th-century novel 'The Romance of the Three Kingdoms', the story is part historical, part legend, and part mythical. The show includes battles on horseback, light and aquatic special effects, 3D holographic projection and fireworks, with the Yangtze River as the background and a 180-degree all-swivel auditorium.

Tonight, a buffet dinner is served. For those who choose to disembark at Zhongxian County for the Three Kingdom Open Air Show, an early buffet dinner will be available before departure.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 3

The Three Gorges

Today is all about the striking Three Gorges, Qutang, Wu and Xiling.

Enjoy a tea or coffee and practice your Tai Chi. In the morning there will be an optional excursion to White King Town (extra cost - dependent on number of guests). Late morning the commentary on the Qutang Gorge begins on the Explorer Deck.

A breakfast buffet is served before guests return to Deck 6 as we pass through the Wu Gorge. Through the commentary, discover the myths and facts that make each gorge unique as we pass through them.

Experience a unique ride along the Shennong Stream on a sampan - a traditional longboat rowed by expert Tujia boatmen. As we gently float through this stunning riverine gorge flanked by verdant forest, you'll see evidence of early settlements in the form of hanging coffins stowed high within the limestone cliffs.

Before returning we will visit a traditional trackers village (except end of May-early Sep, due to low water levels), where you will have a chance to get a fascinating glimpse of the traditional, rural Chinese community. You'll find mud huts as homes, basic kitchens where the meat is dried on hooks and coffins in the bedroom. And while there are satellite dishes, villagers still pride their heritage.

This evening we have prepared a special farewell dinner, 'A Taste of China', followed by Three Gorges Project lecture and a live band performance.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 4

Three Gorges Dam and Disembark in Yichang

Enjoy a tea or coffee alongside an international buffet breakfast.

Guests will have the opportunity to do a Ship Lift Tour (extra cost) before the Three Projects tour.

Alternatively, guests can relax on board before disembarking in Maoping and visiting the Three Gorges Project Dam Site and Exhibition Centre.

Spanning 2,335 metres in length and 181 metres in height, the dam is the largest and most expensive engineering project in the world. While the dam's 32 generators produce enough clean energy to reduce China's reliance on coal, the project has also caused much controversy. During construction, 13 cities, 140 towns, 1,352 villages, over 600 industrial factories and more than 1,200 archaeological projects have been submerged and 1.2 million people resettled.

After visiting the Project, you will be transferred to the Downtown Yichang for your onward journey.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information


2022: Thursdays Mar 3 until Nov 24


  • 3 nights deluxe private cabin cruise accommodation on Yangzi Explorer
  • Onboard entertainment
  • Scheduled shared sightseeing incl. entrance fees
  • 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinner 
  • Bottled water, house wines and local beers during lunches and dinners


  • Travel insurance
  • Arrival & departure transfers
  • Embarkation dinner
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature


Please note that this cruise also operates upstream from Yichang to Chongqing leaving Yichang on Sundays and arriving in Chongqing the following Thursdays. Please inquire with your Goway destination specialist.


Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

24 Nov 2022
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