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Itinerary & Activities

Itinerary Map
(click for larger version)
Itinerary map of Majestic Yangtze

Days 1 - 2

Depart on your overnight flight from the US to China. Upon arrival in Shanghai, we are welcomed by our Wendy Wu representative and transferred to our hotel.

Once known as the Paris of the East, Shanghai has emerged, yet again, as one of Asia's most influential cities. Prior to communist arrival in 1949, Shanghai was a city with European-style mansions and was the most important trading port in Asia. Today it presents a blend of the modern and traditional cultures. Modern skyscrapers intermingle with 1920s shikumen buildings. This combination is what attracts millions of visitors each year.

Accommodation: Regal Shanghai East Asia Hotel or Similar

Day 3

Our sightseeing today starts with a visit to see the superb antiquities and fine arts at the Shanghai Museum and wander the surrounds of the neighboring People's Square.

We will then visit the Old Town (Yuan Bazaar) of Shanghai, where cobbled streets are lined with traditional shops selling herbal medicines, handicrafts, Chinese tea and a variety of tantalizing snacks. We take a relaxing walk through moon gates and latticed pavilions in the peaceful Yu Gardens, the inspiration for willow patterned china.

Continue to the historical riverfront area known as the Bund. Recognized as Shanghai's former Wall Street, the Bund is home to an impressive collection of buildings from the early trade houses of the 1850s to the glamorous Art Deco modernism of the 1920s. We will also visit a local Silk Museum and Showroom.

We will also explore Xintiandi. This area was once a dilapidated strip of shikumen buildings, a mixture of English-styled terraces and traditional Chinese courtyard houses. This style of housing is unique to Shanghai, and was originally designed for the many Chinese workers that flooded the city in the early 1900s. The area was later purchased by film star Jackie Chan who restored the buildings.

In the evening we will enjoy a cruise on the spectacular Huangpu River to view the picturesque nightscape of this exciting city before we indulge in traditional Shanghai cuisine for our welcome dinner.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Regal Shanghai East Asia Hotel or Similar

Day 4

In order to fully appreciate the growth and modernization that Shanghai is undertaking, we will head across the great Nanpu Bridge this morning to the Pudong District, a region that was put aside in 1990 for redevelopment to entice foreign investment to modernize and drive the city into the 21st century. With forward planning, the city avoided infrastructure and transport problems that other Asian cities have faced.

Afterwards we will transfer to the airport and fly to Yichang. Depending on flight times, lunch may be served on board the flight. Upon arrival we transfer to the dock where we will board our Yangtze River cruise vessel for the next four nights.

We will be taking an amazing journey along China's Yangtze River, which is undeniably one of the world's great and legendary waterways. This 3,900 mile river has its origins high up in the snow covered mountain of Tanggula Shan in the south western Qinghai Tibet Plateau and runs into the ocean at Shanghai. It is estimated that this river has more than 10 percent of the world's population living along its banks.

NOTE: Shore excursions are subject to change depending on local conditions.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Five-star Yangtze Cruise Ship

Day 5

Over the next three days, relax as we explore the wondrous landscape and life along the Yangtze River. This morning we will visit the site of the Three Gorges Dam. Commenced in 1994 and completed in 2009, the Three Gorges Dam is the largest water conservancy project ever undertaken. The Dam is located near Sandouping, which is in the middle of the Xiling Gorge, the longest of the Three Gorges. The Three Gorges Dam is 7,660 feet long, 600 feet high, 60 feet wide on the top and 430 feet wide at the bottom. The dam has raised the river to a level of 575 feet above sea level, creating a 372 mile long reservoir, with 1.5 million people relocated. The building of this huge dam was for the purpose of flood control, electricity, navigation and irrigation.

Later today, we will pass through the Xiling Gorge, once the most treacherous stretch of the Yangtze which has now been tamed by the new dam. Further upstream we reach the larger Wu Gorge, before we finally sail through the narrow and dramatic Qutang Gorge.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Five-star Yangtze Cruise Ship

Day 6

Today's program may include shore excursions to Shennong Stream. From Badong we sail through Wu Gorge, at a length of 24 miles, with cliffs so sheer the sun barely penetrates to the river below.

