Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
SHANGHAI, CHINA. Welcome to Shanghai, China’s largest city and center of trade. Hotel rooms are available for a mid-afternoon check-in.
SHANGHAI. Sightseeing this morning includes a stroll through the Old Town and the beautiful YU YUAN GARDENS, a place of peace and tranquility in this bustling city. Walk along the famous Bund with its colonial architecture and explore Nanjing Road, the city’s main pedestrian and shopping area. Enjoy your afternoon at leisure before dinner at your hotel tonight. (B,L,D)
SHANGHAI–WUHAN. Visit the SHANGHAI MUSEUM, where superb antiquities and fine arts dating back 6,000 years are on display, before flying to the port city of Wuhan, one of China’s oldest metropolitan cities, located on the mighty Yangtze River.
WUHAN–YICHANG (EMBARKATION)–YANGTZE RIVER CRUISE. This morning visit picturesque EAST LAKE, before time at the HUBEI PROVINCIAL MUSEUM. The well-known museum contains over 200,000 cultural relics, including pottery, jades, lacquerwares, and ancient calligraphy, paintings, and coins. Hear musicians perform beautiful music using a replica of the ancient bronze chime bells. This afternoon, board a BULLET TRAIN for Yichang. Upon arrival, board your 4-night CRUISE through the breathtaking Three Gorges of the Yangtze. (B,L,D)
CRUISING: THREE GORGES DAM. Start your day with a visit to the THREE GORGES DAM site. Afterward, watch endless dramatic vistas unfold before you as your ship passes through the serenely beautiful Xiling Gorge, the Yangtze’s longest. (B,L,D)
CRUISING: WU GORGE–QUTANG GORGE. Today, 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. Later, sail through two of the three gorges—Wu Gorge, known for its forest-covered mountains, and Qutang, the shortest but most dramatic gorge. (B,L,D)NOTE:Depending on river conditions, the boat excrusion may be on the Shennong Stream.
CRUISING: SHIBAOZHAI. Today, take a WALKING TOUR of Shibaozhai with its 400-year-old, 12-story, red wooden pagoda perched high on a cliff side. (B,L,D)
CRUISING: CHONGQING (DISEMBARKATION)–XI’AN. Disembark your cruise in Chongqing, where you will visit a local ZOO to see pandas. Enjoy time at leisure in the old town area of Cikikou before your flight to Xi’an. Upon arrival, the evening is free to enjoy one of the great ancient capitals of China.
XI’AN. Today, enjoy a visit to the first emperor’s funeral vault to see the amazing TERRCACOTTA 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 city, then visit the XI’AN ART, CERAMICS & LACQUER EXHIBITION CENTRE. (B,L)
XI’AN–BEIJING. Take a WALKING TOUR through the lively Muslim Quarter to explore the Islamic food markets. This afternoon, fly to Beijing, the capital of China and the country’s political, social, and historical hub.
BEIJING. Sightseeing today includes a stroll through TIAN’ANMEN SQUARE past Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum. You’ll also visit the treasure-filled FORBIDDEN CITY, the largest and best-preserved collection of ancient buildings in China. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, it was home to emperors as well as the center of politics. (B,L)
BEIJING. The GREAT WALL OF CHINA once stretched 4,000 miles across China’s barren northern terrain from the Bohai Sea to the Gobi Desert. Head north to a village where the Great Wall is well preserved and walk along the wall to enjoy sweeping vistas of this mammoth fortress. This evening your dinner features the local delicacy, PEKING DUCK. (B,L,D)
BEIJING–ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA. Today, fly to Ulaanbaatar, capital of Mongolia. After some time in the hotel, enjoy a city tour that includes Sukhbaatar Square and the NATIONAL HISTORY MUSEUM with a rich collection of exhibits covering the history and people of Mongolia.
ULAANBAATAR–GOBI DESERT. Early this morning, fly to the Gobi Desert. Covering most of southern Mongolia, the Gobi is the world’s fourth-largest desert. Visit EAGLE VALLEY and marvel at stunning mountain scenery and the Gobi Glacier. The Gobi supports more than 300 varieties of flora and fauna and several endangered species, including the Snow Leopard and the Bactrian Camel. (B,L,D)ACCOMMODATIONS IN THE GOBI DESERTYou will be staying in a traditional ger, a round dwelling with a wooden frame. Your ger is comfortably furnished with twin beds and furniture. A natural ventilation system helps it stay cool in the heat of the day, and a stove provides heat at night. Please note – shared bathroom and shower facilities are located in a separate building.
GOBI DESERT. This morning, stop at the largest SAND DUNES in the region en route to Bayan Zag. Here, explore the CEMETERY OF DINOSAURS, where the world’s best-preserved dinosaur skeletons and their petrified eggs were excavated. Then, visit a CAMEL BREEDERS CAMP to learn about the nomadic lifestyle and culture, and to try some traditional food. (B,L,D)
GOBI DESERT–ULAANBAATAR. Fly back to Ulaanbaatar early this morning. Upon arrival, visit the BOGD KHAN WINTER PALACE, the GANDAN MONASTERY, and Zaisan Hill, offering sweeping views of the city. This evening, enjoy a MONGOLIAN FOLKLORE PERFORMANCE featuring traditional musical instruments, throat singing, and dances. (B,L,D)
ULAANBAATAR–BEIJING. Today, return to Beijing and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
BEIJING. Your tour ends with breakfast this morning.