CONTENTS 1. Introduction 2. Onboard Explorations 2a. Yangtze Scenery 3.  Shibaozhai Excursion
4. Red Pagoda Excursion 4a. Atop the Red Pagoda 5. Captain's Party 6. Upper Deck Scenery 7. Smaller Gorge Excursion
8. Tributary Excursion 8a. Back Onboard 9. Arrival at Dam Project  10. 3 Gorges Project 11. Locks and Farewells



Day 5: Beijing – Chongqing (Flight) (B L D)
After breakfast, transfer to airport for flight to Chongqing, visit a zoo (panda) and embark on the cruise.
5-star deluxe cruise: Sinorama Gold 3 / Gold 8

Day 6: Yangtze River Cruise – Shibaozhai (B L D)
Excursion: Shibaozhai, literally "Precious Stone Fortress" is a hill along the bank of the Yangtze River. On the river side of the hill is a red pavilion of nine floors which leans against the side of the hill providing a walkway to the temple at the top of the hill.
Captain's Welcome Party.

Day 7: Yangtze River Cruise – Three Gorges (B L D)
Excursion: Embark on smaller boats to enjoy a closer encounter of the beauty of the Three Gorges.
Continue to Gorge Wu and Gorge Qutang.

Day 8: Yangtze River Cruise – Three Gorges Dam (B L D)
Excursion: Three Gorges Dam – the world's largest hydroelectricity project.
Passage of the Three Gorges Dam and the 5–stage Ship Lock.
Captain's Farewell Dinner.

Day 9: Yangtze River Cruise – Jingzhou – Wuhan (Coach) (B L D)
Disembark at Jingzhou, a city located on the banks of the Yangtze River with 6000 years history where the culture of "Chu" was raised and developed.
City tour in Jingzhou then transfer to Wuhan and rest up in hotel.
Hotel: Renaissance Wuhan Hotel ~ 160 Xudong Dajie,Wuchang,Wuhan

Day 10: Wuhan – Hangzhou (High-Speed Train) (B D)
After breakfast, transfer to Hangzhou by high-speed train. Upon arrival, transfer to hotel and free at leisure.
Hotel: Zheshang New Century Grand Hotel~ 535 Yingbin Road, Linping, Hangzhou


Owned by: Chongqing Changjiang Golden Cruises Inc.
Speed: 26 KM/H ~ Gross Tonnage: 17000T ~ Area: 18187 m2
Crew: 200 ~ Capacity: 570 ~ Voltage 220V ~ Rating: +5 Star
Length: 149.95m ~ Width: 24m ~ Decks: 6

                                                                                        Ref: Sinorama                                        Click for full-size plan of decks

Ref: www.yangtzeriver.org

Why Build the Three Gorges Dam
The Three Gorges Dam is the world’s largest power producing facility, and the world’s largest hydroelectric dam. There were many reasons for building the dam.

The Three gorges dam was built across the Yangtze River to control the amount of water allowed through. This created a massive artificial lake which has become an international tourist attraction. The construction of a dam on the Yangtze River had been considered since 1919, but the Civil war and Cultural Revolution delayed the project until fairly recently.

One of the main reasons that the Three Gorges dam was built was to prevent flooding further downstream. The need for a dam was highlighted in 1954 when people were killed as a result of flooding of the Yangtze River. The need for a dam was even mentioned by Chairman Mao, who wrote a poem in the same year called Swimming. In it, he had visions of a large stone wall being built across the river, similar to the three gorges dam.

By building a dam across the Yangtze River, it is possible to control the flow of water. This means that the authorities can virtually eliminate the chances of flooding to all those downstream.

Over a hundred thousand people were relocated to enable construction of the dam. This was viewed by many as an "inconvenience." However, this dam is actually preserving many more people’s lives by reducing the risk of flooding.

Power Generation
Another reason why the Three Gorges Dam was constructed was to generate electricity. There are several generators within the dam which use the potential energy stored in the water, to generate electricity. This is sold to many provinces around China, including Shanghai. The ability to generate and sell power in this way will mean that the dam will eventually pay for itself and start making profits.

The electricity is generated without the need for fossil fuels. This means that it is green, renewable energy which does not pollute the environment. It has helped China to reduce its Carbon Dioxide emissions and also continue providing its thirst for electricity.

Environmental Impact
The dam has been designed to impact the environment as little as possible. It has meant that some ancient artifacts were lost, or are no longer accessible. However, it is stated that the impact on the environment is very small.

The dam has also been designed using modern materials and techniques to reduce the risk of it being compromised during an earthquake or other natural disaster.

Visiting the Dam
The Dam isn’t just designed to save lives and generate electricity, but it is also a very popular tourist attraction. As it is the world’s largest hydroelectric dam it attracts thousands of tourists every year.

There are several different ways that you can visit the dam, you can take a Yangtze River Cruise, or view from the land. There is a museum and viewing platforms located close to the dam. These make it easy to see the whole extent of the dam.

The History of the Yangtze River
Winding across 6,418 km  of China the Yangtze River is the third longest river in the world. It begins its journey at the Qinhai-Tibet Plateau and ends at the East China Sea. The Yangtze River has a rich ecosystem, fascinating history, and is the most important river in China.

