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(Beijing, Xi'an, Yangtze, Shanghai, Hong Kong)
(Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City)
(Lower Mekong River Cruise)
Imagine the possibilities of having two dream cruises bridged together by a magnificent land-based travel itinerary, all orchestrated by just one point of contact. That’s just one of the realities with custom cruising from Kensington Tours.
Experience the mysteries of the Orient as you discover China by land and cruise, before setting sail once again to uncover Vietnam, Cambodia and the riches of the Mekong.
As the sun rises over the mighty Yangtze River, the traditional villages of mainland China slowly come to life as farmers tend the terraced hills and fisherman pull nets from the deep. You’ll witness life on the Yangtze from the luxurious comfort of your cruise boat as you glide past rural scenes that could be centuries old. But first, explore the ancient city of Beijing with your private tour guide, where you’ll reveal the secrets of the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the Temple of Heaven. Then you’ll discover the historic military might of the Great Wall of China, one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages before embarking on an unforgettable multi-day cruise of the Yangtze. Afterward, marvel at the futuristic architecture of 21st-century Shanghai and Hong Kong before leaving for Hanoi in Vietnam, and Cambodia’s Siem Reap, from where you’ll embark your second cruise which takes you along the Lower Mekong River to bear witness to the religions and antiquated lifestyles of Vietnam and Cambodia along the Mekong.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.
The Park Plaza Beijing Wangfujing is a modern oasis, right in the heart of Beijing's bustling cultural, commercial, and entertainment centre. With its superb location, spacious facilities, and personalized service, the Park Plaza Beijing Wangfujing is the ideal choice for all guests. The Lodging reflects the many changing facets of contemporary Chinese culture, where ancient cultural sites vie for space alongside high-rise buildings and an intricate freeway system. The Park Plaza is just minutes away from several popular attractions, such as Tiananmen Square, the National Museum of China, and the Forbidden City. Guests may also enjoy the complimentary high-speed internet access, security safe box, and currency exchange centre. All guestrooms feature Western décor and are furnished with lounge chairs in sandstone colours.
This full day of private guided tour explores Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven with a stop for a deluxe lunch. Tiananmen Square was built in 1417 during the Ming Dynasty and stretches a vast 440,000 square meters. The Forbidden City is the world's largest palace complex with 9,999 buildings. The Outer Court was where the emperor exercised his supreme power over the nation. The Inner Court was where he lived with his royal family. Fourteen emperors of the Ming dynasty and ten emperors of the Qing dynasty reigned here until 1924. The Temple of Heaven was built in 1420 AD during the Ming Dynasty to offer sacrifice to Heaven.
Enjoy a private guided tour of the Great Wall at Mutianyu, located 45 miles northeast of Beijing. This section winds along lofty, cragged mountains for 1.4 miles and holds a prominent place in Chinese military history. Construction started in the northern Qi Dynasty (550 - 577) and was restored in the early Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). There is an abundance of natural springs, which feed a great variety of verdant plants and ancient trees. Built mainly from granite with 8 metre high walls and 5 metres wide at the top, the wall is notable for its 22 watchtowers that suggest a significant military importance. Next, you will visit The Summer Palace, a sprawling suburban compound used by royalty as their summer retreat and best known for its stunning grounds around Kunming Lake. The Summer Palace occupies an area of 294 hectares (726.5 acres) of which three quarters are water. Classically designed as an archetypal Chinese garden, it is ranked among the most noted gardens of the world and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998. Lunch is included.
Fly from Beijing to Xi'an. Flight time is approximately 2 hours.
