M.S Yangzi Explorer

Yangtze River, China

At a Glance

  • The smallest boat with the most personal service the operates on the Yangtze river

  • Spacious cabins and suites, all of which have viewing balconies

  • Spa with six treatment rooms

  • Daily program of lectures and shore excursions

  • 4-5 night itineraries taking in the highlights along the river

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Best time to Visit

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The vast province of Sichuan has a diverse and varied climate. The eastern lowlands of the Sichuan Basin have a tropical monsoon climate, characterised by humidity and fog. Winters are mild, summers are scorching, autumn is wet, and spring is dry and pleasant. The cities of Chengdu is famed for its fog, with the weather often likened to a damp day in London. The mountainous gorges and forested plains along the Yangtze River make autumn and spring the prime time for a Yangtze Cruise, with clear skies and pleasant temperatures making ideal sightseeing weather. Winter can be spectacular, despite the cold, when the water level is lower in the Three Gorges and the soaring cliffs even more dramatic.

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Insider's View

Out of all boats crusing the Yangtze River, this boat has the highest staff to guest ratio and the smallest number of cabins making a really personal service.

Call us on 020 3993 8476 to start planning your holiday to M.S Yangzi Explorer or take a look at our itineraries to Sichuan and the Yangtze


Cruise the world's third largest river in decadent style and luxury on board the small and intimate M.S. Yangzi Explorer. See the 'life line' of China, The Yangzi River, unveil before you whilst you relax in comfort.

The M.S. Yangzi Explorer is the most luxurious ship to be launched recently on the Yangzi River offering an attentive yet discreet service to all guests. With only a maximum of 124 passengers, the staff can guarantee the most personalised service on the river, particularly as the ratio of crew to guests is 1:1. Sail from Chongqing to Yichang (4 days/3 nights) or vice versa (5 days/4 nights) and enjoy the breathtaking scenery including the 'ghost city' of Fengdu, the Shennong Stream and the Three Gorges Dam Project.

Cabins on board are luxuriously furnished and are the largest on the Yangzi with the added luxury of a private balcony. The cuisine is superior to any other on the river offering a fusion of a la carte Chinese and Western dishes and a well stocked wine cellar.

Options to relax are numerous including taking a spa treatment whilst watching the secrets of this mysterious river unwind. For the active there is complimentary sightseeing taken by the best guides to reveal the highlights of this little known region, including the beautiful Shennong Stream long boat journey and the amazing Three Gorges Dam Project.

Spending time on board allows you to be amazed by the dramatic scenery and the friendly faces you will meet along the way. The M.S. Yangzi Explorer has brought sophistication on the Yangzi River to a new level.

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There are 38 Deluxe Cabins, 20 larger Suites and four Speciality Suites all with en-suite bathrooms, air conditioning, LCD TV, video on demand, queen sized beds and viewing balconies with armchairs. The opulent cabins are stylishly decorated with neutral tones and floor to ceiling windows for maximum natural light and river views.


Children are made welcome on board the MS Yangzi Explorer and there is no age restriction, however children under 12 do need to be supervised by an adult at all times. A special children’s programme is available on request and includes activities such as Chinese mask making, kite making and Mandarin lessons, so that they can get the maximum enjoyment and understanding out of their time on the river. Connecting cabins are available on request as are high chairs, cots, children's DVDs, books and board games.


Facilities on board the MS Yangzi Explorer include a theatre, observation deck, library, espresso bar, boutiques and the largest spa on the river with six treatment rooms and an indulgent choice of treatments as well as sauna, fitness centre and beauty salon. The Dynasty Palace restaurant offers both Chinese and Western dishes and complimentary bottled water, house wine, beer, tea and coffee. On board entertainment is discerning and the boat is a karaoke free zone!


The knowledgeable guides offer a programme of daily lectures and shore excursions, ensuring guests get the best information and are truly engaged in their surroundings. As it is the smallest ship on the Yangzi, shore excursions have fewer passengers than most other cruise ships enabling passengers to experience life on the river in a less crowded environment. On board activities include T'ai Chi classes, Chinese cooking classes, calligraphy and silk embroidery demonstrations.



Amy Welfare (Staff)

Although I was a little reticent to go on this cruise, as I had heard that the Yangtze was getting a bit over developed and crowded, I was really pleasantly suprised. For a start the MS Yangzi Explorer was beautifully decorated and really well designed to give a spacious feel. There are a maximum of 125 passengers, so you definitely don't feel too crowded. I also like the focus on conservation as the surrounding environment is so fragile and does need looking after. The shore excursions were very well arranged to local villages and interesting sites and there were also daily lectures so you felt informed and not just like you were passive spectators. This is definitely the only way to see this majestic river as you can do it in the comfort and luxury of the ship and also feel like you are not making too much impact in this generally overcrowded area.


  • Discover Leshan Giant Buddha & Mount Emei

    Visit The Grand Buddha, the largest in the world and Mount Emei. Located in Leshan, south of Chengdu, The Grand Buddha measures 71m in height. From there, onto the sacred Buddhist Mount Emei, sacred to Buddhist people.

  • Full Day Tour of Chengdu and Panda Experience

    Enjoy a full day tour of Chengdu exploring the wonder of the Wenshu Temple, take a visit to the ancient Jinli Street, and of course spending time at the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base to marvel at these majestic and rare animals.

  • Jingzhou Ancient City Wall

    Today, we make a visit to the UNESCO-listed Jingzhou Ancient City Wall and the Jingzhou Museum.

  • Old City of Xian and The Big Goose Pagoda

    Enjoy historic Xian with your guide, learning about its city walls and visit the world famous Wild Goose Pagoda.

  • Sanyou Cave & Chinese Sturgeon Museum

    You will visit Sanyou Cave (Cave of the Three Travellers) and the Chinese Sturgeon Museum - The King of Fishes.

  • Visit Chengdu's Pandas

    A symbol of China, the giant panda is a national treasure. On this full day tour, learn about these lovable but endangered animals before visiting the Jincheng Bamboo Park, an elegant garden of bamboo built to commemorate one of China's most loved poets.

Holiday Ideas

  • Classic China

    Beijing, Xian, Chengdu, Yangtze River & Shanghai

    from £5900 pp inc flights & transfers for 11 nights

    • This classic itinerary takes in all of China's main highlights and world famous cultural sites.
    • This itinerary includes visits to The Terracotta Army, 3 Gorges Dam, Great Wall of China and a Panda Sanctuary, ticking off many of China's most famous sites.
    • Private guiding has been included throughout the trip so ensure that you get have the chance to uncover the unique history and culture of this fascinating country

Location & directions

Yangtze River, China

'Yangzi Explorer' cruises downstream from Chongqing to Yichang (3 nights) and upstream from Yichang to Chongqing (4 nights), with shore excursions while travelling in either direction at local villages (including markets and home visits), the lovely Shennong Stream and the colossal Three Gorges Dam Project.

How to get there

The cruise onboard the Yangzi Explorer depart from Chongqing and Yichang. The 3-night cruise departs Chongqing on Thursday and travels downstream to Yichang, arriving on Sunday. Alternatively, you can travel upstream over 4 nights, leaving Yichang on Sunday and arriving in Chongqing the following Thursday.

Speak to our specialists 020 3993 8860

    Why book with Scott Dunn?

  • 100% financial protection
  • 24/7 emergency assistance
  • Firsthand knowledge
  • Renowned service
  • Award-winning tour operator

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Call us on 020 3993 8476 to start planning your holiday to M.S Yangzi Explorer or take a look at our itineraries to Sichuan and the Yangtze

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