Exclusive Sightseeing and Real Engagement

+ We take you deeper inside Tibetan life and culture... By special arrangement, you’ll spend time with a resident family, meet a local doctor, visit a Buddhist nunnery and join in an ancient rite of walking and prayer.
+ See China's panda bears and learn more about these remarkable animals.
+ Delight in the dramatic scenery of the Yangtze Gorges from the privacy of your own stateroom balcony.

Visit 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites c
  • Day 1 - Welcome to Beijing

    Upon arrival, you’ll be warmly greeted and escorted to the 5-star Fairmont Beijing Hotel in the heart of the capital.

  • Day 2 – Beijing’s Imperial Highlights

    Stand in Tiananmen Square and admire the architectural landmarks that surround one of the world’s grandest public plazas. Then follow in the footsteps of Ming Dynasty Emperors on an expertly-guided tour through the magnificent Forbidden City c, a sprawling complex of palaces, courtyards and pavilions. Hopping aboard a rickshaw is the best way to experience one of Beijing’s remaining Hutongs. Amidst the towering skyscrapers, office buildings and newly-built residential complexes, this old city neighborhood is still home to centuries-old, courtyard-style houses. After exploring its narrow lanes, you’ll sit down to lunch with a resident family in their home; this specially-arranged cultural encounter offers a personal look into daily life and some of the Chinese traditions that still endure in this modern capital.
     
    Return to your luxury hotel in mid-afternoon so you’ll have time to rest and relax before this evening’s Peking Duck Banquet at Hua’s Restaurant.  Meals B+L+D

  • Day 3 - Excursion to the Great Wall c

    Juyong Pass was recognized very early in China’s history as a site of great strategic importance and indeed this section of the thousands-mile long Great Wall is one of only three that were recognized by military leaders as being practically impregnable. Today, as you walk atop this ancient defensive structure, your expert guide will be on hand to enrich your exploration with dramatic stories and legends of the great battles that were waged here. Before returning to the city, you’ll stroll along the statue-lined Sacred Way at the Ming Tombs.
     
    This evening is yours to dine as you wish. Here at the Fairmont, The Cut is an award-winning steakhouse with prime meats and fresh seafood. Or head to Lunar 8 for the finest in Asian cuisine - including regional northern Chinese dishes and classic Cantonese fare presented with a modern touch.  Meals B+L

  • Day 4 – The Panda Hall at Beijing Zoo + Summer Palace c

    Today’s sightseeing begins at the Beijing Zoo where we’ll visit the world-famous Panda Hall. Covering nearly 2.5 acres, this world-class exhibit was built in 1989 to be aesthetically pleasing for visitors and – more importantly – to provide a safe and comfortable environment for these large, highly physical animals. After lunch, you’ll tour the resplendent Summer Palace, erstwhile seasonal retreat of China’s emperors. Set on wooded hills surrounding a tranquil lake, this assemblage of pavilions, palaces and gardens offers a fascinating look into Imperial life long ago. Tonight’s dinner at a popular local restaurant offers a firsthand experience of Beijing’s thriving culinary scene and the popularity of international, European-influenced cuisine.  Meals B+L+D

  • Day 5 – Tai Chi at the Temple of Heaven c + Embark Your Cruise

    This morning, you’ll enjoy a guided tour of the Temple of Heaven; 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 and lunch, 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 stylish balcony stateroom as our cruise adventure begins. Meals B+L+D

  • Day 6 - The Immense Three Gorges Dam

    Early risers can start the day with invigorating Tai Chi exercise before an expansive buffet breakfast. A relaxing morning onboard offers a chance to relax on your private balcony, attend an informative talk on Chinese traditions, or indulge in a treatment at the shipboard spa. After lunch, you’ll step off  ship to visit the Three Gorges Dam; stretching more than 3,300 yards across at the top and towering over 600 feet, this massive construction project took 17 years to complete! It’s still the world’s largest hydro-power dam and this afternoon’s guided tour explores its far reaching impact upon the geography, archaeological sites, industries, and residents of the region. Back onboard, you can enjoy a lecture on traditional Chinese medicine. Later, 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 7 - The Yangtze’s Impressive Gorges

    If you wish, you can join fellow passengers for early morning Tai Chi before breakfast is served. Then step off ship for an unforgettable journey up Shennong Stream. You’ll explore this spectacular region in traditional sampan boats poled by Tujia boatmen. The landscapes here are unrivalled, encompassing crystalline rushing waters, dense forests and towering rock formations. As you venture upstream, you’ll espy coffins stowed high within the limestone cliffs that tower above you – a legacy of the region’s earliest inhabitants. Before returning to ship, you’ll visit a nearby village to experience life in a rural community. After lunch, you’ll want to be on your balcony or with fellow passengers on the Sun Deck as the Yangzi Explorer navigates Wu Gorge, renowned for massive cliffs that rise sharply from the river. Later, our ship cruises through spectacular Qutang Gorge, the narrowest of the river’s Three Gorges.  Then enjoy a demonstration of traditional Chinese arts and crafts before sitting down to another elegant à la carte dinner accompanied by free-flowing wine.  Meals B+L+D

