Waterway in China

Compared to train or airplane, now less people will choose a cruise ship as their vehicle to go out for travel in China. But going by waterway, is worth a try. You will enjoy the landscape as it glides by on your journey.

China has a coastline of some 18,400 kilometers (11,433 miles), along which there are 12 costal provinces and directly governed municipalities extending form north to south. By the end of 2012, the navigable inland waterways in the country reached 77,671 miles (125,000 kilometers), especially in the four provinces of Jiangsu, Guangdong, Hunan and Sichuan. There are 31,862 quay berths, among which 10 thousand-ton ones are distributed in the main stream and tributary of Yangtze River as well as the Pearl River water system. 178,600 ships are under normal operation, transporting 1,025,10  passengers a year.
A Port in Shanghai
A Port in Shanghai
Qutang Gorge, Yangtze River Cruise
Qutang Gorge, Yangtze River Cruise
The largest five waterways, as the main aquatic channels in China, crisscross the whole country - two north-south, and three east-west. They are the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal and the Qinhuai River; while the latter three are Yangtze River, Xijiang River as well as the Amur River (Heilongjiang) and Songhua River.

There were over 150 coastal harbours and 23 major inland waterway ports in China like Zhangjiagang, Shenzhen, Zhanjiang, Dalian, Qinhuangdao, Tianjin, Yantai, Qingdao, Nanjing, Shanghai, Xiamen, Zhuhai, Huangpu and so on. Shanghai, the famous international shipping center, is the largest coastal harbor in China and the third-largest in the world, while Nanjing port, with the largest shipping capacity, is the largest among all the inland ports of the country.

Some cruises by waterway in China are really a special enjoyment and experience that makes your trip more invigorating and carefree. You can view the beautiful scene which is indeed a feast for your eyes. Hereunder are the better-known cruise trips that are highly recommended when you travel to China:

Yangtze River Cruise - Various cruise ships of different levels can satisfy your needs to view the world-famous Three Gorges along the Yangtze River, sailing from Chongqing to Yichang/Wuhan (based on different cruise ship companies). Here you can not only visit the cities of Chongqing, Yichang and/or Wuhan, but also you can see many attractive scenic spots during your cruise time, like the grand Yangtze Three Gorges Dam, Shibaozhai, Yangtze Three Little Gorges, Fengdu (the 'Ghost City'), Shennong Stream, Xiling Gorge and Sandouping.
Li River Cruise
Li River Cruise
Huangpu River Cruise in Shanghai
Huangpu River Cruise in Shanghai
Li River Cruise - You can savour the special cruise voyage from Guilin down to Yangshuo by Li River. Along the way, you may appreciate the amazing scenery, for here it is endowed with a fine requtation that 'Guilin belittles those else where, and Yangshuo landscape tops that of Guilin'.

Grand Canal Cruise - (Suzhou-Hangzhou Section) - The whole voyage is about 91 miles (146.6 kilometers) from Suzhou to Hangzhou througth the world-longest artificial - waterway - Grand Canal of China. The picturesque natural scenic view along the river, which is as beautiful as a painting, will emerge in front of you. Here you may feel the strong cultural atmosphere of the renowned old towns like Hangzhou, Suzhou, Wuzhen, Zhouzhuang and Tongli - the typical water towns in the south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River.

Huangpu River Cruise - Have a voyage along the Huangpu River is another particular experience for your China trip. The fine views are particularly beautiful in the evenings and at night. Here you may see the modern building complexes of Shanghai, the beautiful view of the Bund, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and the Pudong New Area. The city is very modern in its atmosphere. 
- Last updated on Apr. 14, 2021 -
Questions & Answers on Waterway in China
Asked by Reda Darwish from EGYPT | Sep. 14, 2017 00:05Reply
Is there was any river transportation from Guangzhou or Foshan to Hangzhou?
Answers (1)
Answered by Nathaniel from NEW ZEALAND | Sep. 18, 2017 01:39

Well, I'm afraid not. There is no river transportation between these places. Instead of that, taking flights is the most convenient way for you to choose. :)
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