(Beijing, Xi'an, Yangtze, Shanghai)
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 five-star 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 its onto 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 will 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.
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.
Take an airport transfer by private car with an English-speaking guide in Beijing.
The Park Plaza Beijing Wangfujing is a modern oasis, right in the heart of Beijing's bustling cultural, commercial, business and entertainment center. With its superb location, spacious facilities and personalized service, the Park Plaza Beijing Wangfujing is the ideal choice for both business and leisure 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 Beijing Wangfujing 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, meeting facilities and currency exchange center. All guestrooms feature Western décor and are furnished with lounge chairs in sandstone colors.
This full day, private guided tour, explores Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven with a stop for a deluxe lunch included. 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 full day 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 was started in the Northern Qi Dynasty (550 - 577) and was restored in the early Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). There are abundant natural springs which feed a great variety of verdant plants and ancient trees. Built mainly from granite with 8m walls and 5m wide at the top, it is notable for its 22 watchtowers, suggesting a significant military importance. Next, you will visit The Summer Palace which is 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), three quarters of which is water. Classically designed as an archetypal Chinese garden, it is ranked amongst the most noted gardens of the world and was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1998. Lunch is included in this tour.
Fly from Beijing to Xi'an today. The direct flight should take approximately two hours.
Take an airport transfer in Xi'an by private car with an English-speaking guide.
Half day private guided city tour taking in some highlights of Xian – the ancient capital of China for over 1100 years. Start with some of the 370,000 exhibits at the Shaanxi History Museum, quite simply one of the nation's best. Next stop is the City Wall. The walls, ramparts, gates and watchtowers from one of the oldest and most complete city defences 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 with the Great Mosque, located In the heart of Xi'an's Muslim quarter, this is one of the largest Islamic mosques 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, and 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, Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square is a perfect choice for the most astute of business and leisure travelers.
Half day private guided tour of the Terra Cotta Army and BanPo Museum with deluxe lunch. China's greatest archaeological excavation, the over 7,000 terra cotta life size warriors and horses arranged in battle formations symbolically guard the Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of the Qin dynasty (246-209 BC). The Neolithic Banpo Village was a settlement has on display nearly 10,000 production tools and the remains of 45 houses.
Fly from Xi'an to Yichang.
Transfer between the airport, hotel or pier with private vehicle, driver, 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 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 the highest quality fresh ingredients. Victoria's award-winning dining experience is reflective of China's evolving culinary landscape, with a fusion of 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 pier with private vehicle, driver, and English-speaking guide.
Fly from Chongqing to Shanghai.
Enjoy an airport transfer in Shanghai with a private vehicle, driver, and English-speaking Guide.
The Marriott Shanghai City Center is located in Shanghai Downtown. It is only 1 minute walk from Nanjing Road and few minutes' walk to the People's Park. The hotel has 720 guest rooms and suites. Every room has luxurious bathroom and separate bathtub and shower. Other amenities include in-room safe, mini-bar, coffee/tea service, iPod docking station, individual climate control, "42" LCD TV, wireless and wired Internet. The hotel has several restaurants and cafes that offer Japanese, Chinese and International Cuisine. The hotel also features Indoor Swimming Pool and Sauna, Health Centre and Spa.
Experience a full day private guided tour of Shanghai taking in the Shanghai Museum, Urban Planning Museum, Nanjing Rd, Bund, a cruise on the Huangpu and the views from the Oriental Pearl Tower. The museum is a veritable treasure house of ancient Chinese art and houses 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 the exciting city that Shanghai past and future. Strolling down Nanjing Rd, once listed as one of the most interesting 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 river for a trip up the Oriental Pearl Tower to view the city from above. Much of this tour is best done by foot.
You'll be met by your private driver upon your arrival into Pudong airport in Shanghai and transferred to your accommodation in Shanghai.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of China for the most up to date visa information.
HEALTHHealth insurance is essential. Medical facilities outside of major cities are poor quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/china.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Beijing. Government: People's Republic. China comprises 23 provinces, five autonomous regions, two special administrative regions and four municipalities directly under central government. Language: The official language is Mandarin Chinese. Among the enormous number of local dialects, large groups speak Cantonese, Shanghaiese (also known as Shanghainese), Fuzhou, Hokkien-Taiwanese, Xiang, Gan and Hakka dialects in the south. Inner Mongolia, Tibet and Xinjiang, which are autonomous regions, have their own languages. English is spoken by many guides and in hotels. Many taxi drivers do not speak English, even in big cities. Religion: China is officially Atheistic, but the stated religions and philosophies are Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism. There are 100 million Buddhists and approximately 60 million Muslims, 5 million Protestants (including large numbers of Evangelicals) and 4 million Roman Catholics, largely independent of Vatican control. Time: GMT + 8. Despite the vast size of the country, Beijing time is standard throughout China. Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Two-pin and three-pin sockets are generally in use. However, most 4 to 5 star hotels are also wired for the use of 110 volt appliances. Telephone: Country code +86 Mobile Telephone: China has the most mobile phone users in the world, backed by a very sophisticated mobile communications system that now covers the entire country. Roaming agreements exist with most major international mobile phone companies. Alternatively, you can buy a prepaid GSM SIM card (from China Mobile stores) that allows you to use your mobile like a local phone with a new number. You'll need your passport to register. Internet: The number of Internet users in China reached 253 million in 2008. Internet cafes can be found in most towns and cities, and Wi-Fi is increasingly available at hotels and cafes in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Hangzhou and other major cities.
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