  • Day 8 - Ashore in Fuling

    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 traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy. After lunch, you can tailor your touring with the included excursion of your choice:

    + The 816 Underground Project: This unique tour takes you underground into a vast cavern that was built by more than 60,000 laborers as part of a top-secret military project. Initiated in the 1960’s and designed to house China’s first nuclear reactor, construction was halted after 17 years before the project’s completion. The tunnels and cavern remained a closely guarded secret for nearly 50 years until the Government revealed its presence in 2002.
     
    + The White Crane Ridge Underwater Museum: Venture close to 150 feet under water to see what lies beneath the surface of the Yangtze River. You’ll discover ancient rock carvings from the Tang Dynasty that were permanently submerged after the construction of the Dam and also learn about the Yangtze’s flora and fauna. Before returning to ship, you’ll spend time with local farmers and other residents at a lively market filled with a wide variety of fish, meat, produce and Fuling’s famous pickles.
     
    Note: Today’s morning at leisure and your choice of an included afternoon excursion applies to cruises from May to September. Guests on our other sailings will visit the 816 Underground Project in the morning and the White Crane Ridge Underwater Museum in the afternoon.  Meals B+L+D

  • Day 9 – Disembark in Chongqing + Fly to Lhasa, Tibet

    Enjoy a final buffet breakfast onboard before disembarking the Yangzi Explorer in Chongqing. You’ll be escorted to the airport for your included flight to Tibet. After arriving in Lhasa, you’ll spend some time with a family in their home, a wonderful introduction to the life, traditions and warmth of the Tibetan people. Then check in to the sophisticated, 5-star Shangri-La Hotel where you’ll have time to refresh before dinner.  Meals B+D

  • Day 10 – Exploring Lhasa

    Your guided tour of this fascinating city begins after breakfast at Norbulingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lamas. Built in the 18th century, this expansive palace complex encompasses tranquil wooded areas, landscaped garden grounds and lovely pavilions. You’ll also visit Jokhang Temple. Originally founded in the 7th century, this 4-story timber structure topped with gold remains an important pilgrimage site for Tibetan Buddhists. Nearby, you’ll have a chance to explore Barkhor Street with its lively and colorful markets. Then meet with a Tibetan doctor at one of the city’s hospitals and spend some time with a master Tangka painter in his studio. Both of these specially arranged people-to-people encounters promise an enriching and insightful look into Tibetan life and culture.  Meals B+L+D

  • Day 11 – Experience Kora + Tour the Potala Palace c

    This morning, you’ll join local residents as they perform Kora. Observing and even participating in this ancient Buddhist rite of walking and prayer will give you an authentic experience of Tibet’s enduring spiritual traditions. Then tour the magnificent Potala Palace. Built on a mountain ridge in the heart of the Lhasa Valley, this was the winter palace of the Dalai Lama for more than 1,000 years. Continue with a visit to the Sera Monastery, founded in the 15th century, and Anicanggu – the only Buddhist nunnery in the old quarter of the city. This evening’s dinner features traditional Tibetan cuisine and a performance of song and dance.  Meals B+L+D

  • Day 12 – Fly to Xian, China’s First Capital

    After breakfast, we’ll take you to the airport for your included flight to Xian, the ancient capital of China for 13 dynasties. On arrival, you’ll be met and escorted to the deluxe Hilton Hotel. A+R guests enjoy upgraded Executive Rooms with high speed Internet and complimentary access to the Executive Lounge. After checking in, the balance of your afternoon and evening are at leisure to enjoy as you wish. With an enviable location inside the historic city walls, you’ll find Xian’s finest shops, restaurants and entertainment outside your front door.  Meals B

  • Day 13 – Touch Antiquity + The Terra Cotta Warriors c

    This morning, a specially arranged experience awaits you at the Xian Museum. China’s history, of course, stretches back for thousands of years and excavated relics now offer extraordinary insight into the culture, beliefs and daily lives of China’s ancient civilizations. This morning, you’ll join museum curators to literally Touch Antiquity – donning white gloves to hold and examine some of these ancient artifacts as these experts illuminate their historic significance and explain what they can teach us about ancient China.
     
