There are now more options for cruises that will introduce you to the culture and beauty of China, thanks to increased demand from North American and Chinese travelers. In fact, the number of East Asia cruises – which often include ports in Japan, South Korea and China – has increased 22% in the past three years, according to the Cruise Lines International Association.
Popular ports in China include Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. What can you expect to see?
Beijing is China’s sprawling, historic capital city. Your ship will dock in Tianjin for a transfer to Beijing, about 100 miles away. At Beijing’s heart is the Forbidden City (ordinary people were forbidden to enter without special permission), home to China’s emperors for nearly 500 years. It includes dozens of palaces and nearly 1,000 buildings in all. Just to the south, Tiananmen Square is one of the world’s largest public squares and the site of several historic events. Many cruise itineraries include an overnight stay in Beijing, which makes it possible to make an excursion to the Great Wall.
Shanghai lies at the mouth of the Yangtze River (a favorite river cruise destination). Once a tiny fishing village, Shanghai is now a modern metropolis. Skyscrapers form a wonderful backdrop for the colonial-era buildings along The Bund, a waterfront district that’s a center of banking and business. Visit the Old City, which has been Shanghai’s urban core since the 12th century: don’t miss the Yuyuan Gardens and the City God Temple. You can also take an excursion to Mt. Jiu Hua, one of the four sacred mountains of Chinese Buddhism, where there are many beautiful shrines and temples.
Hong Kong, formerly a British Colony, is a well-established cruise destination. It’s easy to see why, starting with the juxtaposition of ancient temples that lie in the shadows cast by modern skyscrapers. This is a vertical city with an incredible skyline, best seen by taking a ferry across Victoria Harbor. The shopping is first-rate, as is the food. You can work off your dim sum or afternoon Victorian tea by riding a funicular up Victoria Peak and taking a hike while taking in the sweeping views.
Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert can help you choose from the array of East Asia cruise itineraries. Watch for overnight stays in one or more of these Chinese ports so that you can enjoy the evening light show in Hong Kong, the night markets in Beijing, and much more.
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