This half day private guided city tour takes you to some of the highlights of 3,100 year old Xian, which is besides Rome, Athens and Cairo one of the four ancient capitals. Start with the Shaanxi History Museum which is with its 370,000 exhibits one of the nation's best. The next stop is the Xi’an City Wall, which is the most complete to survive in China and one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world. The walls, ramparts, gates and watchtowers still stand ready to repel attackers. Built in the 13th century on the foundations of the original Tang Forbidden City surrounding the city centre, you can walk, rent a bike or take an electric cart around the full 14km circuit, with great views of the city on either side. Finish this tour with the Great Mosque, located in the heart of Xi'an's Muslim quarter. The Mosque is one of the largest in China. Remarkable for the melding of Chinese architecture with Islamic practice, the courtyards align from east to west facing Mecca. The pavilions, halls and gateways are wonderfully decorated. This is an active place of worship for the Hui descendants of Silk Road traders and travellers.
Built to meet the elaborate standards of China's new platinum five-star hotel rating, the Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square is the ultimate accommodation facility in the ancient city of Xian. Its design is of astounding contemporary concept. With a full range of spacious and well-appointed rooms, suites and apartments, state-of-the-art business facilities and exquisite dining and recreational options, the Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square is a perfect choice for the most astute of business and leisure travelers.
This morning you will visit the Terra Cotta Army a private guide. This tour includes a deluxe lunch. The over 7,000 Terra Cotta life size warriors and horses arranged in battle formations are China's greatest archaeological excavation. They symbolically guard the Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, who was the first emperor of the Qin dynasty (246-209 BC).
Fly from Xi'an to Yichang. Flight time is approximately 1.5 hours.
Meet your driver for an airport or pier transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.
This evening you will board the luxurious Victoria cruiseship and depart at 9:00PM from Yichang. By 10:00PM all passengers will have checked in, and you will overnight on the ship.
Victoria's Cruise ships are specially designed to navigate the Yangtze River, and are all officially rated five stars by the China National Tourism Administration, its highest rating. Enjoy all the comfort and elegance of river cruising, attentive and professional staff, delicious onboard meals and spectacular scenery from every stateroom and public area. The Victoria fleet offers over 5 ships offering passengers cozy accommodations and impeccable service. China has one of the world's great culinary traditions. You will experience the joys of Chinese cuisine, expertly prepared with fresh high quality ingredients. Victoria's award-winning dining experience is reflective of China's evolving culinary landscape, with a fusion of Chinese and western dishes. Meals are served in a single-seating Dynasty Dining Room. Sumptuous Western and Chinese buffets are offered at breakfast, lunch and dinner. An elegant Captain’s Farewell Banquet is served on the final night of the cruise. In addition to the main Dynasty Dining Room, Victoria Cruises offers a separate a la carte dining room on all the ships.
This morning, you will visit the Three Gorges Dam site. Sail thorough the Three Gorges dam ship locks and pass by Xiling Gorge East. Comprising of many rapids and currents, Xiling Gorge starts at Badong County and zigzags for 76 kilometers down to the Nanjin Pass in Yichang. It is the longest part of the Three Gorges system with dangerous rapids like Xietan, Qintan and Kongling, collectively known as the Three Rapids of Xiling. The swift current carries boats down river at the rate of seven meters per second. It is surely a thrilling ride!
Today you will take an excursion to Daning River Small Gorges or Shennong Stream which is a tributary of the Yangtze River. With crystal clear water, this stream flows swiftly from north to south through deep gorges. A sampan tour will allow you to experience a high speed adventure along this unspoiled river. An arrow-like sampan glides through the four-kilometer-long Mianzhu Gorge and then enters the main stream of the Shennong. Next visit Wu Gorge, which is the most beautiful section of the Yangtze River, flanked by high peaks that are often capped by fog or clouds. The steep slopes of the gorge are green with trees and bushes. As well, pass through Qutang Gorge, which is famous for its sheer and spectacular precipices, with uniquely beautiful rock formations in every direction.
Today you will take a guided shore excursion to either Fengdu or Wanzhou. Both are cities greatly affected by the Three Gorges Dam, and interesting places to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of the Project on the local farming families. Visit the Daoist Temples and bustling markets of these charming river villages.
Disembark the Victoria cruise at 9:00AM in Chongqing.
