Classic China & the Yangtze River
12 days with Globus Rating:
Day 1 ARRIVE IN BEIJING, CHINA.
Welcome to China! Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.
Day 2 BEIJING.
Your full-day sightseeing starts with a visit to TIAN’ANMEN SQUARE, the largest public square in the world. Next, explore the FORBIDDEN CITY, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the world’s largest palace complex. Once the home of China’s great emperors, today it showcases ancient Chinese architecture, landscaped gardens, and displays of rare art and artifacts. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant, followed by free time to explore on your own. This evening, savor a special [LF] PEKING DUCK WELCOME DINNER. (B,L,D)
Day 3 BEIJING. GREAT WALL EXCURSION.
The GREAT WALL OF CHINA once stretched 4,000 miles across China’s barren northern terrain from the Bohai Sea to the Gobi Desert. Head north to a village where the Great Wall is well preserved and walk along the wall to enjoy sweeping vistas of this mammoth fortress. Return to Beijing for some time at your leisure. Tonight, you may choose to attend a performance of the Peking Opera, a traditional form of Chinese theater, or attend the Legend of Kung Fu Show, with a fusion of kung fu, dance, and acrobatics. (B,L)
Day 4 BEIJING–XI’AN.
This morning, visit the TEMPLE OF HEAVEN and enjoy a rickshaw ride through one of Beijing’s [LF] HUTONGS, the city’s ancient alleys. Experience life in this historic neighborhood as you are invited into the courtyard of a family’s home to learn more about their life. A short flight brings you to Xi’an. (B)
Day 5 XI’AN.
One of the largest and wealthiest cities in the world when China dominated the silk trade, Xi’an today is an archaeological treasure trove. Sightseeing begins with the enormous tomb of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi, accidentally discovered by local farmers in 1974. Marvel at the legion of TERRACOTTA WARRIORS that has been guarding the burial site for 2,000 years. During lunch, enjoy a NOODLE-MAKING DEMONSTRATION by a master chef and learn how Chinese noodles are made by hand. Next, visit the DAYAN PAGODA, built in 652 AD. Enjoy your evening at leisure. Perhaps attend the “Tang Dynasty” dinner show, featuring a colorful assemblage of classical performances. (B,L)
Day 6 XI’AN–CHONGQING (EMBARKATION)–YANGTZE RIVER CRUISE.
This morning, visit the Xi’an City Wall South Gate and attend a traditional Chinese CALLIGRAPHY CLASS. You may also see some local residents practicing morning tai chi. Next, fly to Chongqing, China’s capital during World War II. Here, board your ship for a 3-night cruise through the breathtaking Three Gorges of the Yangtze. (B,D)
Day 7 CRUISING: JADE EMPEROR SCENIC AREA.
Your SHORE EXCURSION today takes you to the Jade Emperor Scenic Area, featuring a 100-foot-tall statue depicting the Jade Emperor, an important deity in Chinese Taoism. Return to your ship where the afternoon is at your leisure to enjoy a variety of onboard activites. You may choose to take an optional shore excursion to Fengdu, known by many Chinese as the “Ghost City,” to visit the mountaintop shrines. This evening, the Captain hosts a welcome party, followed by dinner and a special performance by the ship’s crew. (B,L,D)
Depending on river conditions, an alternate shore excursion may be offered.
Day 8 CRUISING: QUTANG GORGE–WU GORGE–GODDESS STREAM.
Early this morning, you may choose to start your day with a tai chi session on the Sun Deck or simply relax and enjoy the scenery. Later, sail downstream through the first and second of the three gorges—Qutang Gorge, the shortest but most dramatic gorge, and Wu, known for its quiet beauty and forest-covered mountains. You can nearly touch the perpendicular walls rising from the riverbanks as your Captain negotiates this narrow gap. After lunch, disembark for a BOAT EXCURSION down Goddess Stream. Along the way, see picturesque scenery and the mysterious hanging wooden coffins. Before returning to your ship, you will also board a wooden boat on a smaller section of the stream, where the crew will sing songs as you glide across the stunning deep emerald-green waters surrounded by densely forested hills. (B,L,D)
Depending on river conditions, the boat excursion may be on the Shennong Stream.
