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Save $600 per couple | $300 solo

Yangtze Sampler Small Ship Cruise + Tour

13 days

Never more than 16 guests + Guaranteed Departures

Our Distinctive A+R Style

  • Enjoy a private Tai Chi class on the lovely grounds of the Temple of Heaven.
  • Situated a bit farther from the capital, the Great Wall at Mutianyu draws fewer visitors; and with its many defensive towers and splendid mountain setting, it offers a more rewarding experience.
  • Thrill to the Shanghai ERA Acrobat Show, a multimedia extravaganza that blends traditional Chinese acrobatics with cutting-edge technology.
  • Discover ancient Suzhou, often called the Venice of China, and delight in the exquisite beauty of the Garden of the Master of Nets
  • With 8 nights in our luxury hotels; 4 nights in an outside balcony stateroom; 30 meals with wine at lunch and dinner; all sightseeing and shore excursions; all transfers; all 3 internal flights; port charges; and all gratuities except Trip Leader.
c Visit 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Show all itinerary details

Day
1

On arrival at the airport, you’ll be warmly greeted and escorted to our luxurious hotel in the heart of the capital.

Day
2

Your expertly guided, full-day exploration begins in Tiananmen Square. Covering more than 100 acres with a scale reminiscent of Moscow’s Red Square or the Piazza San Marco in Venice, it ranks as one of the grandest public plazas in the world. Then follow in the footsteps of Ming Dynasty emperors as you explore the magnificent palaces, courtyards and pavilions of the sprawling Forbidden City c.
 
Then explore by rickshaw through the narrow lanes of a Hutong, one of the city's few remaining enclaves of traditional, centuries-old courtyard homes. After lunch, tour the resplendent Summer Palace . Set on wooded hills surrounding a tranquil lake, this assemblage of pavilions, palaces and gardens offers a fascinating look into Imperial life long ago. From April to November, our tour of the Summer Palace includes a boat ride on Lake Kunming, a delightful and tranquil way to experience the palace’s architectural landmarks and sublime natural beauty. Tonight’s festive Peking Duck banquet is accompanied by wine and local beer.  Meals B+L+D

The Great Wall c stretches for nearly 4,000 miles across northern China - its oldest sections dating back more than 2,000 years when various states and dynasties first began to build these defensive walls. A few centuries after these earliest sections were constructed, Emperor Qin Shihuang consolidated them into a single, massive fortification to guard his empire against Hun invaders from the north. Succeeding emperors maintained, reconstructed and built anew, and much of what is seen today is the result of work that was done during the Ming Dynasty. As a result the wall is not uniform throughout its length; situated farther from the capital than other parts of the Great Wall, the section at Mutianyu draws fewer visitors and is celebrated for its many defensive towers and splendid setting amidst the rugged mountains. Ascending by cable car, you'll walk atop the Great Wall here at Mutianyu as our expert guide shares dramatic stories of its past. For lunch today, we'll take you to the famous Brickyard Restaurant, conveniently located nearby. Back in the city, the rest of your afternoon and evening is free to enjoy and dine as you wish.  Meals B+L
 

Day
4

Fly to Yichang + Embark your Yangtze Cruise

MS Yangzi Explorer

This morning, you’ll enjoy a guided tour of the Temple of Heaven c; it’s a resplendent example of Ming Dynasty design and engineering that also offers fascinating insight into ancient Chinese beliefs in numerology and cosmology. The temple’s tranquil grounds are the perfect place for our specially arranged private class with a Tai Chi Master.

After sightseeing, we’ll take you to the airport for your included flight to the river city of Yichang. On arrival, you’ll be escorted to the pier to board the Yangzi Explorer, China’s finest river ship. Settle in to your balcony stateroom and refresh before dinner is served in the Explorer’s elegant restaurant. Choose from a tempting array of international and regional Chinese dishes, accompanied by free-flowing wine. Meals B+L+D

Day
5

Xiling Gorge + The Three Gorges Dam

MS Yangzi Explorer

Early risers can start the day with invigorating Tai Chi exercises and then breakfast.
 
