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
This morning, 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. Then, travel
to the well-preserved Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China. 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.
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 a Chef ’s Table noodlethrowing
demonstration followed by lunch. Visit the old
city’s Muslim 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
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. After lunch, stroll
along the impressive ramparts of the City Wall. Tonight,
gather for dinner.
Day 6 - Chengdu
Travel by bullet train to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan
Province. For lunch, enjoy a spicy Sichuan hot pot, a regional
specialty. Afterward, immerse yourself in local life and
culture at People’s Park, where area residents play traditional
Chinese instruments, practice calligraphy and engage in tai chi. Then, learn about unique, centuries-old matchmaking
techniques still in use today, before checking in to your hotel,
where you observe a traditional tea demonstration.
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 specially
designed 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 on a village
visit. Return by ferryboat to your ship. Tonight, savor a
“Taste of China” dinner, followed by onboard entertainment.
Day 10 - Yichang & Shanghai
This morning, disembark in Yichang 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 it. 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. Walk along the
Bund, Shanghai’s most popular promenade. Later, stroll the
streets of Old Town and visit the 16th-century Yu Garden
with its pavilions and streams. Enjoy lunch followed by
an afternoon at leisure. Tonight, enjoy a relaxing Scenic Sundowner at a local hot spot, observing the city’s lights and
Day 12 - Shanghai
Begin today by exploring the Shanghai Museum
accompanied by its curator, viewing exceptional collections
of historically significant art and housewares, including
bronzes, ceramics, calligraphy, paintings, jade, furniture and
coins. Proceed to the Urban Planning Exhibition Center,
where you marvel at an incredibly accurate and detailed
model of the city housed there. This afternoon, enjoy one of
these Design Your Day activities.
Walk Shanghai’s Historic Jewish Quarter and learn how
it became a haven for Jews fleeing Europe in World War II.
Explore the West Bund Art Center, the city’s rising art
district, to view works by local and international artists.
Savor a Street Food Tour, sampling local specialties, such
as soup dumplings and steamed crab.
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.