Highlights of China including the Yangtze Cruise
- Immerse yourself in Chinese culture on this incredible 16-night guided holiday.
- Explore Beijing with guided tours of Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, & the Great Wall.
- Enjoy a trip to Xi’an with visits to the Old City Wall & full day excursion to the Terracotta Warriors.
- Visit the city of Guilin to see the Reed Flute Cave & take a boat trip along the Li River to Yangshuo.
- Experience the Sichuan Opera & enjoy a full day excursion to the Giant Panda Breeding Center in Chengdu.
- Sail down the famous Yangtze River on a 3-night cruise aboard the 4* Century Sky.
- Discover Shanghai with a guided half day trip to the Yu Garden & the city’s old town.
- Includes 14 nights on Bed and breakfast basis, plus dinner each night; four in hotels, eight in local restaurants and two on the cruise, three lunches are also included.
Book Your Trip From €5168pp
Book Your Trip From €3999pp
Your Guided Group Holiday To China
Join us on this incredible adventure to explore the ancient traditions and fascinating culture of China. Starting in Beijing, we’ll discover the highlights of this capital city like Tiananmen Square and the world-famous Great Wall. Moving further into the centre of the country, we’ll spend time in Xi'an visiting the Terracotta Warriors before travelling south to Guilin to see the colourful Reed Flute Cave. Our next stop is Chengdu, where we’ll enjoy a visit to the Giant Panda Breeding centre. This holiday also includes an unforgettable 3-night cruise on the Yangtze River, China’s largest waterway. On board, we’ll pass the notorious Three Gorges Dam and enjoy first-class entertainment like authentic Tai Chi lessons. To finish off this incredible adventure, we’ll visit the glittering city of Shanghai, where East meets West in spectacular style.
Please note that visas are required for travel on this tour. Please visit our visa information page for more information.
Activity Level: Busy
Travel to China
Depart for Beijing
Depart for Beijing and begin this trip of a lifetime.
Arrive in Beijing
Transfer to hotel in Beijing
Upon arrival in Beijing, you will be met by our local representative before being transferred to your hotel.
You will have the afternoon at leisure to settle down at your hotel.
In the evening, there will be an opportunity to join your fellow travellers for a tasty evening meal at a local restaurant.
Tiananmen Square & The Forbidden City
Full Day Excursion to Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City & Qianmen Street
Kick start your holiday with a full day excursion to Tiananmen Square and the Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City. Though it was a gathering place in the imperial days, Tiananmen Square was Chairman Mao's creation, and major rallies took place here during the Cultural Revolution. This vast square is home to many important buildings and monuments, so don’t forget your camera! Off limits to most of the world for 500 years, the Forbidden City is the best preserved cluster of ancient buildings in China, and stepping into this magnificent palace is like stepping back in time. The old world of beautiful concubines and emperors, eunuchs and conspicuous wealth still hovers around the lush gardens, courtyards, pavilions and the great halls of the palace. Finish your day with a stroll down Qianmen Street, Beijing’s favourite shopping district.
The Great Wall
Explore The Great Wall, Jade Factory & Sacred Way
Enjoy a full day excursion to the Great Wall of China, a Jade Factory and the Sacred Way leading to the Ming Tombs. The ‘pièce de résistance’ of this holiday, the Great Wall, dates back to the 7th century BC in certain sections, and is more than 20,000 miles long. Snaking along lush mountains, this wall was employed by Emperor Qin to protect the first unified kingdom of China. In the afternoon, enjoy a visit to a Jade Factory, where you will see jewellery and sculptures with jade stones being carved, before finishing your day at the Sacred Way. Home to the Ming Dynasty Tombs, thirteen emperors are buried here, and you will begin this tour by walking through a magnificent gateway.
Transfer to Xi’an
Following breakfast, you will transfer from Beijing to Xi’an on a high-speed train (approx. 4.5hrs), stopping at two places of interest en-route to your hotel upon arrival. First, you will visit the Old City Wall of the Ming Dynasty where you will see the towers and defensive fortifications, which protected Xi’an. Afterwards you will visit the Wild Goose Pagoda, which is an ancient 7th century Buddhist example of the iconic Chinese building.
Arrive in Xi'an
After checking into your hotel in Xi'an, you will have the afternoon at leisure.
See The Terracotta Army
On this full day excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage site, you will see a remarkable collection of life size terracotta figures of warriors and horses, arranged in battle formations. These figures were buried with the emperor Qin Shi Huang in 210-209 BC, to protect him in his afterlife. They were hidden until 1974 when they were discovered by local farmers and are now a must-see attraction for many who visit China. There will be some free time in the afternoon to spend at your leisure.
Fly to Guilin
Travel to Guilin
This morning, transfer to Xi’an Airport for your internal flight to Guilin (approx. 2hrs). Upon arrival in Guilin, you will be met by your local guide and visit the Reed Flute Cave en-route to your hotel.
Arrive in Guilin
Check into your hotel and enjoy an afternoon at leisure to explore your new surroundings.
River Cruise to Yangshou
Experience a River Cruise to Yangshou
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Guilin port to board your cruise along the Li River to Yangshuo. During this 4 hour cruise through picturesque hills you will be served complimentary Chinese tea and a set lunch. Upon arriving at Yangshou old town you will have some free time to explore this historic place. After your return to Guilin, you will join your fellow travellers for dinner in a local restaurant.
Fly to Chengdu
Travel to Chengdu
Today, you will continue your journey and board an internal flight to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province. Upon arrival you will transfer to Jinli Old Street, a pedestrianized area full of cafes, tea houses and stalls selling everything from arts and crafts, to confectionery. You will have a guided tour of this charming street as well as some free time for lunch at your leisure.
