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Save $600 per couple | $300 solo

Historical China, Tibet + the Yangtze

16 days

Never more than 16 guests OR Travel Privately

Our Distinctive A+R Style

  • 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.
  • Enjoy a private Tai Chi class on the lovely grounds of the Temple of Heaven and a private talk with a local archaeologist at the site of the Terra Cotta Warriors.
  • Touch Antiquity with a curator of the Xian Museum as you examine and handle priceless ancient artifacts.
  • Our unique Panda Encounter takes you behind the scenes for up-close engagement and to feed these  extraordinary creatures.
  • Spend time with a Thangka painter and join an ancient rite of walking and prayer – genuine experiences of Tibet’s culture and deeply spiritual heritage.
  • Delight in the scenery of the Yangtze River on our 3-night luxury cruise featuring our complete shore excursion program.
  • With 12 nights in our luxury hotels; 3 nights in an outside balcony stateroom aboard China’s finest river ship; 33 meals with wine at lunch and dinner; all sightseeing; comprehensive shore excursion package; all transfers; high-speed rail from Xian to Chengdu; all 4 internal flights; port charges; and all gratuities except for your Trip Leader.
Visit 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites c

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Day
1

You’ll be warmly greeted at the airport and escorted to the luxurious Fairmont Beijing Hotel. Settle in to your Deluxe Room and take the rest of this day at leisure to relax and enjoy as you wish.

Day
2

Imperial Highlights of the Celestial Kingdom

The Fairmont - Beijing, China

Stand in Tiananmen Square, admiring the architectural landmarks that surround one of the world’s grandest public plazas, and then follow in the footsteps of Ming Dynasty Emperors on an expertly-guided tour through the magnificent Forbidden City c. After lunch, hop aboard a rickshaw to explore the ancient streets of a Hutong, an ancient enclave of traditional courtyard homes. Joining a local family in their home promises genuine connections and real insight into Chinese traditions that still endure in this rapidly evolving city. Today’s sightseeing ends at the beautiful Summer Palace c, 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.  This evening, sit down to a festive Peking Duck Banquet with wine. Meals B+L+D

Day
3

Walk Atop the Great Wall

The Fairmont - Beijing, China

Situated farther from the capital than other sections of China’s most famous landmark, the Great Wall c at Mutianyu draws fewer visitors. And with its many defensive towers and splendid setting amidst the rugged mountains, Mutianyu offers a more authentic and rewarding experience. Ascend by cable car and walk atop the Great Wall as your expert guide shares exciting stories and legends from China’s long, fascinating history. Meals B+L

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 pleasant grounds draw city residents who come to meet with friends, play card games and do their morning Tai Chi. You’ll be able to join this morning ritual as a Tai Chi master leads a private one-hour class for our guests.
 
After lunch, we’ll take you to the airport for your included flight to Xian. On arrival, you’ll be escorted to the 5-star Hilton Hotel where your Executive Room includes access to the Club Lounge.  Meals B+L

Day
5

Touch Antiquity + The Terra Cotta Army c

Hilton Hotel - Xian, China

A specially arranged experience awaits you at the Xian City Museum. China’s history 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, you’ll thrill to China’s most famous archaeological site, discovered in 1974 when local villagers stumbled upon it while digging a well… Thousands of life-sized terra cotta soldiers, horses and chariots that had been buried in perfect infantry formation to guard the tomb of an Emperor! To enhance your visit, we’ve arranged for you to meet with a local archaeologist – a great introduction to this World Heritage Site. Gaze upon this extraordinary terra cotta army as you learn about their history and discovery.  Meals B+L
 

Day
6

Onward to Chengdu by High Speed Rail

Shangri-La Hotel - Chengdu, China

Transfer to the rail station this morning to board the train—and enjoy the comfort of Business Class aboard the ultra-modern high-speed train to Chengdu. On arrival, experience life in this bustling city as you join your engaging guide for a stroll in the Kuanzhai Xiangzi district, where old stone buildings and lovely courtyards have been given new life as cafes, restaurants and shops. This evening, sit down to a traditional Hotpot Dinner, a regional specialty of Chengdu and Sichuan Province, and then retreat to your Deluxe River View Room at the luxury Shangri-La Hotel.  Meals B+D

Day
7

Our Exclusive Panda Encounter + Fly to Lhasa, Tibet

Shangri-La - Lhasa, Tibet

After breakfast, we’ll take you to the Dujiangyan Panda Center for our special Panda Encounter. Taking you behind the scenes, this unforgettable experience offers a rare and unique opportunity to learn about Giant Pandas as you join the Center’s staff to participate in their care and feeding. You’re sure to get close to these amazing creatures – figuratively and literally – as you help to clean their enclosures and prepare their food. Educational sessions and time to explore the grounds of the Panda Center complete this morning’s Panda Encounter.

