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Best of China with Yangtze Cruise 2019

15 days with Trafalgar  Rating: First Class

Book this River Cruise Now and Save!


  • Past guests of Trafalgar, Insight, Luxury Gold, African Travel, Brendan and Uniworld save an additional 5% off the land price. Expires October 31. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Travelers ages 5-11 save up to 10% off Asia trips. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Group discounts! Book a group of 5-9 on the same tour and each person saves 5% off the land price. Further savings may be available for groups of 10 or more. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Book two back-to-back tours of 7 days or longer and save up to 2.5% off the land price of the shorter tour. Click here for eligible departures.

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

River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 ARRIVE BEIJING (3 NIGHTS)
Journey to the "Northern Capital" - a land of emperors, epic monuments and the cultural heart of China. On arrival in Beijing, you'll be transferred to your hotel where you can relax before meeting your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception drink and local appetisers. (Welcome Reception)

Day 2 BEIJING SIGHTSEEING
Surround yourself with the grandeur of Beijing's landmark Great Hall of the People, Qianmen Gate and the mausoleum of Mao Zedong as you walk through one of the world's largest public areas, Tiananmen Square. Delve into China's imperial heritage, passing the south gate into the frozen-in-time Forbidden City - once home to emperors and their households and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After lunch, indulge in a relaxing foot massage at the Foot Reflexology Centre to ease you into an evening at leisure or consider joining an Optional Experience. (Buffet Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 3 BEIJING AND THE GREAT WALL
The iconic Great Wall of China beckons this morning - its stone ramparts and walls snaking thousands of miles into the distance to defend the empire against nomadic invaders since 5th century B.C. The afternoon is yours to enjoy on your terms. Consider strolling through the imperial gardens of the Summer Palace or visit one of the outdoor markets. This evening, indulge in a Regional Meal of succulent Peking Duck for dinner - a must during any visit to Beijing. (Buffet Breakfast, Regional Meal)

Day 4 BEIJING - XI'AN (2 NIGHTS)
Navigate the ancient alleyways of the courtyard Hutong residences, weaving through lively neighbourhoods on the back of a traditional rickshaw. Stop at the home of a local family where you'll 'Connect with Locals', enjoying a Be My Guest lunch of traditional Chinese cuisine, then visit a nearby tea house. Here, you'll delve into the art of chayi, joining a 'Local Specialist' who'll share first-hand the age-old ritual of tea-making. Leave Beijing behind, bound for Xi'an, an ancient departure point on the Silk Road. (Buffet Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 5 XI'AN SIGHTSEEING
Engage with the children and teachers of a local primary school (during term-time) where you will learn a few words of Chinese and 'Make a Difference' by donating much-needed supplies. Next, descend into the subterranean tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang to view his legendary army of Terracotta Warriors and Horses, followed by a delicious traditional meal of Chinese noodles. Your final stop today is to a Jade factory where you'll admire the favoured stone of emperors, more precious to the Chinese people than gold. (Buffet Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 6 XI'AN - CHENGDU (3 NIGHTS)
This morning, your choice of activities gives you an opportunity to join a 'Local Specialist' in their T'ai Chi practice or embark on a cycle tour around part of the ancient City Wall of Xi'an. Get stuck in to the ancient art of dumpling making next, with an opportunity to sample the juicy results for lunch, then transfer to the railway station for your high-speed bullet train trip to Chengdu. On arrival in the hometown of the giant panda, you'll check in to your hotel and savour the leisurely pace of local life on your terms. (Buffet Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 7 CHENGDU SIGHTSEEING
Witness the ground-breaking work being done by the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding this morning. Join a 'Local Specialist' and learn how your visit Makes a Difference to this non-profit research breeding facility which rescues and protects the endangered giant panda, of which fewer than 2,000 remain. (Buffet Breakfast)

