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Highlights of China & the Yangtze

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Comfortable
Century Legend
Tour Style: Boutique River Cruises
12 Days from $4,799 per person

Take a step back in time 5,000 years or a leap forward into the future.

Journey through a land of contrasts—skyscrapers and ancient temples, serene gardens and bustling city streets—to discover the heart of this ever-changing country. From China’s staggering architectural monuments—the Forbidden City, Summer Palace and Great Wall—to the natural beauty of the Yangtze River’s Three Gorges, this itinerary introduces a discerning traveler to China’s highlights.

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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 Ritz-Carlton, a luxury oasis in the heart of Beijing.

  3. FEATURED EXCURSIONS: The imperial heritage of China's capital: Forbidden City and Peking Duck lunch

    Delve into the grandeur of imperial China on your first full day in Beijing. Tiananmen Square, the center of modern-day civic life in the city, is your gateway to the Forbidden City, the vast complex of palaces, gardens and offices that housed China’s emperors for 500 years. Here bureaucrats and concubines schemed for power and artisans created treasures of the Qing and Ming dynasties. Savor a treasure of a different kind over lunch—Peking Duck, served to emperors since the 13th century—and wonder at the Temple of Heaven, a UNESCO-designated site where the emperors performed the rituals that guaranteed the empire’s safety. (Uniworld has arranged a surprise here that lets you experience a cherished local custom.)

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch
  4. FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Culture, history and intrigue: pandas, hutongs, teahouse and Welcome Dinner at the base of the Great Wall

    Start the day with smiles from the giant pandas at the zoo before exploring the labyrinthine alleyways of the residential neighborhoods—known as the hutongs—dating back 500 years. Explore the area near the Forbidden City, first via rickshaw and then by sitting down for lunch with a local family. Two towers mark the neighborhood; one, a 600-year-old bell tower, hosts a traditional tea ceremony that will remind you of tea’s central place in China’s culture. Cap off your day with another unforgettable highlight: the Great Wall, the legendary ramparts that protected 4,000 miles of China’s ancient borders—followed by a Welcome Dinner with complimentary wine at the base of the Great Wall itself.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Welcome Dinner
  5. FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Grace and art—Beijing’s Summer Palace and Xi’an’s traditional dumpling banquet

    Emperors fled the summer heat to relax by the shores of Kunming Lake, where they created a Qing Dynasty garden that embodies the highest achievement in Chinese landscape design. Stroll the inviting Long Corridor, admiring the bridges and temples that adorn the man-made lake, and drift over its peaceful waters in a boat that offers ravishing views. Empress Cixi’s (the Holy Mother) marble boat, “moored” on the lake, is the only sign the lake ever had a naval function, though legend says that Emperor Qianlong observed naval maneuvers on it. 

    From Beijing, you’ll fly to the ancient capital of Xi’an, where you’ll settle into the serene Shangri-La Xi’an hotel and enjoy a traditional dumpling banquet.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Dinner
  6. FEATURED EXCURSIONS: China’s first capital—Terra-cotta Army, Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Tang Dynasty dinner show

    Twenty-two centuries ago, Emperor Qin Shi Huang unified a huge swath of the country (and gave it his name)—and he intended to keep what he conquered, even in the afterlife. He created an astonishing Terra-cotta Army to guard his tomb, which laid undisturbed until the 20th century. Only about 8,000 of the UNESCO-designated Terracotta Warriors and Horses have been excavated, and they still stand in battle formation to face his long-dead enemies at the museum dedicated to this amazing archaeological discovery. From the battlefields, seek peace and pleasure at the serene seven-story Big Wild Goose Pagoda, sacred to Buddhists since the seventh century; legend states if you throw a coin through the pagoda’s windows, it will bring you good luck—give it a try. A lovely traditional dinner and a cultural performance that re-creates the music, folk dances and gorgeous silk costumes of the Tang Dynasty provide the perfect ending to a day in China’s ancient capital.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  7. Cherished for 10,000 years, jade is valued for both its intrinsic beauty and its symbolic meaning. Watch artisans carving intricate designs. Transfer to the airport and fly to Chongqing, where you’ll board your ship and settle into your Executive Suite.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Dinner
  8. FEATURED EXCURSION: The Three Gorges—the Yangtze’s fairytale landscape

