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China & the Yangtze

13 days with Abercrombie & Kent  Rating: Deluxe

River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive Beijing, China
Arrive in the capital city of Beijing, China’s longtime seat of power, where you are transferred to your luxurious hotel.
Day 2: Beijing | China’s Dynastic Capital
After your welcome briefing, participate in a private tai chi lesson taught by a master instructor at the ancient Temple of Heaven, the single most beautiful example of classical Ming period architecture. After lunch, explore the imperial grandeur of the Forbidden City and take in the sweep of history at Tiananmen Square. Tonight, gather for a special welcome dinner at your hotel. (B L D)
Day 3: Beijing | View the World from the Great Wall
Travel to the well-preserved Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China. Walk or ride a cable car to the top of the wall to take in sweeping views of the surrounding countryside. After experiencing this wonder of the world, return to Beijing. Then, Ride Like a Local on a pedicab through a hutong, a vast yet intimate neighborhood of small winding alleyways dating to China’s dynastic period. (B L)
Day 4: Xian | Key to the Great Silk Road
Fly to Xian, a modern city cloaked in over 3,000 years of history. Once the most eastern stop on the Great Silk Road, Xian has become a melting pot of Middle Eastern and Asian influences. Upon arriving, enjoy lunch, and then visit the old city quarter with its teeming markets and beautiful Great Mosque, a 14th-century national heritage site. A blend of classic Chinese temple architecture and central Asian embellishments make it one of the most fascinating sites in Xian. (B L D)
Day 5: Xian | Terra Cotta Warriors, Army for the Afterlife
Today, accompanied by an on-site archaeologist, visit the excavation site of the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses, the life-size army created during the Qin Dynasty to protect Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor, in his afterlife. More than 8,000 soldiers are spread throughout three dig pits, each revealing a unique face, testifying to the remarkable craftsmanship that went into making them. Then, enjoy a Chef’s Table dumpling-making demonstration followed by lunch. Later, enter the Ancient Gate of Xian’s impressive City Wall with the option to cycle along its ramparts. (B L)
Day 6: Chengdu | Exploring the People’s Park
Fly to Chengdu, the charming capital of Sichuan Province. After lunch, immerse yourself in local life and culture at the People’s Park, where area residents play traditional Chinese instruments, practice calligraphy and engage in tai chi. Observe a traditional tea demonstration and learn about unique, centuries-old match-making techniques still in use today. Tonight, enjoy a special Sichuan hot pot dinner. (B L D)
Day 7: Chengdu to Chongqing | Pandas and a Bullet Train
Today, visit the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center. Enjoy the rare opportunity to observe these endangered creatures roaming freely in their natural habitat. Then, board a high-speed train for a ride through the Chinese countryside to Chongqing, where you embark on your luxury river cruiser, ‘Yangzi Explorer,’ for a three-night journey to Yichang. Settle into your cabin as the ship sails downstream to the stunning Three Gorges region. Tonight, watch a fascinating documentary on the Three Gorges Dam Project in the ship’s Tang Theater. (B L D)
Day 8: Cruising the Yangtze | Asia’s Great River
Start your morning with traditional Chinese exercise and work up an appetite for the buffet breakfast. Then, disembark and enjoy a shore excursion to Fengdu, where you take in local life on a visit to a village relocated to make way for the Three Gorges Dam Project. Meet with a local family, visit a kindergarten and enjoy a kaleidoscope of sights at the farmers market. This afternoon, learn about Chinese traditional medicine and reflexology. This evening, attend the Captain’s Reception. (B L D)
Day 9: The Three Gorges | China’s Ultimate Scenery
Early this morning, ‘Yangzi Explorer’ navigates the Qutang and Wu Gorges before anchoring at Badong, where you board a ferry and travel up the Shennong Stream. Transfer to “pea pod” boats poled by Tujia boatmen to view the scenic Bamboo Gorge. The Tujia are members of a local minority culture famed for their boat-building skills and keen knowledge of the Yangtze. Return to ‘Yangzi Explorer’ by ferryboat, accompanied by a Tujia boat tracker who shares insights into his daily life. Tonight, savor a “Taste of China” dinner, followed by onboard entertainment. (B L D)
Day 10: Yichang to Shanghai | Disembark ‘Yangzi Explorer’
