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Wonders of China & the Yangtze River

19 days with Collette  Rating: Deluxe

River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Overnight Flight
Board your overnight flight to Beijing, China.

Day 2 Beijing, China - Tour Begins
Arrive in the ancient capital of China. Tonight, join your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner. (D)

Day 3 Beijing
We begin our day with a stroll through iconic Tiananmen Square. Afterwards, set out to discover the Forbidden City, an awe-inspiring 15th-century complex of palaces, courtyards and gardens that was once the home of the Ming and Qing emperors. Enjoy special access to the Treasure Hall. Its three palaces have been turned into exhibition rooms that now contain an array of imperial treasures. The remainder of your day is at leisure. (B,L)

Day 4 Beijing
Today’s destination is the Great Wall of China, one of the world’s most incredible wonders. Learn about the wall’s history before taking a memorable walk on the Juyongguan section, one of the most famous passes along this epic structure. After this bucket list event, visit a jade museum to learn about the jade-making process. Finally, return to the city, driving past the Olympic Village. (B,L)

Day 5 Beijing
Your day begins at the spiritual Temple of Heaven (a UNESCO World Heritage site), a complex of buildings that symbolizes the connection between the earth and heaven. Afterwards take a rickshaw ride through the hutongs, the traditional alleys of Beijing. Meet a local family and enjoy a dumpling-making class before a traditional calligraphy lesson. Then, share a simple lunch with them. Later, take part in a traditional Chinese tea ceremony. Tonight, dine on delicious Peking Duck, a favorite of the emperors. (B,L,D)

Day 6 Beijing - Xian
Fly to the ancient city of Xian where the legendary Silk Road comes to an end. Tonight, celebrate during a traditional Xian dumpling banquet. (B,L,D)

Day 7 Xian
Today, explore the incredible excavation site of the Terracotta Warriors. This vast clay army of 8,000 soldiers was created to guard China’s first emperor in the afterlife. You'll be amazed at the detail – each statue has a different face. Next, visit the Xian Arts and Ceramic exhibition center to see life-sized models of the warriors being made. At lunch enjoy a Xian specialty – hand-pulled noodles. The rest of the day is yours to explore. (B,L)

Day 8 Xian - Yichang - Board Cruise Ship
After a short flight to Yichang, board your ship for a 4-night cruise up the Yangtze River. Relax as this exciting leg of your journey gets underway. (B,D)

Day 9 Cruising - Three Gorges Dam - Xiling Gorge 
Begin your day with a tai chi lesson on the sundeck as we sail towards the dramatic Xiling Gorge, the longest section of the Three Gorges. Discover the state-of-the-art site Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric project. Tonight, enjoy the Captain’s welcome dinner and cabaret. (B,L,D)

Day 10 Cruising - Shennong Stream - Wu Gorge - Qutang Gorge
Take in the tranquil surroundings on a ride up the remote Shennong Stream in traditional pea boats. Upon returning to the ship, enjoy the majestic vistas as we sail through Wu Gorge, known for its 12 forest-covered peaks. This afternoon, continue on past the dramatic cliffs that surround the Qutang Gorge. (B,L,D)

Day 11 Cruising - Shibaozhai
Arrive at Shibaozhai (Precious Stone Fortress). This imposing hill along the banks of the river is adorned with a 9-story red pagoda. You may climb the stairs to the top for a picture perfect view of the river and surrounding countryside. (B,L,D)

Day 12 Chongqing - Disembark Cruise Ship - Chengdu
We disembark this morning in the mountain city of Chongqing and travel to Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan Province. Spend time on your own strolling through its ancient streets. Come to know the leisurely lifestyle and teahouse culture that make this city so captivating. Tonight, sample the fresh, bold flavors of the local Sichuan cuisine. (B,L,D)

Day 13 Chengdu
Your morning begins with a visit to the Panda Breeding Sanctuary. Learn how China’s national treasure is being brought back from the edge of extinction. Your guided tour allows you the rare opportunity to see the Giant Panda in its natural environment. The sanctuary is also home to the rare Red Panda. Enjoy an afternoon visit to the Du Fu Thatched Cottage, the former home to the poet known as the "Shakespeare of China." End your day by exploring Jinli Ancient Street with its traditional-style buildings. (B,L)