    Limestone cliffs sheathed in greenery loom above the water; mountains wreathed in mist tower in the distance; every view of the Three Gorges is a picture straight out of China’s iconic watercolor illustrations—breathtaking, ethereal and unforgettable. 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. Later, enjoy the Captain’s Welcome Reception with complimentary wine, giving you a chance to mingle with your fellow passengers.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  9. FEATURED EXCURSION: The magical Goddess Stream

    Float through one of the world’s most exquisite landscapes: The pristine turquoise waters of the Goddess Stream shimmer and bubble around your small boat and sheer cliffs rise high overhead. The day offers one of China’s most amazing contrasts, for your ship will leave these peaceful waters to navigate the enormous Three Gorges Dam locks. Bid adieu to the river with a Farewell Dinner.

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

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Farewell Dinner
  10. FEATURED EXCURSION: Powering China's Future - Three Gorges Dam

    The world’s largest hydroelectric project,  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 the landscape, but its scale is a tribute to the nation’s ambition. Later, catch a flight to Shanghai, where your elegant room at the Fairmont Peace Hotel awaits.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch
  11. FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Spectacular skyscrapers, famous dim sum and acrobats

    Past, present and future combine on the exciting, busy streets of Shanghai. Astonishing skyscrapers soar far overhead, and the Bund, Shanghai’s famed waterfront promenade, reminds you that this city, once known as the “Paris of the Orient,” was the West’s gateway to China. Do a little last-minute shopping while taking in the spectacular views. Could you leave China without a traditional dim sum lunch? It’s waiting for you at your hotel. Cap off your journey with one last highlight experiencing spinning plates, flying knives and whirling Hula-Hoops as agile acrobats dance across swaying tightropes and perform death-defying leaps as the famous Shanghai acrobatic troupe performs their gravity-defying routines.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch
  12. Transfer to the airport for your flight home, or continue your adventure with a memorable optional extension in Hong Kong.

    meal(s):Continental Breakfast/Buffet

  • 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


  • 10 buffet breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners
  • Peking Duck lunch in Beijing
  • Captain’s Welcome Reception and Farewell Dinner
  • Complimentary house wine, local beers and soft drinks during onboard dinner


  • 4-night Yangtze River cruise in a riverview Executive Suite with a private balcony onboard the Century Legend
  • 6 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


  • 8 days of captivating, fully escorted excursions with English-speaking local experts
  • Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise/ Tour Manager throughout your trip
  • State-of-the-art portable audio headset system on select excursions throughout your trip
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
1 Apr 18 12 Apr 18 $4999pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
8 Apr 18 19 Apr 18 $5099pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
15 Apr 18 26 Apr 18 $5099pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
29 Apr 18 10 May 18 $5399pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
6 May 18 17 May 18 $5399pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
13 May 18 24 May 18 $5399pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
20 May 18 31 May 18 $5399pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
3 Jun 18 14 Jun 18 $4899pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
17 Jun 18 28 Jun 18 $4899pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
1 Jul 18 12 Jul 18 $4799pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
8 Jul 18 19 Jul 18 $4799pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
22 Jul 18 2 Aug 18 $4799pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
5 Aug 18 16 Aug 18 $4799pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
12 Aug 18 23 Aug 18 $4799pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
26 Aug 18 6 Sep 18 $4799pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
2 Sep 18 13 Sep 18 $5399pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
9 Sep 18 20 Sep 18 $5399pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
16 Sep 18 27 Sep 18 $5399pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
7 Oct 18 18 Oct 18 $5399pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
14 Oct 18 25 Oct 18 $5399pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote
21 Oct 18 1 Nov 18 $5399pp Early PaymentSave 10%, Ends SEPT 30 Request Quote

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 Stateroom and cruise in category 5 Cabin. Single rooms are available at a supplement.  Cabin upgrades available at a supplement. Port Charges included.

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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