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Cruise Stopover

Anna Zheng | Nov 18, 2017

8 Ideas For One Day Cruise Stopover In Shanghai

Boasting a unique blend of Chinese and European culture, it is no surprise that Shanghai has become a popular cruise stopover destination in Asia. From a day spent with the family in Disneyland to romantic evening strolls in the Former French Concession, there is something for everyone during a layover in Shanghai.


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View from The Bund

Before planning any Shanghai layover sightseeing, the first step is to confirm at which port the cruise ship will dock. The city has three major international cruise terminals:


  • Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal – The newest and busiest of the three cruise terminals and located in the north of Shanghai.

  • Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal – A terminal further up the Huangpu River near The Bund, which can be accessed by smaller cruise ships.

  • Shanghai Waigaoqiao Port Cruise Terminal – Waigaoqiao is the deepest of all the docks and is used by larger cruise ships.


Once visitors have established where their cruise will stopover in Shanghai, they may begin to plan their sightseeing tour. Whether you have a quick layover for few hours or half day and more, below is a layover guide to the best places to visit in Shanghai.


1. Former French Concession

  • Perfect For: Exploring Shanghai’s unique French connection

  • Distance From Cruise By Car: 45 minutes (Shanghai Wusongku), 20 minutes (Shanghai Port), 50 minutes (Shanghai Waigaoqiao)

  • Suggested Duration Of Visit: 3-4 hours


Shanghai is like no other place in China and that is no more evident than in the city’s unique history and association with France. From 1849 to 1943, Shanghai was home to the French Concession, an area of Shanghai that was governed and occupied by France. After 1943, the area was returned to China, but it always retained its French charm and over the years has become one of the city’s top tourist spots.


The Former French Concession is so popular due to its quintessential European architecture and its unmistakable Continental ambience, which is perhaps best epitomized by Avenue Joffre and Avenue Petain, which used to represent the center of the high-end residential area and is now home to trendy bars and nightclubs.


The only way to truly appreciate the culture and heritage of the Former French Concession is to hire an English speaking tour guide, who can introduce each area and the rich history behind the buildings.


While exploring the Former French Concession, visitors should not skip the chance to sample some of the quality dining experiences available:


  • La Creperie – For those in the mood for something French, La Creperie offers Brittany culinary delights such as crepes and galettes.

  • Lost Heaven – Some visitors may wish to try Shanghainese food while in the city, but it’s highly recommended to make an exception for this Yunnan restaurant that is a firm favorite with locals.

  • Boxing Cat Brewery – Home to Shanghai’s premier craft beer, this gastro pub has a great atmosphere any day of the week.


2. Shanghai World Financial Center

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  • Perfect For: The best view in the city

  • Distance From Cruise By Car: 45 minutes (Shanghai Wusongku), 10 minutes (Shanghai Port), 40 minutes (Shanghai Waigaoqiao)

  • Suggested Duration Of Visit: 1-2 hours


Shanghai boasts one of the most iconic skylines on the planet and when people see an image of the Shanghai Tower and the Oriental Pearl Tower, they recognize it at once. When it comes to enjoying the view there is a wide choice of options available to visitors, but the Shanghai World Financial Center offers the best view of Shanghai cityscape. The building stands at 492 meters making it the ninth tallest in the world and fourth tallest in Mainland China, while the highest of the three observation decks stands at 474 meters. Admission prices for all three observation decks can be found online:


  • Adults: RMB180

  • Seniors (Over 65 years): RMB120

  • Students (Under 23 years): RMB120

  • Kids (90cm – 140cm): RMB90

  • Kids (Under 90cm): Free


3. Zhujiajiao Ancient Town

  • Perfect For: Uncovering another side of Shanghai

  • Distance From Cruise By Car: 80 minutes (Shanghai Wusongku), 80 minutes (Shanghai Port), 90 minutes (Shanghai Waigaoqiao)

  • Suggested Duration Of Visit: 3-4 hours


As more and more buildings shoot up across the skyline of Shanghai, visitors can enjoy another ancient side of the city that is less explored and is far from the city center. Zhujiajiao Ancient Town, with its old stone houses surrounded by mazy canals, makes you feel a million miles away from the downtown area. Visitors can explore this 1,700-year-old village by boat and stop off to see popular sites such as the Fangsheng Bridge, Kezhi Garden, and the Yuanjin Buddhist Temple.


Zhujiajiao Ancient Town is located 80 minutes from downtownand due to scams in Chinese taxis it is highly advised to book a private car for the trip instead. It may also be worth considering arranging a private tour guide so that you can fully understand and appreciate the deep heritage and rich culture of the area.


4. Shanghai Disneyland

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  • Perfect For: An unforgettable family day out

  • Distance From Cruise By Car: 50 minutes (Shanghai Wusongku), 50 minutes (Shanghai Port), 40 minutes (Shanghai Waigaoqiao)

  • Suggested Duration Of Visit: 6-8 hours


Mainland China’s first ever Disneyland was opened in 2016, and the park has lived up to the hype by quickly establishing itself as one of the top tourist destinations in the city. There are plenty of attractions to keep both kids and parents entertained and the park is divided into seven areas including Mickey Avenue, Gardens of Imagination, Fantasyland, Treasure Cove, Adventure Isle, Tomorrowland, and the soon to be opened, Toy Story Land.


