China: Life Along the Yangtze

Connections: Authentic A&K small-group travel at unbeatable value

Itinerary

Day 1: ARRIVE IN HONG KONG, CHINA

Arrive in Hong Kong, the City of Lights, where you are met and transferred to your hotel.

InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong
Day 2: HONG KONG / East Meets West

Visit the Dried Food and Herbal Medicine Market in the Western District. Continue to the incense-filled Man Mo Temple and to the Peak Tram for a funicular ride up to Victoria Peak. Enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the city from the observation deck. Later, take a sampan ride through the local floating villages of Aberdeen harbor, where generations of families live on junks (traditional boats). Your afternoon is at leisure; tonight, gather for a welcome dinner.

InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong   |   Meals: B D
Day 3: SHANGHAI / Capital of Style

After breakfast, fly to Shanghai.

Fairmont Peace Hotel   |   Meals: B
Day 4: SHANGHAI / Vibrant Life at the Waterfront

Rise early for a walk to the Bund promenade along the Huangpu River, where you participate in tai chi exercises with a tai chi master. After breakfast at your hotel, explore Shanghai’s old Chinese quarter and the 16th-century Yu Garden, before sipping tea at a local teahouse.

Fairmont Peace Hotel   |   Meals: B D
Day 5: YICHANG / At River’s Edge

Fly from Shanghai to Yichang, where you board Sanctuary ‘Yangzi Explorer.’

Sanctuary 'Yangzi Explorer'   |   Meals: B D
Day 6: THREE GORGES DAM / Feat of Firsts

Visit the Exhibition of the Three Gorges Dam Project for a tour of the area. The largest construction project ever undertaken, the Dam Project stands at 1.2 miles in length and 600 feet high. Tonight, join your captain for a welcome reception before dinner.

Sanctuary 'Yangzi Explorer'   |   Meals: B L D
Day 7: THE THREE GORGES / Legendary Passages

Disembark in bustling Badong and then transfer by ferry to a location where you begin your journey aboard a traditional longboat poled by Tujia boatmen. Unrivaled scenery greets you at the middle course of the Yangtze with crystalline waters, verdant forests and towering rock formations. On your return, sail through the mountainous and unusual Wu Gorge, dramatic Qutang Gorge with its 3,900-foot walls and the majestic cliffs of Kui Men gate.

Sanctuary 'Yangzi Explorer'   |   Meals: B L D
Day 8: FENGDU / Life Along the Yangtze

Depending on water and weather conditions, disembark for a shore excursion in either the village of Fengdu with its market and elaborate Daoist temple, or the mountain city of Wanzhou, known as the gateway to the East Sichuan Basin. Enjoy chatting with locals and gaining insight into the ways of China’s remote communities. Later, return to ‘Yangzi Explorer’ and continue sailing westward.

Sanctuary 'Yangzi Explorer'   |   Meals: B L D
Day 9: XIAN / Double Happiness

Disembark in Chongqing before joining your guide for a tour of the city of and Chongqing Zoo, where you see China’s famous pandas. After lunch, fly to Xian, the ancient eastern terminus of the Silk Road, and transfer to your hotel.

Hilton Xian   |   Meals: B L
Day 10: XIAN / Terra Cotta Warriors

Visit one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century, the Terra Cotta Warriors. See more than 8,000 life-size figures said to represent second-century Chinese military might. Enjoy lunch while watching a noodle-making demonstration. Afterward, stroll through the markets of the old city quarter and see the Chinese architectural style of the exquisite Great Mosque. Visit the Ming-era City Walls as well. Tonight, enjoy a show inspired by Tang Dynasty music and dance.

Hilton Xian   |   Meals: B L D
Day 11: XIAN / Treasures of the Silk Road

This morning, visit the Yangling Museum, which features archaeological finds from Han Dynasty tombs. Fly to Beijing, where you are transferred to your hotel.

Fairmont Beijing   |   Meals: B
Day 12: BEIJING / Heart of the City

Begin at Tiananmen Square, where thousands gather to walk and explore the surrounding monuments. Continue to the Forbidden City, so named because it was barred to all but its emperors and the servants who attended them. The Imperial Palace is a vast complex of halls, pavilions and courtyards, where 24 emperors — aided by their ministers, soldiers and servants — once ruled imperial China for nearly 500 years. Tonight, savor traditional Peking duck at a local restaurant.

Fairmont Beijing   |   Meals: B D
Day 13: BEIJING / Taste of the Ancient Capital

Hop into a pedicab and explore a traditional Beijing neighborhood. Hutongs, winding alleyways that were once the lifeblood of old Beijing, used to number in the thousands; today they are disappearing under urban renewal. Visit a home for a dumpling making lesson and lunch with the family, for an authentic Culinary Connection. Afterward, travel to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China to explore its best-preserved section. Return to Beijing, pausing en route to photograph the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube, fixtures of the 2008 Summer Olympics. This evening, gather for cocktails and a farewell dinner.

Fairmont Beijing   |   Meals: B L D
Day 14: DEPART BEIJING

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Meals: B