After lunch, transfer to the airport for your included flight into the Trans Himalayas. Upon arrival in Lhasa, you’ll be warmly greeted and escorted to the 5-star Shangri-La Hotel.  Meals B+L
 

Day
8

Tibetan History + Culture

Shangri-La - Lhasa, Tibet

Your guided tour of this fascinating city begins 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 spend some time with a master Tangka painter in his studio, learning about the history and techniques of this unique and spiritual art form.  This evening’s dinner showcases traditional Tibetan cuisine.  Meals B+L+D

Day
9

Experience Kora + Tour the Potala Palace

Shangri-La - Lhasa, Tibet

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 c. 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 at the foot of Tatipu Hill. This evening’s dinner at the hotel is included.  Meals B+L+D

Day
10

Fly to Chongqing + Embark Your Yangtze Cruise

MS Yangzi Explorer

After breakfast, transfer to the airport and bid farewell to Tibet as you board your included flight to Chongqing. On arrival, you’ll be met and escorted to the pier to board the Yangzi Explorer, China’s finest river ship. You’ll have time to 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. This evening, gather with your fellow passengers to enjoy the Captain’s Welcome in the Explorer Bar.  Meals B+D

Day
11

Ashore in Fuling

MS Yangzi Explorer

Early risers can join an invigorating Tai Chi lesson before a lavish buffet breakfast is served in the restaurant. Later this morning, you’ll discover the remarkable 816 Nuclear Engineering Site. 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 and before any nuclear material could be produced. The tunnels and cavern remained a closely guarded secret for nearly 50 years until the Government revealed its presence in 2002.
 
This evening, with the Three Gorges Harbor as the stage, attend an epic live-performance presentation of a famous 14th-century Chinese literary work, The Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Enjoy VIP seats for this thrilling and dramatic show that includes cavalry battles, special lighting and water effects, 3D holographic projections and even fireworks.  Meals B+L+D

Day
12

The Dramatic Gorges of the Yangtze

MS Yangzi Explorer

Enjoy a leisurely morning of cruising as our intimate ship navigates through the breathtaking scenery of Qutang Gorge, the narrowest and some say most spectacular of the Yangtze’s river gorges. Later, the Explorer cruises into Wu Gorge, renowned for massive cliffs that rise sharply from the water. After lunch onboard, we’ve made special arrangements for our guests to enjoy an excursion up the beautiful Daning River into the remarkable Lesser Three Gorges of the Yangtze. 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.  Meals B+L+D

Day
13

The Three Gorges Dam + Fly to Shanghai

Fairmont Peace Hotel - Shanghai, China

Early risers can again join a Tai Chi lesson before this morning’s breakfast. Then 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 morning’s guided tour explores its far reaching impact upon the geography, archaeological sites, industries, and residents of the region.
 
By special arrangement, A+R guests will also discover the world’s largest and most sophisticated ship-lift system. From your vantage on the VIP Deck, you’ll experience the Three Gorges Ship Lift, an elevator that can raise (and lower) ships nearly 400 feet in 40 minutes, a remarkable time-savings when compared to the 4 hours that it takes to traverse the Dam’s network of five locks. Then transfer to the airport for your included flight to Shanghai where you’ll be met and escorted to the Fairmont Peace Hotel, a historic luxury landmark.  Meals B

Day
14

Shanghai is regarded by many travelers as China’s most sophisticated and cosmopolitan city. Situated in the heart of town along the waterfront Bund, our elegant hotel is the perfect base for exploring Shanghai at your own pace. In addition to its world-class museums and striking 21st-century architecture, there is plenty of shopping, dining and entertainment to enrich your day. If you wish, you can join an available guided excursion to the ancient city of Suzhou, renowned for its tranquil canals and beautiful centuries-old gardens.  Meals B

After breakfast, your guided city tour begins in Yu Yuan Garden, originally established in 1577 by a government officer as a tranquil retreat for his aging parents. Hailed as a spectacular example of classical Chinese landscape design during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, you’ll discover a sublime ensemble of plantings, lotus ponds, winding paths, pavilions and bridges. Browse in the bustling Old City Bazaar and then take a break from sightseeing with a wonderful lunch at one of the city’s most popular restaurants. In the afternoon, you’ll visit the highly regarded Shanghai Museum; home to a vast collection of artifacts spanning millennia of Chinese culture, history and civilization, you’ll find ancient bronzes, beautiful celadon pottery, precious jade, and exquisite Ming Dynasty furniture. This evening, gather with your fellow travelers for a congenial farewell dinner.  Meals B+L+D

Day
16

Depart Shanghai

After breakfast, you’ll be escorted to the airport for your homeward journey.  Meals B

Extend Your Trip

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, and our unique Be a Hong Kong Insider full-day tour.

