Small Group Discoveries for World Travelers

+ Experience life as a city resident as you browse in a market for produce to bring to your hosts, a local Beijing family who will offer real personal insight into this rapidly evolving city.
+ Learn Tai Chi with a master as you join him for a private class at the Temple of Heaven.
+ A Xian resident shares his lifetime of experience as you explore with him through a city market filled with exotic fare.
+ Meet the chef over lunch at Xiangyue Villa in Shanghai and learn about his fascinating career that took him from Shanghai’s finest restaurants to San Francisco and back.
+ Includes 4 UNESCO World Heritage sites c

2015 Itinerary2016 Itinerary

  • Day 1 – Welcome to Beijing

    Check in to your city central 5-star Fairmont Beijing where a luxury room awaits.
  • Day 2 – In and around Beijing with your Trip Leader

    Join your Trip Leader after breakfast to explore Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City c. Browse in a colorful local market and help your guide to select produce for your hosts, a resident family you’ll join for lunch during your rickshaw tour through a hutong, an ancient enclave in this bustling city. This evening, you’ll enjoy a delicious Peking Duck Banquet. Meals B,L,D
  • Day 3 – Great Wall & Summer Palace

    Journey into the mountains north of the capital and ascend by cable car to walk with your guide atop the Great Wall c - an unforgettable experience! Then tour the lovely Summer Palace c, erstwhile seasonal retreat of China’s mighty emperors. Meals B,L
  • Day 4 – From Beijing to your 5-star ship!

    This morning, we’ve made special arrangements for our guests to have a private class with a knowledgeable Tai Chi Master. Then fly to Yichang where you’ll be met and escorted to the pier. Board the MS Yangzi Explorer, China’s finest ship, and settle in to your balcony stateroom before an elegant dinner with wine. Meals B,D
  • Day 5 – The immense Three Gorges Dam

    Early risers can start the day with invigorating Tai Chi before breakfast. Enjoy a relaxing morning of scenic cruising or join in the ship’s enriching cultural program. After lunch, visit the massive Three Gorges Dam and return to ship for Afternoon Tea as you cruise through Xiling Gorge. Meals B,L,D 
  • Day 6 – Up Shennong Stream and through the Yangtze Gorges

    A morning sampan excursion takes you up Shennong Stream, celebrated for its spectacular mountain scenery. Back onboard, the Explorer navigates through Wu Gorge, renowned for its massive cliffs, and Qutang Gorge, the narrowest of the Three Gorges. Meals B,L,D 
  • Day 7 – Ashore in Fengdu

    Get a first hand look at how life in a small river town has changed since the completion of the massive Three Gorges Dam as you explore Fengdu’s New City, built for residents who were forced by the Dam’s rising waters to relocate to higher ground. You’ll visit a local kindergarten and explore a city market filled with a wide variety of produce and locally made goods. Continue to the Old City to visit a Qing Dynasty mansion, deserted since the completion of the New City relocation project.

    Back onboard, you can try your hand at traditional brush painting, learn Mah Jong, watch as the ship’s chef prepares savory Chinese dumplings – or just enjoy the captivating scenery from your private balcony or one of the ship’s inviting public areas. At this evening’s festive Farewell Dinner, your crew will be colorfully garbed in traditional Chinese dress.  Meals B,L,D
  • Day 8 – Disembark in Chongqing and Fly to Xian

    Visit the Panda’s in Chongqing Zoo before your flight to Xian. Join a Xian resident as he shares his lifetime of experience on a guided walking tour through a bustling local market, popularly referred to as the Muslim Market. Enjoy a dinner of savory dumplings, a regional favorite, and retreat to the 5-star Hilton Hotel, ideally located within the city’s ancient walls. Meals B,D
  • Day 9 – Discover the Terra Cotta Army c

    With only 16 fellow travelers, you’ll enjoy a better view and more time to marvel at the Terra Cotta Warriors. We’ve also made special arrangements for one of the site’s archaeologists to meet with us and answer questions. Enjoy a festive lunch of regional cuisine as you watch a lively noodle-making demonstration in Xian… It’s a fascinating look into an ancient Chinese culinary tradition. Meals B,L,D
  • Day 10 – Onward to Shanghai

