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Highlights of China & the Yangtze

11 days with Uniworld Boutique River Cruises   Rating: Deluxe

Book this Trip Now and Save!

  • Past guests of Uniworld, Trafalgar, CostSaver, Insight, Luxury Gold, African Travel, Brendan and Contiki save an additional $250 per person off this trip. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.

Click for Dates and Prices Day 1: Beijing
Arrive at the Beijing Airport. If your cruise/tour package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the opulent Ritz-Carlton Beijing. This stunning hotel is located in the heart of the city, where modernity, exemplary service and rich Chinese tradition seamlessly blend together. 

Day 2: Beijing
Your adventure begins with two quintessential experiences in China’s capital city. Today, you’ll experience a myriad of cultural gems, including the Forbidden City and Peking duck, a dish originally prepared for Chinese emperors. (Breakfast Buffet, Lunch)

Day 3: Beijing
Certain images immediately spring to mind when you think of China. Pandas. The Great Wall. Believe it or not, both of these are on today’s agenda. The pandas are on view at the Beijing Zoo—you’ll also experience a traditional teahouse and a rickshaw ride through the city’s ancient hutongs, where you’ll enjoy lunch. (Breakfast Buffet, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4: Beijing, Fly to Xi’an
Leave dynamic Beijing behind today and head north to the lush lakeside Summer Palace, home to one of China’s most beautiful classical gardens. From there, plunge into the past in China’s first capital, where you’ll celebrate your first night in Xi’an with a traditional dumpling banquet. (Breakfast Buffet, Dinner)

Day 5: Xi’an
Xi’an’s Terra-cotta Army has been called the 8th Wonder of the World, and it’s certainly the most extraordinary archeological find of the 20th century. You’ll also enjoy a traditional Tang Dynasty dinner show with fabulous food, music and vibrant costumes. (Breakfast Buffet, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6: Xi’an, Fly to Chongqing (Embark), Cruising the Yangtze River
Before you leave Xi’an for Chongqing, you have one more expedition, a visit to the Jade Carving Center, or Jade Factory, as it’s also known. Watch artisans carving intricate designs and learn what to look for when buying this special stone. Then, transfer to the airport and fly to Chongqing, where you’ll board your ship. (Breakfast Buffet, Dinner)

Day 7: Cruising the Yangtze River
Near Fuling, you’ll be offered the extraordinary chance to visit the 816 Underground Project, a giant nuclear installation, which the military started constructing in the mountains in the 1960s. It boasts 18 man-made caves, more than 130 roads and tunnels, and an almost 80-meter-high cave where the nuclear reactor was placed. The project was abandoned in a nearly finished state in 1984 before the manufacturing of plutonium-239 began. (Breakfast Buffet, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8: Cruising the Yangtze River, Shennong Stream
A full day cruising the Yangtze River’s mystical, beautiful and completely mesmerizing Three Gorges and Shennong Stream await.

In the evening, you’ll savor a special Captain’s Farewell Dinner on this final night of your Yangtze River cruise. (Breakfast Buffet, Lunch, Farewell Dinner)

Day 9: Cruising the Yangtze River, Yichang (Disembark), Fly to Shanghai
The Three Gorges Dam was an expensive and controversial undertaking, a massive project that involved relocating entire villages as well as submerging a number of cultural treasures behind the rising waters of the Yangtze River. The dam itself is an extraordinary engineering marvel, one that you can see up close today. (Breakfast Buffet, Dinner)

Day 10: Shanghai
After days of pandas, ancient warriors and timeless Chinese landscapes, Shanghai and its futuristic skyline can be something of a shock to the system. Enjoy a taste of both old and new today, as well as dim sum and a performance by the gravity-defying Shanghai Acrobats. (Breakfast Buffet, Lunch)

Day 11: Depart Shanghai
Check out of your hotel and transfer to the Shanghai Pudong International Airport for your flight home, or extend your trip with a memorable optional extension to Hong Kong. (Continental Breakfast, Breakfast Buffet)  

All This Included
A spellbinding odyssey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture and history.

Journey through a land of contrasts—skyscrapers and ancient temples, serene gardens and bustling city streets—to discover the heart of this ever-changing country. From China’s staggering architectural monuments—the Forbidden City, Summer Palace and Great Wall—to the natural beauty of the Yangtze River’s Three Gorges, this itinerary introduces a discerning traveler to China’s highlights. The unique experience that is China fills your senses from the moment you arrive: the sound of Mandarin in Beijing’s streets, the scent of delicate Xi’an dumplings, the detailing on terra-cotta figures that have survived for millennia. Simultaneously ancient and contemporary, China must be heard, seen and felt to be understood—and Uniworld’s experts will be on hand to guide you through this vast land, as you delve into China’s cultural legacy and timeless wonders.


