On this superb 14 day Three Gorges Discovery tour you not only enjoy a cruise along the mighty Yangtse River you also see lots of the other highlights of this magical country. Beginning in the capital city Beijing and ending in Shanghai, you experience something new every day. Travelling by road, rail, ship and plane, you will visit the stunning Great Wall, walk around Tiananmen Square and into the Forbidden City, see the incredible Terracotta Warriors at Xian and even the famous giant pandas at Ghendgu.
On arrival at Beijing International Airport you will be met by one of our experienced tour representatives and taken to your city hotel. Relax and settle in before attending an introductory talk in the hotel where you can meet other members of your group and learn about all the marvellous things you will be seeing and doing over the next 14 days. The rest of the evening is free for you to go out and explore on your own and get a feel for China's capital city.
Begin your exploration of this impressive capital city. Walk through vast Tiananmen Square and pass through the beautiful Gate of Heavenly Peace to enter the splendid Forbidden City. Then head into one of Beijing’s few remaining ‘hutongs’ or traditional lanes in the backstreets, stopping at a family home for lunch before hopping on rickshaws for more close-up glimpses of local life. Take a short stroll to the city’s famous Drum Tower and this evening explore the Wangfujing night markets.
This morning travel to Mutianyu, 56 miles north-east of Beijing, to visit the country's most famous attraction - the Great Wall of China, which was built more than 2,000 years ago and extends 3,107 miles from the east coast to the Gobi Desert in the west. Take the cable car up to the Wall from where you can walk or climb sections admiring the panoramic views and reflecting on the enormity of the material and labour required for its construction. Back in town tonight, you can feast on Beijing’s famous roast duck.
Beijing to Xian
Visit the Summer Palace to discover the temples
and pavilions. As you wander through the
grounds, see local people exercising and
practising Tai Chi. In the afternoon, take the
high-speed train to Xian. Visit the 14th century
city walls which stand 12 metres above the city
Discover Xian’s highlights on a full day tour.
Drive to the Army of Terracotta Warriors and see
the life-sized warriors which are unique both in
facial features and expression. Return to Xian and
see the Small Wild Goose Pagoda before visiting
the Xian Museum. Gain insights at the Great
Mosque with its fusion of Islamic and Chinese
architecture before wandering through the
Muslim Quarter to enjoy its lively street markets
and fascinating local foods
Xian to Chengdu
Travel by high-speed train from Xian to Chengdu.
On arrival, visit People’s Park to observe the
relaxed local Chengdu tea house lifestyle before
spending the evening at leisure
Rise early this morning to visit the Giant Panda Research and Breeding Base, just a short drive out of Chengdu and one of the highlights of this region. The base is a fascinating place to observe the pandas and you can see the younger ones at play which is always a source of much entertainment. You may be lucky enough to see newborn pandas who are usually kept in incubators. For lunch, sample a
Wenshuyuan Buddhist meal before
visiting Wenshu Temple, the best preserved Tang
Dynasty Buddhist Temple in Chengdu. Enjoy
free time to walk around the surrounding
colourful market streets and in the evening,
you have the option to see a Sichuan opera
Chengdu to Yangtse Cruise
After a leisurely start to the day, transfer to Chengdu railway station for a journey by high-speed train to Chongqing, on the banks of the mighty Yangtze River. On arrival, you might like to try a traditional hotpot meal before making your way to the river port to board the boat for your cruise through some of the Yangtze River's most spectacular landscapes. Your cruise departs Chongqing at approximately 9pm this evening, so plenty of time to relax on board or explore the port area before you set sail.
Yangtse River Cruise
Leave the industrial surrounds of Chongqing behind and pass small towns whose existence is tied to the waters of the Yangtze. Your first stop is Shibaozhai. Meaning precious stone fortress, this impressive structure is built against a steep hill on the banks of the Yangtze River. Rising to a height of more than 12 stories, every floor of this architectural gem is dedicated to famous generals of the Three Kingdoms period, local scholars and renowned Chinese poets. This evening enjoy a buffet dinner on board.
Yangtse River Cruise
Rise early to admire the magnificent river landscapes as your boat passes through the towering cliffs and mountains of the first and second gorges, Qutang and Wu Gorge. Then take an excursion to Shennv Xi and travel on a small craft for about 12 miles to see its narrow gorges. Surrounded by beautiful peaks, many protected species live here. Return to the ship and enter the third of the main gorges, Xiling Gorge. Tonight join the Captain's Banquet as the ship sails through the mighty five level lock to moor downstream.
Yangtze River to Yichang
Take an early morning excursion to the site of
the Three Gorges Dam Project before returning
to the ship and continue cruising to Yichang,
where the cruise ends. After an included lunch
spend a free afternoon in Yichang
Yichang to Shanghai
Take a morning flight to Shanghai before
embarking on a full day tour discovering the
secrets of Shanghai, from the modern buildings
of Pudong and the China Art Palace to the
colonial French Concession. Venture through the
backstreets to experience the local Shanghai
lifestyle before meandering through Yu Yuan
in the Old Town area. In the evening, enjoy a
performance by world famous Chinese acrobats
Take the high-speed train to the World Heritage
Listed Classical Gardens of Suzhou where you
will visit two outstanding gardens. The Humble
Administrator’s Garden is the largest in Suzhou
and the Master of Nets Garden is known as
one of the finest in China. Stop at the Suzhou
Museum before returning to Shanghai to enjoy
a farewell group dinner
Today your wonderful 14 day Three Gorges Tour around China comes to an end. You can opt to stay on in Shanghai for a few more days and see more of the sights, take an onward flight and experience another part of this fascinating country, or begin your journey back home, taking with you so many great memories that will live with you forever, having had so many wonderful experiences.