China Highlights & Yangtze Cruise

12 days from $4,020 per person*
  • Embark on a charming 4 day cruise along the Yangtze River.
  • Come face to face with the famous Terra Cotta Army and walk the Great Wall.
  • Private guided tours of the highlights of Shanghai and Beijing.
  • Enjoy private transfers between airport and hotels.
  • Featuring a selection of expertly picked premium properties.
Request a Quote

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 comfort of your cruise boat as you glide past rural scenes that could be centuries old. But first, your trip kicks off in the ancient city of Beijing where your private tour guide will 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 and visit the sprawling Summer Palace that’s used as a royal lakeside retreat. More than 1000 years of history – including the imposing Terra Cotta Army – awaits in Xi’an before it's on to an unforgettable multi-day cruise of the Yangtze. Finally, marvel at the futuristic architecture of 21st-century Shanghai.

The Yangtze River truly is the lifeblood of rural China, and to know the river is to know the country. It’s a genuinely five-star experience with all the old-world glamour of cruising well preserved and combined with the most modern of amenities. Enjoy divine local cuisine, then retire to the deck with your favorite tipple to watch the changing landscapes of mainland China drift past. On dry land, the knowledgeable English-speaking guides present a side of China that you’ve only read about. ... Show More »

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. « Show Less

Day
Activities Hotel & Meals
Hotel & Meals
  • Day 1 Beijing
    Beijing
    • Transfer - Private - Airport - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
  • Day 2 Beijing
    Beijing
    • Private - 1/2 Day Tiananmen & Forbidden City with Lunch - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
  • Day 3 Beijing
    Beijing
    • Private - Great Wall Mutianyu & Summer Palace with Lunch - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
  • Day 4 Beijing to Xi'an
    Beijing to Xi'an
    • Transfer - Private - Train Station - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
    • Beijing - Xi`an [Bullet Train (6hrs)] - Second Class/ Soft Seat
    • Transfer - Private - Train Station - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
  • Day 5 Xi'an
    Xi'an
    • Private - 1/2 Day Terra Cotta Warriors with Lunch - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
  • Day 6 Xi'an to Chongqing to Yangtze
    Xi'an to Chongqing to Yangtze
    • Transfer - Private - Airport - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
    • Xi`an - Chongqing [(1hr)] - Economy
    • Transfer - Private - Airport/Pier - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
    • Ship-based - Depart from Chongqing
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 7 Yangtze
    Yangtze
    • Breakfast on Board
    • Shore Excursion
    • Lunch on Board
    • Dinner on Board
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 8 Yangtze
    Yangtze
    • Breakfast on Board
    • Sailing Excursion through Gorges
    • Lunch on Board
    • Dinner on Board
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 9 Yangtze to Yichang to Shanghai
    Yangtze to Yichang to Shanghai
    • Breakfast on Board
    • Visit The Three Gorges Dam
    • Disembark in Yichang
    • Transfer - Private - Airport/Pier - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
    • Yichang - Shanghai [(2hrs)] - Economy
    • Transfer - Private - Airport (Hongqiao Domestic) - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
  • Day 10 Shanghai
    Shanghai
    • Private - Jade Buddha Temple, Yu Gardens & Museum with Lunch - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
  • Day 11 Shanghai
    Shanghai
    • At Leisure
  • Day 12 Shanghai
    Shanghai
    • Transfer - Private - Airport (PVG) - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
Kensington Advantage
Personalized itinerary with private guide & driver. Award winning value.
  • Personalized itinerary that fits like a glove
  • Full attention of your own private guide & driver
  • In-country offices for 24/7 peace of mind
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  • 30,000 delighted clients

With the inside track on the new, the old, the off-the-beaten track and the out-of-this-world, you won't find a more knowledgeable team of destination specialists.

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Day 1: Beijing

Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.

Accommodation: Park Plaza Wangfujing (4*)

Park Plaza Beijing Wangfujing showcases the city as a unique reflection of the many changing facets of contemporary Chinese culture, where ancient cultural sites vie for space alongside high-rise buildings and an intricate freeway system. This Beijing lodging is just minutes away from several popular attractions, such as Tiananmen Square, the National Museum of China, and the Forbidden City. The world-renowned services at the Park Plaza Wangfujing Hotel Beijing ensure that guests enjoy a warm and personalized stay. Guest rooms provide visitors with optimum comfort and feature contemporary amenities, including cable TV, high-speed Internet access and work desks. Enjoy the hotels other amenities, including a gymnasium and massage center. The Park Plaza Wangfujing Hotel features three on-site restaurants that offer a range of cuisines. Enjoy Asian dining at Ooodle, international dishes at Bloo Dining, and a menu of light fare at First Lounge Bar.

