This 18-day grand tour takes in Chinas historical highlights: the mighty Great Wall, Beijings Forbidden City and the Terracotta Army at Xian. Theres also a nod to the countrys natural splendour, with a scenic, three-night cruise along the Yangtze River and a visit to a tea plantation. Well step off the beaten path, too, exploring peaceful pavilions and Buddhist pagodas, seeing giant pandas and watching skilled silk embroiderers at work.
14 excursions and visits
Day 1 Chengdu – Chongqing
The bullet train whisks us from Chengdu to Chongqing, where there is time for a brief orientation tour before we board the superb MV Century Sun (4-star) for a 3-night Yangtze cruise.
Day 2 Yangtze (Shibaozhai)
Our cruise along scenic waters brings us to Shibaozhai (literally meaning precious stone fortress), a steep-sided crag overlooking the Yangtze with an attractive nine-storey red pavilion providing a walkway to the hilltop temple.
Day 3 Yangtze (Three Gorges – Goddess Stream)
The Three Gorges comprise the most spectacular and captivating stretch of the mighty Yangtze River. This morning, we sail through the first of these – Qutang Gorge, where we join a smaller craft for a ride along the Goddess Stream. Returning to the ship at lunchtime, we continue our journey through the awe-inspiring Witches Gorge, arriving at Maoping later today.