China River Cruises – Shanghai, Beijing, Xian and the Yangtze River

 


CHINA RIVER CRUISES-

China is a fascinating land of contrasts: mountains, plateaus, deserts, lakes and rivers…small villages and huge modern metropolises…ancient history and futuristic technology.

China’s geography is widely varied, with terrain ranging from rainforests to deserts and beaches to snow-capped peaks. The Chinese landscape boasts the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest, as well as the world’s third longest river, the Yangtze.

We did a story a few months back about River Cruises in Europe. A close friend of mine who is fascinated by Asian culture, just got back from a River Cruise in China, and he absolutely loved it!  River cruising is an intimate, up-close way to explore your destination. It’s a very boutique, hotel-style experience.



China is one of the world’s largest countries, and with more than 1.3 billion people it is also the most populous.  It has not always been possible for visitors to explore China’s wonders, but today, as the country becomes increasingly open and free, dreams of travel to China can finally come true. Today you can see the highlights of Beijing, Shanghai and Xian (including the Terra Cotta Warriors) and enjoy an unforgettable China River Cruise along the Yangtze River through the spectacular Three Gorges region.

The Yangtze’s Three Gorges is the river’s most famed stretch, long known for its treacherous and rocky passage. Once boats could only travel here by means of trackers—men who pulled the ships by ropes as they walked along the slippery rapids. Now, with the creation of the Three Gorges Dam, the scenic gorges are accessible, and travelers can delight in the misty beauty of lush greenery, towering cliffs and the vestiges of traditional life along the river’s banks. VIKING RIVER CRUISESis the worlds leading river cruise line. And on Viking’s deluxe China river cruise, every cruise stateroom has a river view and balcony. This is a breath-taking way to see China!



Exploring China by River

A cruise along the Yangtze River is one of the highlights of any journey to China. Viking cruise program directors and cruise ships make it easy and enjoyable to see the heartland of a nation that can otherwise be a challenging destination to navigate. Guests enjoy the comfort and convenience of being escorted by their  deeply experienced staff from the moment of arrival in China through departure.

Viking River Cruises offers several exciting itineraries in China, all of which show guests the highlights of  China and include a Yangtze River cruise. The river cruise portion of the journey travels through the spectacular Three Gorges region on a sumptuous cruise ship with all balcony staterooms; one of our itineraries takes you farther along the river to see the birthplaces of Chinese silk and porcelain and much more. All cruise travelers also have the chance to visit a school near the Yangtze River and meet the children—a highlight for many people. A Viking cruise takes visitors on fascinating excursions off the river as well, with fully escorted land tours of major attractions in China including the Forbidden City, Summer Palace and the Great Wall.

Cultural activities, such as a dramatic performance of selected Peking Opera highlights, a Tang Dynasty dinner show and a breathtaking Chinese acrobatic show, are unique opportunities to experience the true heart of China. Choose the cruise tour itinerary that most interests you: see China’s cultural delights on a longer Yangtze cruise, or take three days at the “roof of the world,” Lhasa, Tibet.



If you want to explore the gay side of China, Shanghai probably has the most to offer. Andrew Collins from ABOUT.com reports,
As China in general, and Beijing in particular, shifted into crazy-high gear with massive growth as both a business and a leisure destination, the capital city’s once non-existent gay nightclub scene is slowly but surely developing legs.

Keep in mind that Shanghai has quite a lot more happening in terms of gay nightlife – take a look at my article on the gay Shanghai bar scene for details.



 A 2008 survey  showed public attitudes towards gays and lesbians in China. 91% of respondents said they agreed with homosexuals having equal employment rights, while over 80% of respondents agreed that heterosexuals and homosexuals were “equal individuals”.  Gay-bashing is rare in modern China. 

The authorities still refuse to promote either gay issues or gay rights in China. Although there is no explicit law against homosexuality or same-sex acts between consenting adults, neither are there laws protecting gays from discrimination, nor are there any gay rights organizations in China. It is believed that the Chinese policy towards the gay issue remains the “Three nos”: no approval, no disapproval, and no promotion.

 Utopia – Asia is a great source for gay listings in China.


A river cruise is very different from an ocean cruise. For a start, you are in almost constant sight
of land and stops are far more frequent than they are at sea. The vessels are like small, friendly, floating inns, whereas  ocean-going ships tend to be bigger, flashier, busier and livelier, the crew practised in the art of moving up to 4,000 people  from one port to another and getting them on and off the ship. In contrast, when your river cruise vessel docks you simply  walk up the gangway and into the town or city—in many cases the dock is located right at the heart of things.

The bottom line is a Viking River Cruise can give you an intimate view  and atmosphere  as well as comfort which spacious staterooms and breathtaking views! Enjoy the  scenery from just about everywhere on the ship—in the bar, restaurant or lounge (all with panoramic views), on the sun deck with fresh air or from the privacy of your stateroom. And, river cruise vessels keep moving, so you see new vistas and explore new destinations throughout the day, every day.

Whether you are cruising Berlin to Prague, Switzerland to Belgium, Austria, Germany and even Shanghai or Beijing, THIS IS THE WAY TO TRAVEL AND SEE THE WORLD


Call your travel agent or request more information directly
from Viking River Cruises at 1-800-304-9616.