Beijing
Beijing
Park Plaza Wangfujing
Park Plaza Wangfujing

Day 2: Beijing

You will be picked up from your Beijing hotel and taken on a half day private guided tour of Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City with a deluxe lunch. Tiananmen Square was built in 1417 during the Ming Dynasty and was the front door of the Forbidden City. The present square stretches a vast 440,000 square meters and features Tiananmen Tower, Monument to the People's Heroes, Great Hall of the People, and Mao Zedong Memorial Hall. The Forbidden City is the world's largest palace complex with 9,999 buildings across 74 hectares, surrounded by a six meter deep moat and a ten meter wall, and divided into two parts. 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.

Accommodation: Park Plaza Wangfujing (4*)
Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square

Day 3: Beijing

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 meter high walls and 5 meters 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 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.

Accommodation: Park Plaza Wangfujing (4*)
Great Wall at Mutianyu
Great Wall at Mutianyu

Day 4: Beijing - Xi'an

Meet your driver for a train station transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.

Transfer from Beijing to Xi'an via the high-speed Bullet Train. The train ride is approximately 6 hours.

Meet your driver for a train station transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.

Accommodation: Sofitel on Renmin Square (4*)

The heritage of Xian and the classic French hospitality of Sofitel combine to creature the stunning Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square. Welcoming travelers to the heart of the city, the hotel is located very centrally within the Xian city walls near many historical sites including the Bell Tower, Drum Tower, Great Mosque, and Forest of Steles. Additionally, the airport and Terra Cotta Warriors are both a 45-minute drive away. All guest rooms are adorned with modern conveniences, indulging your senses within a chic design that perfectly complements your stay. Explore Mediterranean flavors and Moroccan, Chinese, Brazilian, and Japanese cuisines from the various selections of elegant restaurants in addition to two bars and lounges. For more leisurely pursuits, guests can enjoy the services of Touch Spa with the swimming pool Jacuzzi and state-of-the-art fitness center.

Xi'an
Xi'an
Sofitel on Renmin Square
Sofitel on Renmin Square

Day 5: Xi'an

This morning you will visit the Terra Cotta Army with a private guide. 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). A deluxe lunch is included. 

Accommodation: Sofitel on Renmin Square (4*)
Terra Cotta Warriors
Terra Cotta Warriors

Day 6: Xi'an - Chongqing - Yangtze

Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.

Fly from Xi'an to Chongqing. Flight time is approximately 1 hour.

Transfer between the airport and the pier with a private vehicle, driver, and English speaking guide.

This evening you will board the luxurious Victoria cruiseship and depart at 9:00PM from Chongqing. By 10:00PM all passengers will have checked in, and you will overnight on the ship.

Accommodation: Victoria Cruise (4*) (BLD)

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.

Yangtze
Yangtze
Victoria Jenna
Victoria Jenna

Day 7: Yangtze

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.

Accommodation: Victoria Cruise (4*) (BLD)
Fengdu County
Fengdu County

Day 8: Yangtze

In the morning you will 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. Also see Qutang Gorge, which is famous for its sheer and spectacular precipices, with uniquely beautiful rock formations in every direction. Visit the Shennong Stream, 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 pass by Xiling Gorge, which 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 a thrilling ride.

Accommodation: Victoria Cruise (4*) (BLD)
The Three Gorges Dam
The Three Gorges Dam

Day 9: Yangtze - Yichang - Shanghai

This morning you will take a shore excursion to the Three Gorges Dam Project, which is one of the largest construction projects ever undertaken by mankind. This great dam, the largest of its kind in the world, provides China with tremendous power generation and flood control services. Visitors see the panorama of Three Gorges from the highest point of the building site, the exhibition house, natural scenic spot Maogongshan and Huangling Temple.

Arrive into Yichang and disembark the Victoria cruise at 1:30PM. Continue on your journey through China!

Meet your driver for an airport or pier transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.

Fly from Yichang to Shanghai. Flight time is approximately 2 hours.

Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.

Accommodation: Marriott Shanghai City Center (4*)

The best of Shanghai awaits both inside and outside of the doors of the Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Centre. The new luxury property is situated in the heart of the city's downtown area, only minutes away from the Bund, Nanjing Road, and the People’s Square. Guest rooms and suites boast expansive city views and include modern amenities and plush designer bedding. Other on-site amenities include a full fitness center with an indoor pool and our signature Luxury Spa. Amenities at the hotel in Shanghai City Center include an indoor pool, fully equipped gym facilities and relaxing spa. Five delectable restaurants and lounges allow guests to savor everything from authentic Cantonese cuisine to made-to-order afternoon tea. Come see why the Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Centre presents guests with an unparalleled downtown experience.

