（ECNS）-- Cruise tours on Suzhou Creek were launched Saturday in Shanghai after a year's preparation.
The first phase of the cruise route is about 17 kilometers long. The journey lasts around two hours. Another three routes will be put into operation by the end of this year after trial runs of the first phase.
The three routes include a loop that passes through historical landmarks such as the Bund, Sihang Warehouse, and Changhua Road Pier.
Upon completion of trial operations, tourists will be able to choose their departure terminals and customize their itineraries.
"We have seen wild egrets and night herons along the road. I think it may also be regarded as a type of ecotourism, because our cruise ship is electric, which may reduce the pollution in the city," said tourist Mr. Zhuo.
Tourist Mr. Liu said: "When I was having dinner, I looked back and saw the Suzhou Creek outside the window, so we had the advantage of being in a favored position. I come here every evening."
"There used to be poor houses along the Suzhou Creek. There were factories all the way in Huangpu District. Now that the renovation has been completed, we want to have a look," said Zhu. "Looking all the way over, the routes are open, which used to be impassable. Now all the sightseeing platforms are open along the river."