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Grand China & the Yangtze

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Leisurely
Yangtze River, China
Tour Style: Boutique River Cruises
19 Days from $7,699 per person

A far-ranging exploration of China’s cultural treasures and natural wonders.  From man-made marvels—the Great Wall, Forbidden City and Terra-cotta Warriors—to scenes of natural beauty that inspire artists and poets, discover the vast range of this sprawling nation. 

Beijing offers imperial grandeur and atmospheric old-world neighborhoods; Shanghai flaunts dizzying skyscrapers and surprising art deco mansions; Hong Kong mixes East and West and the best shopping in the world. Yet China is a country where gardeners have devoted a thousand years to creating an ideal landscape in Hangzhou. The Li River, where bamboo boats float through scenery lifted from watercolor paintings, and the Reed Flute Cave, offering rainbow-colored stalactites and stalagmites, bring poetry to motion. Old and new, grand and intimate, China offers wondrous contrasts just waiting to be uncovered.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to China (not included).

  2. A Uniworld representative will greet you at the airport and transfer you to the opulent Ritz-Carlton, Conrad Beijing.

  3. Tiananmen Square is your gateway to the Forbidden City, a vast complex of palaces, gardens and offices that housed China’s emperors for 500 years. Savor a treasure of a different kind over lunch—Peking Duck, served to emperors since the 13th century—and wonder at the UNESCO-designated Temple of Heaven, where emperors performed rituals to guarantee the empire’s safety.

    meal(s):Breakfast & Lunch
  4. What lies behind the doors of the 500-year-old courtyard houses in Beijing’s hutongs? Find out as you explore this historic residential neighborhood that developed around the Forbidden City during the 15th century via rickshaw and sit down for lunch with a local family. Cap off your day at the Great Wall, followed by a Welcome Dinner with complimentary wine at the base of the Great Wall itself.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch & Welcome Dinner
  5. Qing Dynasty emperors fled Beijing’s summer heat to relax by the shores of Kunming Lake, where they built their Summer Palace and created a garden that embodies the highest achievement in Chinese landscape design. Stroll the inviting Long Corridor, admiring the bridges and temples adorning the man-made lake, and drift over its peaceful waters in a boat that offers ravishing views. Fly to Xi’an and check into the Shangri-La Hotel. Enjoy the delights of a traditional Xi’an dumpling banquet in the city widely considered the home of this savory delicacy.

    meal(s):Breakfast & Dinner
  6. The life-sized Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses were made over 2,200 years ago to guard the tomb of China’s first emperor, yet it wasn’t until the last century when about 8,000 of these figures were excavated. They represent the army that protected the empire, but they were just part of its defenses: China’s first great wall still guards China’s first capital, both of which you’ll visit. Get in the spirit of the Tang Dynasty with a traditional Chinese dinner, accompanied by a cultural performance that pays tribute to the music, folk dances and beautiful silk costumes of the Tang era.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  7. Jade has been cherished in China for 10,000 years. Watch artisans carving intricate designs and learn what to look for when buying this special stone before flying to Hangzhou, a lakeside city legendary for its beauty, where you will check into the luxurious Shangri-La Hangzhou Hotel.

    meal(s):Breakfast & Dinner
  8. One of China’s most idyllic visions—West Lake, where wooded hills, colorful pagodas and placid waters lure you with their serenity, and Lingyin Temple, one of China’s oldest Buddhist shrines, adds to your soul-soothing pleasure. At nightfall, the lake becomes the stage for an open-air show of light, dance and music directed by famous Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou, who also helmed the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

    meal(s):Breakfast & Lunch
  9. Shanghai has become one of the world’s most exhilarating cities. Your hotel, the Waldorf Astoria, is located on the Bund, Shanghai’s waterfront promenade that brims with spectacular skyscrapers and grand architecture. It reminds you that this city was the West’s gateway, while Shanghai’s Old Town—the original walled city—reminds you of its legendary heritage. Whether looking forward to the future or back at the past, one thing remains constant—dim sum. Indulge in a traditional dim sum lunch complete with dumplings and rice noodles. Later, enjoy a delicious hotel dinner.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  10. Astonishing skyscrapers soar far overhead, and luxury shops line the exciting streets of Shanghai. Explore on your own and then cap off the day with the famous Shanghai acrobatic troupe performing their gravity-defying routines. 

