China is the fastest growing region for cruise and its terminals now welcome a number of international cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, P&O Cruises, Azamara Cruises as well as high-end ships from Seabourn, Silversea and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, visiting port cities such as Shanghai, Tianjin and Sanya (Hainan Island). From the hustle and bustle of Shanghai, which is filled with food, museums, shopping and cultural sites, to Sanya with its pristine beaches and resorts, there are lots of facets to China. Shanghai’s new US$200 million cruise terminal homeports some of the world’s biggest ships including Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas. Located on The Bund, the terminal is in the heart of Shanghai. Some river cruise lines now explore the Yangtze River, including APT, Avalon Waterways and Viking Cruises. River cruises are usually combined with land tours and will take guests to visit Beijing’s Summer Palace, the Great Wall, the breathtaking Terracotta Army of Xi’an and the stunning Three Gorges region.
PLACES TO STAY In Shanghai, cruisers will want to stay on The Bund. It’s in the heart of everything and close to the major cruise ports. The art deco Fairmont Peace Hotel is a part of Shanghai history dating back to 1929 and is a fantastic (though pricey) choice. There are a number of smaller, more budget friendly properties around the same area. There are plenty of hotels in Tianjin, but most cruisers spend their pre- or post-cruise stay in Beijing, 90 minutes by bullet train from the port city. Hotels here are affordable by world standards and guests can choose between an endless array of business hotels or quirky design properties like The Opposite House. Sanya is the place for a luxe beach break, with Banyan Tree, Ritz-Carlton, Kempinski and Anantara properties lining the white sand beaches.