Suzhou Creek cruises will be a “floating living room on the water”

Shot by Jiang Xiaowei. Edited by Jiang Xiaowei. Subtitles by Jiang Xiaowei.

One river and one city – Shanghai’s story begins here. The vicissitudes of the city are concentrated in the meanders of the Suzhou Creek, which feeds the people of Shanghai and is a silent witness to its development.

On Saturday, cruises were launched on the creek, known as the city’s mother river, which carries the memory of generations.

With the rudder turned, history flows and Shanghai leaps forward to “a world-class waterfront with global influence”.

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

A cruise ship sails Suzhou Creek on Saturday.

The launch of the service marked the opening of the Shanghai Tourism Festival, the city’s annual tourist extravaganza now in its 33rd year.

Suzhou Creek holds a special place in the hearts of Shanghainese people. The region’s silks and ceramics were transported along the Maritime Silk Road during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), and centuries later the region became one of the earliest industrial centers of the city.

Ever since Shanghai was forced to open its port in 1843, the creek has served as the backdrop for spectacular milestones in the city’s history. It was the scene of wartime suffering and the cradle of China’s first national industries.

Its industrial heritage left the creek water murky in the 1980s. Cleanup and redevelopment of its banks have been ongoing projects for years. Riparian areas stretching 42 kilometers along the creek have now become the “backyard garden” of local citizens.

Suzhou Creek cruises will be a

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

The captain steers the ship.

The cruise ship, 14.8 meters long and 4 meters wide, has a capacity of 20 passengers. The journey takes about two hours and is currently about 17 kilometers long.

The route will connect eight piers: Waitanyuan (the origin of the Bund), Sihang Warehouse, Changhua Road, Xikang Road, Mengqing Garden, Zhongshan Park, Changfeng Park and Danba Road.

Four of them – Waitanyuan, Sihang Warehouse, Changhua Road and Changfeng Park piers – have been put into trial operation.

The rest will enter service before the end of the year.

Suzhou Creek cruises will be a

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

A cruise ship sails on Suzhou Creek.

Safety and pressure tests during the cruise will be conducted depending on the course of the river and hydrological conditions, the Shanghai Culture and Tourism Administration said.

At present, the tour has not been commercialized, as continuous adjustments and improvements will be made based on trial operations, and the cruise tourism products will be launched at the right time, the official said. ‘administration.

Three routes will be launched.

One is designed for group tours and will last one hour, operating between the docks at Changfeng Park and Changhua Road.

One targeting individual tourists will have the same duration and sail from Waitanyuan, Sihang Warehouse and Changhua Road piers.

The last one will be a personalized tours service and will mainly serve customers with leisure and business demand.

The box office has not yet been announced.

Suzhou Creek cruises will be a

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

“We plan to create a ‘floating living room on water’ by launching the service,” said Fang Shizhong, director of Shanghai Culture and Tourism Administration.

“The cruises will allow people to enjoy the scenery along the creek and walk around a number of shore attractions,” Fang said.

Based on research since November last year, there are 205 places of cultural and tourist value along the creek, according to the administration.

It is a journey into the past, present and future of the city, allowing people to savor the unique splendor of haipai (Shanghai style).

The route will connect a number of old and new, famous and niche cultural and tourist pearls, as well as historical relics of the city in Huangpu, Jing’an, Changning, Putuo and Hongkou districts.

These include historic buildings, city blocks, industrial remnants and public cultural spaces, according to the administration.

The Sihang Warehouse Battle Memorial, Zhapu Road Bridge, Broadway Mansions, General Post Office Building, Tian An 1000 Trees, M50 Art Center, Shanghai Mint Museum, Fuxin Flour Mill and the former site of the Shanghai Brewery are a few on the list.

The eight batteries have been carefully selected.

People can walk over a bridge at the Danba Road pier and reach a Suzhou Stream Industrial Civilization Exhibition Hall which will open soon.

Suzhou Creek cruises will be a

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

The trip presents beautiful landscapes.

“The cruise opens a window for tourists to savor the city’s history and cultural essence,” said Liu Deyan, a tourism researcher and associate professor at Shanghai Normal University.

The hop-on hop-off cruise service will make Suzhou Creek a “world-class tourist destination”, according to a development plan.

When developing Suzhou Creek tourism, cultural and sports elements are injected, and a digital operation and management system will be applied.

The five neighborhoods bordering the stream have unveiled their tourism development master plan based on their cultural and tourism resources.

In Huangpu District, a cultural and artistic landscape, waterfront sports and leisure promenade belts are being created, while Hongkou District is developing places for cultural consumption and nighttime tourism along the stream.

In Jing’an District, a historical and cultural experience zone is being developed and an art-themed tourist zone is taking shape, while Changning District will feature a recreation block combining historical buildings and recreational functions for residents.

The riverside areas of Putuo district will be transformed into a water sports and recreation experience zone for families with children.

Suzhou Creek cruises will be a

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

A passenger takes pictures during the ride.

Hu Xiaoli couldn’t hide his excitement at the moment. She was one of the lawmakers who made a joint proposal on resuming the Suzhou Creek cruise at Shanghai’s “two sessions”, the annual sessions for lawmakers and political advisers, last year. She spared no effort to make the dream come true.

The average width of the Suzhou stream is nearly one tenth of the Huangpu River, which is only an obstacle faced by the operation of the cruise.

“The impact on the normal life of residents living nearby should be taken into consideration,” Hu said.

Powered by lithium iron phosphate storage batteries, the vessel produces no pollution or noise. It will be charged at the docks.

Intensive clean-up projects and waterfront redevelopment along Suzhou Stream in recent years have yielded fruitful results.

“Eco-friendly cruise ships vividly demonstrate the development of ecological civilization in metropolitan Shanghai,” Liu said, recalling the creek’s dirty past.

The cruise circuit is an important step in developing tourism along the creek. New vitality will be injected into it, which will spur the upgrading of nearby commercial facilities and blocks, making it an alluring Shanghai attraction.

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