Is This the Best Docking Spot Ever?

We got Shanghai-ed – and loved it. Not only did our ship stay for two full days in the legendary city, but we docked in an absolutely unbelievable location.

The incredible new Shanghai International Cruise Terminal could not be more in the center of everything.

The view of Shanghai from the deck of Holland America's Volendam
The view of Shanghai from the deck of the ms Volendam.

Shanghai from the deck of the ms Volendam

Our berth on The Huangpu River was directly across from the Pudong district, which is home to the iconic Pearl of The Orient Tower, as well as a couple of the world’s tallest buildings.

These have all sprung up in the past twenty years or so with another, The Shanghai Tower, set to become the second highest building on the planet.

When completed next year the tower will be one of only four man-made structures to stand over two thousand feet high.

The Bund in Shanghai

Over on our side of the river we were a five minute walk from The Bund, which has become the chosen spot for locals and tourists alike to congregate along the riverside.

Originally a British settlement, The Bund became the economic center of Shanghai as the city grew from the nineteenth into the twentieth century.

Banks, trading houses, and consulates lined the streets giving the area a distinctly European feel. After the 1949 revolution much of this activity stopped, but in the last few years the buildings have returned to their previous glory and now house luxury hotels and several of China’s biggest banks.

The Bund in Shanghai at night
The Bund from the Volendam at night.

While we were most appreciative of our incredible docking position, we also had been pretty lucky. With 1,400 passengers and at about 70,000 tons, Holland America’s ms Volendam is one of the largest ships able to make it up The Huangpu to this spot, and that’s only if she comes in and out at low tide.

We made it under the forty-eight meter high Yangpu Bridge with only about two meters to spare. It looked for all the world like the stack was going to clip the underside of the span as we headed back out to sea!

Shanghai at night

The Yangpu Bridge is quite a marvel at over five miles long, but the clearance serves as a blockade to many of today’s massive cruise ships. All larger vessels must use the port at the Wusong International Cruise Ship Terminal, about twenty miles out of town on The Yangtze River, since there is no way that they can get under the bridge.

Shanghai at night
Downtown Shanghai from the Volendam at night.

Having our ship right in the heart of Shanghai made it so much more convenient to explore the city sometimes called “Paris of the East,” especially at night. It was like staying in a downtown hotel where we could come and go at our leisure.

Wedding photos being taken along the Bund in Shanghi

On an evening stroll along The Bund, with the neon skyscrapers on one side of the river and the classic architecture on the other, we were completely captivated by the city.

Locals are too, as the area was crowded with folks enjoying the evening. The area is also popular with red-clad brides-to-be excitedly getting their wedding photos taken.

We were truly Shanghai-ed.

David & Veronica,

Delve Deeper into Shanghai:
Discover Shanghai’s Old Town
Explore “The Venice of Shanghai,” Zhujiajiao Water Town
Take a Ride on the World’s Fastest Train – it Levitates!

See all of our adventures in China!

Click here for our full live-blog as we traveled with Holland America aboard the ms Volendam – through Hong Kong, China, South Korea and Japan

YOUR TURN: What do you think – is this the best docking spot ever? Leave a comment!

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16 thoughts on “Is This the Best Docking Spot Ever?”

  1. Many thanks
    i am preparing my cruise on the Volendam next ApriL and you confirmed my thoughts about the ship ending downtown Shanghai. Will be easy for us to reach the Hop on Hop off stops 5 or 17 wich is walking distance from the ship.


    Michel @ Louise

  2. Amazing photos, ‘nesters! I’ve seen Shanghai in so many movies, old and new. It must have been wonderful to sail up to that iconic skyline in a ship. Too much! 🙂

  3. It’s great to be moored right downtown — and even greater to be in a city for 2 days. BTW, I like your night shots –the city shines like a jewel.

  4. Such great info from people with such positive attitudes about the traveling” EXPERIENCE?”! Anyone on this cruise on 3/17/14 contact me at: [email protected]. My daughter and I are planning wiyh an eye for details…details…details!

  5. Great day shots, although can’t say I’m too impressed with the overall looks at night. Even so, impressive skyline and something that would certainly inspire awe when rolling up in your yacht =P

    1. Tried stuffed lotus root and BBQ pork one day, and stopped at a little place that tried to be French. Wasn’t our best food city on the trip by any stretch.

  6. Enjoyed your Shanghai pictures and adventures.
    Did you see the Disney World being built in China? I have a friend that’s an exec. w/ them from the USA. I just wondered how Mickey and Minnie sounded.?! Have fun!

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