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Historical China, Tibet + the Yangtze

16 days with Alexander+Roberts  Rating: Deluxe

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  • Save $1,000 per couple off select itineraries worldwide when you pay in full at the time of booking. Click here for eligible departures.
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Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.

River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 - Welcome to Shanghai
You’ll be greeted upon arrival and escorted to the 5-star Fairmont Peace Hotel overlooking the Bund.
Day 2 - Full-day Small Group sightseeing
From the esteemed exhibits of the Shanghai Museum and the handsome turn-of-the-century landmarks that grace the Bund to Yu Yuan Garden, completed in the 16th century, today’s sightseeing reveals the city’s rich history. This evening, you’ll enjoy fine regional cuisine and wine. (B+L+D)
Day 3 - The all-balcony Yangzi Explorer
Fly to Yichang and transfer to the pier to board our deluxe Small Ship, the Yangzi Explorer. Settle in to your balcony stateroom and then gather with your fellow guests for dinner. (B+D)
Day 4 - Three Gorges Dam
Step off ship for a guided tour of the immense Three Gorges Dam. Stretching more than 3,300 yards across at the top and towering more than 600 feet, this massive engineering project took 17 years to complete. Today, it’s still the world’s largest hydro-power dam. Back onboard, join your fellow cruise passengers for Afternoon Tea as the Yangzi Explorer navigates through the lovely Xiling Gorge. (B+L+D)
Day 5 - Yangtze’s Gorges
Today’s excursion finds you venturing up Shennong Stream in traditional sampan boats steered and pulled by indigenous Tujia boatmen. With its rushing emerald green waters and deeply forested mountain landscapes, this is widely regarded as one of the Yangtze’s most picturesque tributaries. Return to ship and cruise through the dramatic Wu Gorge, renowned for its massive cliffs, and Qutang Gorge – the narrowest of the Yangtze’s Three Gorges. (B+L+D)
Day 6 - A shore in Fengdu
Get a first hand look at how life in a small river town has changed since the completion of the Three Gorges Dam as you explore Fengdu’s New City, built for residents who were forced by the Dam’s rising waters to relocate to higher ground. Back onboard, attend an entertaining cultural demonstration or lecture, or just enjoy the captivating scenery from your private balcony or one of the ship’s inviting public areas. At this evening’s Farewell Dinner, your crew will be garbed in traditional Chinese dress. (B+L+D)
Day 7 - Fly to Tibet
Disembark in Chongqing and fly to Lhasa. Upon arrival, transfer to the 5-star Shangri-La Hotel. (B+D)
Day 8 - Exploring Lhasa
Delve into Tibet’s spiritual heritage as you visit the summer palace of Norbulingka, Anichanggu Nunnery and Jokhang Monastery, a lovely 4-story timber structure topped with gold. Explore Barkhor Street with its lively and colorful markets. You’ll also meet with a local family in their home and spend time with a master Tangka painter in his studio for an enriching and deeper look into Tibetan life and culture. (B+L+D)
Day 9 - Experience Kora and tour Potala Palace 
This morning, you’ll join local residents as they perform Kora. Observing and even participating in this ancient Buddhist rite of walking and prayer will give you an authentic experience of Tibet’s enduring spiritual traditions. After lunch, you’ll tour the magnificent Potala Palace. Built on a mountain ridge in the heart of the Lhasa Valley, this was the winter palace of the Dalai Lama since the 7th century. Continue with a visit to the Sera Monastery, founded in the 15th century, and then spend some time at a local hospital where a Tibetan doctor will offer insight into his use of both traditional and Western medicine. (B+L+D)
Day 10 - Fly to Chengdu
We’ll take you to the airport today for you included flight to Chengdu, where you’ll be met and escorted to the 5-star Shangri-La Hotel. Your evening at the famed Sichuan Opera begins with an exclusive backstage visit to watch as the skilled actors apply their intricate “face changing” make up. (B+D)
Day 11 - Encounter a Panda and fly to Xian
Established to breed and then reintroduce Giant Pandas into their native habitats, the Center at Dujiangyan Panda Valley offers a chance to see and learn about these amazing creatures. This morning we take you behind-the-scenes to spend time with their caretakers for an amazingly informative and up-close experience – it’s a rare treat available to few visitors! Then transfer to the airport for your included flight to Xian. Upon arrival, you’ll be escorted to the deluxe Hilton Hotel – ideally situated within the ancient city walls. (B+L)