  11. Fly to Yichang, where you’ll board your ship to begin your journey on the Yangtze, exploring some of the world’s most dramatic landscapes.

    meal(s):Breakfast & Dinner
  12. The Three Gorges Dam is designed to control flooding on the Yangtze and provide electrical power for a huge part of the country. The controversial project has forever altered China’s landscape, but its scale is a tribute to the nation’s ambition. Get to know some of your fellow passengers during the Captain’s Welcome Reception.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  13. Float through one of the world’s most exquisite landscapes, as the pristine turquoise waters of the Goddess Stream shimmer around your small boat and sheer cliffs rise high overhead.

    Note: Due to water conditions, we may substitute a Shennong Stream boat tour if the Goddess Stream is not available.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  14. Mist-shrouded peaks loom above the winding Yangtze for miles as you cruise through the Three Gorges region. Every view is a picture straight out of China’s iconic watercolor illustrations. A stop at Shibao Pagoda, built into the side of a steep hill that is now an island as a result of rising waters from the Three Gorges Dam, offers you a colorful encounter with some unusual legends. The Captain’s Farewell Dinner caps off your cruise.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch & Captain's Farewell Dinner
  15. Disembark in Chongqing and transfer to the airport for your flight to Guilin. Poets have long paid tribute to Guilin’s amazing natural beauty, and poetry will come to life in the rainbow-colored stalactites and stalagmites of the Reed Flute Cave. Crystal dragons? Castles? What will you see? Let your imagination roam in this fantastic natural wonder.

    meal(s):Breakfast & Dinner
  16. Chinese poets and painters have celebrated these mist-wreathed peaks that can be found along the Li River. While sailing the Li River, you’ll feel as if time has stood still with quaint villages, fishermen plying the water in tiny boats and grazing water buffalo. Once in Yangshuo, experience a town that has been a leading economic and cultural center since the Tang Dynasty and is now a popular destination for adventure travelers.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  17. Let China’s gentle giants, the pandas, wow you with their smiles at the zoo before tasting history at a plantation that grew tea for Ming emperors. Your next destination: Hong Kong and the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel.

    Note: The Cruise/Tour Manager will not accompany you to Hong Kong. You will have the services of a local expert instead.

    meal(s):Breakfast & Lunch
  18. This vertical city, with its 100-story skyscrapers, never sleeps. Delve into its historic neighborhoods—Victoria Peak, the Aberdeen Fishing Village—and check out bargains at Stanley Market.

  19. Transfer to Hong Kong International Airport for your flight home.


  • All Meals All Meals
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Professional Cruise Management Professional Cruise Management
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • All Gratuities All Gratuities
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • Six-Star Ships Six-Star Ships


  • 17 buffet breakfasts, 10 lunches, 11 dinners
  • Peking Duck lunch in Beijing
  • Dinner is served at the base of the Great Wall with complimentary wine
  • Captain’s Welcome Reception and Farewell Dinner
  • Complimentary house wine, local beers and soft drinks during onboard dinners
  • Special themed meals: hutong family-hosted lunch, traditional dumpling banquet, Tang Dynasty dinner and dim sum lunch


  • 4-night Yangtze River cruise in a riverview Executive Suite with a private balcony onboard the Century Legend*
  • 13 nights in luxury hotels, including buffet breakfast and all service charges, taxes and porterage*
  • Tips for local experts and drivers All transportation throughout your trip, including flights within China
  • All transfers on arrival and departure days


  • 14 days of captivating, fully escorted excursions with English-speaking local experts
  • Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise/ Tour Manager throughout your trip (except in Hong Kong)
  • State-of-the-art portable audio headset system on select excursions throughout your trip


  • Exclusive VIP benefits onboard
  • Group photo at the Great Wall
  • Exciting evening entertainment, including a Tang Dynasty show, Impressions West Lake show in Hangzhou and the Shanghai Acrobats

* Ship and hotels are subject to change.

Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
2 Sep 17 20 Sep 17 $7999pp Request Quote
9 Sep 17 27 Sep 17 $8149pp Request Quote
7 Oct 17 25 Oct 17 $8149pp Request Quote
14 Oct 17 1 Nov 17 $8149pp Request Quote
21 Oct 17 8 Nov 17 $8099pp Request Quote
31 Mar 18 18 Apr 18 $7899pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
7 Apr 18 25 Apr 18 $7999pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
14 Apr 18 2 May 18 $7999pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
28 Apr 18 16 May 18 $7999pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
5 May 18 23 May 18 $8099pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
12 May 18 30 May 18 $8099pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
19 May 18 6 Jun 18 $8099pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
9 Jun 18 27 Jun 18 $7699pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
21 Jul 18 8 Aug 18 $7699pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
4 Aug 18 22 Aug 18 $7699pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
1 Sep 18 19 Sep 18 $8199pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
8 Sep 18 26 Sep 18 $8299pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
15 Sep 18 3 Oct 18 $8299pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
6 Oct 18 24 Oct 18 $8299pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
13 Oct 18 31 Oct 18 $8299pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
20 Oct 18 7 Nov 18 $8299pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote

*Visa required for this trip and must be obtained prior to traveling, call for details.

Order of sightseeing may change throughout the itinerary. Substitute visits to other sites may occur during your trip due to water levels or other uncontrollable factors.

Price shown is per person based on two people sharing a twin bedded Executive Suite. Single rooms are available at a supplement.  Cabin upgrades available at a supplement. Port Charges included.

All inter-trip air related charges in economy class for flights detailed in the day-by- day itinerary are included in the Land Only price shown based on accurate airfare as of June 14, 2016. At the time you purchase your trip the inter-trip air prices may be higher.

Early Booking and Pay in Full Discounts vary based on Stateroom category.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.

Special Discounts and Promotions: At times we offer discounted departures. These discounts are valid for new bookings only and are not combinable with any other discounts other than our Frequent Traveler Discount and $100 AARP Member Discount. Other restrictions may apply, please call for details.

Cancellation Penalties: 90-60 days prior to departure: 35%; 59-30 days prior to departure: 50%; 29-1 days prior to departure: 80%; Day of departure: 100%.

Length: 456 ft / Width: 65 ft / Voltage: 220 volts / Guests: 398 / Staff: 150

Presidential Suites: 2 (1,140 sq ft) / Executive Suites: 23 (415 sq ft) / Rivers: Yangtze River, Li River

The five-star-rated Century Legend is a state-of-the-art ship designed by European architects and shipbuilders specializing in sophisticated marine design. The many defining features of this well-appointed vessel include restaurants, bars, a cinema, indoor pool, fitness center, and onboard spa, as well as Uniworld Signature Suites with balconies and a host of special VIP benefits.

Click HERE to view a PDF of ship facts.


Presidential Suite

Private balcony, cozy sitting area, comfy robes and slippers, fine bath products, satellite TV, individually controlled air-conditioning, and mini bar

Signature Suite

Private balcony, cozy sitting area, comfy robes and slippers, fine bath products, satellite TV, individually controlled air-conditioning, and mini bar

Features & Amenities

Uniworld Signature Suites offer private balconies, cozy sitting areas, robes and slippers, fine bath product, satellite TV, air-conditioning, and mini bar.

This modern ship features two restaurants, including the Executive VIP Restaurant, six-story atrium, multi-function lounge, spa with massage services, sauna, fitness center, pool, cinema, library, boutique and elevator. 





Observation Lounge


  • U.S. citizens traveling to China must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. Travelers visiting China will also need an entry visa.  We will send you application forms to complete to obtain your visa prior to departure. Visa costs and entry requirements can change at any time. Please visit travel.state.gov to learn more.

  • The currency in China is the Renminbi (RMB).  Yuan is the name of a unit of the renminbi currency – something may cost one yuan of 20 yuan.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in China. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • We suggest bringing a variety of comfortable clothes that can be layered to give you many options for how to dress in China’s various climates. A lightweight jacket will come in handy and study walking shows are recommended for sightseeing excursions. Keep in mind that your shoulders and legs should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.


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