Arrive Beijing, China
Arrive in Beijing, China’s capital and cultural hub, where you are transferred to your luxurious hotel.
Beijing | Temple of Heaven & Tiananmen Square
This morning, start the day with a tai chi class at the iconic Temple of Heaven, a stunning example of classical Ming period architecture. Explore historic Tiananmen Square, and then walk in the footsteps of emperors in the Forbidden City, seat of imperial power for centuries.
Beijing | Imperial Beijing
Ride a pedicab through a hutong, a vast yet intimate neighborhood of small winding alleyways dating to China’s dynastic period. Then, travel to the well-preserved Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China. Walk or ride a cable car to the top of the wall to take in sweeping views of the surrounding mountains.
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.
Xian | The Terra Cotta Army
Begin your day by viewing Xian’s famed 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 | People’s Park
Travel by high-speed train to Chengdu. Upon arrival, enjoy a special Sichuan hot pot lunch. Then, immerse yourself in local life and culture at the People’s Park, where area residents play traditional Chinese instruments, practice calligraphy and engage in tai chi. Later, enjoy a tea demonstration at your hotel.
Chengdu | Up Close to Pandas
Today, discover the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center and experience the rare opportunity to observe these endangered creatures roaming freely in their specially designed habitat. Enjoy your afternoon at leisure.
Lhasa | Gateway to Tibet
Fly to Lhasa, a soaring city at 12,000 feet and the heart of Tibet, where you relax and acclimatize.
Lhasa | Buddhist Treasures
Visit Jokhang, a 1,300-year-old temple housing Tibet’s most revered golden Buddha. Wander Lhasa’s Barkhor Bazaar and visit Sera Monastery. Then, round out your afternoon with a visit to a local Tibetan family’s home.
Lhasa | Footsteps of the Dalai Lama
On your last day in Lhasa, see the Dalai Lama’s former summer residence at Norbulingka and visit the awe-inspiring Potala Palace, venturing beyond the towering walls of this former winter residence of the Dalai Lama.
Chongqing | Board ‘Yangzi Explorer’
Fly to Chongqing. Upon arrival, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and venture to Chongqing’s scenic peak. 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 | Fuling
Begin the day with tai chi on deck, and take a shore excursion to Fuling, for a visit to the 816 Underground Project or the White Crane Underwater Museum. Back on board, enjoy a Chinese medicine demonstration and a lesson on the art of Chinese foot reflexology. Tonight, attend the Captain’s Reception, followed by dinner.
Cruising the Yangtze | The Three Gorges
Cruise the Qutang and Wu gorges, and then anchor at Badong, where you board a ferry and travel up Shennong Stream. Disembark to board local “pea pod” boats poled by skilled Tujia boatmen, members of a local minority culture famed for their boat-building skills and keen knowledge of the Yangtze. Later, sail the Xiling Gorge and enjoy a “Taste of China” dinner.
Yichang to Shanghai | Disembark ‘Yangzi Explorer’
This morning, disembark and stop over near the Three Gorges Dam. 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 | Life on the Bund
Explore dynamic Shanghai, where stunning modern skylines meet classic street markets and gardens. Walk along the Bund, Shanghai’s most popular promenade. Later, stroll the streets of Old Town and visit the 16th-century Yu Garden with its pavilions and streams. Enjoy lunch followed by an afternoon at your leisure, free to relax or explore on your own.
Shanghai | Design Your Day
Today, visit the Shanghai Museum and its exceptional collection of historically significant art including bronzes, ceramics and paintings. Explore the museum in the company of the museum curator, a private A&K-exclusive experience. Then marvel at the incredibly accurate and detailed model of the city housed at the Urban Planning Exhibition Center. Today, you will also enjoy one of these Design Your Day activities:
Walk Shanghai’s Historic Jewish Quarter and learn how it became a haven for Jews fleeing Europe in World War II.
Explore the West Bund Art Center, in the city’s rising art district, to view works by local and international artists.
Set Out on a Street Food Tour, exploring Shanghai’s rich culinary heritage and authentic markets on a foodie-centric street tour.
Return to your hotel to enjoy the rest of your day at leisure.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and depart.