China’s longest river, the Yangtze snakes its way across almost 6,400km from the eastern fringes of the Tibetan Plateau, traversing some of the most spectacular vistas in the country and an area where the pace of village living remains untouched, to the glittering lights of Shanghai. This tour encapsulates the essence of China, with the highlight of 3 nights afloat on one of the world’s greatest rivers.
Depart Heathrow on your overnight direct flight to Beijing with Air China.
Arrive in Beijing to be met by your local English speaking tour guide and transfer to the Beijing International Hotel for 3 nights. Rest of your day at leisure.
Have a morning Tai Chi lesson – the traditional Chinese hard and soft martial art technique – followed by a visit to the Temple of Heaven, China’s largest sacrificial building symbolising the relationship between heaven and earth and deftly illustrates the evolution of one of the Earth’s greatest civilisations. Finish the day at the Forbidden City, the iconic Chinese imperial palace from the Ming and Qing dynasty and walk in Tiananmen Square. (B/L)
A full day excursion to the Great Wall – undulating across some 5,000km, a symbol of power steeped in the history of countless generations. The Mutianyu section is one of the best preserved parts of the Great Wall. In the evening you have the opportunity to have an authentic Peking Duck dinner. (B/L/D)
In the morning, visit the Summer Palace, an oasis of serenity away from the bustling centre of Beijing, and described as the best-preserved imperial garden in the world. Afternoon flight to Xi’an, stay 2 nights in the Jianguo Hotel. (B/L)
Visit the world-famous Terracotta Warriors, one of the greatest archaeological excavations of our time. Each of the life-size warrior statues is unique with differing armoury and clothing. Over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 670 horses are believed to have been buried and many have been excavated today. As you will walk around the pits containing the excavated soldiers you can wonder at the artistry and sheer numbers constructed to guard the tomb of the Emperor Qin Shi Huang. (B/L)
In the morning fly to Chengdu where you will visit the Panda Breeding Centre to watch these endangered creatures feeding and playing. Dinner is a local Sichuan meal and overnight accommodation is at the Tianfu Sunshine Hotel. (B/L/D)
Take the fast train to Chongqing and if time permits enjoy a tour of the old town with many scenic and historic spots dating back 3,000 years ago. Transfer to the MV President Prime cruise ship for 3 nights. The boat will sail from Chongqing later this evening. (B/L/D)
Cruising along the mighty Yangtze, admire the breathtaking scenery. Today there will be an excursion to the Shibaozhai Pagoda. Rich in Chinese folklore stating the city is home to devils, it is however undeniably beautiful and an intrinsic part of China's unparalleled history. Return to the boat and continue your relaxing journey towards the famed Three Gorges and the most impressive stretch of river. (B/L/D)
Today you will continue cruising further along the Yangtze, passing by the Qutang Gorges and the Wu Gorge before taking an excursion through the Shennong Stream – this is a nature reserve with unspoiled scenery and crystal blue waters. Afterwards enter Xiling Gorge, the last of the magnificent gorges. In the evening sail through the Three Gorges Dam ship lock, one of the highlights of your cruise. (B/L/D)
In the morning visit the spectacle of the huge Three Gorges Dam. ‘The Big Dam Project’ completed in 2006 is the world’s largest electricity generating plant of any kind. Later in the morning disembark in Yichang, from where you will fly to Shanghai. Transfer to the Holiday Inn Vista Hotel for 2 nights. (B/L)
Morning sightseeing including the Shanghai Museum – home to some of the most accomplished works of ancient Chinese art and cultural relics. Visit the Bund district, the city’s famous riverside boulevard, lined with former colonial buildings and modern sky-scrapers, enjoy a walk around the Yu Garden, a classic Chinese Garden. (B/L)
Transfer to the airport for your return Virgin Atlantic flight to London Heathrow, arriving late afternoon. (B)
Please note the above price is a guide only as the final price is dependent on flight availability at the time of booking. Please call our travel experts on 0844 417 3382 for our latest prices and offers. Prices shown are per person based on 2 people sharing a twin room. Single room and flight upgrade prices available at a supplement. The prices shown includes any applicable saving mentioned.
Group departure dates:
2013: 14 May, 11 Jun, 09 Jul, 06 Aug, 03 Sep, 08 Oct
Please note this tour is subject to minimum numbers. Please call our travel experts on 0844 417 3382 for prices on a specific departure.
If you would like a more tailored itinerary that suits your requirements then please call our travel experts on 0844 417 3382 who can create your own holiday.