DAY 1 Arrive in Shanghai, China.
Welcome to China’s most populous city and center of trade and industry. Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.
DAY 2 Shanghai.
Your sightseeing starts at the YU YUAN GARDENS, dating back to the Ming Dynasty. Then, stroll along the Bund, the city’s riverfront boulevard lined with historic buildings, housing, banks, and trade houses. After lunch in a local restaurant, enjoy time at your leisure. This evening, meet your traveling companions for a welcome dinner followed by a spectacular ACROBATIC SHOW. (B,L,D)
DAY 3 Shanghai–Yichang (Embarkation)–Yangtze River Cruise.
Visit the SHANGHAI MUSEUM and a SILK FACTORY before flying to Yichang. Board the Century Legend for a 4-night CRUISE through the breathtaking Three Gorges of the Yangtze. (B,D)
DAY 4 Cruising: Xiling Gorge–Three Gorges Dam Site.
This morning, perhaps wake up early for a Tai Chi session on the Sun Deck. Later, cruise through the Xiling Gorge, the first of the Three Gorges. Then, visit the THREE GORGES DAM SITE, the largest dam of its kind in the world. After lunch, sail through the Three Gorges ship locks, and enjoy time at your leisure on the ship. Maybe take a swim in the pool or simply enjoy the passing scenery. This evening, the Captain hosts a welcome party followed by dinner and a special performance by the ship’s crew. (B,L,D)
DAY 5 Cruising: Wu Gorge–Shennong Stream–Qutang Gorge.
This morning, sail upstream through the second of the three gorges—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. Then, disembark for a BOAT EXCURSION down the Shennong Stream. Along the way, see four natural gorges and the mysterious hanging wooden coffins. Before returning to your ship you will also take a SAMPAN RIDE on a smaller section of the stream, where the sampan crew will sing songs as you glide across the stunning deep emerald-green waters surrounded by densely forested hills. After a late lunch on the ship, sail through Qutang Gorge, the shortest but most dramatic gorge and the last of the famed three gorges.
The remainder of the afternoon is at your leisure. You may choose to take an optional shore excursion to Baidi Cheng, known as the “White Emperor City,” to see the Baidi Temple. (B,L,D)
NOTE: Depending on river conditions, the boat excursion may be on the Daning River.
DAY 6 Cruising: Shibaozhai.
After breakfast, take a WALKING TOUR of Shibaozhai with its 400-year-old, 12-story red wooden pagoda perched high on a cliff side. After lunch, the afternoon is at your leisure to enjoy the ship and its many amenities. This evening, join the Captain for a special Chinese-style farewell
NOTE: Depending on river conditions, an alternate shore excursion may be offered.
DAY 7 Cruising: Chongqing (Disembarkation)– Lhasa, Tibet.
After breakfast, bid farewell to your ship’s crew in Chongqing, China’s capital during World War II. The city sits high on a hill overlooking the Jialing and Yangtze Rivers. Visit a local ZOO to see pandas before boarding your flight to the holy city of Lhasa, capital of the mystical Buddhist kingdom of Tibet. The rest of the day is free to rest and adjust to the 14,000-foot altitude. (B,L,D)
DAY 8 Lhasa.
This morning, take a brief city tour, then visit the SUMMER PALACE of the Dalai Lama, featuring the largest manmade garden in Tibet. Next, take a special trip to a TIBETAN’S HOME that includes lunch before visiting a typical TIBETAN MONASTERY. The final stop today is a TIBETAN HOSPITAL, where you will learn about traditional Tibetan medicine and therapy. (B,L,D)
DAY 9 Lhasa.
Today, visit the imposing POTALA PALACE, once the center of the Tibetan government and the former winter residence of the Dalai Lama. Also, visit one of Tibet’s oldest shrines, JOKHANG TEMPLE, then spend time in the local BAZAAR. The rest of the day is at your leisure. (B,L,D)
DAY 10 Lhasa–Xi’an, China.
Today, fly to the city of Xi’an in central China. This evening, enjoy the “Tang Dynasty” DINNER SHOW, featuring a colorful assemblage of classical performances. (B,D)
DAY 11 Xi’an.
One of the largest and wealthiest cities in the world when China dominated the silk trade, Xi’an today is an archaeological treasure trove. Sightseeing begins with the nearby DAYAN PAGODA, built in 652 AD, followed by a LACQUER WORKSHOP. Next, visit the enormous tomb of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi, accidentally discovered by local farmers in 1974. Marvel at the legion of TERRACOTTA WARRIORS that has been guarding the burial site for 2,000 years. During lunch, enjoy a NOODLE-MAKING DEMONSTRATION by a master chef and learn how Chinese noodles are made by hand. Then, visit the Xi’an City Wall South Gate and learn to write like a local during a traditional Chinese CALLIGRAPHY CLASS. (B,L,D)
DAY 12 Xi’an–Beijing.
Today, fly to Beijing, China’s capital city. Enjoy a rickshaw ride through one of Beijing’s HUTONGS, the city’s ancient alleys. Experience life in this historic neighborhood as you are invited into the courtyard of a family’s home for tea. (B,L)
DAY 13 Beijing.