Prices vary between weekdays and weekends:

  • Adults: Weekdays = RMB370, Weekends = RMB499

  • Seniors (Over 65 years): Weekdays = RMB280, Weekends RMB375

  • Kids (1-1.4m): Weekdays = RMB280, Weekends RMB375


As Disneyland is situated 40 minutes away from the city center, travelers may wish to consider booking a private driver in advance so that they can leave on their own schedule and get to back to downtown in a timely fashion.


A private transfer is the safest, quickest and most convenient way to get around Shanghai. Shanghai Car Service  is a reliable ground transportation service helping business travelers to Shanghai for almost two decades. We provide door-to-door service at competitive prices.

Make your journey stress-free and contact our 24/7 team at  with questions or to get a quote. Use this promo: 10CARBLOG for a $10 discount on your 1st service.



5. The Bund

  • Perfect For: An evening stroll by the water

  • Distance From Cruise By Car: 40 minutes (Shanghai Wusongku), 5 minutes (Shanghai Port), 50 minutes (Shanghai Waigaoqiao)

  • Suggested Duration Of Visit: 1-2 hours


Over the years, the words The Bund have become synonymous with tourism in Shanghai, and no trip to the city is complete without a walk along the iconic waterfront spot. The modern skyscrapers across the Huangpu River are in sharp contrast to those traditional buildings located on The Bund, where a strict height restriction is placed on the height of constructions. This regulation has resulted in the preservation of an eclectic mix of architecture that is rare to find in the rest of China, with building ranging from the Neo-Classicism of Customs House to the Renaissance style of the Peace Hotel.


Although The Bund is located in the heart of the city, visitors unfamiliar with the area may still wish to hire a private car with an English speaking tour guide to explain the history behind the buildings.


On The Bund, visitors can find several restaurants with menus to match the spectacular views of the Huangpu River:


  • Jean Georges – Michelin star restaurant with world-famous chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten offering a masterful spin on French cuisine.

  • Wei Jing Ge – Savor an authentic Chinese dining experience at Wei Jing Ge at the Waldorf Astoria with the menu offering a wide selection of Cantonese and Shanghainese cuisine.

  • The Jazz Bar – Legendary bar at the Peace Hotel that has been visited by the likes of former US presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Enjoy the resident Old Jazz Band over dinner and drinks.


6. Shanghai History Museum

  • Perfect For: An engrossing introduction to the history of Shanghai

  • Distance From Cruise By Car: 45 minutes (Shanghai Wusongku), 45 minutes (Shanghai Port), 50 minutes (Shanghai Waigaoqiao)

  • Suggested Duration Of Visit: 2-3 hours


From the European concessions of the nineteenth century to the Japanese occupation during the Second Sino-Japanese War, Shanghai has often found itself at the forefront of Modern China’s history. The Shanghai History Museum provides visitors with a fascinating overview of the recent past of the city.


The museum’s collection paints a picture of a city with a rich and diverse history from the boundary markers from the French concession, coins from the ill-fated Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, and the lions from the entrance of the former HSBC building.


The museum is free to enter and open Tuesday to Sunday from 09:00 to 17:00, with last entry at 16:00. The Shanghai History Museum is located 45 minutes drive from The Bund and visitors may wish to consider hiring a private tour guide so that you can walk around and appreciate the museum at your own leisure.


7. Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre

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  • Perfect For: A look at China through its propaganda

  • Distance From Cruise By Car: 40 minutes (Shanghai Wusongku), 20 minutes (Shanghai Port), 50 minutes (Shanghai Waigaoqiao)

  • Suggested Duration Of Visit: 1-2 hours


The Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre may have started out as a hobby for a local art collector, but it has become one of the city’s unlikely tourist attractions. Although the center only consists of 2 rooms, each room is full to the brim with colorful propaganda.


In the collection, visitors will find hundreds of original pieces of propaganda from the Mao era, which offer insights into the political climate at the time as well as the social change happening in everyday lives.


Admission to the centre is only RMB20, but to be able to fully appreciate the propaganda posters and to completely understand the context in which they were produced, it is recommended to book an English speaking tour guide.


8. Sheshan Golf Club

Shanghai car service to Sheshen Golf Club

  • Perfect For: Playing a round of 18 at the number one course in China

  • Distance From Cruise By Car: 70 minutes (Shanghai Wusongku), 70 minutes (Shanghai Port), 90 minutes (Shanghai Waigaoqiao)

  • Suggested Duration Of Visit: 4-6 hours


For any golf lovers visiting Shanghai for a one-day cruise stopover, they may not want to miss the chance to play at Sheshan Golf Club, which is host to the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament and currently ranked as the top golf club in all of China. Players can tee off on the same holes as the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Rory Mcllroy.


After 18 holes, golfers can opt for a deep tissue golfer massage or a stimulating aromatherapy massage. There are also dining options in the La Toscana restaurant that looks out over the golf course and later visitors can retire to the Havana Club Cigar & Wine Bar.


Naturally, Sheshan Golf Club is away from the hustle and bustle of the city and it takes around 70 minutes to reach. It is recommended to hire a private driver to take you to the club and book a transfer back to Shanghai city center so you can take your time on the golf course without being concerned about how to return later.



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