Small Group Discoveries for our World Travelers

+ Gain deeper insight into 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.
+ Go behind the scenes with caretakers at the Panda Research Station in Chengdu to feed a Panda.
+ Meet the actors at the Sichuan Opera and watch as they apply their intricate "face-changing" make-up.
+ Experience one of China's oldest culinary traditions with a noodle-making demonstration in Xian.
+ Includes 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites c

2017 Itinerary2018 Itinerary

  • Day 1 - Welcome to Shanghai

    Upon arrival, you’ll be warmly greeted and escorted to the Fairmont Peace Hotel. This luxury Art Deco landmark enjoys a privileged city-center location overlooking the historic waterfront Bund.
  • Day 2 - Full-day Small Group sightseeing

    Today’s sightseeing begins at 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, Buddhist sculptures and exquisite antique furniture. Continue your foray into other fascinating facets of China’s long and rich history as you admire the turn-of-the-century landmarks that grace the Bund and stroll in Yu Yuan Garden – originally created by a Ming Dynasty court official for his aging parents. This evening, you’ll enjoy fine regional cuisine with wine.  Meals B+L+D

  • Day 3 - Embark the all-balcony Yangzi Explorer

    After breakfast, you’ll be escorted to the airport for your included flight to Yichang, an ancient city that has grown into a bustling river port on the northern banks of the Yangtze River. On arrival, you’ll be transferred to the pier where the intimate Yangzi Explorer awaits. You’ll have time to settle in to your balcony stateroom and refresh before dinner is served in the elegant Dynasty Palace restaurant. Choose from a tempting array of international and regional Chinese dishes, accompanied by free-flowing wine.  Meals B+D

  • Day 4 - The Immense Three Gorges Dam

    Enjoy a leisurely morning onboard as our stylish and intimate ship charts an upstream course along the mighty Yangtze! Early risers can start the day with invigorating Tai Chi exercise before an expansive buffet breakfast. Throughout the morning, you can admire the scenery from your private balcony, relax with fellow guests in the lounge or participate in shipboard cultural activities, lectures and demonstrations. After lunch, 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 and residents of the region. Return to ship for Afternoon Tea as the Explorer navigates through picturesque Xiling Gorge. Tonight’s Captain’s Welcome Reception is followed by dinner and then entertainment in the Tang Theater.  Meals B+L+D

  • Day 5 - 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.  Keep your eyes peeled for indigenous species including the elusive Golden Hair monkey. Back onboard, the 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.  Enjoy a demonstration of traditional Chinese arts and crafts before sitting down to another elegant a la carte dinner accompanied by complimentary wine.  Meals B+L+D

  • Day 6 - Ashore in Fengdu

    Get a first hand look at how life in a small river town has changed since the completion of the 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. Return to ship in time for lunch and enjoy a leisurely afternoon of scenic cruising. You can take in the passing scenery from your private balcony or one of the ship’s inviting public areas. Throughout the afternoon, our shipboard enrichment program continues with lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on workshops in Chinese calligraphy, traditional brush painting, Mahjong and the art of dumpling making. At this evening’s Farewell Dinner, your crew will be garbed in traditional Chinese dress.  Meals B+L+D

  • Day 7 - Disembark + Fly to Tibet

    Enjoy a final buffet breakfast in the Dynasty Palace restaurant before disembarking the Yangzi Explorer in Chongqing. You’ll be escorted to the airport for your included flight to Tibet. Upon arrival in Lhasa, you’ll be met and transferred to the sophisticated, 5-star Shangri-La Hotel. The rest of this day is free so you can relax and acclimate to the altitude.  Meals B+D
  • Day 8 - Exploring Lhasa

    Your exploration 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 pavilions. You’ll also visit Anicanggu, the only Buddhist nunnery in the old quarter of the city and tour 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 resident family in their home and spend 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 daily Tibetan life and culture.  Meals B+L+D
  • Day 9 - Experience Kora and tour 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. After lunch, you’ll 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 since the 7th century. Continue with a visit to the Sera Monastery, founded in the 15th century, and then spend some time at a local hospital where a Tibetan doctor will offer insight into his use of both traditional and Western medicine.  Meals B+L+D
  • Day 10 - Fly to Chengdu

