River Cruise Itinerary
DAY 1, Monday - Depart for Japan
Depart for Japan.
DAY 2, Tuesday - Arrive in Tokyo
Arrive in dynamic Tokyo in the "Land of the Rising Sun". Balance of the day is at leisure to rest and relax.
DAY 3, Wednesday - Tokyo City Tour
This morning, enjoy a full day city tour of Tokyo. Visit the observation deck of Tokyo Tower to experience panoramic views of Ginza, Tokyo Bay, Yokohama and possibly even Mt. Fuji on a clear day. Continue with a visit to Meiji Shrine, dedicated to Emperor Meiji, the first emperor of modern Japan. Stroll through the Imperial Palace which is the former site of Edo Castle and the main residence of the Emperor of Japan. Afterward, embark on a relaxing Sumida River Cruise where you can appreciate the city's unique and beautiful skyline en route to Asakusa. Upon arrival, admire Asakusa Kannon, Tokyo's largest Buddhist temple. Lunch will be provided at a local restaurant. (Breakfast, Lunch)
DAY 4, Thursday - Full Day in Tokyo
Spend a full day at leisure to explore Tokyo on your own. Or, participate in the optional full day tour to beautiful Mt. Fuji and Hakone the most famous National Park and resort area in Japan that includes lunch. Travel through rural Japan with its striking scenery to Mt. Fuji, the highset mountain in Japan. Stop to admire the gorgeous landscape (weather permitting) of the park and lake Ashi. After lunch, continue to Hakone and view the Owakudani Valley's extraordinary volcanic zone. Take a realxing cruise around lake Ashi before returning to Tokyo. (Breakfast)
Optional: Full Day Mt. Fuji & Hakone with Lunch
DAY 5, Friday - Flight to Shanghai
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Shanghai, the thriving metropolis on China's eastern coast. This dynamic city is constantly changing and growing, with an unforgettable skyline. Remainder of the day is at leisure. (Breakfast)
DAY 6, Saturday - Shanghai City Tour
Morning orientation meeting with your Tour Manager about the exciting trip that awaits you. Then, on to see some of the city's major highlights. Begin at the classical Yuyuan Garden in the Old Quarter, built during the Ming Dynasty, a quiet and serene sanctuary in this frenetic city, with its scenic pavilions, ponds, and streams. Continue to the lively Bund, Shanghai's popular promenade; stroll along the park-like waterfront and experience the old world charm. After, on to the Jade Buddha Temple, one of the most active Buddhist temples in Shanghai, dating back to the Qing Dynasty. Return to the hotel late afternoon and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. Tonight, gather together at a local restaurant for a Welcome Dinner. (Breakfast, Dinner)
DAY 7, Sunday - Full Day in Shanghai
Today is at leisure in Shanghai. Join the optional full day tour to Suzhou, including lunch and a cruise on the Grand Canal. Morning departure from Shanghai for the drive to Suzhou, known as the "Venice of the East". Upon arrival in this charming city, relax on a boat ride along the narrow waterways of the legendary Grand Canal. Later, walk along bustling Pingjiang Road, where the locals gather for entertainment and food and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Then, continue to the beautiful and fragrant Garden of the Master of the Nets, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Return to Shanghai later this evening. (Breakfast)
Optional: Full Day Suzhou with Lunch
DAY 8, Monday - Flight to Yichang; Embark Cruise
Morning at leisure for independent explorations in Shanghai. In the afternoon, visit to a silk carpet and embroidery shop in Shanghai to understand more about this ancient Chinese craft; see some of the beautiful creations, unusual styles and masterful techniques. Later, transfer to the airport for the flight to Yichang, the second largest city in Hubei province after Wuhan, its capital. Upon arrival, continue to the Port for embarkation on your cruise ship. This evening, you'll begin the scenic journey on the fabled Yangtze, the longest river in China and the third longest river in the world. You'll be warmly welcomed aboard by the friendly international staff. A memorable voyage awaits you. (Breakfast, Dinner)
DAY 9, Tuesday - Xiling Gorge
This afternoon, an optional tour to the Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest and most ambitious hydroelectric project ever undertaken by man, nearly six times the size of the Hoover Dam. In addition to producing electricity, the dam was constructed to increase the Yangtze River's shipping capacity and reduce the potential for floods. This project has forever changed the landscape surrounding the Yangtze River and has also forced the relocation of people who once lived along the river. Tour the massive site to see this impressive achievement of engineering. Following the visit, return to the ship as it cruises upstream and enters the dramatic Xiling Gorge, the longest and deepest section of the Three Gorges. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Optional: Yangtze River Shore Excursion Package - Three Gorges Dam
