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Best of China with Yangtze Cruise

Operated by: Trafalgar

15 Days from $6,212 per person
JAN - DEC 2023
China Yangtze River Boats

Countries Visited

China ...more China

Locations Visited

Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu, Chongqing, Fengdu County, Yichang, Shanghai ...more Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu, Chongqing, Fengdu County, Yichang, Shanghai
  1. Day 1 Say Ni hao to China

    Journey to the “Northern Capital” – a land of emperors, epic monuments and the cultural heart of China. On arrival in Beijing, you’ll be transferred to your hotel where you can relax before meeting your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception drink and local appetisers.

    meals Welcome Reception
    hotel Novotel Peace
  2. Day 2 Journey to the Great Wall

    Visit the iconic Great Wall of China at Juyongguan this morning – its stone ramparts and walls snaking thousands of miles into the distance to defend the empire against nomadic invaders since 5th century B.C. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure and this evening for dinner indulge in a Regional Dinner of succulent Peking Duck – a must during any visit to Beijing.

    meals Breakfast, Regional Dinner
    hotel Novotel Peace
  3. Day 3 Discover the Icons of Beijing

    Surround yourself with the grandeur of Beijing’s landmark Great Hall of the People, Qianmen Gate and the mausoleum of Mao Zedong as you walk through one of the world’s largest public areas, Tiananmen Square. Delve into China’s imperial heritage, passing the south gate into the frozen-in-time Forbidden City – once home to emperors and their households and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After lunch, indulge in a relaxing foot massage at the Foot Reflexology Centre to ease you into an evening at leisure or consider joining an Optional Experience.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch
    hotel Novotel Peace
  4. Day 4 Explore Beijing's hutong and onwards to Xi'an Connect with Locals

    Navigate the ancient alleyways of the courtyard Hutong residences, weaving through lively neighbourhoods on the back of a traditional rickshaw. Stop at the home of a local family where you’ll Connect With Locals, enjoying a Be My Guest lunch of traditional Chinese cuisine, then visit a nearby tea house. Here, you’ll delve into the art of chayi, joining a Local Specialist who’ll share first-hand the age-old ritual of tea-making. Leave Beijing behind, bound for Xi’an, an ancient departure point on the Silk Road.

    meals Breakfast, Be My Guest
    hotel Wyndham Grand Xi'an South
  5. Day 5 Marvel at the legendary Terracotta Warriors Make Travel Matter

    Engage with the children and teachers of a local primary school (during term-time) where you will learn a few words of Chinese and MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® by donating much-needed supplies. Next, descend into the subterranean tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang to view his legendary army of Terracotta Warriors and Horses, followed by a delicious traditional meal of Chinese noodles. Your final stop today is to a Jade factory where you’ll admire the favoured stone of emperors, more precious to the Chinese people than gold.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch
    hotel Wyndham Grand Xi'an South
  6. Day 6 Take the bullet train to Chengdu Dive Into Culture

    This morning, your choice of activities gives you an opportunity to join a Local Specialist in their T'ai Chi practice or embark on a cycle tour around part of the ancient City Wall of Xi'an. Get stuck in to the ancient art of dumpling making next, with an opportunity to sample the juicy results for lunch, then transfer to the railway station for your high-speed bullet train trip to Chengdu. On arrival in the hometown of the giant panda, you’ll check in to your hotel and savour the leisurely pace of local life on your terms.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch
    hotel Crowne Plaza City Centre
  7. Day 7 See the Giant Pandas of China Make Travel Matter

    Witness the ground-breaking work being done by the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding this morning. Join a Local Specialist and learn how this MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience supports the non-profit research breeding facility which rescues and protects the endangered giant panda, of which fewer than 2,000 remain. Afterwards return to your hotel for an afternoon at leisure.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch
    hotel Crowne Plaza City Centre
  8. Day 8 Discover the cuisine of Sichuan Dive Into Culture

    Indulge in the bold and spicy flavours of local cuisine as you Dive Into Culture and learn about regional cooking practices at the Museum of Sichuan Cuisine. Learn how to crush chilli into powder using a Qing Dynasty pestle and mortar, then view ancient kitchenware, books and manuscripts faithfully recording the history of Sichuan culinary cultures. Immerse yourself in the intoxicating scents wafting through Restaurant Alley then, pay tribute to the Kitchen God before attempting to create your own culinary magic with the guidance of a local chef. Stomach and soul sated after a delicious encounter with Chengdu, you’ll have an afternoon to relax, explore further or perhaps take the opportunity to do some shopping.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch
    hotel Crowne Plaza City Centre
  9. Day 9 Board your Yangtze River Cruise

