15 Day China with Chengdu & 3 Day Yangtze River Cruise
15 days with Gate 1 Rating: First Class
River Cruise Itinerary
DAY 1, Wednesday - Depart for China
Depart for China.
DAY 2, Thursday - Arrive in Beijing
Arrive in Beijing, sprawling capital of modern China. Remainder of the day is at leisure to rest, relax and acclimate to your new surroundings.
DAY 3, Friday - Great Wall of China
Morning briefing with your Tour Manager on the exciting journey that awaits you. Afterward, travel to the massive Temple of Heaven, a Ming dynasty complex where emperors held their ritual prayer ceremony, paying homage to heaven. En route see an ultra-modern architectural site built for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics: the gigantic National Stadium and the Olympic Village. Later stop at a local jade shop to admire wares crafted with one of China's most famous materials. After lunch at a nearby restaurant travel to the extraordinary 2000-year-old Great Wall of China, one of the most amazing structures ever built by man, spanning nearly 4,000 miles of China's northern frontier. Climb the ramparts of this ancient wonder to view beautiful mountain passes, plateaus, and grasslands from atop this 7th century defensive fortification. This evening, enjoy a Welcome Dinner featuring Peking Duck with wine to celebrate your arrival in China. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 4, Saturday - Forbidden City & Summer Palace Tour
Your exploration of Beijing begins at 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. Enter the Forbidden City, once a residence of Chinese emperors from the Ming to the Qing dynasties. This extraordinary walled complex, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is truly a masterpiece of Chinese architecture; its complex consists of 800 buildings with more than 9,000 rooms. Stop for lunch at a local restaurant and visit a pearl shop to learn about the popular Chinese pearls. After, continue outside the city to the fabled Summer Palace, former resort of the Empress Dowager. (Breakfast, Lunch)
DAY 5, Sunday - Flight to Xian
Morning flight to Xian, ancient capital of eleven dynasties and an archaeological treasure trove. Lunch at a local restaurant upon arrival. Later this afternoon, trace the beginnings of Chinese civilization at the Shaanxi Provincial Museum, home to a wealth of historical artifacts and treasures dating back to the Han and Tang dynasties; view the remarkable Tang Dynasty murals dramatically depicting life in ancient China. At tonight's optional Dumpling Banquet, you can sample nearly 20 delicious varieties of dumplings. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Optional: Dumpling Dinner
DAY 6, Monday - Xian and the Terracotta Warriors
Morning visit to Xingqing park, center of the city's lively activities, where you may have the chance to join the residents in their morning exercise, singing and dancing. Afterward, stop at a lacquer furniture shop to learn more about this ancient technique that is still used today. Lunch at a local restaurant. Then, an unforgettable experience! 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 excavated today, more than forty years since the time of its first unearthing. This evening, an optional Tang Dynasty 6-course dinner followed by a historical dance performance by the Tang Dynasty Troupe. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Optional: Tang Dynasty Dinner with Entertainment
DAY 7, Tuesday - Flight to Chengdu
Depart Xian by flight to Chengdu, capital city of Sichuan Province with its distinctive culture. Upon arrival, visit pedestrianized Jinli Street, one of the oldest streets in the city's history, once center of Chengdu's thriving embroidery industry. The shops, tea houses and residences, now renovated, are modeled after an ancient architectural style dating back to the Qin Dynasty. Tonight, dinner is at a local restaurant. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 8, Wednesday - Leshan Stone Buddha and Huanglongxi Village
This morning, visit Leshan, home of the famous stone Buddha which stands at nearly 230 feet high and dates back to 713 AD. Board a boat to approach the base of this impressive, larger than life statue carved into a cliff face along the river. Have lunch at a local restaurant and then travel back to Chengdu via Huanglongxi. Stop here to explore the stone paved streets and ancient, wooden houses of this traditional village, constructed during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Dinner this evening is at a local restaurant. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 9, Thursday - Chengdu Panda Research Center
Travel to the Chengdu Panda Research Base of giant panda breeding, a facility dedicated to the preservation and protection of the pandas, to view and learn about Chengdu's most famous, furry celebrities. Due to many factors, including habitat destruction, pandas have become an endangered species. Housing more than 80 giant pandas, the center is one of the largest panda breeding facilities in the world. Visit the Giant Panda Museum to learn more about the conservation efforts conducted at the center. After lunch at a local restaurant, drive back into town and visit the peaceful and serene People's Park, a popular destination for the locals and their leisure activities. Dinner together tonight at a local restaurant. Later attend the optional Sichuan Opera Show. Be swept away and mesmerized by a colorful Sichuan Opera as performers take the stage in elaborate costumes to enact various performances. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Optional: Sichuan Opera Show (PM)
DAY 10, Friday - Travel to Chongqing, Embark Cruise
