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17 Day China with 4 Day Yangtze River Cruise & Hong Kong

17 days with Gate 1  Rating: First Class

River Cruise Itinerary
DAY 1, Thursday - Depart for China
Depart for China.
 
DAY 2, Friday - Arrive in Shanghai
Arrive in Shanghai, the thriving metropolis on China's eastern coast. This dynamic city is constantly changing and growing, with an unforgettable skyline. Remainder of the day at leisure to rest, relax and acclimate to the time change.
 
DAY 3, Saturday - Shanghai City Tour
Morning briefing with your Tour Manager about the exciting trip that awaits you. Then, on to see some of the city's major highlights. Begin at the classical Yu Yuan Gardens in the Old Quarter, built during the Ming Dynasty, a quiet and serene sanctuary in this frenetic city, with its scenic pavilions, ponds and streams. Continue to the lively Bund, Shanghai's popular promenade; stroll along the park-like waterfront and experience the old world charm. After lunch at a local restaurant, on to the Jade Buddha Temple, one of the most active Buddhist temples in Shanghai, dating back to the Qing Dynasty. Return to the hotel late afternoon and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. Tonight, perhaps attend an optional performance by the world-famous Chinese acrobats that includes dance, magic, acrobatics and beautiful music after dinner at a local restaurant. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Optional: Acrobatic Show with Dinner ($29)
 
DAY 4, Sunday - Full Day in Shanghai
Today is at leisure in Shanghai. Join the optional full day tour to Suzhou, including lunch and a cruise on the Grand Canal. Morning departure from Shanghai for the drive to Suzhou, known as the “Venice of the East”. Upon arrival in this charming city, relax on a boat ride along the narrow waterways of the legendary Grand Canal followed by lunch at a local restaurant. Then, continue to the beautiful and fragrant Garden of the Master of the Nets, a UNESCO World Heritage site. End the day in Suzhou with a walk along bustling Guanquin Street, where the locals gather for entertainment and food. Return to Shanghai later this evening. (Breakfast) 
 
Optional: Full Day Suzhou with Lunch ($59)
 
DAY 5, Monday - Flight to Yichang; Embark cruise
Morning visit to a silk carpet and embroidery shop in Shanghai to understand more about this ancient Chinese craft; see some of the beautiful creations, unusual styles and masterful techniques. Afterward, transfer to the airport for the flight to Yichang, the second largest city in Hubei province after Wuhan, its capital. Upon arrival, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant before continuing to the Yichang Port for embarkation on your cruise ship. This evening, you'll begin the scenic journey on the fabled Yangtze, the longest river in China and the third longest river in the world. You'll be warmly welcomed aboard by the friendly international staff. A memorable voyage awaits you. (Breakfast, Dinner)
 
DAY 6, Tuesday - Xiling Gorge
This afternoon, an optional tour to the Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest and most ambitious hydroelectric project ever undertaken by man, nearly six times the size of the Hoover Dam. In addition to producing electricity, the dam was constructed to increase the Yangtze River's shipping capacity and reduce the potential for floods. This project has forever changed the landscape surrounding the Yangtze River and has also forced the relocation of people who once lived along the river. Tour the massive site to see this impressive achievement of engineering. Following the visit, return to the ship as it cruises upstream and enters the dramatic Xiling Gorge, the longest and deepest section of the Three Gorges. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
DAY 7, Wednesday - Wu Gorge & Qutang Gorge
Awake this morning to beautiful vistas on the river. Sail through the Wu Gorge, famed for its magnificent Twelve Peaks. Today, your optional tour will take you either on a scenic journey up Shennong Stream, travelling in small boats between rolling hills and rocky cliffs or on a scenic journey up Shennv Stream, the journey is accompanied by local folk songs and dances. Continue through the Qutang Gorge, the smallest of the three gorges, flanked by lush terraced hillsides. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
DAY 8, Thursday - Cruise to Shibaozhai
The ship arrives this morning at Shibaozhai, built during the Ming Dynasty. This pagoda is sometimes referred to as one of the eight construction wonders of the world, built into the side of a rocky cliff face and constructed without use of nails. This vermilion 12-story pagoda stands impressively over 100 feet high. The optional tour highlights the main attraction of the temple, with its traditional Chinese design. The structure is inspired by the mountains with patterns and figures that vary from odd to extraordinary. Climb the stairs and experience the most extraordinary sights of the valleys below. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
DAY 9, Friday - Disembark Cruise; Fly to Xian
Disembark the Yangtze River cruise this morning in Chongqing, a major metropolis and one of the top emerging cities in China. Visit the Stilwell Museum, at his renovated former residence, dedicated to the General who was the Commander-in-Chief of Allied Forces in the China-Burma-India Theater. With the aid of General Stilwell, the Chinese people won the War of Resistance against the Japanese invaders. Transfer to the airport for the flight to Xian, ancient capital of eleven dynasties and an archaeological treasure trove. Visit the Muslim district of Xian; learn more about Chinese Muslims and witness the preparation of local foods in the market. At tonight's optional Dumpling Banquet, you can sample nearly 20 delicious varieties of dumplings. (Breakfast)