Your full-day sightseeing starts with a visit to the FORBIDDEN CITY and its IMPERIAL PALACE, once the home of China’s great emperors. Nearby is 100-acre TIAN’ANMEN SQUARE, the largest public square in the world. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant and continue to the former SUMMER PALACE, a complex of pavilions, temples, and galleries set among beautifully landscaped grounds and situated on Kunming Lake. Tonight, experience local culture at the PEKING OPERA, including a behind-the-scenes look at the colorful make-up being applied to the performers. (B,L,D)
DAY 14 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. Then, visit a CLOISONNÉ WORKSHOP and see local artisans use the techniques of this ancient art form to turn pieces of copper into colorful decorative items. After lunch in a local restaurant, take a leisurely walk down the SACRED WAY of the Ming Tombs and marvel at the impressive hand-carved stone statues. This evening is the perfect finale to a great touring adventure as you’re hosted to a special PEKING DUCK FAREWELL DINNER in a local restaurant. (B,L,D)
DAY 15 Beijing.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
River Cruise Highlights
Cruise: Deluxe 4-night cruise from Yichang to Chongqing in a Deluxe Stateroom with two lower beds, private facilities, and balcony
Shanghai: Sightseeing with a Local Guide including headsets; visit the Bund, Yu Yuan Gardens, the Shanghai Museum, and a silk factory; attend an acrobatic show; welcome dinner
Yichang: Begin your Yangtze cruise aboard the Century Legend
Three Gorges Dam: Sightseeing of the impressive dam site with a Local Guide
Shennong Stream: Enjoy a boat excursion down one of the Yangtze’s lesser gorges including sampan ride
Shibaozhai: Walking tour
Chongqing: Visit a local zoo to see pandas
Lhasa: Sightseeing with a Local Guide; visit the Summer Palace, a Tibetan’s home, a Tibetan monastery, a Tibetan hospital, Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, and a local bazaar
Xi’an: Enjoy “The Tang Dynasty” dinner show; sightseeing with a Local Guide including headsets; visit the Dayan Pagoda and Terracotta Warriors, lacquer workshop, noodle-making demonstration, and calligraphy class
Beijing: Sightseeing with a Local Guide including headsets; Hutong tour by rickshaw; visit the Forbidden City, Imperial Palace, Tian’anmen Square, Summer Palace, Great Wall, cloisonné workshop, and Sacred Way of the Ming Tombs; Peking Opera performance; Peking Duck farewell dinner
All This Included
This exciting vacation introduces you to the rich history and cultural treasures of China and Tibet as well as the magic of the Yangtze River. Marvel at the Three Gorges Dam site on your delightful 4-night Yangtze River cruise, and experience world-famous sights in Shanghai, Xi’an, and Beijing. Visit the Bund, Yu Yuan Gardens, Dayan Pagoda, Terracotta Warriors, Great Wall, Forbidden City, Imperial Palace, and Sacred Way of the Ming Tombs. High in the Himalayas, explore Lhasa, Tibet’s mystical capital, with visits to the Summer Palace, a local home and monastery, Potala Palace, and Jokhang Temple—a remarkable vacation!
B: American breakfast daily L: 11 lunches D: 12 dinners including a welcome dinner in Shanghai and a Peking Duck farewell dinner in Beijing
Modern comfort and elegant design
Unique cultural experiences
Reserved seating for evening entertainment
Dinner features á la carte menu
Complimentary regional wines at dinner
Beer or soft drinks free with dinner
Maintain your routine in the fitness center
Modern bathrooms with bathtub and shower
Included shore excursions with Local Guide
Deluxe Stateroom with 301 sq. ft. of indoor living space
Private balcony with additional 29 sq. ft. of living space
Exclusive shore excursions for Avalon passengers with Local Guide
Headsets for all sightseeing in Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai
Complimentary coffee and tea all day in the> VIP restaurant
All meals in VIP restaurant (excludes Captains farewell banquet)
Breakfast and Lunch buffets featuring Western & Chinese cuisine
Captain's farewell Chinese banquet in the main dining room
Dinner in VIP restaurant with your choice of a buffet featuring Western and Chinese cuisine or an a la carte menu
Accommodations on this Tour
Shanghai: The Langham, Yangtze Boutique (D)
Yangtze Cruise: Century Legend
Lhasa: Four Points by Sheraton (F)
Xi’an: Golden Flower by Shangri-La (SF)
Beijing: China World Hotel (D)
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra Nights per person in Shanghai:
Mon. - Thu. in single room $272; in twin room $143; in triple room $119
Fri. - Sun. in single room $207; in twin room $109; in triple room $98
Extra Nights per person in Beijing:
Mon. - Thu. in single room $222; in twin room $117; in triple room $110
Fri. - Sun. in single room $184; in twin room $98; in triple room $98
This trip is for travelers who are fit. You will visit regions reaching almost 14,000 ft. in elevation.
Intra-vacation air segments are not included in the prices shown above.
Cabin upgrades are available.
Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.