15 Day China with Chengdu & 3 Day Yangtze River Cruise (Wednesday Departure)
15 days with Gate 1 Rating: First Class
River Cruise Itinerary
DAY 1, Wednesday - Depart for China Depart for China.
DAY 2, Thursday - Arrive in Beijing Arrive in Beijing, sprawling capital of modern China. Remainder of the day is at leisure to rest, relax and acclimate to your new surroundings.
DAY 3, Friday - Great Wall of China & Summer Palace Tour In the morning, following breakfast, join your Tour Manager and fellow travelers for an orientation meeting about the extraordinary journey that lies ahead. After, travel to the 2000-year-old Great Wall of China, one of the most amazing structures ever built by man, spanning nearly 4,000 miles of China's northern frontier. En Route you will stop at a local jade shop to admire wares crafted with one of China's most famous materials. After lunch at a nearby restaurant, continue to the fabled Summer Palace, former resort of the Empress Dowager and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a relaxing boat ride across the lake and admire the stunning scenery. Stroll along the sprawling palace with its lakes and gardens before returning to Beijing. This evening, enjoy a festive Welcome Dinner, featuring China's world-famous Peking Duck. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 4, Saturday - Forbidden City & Temple of Heaven Your exploration of Beijing begins at 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. Enter the Forbidden City, once a residence of Chinese emperors from the Ming to the Qing dynasties. This extraordinary walled complex, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is truly a masterpiece of Chinese architecture; its complex consists of 800 buildings with more than 9,000 rooms. Stop for lunch at a local restaurant and visit a pearl shop to learn about the popular Chinese pearls. After, travel to the massive Temple of Heaven, a Ming dynasty complex where emperors held their ritual prayer ceremony, paying homage to heaven. (Breakfast, Lunch)
DAY 5, Sunday - Flight to Xian Morning flight to Xian, ancient capital of eleven dynasties and an archaeological treasure trove. Lunch is at a local restaurant upon arrival. Later this afternoon, trace the beginnings of Chinese civilization at the Shaanxi Provincial Museum, home to a wealth of historical artifacts and treasures dating back to the Han and Tang dynasties; view the remarkable Tang Dynasty murals dramatically depicting life in ancient China. This evening, attend the 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 6, Monday - Xian and the Terracotta Warriors Morning visit to Xingqing park, center of the city's lively activities, where you may have the chance to join the residents in their morning exercise, singing and dancing. Afterward, stop at a lacquer furniture shop to learn more about this ancient technique that is still used today. After lunch at a local restaurant, an unforgettable experience awaits! 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 excavated today, more than forty years since the time of its first unearthing. At tonight's optional dumpling banquet, you can sample 15 delicious varieties of dumplings. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Optional: Dumpling Dinner
DAY 7, Tuesday - High-Speed Train to Chengdu This morning, visit the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, one of the most famous Buddhist pagodas in China, constructed during the Tang Dynasty. It was moderately damaged during the major earthquake in 1556 and still stands today as a compelling symbol of Xian. Lunch is at a local restaurant. Afterward, board a high-speed train to Chengdu, capital city of Sichuan Province with its distinctive culture and very spicy food. Tonight, gather together for dinner at a local restaurant. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 8, Wednesday - Leshan Stone Buddha and Huanglongxi Village Begin the day with a visit to Leshan, home of the famous stone Buddha which stands at nearly 230 feet high and dates back from 713 AD. Board a boat to approach the base of this impressive, larger than life statue carved into a cliff face along the river. Have lunch at a local restaurant and then travel back to Chengdu via Huanglongxi. Stop here to explore the stone paved streets and ancient, wooden houses of this traditional village, constructed during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Later attend the optional Sichuan Opera Show. Be swept away and mesmerized by a colorful Sichuan Opera as performers take the stage in elaborate costumes to enact various performances. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Optional: Sichuan Opera Show (PM)
DAY 9, Thursday- Chengdu Panda Research Center Travel to the Chengdu Panda Research Base of giant panda breeding, a facility dedicated to the preservation and protection of the pandas, to view and learn about Chengdu's most famous, furry celebrities. Due to many factors, including habitat destruction, pandas have become an endangered species. Housing more than 80 giant pandas, the center is one of the largest panda breeding facilities in the world. Visit the Giant Panda Museum to learn more about the conservation efforts conducted at the center. After lunch at a local restaurant, drive back into town and visit the peaceful and serene People's Park, a popular destination for the locals and their leisure activities. Afterward, stroll along pedestrianized Jinli street, one of the oldest streets that was once the center of Chengdu's thriving embroidery industry. The shops, tea houses and residences, now renovated, are modeled after an ancient architectural style dating back to the Qin Dynasty. Dinner together tonight is at a local restaurant. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 10, Friday - Travel to Chongqing, Embark Cruise Travel this morning to Chongqing, a major cosmopolitan city and gateway to the Yangtze River. Upon arrival, savor lunch at a local restaurant. Continue to Eling Park, located on a hill near the heart of the city. The park was established at the end of the Qing Dynasty in 1909 by a wealthy businessman. Discover hundreds of plant species during a stroll though the different parts of the well-tended gardens. Ascend to the lookout tower for stunning views of the Chongqing skyline. Later, embark your cruise ship to begin the scenic journey on the Yangtze River. Dinner this evening will be on board. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 11, Saturday - Cruise to Fengdu The ship arrives this morning at Fengdu, with its 1,900 years of history. Today's optional shore excursion will visit the Jade Emperor Scenic Area. The sacred site lies on the northern side of the Yangtze River and west of Mingshan Mountain. It features a 100-foot-tall statue depicting the Jade Emperor, an important deity in Chinese Taoism, as well as 208 additional holy statues of deities. You will also encounter exquisite pagodas, pavilions, and terraces. Time to relax on board after your return to the ship. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Optional: Yangtze River Shore Excursion Package - Fengdu