    Rub shoulders with the locals during a visit to People’s Park with its beautiful Chinese gardens, lake and tea houses. Gain insights into the day-to-day lives of the locals who spend their free time in tranquil surrounds indulging in a leisurely game of mah-jong, a quiet nap or neck massage. Venture to lively Jinli Old Street next, crossing beneath the imposing archway into a world of intricate handicraft, paintings and calligraphy. Stroll along the narrow street whose façades were modelled on the architectural style of a traditional old town in western Sichuan Province, then transfer to the railway station for a high-speed bullet train ride to Chongqing. Here, you’ll enjoy a city orientation tour with dinner before boarding your Yangtze River Cruise.

    meals Breakfast, Regional Dinner
    hotel Victoria Jenna, Victoria Sabrina
  10. Day 10 Cruise the Great Yangtze River

    Disembark this morning for a short visit to Shibaozhai to admire its 12-storey cliff-top temple, built in the 19th century. Stretch your legs and climb up to the temple, tackling the red pavilion which leans against the side of the steep peak, now an island due to the rising waters of the Three Gorges Dam. Return to the Yangtze, cruising to Fengdu’s ‘Ghost City’ to explore the mystical shrines, temples and monasteries that are dedicated to the afterlife.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    hotel Victoria Jenna, Victoria Sabrina
  11. Day 11 Sail through the imposing Three Gorges

    Connect with your exquisite natural surrounds as you cruise gently down the Yangtze to the imposing Three Gorges. Squeeze through the narrow Qutang Gorge, admiring its dramatic vistas, before your journey takes you through Wu Gorge, renowned for its quiet beauty, forest-clad mountains, and cliffs so sheer the sun barely penetrates their precipices and finally, Xiling Gorge. A small motor boat will ferry you through the magical landscape of the Goddess Stream, a tributary of the Yangtze – its limestone cliffs covered in greenery provide a tranquil backdrop for your relaxing encounter with this mighty river.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    hotel Victoria Jenna, Victoria Sabrina
  12. Day 12 Onwards to Shanghai

    View the engineering marvel that is the world's largest hydroelectric project, the Three Gorges Dam, before disembarking your cruise ship and transferring to the airport for your flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival into China's biggest city, check into your hotel and spend the remainder of the day at leisure.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel The Kunlun Jing'An
  13. Day 13 Discover Vibrant Shanghai Dive Into Culture

    Shanghai’s famous ‘Bund’ waterfront is the first stop on a day of sightseeing with a Local Specialist. Admire the ornate neoclassical colonial buildings and skyscrapers that have sprung up from this former marshland, then Dive Into Culture during a visit to a silk museum. Embrace the tranquillity of the famous Yu Garden next, with its pavilions, halls, rockeries, ponds and cloisters. Then, enjoy some free time for a local lunch of soup dumplings perhaps and shopping in the Old Town, a treasure trove of winding streets and vibrant markets that was once enclosed by the ancient walled city of Shanghai. Our final stop this afternoon is a visit to the Jade Buddha Temple, built in 1928 after the original temple was destroyed during the revolution that overthrew the Qing Dynasty. Admire the beauty of its precious jade Buddha statues made out of crystal-clear white jade, before you settle into an evening performance by the world-renowned Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel The Kunlun Jing'An
  14. Day 14 More Treasures of Shanghai

    Ascend to the 88-storey Jin Mao Tower for panoramic views of the skyscrapers that loom over the most populous city on earth. Then embark on a walking tour with a Local Specialist through the Shanghai French Concession, for an exhilarating encounter with the opulent age of French colonial China. Wander through the narrow alleyways, past elegant villas and apartments dating back to the early 1900s when the territory was proclaimed a French settlement. Later this morning, you’ll see where the First Conference of the Communist Party took place in Xin Tian Di, whose charming antique façades hide a 21st century world of bars, cafés, boutiques and theme restaurants. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure, letting the sights and sounds of Shanghai infuse every sense or consider joining an Optional Experience. Say a fond farewell to newfound friends this evening during a Farewell Dinner.

    meals Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
    hotel The Kunlun Jing'An
  15. Day 15 Farewell to China

    Our epic encounter with China at its end, take a transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

    meals Breakfast
Best China Yangtze Cruise Guided Tour Map
Price Includes

Whats Included

  • An expert Travel Director and professional Driver
  • Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
  • All porterage and restaurant gratuities
  • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
  • Breakfast daily and up to half of your evening meals
  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
  • Audio headsets for flexible sightseeing
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
  • Optional Experiences and free time
  • Flight from Beijing to Xi'an and Yichang to Shanghai.

