Hopes of finding survivors are fading as rescuers have begun to pull bodies from the ship and more than 300 people remain missing.
On Monday night the Eastern Star, overturned during a storm, and only 14 of the 456 passengers are known to have survived.
Rescue teams have cut into the hull, and are working to cut more holes to allow divers access to the whole ship, state media reported.
The Chinese government said rescuers would “take all possible measures” to save the injured and promised a “serious investigation”, according to Xinhua, a state news agency.
“We will never shield mistakes and we’ll absolutely not cover up anything,” Xu Chengguang, a spokesman for the Ministry of Transport, told a news conference.
Relatives have staged a protest at the site of the disaster, demanding more information from the authorities.
By Fiona Carty