Day 12 - Visit the Terra Cotta Army and City Walls 
In 1974, local villagers digging a well stumbled upon what would ultimately become China’s greatest archaeological discovery… Thousands of life-sized terra cotta soldiers and horses that had been buried in perfect infantry formation to guard the tomb of an Emperor! This morning, you’ll gaze upon this extraordinary site as our expert guide sheds light on their history and discovery. At lunch, you’ll learn about the traditional art of noodle-making. Then visit the old defensive walls that still surround much of Xian’s historic core and hear colorful stories about the city – the ancient capital of China for more than a dozen dynasties. (B+L)
Day 13 - Fly to Beijing 
Transfer to the airport for your included flight to Beijing where you’ll be escorted to the 5-star Fairmont Beijing Hotel in the heart of the capital. This afternoon, you’ll enjoy a guided tour of the resplendent Summer Palace – erstwhile seasonal retreat of China’s emperors. Set on wooded hills surrounding a tranquil lake, this assemblage of pavilions, palaces and gardens offers a fascinating look Imperial life long ago. (B+D)
Day 14 - Beijing’s Imperial highlights 
Marvel at the grandeur of Tiananmen Square and then step back into the days of the Ming Dynasty as you tour the sprawling Forbidden City, once the exclusive domain of China’s mighty emperors. Then explore by rickshaw through the narrow lanes of a Beijing hutong. Sitting down to lunch with a resident family here in their home offers fascinating insight into daily life in one of the city’s last remaining enclaves of traditional centuries-old courtyard homes. (B+L)
Day 15 - Excursion to the Great Wall 
Juyong Pass was recognized very early in China’s history as a site of great strategic importance and indeed this section of the thousands-mile long Great Wall is one of only three that were recognized by military leaders as being practically impregnable. Today, as you walk atop this ancient defensive structure, your expert guide will be on hand to enrich your exploration with dramatic stories and legends of the great battles that were waged here. Before returning to the city, you’ll stroll along the statue-lined Sacred Way at the Ming Tombs. This evening, gather with your fellow guests for a Peking Duck banquet at Hua’s Restaurant. (B+L+D)
Day 16 - Depart Beijing
Your journey with us ends when we take you to the airport for your onward flight. (B)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Gain deeper insight into Tibetan life and culture... By special arrangement, you’ll spend time with a resident family, meet a local doctor, visit a Buddhist nunnery and join in an ancient rite of walking and prayer.
  • Go behind the scenes with caretakers at the Panda Research Station in Chengdu to feed a Panda.
  • Meet the actors at the Sichuan Opera and watch as they apply their intricate "face-changing" make-up.
  • Experience one of China's oldest culinary traditions with a noodle-making demonstration in Xian.
  • Includes 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
All This Included
Informed and insightful, our Chinese Trip Leaders will take you deeper inside their native culture and history. Warm personal encounters, Pandas, and the finest all-balcony ship make our trip special.
  • Comprehensive sightseeing and all shore excursions including entrance fees
  • 36 meals: 15 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 11 dinners
  • 11 nights in superior first class, deluxe and luxury hotels
  • 4 nights in a balcony stateroom aboard China’s best ship
  • All on-tour transportation including all 5 internal flights 
  • Gratuities for drivers, waiters and porters
  • Luggage handling, port charges, hotel taxes and service charges, and all airline fees and fuel charges for your 5 included flights
  • GeneralAssist, our toll-free 24/7 emergency on-tour assistance
Accommodations on this Tour
Shanghai: Fairmont Peace Hotel
Cruising: Cabin onboard Yangzi Explorer
Lhasa: Shangri-La Hotel
Chengdu: Shangri-La Hotel
Xian: Hilton Hotel
Beijing: Fairmont Beijing Hotel
Pre and Post Add-ons
Hong Kong Insider Extension from Shanghai
4-Day Small Group Extension from $1,399
This affordable easy-to-add Tour Extension includes your flight from Shanghai to Hong Kong, 3 nights at our stylish city-center hotel, daily breakfast, lunch at Jimmy’s Kitchen and our unique Be a Hong Kong Insider full-day tour.
  • 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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