Boats are one of the cheapest forms of transportation in China and often can be a welcome respite from trains and buses. Passenger boats sail the Yangtsi River, Li River, Xi River and others. There are also a few interesting options for reaching China from Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan by sea. There are plenty of other, shorter trips too, and they are well worth a try. Generally, travel by boat is quite comfortable, if you don't mind communal toilets and showers!
China's vast maritime territory encompasses the Bohai, Yellow and East China seas in the east and the South China Sea in the south. While the Bohai Sea nestles in the arms of the mainland, the Yellow, East China and South China seas are linked with the Pacific Ocean. The country's long and winding coastline is clustered with harbours, such as Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Yantai, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Dalian, Beihai, and Hong Kong. All these harbours are set in beautiful surroundings, and operate global cruises, which bring the travelers to the world's famous seaboard cities.
International Maritime Shipping Lines
The New Jianzhen, a luxury passenger and cargo liner operated by the Sino Japanese International Ferry Company, sails once a week from Shanghai to Japan's Kobe, Osaka and Yokohama,with a one-way trip lasting for about 45 hours.
The Yanjing is a passenger liner run by the Jinshen Steamboat Company which shuttles once a week between Tianjin and Kobe. The Daren passenger and cargo liner owned by the Daren Steamboat Company of Dalian sails twice a week between Dalian and Inchon of the Republic of Korea, with a one-way trip taking 15 hours.
Operated by the Weihaiwei Eastern Shipping Company, two luxury passenger liners, the Xinjinqiao and Xiangxuelan, sail three times a week from Weihai and Qingdao respectively to Inchon. A one-way trip along either route lasts for 14 hours.
Domestic Ocean Line
China's port cities are linked to each other by a labyrinth of maritime shipping lines. The most important of these are the Shanghai-Dalian, Dalian-Tianjin, Dalian-Yantai, Shanghai-Qingdao, Shanghai-Guangzhou, Beihai-Guangzhou, Shenzhen-Zhuhai, and Zhuhai-Hong Kong lines.
Sailing along these well-arranged domestic maritime shipping lines are many luxury cruises and passenger liners.
Inland Waterway The continent of China is crisscrossed by rivers 226,800km in aggregate length, and 136,000 km of these have been opened up for inland navigation.
Better-known inland waterways
The 146.6km Suzhou-Hangzhou section of the Grand Canal, enabling the passenger to feast his eye on the natural beauty of this water-bound land south of the Yangtze River.
The Grand Canal-Yangtze River-Lake Taihu route, providing a most idyllic traveling experience for the passenger, who is also able to savour freshwater delicacies right on board a ship.
The 83km-long Guilin-Yangshuo route, which runs through the postcard perfect scenery along the major section of the celebrated Lijiang River.
The Shanghai-Chongqing navigational line along the Yangtze River, extending for 2,399 kilometers. On a given day the waters of the Yangtze River Three Gorges are plied by more than 50 luxury tourist cruises sailing along this line. Star rated by the China National Tourism Administration, these pleasure cruises are operated by international travel services or cruise companies, responsible for oversea publicity and group reservations. Yangtze River
The waterway from Guangzhou to Guiping (Guangxi) along the Xijiang River, offers regular passenger liners that shuttle between three national scenic resorts: Guilin, Lijiang and Zhaoqing. Li River Attractions
In northeast China, passenger ships sail from Harbin up the Songhuajiang River to Qiqihar or downstream to Jiamusi, Tongjiang, and Khabarovsk (Russia). Both lines meander their way through some of the most amazing scenic spots of the great northeast.
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