    You’ll be escorted to the airport today for your included flight to the thriving city of Chengdu in southwestern China. Upon arrival, you’ll be met and transferred to the 5-star Shangri-La Hotel. This evening, you’ll enjoy a performance of the celebrated Sichuan Opera, known for the artistry and amazing skill of its “face changing” actors who can subtly change their masks and make-up ten times in 30 seconds. By special arrangement, you’ll go backstage before the performance for an exclusive look as these talented actors apply their intricate make-up!  Meals B+D

  • Day 11 - Encounter a Panda and fly to Xian

    Established to breed and then reintroduce Giant Pandas into their native habitats, the Center at Dujiangyan Panda Valley offers a chance to see and learn about these amazing creatures. This morning we take you behind-the-scenes to spend time with their caretakers for an amazingly informative and up-close experience – it’s a rare treat available to few visitors! Then transfer to the airport for your included flight to Xian. Upon arrival, you’ll be escorted to the deluxe Hilton Hotel – ideally situated within the ancient city walls. Meals B+L
  • Day 12 - Visit the Terra Cotta Army and City Walls c

    In 1974, local villagers digging a well stumbled upon what would ultimately become China’s greatest archaeological discovery… Thousands of life-sized terra cotta soldiers and horses that had been buried in perfect infantry formation to guard the tomb of an Emperor! This morning, you’ll gaze upon this extraordinary site as our expert guide sheds light on their history and discovery. At lunch, you’ll learn about the traditional art of noodle-making. Then visit the old defensive walls that still surround much of Xian’s historic core and hear colorful stories about the city – the ancient capital of China for more than a dozen dynasties.  Meals B+L
  • Day 13 - Fly to Beijing c

    Transfer to the airport for your included flight to Beijing where you’ll be escorted to the 5-star Fairmont Beijing Hotel in the heart of the capital. This afternoon, you’ll enjoy a guided tour of 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 Imperial life long ago.  Meals B+D
  • Day 14 - Beijing’s Imperial highlights c

    Marvel at the grandeur of Tiananmen Square and then step back into the days of the Ming Dynasty as you tour the sprawling Forbidden City, once the exclusive domain of China’s mighty emperors. Then explore by rickshaw through the narrow lanes of a Beijing hutong. Sitting down to lunch with a resident family here in their home offers fascinating insight into daily life in one of the city’s last remaining enclaves of traditional centuries-old courtyard homes. meals b+l
  • Day 15 - 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, gather with your fellow guests for a Peking Duck banquet at Hua’s Restaurant.  Meals B+L+D
  • Day 16 - Depart Beijing

    Your journey with us ends when we take you to the airport for your onward flight. meals b

Extend Your Trip

  • Be a Hong Kong Insider!

    4-Day Pre-Tour Extension from $1,299

    Experience facets of Hong Kong which few visitors ever glimpse. We include your flight from Shanghai to Hong Kong, 3 nights at the 5-star Kowloon Shangri-La, daily breakfast, lunch at Jimmy’s Kitchen and our exclusive Be a Hong Kong Insider full-day tour.

    View Day by Day »

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Check In!

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  • Shangri-La Hotel - Chengdu, China

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  • Hilton Hotel - Xian, China

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

  • Fairmont - Beijing, China

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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 Small Ship 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?

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
4/20/2018
Guaranteed
5/5/2018 $7299 $6799 $7379 $6879 $7459 $6959 $8399 $7899 $8499 $7999
         
6/15/2018
Guaranteed
6/30/2018 $7099 $6599 $7179 $6679 $7259 $6759 $8199 $7699 $8299 $7799
         
8/17/2018
Guaranteed
9/1/2018 $7299 $6799 $7379 $6879 $7459 $6959 $8399 $7899 $8499 $7999
         
9/7/2018
Guaranteed
9/22/2018 $7599 $7099 $7679 $7179 $7759 $7259 $8699 $8199 $8799 $8299
         
9/14/2018
Guaranteed
9/29/2018 $7599 $7099 $7679 $7179 $7759 $7259 $8699 $8199 $8799 $8299
         
10/5/2018
Guaranteed
10/20/2018 $7599 $7099 $7679 $7179 $7759 $7259 $8699 $8199 $8799 $8299
         
10/12/2018
Guaranteed
10/27/2018 $7599 $7099 $7679 $7179 $7759 $7259 $8699 $8199 $8799 $8299
         
4/26/2019
Guaranteed
5/11/2019 $7599 $7099 $7679 $7179 $7759 $7259 $8699 $8199 $8799 $8299
         

Select all Deals that apply for best available price.

