The Avalon Advantage
A journey with Avalon Waterways along the famed Yangtze River offers a chance to witness fascinating scenes of daily life, visit ancient temples, and learn more about the unique history and cultures of China. And because bigger isn’t always better, an Avalon Small-Group Discovery is the perfect way to travel. We never allow more than 20 travelers on our Cruise & Tour vacations, meaning you get more personalized service from beginning to end. We also deliver a more enriching experience with Local FavoritesSM, designed to introduce you to the unique stories and people in each destination. An expert Cruise Director and carefully selected Certified Local Guides accompany you throughout your adventure, ensuring no detail is overlooked.
Yangtze River Cruises
The Yangtze & Beyond
The world’s most populous nation China is the ultimate synthesis of East and West, old and new. It is one of the most visited destinations in the world, where ancient traditions blend with the modern world, and skyscrapers rise above ancient temples. It is a place of profound culture and graceful beauty—from Beijing Opera and traditional tea ceremonies to colorful festivals, the eight culinary traditions, and unique cities trying to preserve ancient treasures.
Sail through the most impressive stretch of the Yangtze River, featuring the Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge, and Xiling Gorge—known as the Three Gorges. Walk through the village of Shibaozhai to see its 400-year-old, 12-story, red pagoda perched on a cliff side. Take a boat excursion to see the mysterious hanging coffins, enjoy a sampan ride through emerald-green waters and forested hills, and see the awe-inspiring Three Gorges Dam, the largest hydroelectric dam in the world.
Beyond the Yangtze you will experience the best that China has to offer. Visit the Great Wall, Beijing’s illustrious Forbidden City, and take a rickshaw ride through the hutongs, the city’s ancient alleyways. In Xi’an, enjoy VIP access at the life-sized Terracotta Warriors, participate in a calligraphy class, and see the colorful "Tang Dynasty" show with music and dance. Walk along the Bund and visit bustling Yu Yuan Gardens in Shanghai.
Depending on which vacation you choose, your journey may take you to other amazing locales…like Guilin for a cruise on the Li River, Lijiang’s ancient town to see local life and stop at Black Dragon Pool for stunning views of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, or Tibet to visit Potala Palace, former residence of the Dalai Lama, and spend time at the home of a local family to learn more about their life.
As you encounter countless treasures, some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery, and ancient cultures, China will leave you longing to return...again and again.
Learn more about the Yangtze River and what you will see along the way.
The Right Things are Always Included
When it comes to enjoying the unique history and cultures of China, an Avalon Small-Group Discovery is the perfect way to travel. We never allow more than 20 travelers on our Cruise & Tour vacations, meaning you get more personalized service from beginning to end. In Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai, all sightseeing includes a headset so you don’t miss any of the fascinating stories told by your Tour Director and Certified Local Guide. In addition, on the Yangtze, Avalon has arranged a host of exclusive features just for you.
Included for Every Avalon Guest:
- Spacious outside deluxe stateroom
- Large closets with shelves for ample storage & in-room safe
- Comfortable beds with premium mattress toppers
- Large private bathroom featuring full shower and separate bathtub, hairdryer, and premium bath amenities
- Large desk with convenient power outlets
- Individual climate control
- Plush bathrobes & slippers
- Professional Cruise Director and staff to help throughout your cruise
- Included sightseeing accompanied by a Certified Local Guide
- Selection of Local FavoritesSM offering unique cultural activities & interactions with locals
Exclusive Avalon Cruise Features:
- Welcome reception with cocktails & snacks
- Priority check-in and check-out
- Breakfast & lunch buffets featuring Western and Chinese cuisine in VIP restaurant on the Sun Deck
- Dinner in the exclusive Pavilion restaurant featuring à la carte menu of Western & Chinese cuisine (except the Captain's farewell Chinese banquet in the main dining area in 2016 only)
- Complimentary wine, beer & soft drinks with all onboard dinners
- Complimentary soft drinks with all onboard lunches
- 24-hour access to the Executive Lounge with complimentary coffee, tea & snacks
- Complimentary Wi-Fi access in the Executive Lounge (where signal is available)
- Reserved seating for evening entertainment
- Private guided shore excursions
Cruising in Style
The Century Paragon (2016 cruises) and Century Legend (2016 & 2017 cruises)—launched in 2013—are charting a new course for Yangtze River cruising. Each ship features a state-of-the-art propulsion system that reduces vibration and decreases emissions to minimize environmental impact. As you embark your contemporary, elegant ship, a friendly, English-speaking crew and stunning 7-story atrium lobby welcome you aboard. In addition to the propulsion system, other innovations include a pillarless multi-function lounge with unobstructed views of evening entertainment, and a large indoor swimming pool—both firsts on the Yangtze. You’ll also appreciate additional amenities including two bars, a large sun deck, game room, cinema, fitness center, and spa.
- English-speaking staff
- 7-floor atrium lobby
- Non-smoking interior
- Two restaurants
- Two bars
- Multi-functional lounge
- Large sun deck
- Wi-Fi access
- Fitness Center
- Spa & massage facilities
- Indoor swimming pool
- A variety of shops
- Cinema room
- Game room
- Well-stocked library
- 24-hour laundry service
- Two elevators
Ship Overview Staterooms Photo Gallery
Spacious Deluxe Staterooms
Your Deluxe Stateroom is a spacious retreat with 266 square feet of living space—the largest on the Yangtze today. Comfortable beds wrapped in premium mattress covers, super-combed cotton linens, European-style duvets, and both soft and firm pillows will ensure you are well rested. Floor-to-ceiling sliding-glass doors lead to your private balcony, adding an extra 35 square feet of space. Combined with the comfortable interior sitting area, this is the perfect place to watch the passing scenery or relax after a day of sightseeing. You’ll also appreciate your large private bathroom with full shower and separate bathtub. Other features include flatscreen satellite TV with movie channels and Wi-Fi access.
With Avalon, every dining experience brings your destination to life. All meals are served in the exclusive Pavilion restaurant (except the Captain’s farewell banquet in 2016). Try authentic cuisine from China—or more familiar Western alternatives. The breakfast buffet offers a wide variety of dishes to ensure you start your day off right. Lunch features a buffet with salad, soup, and over 20 main dishes. In the evening, a four-course à la carte dinner awaits with choice of salads, soups, entrées, and desserts.
Each day starts with breakfast at your hotel. Where we include lunch or dinner, we have carefully selected each local restaurant either in or outside your hotel. We also include several authentic experiences to help round out your vacation. Sample succulent Peking Duck at an award winning restaurant in Beijing, relish a traditional dim sum lunch in Shanghai, and dine with a local family in Tibet.
Every Avalon hotel has been carefully selected by our regional experts. With high-quality service, desirable amenities, spacious guestrooms, and central locations, each is sure to exceed your expectations. View a cruise itinerary for a full list of hotels, amenities and photos.
Yangtze River Cruises