The Yangtze River rises in the Tibet Plateau and flows east across the entire width of China until it empties into the East China Sea near Shanghai.

At 3,915 miles, it's Asia's largest river and the third-longest river in the world, after the Nile and Amazon. Historically, it has marked the division between North and South China.

A cruise along this mighty river in a country that was closed to the outside world for centuries is a real voyage of discovery.

China began to develop its tourism industry in the late 1970's, and to many outsiders it's still a land shrouded in mystery, making it an exciting and fascinating destination for even the most seasoned travellers.

River cruises on the Yangtze provide a good break during tours of China that take in Bejing, Shanghai and Xian. Cruises are normally 3 or 4 days sailing the Three Gorges between Chongqing and Wuhan.

Most itineraries include the Three Gorges Dam dubbed Chinas new great wall because it is 1.4 miles long and took 12 years to build and the main attraction of the deep gorges with soaring craggy peaks.