  • Save $1,000 per couple + $500 solo on all of our Small Group, Small Ship and Private Journeys when you book and pay-in-full before Dec 31, 2017.
  • 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

Extend Your Trip

  • Be a Hong Kong Insider!

    4-Day Pre-Tour Extension from $1,299

    Experience facets of Hong Kong which few visitors ever glimpse. We include your flight from Shanghai to Hong Kong, 3 nights at the 5-star Kowloon Shangri-La, daily breakfast, lunch at Jimmy’s Kitchen and our exclusive Be a Hong Kong Insider full-day tour.

    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
3/15/2018 3/30/2018 $7799 $7299 $7879 $7379 $7959 $7459 $8899 $8399 $8999 $8499
         
3/22/2018 4/6/2018 $7799 $7299 $7879 $7379 $7959 $7459 $8899 $8399 $8999 $8499
         
3/29/2018 4/13/2018 $7799 $7299 $7879 $7379 $7959 $7459 $8899 $8399 $8999 $8499
         
4/5/2018 4/20/2018 $8299 $7799 $8379 $7879 $8459 $7959 $9399 $8899 $9499 $8999
         
4/12/2018 4/27/2018 $8299 $7799 $8379 $7879 $8459 $7959 $9399 $8899 $9499 $8999
         
4/19/2018 5/4/2018 $8299 $7799 $8379 $7879 $8459 $7959 $9399 $8899 $9499 $8999
         
4/26/2018 5/11/2018 $8299 $7799 $8379 $7879 $8459 $7959 $9399 $8899 $9499 $8999
         
5/3/2018 5/18/2018 $8299 $7799 $8379 $7879 $8459 $7959 $9399 $8899 $9499 $8999
         
5/10/2018 5/25/2018 $8299 $7799 $8379 $7879 $8459 $7959 $9399 $8899 $9499 $8999
         
5/17/2018 6/1/2018 $8299 $7799 $8379 $7879 $8459 $7959 $9399 $8899 $9499 $8999
         
5/24/2018 6/8/2018 $8299 $7799 $8379 $7879 $8459 $7959 $9399 $8899 $9499 $8999
         
5/31/2018 6/15/2018 $8299 $7799 $8379 $7879 $8459 $7959 $9399 $8899 $9499 $8999
         
6/7/2018 6/22/2018 $7799 $7299 $7879 $7379 $7959 $7459 $8899 $8399 $8999 $8499
         
6/14/2018 6/29/2018 $7799 $7299 $7879 $7379 $7959 $7459 $8899 $8399 $8999 $8499
         
6/21/2018 7/6/2018 $7799 $7299 $7879 $7379 $7959 $7459 $8899 $8399 $8999 $8499
         
6/28/2018 7/13/2018 $8299 $7799 $8379 $7879 $8459 $7959 $9399 $8899 $9499 $8999
         
7/5/2018 7/20/2018 $8299 $7799 $8379 $7879 $8459 $7959 $9399 $8899 $9499 $8999
         
7/12/2018 7/27/2018 $8299 $7799 $8379 $7879 $8459 $7959 $9399 $8899 $9499 $8999
         
7/19/2018 8/3/2018 $8299 $7799 $8379 $7879 $8459 $7959 $9399 $8899 $9499 $8999
         
7/26/2018 8/10/2018 $8299 $7799 $8379 $7879 $8459 $7959 $9399 $8899 $9499 $8999
         
8/2/2018 8/17/2018 $8299 $7799 $8379 $7879 $8459 $7959 $9399 $8899 $9499 $8999
         
8/9/2018 8/24/2018 $8299 $7799 $8379 $7879 $8459 $7959 $9399 $8899 $9499 $8999
         
8/16/2018 8/31/2018 $8299 $7799 $8379 $7879 $8459 $7959 $9399 $8899 $9499 $8999
         
8/23/2018 9/7/2018 $8299 $7799 $8379 $7879 $8459 $7959 $9399 $8899 $9499 $8999
         
8/30/2018 9/14/2018 $8299 $7799 $8379 $7879 $8459 $7959 $9399 $8899 $9499 $8999
         
9/6/2018 9/21/2018 $8699 $8199 $8779 $8279 $8859 $8359 $9799 $9299 $9899 $9399
         
9/13/2018 9/28/2018 $8699 $8199 $8779 $8279 $8859 $8359 $9799 $9299 $9899 $9399
         
9/20/2018 10/5/2018 $8699 $8199 $8779 $8279 $8859 $8359 $9799 $9299 $9899 $9399
         
9/27/2018 10/12/2018 $8699 $8199 $8779 $8279 $8859 $8359 $9799 $9299 $9899 $9399
         
10/4/2018 10/19/2018 $8699 $8199 $8779 $8279 $8859 $8359 $9799 $9299 $9899 $9399
         
10/11/2018 10/26/2018 $8699 $8199 $8779 $8279 $8859 $8359 $9799 $9299 $9899 $9399
         