Transfer between the airport and the pier with a private vehicle, driver, and English speaking guide.
Fly from Chongqing to Shanghai. Flight time is approximately 2.5 hours.
Discover unmatched hospitality, an unbeatable location and luxurious amenities at the new Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Centre. Located in the heart of downtown, our Shanghai hotel is within walking distance to Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street, People's Square, the Bund and the metro station. Premier among Shanghai hotels, we are the perfect place to unwind when traveling for business or leisure. Enjoy international cuisine and local favorites from our chefs as they prepare various choices at our five restaurants and lounges. After a day in the city, take a dip in our indoor pool, visit our fully equipped gym or have a relaxing massage at our spa. Among hotels in Shanghai, amenities include a business center, 24-hour room service and concierge. More than 2,000 square meters of dedicated event space await with two pillar-free ballrooms and seven additional meeting rooms.
Experience a full day private guided tour of Shanghai visiting the Shanghai Museum, Urban Planning Museum, Nanjing Road, the Bund, cruising on the Huangpu river and enjoying the views from the Oriental Pearl Tower. The museum is an authentic treasure house of ancient Chinese art and holds around 120,000 precious relics. Bronzes, pottery, paintings and calligraphies are distinctive features of the museum's collection. The nearby Urban Planning Hall is a fun and informative introduction to Shanghai’s exciting past and future. Strolling down Nanjing Road, which was once listed as one of the most interesting streets in the world, you will arrive at the historic Bund. Enjoy a cruise on the Huangpud river that divides old Shanghai from the futuristic Pudong, before venturing across the water for a trip up the Oriental Pearl Tower to view the city from above. The majority of this tour is best to be done by foot.
Fly from Shanghai to Hong Kong. Flight time is approximately 2.5 hours.
Located in the heart of the financial district, the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong overlooks the Victoria Harbor. This property is just a short walk from the famous night-time entertainment area of bars, restaurants and clubs. Offering beautiful views of the surrounding, the 502 guestrooms are well-appointed and come with modern amenities to make your stay a pleasant one. The magnificent spa offers healing philosophies of Ayurveda and traditional Chinese Medicine to soothe your senses and enchant your soul. You can workout at the state-of-the-art gymnasium or have a bracing dip in the swimming pool during your stay in this hotel.
Enjoy a half day Hong Kong island tour where you will have the opportunity to visit Victoria Peak, Aberdeen Fishing Village and Repulse Bay. Afterwards enjoy a lovely Dim Sum lunch at Jumbo Restaurant. All rides are also included.
Enjoy a half day Kowloon tour where you will have the opportunity to visit Wong Tai Sin Temple, Jade Market, and the Bird and Flower Market.
Enjoy a full day private tour with an English speaking guide through Macau. There you will visit the ruins of St. Paul's, Peuha Church, Macau Tower, A Ma Temple, Senado Square and casino. A lovely lunch will be served to you at a local restaurant. Please note there is a mandatory Macau visa fee for some nationalities of $100 HKD that must be paid locally.
Fly from Kong Kong to Hanoi. Flight time is approximately 1.5 hours.
The Silk Path is located in the heart of the charming old quarter of Hanoi, which has countless tourist attractions, government and diplomatic institutions, as well as proximity to the business district of the city. With the hotel's 106 well-appointed exclusively designed rooms and suites, it is no surprise that Silk Hotel is a preference choice of a traveler. The hotel has a 2 level restaurant with private dining rooms, a unique bar, and a fitness center and sauna. Silk Path Hotel guarantees a comfortable stay with all luxury amenities within reach.
You will be picked up at your hotel by private car with an English speaking guide and taken to visit the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh and his former residence, One pillar Pagoda, and the Temple of Literature. For lunch, enjoy a lovely meal at a local restaurant. After lunch, continue your city tour to your choice of one of Hanoi's many museums, including Fine Art, History, Revolutionary, War, Ethnology , then head to Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple and experience a 1 hour cyclo tour. Finish your day off at the Thang Long Opera Theatre for a traditional Vietnamese water puppet show.
