Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift

Model of the Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift on the Yangtze River

Model of the Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift on the Yangtze River

The Three Gorges Dam ship lift is the world’s largest one of its kind. It features an impressive capacity capable of elevating ships up to 3,000 tons along with a volume of water roughly equivalent to four Olympic-sized swimming pools. Its introduction allows passengers to bypass the slow and arduous 5-stage ship locks while experiencing the full scope of China’s engineering prowess.

The ship lift features a ship basin nearly 400-feet long by 60-feet wide and climbs a vertical distance of 370 feet—the height of a 40-story building. Its first operational use took place in September 2016. Observe CCTV footage of the new ship lift below.

Passengers experience the new ship lift on a specially-designed sightseeing boat followed by an insightful tour of the world’s largest hydroelectric dam—another feat of modern engineering. The excursion takes place on day 2 of upstream cruises and on day 4 for passengers sailing downstream. The new feature can be experienced as an optional excursion for CNY 290~295 (about $42~43) per person.