DAY 12, Sunday - Qutang and Wuxia Gorges Awake this morning to beautiful vistas on the river. The ship travels downstream today through the Qutang Gorge, flanked by lush terraced hillsides, and the 25-mile long Wu Gorge, known for its fabled "Twelve Peaks". According to legend, the peaks are believed to be spirits of 12 fairies, the most famous of them being the Shennu Feng (Goddess) Peak, topped by a huge rock resembling a kneeling maiden. Today, your optional tour will take you either on a scenic journey up Shennong Stream, traveling in small boats between rolling hills and rocky cliffs or on a scenic journey up Shennv Stream, the journey 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 13, Monday - Xiling Gorge, Disembark Cruise, Fly to Shanghai Sail downstream through the Xiling Gorge. The longest section of the Three Gorges system is comprised of the Xietan, Qintan and Kongling rapids, known as the "Three Rapids of Xiling". This morning's optional excursion provides you with impressive panoramic views of 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. This project has forever changed the landscape surrounding the Yangtze River. Afterward, board a flight to cosmopolitan Shanghai, the fastest growing city in Asia, with its dramatic ever-changing skyline. Tonight, perhaps explore some of the city's world-class international restaurants on your own. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Optional: Yangtze River Shore Excursion Package - Three Gorges Dam
DAY 14, Tuesday - Shanghai City Tour This morning, experience the old world charm of the Bund, as you walk along the park-like waterfront promenade with gorgeous vistas of old and new Shanghai. Next, visit the classical Yuyuan Garden (Garden of Happiness) built during the Ming dynasty. This beautiful and serene sanctuary features pagodas, lakes, and magnificent pavilions. After lunch, stop at a local silk carpet and embroidery shop to learn more about this ancient Chinese craft and see some of the beautiful creations. Next, visit the Jade Buddha Temple, built during the Qing Dynasty to enshrine two beautiful jade Buddha statues given as a gift from Burma. These precious statues are rare cultural relics carved with sparkling and crystal-clear white jade, giving them an aura of sanctity and purity. The rest of the afternoon is yours to discover the rhythm of this vivacious city on your own. Tonight, gather together for a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 15, Wednesday - Depart China Your vacation ends today after breakfast. (Breakfast)
River Cruise Highlights
Visit the Forbidden City, once residence of the Chinese emperors, and Summer Palace
Savor a famous Peking Duck Dinner with wine
Visit the Great Wall, the World’s longest man-made structure
See the world famous archaeological site of the magnificent Terracotta Army
Explore the preserved Huanglongxi Village, with its stone paved streets and ancient wooden houses
Visit the Chengdu Panda Research Center
Explore the classical Yuyuan Garden and the Bund Riverside♦
♦Tuesday departures do not include the Yuyuan Garden but instead will visit the Shikumen Residence Museum.
†Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates
All This Included
All intra-flights: Beijing-Xian & Yichang-Shanghai
13 nights First Class accommodations
Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
Hotel & cruise porterage
High-Speed Bullet Train from Xian to Chengdu
32 meals: 13 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 7 dinners with beer
Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
Services of local guides in all major cities
Entrance fees per itinerary
Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring
Accommodations on this Tour
Beijing: Novotel Beijing Xinqiao
Xian: Xian Titan Times Hotel
Chengdu: Howard Johnson Hi-Tech Plaza Chengdu
Shanghai: Juss Hengshan Hotel
Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers, but does include flights Beijing-Xian & Yichang-Shanghai. Passport information must be submitted to Gate 1 Travel at least 40 days prior to departure. Cruise itineraries are subject to change. Alternative sights may be visited depending upon water levels and darkness. While sailing with Victoria or Century Cruises, passengers are subject to the cruise line’s Terms & Conditions.
Victoria Cruise cabins on Tuesday & Sunday departures cannot comfortably accommodate 3 people; therefore, our triple adult and twin with child pricing reflects the additional cost of an upgrade to Executive Suite.
This active program covers a good amount of ground each day. Expect from three to four hours walking on some touring days. The pace is moderate, however, you will encounter some uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and significant slopes. The Great Wall requires a climb of approximately 300 steps, some of which have an incline. It is recommended to wear sturdy shoes, and people who have knee problems may want to carry a walking stick. Some tours require walking in the open air with no shade. Air pollution is a problem in many of China's major cities. Please see the CDC website and/or consult with your healthcare provider for specific recommendations. The usage of a bandanna or, light scarf might help screen out some of the pollutants in the air. This is a Classic program.
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.
Open Mon-Fri 7am to 10pm, Sat 8am-8pm, Sun 9am to 8pm, CST