    Fly to Shanghai and transfer to the city central Fairmont Peace Hotel. Then step out with your guide to explore this bustling part of town. Tonight you’ll attend a thrilling performance of the Shanghai Acrobats. Meals B
  • Day 11 – Shanghai sightseeing

    Walk along the historic waterfront Bund and delight in the lovely Yu Yuan Garden. Then tour the Shanghai Museum, highly regarded for its carefully curated exhibits spanning centuries of Chinese culture. Sit down to lunch at Xiangyue Villa and meet with the chef to learn about his fascinating life. He began his culinary career in 1987 at one of Shanghai’s most famous restaurants and then spent time working at the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco before returning to his native land where he is now overseeing the kitchen at this delightful restaurant.  Meals B,L,D
  • Day 12 – Farewell to Shanghai

    Our tour program ends this morning after breakfast. Meals B

Extend Your Journey

  • Hong Kong Insider Extension from Shanghai

    4-Day Small Group Extension from $1,399

    This affordable easy-to-add Tour Extension includes your flight from Shanghai to Hong Kong, 3 nights at our stylish city-center hotel, daily breakfast, lunch at Jimmy’s Kitchen and our unique Be a Hong Kong Insider full-day tour.

    View Day by Day »

Similar Trips

Check In!

  • Sofitel Wanda Hotel

    With a central location in the Beijing, Sofitel Wanda Beijing offers easy access to the Exhibition Center, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. The hotel's striking design draws on Sino-French influences and accentuates the strong cultural links between France and China reflected in the overall theme and décor. The hotel features 417 luxurious rooms, 4 restaurants, a Grand Ballroom, Health Club and indulgent LeSpa. Guest accommodations include in-room safe, high-speed internet access, mini-bar and satellite television.

  • Fairmont Beijing

    The Fairmont Beijing Hotel brings unprecedented luxury and hospitality offering guests a distinctive stay right in the heart of China’s modern capital business center. Located in the central business district, our distinctive collection of comfortable and contended guest rooms, top-end spa treatments, gym facilities and award-winning restaurants allow our globe-trotting guests to enjoy opulence from all aspects, while on their journey in China’s capital. Continuing The Fairmont Hotel’s global brand of unique hospitality excellence, The Fairmont Hotel Beijing has been recognized in various awards and accolades over the past few years, including Beijing’s Best Business Hotel by TTG Asia 2012, Trip Advisor’s Number One Hotel in 2012, Traveler’s Choice Award in 2013 for Luxury, and Traveler's Choice Award in 2014 for Romance and Luxury. 

  • Hilton Hotel Xian

    Tang Dynasty artwork and contemporary style blend beautifully at this new deluxe hotel, ideally located downtown within the ancient walls of the city.

  • Le Royal Meridien Hotel Shanghai

    Located in the center of Shanghai on the historic Nanjing Road East, opposite the People's Square, and overlooking the Shanghai Museum and Shanghai Grand Theater, Le Royal Méridien Shanghai is one of the city's tallest landmarks at 66 stories high. The hotel is surrounded by superb restaurants, bars, shops, and museums. It's 761 guest rooms provide a 42" plasma TV, DVD/CD player, rain shower, wireless and High Speed Internet Access, and floor-to-ceiling/wall-to-wall windows and views of the Bund and the Huang Pu River, People's Square Park, or Shanghai's skyline. Ten restaurants and bars offer a variety of dining options. The property also includes currency exchange, fitness center and spa, safe deposit boxes, sauna, pool and gym.

  • Fairmont Peace Hotel

    Now a member of prestigious Fairmont Hotels, this historic landmark on the Bund has been splendidly renovated and is once again the city’s premier luxury address.

Welcome Aboard!Qutang Deck SuiteWu Deck SuiteWu Deck CabinXiling DeckMain Deck

  • Main Deck Cabin

    Main Deck Cabin

    With only 58 beautiful staterooms, the all-balcony Yangzi Explorer is the most intimate ship on the river. An elegant single-seating dining room features fine international cuisine including wine with lunch and dinner. Enjoy expertly guided, small-group shore excursions, relax in the Explorer Lounge, and refresh in the spa. To enhance your voyage, the Explorer offers a comprehensive and enriching onboard cultural program.

