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China & the Yangtze

Day 1: Arrive Beijing, China

Arrive in the capital city of Beijing, China’s longtime seat of power, where you are transferred to your luxurious hotel.

Four Seasons Hotel Beijing

Day 2: Beijing | View the World from the Great Wall

In late morning, after your welcome briefing, travel to the well-preserved Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China. Enjoy lunch before walking or riding a cable car to the top to take in sweeping views of the surrounding, forested countryside. After experiencing this true wonder of the world, return to Beijing. Tonight, gather for a special welcome dinner at your hotel.

Four Seasons Hotel Beijing   |   Meals: B L D

Day 3: Beijing | China’s Dynastic Capital

Start the day with a tai chi class taught by a master instructor at the ancient Temple of Heaven, the single most beautiful example of classical Ming period architecture. Then, Ride Like a Local on a pedicab through a hutong, a vast yet intimate neighborhood of small winding alleyways. After lunch, explore the imperial grandeur of the Forbidden City and take in the sweep of history in Tiananmen Square.

Four Seasons Hotel Beijing   |   Meals: B L

Day 4: Xian | Key to the Great Silk Road

Fly to Xian, a modern city cloaked in over 3,000 years of history. Once the most eastern stop on the Great Silk Road, Xian is a melting pot of Middle Eastern and Asian influences. Upon arriving, enjoy lunch, and then make an authentic Market Visit to the old city quarter with its teeming markets and beautiful Great Mosque, a 14th-century national heritage site. A blend of classic Chinese temple architecture and central Asian embellishments make it one of the most fascinating sites in Xian.

Shangri-La Hotel, Xian   |   Meals: B L D

Day 5: Xian | Terra Cotta Warriors, Army for the Afterlife

Today, accompanied by an on-site archaeologist, visit the excavation site of the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses, the life-size army created during the Qin Dynasty to protect Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor, in his afterlife. More than 8,000 soldiers are spread throughout three dig pits, each revealing a unique face, testifying to the remarkable craftsmanship that went into making them. Then, enjoy a Chef’s Table noodlemaking demonstration followed by lunch. Later, enter the Ancient Gate of Xian’s impressive City Wall with the option to cycle or stroll along its ramparts.

Shangri-La Hotel, Xian   |   Meals: B L

Day 6: Chengdu | Treasures of the Han Dynasty

This morning, enjoy a special tour of the Yangling Museum to view its Restoration Lab and recent discoveries from Han Dynasty tombs. This afternoon, fly to Chengdu, the charming capital of Sichuan Province.

Shangri-La Hotel, Chengdu   |   Meals: B D

Day 7: Chengdu | Behold the Giant Buddha

Today, journey off the beaten path to the relaxed riverside city of Leshan, where a private boat ride carries you before the 1,300-year-old, stone-carved Leshan Giant Buddha. At 233 feet tall, it is the largest stone Buddha statue in the world.

Shangri-La Hotel, Chengdu   |   Meals: B L

Day 8: Chengdu to Chongqing | Pandas and a Bullet Train

Board a high-speed train for a ride through the Chinese countryside to Chongqing, where you embark your boutique luxury river cruiser, ‘Yangzi Explorer,’ for a three-night journey to Yichang. Settle into your cabin as the ship sails downstream to the stunning Three Gorges region. Tonight, watch a fascinating documentary on the Three Gorges Dam Project in the ship’s Tang Theater.

This morning, visit the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center. This A&K Philanthropy-supported project affords you the unforgettable opportunity to come face to face with the pandas roaming freely in their natural habitat.

Sanctuary 'Yangzi Explorer'   |   Meals: B L D

Day 9: Cruising the Yangtze | Asia’s Great River

Start your morning with traditional Chinese exercise and work up an appetite for the buffet breakfast. Discover the authentic method of preparing tea in China and, later, learn to make dumplings with the ship’s onboard chef. This afternoon, disembark and enjoy a shore excursion to Fengdu, where you take in local life on a visit to a village relocated to make way for the Three Gorges Dam Project. Meet with a local family, visit a kindergarten and enjoy a kaleidoscope of images in the farmers market. Attend the Captain’s Reception tonight, followed by a welcome dinner.

Sanctuary 'Yangzi Explorer'   |   Meals: B L D

Day 10: The Three Gorges | China’s Ultimate Scenery

Early this morning, ‘Yangzi Explorer’ navigates the Qutang and Wu Gorges before anchoring at Badong, where you board a private ferry and travel up the Shennong Stream. Transfer to local “pea pod” boats poled by Tujia boatmen to view the scenic Bamboo Gorge. The Tujia are members of a local minority culture famed for their boat-building skills and keen knowledge of the Yangtze. Later, try your hand at Chinese calligraphy. Tonight, savor a “Taste of China” dinner, followed by onboard entertainment.

Sanctuary 'Yangzi Explorer'   |   Meals: B L D

Day 11: Yichang to Shanghai | Disembark 'Yangzi Explorer'

Arrive at the Three Gorges Project Dam Site and Exhibition Center to learn the history and capacity of the world’s largest dam, including the story of the resettlement of the 1.2 million residents of the cities submerged behind the 600-foot-tall engineering marvel. Disembark in Yichang around midday, fly to Shanghai and transfer to your elegant hotel located on the city’s historic Bund.

The Peninsula Shanghai   |   Meals: B L

Day 12: Shanghai | Pearl of the Orient

Explore dynamic and energetic Shanghai, where spectacular modern skylines meet with classic street markets and gardens. Contrast this experience with a visit to the charming rural village of Zhujiajiao, a traditional water village harkening back to China’s past, and glide through its main canal on a sampan. This evening, enjoy a relaxing rooftop Scenic Sundowner, gazing out at the spectacular nighttime display of colorful city lights. Later, attend a performance by the Shanghai Acrobatics Troupe, which thrills and amazes with dazzling feats of strength, balance and athleticism.

The Peninsula Shanghai   |   Meals: B

Day 13: Shanghai | Life on the Bund

This morning, stroll the streets of Old Town and visit the 16th-century Yu Garden with its pavilions and streams. Walk the Bund, Shanghai’s most popular promenade. This afternoon, explore studios and galleries in the M-50 Contemporary Art District on an Artisan Visit, then gather tonight for a festive farewell dinner.

The Peninsula Shanghai   |   Meals: B L D

Day 14: Depart Shanghai

After breakfast, transfer to the airport to depart for home or begin a Hong Kong Post-Tour Extension.

Meals: B

5 Things That Will Surprise You in China | From Beijing to Shanghai, ancient and modern still collide in five magical places. Read more on A&K's blog

Suite Upgrade Package | Upgrade to suites at all hotels throughout your journey from $2,125.

Extend Your Journey | Enhance your journey with a post-tour extension to Hong Kong (3 days, from $1,395).

Family Departure | This itinerary is also available as a family adventure, with child pricing and child-friendly programming and activities.

Take This Journey Private | This itinerary is also available as an independent journey, Signature China & the Yangtze, with A&K local guides.

Customize This Journey | If you would like to customize this itinerary and create a Tailor Made Journey just for you and your companions, click here to inquire, or speak to your travel professional.

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Luxury Small Group Journeys 2016 Brochure

Luxury Small Group Journeys 2016

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