Pearl River Night Cruise

For visitors, the Pearl River night cruise is an experience worth trying. Along the way, you can see landmarks like the Canton Tower, Haixin Bridge, Sun Yat-sen University, and Liede Bridge from different perspectives. The lights from the buildings on both shores echo each other, creating a beautiful skyline. The round trip on the cruise ship takes about an hour.

Based on a secret survey conducted on the day, there are four boarding docks to choose from for the Pearl River night cruise. Visitors who plan to visit around the Canton Tower before or after the cruise can choose the Haixinsha West Area dock, which offers a great view of the Canton Tower.

For those driving, Dasha Tou dock is a convenient option due to its ample parking space. If you are short on time, the Tianzi dock is a good choice with frequent cruise departures, making it easy to fit into your schedule.

The night cruise ships on the Pearl River are usually two or three levels, each with different ticket prices. The first and second levels, which are the cabin levels, are generally cheaper. The top level is the open-air area, which is the most expensive and where most tourists congregate.

Pearl River Night Cruise

On the day of the undercover investigation, the cruise ship that was boarded had tables for 4-6 people by default on the open-air top level. Most tourists were up and about sightseeing, so there was no awkwardness of being forced to sit together, which did not affect the mood too much.

At that time, the ship was not overly crowded, so tourists could choose other vacant seats. Moreover, the cruise ship sailed smoothly without causing any discomfort. Even those prone to seasickness can experience the cruise without worry.

Transportation:

Pearl River Night Cruise

West District Pier: Take the APM line subway to Haixinsha Station Exit A and then walk about 500 meters to reach the Haixinsha West District Pier.
Guangzhou Tower. Zhongda Pier: Take bus routes 247/182/229/24/8 to Zhongda North Gate Station, then walk about 450 meters to reach the Guangzhou Tower. Zhongda Pier.
Sea Pearl Square Pier: Take the Line 2 subway to Haizhu Square Station Exit D, then walk about 660 meters to reach the Sea Pearl Square Pier.
Tianzi Pier: Take the Line 2 subway to Haizhu Square Station Exit A, then walk about 700 meters to reach the Tianzi Pier.
Dasha Tou Cruise Pier: Take the Line 6 subway to Donghu Station Exit B2, then walk about 810 meters to reach the Dasha Tou Cruise Pier.
Xidi Pier: Take the Line 8 subway to Culture Park Station Exit B, then walk about 500 meters to reach the Xidi Pier.

Cost:

Taking a three-deck cruise as an example, a ticket for the first deck costs about 80 yuan, a second-deck ticket costs about 100 yuan, and an open-air ticket costs about 120 yuan.

Each ticket comes with complimentary tea and snacks. Some cruises offer open-air tickets bundled with premium snack packages at a price of about 170 yuan.

Tourist Tips:

Pearl River Night Cruise

  1. Regarding ticket purchases, the earliest departures from the four docks usually start around 7:30 in the evening. You can follow the official public account “Pearl River Night Tour” or refer to various travel apps to get more information and make reservations. On-site ticket purchase is also available.
  2. Don’t forget to bring your ID as it is required for ticket collection.
  3. It’s recommended to arrive at your chosen dock 30 minutes early, or even earlier on holidays, to avoid missing the departure due to queues or other situations. You can only board at the dock specified on your ticket, and tickets cannot be refunded or exchanged if you go to the wrong dock.
  4. It’s not recommended to book the larger boats. These boats can get very crowded and noisy which may affect your sightseeing experience.
  5. The “Guangzhou Tower Dock” has temporarily ceased operations since mid-May 2020 and has moved to the “Guangzhou Tower Zhongda Dock”, which is about 4 kilometers away from the Guangzhou Tower itself. Travelers who wish to board near the Guangzhou Tower are advised to choose the Haixinsha West Area Dock.
  6. It’s not recommended to take a cruise from the Guangzhou Tower Wealth Dock. This dock has fewer cruise departures and the ticket price is 20-80 yuan more expensive than other docks.
  7. For those who wish to enjoy the view from the open-air deck, it’s recommended to buy open-air tickets. Not all boats allow access to the open-air deck if you have a ticket for the first or second floor. There will be staff checking tickets at the entrance to the open-air deck. You may want to call and ask if your ticket allows access to the open-air deck before making a reservation.
  8. The operational status, type of ships, and operating hours of each dock may change depending on the season and other factors. The specific situation on the day of your visit will prevail.
  9. Don’t expect too much from the complimentary snacks and tea provided with your ticket. The snacks provided on the day of our visit were just two soda crackers per person, the kind you’d find in a supermarket bulk bin.

Recommended Itinerary

We recommend you plan your trip on a sunny day during the summer or fall seasons. You may choose the 7:00 PM or later boat schedule, during which you can enjoy both dusk and night views.

Please note that visitors choosing this slot should arrive at the dock to exchange tickets and wait by 6:30 PM to avoid missing the boarding time due to high passenger flow.

The boat ride lasts approximately one hour, ending back at the departure point. You may then schedule other nighttime sightseeing activities. After the boat ride, visitors who boarded at the Haixinsha Wharf can stroll around Haixinsha.

Visitors who board and disembark at the Tianzi Wharf can take a stroll around Beijing Road Pedestrian Street. Those who disembark at Dashatou can dine at the nearby Harbour City, or drive to other destinations.

Detailed Guide

Pearl River Night Cruise

  1. Many types of Pearl River cruise tickets are available on group buying platforms. The main differences lie in the boarding piers and ship positions. When purchasing, pay attention to the pier on your ticket to avoid going to the wrong place and delaying your itinerary.
  2. Some tickets on group buying platforms do not specify a pier or departure time, but this doesn’t mean you can board at any pier. Instead, you can only board at the piers where the cruise company docks. Be sure to carefully check the available boarding piers when booking.
  3. Moreover, after purchasing a ticket without a specific pier or departure time, the staff will call you on the day of your trip to choose the boarding pier and departure time. Keep your phone ringer on to avoid missing the call. Once you’ve chosen a pier and time, you can’t change them. Plan your time wisely to avoid missing the cruise.
  4. Various themed cruises are available such as Snoopy-themed cruises, Coca-Cola-themed cruises, etc. Choose according to your preferences.
  5. After boarding, some ships sell drinks and snacks like cola and popcorn. The prices may be slightly higher than convenience stores, but they won’t be excessive. We recommend buying a package that includes drinks and snacks for a much better deal.
  6. Some cruises have art installations, statues, and light signs at the bow on the first level and the stern on the second level, where you can strike a pose for photos.
  7. At one point, the cruise will pass under the Haixin Bridge, where you can see the crescent-shaped bridge and the Guangzhou Tower in the distance. The view is particularly beautiful, so remember to look up and enjoy it.
  8. Photographers are available on the top deck to take pictures for you, with printed photos available for around 30 yuan each.

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