Day 14 Chengdu - Guilin
Board a flight to Guilin to begin a 3-night stay. This evening, take a walking tour around Ronghu Lake and enjoy the stunning night skies. (B,L)

Day 15 Guilin
Enjoy a full-day visit to the Longji Rice Terraces. Known as the Dragon’s Backbone for its scaly appearance, the terraces are actually rows and rows of stunningly colorful rice paddies. Walk through the fields and the nearby villages, meeting local residents along the way. (B,L)

Day 16 Guilin
Set out on a Li River cruise that takes you from Guilin to Yangshuo and past some amazing karst limestone scenery. Be sure to look out for cormorant fishermen and water buffalo. Upon arrival in Yangshuo, visit West Street, home to a number of shops selling traditional paintings, calligraphy and more. There will be time at leisure to relax at one of the many outdoor cafés. (B)

Day 17 Guilin - Shanghai
Welcome to Shanghai, the economic capital of the People’s Republic of China. This bustling city’s futuristic skyline will leave you speechless. Experience the modern side of China as you take the super-fast Maglev train into central Shanghai. Then explore the past as we visit a silk museum. This evening, take a cruise on the mighty Huangpu River. (B,L)

Day 18 Shanghai
Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Shanghai. Set out for the waterfront district, known as the Bund, which runs along the Huangpu River. Famous for its impressive colonial buildings, you’ll feel as though you have returned to 19th century Europe. Explore Old Town’s narrow streets and relax in the tranquil Yuyuan Garden. Enjoy lunch at a celebrated local restaurant known for its xiao long bao soup dumplings. Then, visit the imposing Urban Planning Center, the nerve center of the city. Finally, celebrate you adventure during your farewell dinner before enjoying a marvelous acrobatics show. (B,L,D)

Day 19 Shanghai - Tour Ends
Your adventure comes to an end today. (B)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Take your seat at an amazing acrobatics show.
  • All aboard the Maglev train - reach speeds over 260 miles per hour!
All This Included
Experience China’s marvels, ancient and modern, rural and cosmopolitan, on this fantastic 19-day tour that features a relaxing 4-night upstream cruise of the Yangtze River. Discover for yourself the mysterious Forbidden City and the immense Tiananmen Square. Walk a section of the Great Wall, tour the old, narrow streets of Beijing by rickshaw and share lunch with a local family in their Hutong home. Stand before the 8,000 warriors in the life-size terracotta army in Xian. Float by the dramatic scenery of the Three Gorges and steep cliffs of the Qutang Gorge. Marvel at an acrobatic show. Interact with China’s national treasure at the Panda Breeding Sanctuary. Try your hand at the art of Chinese calligraphy and take a tai chi lesson. Cruise the famous karst landscape of the Li River in Guilin. Experience both old and ultra-modern China in Shanghai.
  • 40 meals
  • Centrally-located hotels provide a home away from home
  • Hotel-to-hotel baggage handling
  • A professional tour manager accompanies you throughout your trip
  • Expert local guides provide insightful, personalized tours
  • Unparalleled sightseeing includes all of the "must-sees"
  • Enriching cultural experiences bring the destination to life
  • Private climate-controlled motorcoach enhances your tour
  • Free round trip sedan service that takes you from your home to the airport when you purchase an air-inclusive Collette tour (within 50 miles of nearest airport gateway)
Accommodations on this Tour
Beijing: Mercure Beijing Downtown
Xian: Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel
Yangtze River: Victoria Katarina
Chengdu: Tianfu Sunshine Hotel
Guilin: Lijiang Waterfall Hotel
Shanghai: Jinjiang Huating Hotel & Towers 
Pre and Post Add-ons
Pre Night Hotel:
  • Grand Gongda Jianguo Hotel
  • Mercure Beijing Downtown
Post Tour Extension:
  • 4 Night Macau & Hong Kong Extension ( Land Only )
Post Night Hotel:
  • Jinjiang Huating Hotel & Towers
  • Sheraton Grand Shanghai Pudong Hotel
  • This tour includes moderate physical activity. The itinerary blends some longer days with shorter days and more leisure time. Walking tours, as well as walking slightly longer distances, up stairs or on uneven walking surfaces should be expected.
  • 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.

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