Jin Mao Tower
Jin Mao Tower
Marriott Shanghai City Center
Marriott Shanghai City Center

Day 10: Shanghai

Today’s full day private guided tour takes you to the Shanghai Museum, the Jade Buddha Temple, and the Yu Gardens and includes a deluxe lunch. The Shanghai Museum is a authentic treasure house of ancient Chinese art and houses about 120,000 precious relics. Bronzes, pottery, paintings, and calligraphies are distinctive features of the museum's collection. The next sight is the Jade Buddha Temple, which is one of the most popular sights in Shanghai containing rare white jade Buddhas brought from Burma in the nineteenth century. Yuyuan Garden is the largest of Shanghai's ancient gardens with architectural styles of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The garden has six areas, each designed in a different style, of which the Grand Rockery located in the center is the most popular.

Accommodation: Marriott Shanghai City Center (4*)
Yu Gardens
Yu Gardens

Day 11: Shanghai

Enjoy time at leisure to explore at your own pace, or relax at your hotel.

Accommodation: Marriott Shanghai City Center (4*)

Day 12: Shanghai

Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.

Accommodation:
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

Trip Terms & Conditions

  • Your deposit is due immediately on booking (30% of program price, minimum $350). The balance is due 90 days prior to departure.
  • Cancellations of confirmed bookings 90 days or more prior to departure will receive full refund minus a $350 (per person) administrative fee and any non-refundable paid fees (e.g. non-refundable airfare, cruise or hotel deposits). 60-89 days will be subject to loss of 30% of program price. 30-59 days will be subject to loss of 50% of program price. 29 days or less will be subject to loss of 100% of program price.
  • Tour quotes do not include airfare to/from the trip start point unless noted on the itinerary
  • Cost increases in currency exchange, government fees, taxes, surcharges or hotel/lodge tariff increases between quote date and start date are payable by the client.
  • Availability cannot be guaranteed until booked. We will exercise best efforts to book hotels per the itinerary, however, in busy seasons and with client bookings made within 90 days of tour date we may be forced to offer substitutes.
  • Payment of the program price constitutes your acceptance of the terms and conditions set out at www.kensingtontours.com/terms-and-conditions
  • Living Standards and practices at destination may differ from those in North America with respect to provisions of utilities, services and accommodation.

Park Plaza Wangfujing (4*): Beijing

Park Plaza Beijing Wangfujing showcases the city as a unique reflection of the many changing facets of contemporary Chinese culture, where ancient cultural sites vie for space alongside high-rise buildings and an intricate freeway system. This Beijing lodging is just minutes away from several popular attractions, such as Tiananmen Square, the National Museum of China, and the Forbidden City. The world-renowned services at the Park Plaza Wangfujing Hotel Beijing ensure that guests enjoy a warm and personalized stay. Guest rooms provide visitors with optimum comfort and feature contemporary amenities, including cable TV, high-speed Internet access and work desks. Enjoy the hotels other amenities, including a gymnasium and massage center. The Park Plaza Wangfujing Hotel features three on-site restaurants that offer a range of cuisines. Enjoy Asian dining at Ooodle, international dishes at Bloo Dining, and a menu of light fare at First Lounge Bar.

Park Plaza Wangfujing
Park Plaza Wangfujing
Lobby
Lobby

Sofitel on Renmin Square (4*): Xi'an

The heritage of Xian and the classic French hospitality of Sofitel combine to creature the stunning Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square. Welcoming travelers to the heart of the city, the hotel is located very centrally within the Xian city walls near many historical sites including the Bell Tower, Drum Tower, Great Mosque, and Forest of Steles. Additionally, the airport and Terra Cotta Warriors are both a 45-minute drive away. All guest rooms are adorned with modern conveniences, indulging your senses within a chic design that perfectly complements your stay. Explore Mediterranean flavors and Moroccan, Chinese, Brazilian, and Japanese cuisines from the various selections of elegant restaurants in addition to two bars and lounges. For more leisurely pursuits, guests can enjoy the services of Touch Spa with the swimming pool Jacuzzi and state-of-the-art fitness center.

Sofitel on Renmin Square
Sofitel on Renmin Square
Swimming Pool
Swimming Pool

Victoria Cruise (4*) (BLD): Yangtze

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.