Today we’re in the start of the Three Gorges at Badong where the Yangtze converges with  the Qingjiang and Shennong Rivers. In one of nine of what are now referred to as China’s ‘Forest Oxygen Bars,’ or natural areas that generate fresh air for their surrounding regions, we’ll be encompassed by the three mountains of Wushan, Wuling and Daba. By motorcoach this morning, we’ll enter this beautiful environment of forest, springs and caves. When we reach Wuyuan Cave, we’ll board a wooden sampan and float on a river through the cave itself. At the end of this gentle ride, we’ll enjoy the unique and renowned green tea of this region, Enshi Yulu, which will be brewed from a mountain spring along with delicacies from the local Tujia Tribe.
 
We return to ship for a lunch of authentic local cuisine. Later this afternoon, the Yangzi Explorer will navigate through Xiling Gorge, the longest of the river’s Three Gorges. Then as the river widens and sweeps through groves of orange and pomelo trees, you’ll experience the tranquil side of life along China’s mightiest river. Tonight’s Captain’s Welcome Reception is followed by dinner and then entertainment in the Tang Theater. Meals B+L+D

Day
6

Up Shennong Stream + Through the Three Gorges

MS Yangzi Explorer

Following breakfast, you’ll step off ship for one of two options that showcase the beauty of the surrounding Three Gorges mountains.
 
The first choice is an excursion to nearby White King Town where 365 stairs lead to a beautiful overlook of the area. We’ll return to the ship for lunch followed by a drive to another scenic view from the Three Gorges Summit. A small shuttle and easy 15 minute walk will lead to stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
 
The second choice for today is a guided and easy one kilometer (3/4 mile) walk along the beautiful Poetic Trail in Qutang Gorge. There are stopping points along the way before returning to the ship for lunch and a free afternoon. Meals B+L+D

Day
7

Ashore in Fuling

MS Yangzi Explorer

A delightful morning onboard our 5-star ship is yours to do as you wish. You might learn about China’s thriving pearl industry or attend a workshop on painting and calligraphy.
 
After lunch, we’ll take a ferry to the ancient riverside town of Xituo where we’ll take a short walk of 180 steps to a shuttle.  We’ll be driven to the top of the village, called the ‘ladder to the sky,’ for spectacular views and then will descend for a total of 1,314 steps downhill and a return to the ship. Meals B+L+D

Day
8

Disembark in Chongqing + Fly to Xian

Hilton Hotel - Xian, China

Disembark the Yangzi Explorer after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your included flight to Xian, China's capital for 13 dynasties. On arrival, you'll be escorted to our 5-star Hilton Hotel, ideally located within the ancient defensive walls of the city. A+R guests will be upgraded to Club Room accommodations with access to the Lounge for cocktails and breakfast. This evening's congenial dinner features savory dumplings - a regional specialty and favorite.  Meals B+D

Day
9

The Terra Cotta Army

Hilton Hotel - Xian, China

Visit the Xian Museum this morning. Next, you’ll visit the Terra Cotta Army c. Discovered in 1974 by local farmers who were digging a well, this site is still regarded as China’s greatest archaeological discovery. It has been estimated that more than half a million laborers and craftsmen worked for nearly 40 years to complete the tomb and the thousands of terra cotta soldiers, horses and chariots that were buried here to serve the Emperor in the afterlife. By special arrangement, you will meet with a local archaeologist - a great way to gain deeper insight into the history and discovery of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our cultural culinary experiences today include a noodle-making demonstration at lunch and savory dumplings for dinner!  Meals B+L+D

We include today’s flight to Shanghai, regarded by many as one of China’s most cosmopolitan cities. On arrival, you’ll be met and escorted to our luxury landmark hotel. After time to refresh, join your expert guided for a guided walk along the elegant Bund Promenade, home to impressive architectural landmarks that reveal the city’s rich mercantile history.  Meals B

