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China Jewels and Tibet Discovery

22 days with Scenic  Rating: Deluxe

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  • Military members and their spouses save 5% off this cruise. This offer does not apply to certain extensions. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.

River Cruise Itinerary

Day 1 Shanghai
Upon arrival in Shanghai, transfer to your hotel where you’ll enjoy a warm welcome reception and a luxurious three night Special Stay. (Dinner)

Day 2 Shanghai
Stroll along the famous Bund and compare its heritage buildings to those in Yu Gardens. Across the Huangpu River, explore the Pudong area and discover the modern China. Admire the view from Shanghai Tower, the tallest building in Pudong. Later experience the speed of the Maglev train. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3 Shanghai
Freechoice: Wander through the Shanghai Museum and People’s Square before exploring the French Concession district and Xintiandi dining and entertainment area. Alternatively, visit Zhujiajiao, a water town with a rich canal life, traditional buildings and bridges.

Later, spend your free time exploring Nanjing Road’s shopping opportunities. Tonight enjoy the agility and skill of the renowned Shanghai Acrobats. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 4 Shanghai > Yichang >Yangtze River Cruise
Fly to Yichang and explore Chexi Town, a preserved Tujia minority community. Later board your cruise ship, the refurbished Yangzi Explorer. Enjoy your first à la carte dinner on board with included wine and beer. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5 Yangtze River Cruise
Inspect the Three Gorges Dam project site. Experience how the ship locks operate as your ship transits each gate. Continue sailing through Xiling Gorge while sampling afternoon tea delights. Tonight enjoy the Captain’s reception. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6 Yangtze River Cruise
Awake with Tai Chi, then explore the Shennong Stream by longboat (sampan). Later, traverse Wu Gorge, known for its sheer rock walls, and Qutang Gorge, the most dramatic of the Three Gorges. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7 Yangtze River Cruise
Enjoy an insightful excursion to Fengdu and the relocated village. Tonight mingle at the Taste of China gala dinner. Be sure to dress in your finest Chinese outfit. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8 Chongqing > Lijiang
Disembark and visit Chongqing Zoo to see China’s giant panda before flying to the charming city of Lijiang. Over the next three nights you’ll enjoy a Special Stay, perfectly located in the old town. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 9 Lijiang
Today, wander around the picturesque Black Dragon Pool. Later explore Lijiang’s World Heritage-listed Old Town.

Freechoice Dining: Try a local restaurant specialising in Sichuan and Yunnan specialties or a restaurant serving Brazilian and South East Asian cuisine. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 10 Lijiang
Visit the nearby Baisha Frescoes and eat lunch in a local village. Observe the Impressions Lijiang outdoor cultural show before driving to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain National Park. Ride a gondola up to Spruce Meadow and savour the gentle walk through the alpine scenery. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 11 Lijiang >Shangri-la (Zhongdian)
Drive to Shangri-la via the dramatic Tiger Leaping Gorge.

Spend time with a Tibetan family. Learn about their traditions, unique way of life and taste yak butter tea.

Settle in to your two night Special Stay. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 12 Shangri-la (Zhongdian)
Songzanlin Monastery is a great introduction into Tibet’s culture and heritage. Even experience a private meditation session with a Lama.

Mingle and enjoy afternoon tea with local kindergarten children. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 13 Shangri-la (Zhongdian) > Lhasa
Welcome to the ‘rooftop of the world’. After a brief orientation tour, the day is yours to enjoy as you wish. You’ll spend three nights in Lhasa.

Freechoice Dining: Dine at an international buffet or feast on Cantonese or Sichuan cuisine. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 14 Lhasa
Tibet’s iconic Potala Palace opens a wonderful day of exploring. Join pilgrims strolling along the holy Barkhor Circuit to Jokhang Temple. Enjoy a Tibetan buffet dinner with traditional music and singing. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 15 Lhasa
Freechoice: Explore the ancient and intriguing Drepung Monastery or visit the Chakpori thousand-Buddha cliff stone carvings and Norbulingka. Or delight in a visit to Anitsamkung Nunnery and a local tea house.