  • Meals onboard prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
  • 10 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Farewell Dinner
  • Complimentary house wine, local spirits and beer,. soft drinks, tea, and coffee will be served at the Explorer Bar, deck 6, between 3pm and 11pm throughout the cruise. Onboard lunches and dinner include complimentary house wine, local beer, soft drinks, coffee and tea. Onshore lunches and dinners include complimentary soft drinks, coffee and tea


  • 9 days of excursions, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts


  • 3-night cruise in a riverview suite on the stunning Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer
  • Lavishly appointed riverview suites, all with private balconies
  • 3 nights in Beijing at the Ritz-Carlton Beijing (or similar)
  • 2 nights in Xi'an at the Hyatt Regency Xi'an (or similar)
  • 2 nights in Shanghai at the Fairmont Peace Hotel (or similar)


  • 1 country: China
  • 5 UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Services of an experienced Uniworld Tour Manager
  • Cultural enrichment
  • All transfers on arrival and departure days
  • All gratuities, both onboard and onshore
Beijing: Ritz-Carlton or similar
Xi'an: Shangri-La Xi’an or similar
Cruising: Cabin onboard Sanctuary MS Yangzi Explorer
Shanghai: Fairmont Peace Hotel or similar
Pre and Post Add-ons
Hong Kong

Included in your 4-day stay:

  • 3 nights at the Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong (or similar)
  • Breakfast daily and all service charges, taxes and porterage
  • Exclusive Hong Kong Island tour
  • Boat ride at Aberdeen Fishing Village
  • Flight from Shanghai to Hong Kong
  • Private arrival and departure transfers

April Pricing:

$1,499 per person (for 2 guests)

For solo travelers, there is a single supplement of $649.

May - September Pricing:

$1,429 per person (for 2 guests)

For solo travelers, there is a single supplement of $599.

October Pricing:

$1,699 per person (for 2 guests)

For solo travelers, there is a single supplement of $799.

Note: This extension is for cruise/tours that end in Shanghai.

Day to Day:

  • 2020 Hong Kong Holiday Post-Cruise Extension: Day to Day
  • DAY 1: Hong Kong
    Upon arrival in Hong Kong, you will be met by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the hotel for your three-night stay. You will be at leisure for the remainder of the day. Experience the buzz of Hong Kong life as you go out and explore on your own. The city is an eclectic mix of old and new, where modern skyscrapers rub shoulders with colonial buildings and traditional Chinese temples. Take advantage of the world-class culinary scene with a feast at one of Hong Kong’s seafood destinations or at a restaurant with a view of the harbor. Celebrate the night in this city that never sleeps.

    Note: Uniworld works with The Travel Advisers to makes sure your experience in Hong Kong goes smoothly. We arrange transportation to and from the airport and coordinate your city tour, while leaving you with plenty of time to shop and explore on your own.

    DAY 2: Hong Kong
    Included meal: Breakfast
    Today you’ll discover the many sides of Hong Kong. It’s a major international financial center, as well as a shopping mecca. But it also has an incredible natural harbor and striking mountainous terrain. Take a trip to Victoria Peak, the “Mountain of Great Peace,” featuring the world’s steepest funicular railway, to get a not-to-be-missed panoramic view of the city’s glittering skyscrapers, colonial buildings and romantic harbor. Then ramble through the Aberdeen Fishing Village on the south side of the island for a glimpse into Hong Kong’s traditional fishing life, which still survives there. Your tour also includes a nearby gem factory, where you can see artisans at work creating jewelry, and a stop at Stanley Market, the bustling street market long renowned for its excellent bargains.

    The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore on your own. You might want to create a little free space in your suitcase, because Hong Kong is famous for the range of its shopping venues—order a custom suit or gown, check out the latest gadgets, choose a beautiful vintage poster or find a few perfect gifts before you head home.

    DAY 3: Hong Kong
    Included meal: Breakfast
    You have the entire day to explore Hong Kong on your own. Treat yourself to a ferry ride across the harbor. Go window shopping on Hollywood Road or Cat Street, or, if you are shopped out, take advantage of the city’s great public transportation system and venture out of the bustling city to one of its serene parks or wildlife refuges.

    DAY 4: Hong Kong
    Included meal: Breakfast
    After breakfast at the hotel, your extraordinary Asian adventure will draw to a close. Enriched with fond memories of your remarkable journey, you will be transferred to the Hong Kong International Airport for your flight home.

Ulaanbaatar and Gobi Desert, Mongolia

Included in your 7-day stay:

  • 1 night at the Hilton Airport, Beijing (or similar)
  • 3 nights at the Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar (or similar)
  • 2 nights at the Three Camel Lodge, Gobi Desert (or similar)
  • Breakfast daily, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
  • All service charges, taxes and porterage
  • Ulaanbaatar city tour and Throat Singing performance
  • Yol Valley (Vulture Gorge) visit
  • Visit to a camel breeder family
  • All transfers, transportation and intra-Asia flights
  • Services of a Tour Manager throughout your trip


$8,699 per person (for 2 guests)

For solo travelers, there is a single supplement of $1,299.