Visit The People's Park & Enjoy a Sichuan Opera performance
In the afternoon, your guide will take you to People’s Park, which was built in 1911 and was the city’s first public park. It is a great spot for people watching and home to the “Matchmaking Corner” where Chinese grandparents and parents seek spouses for their unmarried family members. You will also have the chance to enjoy a cup of tea with some of the locals and learn how to play Mahjong, an ancient tile-based game which was developed in China during the Qing Dynasty, before transferring to your hotel in Chengdu. In the evening, enjoy a Hot Pot dinner followed by Sichuan Opera performance.
Panda Breeding Centre & Qing Yang Gong Taoist Temple
Visit Giant Panda Breeding Centre
Today, you will spend the morning at Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Centre to observing the giant pandas, a Chinese national treasure and one of the rarest animals in the world.
Discover Qing Yang Gong Taoist Temple
After some free time for lunch, you will visit the largest and oldest Taoist temple in Chengdu and Southeast China, the Qing Yang Gong Taoist Temple, where you will be welcomed by a pair of bronze goat statues. Here you will discover the Eight Trigrams Pavilion which reflects the ancient Chinese philosophy that 'the sky is round and the ground is square'.
Commence Yangtze River Cruise
Transfer to Chongqing
This morning, you will take the two hour train journey to Chongqing where you will be met by your local guide. Enjoy a half day city tour with some time at leisure to discover this city at your own pace.
Commence River Cruise
After dinner at a local restaurant, you will be transferred to Chongqing port to join your River Cruise. Settle in to your cabin and explore the range of facilities on board your ship as you embark on your 3-night cruise along the Yangtze River.
Cruising & Shibao Pagoda
Optional excursion to Fengdu Ghost City
Today you will start the day with some Tai Chi classes. This will leave you with a sense of calm and peacefulness throughout the day. After breakfast there will be an optional excursion (subject to river conditions) to Fengdu Ghost City, home to temples and shrines dedicated to the gods of the underworld , or you could just relax and enjoy the facilities of your ship.
Excursion to Shibao Pagoda
After lunch, you will enjoy a shore excursion to Shibao Pagoda, which means Stone Treasure Fortress. This pagoda was built against the rocks, and from its 12 stories, only 3 are higher than the rock itself. The climb is not easy, but legends say that the higher one climbs in the temple, the more likely your wish or dreams will come true!
Captain's Welcome Dinner
In the evening, you will participate in the Captain's welcome party followed by a buffet dinner while cruising along the Yangtze River.
Cruising & Wu Gorges
River Cruise to Qutang and Wu Gorges
Start another day with Thai Chi classes before breakfast on board your cruise. After that you will be able to join an optional excursion to the White Emperor City, which is located at the entrance of the Qutang Gorge on the north bank of the river. Marvel at the breath-taking scenery from the Qutang Gorge that extends only 8 km from White Emperor Town to Daxi Town, and it is flanked with the Mount ChiJia in the north and Mount Baiyan in the south. The cruise will continue to the Wu Gorge, which runs 45 km and it is known as the most enchanting of the three gorges. This gorge is surrounded by twelve peaks, is often shrouded in mist and has become the theme of many poems and paintings in Chinese history.
In the afternoon, you will enjoy a shore excursion to the Lesser Three Gorges or Shennong Stream (depending on the river conditions).
Once back on the cruise, you will participate in the Captain's farewell dinner followed by an evening of music and entertainment.
Disembark cruise at Yichang and fly to Hangzhou
Travel to Shanghai
We say farewell to our scenic cruise along the magnificent Yangtze and disembark the cruise in Yichang. We transfer to the airport for a flight to Hangzhou (flight duration approx 1.50 min). On arrival, travel we travel by coach to Shanghai city centre (approx. 2.5 hours). On arrival in Shanghai we experience more with a visit to the Oriental Pearl Tower or the Financial Centre Tower and take in the panoramic views of this bustling city.
At Leisure in Shanghai
You will have the remainder of the day at leisure in Shanghai. Your local guide will be happy to recommend local restaurants, places to enjoy a drink or optional sightseeing to suit your taste.
Guided Shanghai City Tour
This half-day excursion will introduce you to fascinating Old Shanghai, including the beautiful Yu Garden, the old town of Shanghai, the bustling Xintiandi Street and Shikumen Open House Museum.
The afternoon can be enjoyed at your own leisure. Why not shop for some last-minute souvenirs in one of the huge shopping malls dotted around the city or photograph some of the fantastic architecture in this modern metropolis. We also recommend a visit to the Shanghai Museum, which is often regarded as the best museum in China.
At Leisure & Return Home
Free Time in Shanghai
Enjoy a final day at leisure in Shanghai. Your guide can advise on activities and further sightseeing in the city.
Transfer with guide assistance to Shanghai Airport and check in for your flight home. Note: For flights with a night time departure from Shanghai, a late check out and evening meal will be provided on departure day.
Arrive home from your holiday of a lifetime.
Know before you go
Will I be met at the airport?
You will be met on arrival at your destination airport and transferred to your accommodation. You will be accompanied on all included excursions by your Travel Department guide. Your expert local guide is also available to give you tips and advice on any aspect of your holiday.
Do I need a Visa?
Please visit our visa page for information on requirements for each country's entry requirements
What if there is an emergency?
We have local representatives in all of our destinations who are available 24/7 as well as an emergency contact number for our offices in Ireland should you ever need it.
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