Days 1 - 2: Fly to Shanghai
Fly overnight to the exuberant city of Shanghai, called ‘the Paris of the East’. Depending on your time of arrival the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
Day 3: Discover Shanghai
Shanghai is China's great metropolis, where east and west collide on streets lined with futuristic skyscrapers and 10th century temples. Today's explorations include the peaceful Yu Gardens, the atmospheric alleys of the old town, and the fine arts and antiquities of the Shanghai Museum. Admire the magnificent colonial architecture with a stroll along the Bund. Follow the age-old silk production process at the Silk Museum, from the cultivation of silkworms up to creating the final piece. There are also many gorgeous, handmade items for sale. This evening view the city from the Huangpu River on a panoramic cruise. The skyscrapers and glimmering lights are a sight to behold, Shanghai is unlike any other city in the world. Later on you will sample some traditional cuisine.
Day 4: Fly to Yichang
Take the morning to see the sights of the ultramodern Pudong area of the city with its sci-fi skyscrapers before flying to Yichang to board the Yangtze River Cruise vessel.
Days 5-7: Yangtze River Cruise
A man-made marvel, the Three Gorges Dam showcases this massive feat of engineering. But as we cruise up stream nature takes over, revealing some of the world’s most dramatic scenery including the Three Gorges themselves. Over the next three days prepare for one breath-taking panorama after another. Take a side trip to the attractive Goddess or Shennong Stream and enjoy a shore excursion to the Shibaozhai Temple.
Day 8: Drive to Chengdu
Disembarking the cruise vessel, explore old Ciqikou, a district known for its porcelain production during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Ciqikou’s narrow streets are perfect for a morning stroll to admire the historical, traditional architecture. Transfer to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, where this evening there will be a delicious Sichuan meal to enjoy.
Day 9: Panda Conservation Centre
A visit to Chengdu’s famous Panda Conservation Centre allows you to see and learn about China’s celebrated bears up close in surroundings that mirror their natural habitat. A look around the informative museum gives an overview of the reserve’s breeding programme. We’ll then fly to the former imperial capital of Xian. This evening a delicious feast of traditional Shui Jiao dumplings and a performance of Tang Dynasty dancing awaits.
Day 10: Terracotta Warriors, Xian
After their fortuitous discovery in the 1970s, the Terracotta Army of China’s first Emperor Qin Shi Huang has intrigued visitors ever since. Spend the morning viewing the enigmatic ranks of life sized warriors. Visit the workshop of the craftsmen who recreate Terracotta Warriors in the style of their ancient counterparts. Watch the skilled production process and buy a souvenir warrior to take home. Later stroll on the beautifully preserved 14th century city walls that enclose Xian’s old town.
Day 11: Explore Xian, fly to Beijing
A fascinating morning includes a visit to the lovely Little Wild Goose Pagoda. Take time to walk through the atmospheric alleys of the Muslim Quarter which are lined with Islamic food stalls. Later, fly to Beijing, China’s capital city.
Day 12: Forbidden City
Heading to Beijing’s symbolic heart, stroll across Tiananmen Square and into the sprawling magnificence of the Forbidden City. Entering through the Gate of Supreme Harmony, you will find a complex full of imperial riches. Soak up the harmonious ambiance of the Temple of Heaven, an orderly oasis in a bustling urban landscape, where you can watch, or participate in, a dance class. Later enjoy a Chinese acrobatic show.
Day 13: Great Wall of China
This morning is dedicated to China’s most iconic sight – the Great Wall. Taking a walk on this incredible structure is the best way to appreciate both the sheer magnificence of the wall itself and the dramatic scenery that it crosses. In the afternoon savour the idyllic landscapes of the Summer Palace as you wander through traditional Chinese gardens and view the exquisite architecture. This evening, savour Beijing’s best known delicacy – Peking Duck.
Day 14: Depart Beijing
Fly to home, arriving there the same or following day.
Savour the natural grandeur of the Three Gorges on a relaxing Yangtze River Cruise – just one part of a wonderful tour that also includes China’s enthralling cities of Shanghai, Xian, Beijing, and of course the unforgettable Giant Pandas of Chengdu.
Touring with guides and entrance fees
Visa fees for US and Canadian passport holders
Shanghai: Greenland Jiulong Hotel
Cruising: Cabin onboard a Yangtze river cruise ship
Chengdu: Mercure Chengdu North
Xian: Grand New World Hotel
Beijing: Park Plaza Beijing West
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.