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Yangtze Cruise Tips

Choose a Reliable Cruise Company
Cruising on the world’s third largest river is an adventure you would never forget. The Yangtze River flows among mountains, cliffs, famous historical human landscapes, and emerald colored vegetation, making this type of trip spectacular. While there are certainly things that you want to look for in a cruise company, there are also things you need to avoid.

Keep in mind that as the river meanders through the provinces and depending on the time of year you choose to take a Yangtze cruise, the mood of the river changes.  With this river being the main waterway for China, you will find the journey a pleasant mixture of legend and truth. Although a cruise such as this is relaxing, the river itself is full of dangers so choosing the right cruise company based on reputation, experience, fleet, and staff will ensure that you have an amazing time.

For one thing, you need to understand the difference between taking a Yangtze cruise upstream or downstream in that each is unique.  If you cruise going downstream, you would spend less time on the water. Typically, the ship is anchored during the night but at dawn, it sets sail again. For sailing the Yangtze upstream, the trip is longer so the ship continues on its way day and night without resting.  Although the downstream Yangtze cruise is shorter and quieter because of stopping time, it is also the most costly.

You want to avoid booking your Yangtze cruise too close to your travel date. For one thing, this type of cruise is one of the most popular vacation experiences so top cruise ship companies book fast.  In addition, if you get your plans organized far enough ahead, you have a much better chance of finding the best deals but without sacrificing quality.

Although most companies that offer a Yangtze cruise have special rates or discounts, one of the best ways to avoid paying a high price is to book the trip during off-season months.  For sailing this river in China, the most popular times of year include April, May, September, and October.  Therefore, choosing one of the other months would have a definite impact on price.  While peak months offer the nicest weather, if you book just outside those times, the price would go down and weather would not change much.

Additionally, always look at a variety of cruise ship companies before deciding on one. Numerous companies provide a Yangtze cruise but not all companies are created equal.  Victoria Cruises, Regal China Cruises and President Cruises are among the popular options. You want to do your homeowner, using the Internet where you will find a wealth of information.  Along with reading the company’s own website, spend time visiting forums where you can read comments and experiences of other travelers.

As a part of your research, make sure the company offering the Yangtze cruise has a long history and skilled staff. You also need to pay close attention to the amenities and accommodations offered in that some vessels are bare bones and others luxurious. The staff should speak your language, provide shore excursions for the sites you want to see, and have a sound safety record. Making a few wise decisions allows you to focus solely on your Yangtze cruise, without having a care in the world.

Clothing
Light summer clothing is all that is requied between April and September, with a woollen cardigan or warm jacket for the cool evenings on board. To combat the summer mugginess, travellers should wear cotton rather than synthetic fibres. Those who rise at dawn to watch the passage through the gorges may imitate the Chinese passengers who huddle in blankets supplied by the ship. The Yangtze River towns are very steps informal indeed; wear comfortable everyday clothes when you visit them. Steep steps from the jetties to the towns require walking shoes. Umbrellas can be bought cheaply almost anywhere. On board the more deluxe ships, however, many like to dress a little more formally for the last night of the cruise; therefore women may want to bring a smart outfit and men a jacket and tie.Warm clothes are essential for the river journeys during seasons other than summer. The boats can be draughty and the wind piercing. However, clothing is one of the best bargains in China, with excellent down or quilt jackets available in many of the big towns and cities. Bring a pair of light hiking boots as the terrain can be hilly, rocky and muddy.

Packing Checklist
As well as bringing along any prescription medicines you may need, it is a good idea to pack a supply of common cold and stomach trouble remedies. While it is not necessary to pack toilet paper during your cruise days, it is advisable to take some with you when going out sightseeing, as public toilets do no provide it. Taking a digital camera or VCR are recommended. If you take the common camera, please don't forget to bring plenty of film and camera accessories, such as batteries and flashes. Although film is widely available, the right type may not always be obtainable at the right time. Comfortable, non-slip shoes are a must.

Communications
If you don't bring the international cell phones, you need not worry about the communication problem with others in your country, as the satellite phone and internet are available in the cabins in the Yangtze cruise ships.

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