One highlight of a visit to Shanghai, and the easiest way to view the edifices of the Bund, is to take one of the Huangpu River tours (黄浦江旅游, huángpŭ jiāng lǚyóu). On the tour, you’re introduced to the vast amount of shipping that uses the port, and you’ll also be able to inspect all the paraphernalia of the shipping industry, from sampans and rusty old Panamanian-registered freighters to sparkling Chinese navy vessels. You’ll also get an idea of the colossal construction that is taking place on the eastern shore. Evening cruises offer spectacular views, as Shanghai is lit up like a pinball machine at night.
Cruises leave from Shiliupu Wharf at the south end of the Bund, opposite Jinling Dong Lu at 171 Zhongshan Nan Lu. You can buy tickets at the wharf or at the Bund Tourist Information Centre, beside the entrance to the Bund Tourist Tunnel. You can also book direct with one of the many cruise operators. You can book tickets a few days in advance over the phone and they will deliver to your hotel.
Departure times vary depending on season and weather. Ninety-minute long cruises (¥128) depart at least twice an hour daily between 11am and 9.30pm. Hour-long cruises (¥100) are rarer, usually hourly, and there is one daily three-hour cruise (¥150) at 2pm, which goes all the way to the mouth of the Yangzi and back. Cruises that include a buffet dinner run between 7pm and 9pm (¥200).
It is also possible to take half-hour cruises from Pudong. These leave from the Pearl Dock, every half hour between 10am and 1.30pm (¥100).