    Ship DeckPlan

Our Small Group Sampler includes...

+ All-inclusive 4 nights in a balcony cabin on the MS Yangzi Explorer including all sightseeing, fine dining and wine with lunch and dinner
+ Extensive escorted sightseeing with never more than 16 guests including all entry fees + 7 nights in our handpicked deluxe and luxury hotels
+ 27 meals featuring international and Chinese cuisine: 11 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 8 dinners
+ All on-tour transportation including airport transfers and all 3 internal flights
+ Luggage handling, hotel taxes, port charges, and fees for all included flights

Trip Pricing

  • Traveling as a single?

Land - Per Person Double

Dates   Main Deck Xiling Deck Wu Deck Cabin Wu Deck Suite Qutang Deck Suite
Departure Return   Regular Deal Regular Deal Regular Deal Regular Deal Regular Deal
11/2/2015 $4599 $4299 $4679 $4379 $4759 $4459 $5624 $5324 $5699 $5399
10/29/2015 11/9/2015 $4599 $4299 $4679 $4379 $4759 $4459 $5624 $5324 $5699 $5399
Sold Out Sold Out Sold Out Sold Out Sold Out
11/5/2015 11/16/2015 $4599 $4299 $4679 $4379 $4759 $4459 $5624 $5324 $5699 $5399
3/17/2016 3/28/2016 $4599 $4299 $4679 $4379 $4759 $4459 $5699 $5399 $5799 $5499
4/25/2016 $4799 $4499 $4879 $4579 $4959 $4659 $5899 $5599 $5999 $5699
5/5/2016 5/16/2016 $4799 $4499 $4879 $4579 $4959 $4659 $5899 $5599 $5999 $5699
6/16/2016 6/27/2016 $4499 $4199 $4579 $4279 $4659 $4359 $5599 $5299 $5699 $5399
7/18/2016 $3999 $3699 $4079 $3779 $4159 $3859 $5099 $4799 $5199 $4899
9/19/2016 $4799 $4499 $4879 $4579 $4959 $4659 $5899 $5599 $5999 $5699
9/26/2016 $4799 $4499 $4879 $4579 $4959 $4659 $5899 $5599 $5999 $5699
10/13/2016 10/24/2016 $4799 $4499 $4879 $4579 $4959 $4659 $5899 $5599 $5999 $5699
10/31/2016 $4799 $4499 $4879 $4579 $4959 $4659 $5899 $5599 $5999 $5699
3/16/2017 3/27/2017 $4799 $4499 $4879 $4579 $4959 $4659 $5899 $5599 $5999 $5699
4/13/2017 4/24/2017 $4799 $4499 $4879 $4579 $4959 $4659 $5899 $5599 $5999 $5699

Select all Deals that apply for best available price.

  • Save $600 per couple + $300 solo on all of our Small Group, Small Ship and Private Journeys worldwide when you pay in full at time of booking. Choose from our original upscale journeys to Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, North America, South Pacific, Antarctica and the Middle East.
  • Travel is one life's most rewarding experiences, perhaps even more so when it's shared with those you love! Combine our limited-time pay-in-full discount with our Family & Friends offers and save even more:
    • Save $50 more per person when 3 guests go
    • Save $100 more per person with 4 people
    • Save $150 more per person with 5 people
    • Save $200 more per person with 6 or more people!
    For Groups of 8 or more please call 800.221.2216

Ask about international air service on Royal Cathay Pacific or United , including business class. See your travel agent or call us for current international airfare associated with this program. We offer both economy and business class fares. Prices are in U.S. currency and are per person based on double occupancy, unless otherwise noted. Availability is limited.

Extra nights are available before or after your tour.

Extend Your Journey

  • Hong Kong Insider Extension from Shanghai

    4-Day Small Group Extension from $1,399

    This affordable easy-to-add Tour Extension includes your flight from Shanghai to Hong Kong, 3 nights at our stylish city-center hotel, daily breakfast, lunch at Jimmy’s Kitchen and our unique Be a Hong Kong Insider full-day tour.

