Cruises take place on the Yangtze from March to November, although be aware that the summer months can be very hot, making spring and autumn the most popular times to travel. Many of the top river cruise operators offer Yangtze cruises, including Viking River Cruises, Sanctuary Retreats and Victoria Cruises.
A typical Yangtze cruise is fairly short, lasting just three to five nights. Usually trips start at Chongqing and cruise to Yichang or Wuhan. The Yangtze winds its way through a dramatic landscape dotted with small towns and villages, and there are temples, pagodas and markets where you can haggle for traditional crafts of embroidery, wood carvings and silks.