Day 1 • Depart USA
Depart USA and cross the international dateline.
Day 2 • Arrive Beijing
Arrive at your FiveStarPlus® accommodations.
Day 3 • Beijing
This morning, see Tiananmen Square and the extravagant Ming-era Imperial Palace in the Forbidden City featuring the living quarters, museum and the jewelry sections. The entire complex covers 74 hectares (183 acres) and consists of over 8,000 rooms. The exhibition halls and vaults hold some one million treasures at one of the most important museums in all of China. This afternoon, tour Beijing’s 700-year-old Hutongs (“narrow lanes”) area by old-fashioned pedicab. Climb up the Drum Tower and see a traditional drum performance. Visit a local family living in a courtyard-style home known as a Siheyuan. In the evening, enjoy dinner at your hotel. (AB, L, DH)
Day 4 • Beijing
Today, experience a highlight of your trip, as you visit the renowned Great Wall. On the way, if traffic allows, stop to photograph the iconic “Bird’s Nest”—the Beijing National Stadium—host to many spectacular events of the 2008 Summer Olympics. Then, arrive at the amazing Great Wall and walk along its ramparts as emperors once did. After lunch, visit a jade factory, where you will learn about different types of jade and its properties. Jade is well known throughout China for its durability, musical qualities, its subtle, translucent colors, and its alleged protective powers. Later, visit Summer Palace declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998. You may enjoy a boat ride on the man-made Lake Kunming (weather permitting). This evening, sample one of the famous dishes of the imperial family—the Beijing Duck. (AB, L, D)
Day 5 • Beijing / Xi'an
This morning, visit the exquisite 15th-century Temple of Heaven. See the Imperial Ceiling of Heaven with its Echo Wall and the Nine-Dragon Cypress, more than 500 years old. This afternoon, fly to historic Xi’an, ancient capital of China and site of many archeological treasures. (AB, D)
Day 6 • Xi'an
See the extraordinary Terracotta Warriors and the Bronze Chariot buried with Emperor Qin Shi Huang for more than 2,000 years and discovered by farmers in 1974; followed by a viewing of the 360-degrees circle-vision movie (movie subject to availability). Afterward, visit Beiyuanmen Muslim Street and the Grand Mosque. The local market offers a great selection of Chinese-Muslim cuisine and craftsmanship. In the afternoon, enjoy a dumpling lunch and a noodle-making demonstration. This evening’s highlight is a traditional performance of music and dance from the Tang Dynasty period. (AB, L, DS)
Day 7 • Xi’an / Chongqing: Yangtze Cruise
Today, fly to Chongqing, a picturesque mountain city. Upon arrival, visit Chongqing Zoo to see China's national animal the Giant Panda and the old town area of Chiqikou (also if time permits). Later, board your Victoria Cruises ship for an unforgettable cruise along the Yangtze River. (AB, L, D)
Day 8 • Yangtze Cruise: Jade Emperor Scenic Area
Take a shore excursion to the Jade Emperor Scenic Area near Fengdu, which has the largest image of the Jade Emperor in the world. Depending on river conditions, an alternate excursion may be substituted to Shibaozhai, with its impressive wooden pagoda.
Day 9 • Yangtze Cruise: Qutang Gorge / Small Gorges Excursion / Wu Gorge / Xiling Gorge
After passing through Qutang Gorge, the shortest, narrowest and most dramatic of the Three Gorges, disembark for an excursion via cruiser up Goddess Stream with its scenic, narrow gorges, while listening to local folk songs. Alternatively, your excursion may be on Shennong Stream with its splendid Small Gorges. Sail into the 25-mile-long Wu Gorge celebrated for its Twelve Peaks and quiet beauty, and then through Xiling Gorge, the longest (41 miles) and deepest of the Three Gorges. Return to your ship and continue sailing downstream. (AB, L, D)
Day 10 • Yangtze Cruise: Three Gorges Dam Excursion / Yichang / Shanghai
This morning, visit the Three Gorges Dam which spans the Yangtze River at San Dou Ping; it is the world’s largest power station. Continue sailing on to Maoping, where you will disembark and transfer to the airport in Yichang for your flight to Shanghai. (AB)
Day 11 • Shanghai
Today, see Shanghai’s highlights including Shanghai Museum, Yu Garden, the old town, the city’s colonial European past at the Bund, the modern Xintiandi and a renowned Shanghai silk factory. This evening, enjoy dinner at your hotel and later attend an astonishing performance of the world-famous Shanghai acrobats. (AB, L, DH)
Day 12 • Shanghai
Enjoy today at leisure. If you’d like, book an optional tour. (AB)
Day 13 • Depart Shanghai
After breakfast, prepare to bid farewell to China, as you board your departing flight home/onward. (AB)
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.