Fly from Hanoi to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Flight time is approximately 1.5 hours.
Popular among celebrities and industry professionals, the Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa offers comfort, elegance and superb refinement in the heart of Siem Reap. The building's graceful colonial architecture of the 1930's provides a sense of peaceful tranquility while its enchanting design creates a feeling of harmony with its natural surroundings. Gaze at the magnificent swimming pool, framed by lavish tropical gardens, from the seclusion of your private balcony. Indulge in the multitude of first-class dining options, from French gastronomy to traditional Khmer dishes or experience one of the resort’s renowned themed gala dinners. Rejuvenate your mind and body at Le Lotus Blanc Spa and experience why people the world over continue to flock to this mesmerizing resort.
Today will be spent exploring the major temples of Angkor, an absolute highlight and must-do on any trip to Cambodia. Pace your time according to your personal tastes, as you move about the complex visiting sites that date back to the 12th century. Pass under the towering South Gate of Angkor Thom, known as the "Great City". Head into the Bayon group of ruins, famous for the multitude of ancient faces carved into the stone, now looking out over modern day visitors. Linger a while at photogenic Ta Prohm, a group of temples that have been overtaken by the jungle, as well as. Lunch will be eaten at a local Khmer restaurant. In the afternoon you will visit Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world, and a symbol for Cambodia. Finally, watch the sky turn many colours of orange and pink from atop Phnom Bakheng, a hilltop monument with an ideal vantage point for sunset.
After registration this morning, you'll board a motor coach for a transfer to your ship in Kampong Cham. Along the way you'll make stops at the Spean Praptos Bridge and Kampong Tom Village.Upon arrival to the river, you'll board a motorboat transfer to your awaiting cruise ship.Overall transfer time from point of registration to cruise ship is approximately 5 hours.
Welcome aboard.Take some time to get settled in to your stateroom, and to explore the length of the ship.Meet your fellow travelers at the Welcome Dinner this evening. Anchor overnight on the Mekong River near Wat Hanchey.
Meet your driver for a pier transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.
Port charges are included in your multi-day cruise itinerary.
Having joined the AMA fleet in 2011, the 124-passenger AmaLotus offers the most luxurious river cruise vacations available on the exotic Mekong River through Cambodia and Vietnam. With décor that combines Colonial elegance with regional Khmer accents, staterooms include comfortable sitting areas, individually controlled air-conditioning, a mini-bar, safety deposit box, robes and slippers, and some even include a luxurious bathtub. Public areas include a main restaurant serving Asian and Western specialties; Saigon Lounge; Gift Shop; Fitness Center, Spa, plus a swimming pool and bar on the Sun Deck. The ships also feature a fully English-speaking staff.
This morning, explore Wat Hanchey, a hilltop pagoda with beautiful panoramic views of the Mekong. This ancient 8th century is characteristic of the Chenla Empire, which pre-dates the Angkor period. Your afternoon excursion takes you the Kampong Cham area on your way to visit the Mahayana Buddhist temple of Wat Nokor, where the 12th century temple has been ‘fused’ with a modern wat. Afterwards you will see the Twin Holy Mountains of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srey (man and woman hill) symbolic of marriage in Cambodian culture.
Today, your morning excursion begins with a blessing from the monks of a local temple followed by a visit to the village of Angkor Ban, one of the only villages that was not burned down or destroyed during the Khmer Rouge tragedies, where you can see stilted houses up to 100 years old. After lunch take a leisurely walk Chong Koh village best known for its silk weaving artists. The ship arrives in Phnom Penh this evening.
A morning tour explores the highlights of Cambodia’s capital city, famous for its French colonial architecture, busy cafes, vibrant nightlife and renovated river “corniche.” Visit the Royal Palace and the spectacular Silver Pagoda. The National Museum is another highlight, with outstanding displays of Khmer crafts. After lunch onboard, another excursion leads to the infamous Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge’s grim Tuol Sleng or S21 detention centre (Genocide Museum) situated in the suburbs of the city. An overnight on the waterfront provides an opportunity to dine in one of many nearby restaurants and experience Phnom Penh’s vibrant nightlife, should passengers so choose.
