Imperial Jewels of China (Shanghai to Beijing)
14 days with Viking River Cruises Rating:
Day 1 Shanghai, China
Fly to Shanghai, China’s largest city, then transfer to your hotel.* See the modern financial district juxtaposed with the older sections of the city.
Day 2 Shanghai, China
This morning, tour Old Shanghai and travel along the elegant Bund, stopping to admire some of its historic buildings and city views. After lunch in a local restaurant, tour the Shanghai Museum. Dine locally before seeing the world-famous Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe from the best seats in the house. (B, L, D)
Day 3 Shanghai, China
After breakfast, prepare for your flight to Wuhan. Once there, visit the Hubei Provincial Museum, where you hear the chimes of ancient bronze bells, then transfer to your ship, docked close to Wuhan’s historic waterfront. You are welcomed aboard with a Western meal, and set sail this evening. (B, L, D)
Day 4 Wuhan, China
Today visit the Hubei Provincial Museum, where you hear the chimes of ancient bronze bells and view fascinating relics from 400 BC. Return to the ship and set sail this evening. (B, L, D)
Day 5 Yueyang, China
Today, visit an elementary school sponsored by Viking River Cruises. You are greeted and entertained by the children, then return to your ship. For the next 150 miles, you travel the most scenic stretch of the Yangtze through a spectacular series of limestone ridges known as the Three Gorges. (B, L, D)
Day 6 Three Gorges, China
This morning, cruise through Xiling Gorge, the longest of the Three Gorges. After lunch, disembark for a tour of the Three Gorges Dam, where you learn about this immense engineering masterpiece and what it means for the Chinese people and the Yangtze. Return to your ship and sail through the 5-stage locks of the Three Gorges Dam. Dock overnight at Badong. (B, L, D)
Day 7 Three Gorges, China
During breakfast, cruise through Wu (?Witches”) Gorge, renowned for its magnificent scenery. Then, board a smaller boat for an excursion through the Lesser Three Gorges. Along the way, see fascinating sites including the hanging coffins of the Ba people and the ancient plank road carved into the cliffside. Return aboard for lunch, then spend the afternoon sailing through Qutang Gorge, the shortest, narrowest and most spectacular of the three large gorges. Dine aboard. (B, L, D)
Day 8 Shibaozhai Temple, China
This morning, visit Shibaozhai Temple, a 12-story pavilion built in 1650 along the Yangtze. Tour the pavilion and temple before returning aboard for lunch. Enjoy Yangtze River scenery as you cruise this afternoon and through the night. (B, L, D)
Day 9 Chongqing, China
After breakfast, disembark and enjoy a brief tour of Chongqing, the largest city in western China and an important inland port. Visit the Chongqing Zoo to see the giant pandas and other exotic species. After lunch in a local restaurant, fly to Xian, key city of the Tang Dynasty. From 618 to 907 AD, this dynasty presided over one of China’s most glorious cultural periods, spreading its influence throughout Asia into Europe and Africa. This evening, have dinner and relax at your hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 10 Xian, China
After breakfast, tour the mausoleum where Emperor Qin Shi Huang was laid to rest over 2,000 years ago. See the thousands of life-sized Terra Cotta Warriors, archers and infantrymen that were buried with him, each man and horse molded with its own distinctive features. Walkways provide a bird’s-eye view of the entire necropolis where the Terra Cotta Army was discovered in the 1970s. After lunch, you have free time to further explore Xian. This evening, you may choose to dine surrounded by the song and dance of this colorful era. (B, L, D)
Day 11 Xian, China
Today, fly to Beijing, China’s imperial capital, whose rich history dates back more than 3,000 years. Check in to your hotel and dine there; free time this evening. (B, L, D)
Day 12 Beijing, China
After breakfast, travel to the Badaling Hills. There, you behold one of the most impressive and best-preserved sections of the Great Wall of China. This 4,000-mile-long series of sandstone and earthwork fortifications was built and maintained between the 5th century BC and the 16th century AD, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore its winding pathways and marvel at the panoramic views from its ramparts.
After a lunch of local specialties, visit the Sacred Way, a tree-lined avenue guarded by massive sculptures of elephants, lions and camels leading to the Ming Dynasty tombs. This evening, dine at a local restaurant and relax at your hotel, or enjoy an optional Peking duck dinner, the region’s famous dish. (B, L, D)Day 13 Beijing, China
This morning visit the enormous Tiananmen Square, which can accommodate over 1 million people. Then, tour Beijing’s Forbidden City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Made up of nearly 1,000 buildings, it is the world’s largest surviving palace complex. Walk its grounds among the opulent palaces, pavilions, courtyards and imperial gardens within the 26-foot-high walls.
After lunch in a local restaurant, take some free time to explore Beijing on your own or do some shopping. Enjoy your dinner this evening, or attend The Legend of Kung Fu for a beautiful display of this performance art, which has roots that date back 4000 years. (B, L, D)Day 14 Beijing, China
After breakfast, check out of your hotel and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* Or, continue your China journey with an escorted land program that includes 1 night in Guilin and 3 nights in Hong Kong. Spend a relaxing day along Guilin’s scenic Li River, then sightsee and shop in fabulous Hong Kong. (B)
All This Included
Walk along the Great Wall and through Beijing’s old hutong neighborhoods. Contrast the stylized sculpted beasts guarding the Sacred Way of the Ming Tombs with the life-like statues of Xian’s Terra Cotta Army. Cruise between the bamboo groves and limestone pinnacles of the Yangtze’s Goddess Stream. Our 14-day cruisetour is the perfect introduction to China, showcasing its most important cultural centers and the mighty Yangtze.
Shanghai:he Westin Bund Center, Shanghai, Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai or The Portman Ritz-Carlton, Shanghai
Cruising: Cabin onboard Viking Emerald
Xian: Hilton Xi’an, Sheraton Xian Hotel or Wyndham Grand Xian South
Beijing: Kerry Hotel, Beijing, JW Marriott Hotel Beijing or Regent Beijing
Pre and Post Add-ons
From $499 per person / 2-night pre-extension
Shanghai has been called the New York City of China—give yourself two more days to further explore this fascinating modern metropolis. Two additional nights in the First-Class Fairmont Peace Hotel, Shanghai (or similar), daily breakfasts, a guided tour of one of Suzhou’s famous classical gardens with a canal ride and lunch are all included in this fully escorted program.
Post-Extension: Hong Kong
From $1,699 per person / 3-night post-extension
Bustling Hong Kong is a shopper’s paradise offering items from handicrafts and designer suits to antiques. See Victoria Harbor, Stanley Market and the floating city of Aberdeen. One night in the First-Class Shangri-La Hotel Guilin (or similar) and three nights in Hong Kong’s First-Class Kowloon Shangri-La (or similar), daily breakfasts, Hong Kong city tour, and all transfers between your hotel and airport are included in this fully escorted program.
Terms and Conditions
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* 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.