Dining Summary

  • 1 Welcome Reception (WR)
  • 14 Breakfast (B)
  • 2 Regional Dinner (RD)
  • 7 Lunch (L)
  • 1 Be My Guest (BMG)
  • 2 Dinner (D)
  • 1 Farewell Dinner (FD)

Be My Guest

  • Beijing: Visit and have lunch with a local family in their home in one of Beijing's hutongs and gain a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse into their lifestyle.

Dive Into Culture

  • Beijing: Indulge in a foot massage at the Foot Reflexology Centre.
  • Xi'an: Discover the traditions and techniques of dumpling making, indulging in an opportunity to sample them.
  • Chengdu: Learn about Sichuan cuisine at a cooking class in Chengdu and taste some of your creations.

Iconic Experience

  • Great Wall of China: Visit the Great Wall of China to marvel at the historical and physical prominence of this renowned landmark.
  • Beijing: Gain insights into this fascinating city during a sightseeing tour of Beijing. See the Great Hall of the People and Tiananmen Square before stepping through the south gate of the Forbidden City.
  • Beijing: Hop on a traditional rickshaw and weave through Beijing's ancient alleyways.
  • Fortifications of Xian: Visit the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang and see the terracotta warriors.
  • Xi'an: Visit a jade factory to admire the "imperial gem" and marvel at the mineral's historic value.
  • Chengdu: During your orientation of Chengdu, visit People’s Park and experience the energy of Jinli Old Street.
  • : Enjoy an introductory orientation of Chongqing prior to boarding your river cruise.
  • : Visit the cliff-top temple Shibaozhai.
  • Fengdu Ghost City: See the mystical Ghost City of Fengdu and visit its shrines, temples and monasteries dedicated to the afterlife.
  • Yangtze: Cruise on a small motorboat through the magical landscape of the Goddess Stream.
  • Shanghai: Join your Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour of Shanghai. See the famous Bund waterfront and Yu Garden.
  • Shanghai: Enjoy a performance by the world-famous Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe.
  • Shanghai: Visit Jin Mao Tower and take in panoramic views of Shanghai from 88 floors up.
  • Shanghai: Join a Local Specialist for a walking tour through the Shanghai French Concession and Xin Tian Di district.

MAKE TRAVEL MATTER®

  • Xi'an: In Xi'an, you'll get to know the students and teachers at a local primary school, where Trafalgar donates much-needed supplies. Find out how your visit helps support their education in the local community.
  • Chengdu: At the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, learn how your visit contributes to their conservation efforts to rescue and protect the endangered giant panda of which fewer than 2,000 remain.

Must-see Highlights

  • : Explore Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu and Shanghai
  • : Visit the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City in Beijing, the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an, the Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Chengdu, and the 'Bund' waterfront, Jade Buddha Temple and Jinmao Tower in Shanghai
  • : See local people practicing T'ai Chi in the morning, the Three Gorges Dam and the Shanghai Acrobats
  • : Cruise the Yangtze River and the Three Gorges

Whats Included

  • : An expert Travel Director and professional Driver
  • : Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
  • : All porterage and restaurant gratuities
  • : All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
  • : Breakfast daily and up to half of your evening meals
  • : Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
  • : Audio headsets for flexible sightseeing
  • : Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
  • : Optional Experiences and free time
  • : Flight from Beijing to Xi'an and Yichang to Shanghai.

Dates & Prices

Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.

Online Booking Process

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April 2023
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May 2023
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June 2023
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July 2023
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DOUBLE OCCUPANCY PRICE/PERSON
$6,825 $6,212 Save $613
LIMITED TIME OFFER
AARP Members Save up to $100
Jul 16 Sun
Jul 30 Sun
AARP Members Save up to $100
DOUBLE OCCUPANCY PRICE/PERSON
$6,825 $6,212 Save $613
LIMITED TIME OFFER
AARP Members Save up to $100
Jul 30 Sun
Aug 13 Sun
AARP Members Save up to $100
DOUBLE OCCUPANCY PRICE/PERSON
$6,825 $6,212 Save $613
LIMITED TIME OFFER
August 2023
AARP Members Save up to $100
Aug 27 Sun
Sep 10 Sun
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DOUBLE OCCUPANCY PRICE/PERSON
$7,125 $6,482 Save $643
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September 2023
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Sep 17 Sun
Oct 1 Sun
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October 2023
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