After breakfast, your guided city tour begins with the highly regarded Shanghai Museum, home to a vast collection of artifacts spanning millennia of Chinese culture, history and civilization. Here you’ll find breathtaking exhibits of ancient bronzes celadon pottery, precious jade, and exquisite Ming Dynasty furniture. After lunch, continue your touring in the French Concession. Tracing its history to the mid 1800’s, this historic quarter is distinguished by its atmospheric tree-lined boulevards and a nice ensemble of European style villas built in the 1920’s when this was one of Shanghai’s wealthiest residential areas.
 
Then fast forward to the 21st century as you continue your sightseeing in Pudong, famed for its ultra-modern skyscrapers like the Oriental Pearl Tower and the 128-story Shanghai Tower. Tonight, you'll thrill to the daring feats and graceful artistry of the Shanghai ERA Acrobatic Show, a multimedia extravaganza that blends traditional Chinese acrobatics, martial arts, dance and music with spectacular costumes and cutting-edge technology.  Meals B+L+D

Day
12

Excursion to Suzhou: The Venice of China

Fairmont Peace Hotel - Shanghai, China

Traveling westward from Shanghai, today’s excursion takes you to Suzhou: an ancient city revered for its centuries-old canals, graceful bridges, historic structures—and, most notably, the exquisite gardens which have earned Suzhou its place on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. With your informative guide, you’ll explore the Garden of the Master of Nets c. Originally laid out 1,000 years ago during the Song Dynasty, this classic Chinese garden is one of the city’s most refined with landscaped waterways, pavilions, meandering pathways and a delicate footbridge a mere 12 inches wide! Indeed, the diminutive Inner Garden was the model for the Ming Hall Garden at the Metropolitan Museum of  Art in New York City. Then explore other facets of Suzhou’s architectural legacy at the impressive Panmen Gate. Before returning to Shanghai, you’ll visit a local workshop to see and learn how silk is made. This evening, you’ll enjoy a congenial farewell dinner.  Meals B+L+D

Day
13

Depart Shanghai

After breakfast, you’ll be escorted to the airport for your homeward journey. Or why not travel on with us to Hong Kong?  Meals B

Private Tour Add-Ons

Hong Kong Insider

Enhance your travels through China and Asia with our signature Hong Kong Insider. We include your choice of deluxe or luxury hotel, chauffeured transfers when you come and go, and our exclusive Hong Kong Insider sightseeing tour.

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Occupancy


DepartureReturnFromAvailability
05 September 202417 September 2024$6,899Available
AccommodationPriceAvailability
Main Deck$6,899Available
Xiling Deck$7,099Available
Wu Deck Cabin$7,299Available
Wu Deck Suite$7,899Available
Qutang Deck Suite$7,999Available
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
19 September 202401 October 2024$6,899Sold Out
AccommodationPriceAvailability
Main Deck$6,899Sold Out
Xiling Deck$7,099Sold Out
Wu Deck Cabin$7,299Sold Out
Wu Deck Suite$7,899Sold Out
Qutang Deck Suite$7,999Sold Out
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
10 October 202422 October 2024$6,899Available
AccommodationPriceAvailability
Main Deck$6,899Available
Xiling Deck$7,099Available
Wu Deck Cabin$7,299Available
Wu Deck Suite$7,899Available
Qutang Deck Suite$7,999Available
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking

Family + Friends

Travel is one of  life's most rewarding experiences, perhaps even more so when it's shared with those you love! Take advantage of our Family & Friends offer and Save $100 per person anytime you book 4 or more people on the same A+R program.

Pay-In-Full

Save $600 per couple + $300 solo on all of our Small Group, Small Ship and Private Journeys when you book and pay-in-full within 7 days of booking and prior to the final payment date listed in our published terms and conditions.