Yangtze River Cruises FAQ
1. What do upstream and downstream mean?
Yangtze River is the longest river in China, which is flowing from the west to the east. Therefore, upstream means to cruise from the lower east-mainly departure cities are Wuhan and Yichang, to the higher west-mainly arrival cities are Chongqing and Fengjie. The downstream is just the opposite, which cruises from the higher west-mainly departure cities are Chongqing and Fengjie, to the lower east-mainly arrival cities are Wuhan and Yichang
2. What can I do if I get seasick?
In general, seasickness on the cruise ship is rare because the advanced stabilizer has been equipped, which is used to minimize the feelings of seasickness passengers may have. In case that you feel a little bit queasy on the ship, please go to the ship doctors for a check, who are well-prepared for the common sickness on the ship with medicine available. You can also get some advice from your doctor in advance if you have the seasickness history.
3. What¡¯s the cruise price inclusion?
In general, the cruise price includes shipboard accommodations, meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner),and organized activities, such as welcome party, some shore excursion(excursions)etc. Normally, the quotation for your cruise will provide the detailed price inclusion, please refer to it for the final rule. Some cruise ships will also supply some optional choices for shore excursion, such as White Emperor City which would cost extra fee.
4. What¡¯s the cruise price exclusion?
In general, the cruise price excludes pre-boarding accommodation cost at the departure city, personal shopping items, extra services such as laundry, medical service, phone call service, beverages and drinks, photographs, tips, beauty treatments and other miscellaneous service you enjoy on the ship. Normally, the quotation for your cruise will provide the detailed price inclusion, please refer to it for the final rule.
5. Is it safe to stay overnight on the ship?
A: Generally speaking, 4 and 5 Star cruise ships, which offer the best service with safety, are highly recommended for foreigners. For the safety part, there are many security guards patrolling on the boat to guarantee the safety. Apart from that, there is also a safety box available in your cabin, where you can put your valuable stuff. In case there isn¡¯t any such safety box, please leave your important belongings in the reception desk of the boat. If you lose something on the ship, please check it out with the Lost and Found session. However, it is not advisable to leave your valuable stuff in the cabin although it is safe to some extent. When the boat is anchored at the pier and you go for a shore excursion, please keep in mind that lock your window and the door, especially for those who stay in the first floor.
6. What¡¯s the weather like in the Yangtze River in general?
The weather condition is not agreeable since two sides of the Yangtze River are gorges. It is often humid with strong wind and less sunshine. The temperature scope there is from 30 C in July to 10 C in January. Therefore, spring and autumn are the best time to take the Yangtze River Cruises. In summer, sudden thunderstorms and deluges happen frequently, which cause the Flood Season of the cruise. While the winter is quite cold due to strong winds.
7. How can I board the ship?
A: Normally, boarding starts about 4 hours prior to the departure time and passengers have to be on board no later than 30 minutes before sailing. Those who come to the port early can put their luggage in the ship and have a tour in the departure city. In general, the ship sets out in the early morning offers pre-boarding cabins without dinner before departure. So, it is recommended to have dinner in the local restaurant by yourself.
8. How can I reach the port?
A: The tour you booked with CTO includes transfer service by our local guide, which guarantees to transfer you to the port and help you to embark the ship.
9. Is the cruise itinerary changeable?
A: Yes, all cruise itineraries are changeable since the cruise company puts the passengers¡¯ safety at the first place. However, changes happen rarely only in poor weather conditions and other unpredicted circumstances.
10: What are the programs on the ship?
A: The programs vary among different cruise companies. Generally speaking, you can lounge on the deck and enjoy the sunshine, and also attend the vary activities arranged by the cruise company. Apart from that, there are parties in the evening and shore excursions at day time. All of them will make your Yangtze River Cruises more relaxed and enjoyable.
11: Is there any tipping advice on the ship?
A: Normally, tip to the river guide is a common rule for travelers. You can give more if you are satisfied with some excellent service or extra service you enjoyed. And also, tips to the shore excursion guides are up to you.
12: Is there any special requirement for dress on the ship?
A: No. Dress on the ship is always casual style, which makes your tour more relaxed. There is no special requirement for dress on the ship. In some circumstance, people also would like to be dressed formally when attending the Capital Welcome Party.
13: Shall I have to attend the programs organized by cruise company?
A: No. It is up to you whether to attend the programs or not. Do what you want can relax yourself. But please note that there is no refund for any missed places(programs) due to some individual behaviors.
1£®Is the tap water on board drinkable?
It is not recommended to drink the tap water on the ship for your health¡¯s sake. The drinking water is available in the cabin on daily basis, and some ships offer bottled water free of charge.
2. Is medical service available on the ship?
In general, there are clinics and doctors on the ship for medical treatment. You can go to see them in case you are not feeling well.
3. Is laundry service available on the ship?
Yes, laundry service is available including washing and pressing except dry cleaning on the ship. Laundry fare on the ship is just the same as the hotel¡¯s, which is not expensive.
4. Can you tell me something about the electricity on the ship?
In general, 110V and 220V outlets are both available on the ship, so a converter/adapter is not necessary. Many ships even offer hair-dryers in the cabins free of charge.
5. Can I exchange foreign currency and cash travelers¡¯ cheque on the ship?
A: Yes, you can. Please ask the reception desk on the ship for the detailed information.