Travel to Sera Monastery and witness the daily debate on the doctrines and teachings of Buddha. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 16 Lhasa > Xi’an
Explore Xi’an’s ancient city wall on foot, push bike or electric buggy. Tonight enjoy the Tang Dynasty Cultural Show with dinner. You’ll spend the next two nights in Xi’an. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 17 Xi’an
Gaze at Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s amazing Terracotta Warriors in the company of a museum curator, an amazing opportunity to learn first-hand about the restoration process

Stroll around the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Thanksgiving Temple.

Enjoy a special private after-hours viewing of ancient artefacts at a local museum. Over a drink, learn about Shananxi Province history from the museum’s curator. Continue refreshments overlooking the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 18 Xi’an > Beijing
Visit a local painter’s home in nearby Hu Xi’an County, famous for its rural peasant paintings. Learn about his art and enjoy lunch with his family.

Fly to Beijing and enjoy four nights at your hotel, located within walking distance of the Silk Markets.

Freechoice Dining: Choose between mixed Asian at Lost Heaven or Western dishes at The Cut. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 19 Beijing
Today is a special highlight as you visit China’s most iconic attraction – the Great Wall at Mutianyu.

Freechoice: Look forward to an unforgettable evening at either the famed Peking Opera or the spectacular Kung Fu Show. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 20 Beijing
Freechoice: Indulge in a shopping spree at the Silk Markets or visit the wet markets to buy ingredients for your interactive cooking class. Alternatively, discover the secrets to traditional Chinese medicine, or visit the incredible 15th century Temple of Heaven.

Later, explore the Summer Palace’s landscaped beauty and cruise on Kunming Lake. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 21 Beijing
Wander through Tiananmen Square and enter the mysterious Forbidden City. Afterwards enjoy lunch with a local family in a traditional home in the Hutongs before relaxing on a rickshaw ride through the ancient alleys and laneways separating these homes.

Finish the day overlooking the Forbidden City. It’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy a drink with your fellow travellers and soak up Beijing at dusk.

Enjoy wonderful farewell drinks whilst feasting on a Peking duck dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 22 Beijing
It’s time to bid farewell to China. (Breakfast)

Tour Map
All This Included
Embark on a 22 day journey from Shanghai to Beijing with a visit to Tibet. Cruise the Yangtze River, see the Terracotta Warriors and walk the Great Wall.

There are many jewels on this itinerary, from Shanghai to Lijiang to Lhasa to the great Yangtze River. And some of the most captivating of them all are the jewels you’ll chance upon along the way.

This journey is not about discovering Tibetan Buddhism, but it would be strange if your encounter with this beautiful aspect of Tibet and Western China leaves you completely unmoved. From the Songzanlin Monastery to the Potala Palace, the outward beauty of Sino-Tibetan Buddhism is on full display on this itinerary. However, you can also look forward to so much more. Discover exciting Shanghai, delight in unique Xi’an, indulge in China’s incredible cuisine and in the visual splendour of its greatest waterway. When all is done, you may find yourself changed by all you’ve seen and experienced. And that of course will be the finest jewel of all.
  • Welcome reception
  • City sightseeing tour, Maglev Train
  • Freechoice, Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe
  • Chexi Town, Embark cruise
  • Three Gorges Dam Project, Captain’s Reception
  • Wu Gorge and Qutang Gorge
  • Fengdu, Gala Dinner
  • Pandas at Chongqing Zoo
  • Lijiang old town, Freechoice Dining
  • Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, National Park
  • Tiger Leaping Gorge, Enrich - Tibetan local family
  • Enrich - Songzanlin Monastery meditation
  • City sightseeing tour, Freechoice Dining
  • Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple
  • Freechoice, Sera Monastery
  • Tang Dynasty Show
  • Enrich - Terracotta Warriors and private museum visit
  • Enrich - Lunch in painter's home, Freechoice Dining
  • Great Wall of China, Freechoice
  • Freechoice, Summer Palace
  • Forbidden City, Sundowners, Peking Duck dinner
  • Farewell
  • 54 meals including 21 Breakfasts, 17 Lunches and 16 Dinners
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Cabin onboard Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer
  • Itineraries are subject to change.
  • Cabin upgrades are 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.

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