At the Lesser Three Gorges, higher water levels mean we can travel further upstream to unspoiled villages or if the river levels allow, we will hop into small pea pod boats at Shennong Stream. Here we can see the cut stone of the trackers path high on the sheer walls. Gain knowledge about the history of the trackers, the men who while walking along those paths, dragged enormous junk ships along the Yangtze for centuries.

When we return to the cruise vessel, continue cruising through the shortest, but the most dramatic of the Three Gorges, Qutang Gorge.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Sichuan Dinner
Accommodation: Chengdu Tianfu Sunshine Hotel or Similar

Day 7

Today’s program may include a shore excursion to Fengdu, an ancient ghost city on the banks of the Yangtze River. Fengdu is the original and supposedly haunted ghost town themed on numerous legends and folktales. Here we visit the temples dedicated to the underworld and heaven. We can also participate in several tests and tasks to help predict our future, fidelity and fortune.

Upon returning to the cruise vessel, continue cruising overnight.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Shui Jiao Dumpling Dinner
Accommodation: Golden Flower Hotel or Similar

Day 8

We disembark from our cruise this morning in Chongqing, a city perched on the steep hills overlooking the confluence of the Jialing and the Yangtze rivers. Chongqing is the chief industrial center of south western China, producing approximately one fifth of Sichuan’s industrial output. The city has been reshaped by the Three Gorges Dam Project, which now allows larger sea-going vessels to sail all the way upriver to China’s most famous waterfront mountain city.

In Chongqing we visit the old district of Ciqikou, an authentic historical area containing traditional buildings dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasties. Here we will have some free time to walk around and soak up the atmosphere of traditional China. Explore the narrow laneways and paved pedestrian streets scattered with local shops selling porcelain, artwork, embroidery and local souvenirs. We may even stumble across the local sweets and candy being produced by pounding ingredients using large wooden hammers, or simply sit back and watch the locals going about their day. From here, we drive to Chengdu.

As the capital of one of the most affluent rural areas in China, Chengdu has developed into a large and modern city, yet within its crooked backstreets we will still find all the charms of old China. Wander among the traditional wooden houses and bustling street markets, through the aromas of Sichuan spices cooking and the chatter of old men walking with their caged birds.

Once we reach Chengdu we will transfer to our hotel. Tonight we enjoy an evening feast of renowned Sichuan cuisine.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Chengdu Tianfu Sunshine Hotel or Similar

Day 9

Sightseeing today begins with a visit to the famous Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. Opened to the public in 1995, the reserve has a museum, research facility and a protected wilderness and breeding area. The panda has become one of the most adored animals in China and noted as the cute and memorable mascot for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). We explore the grounds with a chance to see some of the animals up close and learn more about this region's endangered species.

This afternoon we will transfer to the airport to board our flight to Xian, whose name means Western Peace. It is located on the banks of the Yellow River and has a history dating back to 1000BC. It once rivaled great cities such as Constantinople and Rome in size, culture and development and was also the starting point for the famous trade route, the Silk Road, a caravan passageway which carried not only silks, ceramics and spices but also led to an exchange of cultures, technologies and ideas. Buddhism brought from India during the Tang Dynasty (618-907AD) was perhaps one of the most influential of the religions to travel along this famed road into Xian.

Tonight we enjoy a performance of music and dance dating back to the Tang Dynasty while feasting on a sumptuous Shui Jiao dumpling dinner, a specialty of the region.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Golden Flower Hotel or Similar

Day 10

We start our day with a visit to the famous UNESCO World Heritage listed Terracotta Warriors and Horses. One of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the 20th century, this unearthed terracotta army is comprised of over 7,000 soldiers, horses and chariots. The army was built in life-sized form by thousands of workers and designed by the self-proclaimed Emperor Qin Shi Huang to defend himself in his afterlife. The word China derived from his name and he is acclaimed by Chinese historians to have unified the rival lands of China into a single empire after defeating his enemy states and standardizing the systems of currency, writing and measurement.