Life has always sprung up around the Yangtze River. The earliest signs of life dating back 27 thousand years. The climate on the river is often milder then its cousin the Yellow River making it more suitable for agriculture.

Yangtze River became an important part of the economy since the Han Dynasty. In 256 BC, during the Warring States Period of China an amazing irrigation system the Kingdom of Quin built, which is still in use today. This irrigation system helped provide a stable farming for China.

By the Song Dynasty those villages along the river became the wealthiest in China. The region of South Yangtze River (Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang) provided half of China’s revenue.

Ships on the Yangtze River
For 2000 years the Yangtze River was the backbone of transportation of goods in China. In 1835 the first merchant steamboat named the Jardine journeyed down the river. Before steamboats small Chinese ships called Sampan traveled up and down her banks. Jardine was to be a boat used for mail and passenger carrier.

The Chinese were against the steamboat, and said it could not sail on their waters. They attacked Jardine and the British, whose ship it was, retaliated by bringing their warships onto the Yangtze River. This was the start of the Opium Wars. The warships could not be stopped and the empire was forced to surrender. They allowed British steamboats onto the river bringing higher technology to their land.

The British continued to take control of China using the Yangtze River. In 1842 the Qing sued for peace and the Treaty of Nanjing was signed. Britain opened five ports in China and took Hong Kong. Without the Yangtze River the British would not have been able to conquer China as quickly as they did.

The Japanese took over Shanghai using the Yangtze River by sending troops on the ground to surround the city. People began to flee the cruelty of the Japanese and their relentless fighting style. They took the perilous journey up the Yangtze River for safety, transporting their families, libraries, and precious art.

The Three Gorges Dam— A Milestone in History of the Yangtze River
The Three Gorge Dam is the largest hydroelectric power station in the world, which is also a milestone in history of the Yangtze River. The total length of the dam axis is 2309.37 meters. The spillway section, which is located in the middle of the river course, is 483 meters long in total. There are 26 sets of turbine generator units in total, 700 MW for each.The shiplock is schemed out as a double-way and five-step lock. It is the world's largest water conservancy project with the world's largest project building scale.

It is one of China’s most impressive accomplishments. Construction began in 1994 and the dam became fully functional in 2006. It is still awaiting completion on a ship lift that will increase faster shipping traffic through the Yangtze River.

The Chinese government was able to push through with the building of the dam with the argument it would decrease the amount of damage done by floods. The river has had several horrific floods since civilization has taken up occupation upon its banks, including the death of over 100,000 in 1911. The most recent flood being in 1998 where 4,150 lost their lives to these waters.

Though the construction of the dam is controversial, it is now supplying 10% of China’s energy, and produces enough electricity to power the lights in New York City, Washington DC, and Boston combined.

Sightseeing along the Yangtze River Today
Yangtze CruiseToday China is one of the largest importers of goods in the world, but the steamboats have been replaced by freights, diesel tugs, ferryboats, and cruise vessels. The Yangtze River is now one of the prime tourist attractions in China. Travelers book tickets to ride down the Yangtze River to view the Three Gorges, trying to soak in the knowledge this river carries with it.

Visitors can take a cruise down the Yangtze River and see her marvels in luxury. Often what is on the itinerary for these cruise ships are stops at the Ghost City of Fengdu, Shennong Stream, Qutang Forge and Qu Gorge, Shibaozhai, and the most marvelous attraction of all the Three Gorges Dam.

Current Situation of the Yangtze River
Nowadays the Yangtze River has become a busy river that contributing thriving economy to its surrounding cities like Chongqing, Wuhan, Nanjing and Shanghai. There are over 57 bridges across over the river connecting North China and South China on various aspects. Taking a Yangtze Cruise Ship has become one of the top 10 travel choices in China for foreign travelers.

On the other hand the rapid development also brings pollution to this great flow. Already several species that live only in the Yangtze River have been lost forever. The Baiji dolphins have not been seen on these rivers since 2007. The Chinese alligator and the Yangtze sturgeon are not far behind it. Factories and pig farms along the river worsen the water.

In all conscience, as a symbol of China with a powerful history, the Yangtze River is an important part to the survival of that nation. It has given life, and it has taken life. A powerful force withstanding time, and abuse, with a majestic flow.

The Three Gorges Dam, Yichang

Three Gorges Dam Square, Yichang

The Ship Lock
. . .

Panoramic View of the Dam


The Powerhouse
. . .

Birds-eye view of the Dam

Yangtze River Cruise Ship

Bus Tour to the Dam
. . .


CONTENTS 1. Introduction 2. Onboard Explorations 2a. Yangtze Scenery 3.  Shibaozhai Excursion
4. Red Pagoda Excursion 4a. Atop the Red Pagoda 5. Captain's Party 6. Upper Deck Scenery 7. Smaller Gorge Excursion
8. Tributary Excursion 8a. Back Onboard 9. Arrival at Dam Project  10. 3 Gorges Project 11. Locks and Farewells


Bill and Sue-On Hillman