Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
BEIJING. Welcome to Beijing, China’s second largest city and one of the most populous cities in the world. Join your Tour Director and traveling companions for dinner this evening. (D)
BEIJING. Enjoy the iconic sights of China’s vibrant capital city today, including TIAN’ANMEN SQUARE, the largest public square in the world; the magnificent FORBIDDEN CITY, a palace complex that housed successive emperors for over 500 years; and the glorious SUMMER PALACE, a park of lakeside pagodas and ornate pavilions set among beautifully landscaped grounds surrounding Kunming Lake. (B,L)
BEIJING. This morning, drive to Mutianyu to visit the legendary GREAT WALL OF CHINA. The Great Wall of China once stretched 6,000 kilometers across China’s barren northern terrain from the Bohai Sea to the Gobi desert. Walk along a well-preserved section of the wall for sweeping views of this huge fortress. Return to Beijing after lunch for a visit to the JADE MUSEUM, before enjoying the remainder of your day at leisure. In the evening, enjoy a PEKING DUCK DINNER. (B,L,D)
BEIJING–XI’AN. This morning, visit the TEMPLE OF HEAVEN before your flight to Xi’an. Upon arrival in Xi’an, the remainder of your day is free to enjoy one of the greatest ancient capitals of China. (B,L)
XI’AN. Today, enjoy a visit to the first emperor’s funeral vault to see the amazing TERRACOTTA WARRIORS. Nothing will prepare you for this incredible display of 8,000 life-sized model warriors, chariots, and horses. Later, visit the ancient CITY WALL, built in 1378 and surrounding the old city; then visit the XI’AN ART CERAMICS AND LACQUER EXHIBITION CENTRE. This evening, sample a traditional Shui Jiao dumpling meal, followed by a performance of TANG DYNASTY DANCING. (B,L,D)
XI’AN–CHENGDU. Enjoy time at leisure this morning, then take a WALKING TOUR through the lively Muslim Quarter to explore the Islamic food markets. This afternoon, fly to Chengdu, known as the “heavenly state.” (B,L)
CHENGDU–LESHAN–CHENGDU. Journey to LESHAN to see the Giant Buddha, the largest stone Buddha in the world. Carved into a mountain, it is said to date back to 713 AD. Return to Chengdu in the afternoon. (B,L,D)
CHENGDU–CHONGQING (EMBARKATION)–YANGTZE RIVER CRUISE. Today, you are sure to enjoy a visit to the CHENGDU RESEARCH BASE OF GIANT PANDA BREEDING, home to giant pandas, red pandas, golden monkeys, and other wild or endangered species. Here, you will have a chance to learn about the wonderful giant pandas while viewing them up close. Then, transfer to the train station where you will board a train to Chongqing. Upon arrival in Chongqing, visit the old town area before boarding your ship for an exciting 3-night CRUISE through the breathtaking Three Gorges of the Yangtze. (B,L,D)
CRUISING: SHIBAOZHAI. The morning is at your leisure to enjoy a variety of onboard activities. You may choose to start your day with a tai chi session on the Sun Deck, take a swim in the pool, or simply relax and enjoy the scenery. After lunch, take a WALKING TOUR of Shibaozhai with its 400-year-old, 12-story, red-wooden pagoda perched high on a cliffside. This evening, the Captain hosts a welcome party, followed by dinner and a special performance by the ship’s crew. (B,L,D)NOTE: Depending on river conditions, an alternate shore excursion may be offered.
CRUISING: QUTANG GORGE–WU GORGE. Later in the morning, sail through the first and second of the three gorges—Qutang Gorge, the shortest but most dramatic gorge, and Wu, known for its quiet beauty and forest-covered mountains. You can nearly touch the perpendicular walls rising from the riverbanks as your Captain negotiates this narrow gap. After lunch, disembark for a BOAT EXCURSION down Goddess Stream. Along the way, see picturesque scenery and the mysterious hanging wooden coffins. Before returning to your ship, you will also board a wooden boat on a smaller section of the stream, where the crew will sing songs as you glide across the stunning deep emerald-green waters surrounded by densely forested hills. (B,L,D)NOTE: Depending on river conditions, the boat excursion may be on the Shennong Stream.
CRUISING: THREE GORGES DAM SITE (DISEMBARKATION)–YICHANG–SHANGHAI. Visit the THREE GORGES DAM project site, before sailing through the east section of Xiling Gorge. Disembark your cruise at Yichang and transfer to the airport for an afternoon flight to Shanghai. (B,L)
SHANGHAI. Sightseeing today includes a stroll through the Old Town and the beautiful YU YUAN GARDENS, a place of peace and tranquility in this bustling city. Visit the SHANGHAI MUSEUM, where superb antiques and fine arts dating back 6,000 years are on display. Walk along the famous Bund with its colonial architecture and explore Nanjing Road, the city’s main pedestrian and shopping area. After dinner, enjoy a spectacular ACROBATIC SHOW. (B,L,D)
SHANGHAI–HANGZHOU–SHANGHAI. Board a BULLET TRAIN for a day trip to Hangzhou. Set amid verdant greenery alongside West Lake, this 2,000-year-old city was the seat of China’s Song emperors and brims with historic relics and natural beauty. Begin with a CRUISE ON WEST LAKE before visiting a TEA GARDEN famed for its green tea. Enjoy a taste of this renowned tea and learn about its production. After lunch, take a walk on the ANCIENT STREET OF HEFANG and visit a traditional CHINESE PHARMACY. Then, visit the former residence of Mr. Hu Xueyan, the founder of traditional Chinese medicine in Hangzhou. Return to Shanghai in the early evening. (B,L)
SHANGHAI. Your tour ends today with breakfast this morning. (B)