Cruise to China: An Oriental Experience!
China is a vast country, with huge diversity and a huge history. It is a fascinating nation to visit, with its own cultures, languages and ways of life, as well as amazing scenery and incredible, huge cities. Cruise ships tend to visit China's bigger coastal cities, but shore tours and the like can allow forays into the vast interior.
Cruise Ports: China Travel Destinations
Beijing is an enormous city in northwestern China, home to much history and humanity. It is the most convenient starting point for Great Wall of China tours, and the city itself offers such famous sights as Tiananmen Square, the Temple of Heaven and the Forbidden City. As the city is actually located inland from the coast, ships dock in the port of Tianjin, at Tianjin International Cruise Home Port, a new facility which can berth two ships simultaneously. Information on transfers can be sought through the cruise line.
Shanghai is another major cruise port in China, often a departure port as well as a mid-cruise stopover. The sophisticated city inspires awe for its sheer size and displays of modern development. The East and West combine in Shanghai, where visitors may see traditional Chinese houses, skyscrapers and art deco architecture all together in one city. Some sights to see are the Shanghai Museum, the Oriental Pearl Tower, the many temples and tea houses, and the Zhujiajiao Water Village. Ships dock at the Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal, a glass structure which can handle three ships at a time. Larger vessels may need to dock at the Waigaoquiao Port. Cruise lines generally offer shuttles to the hotspots of the city.
Xiamen is a smaller coastal city in the Fujian Province, an important port which is affluent and modern. It is located mostly on an island not far from the coast, connected by several bridges. A smaller island, Gulangyu Island, is highlight for tourists. It is a car-free island with some beautiful colonial buildings and interesting stories. Ships dock at the International Cruise Terminal, which has plenty of facilities to ease transitions from ship to shore.
Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of China, and a hugely busy and vibrant cruise hub. Many cruises begin or end here, as it is easy to get to by plane. The city is a mixing pot of culture, language and ethnicities, a true world city and fantastic place to wander around. Favourite sights and activities include Victoria Peak and the Peak Tower, the historical spots along the Ping Shan Heritage Trail, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Ocean Park and much, much more. Ships arriving in Hong Kong will dock at the Ocean Terminal or the new Kai Tak Terminal, both located quite close to central Hong Kong and Kowloon.
The Cruises: Cruise Lines, Cruise Deals for China
China cruise holidays vary hugely- some include only one Chinese city whilst focusing on a nearby region such as Japan or Southeast Asia in their wider Pacific cruises. Itineraries beginning in Hong Kong and heading south are popular with several cruise lines, as are cruises beginning in Australia or Singapore and ending in Hong Kong. However, it is not hard to find a China-focused cruise which hits all or most of the cities mentioned above.
Celebrity and Crystal Cruises both offer many China cruises. The major cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Princess, Holland America and Carnival offer some itineraries in the country, although it is not a focus for them, besides frequent port stops or embarkations in Hong Kong. Azamara Club Cruises, a small-ship luxury line, is another ship with plenty of China cruises.
Whatever the style of cruises to China, Cruise Sale Finder has the best deals. A simple search will bring up plenty of options for a China tour by sea.