Day 9 CRUISING: (DISEMBARKATION) THREE GORGES DAM SITE–YICHANG–SHANGHAI.
This morning, make a brief visit to the THREE GORGES DAM SITE, the largest dam of its kind in the world. Then, transfer to the airport in Yichang for your flight to Shanghai, China’s most populous city and center of trade and industry. The balance of the day is at your leisure. (B)
Day 10 SHANGHAI.
Start your day with a stroll along the Bund, the city’s riverfront boulevard lined with historic buildings, housing, banks, and trade houses. Then, visit YU YUAN GARDENS, dating back to the Ming Dynasty, and a SILK FACTORY to learn about the silk-making process. For lunch, stop at a local restaurant featuring [LF] XIAOLONGBAO, Shanghai’s most famous dish. These tasty soup dumplings are handmade with at least 18 intricate folds to close the top. The broth is the star so, to avoid wasting a single drop, gently pick up the dumpling, dip in sauce, and transfer to a Chinese soup spoon. Next, make a small hole to release the steam and allow the broth to cool. After it cools, sip up the broth and then swallow the dumpling. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. You may consider joining an optional tour to see a spectacular acrobatic show. (B,L)
Day 11 SHANGHAI.
This morning, take a WALKING TOUR of the former French Concession, once Shanghai’s leading residential and retail area. Today, the qualities that made the area so popular endure—from quaint, tree-lined streets and exquisite architecture to charming shops and fashionable restaurants and bars. Along the way, see the famous Art Deco Cathay Theatre, explore the narrow lanes of Xintiandi, and visit Fuxing Park, where locals play chess, dance, practice tai chi, and more. The afternoon is at your leisure. This evening, your Tour Director hosts a special farewell dinner. (B,D)
Day 12 SHANGHAI.
Your tour ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
All This Included
This tour through China, including a Yangtze River cruise, offers you opportunities to see some of China’s most historic sites, learn about the local culture, and witness spectacular scenery. You’ll stay three nights each in Beijing and Shanghai, two nights in Xi’an, and three nights aboard your Yangtze River cruise ship.
Some of the fascinating historic sites you’ll visit on this China tour include Tian’anmen Square; the Forbidden City, once home to Chinese emperors; the Temple of Heaven, built in 1420; Dayan Pagoda, built in 652 AD; and Shibaozhai, a 12-story pagoda built high on the cliffside in the 18th century. No China tour would be complete without visiting the Great Wall, and you’ll walk along the wall to see how expansive it is. In Xi’an, marvel at the Terracotta Warriors, roughly 8,000 soldiers, chariots, and horses constructed in 210 BC—all to help China’s first emperor into the afterlife!
Relax as you cruise down the Yangtze River, the world’s third-largest river, and enjoy spectacular scenery and majestic peaks. Catch a glimpse of rural Chinese life and see tiny villages clinging to the hillsides. Also visit the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest electricity-producing plant. To make sure your vacation is unique, Globus has also arranged special experiences, such as a lunch featuring xiaolongbao, dumplings that are Shanghai’s most famous dish, and a rickshaw ride through Beijing’s hutongs, the city’s ancient alleys.
This is just a sampling of the historic sites, fun cultural experiences, and stunning scenery you’ll experience on this awe-inspiring tour through China!
Cruising: Cabin onboard Victoria Anna
Beijing: Crowne Plaza Beijing Chaoyang U-town
Xian: Crowne Plaza Xi'an
Shanghai: Grand Central Hotel Shanghai
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra nights per person in Beijing:
in single room $150; in twin room $80
Extra nights per person in Shanghai:
April-May & September-November: in single room $179; in twin room $95
June-August: in single room $155; in twin room $83
Terms and Conditions
* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.