Arrive Beijing, China
Arrive in Beijing, China’s capital and cultural hub, where you are transferred to your luxurious hotel.
Beijing | The Great Wall
This morning, start the day with a tai chi class at the iconic Temple of Heaven. Explore Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. The next morning, walk or ride a cable car to the top of the well-preserved Mutianyu section of the Great Wall for sweeping views of the surrounding countryside. Ride a pedicab through a hutong, a neighborhood of small winding alleyways.
Xian | The Eternal City
Fly to Xian. Once a vital stop on the Great Silk Road, Xian is a melting pot of Asian and Middle Eastern influences. After lunch, see the Great Mosque during a visit to the Muslim Quarter. The following day, view the Terra Cotta Warriors. Among the greatest archaeological discoveries of the 20th century, there are more than 8,000 soldiers spread throughout three dig pits, each revealing a unique face, testifying to the remarkable craftsmanship that went into making them. Later, enter the Ancient Gate of Xian’s City Wall and stroll along its ramparts.
Chengdu | Up Close to Pandas
Travel by high-speed train to Chengdu and visit the People’s Park, the city’s largest public park, where you enjoy a tea demonstration at a local teahouse. The next morning, visit the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center and observe giant pandas roaming freely in their natural habitat.
Lhasa | Gateway to Tibet
Fly to Lhasa, a soaring city at 12,000 feet, where you relax and acclimatize. The next day, visit the Ani Tsangkung Nunnery and Jokhang, a 1,300-year-old temple housing Tibet’s most revered golden Buddha. Wander Lhasa’s Barkhor Bazaar; visit Sera Monastery; and see the Dalai Lama’s former summer residence at Norbulingka. On your last day, visit Sanggye Dhunghor and Potala Palace, the Dalai Lama’s former winter residence.
Chongqing | Board ‘Yangzi Explorer’
Fly to Chongqing, and visit Huguang Guild Hall and the Chinese Stilwell Museum. Then, board your boutique river cruiser for a three-night journey through the Three Gorges region. Tonight, enjoy an embarkation dinner in your vessel’s Dynasty Palace restaurant.
Cruising the Yangtze | Nature's Beauty
Begin the day with tai chi on deck, and take a shore excursion to a nearby village. Back on board, receive a lesson in Mandarin or Chinese brush painting and calligraphy. Attend the Captain’s Reception, followed by dinner and entertainment.
Cruising the Yangtze | The Three Gorges
Today, cruise the Qutang and Wu Gorges. Anchor at Badong, where you board a ferry and travel up the Shennong Stream. Disembark to board local “pea pod” boats poled by skilled Tujia boatmen. Later, sail the Xiling Gorge and enjoy a “Taste of China” dinner.
Yichang/Shanghai | Disembark ‘Yangzi Explorer’
Arrive at the Three Gorges Project Dam Site. Following time for a photo opportunity, fly to Shanghai. Upon arrival, transfer to your elegant hotel, located on the city’s historic Bund. The balance of the afternoon and evening are at leisure.
Shanghai | Exhilarating Metropolis
Visit Zhujiajiao, a water village. Stroll its narrow lanes and board a sampan (wooden boat) for a tranquil cruise. Tonight, attend a Shanghai Acrobatic performance. The next day, stroll the Bund, Shanghai’s iconic promenade. Wander through the streets of Old Town; visit Yu Garden; and explore the M-50 Contemporary Art District.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and depart.