China Tours with Yangtze River Cruise
Rising in the Tanggula Mountains in west-central China, the Yangtze River flows southeast before turning northeast and then generally east across south-central and east-central China to the East China Sea near Shanghai. It is known as the Jinsha in its upper course and Changjiang (meaning long river in Chinese) in the lower reaches. It is the world’s third longest river, 3,915 mi (6,300 km) long, after the Nile and the Amazon. Its chief tributaries are the Yalong, Min, Jialing, Han, and Wu rivers. Several large cities, including Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuhan, and Chongqing, lie in the river’s basin, which is known as the granary of China.
Before the Three Gorges Dam was completed, large ships were able to sail to Wuhan, and smaller vessels could reach Yichang; it became harder to navigate above Yichang because of the gorges between Chongqing and Yichang. Work on the Three Gorges Dam project – first discussed in the 1920s and promoted in the 1950s by Mao Zedong – was inaugurated in 1993; the dam was completed in 2006. Located west of Yichang, it enables freighters to navigate 1,400 mi (2,250 km) inland from the East China Sea to Chongqing.
The most impressive section of the Yangtze is the Three Gorges, which has inspired numerous Chinese poets and painters over the centuries. Due to popular demand, many of our tour packages include a 3 or 4 day cruise on the Yangtze River, either going upstream or downstream. Cruising downstream used to be much faster than sailing downstream but since the completion of the Yangtze River dams near Yichang the difference has become insignificant. The scenery certainly is the same going in either direction.
Laurus Travel has been a longtime partner with New York-based Victoria Cruises and we choose the company primarily for its high quality that other Yangtze cruise operators can’t match. Laurus Travel passengers are entitled to a range of exclusive amenities such as complimentary alcoholic beverages, a la carte dining and free Wi-Fi connection.
We are also a partner with Chongqing headquartered Century Cruises to better serve the needs of our diverse customer base. This is a newer cruise line with newer ships.
Three Gorges Dam
“The Three Gorges Dam is the world’s largest electricity-generating plant of any kind. The dam body was finished in 2006 and all of the originally planned dam components of the project were completed on October 30, 2008, when the 26th generator was brought into commercial operation. Currently, it contains 32 main generators, each with a capacity of 700 MW. An item from the original design yet to be finished is a planned ship lift. Six additional generators in the underground power plant are being installed and are not expected to become fully operational until around 2011. The total electric generating capacity of the dam will then reach 22,500 MW.
The project produces hydroelectricity, increases the river’s navigation capacity, and reduces the potential for floods downstream by providing flood storage space. As of September 2009, the dam has generated 348.4 TWh of electricity, covering more than one third of its project cost. The project management and the Chinese state regard the project as a historic engineering, social and economic success, a breakthrough in the design of large turbines, and a move toward the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. However, the dam has also flooded archaeological and cultural sites and displaced some 1.24 million people, and is causing significant ecological changes, including an increased risk of landslides. The building of the dam has been a controversial topic both in China and abroad.”
— Text from wikipedia.org, used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Visit Wikimedia Foundation for additional information. To read more on Three Gorges please click here.