DAY 10, Wednesday - Wu Gorge & Qutang Gorge
Awake this morning to beautiful vistas on the river. Sail through the Wu Gorge, famed for its magnificent Twelve Peaks. Today, your optional tour will take you either on a scenic journey up Shennong Stream, travelling in small boats between rolling hills and rocky cliffs or on a scenic journey up Shennv Stream, the journey is accompanied by local folk songs and dances. Continue through the Qutang Gorge, the smallest of the three gorges, flanked by lush terraced hillsides. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Optional: Yangtze River Shore Excursion Package - Shennv Stream or Shennong Stream
DAY 11, Thursday - Cruise to Shibaozhai
The ship arrives this morning at Shibaozhai, built during the Ming Dynasty. This pagoda is sometimes referred to as one of the eight construction wonders of the world, built into the side of a rocky cliff face and constructed without the use of nails. This vermilion 12-story pagoda stands impressively over 100 feet high. The optional tour highlights the main attraction of the temple, with its traditional Chinese design. The structure is inspired by the mountains with patterns and figures that vary from odd to extraordinary. Climb the stairs and experience the most spectacular sights of the valley below. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Optional: Yangtze River Shore Excursion Package - Shibaozhai
DAY 12, Friday - Disembark Cruise; Fly to Xian
Disembark the Yangtze River cruise this morning in Chongqing, a major metropolis and one of the top emerging cities in China. Visit the Stilwell Museum, at his renovated former residence, dedicated to the General who was the Commander-in-Chief of Allied Forces in the China-Burma-India Theater. With the aid of General Stilwell, the Chinese people won the War of Resistance against the Japanese invaders. Transfer to the airport for the flight to Xian, ancient capital of eleven dynasties and an archaeological treasure trove. At tonight's optional Dumpling Banquet, you can sample nearly 20 delicious varieties of dumplings Morning visit to Xingqing Park, a hub of activity where you may have the chance to join the residents of Xian in their morning exercise, singing and dancing. Afterward, stop at a lacquer furniture shop to learn more about this technique. Lunch at a local restaurant. Then, an unforgettable experience! Continue to visit the archaeological site of the magnificent Terracotta Warriors, a vast collection of life-size soldiers, horses and chariots that were entombed with China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang. This world-famous site, discovered by local farmers in 1974, is still being discovered and excavated today, more than forty years since the time of its unearthing. Afterward, visit the Muslim district of Xian; learn more about Chinese Muslims and witness the preparation of local foods in the market.This evening, an optional Tang Dynasty 6-course dinner followed by a historical dance performance by the Tang Dynasty Troupe. (Breakfast)
DAY 13, Saturday -The Terracotta Army
Morning visit to Xingqing Park, a hub of activity where you may have the chance to join the residents of Xian in their morning exercise, singing and dancing. Afterward, stop at a lacquer furniture shop to learn more about this technique. Lunch at a local restaurant. Then, an unforgettable experience! Continue to visit the archaeological site of the magnificent Terracotta Warriors, a vast collection of life-size soldiers, horses and chariots that were entombed with China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang. This world-famous site, discovered by local farmers in 1974, is still being discovered and excavated today, more than forty years since the time of its unearthing. Afterward, visit the Muslim district of Xian; learn more about Chinese Muslims and witness the preparation of local foods in the market.This evening, an optional Tang Dynasty 6-course dinner followed by a historical dance performance by the Tang Dynasty Troupe. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Optional: Tang Dynasty Dinner with Entertainment
DAY 14, Sunday - Flight to Beijing