10/18/2018 11/2/2018 $8699 $8199 $8779 $8279 $8859 $8359 $9799 $9299 $9899 $9399
         
10/25/2018 11/9/2018 $8699 $8199 $8779 $8279 $8859 $8359 $9799 $9299 $9899 $9399
         
11/1/2018 11/16/2018 $8299 $7799 $8379 $7879 $8459 $7959 $9399 $8899 $9499 $8999
         
11/8/2018 11/23/2018 $8299 $7799 $8379 $7879 $8459 $7959 $9399 $8899 $9499 $8999
         
11/15/2018 11/30/2018 $8299 $7799 $8379 $7879 $8459 $7959 $9399 $8899 $9499 $8999
         

Select all Deals that apply for best available price.

  • Save $1,000 per couple + $500 solo on all of our Small Group, Small Ship and Private Journeys when you book and pay-in-full before Dec 31, 2017.
  • 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

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

  • Be a Hong Kong Insider!

    4-Day Pre-Tour Extension from $1,299

    Experience facets of Hong Kong which few visitors ever glimpse. We include your flight from Shanghai to Hong Kong, 3 nights at the 5-star Kowloon Shangri-La, daily breakfast, lunch at Jimmy’s Kitchen and our exclusive Be a Hong Kong Insider full-day tour.

    View Day by Day »

Private Tour Add-Ons

  • 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!

  • 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 »

(73 Traveler Reviews)

  • Ronald from CA gives this tour 

    EVERYTHING was taken care of by the guides, and nothing but the best. Even out in the Tibetan country, we had first-class hotel accommodations: the new Shangri-La Hotel in Lhasa, Tibet. And there was no unplanned time. A very well organized tour. Read More »

  • Loretta from CA gives this tour 

    The Panda's were great and the overall trip was handled very professionally. The Guides were excellent, and took us right to the Airport, got our tickets for us, no waiting in long lines, they were very knowledgeable about the History of their Province, and on time. Read More »

  • Mary from MO gives this tour 

    I just really thought the trip was very good. This was our second Alexander and Roberts trip, and we have been impressed each time. I highly recommend your company to everyone. We love the small group feature, also. As I prepared for this trip, Melanie Delworth was also very helpful. Read More »

  • Dee and Mitch from VA gives this tour 

    The tour guides were exceptional. They brought the countries to life. Read More »

  • Frank from WA gives this tour 

    The hotels that we stayed at were wonderful. All reservations/activities went off without a hitch, and were also first class. Food was great! Guide was even better, very knowledgeable, spoke good English. Read More »

  • Virginia from CA gives this tour 

    Enjoyed learning what China is. Everybody has a picture of China in their mind. To travel there with a native guide really give the traveler a true glimpse into the real China. Read More »

  • David from WA gives this tour 

    All of our needs were taken care from the moment arrived in the country until we left. Our tour guide went out of his way to help ensure the needs of everyone in our tour group were taken care of. All the accommodations were excellent. The food was great. My wife and I had an great time on this trip. Read More »

  • Pamela from GA gives this tour 

    A wonderful trip to China that included all of the highlights -- from the Shanghai Bund, Yangtze River cruise, Tibet, seeing & feeding young Pandas (my favorite!), Terra Cotta warriors to the Great Wall. The excellent hotel selection was a delight after long days of seeing the sites. Food was delicious. My pre-tour Be A Hong Kong Insider trip was also fascinating. Guides Polly (Hong Kong) & Andy (China) were great. This is my fourth trip with A+R as a solo traveler. I have had such a wonderful... Read More »

  • Henri from NJ gives this tour 

    Tibet was delightful. Read More »

  • Dorothy from UT gives this tour 

    It was a tough journey through China and Tibet but our guide Andy made it possible for us to wade through many issues. We have traveled over 56 countries and we wished we had a guide as efficient, organized, concerned, and helpful. Read More »

Save $1,000 Per Couple
+ $500 Solo

Pay in full at time of booking
before December 31, 2017.

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Join the Barkhor Kora
around Lhasa’s Jokhang
 

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