Note: Offered on five 2020 departures: June 6, August 29, September 12, September 19, and September 26. Note: This extension is for cruise/tours that begin in Beijing.

Day to Day:

  • 2020 Mongolia Pre-Cruise/Tour Extension: Day to Day
  • Discover everything from Beijing’s bustling city life to Mongolia’s serene Gobi Desert on this 7-day pre-cruise/tour extension. Explore the ins and outs of Ulaanbaatar via visits to the capital’s most noteworthy and intriguing locations. Then, the Gobi Desert awaits. You’ll board a plane and head for this breathtaking stretch of desert, where you’ll get up close and personal with the nomadic way of life, wind your way through Yol Valley National Park and gaze in awe at the Flaming Cliffs.

    DAY 1: Beijing
    Arrive in Beijing, China’s sprawling capital city, where ancient sites gloriously coexist with futuristic skyscrapers. With its impressive preservation of cultural artifacts and never-ending modernization, Beijing is as magnificent as it is multifaceted. You’ll stay overnight here before flying to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, the next day.

    DAY 2: Ulaanbaatar
    Included meal: Breakfast
    Today, you’ll fly to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s thriving capital. After you check into your hotel, you’ll enjoy an afternoon of leisure. Perhaps you’ll visit one of the numerous world-class museums, savor delicious international cuisine or marvel at the Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan, the only remaining palace out of the original four residences of the former emperor of Mongolia.

    DAY 3: Ulaanbaatar
    Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch
    Embark on a captivating tour of the city, complete with a stop at Zaisan Hill, a memorial that pays homage to fallen allied Mongolian and Soviet soldiers killed during World War II. Your guide will provide you with an overview of the monument as well as chronicle this crucial period in Mongolian history. If you walk to the top of Zaisan Hill, you’ll also be rewarded with sweeping views of Ulaanbaatar below. You’ll then make your way to Gandan Khiid, a stunning Buddhist monastery, where you’ll have the chance to witness Buddhist monks reciting prayers. As one of Mongolia’s most beloved attractions, it’s fitting that the monastery’s full name roughly translates to “the great place of complete joy.”

    This evening, you’ll enjoy a Tuvan throat singing performance at the National Ensemble. Mongolians have been practicing throat singing, a type of harmonic singing where the performer can produce multiple pitches simultaneously, for centuries. Traditionally, male herders would venture deep into the countryside to perform, as the country’s open landscape allows the sounds to carry great distances.

    DAY 4: Ulaanbaatar, Fly to Gobi Desert
    Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Depart Ulaanbaatar and board your plane to the indescribable Gobi Desert in southern Mongolia, famed for its mountains, dunes and rare animals that call it home, such as Bactrian camels. You’ll trek through the breathtaking Yol Valley in Gobi Saikhan National Park, passing by Yolyn Am, also known as Vulture Gorge, a deep and narrow gorge showcasing sheer rock walls and waterfalls. After the day’s adventure, you’ll transfer to Three Camel Lodge for the evening. Here, you’ll be treated to an array of activities including cooking demonstrations, archery, movies and a campfire complete with cocktails.
    Please note: Waterproof hiking boots are highly recommended for today’s excursion.

    DAY 5: Gobi Desert
    Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Your guide will introduce you to the nomadic way of life and the etiquette one should follow when entering a Mongolian ger, a tent-like structure used by nomads. On this visit to a camel-breeding family, you’ll learn firsthand about their way of life and the importance of their customs and cultural traditions. Prepare to be amazed as you make your way to the Gobi Desert’s Flaming Cliffs, named by American paleontologist Roy Chapman Andrews in the 1920s. As you walk in the footsteps of early explorers, you’ll learn why the Flaming Cliffs are a significant site in the field of paleontology (it might have something to do with the first dinosaur eggs being discovered here). At sunset, the cliffs give off a fiery glow, a spectacle you’re sure to enjoy this evening.

    DAY 6: Gobi Desert, Ulaanbaatar
    Included meal: Breakfast
    You’ll bid the Gobi Desert farewell today and fly from Dalanzadgad Airport back to Ulaanbaatar, where you’ll be taken to your hotel for the night.

    DAY 7: Ulaanbaatar, Beijing
    Included meal: Breakfast
    Today, you’ll hop on a plane from Ulaanbaatar to Beijing as you get ready to start Highlights of China & the Yangtze.

  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Prices exclude additional port charges of $0 per person.
  • Single supplement applies for single accommodation.
  • The itineraries presented are subject to modification due to water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors. Every effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but changes may still be necessary throughout the cruise. This day-to-day schedule is subject to change. Your final day-to-day schedule will be provided onboard on the first day of your cruise.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Uniworld Boutique River Cruises terms and conditions, please click here.

* 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.