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Differences between Upstream and Downstream Cruises

Downstream cruises are usually shorter than upstream cruises. Downstream sailings are from Chongqing to Yichang or Shanghai, while upstream means the opposite. And shore excursions vary due to different schedules. Both downstream and upstream have advantages and disadvantages. Ask you travel advisor for yangtze cruise routes advice based on you travel time and schedule.



1. Shorter Cruises

Cruising downstream is faster than upstream at 28-30 kilometers one hour compared to an average of 16-19 kph..

2. No Motion at Night

Downstream the ship does not sail at night so there is no rocking motion during nigh which may affect passengers’ sleep. All famous points of interest along Yangtze River can be seen during the day so passengers do not miss anything during the hours of darkness.

3. Convenient transportation

Passengers who take Yangtze cruise as their last stop on a China trips are able to fly from Yichang to Shanghai or Beijing.


1. Shorter time through the best attractions. For example, the cruise will pass through Qutang gorge which is eight kilometers in only a few minutes. Check out Yangtze Cruise Routes for details.



1. Slower Cruises

The average speed of an upstream cruise is only 16-19 kilometers per hour compared to 28-30 kilometers for downstream cruise. Passengers have more time to enjoy the culture and beautiful sights along the River.

2. Generally the upstream cruises take four nights and five days and are the same price as downstream. Victoria Cruises have a lower price for upstream.


1. Travelling at night

Because of its slower speed, the ships need to travel at night in order to reach the main points of interest and scenic sights in daylight hours. This could affect passengers’ rest and some scenery will not be seen. The main highlights of Yangtze River are seen in the daytime hours.

2. The ship passes through the locks at 24:00 to 2:00, it also affect passengers’ sleeping and next morning’s activities.

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