Spend a day cruising the Mekong River and crossing the border into Vietnam. Your vessel moors at the small town of Tan Chau, Vietnam.
After breakfast, transfer to small boats, which will navigate through narrow channels to visit an evergreen island. You will also visit a catfish farm and a rattan mat and slipper-making workshop . Back ashore, a traditional “xe-loi” (trishaw) awaits to transport you around Tan Chau. In the afternoon, your vessel cruises downstream to Sa Dec, where it will moor overnight.
In the morning, board a local boat for Sa Dec passing floating markets as you boat maneuvers through the river’s channels. Once ashore, you will tour Sa Dec, noteworthy as the town where the French writer Marguerite Dumas spent many years in her youth. Visit a local market, Fujian Temple and the house of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le, Dura’s Chinese paramour, which is now a small museum. Afterwards board a motor coach for the 1-hour ride to Xeo Quyt, used as a base during the French and U.S. wars and now an important ecological site, with its jungle overgrowth. After lunch on board, a local boat will take you to Cai Be’s spectacular floating market; then you will go ashore to see candy and rice paper workshops. This evening, enjoy a gourmet Farewell Dinner on board.
Afterwards board a motor coach for the 1-hour ride to Xeo Quyt, used as a base during the French and U.S. wars and now an important ecological site, with its jungle overgrowth. After lunch on board, a local boat will take you to Cai Be’s spectacular floating market; then you will go ashore to see candy and rice paper workshops. This evening, enjoy a gourmet Farewell Dinner on board.
Your cruise comes to an end as the ship docks at My Tho Port.
You will be picked up from your hotel by private car with an English speaking guide and taken around for half day city tour. Visit the Notre Dame Cathedral, a neo-Romanesque cathedral constructed between 1877 and 1883 using bricks from Marseilles and stained-glass windows from Chartres. Also visit the Old Saigon Post Office and Cholon, the Chinatown of Ho Chi Minh City. During your tour we will also visit the Emperor Jade Pagoda (Phuoc Hai), one of the most interesting pagodas in Vietnam. It is filled with smoky incense and fantastic carved figurines. It was built by the Cantonese community around the turn of the 20th century and is still buzzing with worshippers, many lounging in the front gardens.
The Renaissance Riverside is located in the heart of Saigon's business district, the Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon offers first-class hospitality, comfortable rooms and modern amenities. After a long day, relax at the poolside terrace or enjoy a leisurely dinner at Kabin, known as one of the finest Chinese restaurants in the city. Take a dip in the rooftop pool and visit the Health Club for an invigorating workout with the latest gym equipment. Otherwise, simply enjoy the incredible views of the Saigon River and stroll to museums, galleries and other area attractions. You’ll find that the hotel’s central location, panoramic views and impeccable service makes this the ideal place to stay while visiting Ho Chi Minh City.
In the morning, you will be picked up by private car with an English speaking guide and taken to Tay Ninh. Just, 60 miles northwest of Ho Chi Minh City is the Great Temple or Holy See, the center of the intriguing Cao Dai sect. Cao Dai is a syncretist Vietnamese religious movement that incorporates aspect of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and even Catholicism. The Cao Dai Temple (as it is more commonly known) was begun in 1933 in a unique architectural style that reflects its blended traditions. In the afternoon, you will travel just north of the city to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels. The Vietnamese are proud of their resolve in their prolonged history of struggle against invading armies, and the story of the people of Cu Chi is indicative of that spirit. The residents of Cu Chi then took their war underground, literally, developing a network of tunnels that, at its height, stretched as far as Cambodia and included meeting rooms, kitchens, and triage areas. Enjoy a nice lunch at a local Vietnamese restaurant.
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