River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 ARRIVE IN BEIJING, CHINA.
Welcome to China! Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.
Day 2 BEIJING.
Your full-day sightseeing starts with a visit to TIAN’ANMEN SQUARE, the largest public square in the world. Next, explore the FORBIDDEN CITY, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the world’s largest palace complex. Once the home of China’s great emperors, today it showcases ancient Chinese architecture, landscaped gardens, and displays of rare art and artifacts. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant, followed by free time to explore on your own. This evening, savor a special [LF] PEKING DUCK WELCOME DINNER. (B,L,D)
Day 3 BEIJING. GREAT WALL EXCURSION.
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. Return to Beijing for some time at your leisure. Tonight, you may choose to attend a performance of the Peking Opera, a traditional form of Chinese theater, or attend the Legend of Kung Fu Show, with a fusion of kung fu, dance, and acrobatics. (B,L)
Day 4 BEIJING–XI’AN.
This morning, visit the TEMPLE OF HEAVEN and enjoy a rickshaw ride through one of Beijing’s [LF] HUTONGS, the city’s ancient alleys. Experience life in this historic neighborhood as you are invited into the courtyard of a family’s home to learn more about their life. A short flight brings you to Xi’an. (B)
Day 5 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 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. Next, visit the DAYAN PAGODA, built in 652 AD. This evening, attend the “Tang Dynasty” DINNER SHOW, featuring a colorful assemblage of classical performances. (B,L,D)
Day 6 XI’AN–CHENGDU.
This morning, visit the Xi’an City Wall South Gate and attend a traditional Chinese CALLIGRAPHY CLASS. You may see some local residents practicing morning tai chi. Next, travel by BULLET TRAIN to Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province and known for its flavorful food. (B)
Day 7 CHENGDU–CHONGQING (EMBARKATION)–YANGTZE RIVER CRUISE.
Start your day with a visit to the [LF] GIANT PANDA RESEARCH BASE and marvel at these beautiful animals. After lunch, transfer to the train station and board your BULLET TRAIN to Chongqing, China’s capital during World War II. Upon arrival, transfer to the port and board your ship for a 3-night cruise through the breathtaking Three Gorges of the Yangtze. (B,L,D)
Day 8 CRUISING: JADE EMPEROR SCENIC AREA.
Your SHORE EXCURSION today takes you to the Jade Emperor Scenic Area, featuring a 100-foot-tall statue depicting the Jade Emperor, an important deity in Chinese Taoism. Return to your ship where the afternoon is at your leisure to enjoy a variety of onboard activites. You may choose to take an optional shore excursion to Fengdu, known by many Chinese as the “Ghost City,” to visit the mountaintop shrines. This evening, the Captain hosts a welcome party, followed by dinner and a special performance by the ship’s crew. (B,L,D)
Depending on river conditions, an alternate shore excursion may be offered.
Day 9 CRUISING: QUTANG GORGE–WU GORGE–GODDESS STREAM.
Early this morning, you may choose to start your day with a tai chi session on the Sun Deck or simply relax and enjoy the scenery. Later, sail downstream through the first and second of the three gorges—Qutang Gorge, the shortest but most dramatic gorge, and 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. After lunch, disembark for a BOAT EXCURSION down Goddess Stream. Along the way, see picturesque scenery and the mysterious hanging wooden coffins. Before returning to your ship, you will also board a wooden boat on a smaller section of the stream, where the crew will sing songs as you glide across the stunning deep emerald-green waters surrounded by densely forested hills. (B,L,D)
Depending on river conditions, the boat excursion may be on the Shennong Stream.
Day 10 CRUISING: (DISEMBARKATION) THREE GORGES DAM SITE–YICHANG–HANGZHOU.
This morning, visit the THREE GORGES DAM SITE, the largest dam of its kind in the world. After lunch in Yichang, board your flight to Hangzhou. (B,L)
Day 11 HANGZHOU.
Enjoy a full day tour of Hangzhou, one of China’s seven ancient capitals. Start with a visit to LINGYIN TEMPLE followed by FEI LAI FENG, a unique mountain famous for a cluster of caves with hundreds of unique stone buddha statues. After lunch, be transported back in time during a WALKING TOUR along Hefang Street. End the day with a CRUISE on West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its collection of ancient bridges, causeways, temples, and palaces. (B,L)
Day 12 HANGZHOU–SHANGHAI.
Transfer to Shanghai, where you will start your sightseeing with a stroll along the Bund, the city’s riverfront boulevard lined with historic buildings, housing, banks, and trade houses. Then, visit YU YUAN GARDENS, dating back to the Ming Dynasty, and a SILK FACTORY to learn about the silk-making process. Stop at a local restaurant for lunch featuring [LF] XIAOLONGBAO, Shanghai’s most famous dish. These tasty soup dumplings are handmade with at least 18 intricate folds to close the top. The broth is the star so, to avoid wasting a single drop, gently pick up the dumpling, dip in sauce, and transfer to a Chinese soup spoon. Next, make a small hole to release the steam and allow the broth to cool. After it cools, sip up the broth and then swallow the dumpling. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. You may consider joining an optional tour to see a spectacular acrobatic show. (B,L)
Day 13 SHANGHAI.
