Classic China & Yangtze River Cruise
14 nights. April 2019 - November 2020. From £2749.00.
Journey from Shanghai's glass and steel, via classical 'silk city' Suzhou, to centuries-old Beijing, before cruising through a land as rich in myth and legend as in startling, spectacular scenery, as the Yangtze, arrested by the engineering marvel of the Three Gorges Dam, plies its ageless course. Laid-back Chengdu, home to Giant Pandas, and ancient Xi'an with its eye-popping Terracotta Army, provide yet more unforgettable sights, before the holiday draws to a close back in Shanghai.
Tour Highlights And InclusionsA Shanghai city tour and a visit to the Pearl Tower
Explore Shanghai's Old City and Yuyuan Chinese Gardens
Journey to ancient Suzhou and enjoy a canal cruise and a visit to the old city and the silk embroidery institute
Experience Beijing - including visits to Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace
Journey to the Great Wall, and see the Olympic Stadium
Entrance to the Giant Panda Breeding Research Centre in Chengdu
A guided city tour of Xi'an and a visit to the Terracotta Army excavations
A four-night, five-star, full-board Yangtze river cruise, visiting the Three Gorges Dam
10 nights' breakfast and lunch half-board accommodation at a series of good-quality hotels in Shanghai (2 nights), Suzhou (1), Beijing (3), Chengdu (2) and Xi'an (2)
Eight dinners, including a Peking Duck dinner
High-speed train journeys from Suzhou to Beijing, and from Chongqing to Chengdu
Return flights from your chosen airport to Shanghai
All internal flights in China
Comfortable, air-conditioned coach travel and transfers
The services of expert, English-speaking guides in China
Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced Tour Manager Single rooms are available for a supplement N.B. Visas are required for travel on this tour (see Further Information)
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
Day OneFly overnight to Shanghai.
Day TwoUpon arrival, meet your Tour Manager and transfer to your hotel, before enjoying a guided introduction to the city. The colonial buildings of the riverside Bund, dwarfed by modern Shanghai's skyscrapers, hint at past glories, and surveying it all is the rocket-shaped Pearl TV Tower, a visit to which is included.
Day ThreeEnjoy a tour of Old Shanghai, with its 16th-century Yu Yuan classical Chinese garden. After a fascinating morning, board the coach for the 90-minute journey to the ancient city of Suzhou, for an overnight stay.
Day FourWith its tree-lined waterways, UNESCO-listed classical gardens and its silk trade associations, Suzhou, on the engineering wonder of the Grand Canal, is a breathtaking treasure chest. Discover the charm of the old city, visit the beautiful Lingering Garden and the Silk Embroidery Institute, and enjoy a canal cruise as this fascinating place is brought to life. Late this afternoon, board a high speed train for the journey north to Beijing for three nights.
Day FiveEnjoy a guided tour of the Chinese capital, including Tiananmen Square, Chairman Mao's tomb, the Great Hall of the People, the museums of Chinese History and the Revolution, and the Forbidden City, home to 24 Chinese emperors, who lived in unimaginable splendour behind the imposing walls. End your day with a traditional 'Peking Duck' dinner, in the heart of 'Old Peking'.
Day SixTravel out to Badaling, where amongst forested hills, part of the Great Wall has been lovingly restored. Your day will also include the opportunity to see for yourself the exterior of the amazing 'Bird's Nest' stadium from the 2008 Olympic Games, and this evening, an optional excursion is offered to the world-famous Beijing Opera.
Day SevenVisit the tranquil Summer Palace at Yiheyuan, and step back in time on a rickshaw tour of the ancient hutongs, 'Old Peking's' fast disappearing labyrinth of narrow alleyways, before bidding farewell to Beijing, transferring to the airport to fly to Yichang, to meet a five-star ship for your Yangtze cruise.
Days 8-10Beginning with a visit to the extraordinary Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest hydroelectricity project, you'll spend the next three days cruising through the Xiling, Wuxia and Qutang gorges, through one of China's most dramatic and spectacular regions. Rest and relax on board, join early morning Tai-Chi sessions, learn about the legends of the Three Kingdoms, take in the ever-changing vistas, and enjoy a journey along the beautiful Shennong Stream. On the last evening, join the Captain for a Farewell Dinner and crew show.
Day 11Disembark in Chongqing, and enjoy a guided introduction to one of modern China's fastest-growing cities. Visit the contrasting 100-year-old streets of Ciqi Kou and beautiful Goose Neck Park, before boarding a fast train into Sichuan province and relaxed, modern Chengdu, for two nights.
Day 12Enjoy the atmosphere of Eastern Sichuan's capital, where modern developments contrast with traditional tea-houses and colourful shops of old Jinli Lu street. A tour highlight will be the visit to the Giant Panda Breeding Research Centre, where you'll learn about these wonderful creatures. Dinner this evening will give you an opportunity to sample traditional Sichuan cuisine.
Day 13Fly to China's ancient capital, Xi'an, for a two-night stay. Upon arrival, visit the ancient city walls, the Great Mosque in the Muslim Quarter and view some Tang dynasty monuments. This evening, enjoy a traditional Dumpling Dinner.
Day 14An unforgettable day sees you visit the legendary Terracotta Army of first Chinese emperor Qin Shi Huang, an estimated 8,000 lifelike foot soldiers, horsemen and charioteers that were discovered in 1974. Close by, the yet-to-be-excavated tomb of the emperor is said to contain a vast underground city. The tour of Xi'an's treasures is completed with a visit to the Small Goose Pagoda.
Day 15Fly back to Shanghai, perhaps to explore the preserved streets of the former French Concession, with its chic boutiques, or to complete your tour with an optional City Nightscape Cruise.
Day 16Transfer to the airport early this morning, for the daytime flight back to the UK, at the end of a truly wonderful holiday. Back to top
AccommodationHighlights of China and Yangtze Cruise Touring Hotels
You will be staying in a series of good hotels, of at least a European three-star standard.Back to top
Hotel transfer timesThe transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately one hour.
Board arrangementsThe tour includes full-board accommodation except for Days Four and Six, when only breakfast and lunch are included.
Cruise excursionsPlease note that optional excursions during your cruise can be booked on board, and are not available in advance.
Yangtze River water levelsThe water level of the Yangtze can change. If the level becomes too high or too low your ship's sailing schedule may have to change, and the ship's crew reserve the right to do this at any time.
Passports and VisasBritish citizens require machine-readable passports when travelling overseas. Your passport must contain two blank pages and be valid for six months beyond the entry date to China. A visa is also required for entry to China. Full details of how and when to apply will be sent out about eight weeks before departure. The current visa charge is GBP151 for British Citizens.
Foreign Office Travel AdviceVisit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.
On your flightAll outbound flights leave in the evening and land at your destination the next day. All return flights leave in the morning and land in the UK on the same day. On-board meals will usually include dinner and breakfast on outbound flights, and lunch and a snack on the flight home. Drinks are complimentary.
Luggage allowanceYou are permitted to take one suitcase per person on the aircraft, which should not exceed 23kg.
Special requirementsIf you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
Disabled accessThe majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made. In many developing countries access is sometimes not as easy as at home. Should you have walking difficulties, getting around monuments and attractions may be harder and, in some cases, impossible. Should you have any concerns whatsoever please do contact us prior to travel.
Travel vaccinationsRequirements and advice can vary over time, and from person to person, so please contact your GP about eight weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or any other preventive measures.
Itinerary changesOccasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
Changes to your hotelsShould circumstances require, we reserve the right to accommodate you in alternative hotels, of a similar standard, nearby. Full details of your hotels will be sent with your Final Travel Documents. Back to top