On our return to Xian we stop at the Xian Art Ceramics and Lacquer Exhibition where replicas of the warriors are made before visiting the Ancient City Wall, a 500-year-old barricade built to protect the city. Standing the test of time, it is one of the only walls in China to remain intact.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Golden Flower Hotel or Similar

Day 11

This morning we visit the Little Wild Goose Pagoda. Afterwards we take a stroll through the lively Muslim Quarter, exploring the many narrow laneways of the interesting Islamic food markets.

This afternoon we will transfer to the airport to board our flight to Beijing, the capital of the People’s Republic of China. With its unequaled wealth of history, Beijing served as the center for the many different empires and cultures that ruled China and has been the heart of politics and society throughout its long history. The ancient monuments, the stories of days gone by as well as the dynamic and modern city Beijing has become today, make it a destination not to be missed.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Jiangxi Grand Hotel or Similar

Day 12

Today we will walk through the expanse of Tiananmen Square, where we will pass Chairman Mao's Mausoleum. Built on Mao Zedong's orders, Tiananmen Square is said to hold a capacity crowd of over one million.

Next we will walk through the outer gates of the Imperial Forbidden City, the sacred center of the Chinese empire for 500 years and home to both the Ming and Qing dynasties. We walk through this royal complex from the south gate at Tiananmen, named Gate of Heavenly Peace, through to the north gate at Shenwumen, named Gate of Divine Might. We can explore the outer courts, the courtyards and the private residences within the Forbidden City.

From here we visit the 15th century Temple of Heaven, one of the more perfect examples of Ming architecture, set among a 660 acre park with four gates set at each point of a compass. Walking through the park we will see the many groups of local people that gather here every day to sing folk songs, practice tai chi and sword dancing, play chess or just come to sit and chat. You can watch or participate in a dance class.

Our evening entertainment tonight is an exciting Chinese acrobatics performance, where we will see gravity-defying acrobatics, contortionists, juggling, plate spinning acts and more.


Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Jiangxi Grand Hotel or Similar

Day 13

It is often quoted in Beijing that you have not been to China until you have climbed the Great Wall. Stretching from the Shanhaiguan Pass on the east coast to the Gobi Desert in the west, it is more than 4,000 miles long. Walk along the wall, admire the panoramic views and reflect on the immensity of the material and labor required for its construction.

After lunch, we will visit the Jade Factory and Showroom. From here we head to the Summer Palace, a retreat for emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties, the most notorious of which is Empress Dowager Cixi. Popularly known as the dragon lady, the empress spent money reserved to commission a modern navy on embellishment of the royal garden. However, she did restore the large marble boat that sits at the edge of the beautiful Kunming Lake, which occupies three quarters of the park's expanse.

Our farewell dinner this evening will include a sample of the most renowned local delicacy, Peking Duck.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Jiangxi Grand Hotel or Similar

Day 14

Today our group tour arrangements end. Transfer to the airport to board your flight back to the USA.

Included Meals: Breakfast


Things to Know

Preparing For Your Trip
  • Make Sure to Bring All of Your Important Documents: Passport, Foreign visa (if applicable), Itinerary, Trip confirmation, Airline ticket, Drivers license, Credit cards, Travel documents.

  • Vaccinations Are Required for Entry to Some Countries. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) can provide you their recommendations for vaccinations and other travel health precautions for your trip abroad.

  • Are You Taking Any Prescriptions or Other Medications? Pack enough to last your entire trip, including some extra in case you are unexpectedly delayed.

  • Insurance: Purchase travel insurance to cover yourself against unexpected situations. You never know when something might happen, so always be prepared.
While Traveling
  • Keep an eye on your belongings. Do not leave your belongings unattended in public spaces

  • Always have local cash. Not every place takes credit cards.
Pavlus Travel Referral Program

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How does our referral program work?

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