This morning, visit the SHANGHAI MUSEUM, featuring stunning displays of ancient bronze, jade, and ceramics. Then, take a WALKING TOUR of the former French Concession, once Shanghai’s leading residential and retail area. Today, the qualities that made the area so popular endure—from quaint, tree-lined streets and exquisite architecture to charming shops and fashionable restaurants and bars. Along the way, see the famous Art Deco Cathay Theatre, explore the narrow lanes of Xintiandi, and visit Fuxing Park, where locals play chess, dance, practice tai chi, and more. The afternoon is at your leisure. This evening, your Tour Director hosts a special farewell dinner. (B,D)
Day 14 SHANGHAI.
Your tour ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
River Cruise Highlights
Guided city sightseeing including headsets; visit Tian’anmen Square, the Forbidden City, Great Wall, and Temple of Heaven; [LF] hutong tour by rickshaw; [LF] Peking Duck welcome dinner
Sightseeing with a Local Guide including headsets; visit the Terracotta Warriors and Dayan Pagoda; noodle-making demonstration; “Tang Dynasty” dinner show; calligraphy class
Sightseeing with a Local Guide; visit the [LF] Giant Panda Research Base
Travel by bullet train
Three-night cruise through the Three Gorges including the Jade Emperor Scenic Area, a boat excursion on Goddess Stream, and a tour of the Three Gorges dam site
Sightseeing with a Local Guide; visit the Lingyin Temple and Fei Lai Feng; walking tour along Hefang Street; cruise on West Lake
Sightseeing with a Local Guide including headsets; visit Yu Yuan Gardens, a silk factory and the Shanghai Museum; [LF] xiaolongbao lunch; walking tour of the French Concession; farewell dinner
All This Included
This tour through China has everything you could want in a China vacation: visits to ancient sites, thrilling experiences, opportunities to learn about the culture, authentic cuisine, and more. Start in Beijing, end in Shanghai, and overnight along the way in Xi'an, Chengdu, Hangzhou, and aboard a 3-night Yangtze River cruise.
As you walk along the Great Wall, marvel at its expansiveness. Also impressive are the Terracotta Warriors, built 2,000 years ago to protect the first emperor in his afterlife. You'll stand in awe as you take in the life-size soldiers, chariots, and horses.
On your 3-night Yangtze River cruise, enjoy the spectacular beauty and tiny villages as you cruise through the Three Gorges. A shore excursion takes you to see the 100-foot-tall Jade Emperor statue. In Hangzhou, more scenic beauty awaits on your cruise on West Lake, surrounded by mountains on three sides and known for its picturesque landscape and collection of ancient bridges, causeways, temples, and palaces. Also visit Fei Lai Feng, a limestone mountain with over 300 stone statues dating from the 10th to the 14th centuries, and Lingyin Temple (Temple of Soul’s Retreat), one of China's most famous Buddhist temples dating back 1,700 years.
Globus has included out-of-the-ordinary experiences, like a rickshaw ride through Beijing’s hutongs (ancient alleys) and a xiaolongbao lunch in Shanghai. Other thrilling experiences include a visit to the Giant Panda Research Base, rides on the bullet trains from Xi’an to Chengdu and Chengdu to Chongqing, a calligraphy class, sightseeing with Local Guides, and much more.
From the serene and picturesque landscapes to the vibrant cities and from the many historic sites to the modern accomplishments, this China tour is a once-in-a-lifetime vacation opportunity!
American breakfast daily, 9 lunches, 6 dinners including a welcome dinner in Beijing and a farewell dinner in Shanghai
Inside visits as shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable
Professional tour director, local hosts, and local guides
Twin-bedded rooms with private bath or shower, hotel taxes, service charges, and tips for baggage handling
Private deluxe motorcoach with air-conditioning, extra leg room, and emergency washroom while touring
Accommodations on this Tour
Beijing: Crowne Plaza Beijing Chaoyang U-Town
Xi'an: Crowne Plaza Xi'an
Chengdu: Holiday Inn Chengdu Oriental Plaza
Cruising: Cabin onboard Victoria Anna
Hangzhou: Holiday Inn Hangzhou City Center
Shanghai: Grand Central Hotel Shanghai
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra nights per person in Beijing:
in single room $150; in twin room $80
Extra nights per person in Shanghai:
April–May & September-November: in single room $179; in twin room $95
June–August: in single room $155; in twin room $83
[LF] refers to Local Favorites where Globus takes you behind the scenes to spotlight what makes this exciting destination unique – and to introduce you to its local flavors.
Small Group Discovery – We never allow more than 20 travelers on our Small-Group Discovery vacations, allowing you to truly immerse yourself in the destination and local culture.
Dates & Prices do not include air travel.
Participation in this vacation requires purchase of the following flights from Globus, not included in pricing: (1) roundtrip air from your U.S. gateway and intra-vacation air segments; or (2) intra-vacation air segments only, starting at $445. Required intra-vacation air segments: Beijing/Xi’an; Yichang/Hangzhou. Air prices were effective on August 14, 2019, and their availability is limited. At the time you purchase your tour, air prices may be higher.
Gratuities for Tour Director, Driver and Local Guides are available for pre-purchase on the base vacation. For vacations that include an extension to the base, pre-paid gratuities only include the base portion. Any additional gratuities would need to be paid on trip.
Prices are per person, based on double room occupancy.
Single Room Supplement: $950
Triple rooms are not 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.