    After lunch, we’ll visit China’s greatest archaeological discovery, uncovered by local villagers in 1974. Stand in awe before the thousands of life-sized terra cotta soldiers and horses that were buried 2,000 years ago in perfect infantry formation to guard the tomb of an Emperor. With our expert guide at your side, this unforgettable visit offers a fascinating look into China’s ancient history. Back at the Hilton Hotel, the evening is yours to enjoy and dine as you wish.  Meals B+L

  • Day 14 – Fly to Shanghai

    We include this morning’s airport transfer and your flight to Shanghai. On arrival, you’ll be escorted to the Fairmont Peace Hotel, the city’s storied Art Deco landmark. The balance of this day is at leisure to enjoy as you like. With our hotel’s prime location overlooking the historic waterfront Bund and close to bustling Nanjing Road, it’s easy to step out for your first taste of Shanghai’s cosmopolitan allure.  Meals B

  • Day 15 – Full Day, Small Group Sightseeing

    Today’s sightseeing begins along the Bund, home to impressive landmarks built more than a century ago by Japanese and European trading companies. Then delight in the beauty of Yu Yuan Garden, originally created by a Ming Dynasty court official as a retreat for his aging parents.  After lunch, you’ll visit the Shanghai Museum, highly regarded for its expansive collection encompassing thousands of years of Chinese arts and culture – including ancient bronzes, celadon pottery, precious jade and exquisite antique furniture. This evening, we’ll take you to one of our favorite Shanghai restaurants for a congenial Farewell Dinner.  Meals B+L+D

  • Day 16 – Depart Shanghai

    We’ll take you to the airport today for your homeward flight or onward journey.  Meals B

Extend Your Trip

  • The Allure of Hong Kong

    4-Day Pre-Tour Extension from $1,199

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

    View Day by Day »

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  • Shangri-La - Lhasa, Tibet

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  • Hilton Hotel - Xian, China

    Tang Dynasty artwork and contemporary style blend beautifully at our 5-star hotel, ideally located downtown within the ancient city walls. A+R guests enjoy upgraded accommodations in an Executive Room that offers access to the Executive Lounge for evening cocktails as well as free use of the fitness center and indoor swimming pool where you can rejuvenate after sightseeing. Executive Room amenities include complimentary high speed Internet, high thread-count linens, pillow menu, and an LCD flat panel television with HBO.

  • The Fairmont - Beijing, China

    Bringing unprecedented luxury to China’s capital, the Fairmont Beijing offers an outstanding location in the heart of the central business district. Spacious guestrooms feature contemporary furnishings and are generously appointed with a 42-inch flat screen television, electronic safe, and floor-to-ceiling windows. En suite baths offer spa-quality amenities, a heated floor, large soaking tub and separate rainforest shower. After sightseeing, you might opt for a pampering treatment in the spa or invigorate with a work out in the modern fitness center. Onsite dining options include a contemporary steakhouse and Lunar 8, the Fairmont’s award-winning Chinese restaurant.

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

  • Main Deck Cabin

    Main Deck Cabin

    Now undergoing full refurbishment, China’s finest luxury small ship the Yangzi Explorer will reemerge later this year with a stylish new look in all 62 suites and staterooms. Featuring the most spacious cabins (all with balconies!) and contemporary Chinese style, our luxury shipboard experience will be enhanced with a newly designed restaurant and a talented culinary team focused on an exciting new menu of regional Chinese cuisine and international dishes. Enjoy expertly guided small group excursions enhanced with our enriching shipboard culture + education program. The inviting Explorer Lounge and onboard spa add to your cruising experience.

    Ship DeckPlan

Our Original Journey Value

+ Comprehensive sightseeing and all shore excursions including entrance fees
+ 11 nights in our deluxe and luxury hotels
+ 4 nights in a balcony stateroom aboard China’s finest and most intimate ship
+ All on-tour transportation including airport transfers and all internal flights
+ Gratuities for all local guides, drivers, porters, meals.
+ Luggage handling, port charges, hotel taxes, service charges, all airline fees and fuel charges for your included flights

Trip Pricing

  • Traveling as a single?

Begins Shanghai - 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
9/4/2019
Guaranteed
9/19/2019 $7499 $6999 $7599 $7099 $7699 $7199 $8499 $7999 $8699 $8199
         
9/18/2019
Guaranteed
10/3/2019 $7499 $6999 $7599 $7099 $7699 $7199 $8499 $7999 $8699 $8199
         
10/2/2019
Sold Out
10/17/2019 $7499 $6999 $7599 $7099 $7699 $7199 $8499 $7999 $8699 $8199
         
10/23/2019
Guaranteed
11/7/2019 $7499 $6999 $7599 $7099 $7699 $7199 $8499 $7999 $8699 $8199
         

Select all Deals that apply for best available price.

