Discover China's past and present — from the bustling capital, Beijing, to the myriad faces of the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xian. Visit the iconic giant panda bears and explore the storied Yangtze River on an all-balcony river cruiser.
Day 1 - Arrive Beijing, China
Arrive in the capital city of Beijing, China’s longtime seat of
power, where you are transferred to your luxurious hotel.
Day 2 - Beijing
After your welcome briefing, participate in a private tai chi
lesson taught by a master instructor at the Temple of Heaven,
a stunning example of classical Ming period architecture.
After lunch, take in the sweep of history at Tiananmen Square
before exploring the imperial grandeur of the Forbidden City.
Tonight, gather for a special welcome dinner at your hotel.
Day 3 - Beijing
Travel to the well-preserved Mutianyu section of the Great Wall
of China. Walk or ride a cable car to the top of the wall to
take in sweeping views of the surrounding mountains. After
experiencing this wonder of the world, return to Beijing.
Then, Ride Like a Local on a pedicab through a hutong, a vast
yet intimate neighborhood of small winding alleyways dating
to China’s dynastic period.
Day 4 - Xian
Fly to Xian, a modern city cloaked in over 3,000 years of history.
Once the eastern terminus on the Great Silk Road, Xian has
become a melting pot of Middle Eastern and Asian influences.
Upon arrival, enjoy lunch, and then visit the old city quarter
with its teeming markets and beautiful Great Mosque, a 14th-century national heritage site. A blend of classic Chinese
temple architecture and central Asian embellishments make it
one of the most fascinating sites in Xian.
Day 5 - Xian
Today, accompanied by an on-site specialist, visit the excavation
site of the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses, the life-size
army created during the Qin Dynasty to protect Qin Shi
Huang, China’s first emperor, in his afterlife. More than 8,000
remarkably crafted soldiers are spread throughout three dig
pits, each revealing a unique face. Then, enjoy a Chef’s Table
dumpling-making demonstration followed by lunch.
Day 6 - Chengdu
Travel to Chengdu, the charming capital of Sichuan Province.
After lunch, immerse yourself in local life and culture at the
People’s Park, where area residents play traditional Chinese
instruments, practice calligraphy and engage in tai chi. Observe
a traditional tea demonstration and learn about unique,
centuries-old matchmaking techniques still in use today.
Tonight, enjoy a special Sichuan hot pot dinner.
Day 7 - Chengdu/Chongqing
Today, visit the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center.
Enjoy the rare opportunity to observe these endangered
creatures roaming freely in their natural habitat. Then, board a high-speed train for a ride through the Chinese countryside
to Chongqing, where you embark on your river cruiser, ‘Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer,’ for a three-night journey to Yichang. Settle into your
cabin as the ship sails downstream to the stunning Three Gorges
Day 8 - Cruising the Yangtze
Start your morning with tai chi on the deck before breakfast.
Disembark in the small city of Fuling and enjoy a shore
excursion, beginning with a visit to the White Crane Ridge
Underwater Museum. Descend 150 feet underwater to see
centuries-old rock carvings. Afterward, continue to a local
market to gain insight into the region’s rich culinary culture.
This afternoon, learn about Chinese traditional medicine and
reflexology. Tonight, attend the Captain’s Reception.
Day 9 - Cruising the Yangtze
Early this morning, ‘Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer’ navigates the Qutang
and Wu Gorges before anchoring at Badong, where you board
a ferry and travel up Shennong Stream. Transfer to “pea pod”
boats poled by Tujia boatmen to view a scenic gorge. The Tujia
are members of a local minority culture famed for their boatbuilding
skills and keen knowledge of the Yangtze. Gain insights
into their daily lives by visiting a village before returning by ferryboat to ‘Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer.’ Tonight, savor a “Taste of China”
dinner, followed by onboard entertainment.
Day 10 - Yichang/Shanghai
This morning, disembark and fly to Shanghai, stopping briefly
to photograph the Three Gorges Dam, a project that resulted in
the resettlement of 1.2 million residents of the cities submerged
behind the 600-foot-tall engineering marvel. Upon arrival in
Shanghai, transfer to your elegant hotel, located on the city’s
Day 11 - Shanghai
Explore dynamic Shanghai, where stunning modern skylines
meet classic street markets and gardens. Contrast this experience
with a visit to charming Zhujiajiao, a traditional water village
harkening back to China’s imperial past. Glide along its main
canal on a sampan (wooden boat). Tonight, attend a performance
by the Shanghai Acrobatics Troupe, featuring dazzling feats of
strength, balance and athleticism.
Day 12 - Shanghai
Stroll the streets of Old Town and visit the 16th-century Yu
Garden with its pavilions and streams. Walk along the Bund,
Shanghai’s most popular promenade. This afternoon, explore
studios and galleries in the M-50 Contemporary Art District.
Then, gather tonight for a festive farewell dinner.
Day 13 - Depart Shanghai
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to depart for home or
begin a Hong Kong Post-Tour Extension.