Day 1 | Highlights: Welcome reception
Ni Hao and welcome to China. On arrival you will be welcomed by your Scenic Representative and transferred to your hotel located on the famous Bund, for a luxurious three night Special Stay. Relax and settle in until you meet your Tour Director and fellow travellers this evening for your tour briefing, followed by your Welcome Shanghainese Dinner.
Day 2 | Shanghai Highlights: City sightseeing tour
Stroll along the famous Bund and its lively waterfront, admiring the 1930s European colonial architecture. Compare its heritage buildings to those in Yu Gardens before enjoying a delicious lunch of dim sum, a Shanghai speciality. Afterwards cross the Huangpu River to the modern side of Shanghai, Pudong and admire the view of Shanghai from Shanghai Tower, the recently completed and second tallest building in the world.
Day 3 | Shanghai Highlights: Freechoice, Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe
Encounter amazing treasures, including bronzes, ceramic and calligraphy on your visit to the Shanghai Museum, one of the largest museums in China with a collection of more than 120,000 treasures. Then wander through People’s Square, the large public square adjacent to the museum, which was part of the horse racing course of Shanghai, before exploring the French Concession district. Finish at Xintiandi, an area characterised by 1920s style shikumen buildings transformed into trendy clubs, restaurants and boutiques. Alternatively take an organised shopping tour of Shanghai’s markets and bargain to your heart’s content or cruise on the Huangpu River to see the Shanghai’s amazing skyline from the water.
Day 4 | Shanghai > Suzhou Highlights: Cruise Suzhou Grand Canal
Travel to the ancient water city of Suzhou and cruise along the Grand Canal before visiting a traditional silk mill to learn about the ancient methods of making silk. Spend the night at the historically themed hotel, located in the old town area of Suzhou.
Day 5 | Suzhou > Hangzhou Highlights: Humble Administrators Garden, Impressions of West Lake Show
In Suzhou, known for beautiful classical gardens, visit its two most famous, the Humble Administrators Garden and Masters of the Nets Garden. Later travel to Hangzhou, once described by Marco Polo as the most splendid city in the world. With its stunningly beautiful West Lake, this World Heritage-listed Site has inspired famous poets, scholars and artists since the 9th century. Tonight be awed by the Impression of West Lake show, a spectacle of light, music, dance and theatrics based on an ancient Hangzhou legend, staged entirely upon the lake. Enjoy a two night stay in Hangzhou.
Day 6 | Hangzhou Highlights: Cruise West Lake, Freechoice
Cruise on the magnificent West Lake, arguably China’s most famous lake, created in the 8th century during the Tang Dynasty. Afterwards visit the Six Harmonies Pagoda, featured in the works of poets and artists alike.
Day 7 | Hangzhou > Xi'an Highlights: Tang Dynasty Show
Fly to Xian, the ancient capital for eleven dynasties and east end of the Silk Road. Delve into Xi’an’s historical past and enjoy the panoramic views as you navigate the city’s walls, originally built in the 14th century. Tonight enjoy the Tang Dynasty Cultural Show with dinner. Witness a grand performance of traditional songs, dances and colourful costumes from the Tang Dynasty. This spectacular cultural show features more than 145 performers on stage together with a classical Chinese orchestra. You’ll spend the next two nights in Xi'an.
Day 8 | Xi'an Highlights: Enrich - Terracotta Warrior and private museum visit
Gaze at Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s amazing Terracotta Warriors in the company of a museum curator. More than 2,000 years old, these terracotta warriors and horses were created to protect the tomb of China’s first Emperor Qin Shi Huang and were only discovered by a local farmer late in the 20th century. (VIP viewing platform closed indefinitely for major repairs)
Day 9 | Xi'an > Beijing Highlights: Freechoice, Freechoice Dining
Shop for souvenirs as you roam through the market’s alleys of the Muslim Quarter, or climb both the Drum and Bell Towers located in the centre of the Old Town and learn about their traditional purpose.
Day 10 | Beijing Highlights: Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square Hutongs
Wander through Tiananmen Square, one of the world’s largest public squares and home to the Great Hall of the People and the Mao Zedong Mausoleum before entering the mysterious Forbidden City, home to the Imperial families during the Ming era. Eat lunch with a local family in a traditional home in the hutongs before taking a rickshaw ride through these atmospheric old narrow winding alleyways to witness traditional Chinese life in a city.
Day 11 | Beijing Highlights: Great Wall of China, Sundowners, Peking Duck Dinner
Today visit China’s most iconic attraction – the Great Wall at Mutianyu, one of the lesser visited sections of the Great Wall. The dramatic scenery provides a picture-perfect backdrop to the Great Wall as it snakes through the mountains and countryside. Standing on the ancient ramparts is the only way to fully appreciate this magnificent structure, built more than 2,500 years ago. Later explore the new Wu Town at Simatai located beneath another section of the Great Wall and learn about ancient industries and how the craft is being kept alive. Take a gentle cruise along the canal through the ancient themed town. You’ll spend the night at your boutique hotel located within the town.
Day 12 | Beijing > Yichang > Yangtze River Cruise Highlights: Embark Yangtze cruise
Fly to Yichang to join your boutique cruise ship Yangzi Explorer. Upon boarding enjoy your first à la carte dinner including wine and beer, as you can with every lunch and dinner whilst on board your cruise.
Day 13 | Yangtze River Cruise Highlights: Three Gorges Dam Project, Captain’s Reception
Inspect the Three Gorges Dam project site and experience the ship locks in operation. Later, sail through Xiling Gorge, the longest and deepest of the Three Gorges while sampling afternoon tea delights. Tonight enjoy the Captain’s reception.
Day 14 | Yangtze River Cruise Highlights: Wu Gorge and Qutang Gorge
Explore the dramatic gorges of Shennong Stream by longboat (sampan). Later, traverse Wu Gorge, known for its quiet beauty, forest covered mountains and sheer rock walls, and Qutang Gorge the shortest, narrowest and most dramatic of the gorges.
Day 15 | Yangtze River Cruise Highlights: Fengdu, Gala Dinner
Join an insightful excursion to Fengdu. Tonight, mingle at the ‘Taste of China’ gala dinner in your finest Chinese outfit.
Day 16 | Chongqing > Chengdu Highlights: Freechoice Dining
Disembark in Chongqing, the largest municipality in southwest China and visit the ancient town of Ciqikou, known for its porcelain. Experience China’s new high-speed train network to Chengdu, before settling in for your overnight stay at your luxurious hotel in Chengdu.
Day 17 | Chengdu Highlights: Farewell
Observe some of the many programs being implemented to protect the endangered giant panda and their habitat before being treated to an enchanting close encounter with rare giant panda cubs. You’ll even get to hold these endangered creatures.