    View Day by Day »

Trip Pricing

  • Traveling as a single?

Extend Your Journey

  • Hong Kong Insider Extension from Shanghai

    4-Day Small Group Extension from $1,399

    This affordable easy-to-add Tour Extension includes your flight from Shanghai to Hong Kong, 3 nights at our stylish city-center hotel, daily breakfast, lunch at Jimmy’s Kitchen and our unique Be a Hong Kong Insider full-day tour.

    View Day by Day »

FreeStyle Travel Add-Ons

  • Guilin

    3 day FreeStyle Tour

    Our 3-day FreeStyle Travel package includes a choice of fine hotels, daily breakfast, full day sightseeing with Li River cruise and private car airport transfers.

  • Yellow Mountain

    5 Day Freestyle Tour

  • Lhasa

    4 Day FreeStyle Travel

    Our 4-day FreeStyle Tour includes a choice of fine hotels, 6 meals, extensive sightseeing with your own personal car, driver and guide and chauffeured airport transfers.

  • Be A Hong Kong Insider

    4 Day Privately Guided Journey

    Our resident guide will take you around town like a savvy insider to discover facets of Hong Kong which few visitors ever glimpse! We include transfers, a choice of fine city-center hotels, our exclusive Be a Hong Kong Insider full-day private tour, and more!

Trip Reviews

Average Traveler Rating:  Review This Trip »

(28 Traveler Reviews)

  • AJAY from MD gives this tour 

    OVERALL HAD A BLAST!! Read More »

  • Lesta from FL gives this tour 

    Terrific tour company providing the best of everything. The privately guided option in India was amazing. Read More »

  • Jane from MA gives this tour 

    Our tour guide Mr LI was fantastic. One of the best. He really made the trip special and went out of his way to make our trip the best ever. The trip is not suitable for older people. There was a man 88 years old who made it very difficult for the guide and theguests. You should try to stress more that those who are not capable should not be on a trip like this. Read More »

  • Rod from DE gives this tour 

    We truly enjoyed our trip. Li our guide was great throughout, very knowledgeable, very conscious of everybody's needs, and a major ehhancement to our experience. With the one exception above we would not change a thing. Thanks! Read More »

  • Yolanda from FL gives this tour 

    I had not traveled before with a small tour group so I am not sure why the local tour guides did not enforce a more strict time to pick up us. We would be told to be ready by 9am but only the driver, tour guide and I would be on time. The other two people in the tour were late almost every day in Beijing, Xian and Shanghai. I would suggest that the guides should emphasize that the tour needs to start sharply at ?. It is not fair that on an average, I had to seat and wait 30-45 minutes. Read More »

  • Lawrence from UT gives this tour 

    The entire trip was a delight, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Summer Place, Terra Cotta Soldier. The most enjoyable portion of the trip was the 4 days on the Yangzi Explorer, service was excellent, the food was great and the daily tours a great experience. The three gorges dam, going through the locks, going up Shennong Stream, viewing the Chongqing, Mountain City and Fengdu, The Ghost city from the deck of the Yangzi Explorer. The trip ended in the great city of Shanghai, where we walked... Read More »

  • Brian from CA gives this tour 

    Tour Guide's knowledge of China was delightful! Read More »

  • Milta from FL gives this tour 

    Historical sites in Beijing and Xi'an Terracotta Warriors were great! Read More »

  • Jack from WI gives this tour 

    It was great revisiting sights last seen 12 years ago! Read More »

  • Lori from AL gives this tour 

    Our guide made the trip come alive, and we left with a true love of China. Read More »

Save $600 Per Couple
+ $300 Solo

Just pay in full at time of booking.

Be a Hong Kong Insider...
4 days from $1,359

We Include:
  • Shanghai to Hong Kong flight
  • 3 nights city-center hotel
  • Daily breakfast
  • Lunch at Jimmy’s Kitchen
  • Our unique Be a Hong Kong Insider full-day tour!

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Silk Road Smorgasbord: Xian’s Muslim Quarter  

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