Day 8 CHENGDU SIGHTSEEING
Indulge in the bold and spicy flavours of local cuisine as you 'Dive into Culture' and learn about regional cooking practices at the Museum of Sichuan Cuisine. Learn how to crush chilli into powder using a Qing Dynasty pestle and mortar, then view ancient kitchenware, books and manuscripts faithfully recording the history of Sichuan culinary cultures. Immerse yourself in the intoxicating scents wafting through Restaurant Alley then, pay tribute to the Kitchen God before attempting to create your own culinary magic with the guidance of a local chef. Stomach and soul sated after a delicious encounter with Chengdu, you'll have an afternoon to relax, explore further or perhaps fit in some last-minute shopping. (Buffet Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 9 CHENGDU - CHONGQING - YANGTZE RIVER CRUISE (3 NIGHTS)
Rub shoulders with the locals during a visit to People's Park with its beautiful Chinese gardens, lake and tea houses. Gain insights into the day-to-day lives of the locals who spend their free time in tranquil surrounds indulging in a leisurely game of mah-jong, a quiet nap or neck massage. Venture to lively Jinli Old Street next, crossing beneath the imposing archway into a world of intricate handicraft, paintings and calligraphy. Stroll along the narrow street whose façades were modelled on the architectural style of a traditional old town in western Sichuan Province, then transfer to the railway station for a high-speed bullet train ride to Chongqing. Here, you'll enjoy a city orientation tour with dinner before boarding your Yangtze River Cruise. (Buffet Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 10 YANGTZE RIVER CRUISE
Disembark this morning for a short visit to Shibaozhai to admire its 12-storey cliff-top temple, built in the 19th century. Stretch your legs and climb up to the temple, tackling the red pavilion which leans against the side of the steep peak, now an island due to the rising waters of the Three Gorges Dam. Return to the Yangtze, cruising to Fengdu's 'Ghost City' to explore the mystical shrines, temples and monasteries that are dedicated to the afterlife. (Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 11 YANGTZE RIVER CRUISE
Connect with your exquisite natural surrounds as you cruise gently down the Yangtze to the imposing Three Gorges. Squeeze through the narrow Qutang Gorge, admiring its dramatic vistas, before your journey takes you through Wu Gorge, renowned for its quiet beauty, forest-clad mountains, and cliffs so sheer the sun barely penetrates their precipices. A small motor boat will ferry you through the magical landscape of the Goddess Stream, a tributary of the Yangtze - its limestone cliffs covered in greenery provide a tranquil backdrop for your relaxing encounter with this mighty river. (Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 12 YICHANG - SHANGHAI (3 NIGHTS)
We disembark the ship in Yichang, where we'll get a close-up view of the world's largest hydroelectric project, the Three Gorges Dam. Witness this engineering marvel first-hand as you tour the colossal dam that was designed with great expense for the dual purpose of generating power to fuel China's economic growth and control flooding on the Yangtze. After lunch, visit the Yichang Museum with its collection of more than 30,000 cultural relics before continuing to Riverside Park, which has peace as its central theme. Later, you'll have some time for shopping and a bite to eat at Wanda Plaza before transferring to the airport for your evening flight to Shanghai. (Buffet Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 13 SHANGHAI SIGHTSEEING
Shanghai's famous 'Bund' waterfront is the first stop on a day of sightseeing with a 'Local Specialist'. Admire the ornate neoclassical colonial buildings and skyscrapers that have sprung up from this former marshland, then Dive into Culture during a visit to a silk museum. Embrace the tranquillity of the famous Yu Garden next, with its pavilions, halls, rockeries, ponds and cloisters. Then, enjoy some free time for a local lunch of soup dumplings perhaps and shopping in the Old Town, a treasure trove of winding streets and vibrant markets that was once enclosed by the ancient walled city of Shanghai. Our final stop this afternoon is a visit to the Jade Buddha Temple, built in 1928 after the original temple was destroyed during the revolution that overthrew the Qing Dynasty. Admire the beauty of its precious jade Buddha statues made out of crystal-clear white jade, before you settle into an evening performance by the world-renowned Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe. (Buffet Breakfast)

Day 14 SHANGHAI SIGHTSEEING
Ascend to the 88-storey Jinmao Tower for panoramic views of the skyscrapers that loom over the most populous city on earth. Then embark on a walking tour with a 'Local Specialist' through the Shanghai French Concession, for an exhilarating encounter with the opulent age of French colonial China. Wander through the narrow alleyways, past elegant villas and apartments dating back to the early 1900s when the territory was proclaimed a French settlement. Later this morning, you'll see where the First Conference of the Communist Party took place in Xin Tian Di, whose charming antique façades hide a 21st century world of bars, cafés, boutiques and theme restaurants. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure, letting the sights and sounds of Shanghai infuse every sense or consider joining an Optional Experience. Say a fond farewell to newfound friends this evening during a Farewell Dinner. (Buffet Breakfast, Farewell Dinner)

Day 15 DEPART SHANGHAI
Our epic encounter with China at its end, take a transfer to the airport for your onward flight. (Buffet Breakfast)

Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
The Trafalgar Difference
  • Connect With Locals Visit and have lunch with a local family in their home in one of Beijing's hutongs and gain a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse into their lifestyle. (Day 4)
  • Dive Into Culture Indulge in a foot massage at the Foot Reflexology Centre (Day 2). Discover the traditions and techniques of dumpling making, indulging in an opportunity to sample them (Day 6). Learn about Sichuan cuisine at a cooking class in Chengdu and taste some of your creations (Day 8).
  • Local Specialists in Xi'an (Day 4), Chengdu (Day 6 & 7) and Shanghai (Day 13 & 14)
  • Make a Difference In Xi'an, you'll get to know the students and teachers at a local primary school and find out how your visit helps support their education in the local community. Visit the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding and learn how your visit contributes to their conservation efforts. (Day 5)
Sightseeing Highlights
  • CITY TOUR of Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu, Shanghai
  • CRUISE the Yangtze River
  • SEE local people practicing T'ai Chi in the morning, the Shanghai Acrobats.
  • VISIT Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an, the Jinmao Tower in Shanghai, the Great Wall of China
All This Included
Discover the cityscapes of Beijing and Shanghai, Xi'an's Terracotta Warriors and the rare giant pandas of Chengdu on this mesmerising encounter with China, which includes a leisurely cruise along the Yangtze River.

Dining
  • 14 buffet breakfasts
  • 9 lunches
  • 5 dinners
Travel Highlights
  • Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing
  • Daily breakfast and an average of 50% of evening meals
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
  • Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
  • Hand-picked Insider Experiences
  • Optional Experiences and free time
  • Porterage and local charges included
  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
  • An expert Travel Director and separate Driver
  • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of your guided holiday
Accommodations on this Tour
Beijing: Novotel Peace
Xi'an: Wyndham Grand Xi'an South
Chengdu: Crowne Plaza
Cruising: Victoria Jenna (cruise ship)
Shanghai: The Portman Ritz-Carlton
Notes
  • 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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