  • Travel is one of  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
  • Save $1000 per couple + $500 solo on all of our Small Group, Small Ship and Private Journeys when you pay-in-full at time of booking.

Extend Your Trip

  • The Allure of Hong Kong

    4-Day Pre-Tour Extension from $1,199

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

    View Day by Day »

Our Private Journey Value

+ Comprehensive sightseeing and all shore excursions including entrance fees
+ 36 meals: 15 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 11 dinners
+ 11 nights in superior first class, deluxe and luxury hotels
+ 4 nights in a balcony stateroom aboard China’s best ship
+ All on-tour transportation including all 5 internal flights 
+ Gratuities for drivers, waiters and porters
+ Luggage handling, port charges, hotel taxes and service charges, and all airline fees and fuel charges for your 5 included flights
+ JourneyAssist, our toll-free 24/7 emergency on-tour assistance

Trip Pricing

  • Traveling as a single?

Land Only - 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
8/21/2019 9/5/2019 $7999 $7499 $8079 $7579 $8159 $7659 $9099 $8599 Call for Details
         
8/28/2019 9/12/2019 $8199 $7699 $8279 $7779 $8359 $7859 $9299 $8799 $9399 $8899
         
9/4/2019 9/19/2019 $8199 $7699 $8279 $7779 $8359 $7859 $9299 $8799 $9399 $8899
         
9/11/2019 9/26/2019 $8199 $7699 $8279 $7779 $8359 $7859 $9299 $8799 $9399 $8899
         
9/18/2019 10/3/2019 $8199 $7699 $8279 $7779 $8359 $7859 $9299 $8799 $9399 $8899
         
9/25/2019 10/10/2019 $8199 $7699 $8279 $7779 $8359 $7859 $9299 $8799 $9399 $8899
         
10/2/2019 10/17/2019 $8199 $7699 $8279 $7779 $8359 $7859 $9299 $8799 $9399 $8899
         
10/9/2019 10/24/2019 $8199 $7699 $8279 $7779 $5359 $4859 $9299 $8799 $9399 $8899
         
10/16/2019 10/31/2019 $8199 $7699 $8279 $7779 $8359 $7859 $9299 $8799 $9399 $8899
         
10/23/2019 11/7/2019 $7999 $7499 $8079 $7579 $8159 $7659 $9099 $8599 $9199 $8699
         
10/30/2019 11/14/2019 $7999 $7499 $8079 $7579 $8159 $7659 $9099 $8599 $9199 $8699
         
11/6/2019 11/21/2019 $7799 $7299 $7879 $7379 $8159 $7659 $9099 $8599 $9199 $8699
         
11/13/2019 11/28/2019 $7799 $7299 $7879 $7379 $7959 $7459 $8899 $8399 $8999 $8499
         

Select all Deals that apply for best available price.

  • Save $1000 per couple + $500 solo on all of our Small Group, Small Ship and Private Journeys when you pay-in-full at time of booking.
  • Travel is one of  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

Prices are per person, land only. Holiday surcharges may apply. We offer air on Cathay Pacific or United. Add extra nights. A single entry China visa is required for U.S. citizens.

Extend Your Trip

  • The Allure of Hong Kong

    4-Day Pre-Tour Extension from $1,199

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

    View Day by Day »

Private Tour Add-Ons

  • Yunnan

    8 Day FreeStyle Tour

    Delight in the intimacy and flexibility of having your own personal car, driver and expert guide as you tour ancient Lijiang, explore the ethnic cultures of Yunnan province and discover the magnificent landscapes of Zhongdian, the fabled land of Shangri-La!

  • Yellow Mountain

    5 Day Freestyle Tour

Trip Reviews

Average Traveler Rating:  Review This Trip »

(95 Traveler Reviews)

  • Jill from SC gives this tour 

    Loved the panda sanctuary and Xiam and of course our tour director Leo! He was fabulous.


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    Date Traveled: 10/5/2018

  • Gene from SC gives this tour 

    Tibet was a great experience. Our guide Leo was great!!!


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    Date Traveled: 10/5/2018

  • Stanley from AK gives this tour 

    Liked the Yangtze cruise, Lhasa-Tibet, the Great Wall, and the Tang Dynasty show.


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    Date Traveled: 10/5/2018

  • Chang from WI gives this tour 

    Enjoyed the Yangtze cruise, and Tibet


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    Value for the Money 



    Date Traveled: 10/5/2018

  • Wen-Bin from MA gives this tour 

    Our tour guide, Leo, was excellent in doing his job. He went out of his way to make sure our needs were met.


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    Date Traveled: 10/5/2018


Save $1000 Per Couple
+ $500 Solo

Pay in full at time of booking.

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Join the Barkhor Kora
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