6. Can I buy something to drink on the board?
In general, most of the cruise ships provide one or two cups of soft drinks, such as mineral water, Cola or Sprite etc during the meal time free of charge during meal time, and some cruise ships offer two bottles of mineral water free of charge in each cabin. Regarding the wine and beer, they are on your part if you would like to, which are quite expensive on the ship, more than 100 yuan/per bottle for wine and 15 yuan/per bottle for beer. So, it is advisable to buy some in the supermarket before the boarding in advance and bring them to the ship, but you need to pay for the service charge for opening the bottle, which is not necessary when you drink in your cabin.
7. How can I know the day by day activities of the whole cruise?
A paper copy of the activities for the next day will be offered in the cabin each day, which provides the detailed information about the activities such as the time, place and so on. So, you will have a clear idea about them and do a good preparation.
8. Is it allowed to smoke on board?
Smoking is not allowed in the cabin for the safety concern, but you can go to the deck and club if you would like to smoke for a while.
9. Can you tell me something about the shore excursion during the cruise?
In order to fully enjoy beautiful scenery along the Yangtze River, the cruise ship will s at some attractions along the river, and give you an opportunity to go shore to visit them. The local tour guide assigned by the cruise company will meet you in the lobby and lead you to the parking lot on the shore, where there is a tour bus to take you to the scenic spot, and drive you back to the pier after visit. Generally speaking, the attractions for shore excursion include Ghost City, Wan County, Shibaozhai, White Emperor City, Small Three Gorges, Shennong Stream, Three Gorges Dam, Jingzhou and Yueyang Tower and other places. However, each cruise company has their own itinerary for the shore excursion, which usually doesn¡¯t cover them all. Besides, the same cruise company¡¯s shore excursion itinerary will also vary from the upstream to the downstream.
10. How long will the Yangtze River Cruises last?
The period of the Yangtze River Cruises varies from 3 nights 4 days to 9 nights 10 days, according to the different sailing routes. Among them, the most popular downstream cruise are(is) from Chongqing to Wuhan (3 nights and 4 days) or from Chongqing to Yichang (3 nights 4 days), and the most popular upstream cruise is from Wuhan to Chongqing ( 4 nights 5 days) or from Yichang to Chongqing 4 nights 5 days. Some cruise company such as Victoria Cruise Ship will extend the itinerary from Chongqing down to Shanghai, which is 10-day cruise in total. While some cruise ships only sail from Yichang, Fengjie to Yichang in winter, which lasts 3 days.
11. Will the private tour guide accompany with us while on board?
No. We purchase cruise tickets for you, but all activities onboard are arranged by the cruise company. Your private tour guide will not accompany with you during the cruise. And there is river guide on board offer excellent service for you.
12. Do the staff onboard speak English?
Yes, each cruise has a knowledgeable foreign national cruise director, and most of the service staffs¡¯ English is very well.
13. What is the voltage on board? Can I use my hair dryer or shaver?
Most ships have 110V outlets in the bathroom and 220V in cabin. For your convenience, most ships supply hair-dryers for free.
14. Do you have Internet access on board? Can we stay in touch with the outside world?
Yes. Internet access and phone call services are available via the Satellite service. However you would need to pay an extra fee to use these services, which is very expensive. We strongly recommend you bring your own cell phone onboard.
15. Can you arrange an extra bed in cruise?
It depends on the size of shipboard accommodations available on cruise ship. Generally speaking, as long as the cruise is big enough to accommodate an extra bed, the cruise company will arrange this according to your requests. Some cruise company even does not charge this. Please consult with our consultant for details when you are intend to make this kind of arrangements.
16. Q: What about children¡¯s fare?
A: In general, children under 12 years old will be charged half of an adult fare, and those above 12 years old will be charge an adult fare. However, the fare policy varies among different cruise companies. And the quotation for your cruise will provide the detailed information.
17. Q: Is the cruise fare based on one person or one cabin?
A: Normally, the cruise fare is based on one adult.
18. Q: What about the price for one person to travel alone?
A: Since the cruise fare is based on one person, there is no difference between traveling alone and traveling with others. Besides, Yangtze River Cruises is very popular among single travelers because there is no extra fee for a single but you can meet different people and make friends with them. However, you have to pay over 75% extra fee if you would like to own the whole cabin alone, which is subject to the different cruise companies.
19. What kind of activities will supply when I am on board?
In addition to the shore excursion arranged by the cruise company, there is a variety entertainment from lectures on Chinese history, Taichi lessons and calligraphy as well as the acupuncture demonstrations. Knowledgeable river guides will provide a commentary while sailing through the Three Gorges.
20. What can I expect from the cabins you arranged for us?
All the ships are fully air conditioned and have comfortable outside cabins with private balconies for viewing the magnificent Three Gorges. All the ships feature cabins in vary categories standard, Junior Suites and Deluxe Suites. All cabins can be access to internet and satellite TV with HBO and BBC.
21. How much should I pay the porters when I embark and disembark?
If you book a tour from CTO and have transfer services to and from the cruise, you do not need to pay the porters unless you want to tip them, our guide will pay the portage for you as this expenditure has been included in our quotation.
22. Do the cabins offer safes?
Yes, there is the mini-safe in the stateroom closet on most of the ships, if the mini-safe in the stateroom is not available, you can consult inquiry office on the ship. For instance, , Century Star Cruises offer no safes in the cabins, but it is offered in the front-desk.
23. Do the cruise cater for special diets?
Yes, most of the ships offer vegetarian, salt-free, Kosher or other diet preferences. However, the request must be made in advance. So please inform us about this requirement when you book the Yangtze River Cruises.