Depart Xian on a flight to Beijing, sprawling capital of modern China. The afternoon is at leisure. Feel the pulse of this city of contrasts with its astonishing history and wondrous sights. Join the optional half-day Hutong Tour which begins with a rickshaw ride through the old narrow streets and alleyways. See the courtyard homes which once covered all of Beijing - only a few still survive today. Hear more about "old China" from a local family who will welcome you to their home. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Optional: Half Day Hutong Tour (PM)
DAY 15, Monday - Great Wall of China
An amazing day! Travel to the extraordinary 2000-year-old Great Wall of China, one of the most spectacular structures ever built by man, spanning nearly 4,000 miles of China's northern frontier. En route, stop at a local jade shop to admire wares crafted with one of China's most famous materials. Then it's time to climb the ramparts of this ancient wonder to view breathtaking mountain passes, plateaus, and grasslands from this 7th-century defensive fortification. Afterward, a relaxing lunch in a local restaurant. Drive via the site of the 2008 Summer Olympics to see the National Stadium and the sprawling Olympic Village followed by a stop at the Beijing Zoo to see the famous Pandas - a must for all travelers to China. Tonight, enjoy dinner at a Beijing restaurant. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 16, Tuesday - Summer Palace and The Forbidden City
Today, visit the fabled Summer Palace, a resort of the Empress Dowager with its palace grounds, filled with a variety of picturesque gardens and architectural structures. Then continue to a local pearl shop to learn about the famous Chinese pearls. Have lunch at a local restaurant before continuing to huge Tiananmen Square, the largest public plaza in the world built at the height of the Ming Dynasty. The square's Gate of Heavenly Peace was once used as a staging ground for imperial edicts and by Mao Zedong himself to declare the founding of the People's Republic in 1949. Next, enter the Forbidden City, which served as the Imperial Palace until 1912. The extraordinary and immense walled complex is truly a masterpiece of Chinese architecture; its complex consists of 800 buildings with more than 9,000 rooms. Tonight enjoy a Farewell Dinner featuring China's famous Peking Duck. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 17, Wednesday - Depart China
Your vacation ends today after breakfast. (Breakfast)
River Cruise Highlights
Embark on a city tour of Tokyo that includes the Tokyo Tower, Meji Shrine and Asakusa Kannon Temple
Explore the classical Yu Yuan Gardens and the lively Bund, Shanghai's popular promenade
See the world-famous Terracotta Army, a collection of finely sculpted life-size soldiers, horses & chariots
Visit the amazing Forbidden City, once residence of Chinese Emperors and Summer Palace
Visit the 2000-year-old Great Wall, the World’s longest man-made structure
Savor a famous Peking Duck dinner with wine
All This Included
All intra-flights: Tokyo-Shanghai, Shanghai-Yichang, Chongqing-Xian & Xian-Beijing
15 nights First Class accommodations
Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
Hotel & cruise porterage
30 meals: 15 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 7 dinners with beer
Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
Services of English-speaking tour manager (Days 5-17)
Services of local guides in all major cities
Entrance fees per itinerary
Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring
Accommodations on this Tour
Tokyo: Washington Shinjuku Hotel
Shanghai: Courtyard by Marriott Shanghai Puxi
Cruising: Cabin onboard Century Sun
Xian: Novotel Xian SCPG
Beijing: Novotel Beijing Peace
Cabin upgrades are available.
Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers, but does include flights Tokyo-Shanghai, Shanghai-Yichang, Chongqing-Xian, and Xian-Beijing.
Passengers should select flights that arrive in Tokyo between 7:00 am and 7:15 pm due to scheduled airport bus transfer times. Passengers arriving outside of these times will be required to either purchase a private transfer or take a taxi on their own.
Please note, Tokyo is an independent extension and your tour manager will not accompany you. A local English-speaking guide will be there to provide limited assistance.
Cruise itineraries are subject to change. Alternative sights may be visited depending upon water levels and darkness.
This active program covers a good amount of ground each day. Expect from two to three hours walking on some touring days. The pace is moderate, however you will encounter some uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and significant slopes. Some tours require walking in the open air with no shade. A few early wake-ups.
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.