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Shanghai Huangpu River Cruise: Route, Price, Tips

Shanghai Huangpu River Cruise: Route, Price, Tips

Written by CindyUpdated Aug. 17, 2023

When traveling in Shanghai, you should not miss a cruise tour on the Huangpu River. It is the best way to admire Shanghai's classic skyline views of colonial architecture and modern skyscrapers along the river.

The Huangpu River — "the Mother River of Shanghai"

The Huangpu River, the largest river passing through the city of Shanghai, is honored as the mother river of Shanghai.

It stretches for 113 kilometers (70 miles) with an average width of 400 meters and a depth of 9 meters. It snakes its way through Shanghai and divides the city into two sections: Pudong in the east and Puxi in the west.

It is also the source of most of Shanghai's drinking water, after it goes through a purification process, of course. Today, the Huangpu River is the site of a bustling tourist business in the form of river cruises.

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Cruise Route and Price

Huangpu River CruiseHuangpu River Cruise

There are many cruise options which vary in size, capacity, decoration, and amenities. Some boats look very trendy with a modern-style bar, while some are decorated in a traditional Chinese style. The cruises can hold passengers ranging from 80 to 1,000. You can choose a boat based on your interests.

There are several tour lengths you can choose from, from a 30-minute cruise to a 3½-hour cruise. The cruises along the Huangpu River often start from the wharf near the Bund, and head towards Yangpu Bridge or Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal, and back again along the opposite side of the river to the Bund.

At present, the most popular one is the 50-minute classic cruise. The cruises are available during the day and night. It is recommended to take a cruise at night when the river is veiled in the sparkling neon lights on both sides.

  • Cruise route: Shiliupu Wharf near the Bund – Shanghai Tower – Shanghai World Financial Center – Jinmao Tower – Oriental Pearl TV Tower – Yangpu Bridge – Waibaidu Bridge – Monument to the People's Heroes – Peace Hotel – Customs House – back to the wharf
  • Boarding place: Shiliupu Wharf near the Bund (531 Zhongshan East 2nd Rd)
  • Duration: about 50 minutes
  • Cruise operating hours: 11am–9:30pm
  • Interval: 15–30 minutes
  • Price: around 150 yuan (≈US$22) (for sightseeing only, without dinner or snacks)
  • Ticket booking:
  • 1) Tickets can be purchased at Shiliupu Wharf ticket office at Wai Ma Lu 80.
    2) You can buy your ticket online or through ticket agents. Contact us for details. 
    3) Many hotels also provide a ticket booking service; you can check with your hotel.

Huangpu River Cruise Route

What to See on the Cruise

A night view of the BundA night view of the Bund

On the cruise, you will see the distinctive contrasts between the classical European buildings and soaring modern skyscrapers from the two sides of the Huangpu River.

Besides offering a privileged view of the bridges that span the Huangpu River, the cruise boats also offer an excellent view of the famous colonial-era buildings that make up the Bund on the eastern bank as well as buildings such as the Peace Hotel, with its unique pyramid roof in blazing green, and the Customs House, with its large clock tower.

On the western bank, you will see a bustling metropolis full of modern skyscrapers and towering buildings, such as Jinmao Tower, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, and Shanghai World Financial Center.

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The Best Times to Take a Cruise

The best times to take a cruise on the Huangpu River are March–May and September–November when the weather is pleasant. You can enjoy the scenery on the deck of the boat and have a great opportunity to take clear and awesome pictures.

If you decide to go on a cruise on a cold day, remember to take a coat. It can be very chilly when you stand on the deck. Rainy days will be a little foggy so some of the scenery on the Bund may be obscured.

Nearby Attractions

  • Yuyuan: It is a classic Chinese garden with rich history and culture. You will see traditional Chinese garden architecture, and exquisite sculptures and carvings.
  • The Bund: The architecture along the Bund is a living museum of the colonial history of the 1800s.
  • Nanjing Road is Shanghai's busiest shopping street lined with top-end shopping malls, old-brand shops, and traditional eateries.

Enrich Your Experience with a Huangpu River Cruise

Huangpu River CruiseTake a relaxing cruise on the Huangpu River.

It is a great choice to take a relaxing cruise on the Huangpu River after a full day of sightseeing. Stand on the deck to get a feel for the city, and take pictures of the incredible skyline.

The above are sample tour and can be modified based on your interests and budget. Feel free to contact us and let us create a tour just for you.

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