Optional: Dumpling Dinner ($15)
 
DAY 10, Saturday - Xian Antiquities Tour with Terracotta Army
Morning visit to Xingqing Park, a hub of activity where you may have the chance to join the residents of Xian in their morning exercise, singing and dancing. Afterward, stop at a lacquer furniture shop to learn more about this technique. Lunch at a local restaurant. Then, an unforgettable experience! Continue to visit the archaeological site of the magnificent Terracotta Warriors, a vast collection of life-size soldiers, horses and chariots that were entombed with China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang. This world-famous site, discovered by local farmers in 1974, is still being discovered and excavated today, more than forty years since the time of its unearthing. This evening, an optional Tang Dynasty 6-course dinner followed by a historical dance performance by the Tang Dynasty Troupe. (Breakfast, Lunch)
 
DAY 11, Sunday - Flight to Beijing
Depart Xian on a flight to Beijing, sprawling capital of modern China. Afternoon is at leisure - feel the pulse of this city of contrasts with its astonishing history and wondrous sights. Join the optional half-day Hutong Tour which begins with a Rickshaw ride through the old narrow streets and alleyways. See the courtyard homes which once covered all of Beijing - only a few still survive today. Hear more about “old China" from a local family who will welcome you to their home. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Optional: Half Day Hutong Tour ($29-$35)
 
DAY 12, Monday - Great Wall of China
An amazing day! Travel to the extraordinary 2000-year-old Great Wall of China, one of the most spectacular structures ever built by man, spanning nearly 4,000 miles of China's northern frontier. En route, stop at a local jade shop to admire wares crafted with one of China's most famous materials. Then it's time to climb the ramparts of this ancient wonder to view breathtaking mountain passes, plateaus and grasslands from this 7th-century defensive fortification. Afterward, relax at lunch in a local restaurant. Drive via the site of the 2008 Olympics to see the National Stadium and the sprawling Olympic Village followed by a stop at the Beijing Zoo to see the famous Pandas: a must for all travelers to China. Tonight, dinner is at a Beijing restaurant. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
DAY 13, Tuesday - Summer Palace and The Forbidden City
Today, visit the fabled Summer Palace, resort of the Empress Dowager with its palace grounds, filled with a variety of picturesque gardens and architectural structures. Then continue to a local Pearl Shop to learn about the famous Chinese pearls. Have lunch at a local restaurant before  continuing to huge Tiananmen Square, the largest public plaza in the world built at the height of the Ming Dynasty. The square's Gate of Heavenly Peace was once used as a staging ground for imperial edicts and by Mao Zedong himself to declare the founding of the People's Republic in 1949. Next, enter the Forbidden City, which served as the Imperial Palace until 1912. The extraordinary and immense walled complex is truly a masterpiece of Chinese architecture; its complex consists of 800 buildings with more than 9,000 rooms. Tonight, dinner is at a Beijing restaurant. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
DAY 14, Wednesday - Flight to Hong Kong
Bid farewell to your Tour Manager as you depart Beijing on a flight to Hong Kong situated on China's south coast, known for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbor. Meet a local guide and transfer to your hotel in this extraordinary city. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore on your own - there are endless things to see and to do and to buy. This is also a great city for adventurous eaters - street vendors abound on every corner with a huge assortment of regional specialties ranging from fish balls to tofu. Of course, there are many upscale restaurants as well dedicated to the finest gourmet cuisine. (Breakfast)
 