Travel this morning to Chongqing, a major cosmopolitan city and gateway to the Yangtze River. Upon arrival, lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, visit the Stilwell Museum, dedicated to the General who was Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Forces in the China-Burma-India theater. Stilwell aided the Chinese people and helped them to win the War of Resistance against the Japanese invaders. Later, embarkation on the Century Sun to begin the scenic journey on the Yangtze River. Dinner this evening will be on board. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 11, Saturday - Cruise to Shibaozhai
The ship sails this morning for Shibaozhai, built during the Ming Dynasty and considered one of the most exceptional architectural examples in the world. This vermilion 12-story pagoda stands impressively built into the side of a cliff face, rising almost 100 feet high, and was amazingly constructed without any nails. 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 to experience the sights and take time to look at the paintings and sculptures on each level. Time to relax on board after your return to the ship. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Optional: Yangtze River Shore Excursion Package - Shibaozhai
DAY 12, Sunday - Qutang and Wuxia Gorges
Awake this morning to beautiful vistas on the river. The ship travels downstream today through the Qutang Gorge, flanked by lush terraced hillsides, and the 25-mile long Wu Gorge, known for its fabled "Twelve Peaks". According to legend, the peaks are believed to be spirits of 12 fairies, the most famous of them being the Shennu Feng (Goddess) Peak, topped by a huge rock resembling a kneeling maiden. Today, your optional tour will take you either on a scenic journey up Shennong Stream, traveling in small boats between rolling hills and rocky cliffs or on a scenic journey up Shennv Stream, the journey 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)
Optional: Yangtze River Shore Excursion Package - Shennv Stream or Shennong Stream
DAY 13, Monday - Xiling Gorge, Disembark Cruise, Flight to Shanghai
Sail downstream through the Xiling Gorge. The longest section of the Three Gorges system is comprised of the Xietan, Qintan and Kongling rapids, known as the "Three Rapids of Xiling". This morning's optional excursion visits 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. This project has forever changed the landscape surrounding the Yangze River. Tour the site to see this impressive achievement of engineering. Lunch on board before disembarkation. Afterward, board a flight to cosmopolitan Shanghai, the fastest growing city in Asia, with its dramatic ever-changing skyline. Tonight, perhaps explore some of the city's world-class international restaurants on your own. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Yangtze River Shore Excursion Package - Three Gorges Dam
DAY 14, Tuesday - Shanghai City Tour
This morning, experience the old world charm of the Bund, as you walk along the park-like waterfront promenade with gorgeous vistas of old and new Shanghai. Next, visit the classical Yuyuan Garden (Garden of Happiness) built during the Ming dynasty. This beautiful and serene sanctuary features pagodas, lakes, and magnificent pavilions. After lunch, stop at a local silk carpet and embroidery shop to learn more about this ancient Chinese craft and see some of the beautiful creations. Next, visit the Jade Buddha Temple, built during the Qing Dynasty to enshrine two beautiful jade Buddha statues given as a gift from Burma. These precious statues are rare cultural relics carved with sparkling and crystal-clear white jade, giving them an aura of sanctity and purity. The rest of the afternoon is yours to discover the rhythm of this vivacious city on your own. Tonight, gather together for a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 15, Wednesday - Depart China
Your vacation ends today after breakfast. (Breakfast)
Optional tours are available for purchase on board.
River Cruise Highlights
Visit the Forbidden City, once residence of the Chinese emperors, and Summer Palace
Savor a famous Peking Duck Dinner with wine
Visit the Great Wall, the World’s longest man-made structure
See the world famous archaeological site of the magnificent Terracotta Army
Explore the preserved Huanglongxi Village, with its stone paved streets and ancient wooden houses
Visit the Chengdu Panda Research Center
Explore the classical Yuyuan Garden and the Bund Riverside
All This Included
All intra-flights: Beijing-Xian, Xian-Chengdu & Yichang-Shanghai
13 nights First Class accommodations
Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
Hotel & cruise porterage
33 meals: 13 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 8 dinners with beer
Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
Services of local guides in all major cities
Entrance fees per itinerary
Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Century Sun Cruise
Beijing: Novotel Beijing Peace
Xian: Xian Titan Times Hotel
Chengdu: Howard Johnson Hi-Tech Plaza Chengdu
Shanghai: Regal International East Asia Hotel
Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers, but does include flights Beijing-Xian, Xian-Chengdu, and Yichang-Shanghai.
Cruise itineraries are subject to change. Alternative sights may be visited depending upon water levels and darkness.
Century Cruise cabins on Wednesday Departures do not offer an onboard amenities package on upgraded cabins. Apr 8, Apr 15, Apr 29, May 13, Sep 9, Sep 16 & Oct 21 departures will be accommodated at DoubleTree by Hilton Beijing Hotel in Beijing.
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.
Open Mon-Fri 7am to 10pm, Sat 8am to 8pm, Sun 9am to 8pm, CST
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