Arrive at the Three Gorges Project Dam Site and Exhibition Center to learn the history of the world’s largest dam, including the story of the resettlement of the 1.2 million residents of the cities submerged behind the 600-foot-tall engineering marvel. Disembark in Yichang around midday, and fly to Shanghai this evening. Upon arrival, transfer to your elegant hotel, located on the city’s historic Bund. (B L)
Day 11: Shanghai | Pearl of the Orient
Explore dynamic Shanghai, where stunning modern skylines meet classic street markets and gardens. Contrast this experience with a visit to the charming rural village of Zhujiajiao, a traditional water village harkening back to China’s imperial past. Glide along its main canal on a sampan (wooden boat). Tonight, enjoy a Scenic Sundowner at the House of Roosevelt, before attending a performance by the Shanghai Acrobatics Troupe, featuring dazzling feats of strength, balance and athleticism. (B)
Day 12: Shanghai | Life on the Bund
Stroll the streets of Old Town and visit the 16th-century Yu Garden with its pavilions and streams. Walk along the Bund, Shanghai’s most popular promenade. This afternoon, explore studios and galleries in the M-50 Contemporary Art District. Then, gather tonight for a festive farewell dinner. (B L D)
Day 13: Depart Shanghai
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to depart for home or begin a Hong Kong Post-Tour Extension. (B)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Embark on a three-night cruise on the Yangtze River aboard all-balcony Sanctuary 'Yangzi Explorer'
  • Go off the beaten path to the less-visited and best-preserved Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China
  • View the incredible Terra Cotta Warriors with an on-site archaeologist
  • Enjoy an up-close-and-personal encounter with giant pandas, where they roam free in their natural habitat
  • Experience the narrow winding lanes and courtyard residences of a traditional hutong
All This Included
Discover China's past and present - from the bustling capital, Beijing, to the myriad faces of the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xian. Visit the iconic giant panda bears and explore the storied Yangtze River on an all-balcony river cruiser.
  • All accommodations.
  • Meals as specified.
  • Arrival and departure transers.
  • Fully-guided sightseeing as noted in the itinerary.
  • Bottled water supplied during Sightseeing.
  • Handling of two pieces of baggage per person for international fights.
  • Hotel taxes.
  • Gratuities throughout, except to your Tour Director.
Accommodations on this Tour
Beijing: Four Seasons Hotel Beijing
Xian: Shangri-La Hotel, Xian 
Chengdu: Shangri-La Hotel, Chengdu
Cruising: Cabin onboard Sanctuary 'Yangzi Explorer' 
Shanghai: Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund 
Pre and Post Add-ons
Pre-Tour Extension: Beijing & the Summer Palace
3 days, from $1,695. Available to add to select departure dates.  
Day 1: 
Arrive Beijing, China, and transfer outside the city to your extraordinary hotel — a tranquil, luxurious sanctuary located just steps from the historic Summer Palace. 
Day 2: 
Visit the Summer Palace, the largest and most wellpreserved royal park in China. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this ensemble of lakes, gardens and palaces is acclaimed as a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner. (B D)
Day 3: 
Transfer to Beijing and visit the Water Cube and Bird’s Nest in Olympic Park. Encounter the 798 Art District, a once industrial complex built by East Germany, this area has been reclaimed by a thriving artist community. Check in to the Four Seasons Beijing for the start of your main tour. (B L)
Post-Tour Extension: Hong Kong
3 days, from $1,495. Internal air from $430 (Shanghai/Hong Kong). Available to add to select departure dates.
Day 1: 
Arrive in Hong Kong, where you are met and transferred to your hotel. 
Day 2: 
Transfer to Sheung Wan for a stroll through its herbal medicine market and then take an informative look at Man Mo Temple. Enjoy a view of the city from Victoria Peak. Drive to Aberdeen and board a sampan to experience the floating villages of the Tanka community. Return to your hotel for an afternoon at leisure. Gather this evening for a farewell dinner with your fellow guests. (B L D)
Day 3: 
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your departing flight. (B)
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Internal Air: Economy class from $825 (Beijing/Xian/Chengdu; Yichang/Shanghai).
  • Minimum age is 10 years.
  • First group event: welcome briefing at 8:30 a.m. on Day 2. Last group event: farewell dinner at 7:30 p.m. on Day 12.
  • Departures are guaranteed to operate with a minimum of 2 guests.
  • Please note that two groups of 18 A&K guests may be travelling on board 'Yangzi Explorer' simultaneously.
  • 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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