DAY 15, Thursday - Hong Kong City Tour
Begin the morning with a tour of Hong Kong Island. Ascend Victoria Peak for a panoramic view of the city and the harbor below. The Peak is the highest mountain on the island and home to a variety of birds and colorful butterflies. Continue to Stanley Market, a bargain hunter's paradise. Return along the coast of fashionable Repulse Bay and Deep Water Bay to Aberdeen Harbor, home to the floating fishermen's village. Stop at a local jewelry factory near Aberdeen for a glimpse into the art and craftsmanship that has made Hong Kong famous. Remainder of the day to shop to your heart's content, or just "people-watch" from a local outdoor café. This evening, perhaps participate in the optional Harbour Cruise on a traditional Chinese sightseeing junk. Enjoy a traditional Chinese seafood dinner at the Lei Yue Mun fishing village and glittering panoramic views of the harbor on the sail back to Hong Kong. (Breakfast)
 
Optional: Hong Kong Harbour Cruise & Lei Yue Mun Village Seafood Dinner ($84)
 
DAY 16, Friday - Full Day in Hong Kong
On your last day in Hong Kong at leisure, don't miss the optional full day tour to Lantau Island and the Po Lin Monastery. You'll discover pristine beaches, lush valleys, soaring mountains and spiritual enlightenment. Stop at the Tai O fishing village with its traditional houses on stilts before ascending to the Po Lin Monastery. This Buddhist monastery features the Giant Buddha, the tallest outdoor seated Buddha in the world. After a vegetarian lunch at a local restaurant, end the day with a spectacular ride aboard the Skyrail cable car (weather permitting) offering stunning views of the South China Sea. (Breakfast)
 
Optional: Full Day Lantau & Po Lin Monastery Tour with Lunch ($119)
 
DAY 17, Saturday - Depart China
Your vacation ends after breakfast today. (Breakfast)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Visit the Forbidden City, once residence of Chinese emperors and Summer Palace
  • See the world famous archaeological site of the magnificent Terracotta Army
  • Visit the Great Wall, the World’s longest man-made structure
  • Explore the classical Yuyuan Garden and the Bund Riverside
  • Savor a famous Peking Duck Dinner with Wine
  • Admire panoramic views of Hong Kong Island from Victoria Peak
  • Visit Aberdeen Harbor, home of the floating fishermen’s village
All This Included
  • All intra-flights: Shanghai-Yichang, Chongqing-Xian, Xian-Beijing & Beijing-Hong Kong
  • 15 nights First Class accommodations
  • Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
  • Hotel & cruise porterage
  • 29 meals: 15 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 6 dinners
  • Wine or beer with all dinners
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
  • Services of English-speaking tour manager Days 2-14
  • Services of local guides in all major cities
  • Entrance fees per itinerary
  • Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring
Accommodations on this Tour
Shanghai: Courtyard by Marriott Shanghai Puxi
Cruising: Cabin onboard Century Sun
Xian: Grand New World Hotel Xian
Beijing: Park Plaza Beijing Science Park
Hong Kong: Metropark Hotel Kowloon
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • *Yangtze River Optional Shore Excursion Package: $80. (1) Visit Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest electricity-generating plant; (2) Visit the natural scenic wonders of the Shennv Stream; (3) Visit Shibaozhai, an interesting pagoda built into the side of a hill. For itineraries with Century Cruise Line.
  • Land only price includes flights Shanghai-Yichang, Chongqing-Xian, Xian-Beijing, and Beijing-Hong Kong.
  • Land/Cruise only price does not include arrival/departure transfers.
  • Cruise itineraries are subject to change. Alternative sights may be visited depending upon water levels and darkness.
  • Please note, Hong Kong is an independent extension and your tour manager will not accompany you. Local English-speaking guides will be there to provide limited assistance.
  • Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary.
  • Visas are required for China.
  • This active program covers a good amount of ground each day. Expect from two to three hours walking on some touring days. The pace is moderate, however you will encounter some uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and significant slopes. Some tours require walking in the open air with no shade. A few early wake-ups.
  • 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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