Visiting:Beijing(3 nts) - Xian(2 nts) - Chongqing - Yangtze River Cruise(3 nts) - Yichang - Shanghai(2 nts) 

An ideal introduction to China's most famous cities, this program is highlighted by a breathtaking cruise along the majestic Yangtze River. Explore the extraordinary variety of China's landscapes on a journey through the stunningly scenic Three Gorges, the ancient wonders of Beijing and Xian and the exhilarating metropolis of Shanghai.

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Itinerary Date/Pricing Features Hotel Extension Optionals

Day 1   |  Arrive-Beijing 

Our voyage to China and the mysterious Yangtze River begins as we arrive in Beijing. Check in to our hotel and spend the remainder of the day free at leisure.

Day 2   |  Beijing  (AB, L)

The nation s capital boasts a rich history spanning more than 3000 years. Explore the city s extraordinary heritage on a city tour beginning with a walk through Tiananmen Square, named for its Gate of Heavenly Peace. Walk past Chairman Mao s Memorial Hall and arrive at the Forbidden City, an enormous palace complex and the former imperial seat until 1912. Continue to visit the stunning Summer Palace and then drive by the 2008 Olympics Bird s Nest and Water Cube. This evening we may enjoy one of Beijing s culinary specialties – an optional Peking Duck banquet.

Day 3   |  Beijing  (AB, L)

The legendary Great Wall of China has long been a symbol of the country s strength and pride. Trek across its ancient steps and enjoy the sweeping views of the wall as it snakes across sprawling mountains and valleys. Continue to visit the Sacred Way, a “divine road” lined with intricately carved stone statues which leads us to the 13 Imperial Ming Mausoleums.

Day 4   |  Beijing-Xian  (AB, DP)

Before flying to Xian we visit the Temple of Heaven, a massive complex frequented by emperors for annual ceremonies of prayer. The temple was constructed to be three times larger than the Forbidden Palace, since the emperors dared not build their residence larger than a dwelling for Heaven. Later in the day we board a short flight to the "Eternal City" of Xian, regarded as one of the birthplaces of ancient Chinese civilization. Tonight we enjoy Xian s famous dumplings at an Imperial Dumpling Party.

Day 5   |  Xian  (AB, L, DS)

Though blessed with an abundance of cultural and historical treasures, the Terra-Cotta Warriors remain Xian s star attraction. Walk through the underground pits and admire the life-sized funereal honor guard, which stands in ranks near the tomb of Emperor Qin Shih Huang. During lunch we enjoy an authentic noodle-making demonstration and continue on to visit the Ming Dynasty City Wall and the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. In the evening we gather for dinner followed by a Tang Dynasty Show.

Day 6   |  Xian-Chongqing-Yangtze River Cruise  (AB, L, D)

Board a flight to Chongqing, a scenic cliff-side city that overlooks the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing Rivers. After a brief city tour we head to Chonqing Zoo to see the world-famous pandas, and then we drive to the docks to board our cruise ship for our Yangtze River adventure.

Day 7   |  Yangtze River Cruise  (B, L, D)

Arrive at our first shore excursion at the "ghost city" of Fengdu. With a history of nearly 2000 years, Fengdu is filled with temples and shrines dedicated to the gods of the underworld. Return aboard the ship for dinner and evening cruising.

Day 8   |  Yangtze River Cruise  (B, L, D)

Today we approach one of China s most globally recognized icons, the Three Gorges. Sail through Qutang Gorge, the shortest and narrowest of the three, followed by the 25-mile long Wu Gorge. Admire the serene beauty of its mountains and sheer limestone cliffs, then board a smaller vessel to access the dramatic Lesser Gorges. Return aboard the ship and sail through Xiling Gorge, the longest and deepest of the Three Gorges. This evening we sail through the Three Gorges Dam ship lock systems.

Day 9   |  Yangtze River Cruise-Yichang-Shanghai  (B, L)

Disembark at Sandouping Village, the site of the Three Gorges Dam, and learn more about the construction of the world s largest hydroelectric dam. This multibillion-dollar effort aims to provide a new source of energy to China and its construction has forever changed the landscape of the Yangtze River valley. Return aboard our ship and sail to our final destination of Yichang, where we disembark and board a flight to Shanghai.

Day 10   |  Shanghai  (AB, DS)

One of China s most vital shipping ports, Shanghai possesses an intriguing blend of Eastern and Western influences. Sightseeing today takes us to the renowned classical garden, Yu Garden, followed by a walk along the elegant waterfront boulevard known as the Bund. Enjoy the sweeping views of Shanghai s futuristic skyline and then drive by Nanjing Road. This evening we attend a performance by the world-famous Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe.

Day 11   |  Shanghai  (AB)

Our vacation comes to an end as we board our homebound flight, arriving in the US later the same day. We can also make the most of our trip by adding on an optional extension to fascinating city of Taipei.
AB = Full American Breakfast  B = Breakfast at hotel or on cruise
L = Lunch  LH = Lunch at hotel
D = Dinner at Local Restaurant  DH = International Buffet Dinner at Hotel  DP = Special Dinner Party  
DS = Dinner and show