With the Chinese cruise industry gaining momentum and rapidly growing – the area could soon be one of the most important regions in global cruising, with a large number of new ports being developed and existing ports being expanded and updated.
This increased service can give the western world a greater chance to explore one of the world’s most diverse and awe-inspiring cultures. Here, we offer a guide to some of the best cruises sailing to China, the places to see and a few tips to help you make the most of sailing through China.
As the number of ports in the region grows, so does the itinerary selection. Here we explore three of the best Chinese cruises available from Cruise1st.
Singapore to Shanghai
Quantum of the Seas – 15 June 2015
The most technologically-advanced ship in service, Quantum of the Seas, has recently relocated permanently to Shanghai. Demonstrating Royal Caribbean’s dedication to cruising in the region, the ship is undertaking a number of itineraries throughout China. This cruise departs from Singapore and visits Hong Kong and Xiamen as part of a 9-night cruise, before arriving in Shanghai. Starting and ending in two of the country’s most diverse and culturally significant destinations – this cruise is ideal for people looking to extend their vacations and spend a couple of days in a hotel at either end of the cruise.
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Great Cities & Asian Waters Voyage
Azamara Quest – 17 March 2016
Visiting a number of cities throughout China as well as nearby Vietnam, this cruise aboard the Azamara Quest provides exploration in decadent luxury. The ships of the Azamara fleet are smaller than the majority of major cruise lines – concentrating on a more personal experience for all guests. This cruise provides a varied experience for cruise guests – sailing from historic Kyoto to Hiroshima, Hong Kong and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam before arriving in Singapore.
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China and Japan
Sea Princess – 26 February 2016
If you can spare 42 nights for a holiday and want to explore China and Japan – this itinerary from Princess Cruises offers a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the fruits of the region. Exploring a number of the culturally-rich and beautiful cities of China and Japan over a six week period – this trip can give guests a comprehensive introduction to two of the world’s most unique and unforgettable countries. The cruise departs from and returns to the Australian city of Brisbane, giving you a chance to explore another faraway land at either end of the trip.
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What to See in China
With a diverse history and unique culture, there are many hugely interesting sites to explore in China, here we managed to pick five of our favourites.
The truly stunning Potala Palace is the historical home of the Dalai Lama until 1959 when the 14th Dalai Lama fled to India. Located in the Tibet Autonomous Region, Potala Palace is made up of a striking red palace within a white palace.
The Great Wall of China
Needing no introduction, the Great Wall of China is regular on bucket lists of people all around the world. The stunning structure is over 13,000 miles long and dates back to the 14th century – making it one of the world’s most spectacular sights.
Located in the centre of Beijing, the Forbidden City is the ancient home of Chinese emperors and the country’s government. The imperial palace has become a hugely influential site – visited by people all around the world every year.
Dating back to the 3rd century, the Terracotta Army was completely lost until it was discovered by a farmer in 1974 when he was digging a water well. The army is made up of 8,000 terracotta soldiers, 130 chariots, and more than 650 horses. The collection can be currently viewed in Xi’an, Shaanxi province.
One of the world’s most recognisable political sites, Tiananmen Square is known globally as the site of huge protests which ended with the declaration of martial law in Beijing. The hauntingly beautiful square is still visited by people from all around the world paying tributes to the thousands who were killed here in 1989.
Chinese Cruise Tips
- Check the NHS Choices guide to vaccinations
- When on land: barter and negotiate better prices for everything
- Follow guided tours. Almost 50% of Chinese nationals cannot speak a word of English so having a tour guide can be a massive help
- Try to find restaurants full of locals – these traditionally serve the most authentic food
- The internet is censored in China, so make sure you’re not overly reliant on Google to get you around
- Buy a map. The free tourism maps from street vendors are seldom to scale
- Don’t drink the tap water. Buy bottled water from the ship to take ashore
- Carry toilet paper and wet wipes around China – many toilets do not stock these
- Pleco is a comprehensive Chinese dictionary app to help you converse, read menus and get around
- Don’t be scared of raised voices – many Chinese nationals converse loudly, even when exchanging pleasantries
- Bag up important items – the air in Chinese cities is full of dusty which can potentially damage cameras and phones
- Check the Weather – China is huge, so you can usually find wonderful weather somewhere in the country all year round
- Wear dark t shirts if you are not skilled with chopsticks – so you’ll avoid embarrassing sauce stains when slurping noodles
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Images sourced via By Coolmanjackey (Own work) Maros M r a z (Maros) (Own work) , via Wikimedia Commons via Wikimedia Commons