Enchanting China & the Yangtze River

Resort: Enchanting China & the Yangtze River
Operator: Avalon Waterways
Destination: China
Price From: £5237.00

Itinerary Details

Day 1 (Wed) Beijing.

Arrive into Beijing, China’s capital city. Transfer to the Fairmont Beijing Hotel for 4 nights. Rooms will be available for a mid-afternoon check-in.

Day 2 (Thu) Beijing.

Your full-day sightseeing starts with a visit to the Forbidden City and the Imperial Palace, once the home of China’s great emperors. Nearby is the 100-acre Tiananmen Square, the largest public square in the world. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant and continue to the former Summer Palace, a complex of pavilions, temples, and galleries set among beautifully landscaped grounds and situated on Kunming Lake. This evening, enjoy a special Peking Duck Welcome Dinner in a local restaurant. (B, L, D)

Day 3 (Fri) Beijing.

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 well-preserved section of the Great Wall and walk along its ramparts to enjoy sweeping views along this mammoth fortress. Later, visit a Cloisonn Workshop and see local artisans use the techniques of this ancient art form to turn pieces of copper into colourful decorative items. After lunch in a local restaurant, stroll the Sacred Way of the Ming Tombs to marvel at the impressive hand-carved stone statues. Tonight, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant and a walking tour of the Donghuamen night market. (B, L, D)

Day 4 (Sat) Beijing – Xi’an.

Fly to Xian and transfer to the Hilton Xian Hotel for 2 nights. Visit the Xian City Wall South Gate and learn to write like a local during a traditional Chinese calligraphy class. This evening, enjoy the ‘Tang Dynasty’ Dinner Show featuring a colourful assemblage of classical performances. (B, D)

Day 5 (Sun) Xian.

One of the largest and wealthiest cities in the world when China dominated the silk trade, Xian 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 a lacquer workshop followed by the Big Wild Goose (Dayan) Pagoda, built in 652 AD. (B, L, D)

Day 6 (Mon) Xi’an – Lijiang

This morning, visit the Xi’an City Wall South Gate and learn to write like a local during a traditional chinese Caligraphy class; you may even see some locals practicing their morning Tai Chi. This afternoon, fly to Lijiang, home to the Naxi people, one of China’s minority ethnic groups. (B, L)

Day 7 (Tue) Lijang

This morning, take a short trip just outside of Lijang to the 18,464-foot-high Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Witness the impressive Lijang Impression show, created by the co-director of the 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony. The show features over 100 horses and 400 costumed actors, representing 10 ethnic groups, performing folk songs, dances and local rituals. Afterward, hike to a mountain meadow for a closer view of the mountain. This afternoon, take a walking tour through Lijang’s medieval Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site surrounded by 16,000-foot-plus mountains. Dinner tonight is a fascinating experience at a local OLd Town restuarant. (B, L, D)

Day 8 (Wed) Liiang – Guilin.

This morning visit the museum of Naxi Dongba Culture to learn about the ancient culture, or Donga, of the Naxi people, which consists of hieroglyphs, scripture, paintings, music and dance. Here you will also have special interaction with a Donga Priest who will provide insight on the Naxi culture and give a brief lesson on their hieroglyph language. After visit the Black Dragon Pool, with stunning views of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Later in the day fly to Guilin (via Kunming), one of China’s most beautiful areas. (B, L)

Day 9 (Thu) Guilin.

Limestone mountains, their needle peaks hidden in mist, rise from the green plain surrounding Guilin. The scence conveys a sense of mystery that artists have tried to capture for centuries. Savor unique vistas during a leisurely cruise on the Li river and enjoy a light lunch. This afternoon visit a local tea farm for a hands on demonstration of the tea-making process followed by tea ceremony. Tonight, you may choose to join our optional excursion to see trained cormorants dive for fish, the traditional Lijiang fishing method. (B, L)

Day 10 (Fri) Guilin – Chongqing (Embarkation) – Yangtze River Cruise.

Today, take a morning flight to Chongqing, China’s capital during World War II. Upon arrival, visit a local Zoo to see pandas as well as the Stillwell Museum. later, board the Century Legend for a 3-night cruise through breathtaking Three Gorges of the Yantgze. Join your travelling companions for a private welcome reception including cocktails and snacks. (B, L, D)

Day 11 (Sat) Cruising: Shibaozhai.

This morning, enjoy a variety of onboard activities. Perhaps start the day with a Tai Chi session on the Sun Deck, swim in the pool, or simply relax and enjoy the scenery. After lunch, join the walking tour of Shibaozhai with its 400-year-old, 12-storey red wooden pagoda perched high on a cliff side. This evening, enjoy a welcome party hosted by your captain followed by dinner and a special performance by the ship’s crew.
Note: Depending on river conditions, an alternate shore excursion may be offered. (B, L, D)

Day 12 (Sun) Cruising: Qutang Gorge – Wu Gorge – Shennong Stream.

After a morning at leisure, why not join the optional shore excursion to Baidi Cheng, known as the ‘White Emperor City’, to see the Baidi Temple. Later, sail through the first two gorges – Qutang Gorge, the shortest but most dramatic, and Wu Gorge, 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 the Shennong Stream. Along the way, see four natural gorges and the mysterious hanging wooden coffins. Before returning to your ship, take a sampan cruise on a smaller section of the stream, where the crew will sing traditional songs as you glide across the stunning emerald-green waters surrounded by densely forested hills. This evening, join the Captain for a special Chinese-style farewell banquet.
Note: Depending on river conditions, the boat excursion may be on the Daning River. (B, L, D)

Day 13 (Mon) Cruising: Three Gorges Dam Site – Xiling Gorge – Yichang (Disembarkation) – Shanghai.

This morning, visit the Three Gorges Dam Site to observe the construction of the largest dam of its kind in the world. Later, sail through Xiling Gorge, the last of the three gorges, before disembarking in Yichang. Fly to Shanghai, China’s most populous city and centre of trade and industry, and transfer to the Fairmont Peace Hotel for 2 nights. (B, L)

Day 14 (Tue) Shanghai.

Your sightseeing starts at the Yu Yuan Gardens, dating back to the Ming Dynasty. Later, stroll along the Bund, the city’s riverfront promenade lined by historic buildings, homes, commerce and trade houses. Visit a silk factory to learn about the silk-making process. After lunch in a local restaurant, visit the Shanghai Museum This evening, enjoy dinner followed by a spectacular acrobatics show. (B, L, D)

Day 15 (Wed) Shanghai – Final day

(B)

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