Day 1: Arrive Beijing, China
Arrive in Beijing, China’s capital and cultural hub, where you are transferred to your luxurious hotel.
Day 2: Beijing | Imperial Beijing
After a morning welcome briefing, participate in a tai chi lesson at the Temple of Heaven, one of the iconic sites of Beijing and a classic example of Ming architecture. After lunch, explore Tiananmen Square, and then walk in the footsteps of emperors in the Forbidden City, seat of imperial power for centuries. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner with your fellow guests. (B L D)
Day 3: Beijing | Walking 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 and view the countryside. Return to Beijing this afternoon, where you Ride Like a Local on a pedicab through a hutong — a neighborhood of small winding alleyways. (B L)
Day 4: Xian | In the Heart of China’s Eternal City
Fly to Xian, made famous by Marco Polo. Once a vital stop on the Great Silk Road, Xian has become a melting pot of Asian and Middle Eastern influences. This afternoon, view the Great Mosque, a fascinating site blending classic Chinese temple architecture and central Asian embellishments. Visit the city’s lively Muslim Quarter with its teeming markets. (B L D)
Day 5: Xian | Terra Cotta Warriors, Army for the Afterlife
Today, view the incomparable Terra Cotta Warriors, lost to the world for two millennia until accidentally discovered by a farmer in 1974. Explore them with an on-site archaeologist at your side. Then, enjoy a private Chef’s Table experience in dumpling-making. Later, enter the Ancient Gate of Xian’s City Wall and cycle along its ramparts. (B L)
Day 6: Chengdu | Spicy Sichuan
Fly to Chengdu. Visit the People’s Park, the city’s largest public park, where you immerse yourself in local life and culture, watching area residents play traditional Chinese instruments, practice calligraphy and engage in tai chi. Enjoy a tea demonstration at a local teahouse. This evening, savor local Sichuan specialties at a traditional hot pot dinner. (B L D)
Day 7: Chengdu | Up Close with Pandas
Visit the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center and observe giant pandas roaming in their natural habitat. Then, enjoy an afternoon at leisure to relax or explore Chengdu, a city renowned for its thriving music scene and nightlife. (B L)
Day 8: Lhasa | Gateway to Tibet
Fly to Lhasa, the heart and soul of Tibet, one of the highest cities on earth at 12,000 feet and your home for the next three nights. Relax and acclimatize. (B D)
Day 9: Lhasa | Buddhist Treasures and Monk Debates
Visit the vibrant Ani Tsankhung Nunnery and experience the spiritual heart of Tibet at the sacred Jokhang, a 1,300-year old temple. Wander Lhasa’s Barkhor Bazaar, and visit the Dropenling Tibet Handicraft Development Center. Continue to renowned Sera Monastery to witness lively “monk debates.” Then, discover the Dalai Lama’s former summer residence at Norbulingka, surrounded by trees, ponds, gardens and pavilions. (B L D)
Day 10: Lhasa | Footsteps of the Dalai Lama
Visit Sanggye Dhunghor, where some 200 statues are carved into a dramatic rock face. Next, venture beyond the towering walls of the awe-inspiring Potala Palace, former winter residence of the Dalai Lama. (B L)
Day 11: Chongqing | Board ‘Yangzi Explorer’
Fly to Chongqing to board your river cruiser for a three-night journey through the Three Gorges region. Tonight, view a documentary on the Three Gorges Dam Project. (B L D)
Day 12: Cruising the Yangtze | Asia’s Great River
Disembark for a shore excursion to Fengdu where you visit a village relocated by construction of the Three Gorges Dam. Meet a local family, visit a kindergarten and take in a kaleidoscope of sights at a farmers market. This evening, attend the Captain’s Reception. (B L D)
Day 13: 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. Disembark to board local “pea pod” boats poled by Tujia boatmen and 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. Tonight, gather for a “Taste of China” Dinner experience. (B L D)
Day 14: Yichang to Shanghai | Disembark ‘Yangzi Explorer’
Explore the Three Gorges Dam Site and Exhibition Center this morning. Then, disembark and fly to Shanghai. On arrival this evening, transfer to your elegant hotel, on the city’s historic Bund. (B L)
Day 15: Shanghai | Exhilarating Metropolis
Explore Shanghai, visiting Zhujiajiao, a water village evoking China’s medieval past. Cruise its main canal in a sampan (wooden boat). Enjoy a Scenic Sundowner at the House of Roosevelt, taking in skyline views of Shanghai. Then, attend a Shanghai Acrobatic show. (B)
Day 16: Shanghai | Thriving Waterfront
Stroll the Bund, Shanghai’s popular promenade. Then, wander the streets of Old Town and visit the 16th-century Yu Garden. Later, explore the M-50 Contemporary Art District, and gather for a festive farewell dinner. (B L D)
Day 17: Depart Shanghai
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home or to depart for a post-tour extension. (B)
Beijing: Four Seasons Hotel Beijing
Xian: Shangri-La Hotel, Xian
Chengdu: Shangri-La Hotel, Chengdu
Lhasa: Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa
Cruising: Cabin onboard Sanctuary 'Yangzi Explorer'
Shanghai: The Peninsula Shanghai
Pre-Tour Extension: Mongolia
5 days, from $3,995. Internal Air from: $745. Internal Air Routing: Ulaanbaatar/Gobi Desert/Ulaanbaatar/Beijing. Available to add to select departure dates.
Arrive in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and transfer to your hotel.
Fly to the vast Gobi Desert, visit scenic mountain gorges lined with glaciers, and enjoy a welcome dinner. (B L D)
Stop at Bayan Zag, where dinosaur egg fossils were found amid the Flaming Cliffs. Visit a camel-breeding family and ride a Bactrian camel. (B L D)
Return to Ulaanbaatar. Tour Gandan Monastery and visit Zanabazar Fine Art Museum and Sukhbaatar Square. (B L D)
After breakfast, fly to Beijing, China. (B)
Post-Tour Extension: Guilin & Hong Kong
4 days, from $1,995. Internal Air from: $775. Internal Air Routing: Shanghai/Guilin/Hong Kong. Available to add to select departure dates.
Fly from Shanghai to Guilin and transfer to your hotel. Visit Reed Flute Cave, Fubo Hill and Elephant Trunk Hill.
Enjoy bamboo rafting from Yangdi to Xingping, transfer to Yangshuo, ride a bicycle or golf cart in the country. Fly to Hong Kong. (B L)
Depart for Sheung Wan, visit a local herbal medicine market and Man Mo Temple. Ride a sampan to a floating village in Aberdeen. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner with fellow guests. (B L D)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and depart. (B)
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.