Victoria Jenna
Victoria Jenna
Lobby
Lobby

Marriott Shanghai City Center (4*): Shanghai

The best of Shanghai awaits both inside and outside of the doors of the Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Centre. The new luxury property is situated in the heart of the city's downtown area, only minutes away from the Bund, Nanjing Road, and the People’s Square. Guest rooms and suites boast expansive city views and include modern amenities and plush designer bedding. Other on-site amenities include a full fitness center with an indoor pool and our signature Luxury Spa. Amenities at the hotel in Shanghai City Center include an indoor pool, fully equipped gym facilities and relaxing spa. Five delectable restaurants and lounges allow guests to savor everything from authentic Cantonese cuisine to made-to-order afternoon tea. Come see why the Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Centre presents guests with an unparalleled downtown experience.

Marriott Shanghai City Center
Marriott Shanghai City Center
Winter Garden Lounge
Winter Garden Lounge
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
  • Maynard Fossum — December 12, 2014 — Asia

    My trip to China proved to be an outstanding experience. Each location provided excellent learning and entertainment opportunities. The country was very impressive both in its deep history and in the huge modernization that has taken place in recent decades. The tour guides at each location were well informed and able to answer questions while also offering detailed information at all sites. It was a pleasure to be so well taken care of. The guides and drivers were always helpful. The meals on the tour were delicious and varied. I was pleased with the choice of restaurants. The hotels were comfortable and well located. I will recommend Kensington Tours.

  • FayeLaing — December 12, 2014 — Asia

    I was a bit nervous about visiting Myanmar. Thanks to the outstanding help and planning via Kensington Tours, everything went off without a hitch!! It was a fantastic experience, that I would recommend to anyone with a spirit of adventure.

  • Craig Gelman — December 12, 2014 — Asia

    Fabulous trip. Every aspect from the planning to execution was excellent.

  • Ruth Reinhard — December 12, 2014 — Asia

    The trip was fantastic!!!Each guide and driver gave us so much information and were so helpful. They made sure that they took good care of our well being and requests. My husband, who we all call "the reluctant traveler" said, halfway through the trip, where are we going next? He said if he can go with Kensington then he will go anyplace. Thanks for making our trip to China a memorable experience.

  • SixtoCastenada Jr. — December 12, 2014 — Asia

    100% satisfied! We had a wonderful trip. Our travel adviser, Tony Newman put together a tour that included everywhere we wanted to visit and within our very limited time frame. Conrad, who booked our transportation was very professional. The tour guides, hotel accommodations and transportation arrangements were all excellent. We will be using Kensington Tours again!

  • TerryCreighton — December 12, 2014 — Asia

    We were so impressed with all aspects of the trip that Kensington arranged for us - even at short notice. The itinerary was perfectly planned, full of extra activities like riding an elephant and a water buffalo cart ride. The guides were wonderful in all the places we went and the travel was easy between locations. Vietnam is a wonderful destination and Angkor Wat is amazing too. We loved the overnight on the boat in Halong Bay and the train ride to Sapa. The day we spent trekking between indigenous villages in the mountains of Sapa was one of the most interesting days of my life! We have travelled a lot and this was one of the best trips we have ever taken.

  • Olive Ramchand — June 03, 2014 — Asia

    I have to admit, this was the BEST vacation I ever had. The tour was nothing less than Fantastic! The hotels were great, the guides were great, the transportation was great, the places were great, the people were great, the food was great and last but not least China, itself was out of this world. I'm so glad I booked this tour and would recommend this to anyone. Thanks so much for all your help, your interest and your recommendations. Steve in China was so attentive, he called constantly to make sure everything was fine. We really had a fabulous time and even my jaded husband who normally only seems to care about where the nearest golf course is, was impressed and had a wonderful time.

    Thanks again, and unto the next vacation (although I don't know how we would top this one!!)

  • Jeanne Tarvin — April 21, 2014 — Asia

    The tour was absolutely fabulous. It all started with the planning. Kathryn graciously accommodated our tight schedule and multiple needs, including a mid-trip change in plans. The tour guides and drivers were all great and extremely knowledgeable. The accommodations and meals were fantastic. I was apprehensive about going to China not knowing the language but it worked out great!

  • Karen — January 15, 2014 — Asia

    We just returned on Monday from our wonderful trip to South Korea, Bangkok and Phuket. I wanted to thank you for all of your hard work in planning our tours and adventures. Everything was spot on, from our arrivals at the airports, to the guides and the tours. I would not hesitate to recommend you and your company. It was truly a wonderful vacation. Thank you again.

  • Bob Feldman — November 19, 2013 — Asia

    I wanted to let you know that our trip to China was great! Everybody enjoyed themselves. When planning a trip I am always concerned about the itinerary, the vehicles and the guides. All 3 of these were great. The guides were particularly good and in this case really made the trip a pleasure. Overall a great trip. Thanks for all you did.

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

* USD per person, double occupancy. Custom designed personal tour. Prices subject to change.

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