China & the Yangtze (2015)

Luxury Small Group Journeys: The finest small-group travel experience

Limited to 18 guests
Days: 14  |  From: $6,995


Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Beijing, China

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

Four Seasons Hotel Beijing

Day 2: Beijing | The Great Wall

This morning, walk or ride a cable car to the top of the well-preserved Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China, enjoying sweeping views of the surrounding, forested countryside. After experiencing this true wonder of the world, the rest of your day is at leisure. Tonight, gather for a special welcome dinner at your hotel.

Four Seasons Hotel Beijing   |   Meals: B L D

Day 3: Beijing | 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. Afterward, Ride Like a Local on a pedicab through a historic hutong, a vast yet intimate neighborhood of small winding alleyways. After lunch, spend the afternoon exploring the imperial grandeur of the Forbidden City and taking in the sweep of history in Tiananmen Square.

Four Seasons Hotel Beijing   |   Meals: B L

Day 4: Xian | The Great Silk Road

Fly to Xian, a modern city cloaked in over 3,000 years of history. Once the last stop on the Great Silk Road, Xian is a melting pot of Middle Eastern and Asian influences. Enjoy a special tour of the Yangling Museum to view its Restoration Lab and recent discoveries from Han Dynasty tombs. After lunch, explore the old city quarter with its teeming markets and beautiful Great Mosque, a 14th-century national heritage site. An intriguing 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

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 the warriors. Enjoy a Chef’s Table noodle-making demonstration followed by lunch. Later, enter the Ancient Gate of Xian’s impressive City Wall with the option to cycle along its ramparts.

Shangri-La Hotel, Xian   |   Meals: B L

Day 6: Chengdu | Faces of Sichuan

Fly to Chengdu, the charming capital of Sichuan Province where you visit the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center.

This A&K Philanthropy-supported project affords an unforgettable opportunity to come face to face with the pandas roaming freely in their natural habitat.

Shangri-La Hotel, Chengdu   |   Meals: B

Day 7: Chengdu | 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’s the largest stone Buddha statue in the world, with fingernails measuring taller than the average human. Behold this epic sculpture, learn how it was carved and why it was positioned to overlook the confluence of three rivers — the Minjiang, Dadu and Qingyi.

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

Day 8: Chengdu to Chongqing | Board ‘Yangzi Explorer’

Travel to Chongqing to board your boutique luxury river cruiser for a three-night journey to Yichang. Settle into your cabin as the ship sets sail on its downstream passage to the stunning Three Gorges region. Tonight, take in a documentary about the Three Gorges Dam Project in the ship’s Tang Theater.

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 on-board 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, enjoy a visit to a kindergarten and take in a kaleidoscope of images in the local farmers market. Attend the Captain’s Reception tonight, follow by the 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 picturesque Bamboo Gorge. The Tujia are members of a local minority culture famed for their boat-building skills and keen knowledge of the Yangtze River’s many currents and eddies. Later, try your hand at Chinese brush painting and calligraphy. Tonight, savor a “Taste of China” dinner, followed by engaging on-board 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. Later, enjoy a relaxing rooftop Scenic Sundowner, gazing out at the spectacular display of colorful city lights that makes the Bund and Pudong districts a wonderland by night.

The Peninsula Shanghai   |   Meals: B L

Day 12: Shanghai | Pearl of the Orient

Explore China’s 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, 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 evening, 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 board your international flight home or begin a Hong Kong Post-Tour Extension.

Meals: B

Hong Kong Post-Tour Extension

3 days, priced from $1,295; internal air priced from $430
Available on the Mar 26, Apr 9, Apr 30, May 7, May 28, Aug 27, Sep 3, Sep 10, Sep 24, Oct 15, Oct 22 and Oct 29 departures.
Day 1: Arrive in Hong Kong, where you are met and transferred to your hotel. The Peninsula Hong Kong
Day 2: Transfer to Sheung Wan for a stroll through its herbal medicine market and then take an informative look at Man Ho Temple. Drive to Aberdeen and board a sampan to experience the floating villages of the Tanka community. Return to your hotel for an afternoon at leisure. Gather this evening for a farewell dinner with your fellow guests. The Peninsula Hong Kong | Meals: B L D
Day 3: After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your departing flight. Meals: B


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Luxury Small Group Journeys 2015


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