The Best Cruises to China


China, with its rich history, diverse culture, and breathtaking landscapes, has always been a sought-after destination for travelers. While exploring this vast and fascinating country by land is a fantastic experience, embarking on a cruise to China offers a unique perspective. Cruises not only allow you to witness the country’s coastal beauty but also provide access to lesser-known gems along the way. In this article, we will take you on a journey to discover the best cruises to China, highlighting the stunning destinations and experiences you can expect.

Viking Ocean Cruises: Majestic China & the Yangtze

One of the most renowned cruise lines, Viking Ocean Cruises, offers an unforgettable voyage through China with its “Majestic China & the Yangtze” itinerary. This 14-day cruise takes you on an extensive journey from Beijing to Shanghai, encompassing both iconic cities and serene landscapes.

The cruise starts in Beijing, where you can explore the historical wonders of the Forbidden City and the Great Wall. From there, you’ll sail to Tianjin, visiting the nearby port city of Tanggu. The voyage continues along the Yellow Sea, making stops at various coastal towns before reaching Dalian, known for its Russian architectural influences.

The highlight of this cruise is the exploration of the mighty Yangtze River. As you embark on a three-night journey along the river, you’ll have the opportunity to visit picturesque villages, admire the stunning Three Gorges, and witness the marvel of the Three Gorges Dam. The cruise concludes in Shanghai, a bustling metropolis known for its modernity and rich history.

Princess Cruises: Grand Asia & Australia

For those seeking a longer and more comprehensive cruise experience in Asia, Princess Cruises offers the “Grand Asia & Australia” voyage. This 36-day epic journey takes you not only to China but also to several other Asian destinations and beyond.

Starting in Los Angeles, California, this cruise embarks on a transpacific adventure, taking you through Hawaii, Japan, and South Korea before reaching China. In China, the cruise makes stops in Xiamen, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. Each of these cities offers a unique blend of modernity and tradition, and you’ll have ample time to explore their cultural and historical treasures.

After departing from Shanghai, the cruise continues on to Taiwan, the Philippines, and several other Southeast Asian countries, eventually concluding in Australia. This cruise is perfect for travelers who want to combine their Chinese exploration with an extended journey through the vibrant cultures of Asia and the beauty of the South Pacific.

Oceania Cruises: Far East Mystique

Oceania Cruises offers an enchanting cruise known as “Far East Mystique,” which provides a luxurious and immersive experience in China and beyond. This 15-day cruise starts in Tokyo, Japan, and takes you on an unforgettable journey through multiple Chinese destinations.

After departing from Tokyo, the cruise stops in several Japanese cities before reaching the Chinese coast. In China, you’ll explore Shanghai, one of the world’s most dynamic cities, and Xiamen, a coastal gem known for its cultural heritage and beautiful gardens.

One of the highlights of this cruise is a visit to the ancient city of Nanjing, which holds significant historical importance. You’ll also have the opportunity to explore vibrant Hong Kong before concluding your journey in vibrant Hanoi, Vietnam.

Oceania Cruises is known for its culinary excellence, and this cruise is no exception. You can indulge in exquisite dining experiences onboard, including fine wines and gourmet cuisine inspired by the regions you visit.

Holland America Line: China & Japan

Holland America Line offers an enticing cruise to China and Japan that allows travelers to explore the dynamic cultures and natural beauty of East Asia. The “China & Japan” itinerary spans 14 days and takes you to several captivating destinations in both countries.

The cruise starts in the bustling city of Hong Kong, where you’ll have the opportunity to explore its vibrant street markets and modern skyscrapers. The journey continues to Xiamen, China, and Kaohsiung, Taiwan, each offering a unique blend of traditional culture and modernity.

In China, the cruise also stops in Shanghai and Beijing, giving you ample time to explore the iconic landmarks, such as the Great Wall and the Bund. Afterward, you’ll sail to Japan, visiting Hiroshima, Kyoto, and Tokyo. These Japanese cities offer a captivating mix of history, tradition, and contemporary allure.

Holland America Line is known for its excellent onboard entertainment and enrichment programs, ensuring that you have a well-rounded and educational experience during your cruise.

Royal Caribbean: Quantum of the Seas – China and Japan

For those seeking a high-energy cruise experience with a focus on China and Japan, Royal Caribbean’s “Quantum of the Seas” offers an exciting option. This cruise is perfect for travelers of all ages, as it combines thrilling onboard activities with cultural exploration in China and Japan.

The cruise begins in vibrant Shanghai, where you’ll have the chance to explore the city before embarking on your voyage. The ship features an array of amenities, including skydiving simulators, bumper cars, and Broadway-style shows, ensuring that you’re never short of entertainment options at sea.

In China, the cruise stops in the bustling metropolis of Beijing, offering excursions to the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. You’ll also visit Nagasaki, Japan, before returning to Shanghai.

Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas is known for its innovative dining options, allowing you to savor diverse cuisines from around the world. The cruise also offers flexible dining arrangements to cater to your preferences.

Visa for China

Tourist Visa (L Visa): If you plan to visit China for tourism purposes, you will typically need a tourist visa. This visa is suitable for sightseeing, visiting friends or family, or attending cultural events. Visa requirements and application procedures can change, so it’s crucial to consult websites like Visaexpress or consulate nearest to you for the most up-to-date information and requirements. Additionally, you should start the visa application process well in advance of your planned travel dates, as visa processing times can vary.


Embarking on a cruise to China is a remarkable way to explore the diverse landscapes, rich history, and vibrant cultures of this captivating country. Whether you’re interested in a luxury voyage, a culinary adventure, or an action-packed cruise, there are options available to suit every traveler’s preferences. The cruises mentioned in this article provide excellent opportunities to discover the beauty of China while enjoying the comfort and amenities of a cruise ship. So, prepare to set sail on an unforgettable journey through the mystical East and create memories that will last a lifetime.

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