This magnificent tour offers an exciting and colourful study in contrasts, from China's ancient monuments to its modern cities, Guilin's forested slopes to Xi'an's buried army, and vibrant metropolises to rarified Buddhist hermitages.
October 17 – November 3, 2017 (18 days)
An exhilarating exploration of China's ancient history, rich cultural and mythical heritage and booming future.
- Return air fare Canada – China.
- 2 High speed train trips within China.
- 3 flights within China.
- 4 night Yangtze River Cruise with all services on board (including port taxes, entertainment, etc.)
- Li River Cruise in Guilin and Suzhou Canal Cruise.
- Accommodation in comfortable superior tourist-class hotels.
- Private bus and guide for land touring.
- Excursions during cruise as per itinerary.
- Entrances and sightseeing as per itinerary.
- Breakfast (B), Lunch (L) and Dinner (D) as per itinerary. Special dining and entertainment evenings in bold (D).
- Tips and Gratuities for Yangtze Cruise crew and excursions.
- Local taxes and service charges.
- Travel Visa.
- Travel Insurance.
- Departure taxes (approx. $600; varies per departure city).
- Most airlines now apply Seat Assignment charges. We will advise you if this is the case, and how much, at time of booking.
- Tips and Gratuities for drivers/guides.
- Drinks and items of a personal nature.
Places: Longmen - Shennongjia - Dengfeng - Shanghai - Fengdu - Xiling - Yangshuo - Guilin - Yichang - Suzhou - Xi'an - Wuxi - Zhengzhou - Chongqing
Departure for Beijing.
We arrive in China’s imperial capital whose rich history dates back more than 3,000 years. Upon arrival, we will be greeted by our local guide, transfer to the hotel and later dine at the hotel. (D)
We begin our exploration of the heart of Beijing with the vast Tian’anmen Square. Large enough to hold up to one million people, this infamous site has been the scene of many political dramas. From here we will see the Monument of the People’s Heroes, the Great Hall of the People and the National Museum of China before entering the Forbidden City. The royal Residence for many of China’s emperors during nearly 500 years, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is the world’s largest surviving palace complex. This afternoon, we tour the Summer Palace, a beautiful 700-acre oasis situated on the man-made Kunming Lake, where we can stroll through and enchanting landscape of gardens dotted with pagodas and pavilions. We’ll also have an opportunity to visit a local pearl factory. This evening we will enjoy a special Peking Duck Dinner and an exciting bus tour to experience Beijing by Night, which will take in Donghua Gate Food Market & Sanlitun Bar Street. (B,L,D)
Today begins with a drive through the countryside to one of the great Wonders of the World, the Great Wall of China (Mutianyu Great Wall). Here we will have time to explore some of its pathways and enjoy breathtaking views from its ramparts. After lunch, we journey to the 15th century tomb of Emperor Yongle at Chang Ling via the Sacred Way, a tree-lined avenue guarded by massive animal sculptures which leads to the famous Ming Dynasty Tombs. Thirteen of the sixteen Ming Dynasty Emperors rest in this area, laid out by Yongle who moved the capital from Nanjing to Beijing. we’ll make a stop at the ‘Bird’s Nest’, Beijing’s Olympic Stadium. This evening’s entertainment is a dazzling Beijing Acrobatic Show. (B,L,D)
We begin the day with a visit to the beautiful Temple of Heaven, then take a Rickshaw Tour around the ancient alleyways of Beijing’s Hutong, a 700-year-old traditional cottage neighbourhood. We’ll visit a family in one of the “Quadrangles”. After lunch, we have a few hours to relax on the high-speed train to Longmen. (B,L,D)
This morning, you will be amazed by Longmen Grottoes where we will see the statues that remain of the more than 100,000 that once beautifully displayed the evolution of Buddhist art. We visit the famous Shaolin Temple next, birthplace of Chinese Shaolin Kungfu and of Chinese Zen Buddhism. First we’ll see a Martial Arts Performance by the monks and then visit the Forest of Pagodas, final resting place for many of the monks, this serene locale contains more than 200 stone funerary pagodas. We continue Nally to Zhengzhou city. (B,L,D)
This morning we start with a short visit to Zhengzhou City and then enjoy the high-speed train (4 hours) to Yichang city where the cruise begins. (B,L,D)
After a brief Cruise orientation, a shore excursion at Sandouping takes us to Three Gorges Dam, the biggest hydroelectric dam in the world. Returning to the ship, we sail through the Three Gorges Dam Shiplocks and pass Xiling Gorge, the longest and historically the most hazardous of the famous Three Gorges. Tonight, we have a Captian's Welcome Party, followed by a Crew Cabaret Show. (B,L,D)
We begin with an excursion to Shennong Stream to see cascading waterfalls, steep cliffs, karst caves, tricolored springs, and an amazing array of sh, birds, and monkeys as they play near the water’s edge. We return to the ship and continue sailing through the second gorge, Wu Gorge, known for its odd, misty rock formations and backdrop of soaring mountains. The third, Qutang Gorge, is next - the shortest but the most dramatic of the Three Gorges with ancient relics scattered along its steep cliffs. (B,L,D)
Arriving in Fengdu, we’ll enjoy a morning shore excursion to the ‘Ghost City’, known for its statues of ghosts and devils on Mingshan Hill. Tonight we gather for the Captain’s Farewell Banquet. (B,L,D)
Today we disembark for Chongqing, capital during the Second World War. We’ll visit Chongqing Zoo to see the famous pandas. Later we take a flight to Guilin, and can enjoy an evening tour to the Night Market. (B,L,D)
This morning we can indulge in a scenic Cruise on the Li River. Then we disembark at Yangshuo to see the lively and colourful local market. Tonight we will experience the famous Liusanjie Impression Show. (B,L,D)
We depart Guilin for our flight to Xi’an. Upon arrival we can visit a distinctive Market of the local Hui population and the historic Ming Dynasty City Wall. (B,L,D)
This unforgettable full day begins with a visit to the Terracotta Warrior reproduction factory and then on to one of the most exciting archaeological finds of the 20th century, the actual excavation site of the Terracotta Warriors in the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. Here we can see the thousands of indivually de ned, detailed, lifesized warriors, archers, infantrymen and horses which were moulded out of stoneware to be buried with the Emperor. Upon returning to Xi’an we will have some time at leisure to relax and explore the town.This evening we will be treated to a special Dumpling Banquet as we enjoy a colourful Tang Dynasty Show. (B,L,D)
We take a flight to Shanghai then drive 1.5 hours to Suzhou, where we can visit the Lingering Garden. (B,L,D)
We begin with a Suzhou Canal Cruise to delight in this ‘Venice of the East’. Next we have an opportunity to visit a silk production facility and tour the Water Village of Tongli, which has a history spanning over 1,000 years. We will bring the day to a close in Shanghai. (B,L,D)
Today we will visit the Shanghai Museum and People’s Square. We can enjoy all the beautiful historical architecture as we walk along the “Bund” and have a closer look at the famous Oriental Pearl TV Tower. We finish with a little time at leisure to shop along Nanjing Road. Tonight we’ll have a fabulous dinner featuring Shanghai’s famous Steamed Buns, Xiaolongbao. (B,L,D)
We transfer to the airport for our flight home and arrive the same day. (B)