DAY 1 ARRIVE BEIJING, CHINA
Arrive in Beijing, China’s capital, where you are transferred to your luxurious hotel.
DAY 2 BEIJING | IMPERIAL TREASURES
After a morning welcome briefing, participate in a tai chi lesson at the Temple of Heaven, a classic example of Ming architecture. After lunch, explore Tiananmen Square, and then walk in the footsteps of emperors in the Forbidden City, seat of imperial power for centuries. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 3 BEIJING | WALKING THE GREAT WALL
Ride Like a Local on a pedicab through a hutong — a neighborhood of small winding alleyways. This afternoon, travel to the well-preserved Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China. Ride a cable car to the top and view the stunning mountains. (Breakfast, Lunch)
DAY 4 XIAN | IN THE HEART OF CHINA’S ETERNAL CITY
Fly to Xian, made famous by Marco Polo. Once a vital stop on the Great Silk Road, Xian has become a melting pot of Asian and Middle Eastern influences. Enjoy a private Chef ’s Table experience in noodle-throwing and dumpling making. This afternoon, view the Great Mosque, a fascinating site that blends classic Chinese temple architecture and central Asian embellishments. Visit the city’s lively Muslim Quarter with its teeming markets. (Breakfast, Lunch)
DAY 5 XIAN | TERRA COTTA WARRIORS, ARMY FOR THE AFTERLIFE
View the incomparable Terra Cotta Warriors, lost to the world for two millennia until accidentally rediscovered by a farmer. Explore them with an on-site specialist at your side. Later, stroll along the impressive ramparts of Xian’s City Wall. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 6 CHENGDU | SPICY SICHUAN
Travel to Chengdu by bullet train. For lunch, savor local Sichuan specialties at a traditional hot pot meal. Visit People’s Park, the city’s largest public park, where you immerse yourself in local life and culture, watching people play traditional Chinese instruments, practice calligraphy and engage in tai chi. Later, enjoy a tea demonstration at your hotel. (Breakfast, Lunch)
DAY 7 CHENGDU | UP CLOSE WITH PANDAS
Visit the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center and observe giant pandas roaming in their specially designed habitat. Then, enjoy an afternoon at leisure to relax or explore Chengdu. This evening, gather with fellow guests for dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 8 LHASA | GATEWAY TO TIBET
Fly to Lhasa, the heart and soul of Tibet, one of the highest cities on earth at 12,000 feet and your home for the next three nights. Relax and acclimatize. (Breakfast, Dinner)
DAY 9 LHASA | BUDDHIST TREASURES & LOCAL FAMILY VISIT
Experience the spiritual heart of Tibet at the sacred Jokhang, a 1,300-year-old temple. Wander Lhasa’s Barkhor Bazaar, and visit the Dropenling Tibet Handicraft Development Center. Continue to renowned Sera Monastery, and visit with a local family for firsthand insights into Tibetan culture. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 10 LHASA | FOOTSTEPS OF THE DALAI LAMA
Discover the Dalai Lama’s former summer residence at Norbulingka, surrounded by trees, ponds, gardens and pavilions. Next, venture beyond the towering walls of the awe-inspiring Potala Palace, former winter residence of the Dalai Lama. (Breakfast, Lunch)
DAY 11 CHONGQING | BOARD ‘SANCTUARY YANGZI EXPLORER’
Fly to Chongqing. Upon arrival, stop for lunch at a local restaurant and enjoy a brief city tour before you board your river cruiser for a three-night journey through the scenic Three Gorges region. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 12 CRUISING THE YANGTZE | ALONG ASIA’S GREAT RIVER
Disembark in the small city of Fuling and enjoy a shore excursion, beginning with a visit to the White Crane Ridge Underwater Museum. Descend 150 feet underwater to see centuries-old rock carvings. Afterward, continue to a local market to gain insight into the region’s rich culinary culture. This afternoon, learn about Chinese traditional medicine and reflexology. Tonight, attend the Captain’s Reception. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 13 CRUISING THE YANGTZE | THE THREE GORGES
Early this morning, ‘Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer’ navigates the Qutang and Wu gorges before anchoring at Badong, where you board a ferry and travel up Shennong Stream. Transfer to “pea pod” boats poled by Tujia boatmen — members of a minority culture famed for their river skills — and explore a scenic gorge and village. Tonight, enjoy a “Taste of China” dinner experience. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 14 YICHANG & SHANGHAI | FAREWELL TO THE YANGTZE
This morning, disembark your river cruiser in Yichang and fly to Shanghai, stopping briefly to photograph the Three Gorges Dam. On arrival in Shanghai, transfer to your elegant hotel located on the famous Bund. (Breakfast, Lunch)
DAY 15 SHANGHAI | THRIVING RIVERFRONT
Stroll the Bund, Shanghai’s popular promenade. Wander the streets of Old Town and visit the 16th-century Yu Garden. Enjoy lunch, followed by an afternoon at leisure. This evening, experience a Scenic Sundowner at your hotel’s terrace bar, taking in the city’s lights and architecture. (Breakfast, Lunch)
DAY 16 SHANGHAI | DESIGN YOUR DAY
This morning, enjoy one of these Design Your Day activities:
Walk Shanghai’s Historic Jewish Quarter and learn how it became a haven for Jews fleeing Europe in World War II.
Explore the West Bund Art Center, the city’s rising art district, to view works by local and international artists.
Savor a Street Food Tour, sampling local specialties, such as soup dumplings and steamed crab.
Afterward, explore the Shanghai Museum accompanied by its curator, viewing exceptional collections of historically significant art and housewares. Visit the Urban Planning Exhibition Center to view a model of the city. Later, savor a festive farewell dinner. (Breakfast, Dinner)
DAY 17 DEPART SHANGHAI
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home or to depart for a post-tour extension. (Breakfast)
Pre-Tour Extension: Mongolia
5 days from $4,495 / Single Supplement from $1,495
Internal air from $975: Ulaanbaatar/Gobi Desert/Ulaanbaatar/Beijing
Venture into the Gobi Desert, ride a camel, visit a monastery and explore the Zalabazar Fine Arts Museum. Available to add to select departure dates.
Arrive in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and transfer to your hotel.
Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar
Fly to the vast Gobi Desert, visit a stunning mountain gorge and enjoy dinner with your fellow guests. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Three Camel Lodge
Stop at Bayan Zag, where dinosaur egg fossils were found amid the Flaming Cliffs. Visit a camel-breeding family and ride a Bactrian camel. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Three Camel Lodge
Return to Ulaanbaatar. Tour Gandan Monastery and visit the National Museum of Mongolian History and Sukhbaatar Square. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar
After breakfast, fly to Beijing, China. (Breakfast)
Post-Tour Extension: Guilin & Hong Kong
4 days from $2,795 / Single Supplement from $1,495
Internal air from $835: Shanghai/Guilin/Hong Kong
Meet cormorant fishermen, raft the Li River, visit an herbal medicine market and discover a floating village by sampan. Available to add to select departure dates.
Fly from Shanghai to Guilin and see a Cormorant Fishing show before continuing to your hotel in the countryside.
Banyan Tree Yangshuo
Enjoy bamboo rafting on the Li River, and ride a bicycle or golf cart in the country. Later, fly to Hong Kong. (Breakfast, Lunch)
The Peninsula Hong Kong
Depart for Sheung Wan, visit a local herbal medicine market and Man Mo Temple. Ride a sampan through a floating village in Aberdeen. Tonight, gather for dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
The Peninsula Hong Kong
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and depart. (Breakfast)