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Day
1

From Shanghai to Hong Kong

On arrival in Hong Kong, you’ll be warmly greeted and chauffeured into the heart of this vibrant and cosmopolitan city. Complimentary water and a refreshing towelette will be provided as your personal guide introduces you to their native city and answers any questions you might have. Upon reaching the city center, you’ll check in to your choice of hotel.

Day
2

Be a Hong Kong Insider

This morning your private guide, a savvy city resident, will be waiting to show you the highlights and hidden facets of their hometown. Your exploration begins as you board the iconic Star Ferry! Cross Victoria Harbor and take in the impressive city skyline as your in-the-know guide shares information and insight. Step off on Hong Kong Island for a walking tour through Central, the city’s bustling business and financial center. Marvel at striking architectural landmarks like I.M. Pei’s China Bank Tower and learn how ancient Feng Shui principles still guide Hong Kong’s urban planners and architects.
 
Hop aboard one of the city’s double-decker trams, an essential part of island life for more than a century, and then explore by foot in Sheung Wan where you’ll see traditional herbal markets and learn about Chinese medicine. Continue along world-famous Hollywood where generations-old shop houses have been transformed into some of the city’s trendiest cafes, galleries and boutiques. Visit Man Mo Temple, one of the oldest in Hong Kong, and then sit down to a traditional Dim Sum lunch in one of your guide’s favorite restaurants. Delve into layers of architectural and cultural history at the unique PMQ Complex, and then join city residents along Graham Street. For nearly 200 years, this is where locals have come to buy their daily staples – everything from fruits and vegetables to preserved tofu, duck eggs and condiments. At one of the many markets, you’ll pause to refresh with a glass of freshly-pressed sugar cane juice. End your sightseeing on a high note as you ride the Peak Tram to the top of Victoria Peak – where you’ll have breathtaking views of the city skyline, Victoria Harbor and distant vistas of green hills and offshore islands. After sightseeing, you’ll be escorted back to your hotel where the rest of the afternoon and your evening are at leisure to enjoy as you wish.  Meals B+L

Day
3

Another Day in Hong Kong

This entire day is yours to enjoy as you wish. Your hotel’s central location, surrounded by shopping, dining and cultural attractions, makes it easy to explore at your own pace. If you prefer additional guided sightseeing, you can choose from a wide variety of available tours including these:
 
Kowloon Markets: This half-day tour takes you through the back streets of Kowloon to experience facets of daily life glimpsed by few visitors. Venturing through the busy streets of the Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok neighborhoods, you’ll join ordinary citizens and professional florists as they browse and shop in the colorful flower market. Strolling in the Yuen Po Street Bird Garden, you’ll see men and their bird cages – and learn about this popular hobby. Accompanied by our in-the-know guide, you’ll also explore the Goldfish Market and the Ladies’ Market – a great place to shop for fashion and accessories. Finish up at Tin Hua Temple and the Jade Market where hundreds of merchants specialize in jewelry and carvings made from this revered green stone as well as fresh-water pearls.
 
Treasures of Kowloon: Spend a half-day with our expert guide delving into Hong Kong’s cultural heritage. Focusing on some of the principle landmarks and attractions in the Kowloon district, this guided tour includes Wong Tai Sin, a popular temple known for its fortune tellers. You’ll also explore Walled City Park, set on the site of a 19th-century Chinese garrison, and visit the Chi Lin Nunnery, an impressive Buddhist temple built in Tang Dynasty-style.
 
Hong Kong Island Foodie Tour: A must for culinary aficionados, this guided tour takes you down colorful side streets in the Hong Kong Island neighborhoods of Central and Sheung Wan. With our expert guide at your side, you’ll stop at a half-dozen places to sample authentic regional specialties like barbecue pork and wonton noodles. Along the way, you’ll learn how the area grew from a tiny fishing village into an international center for finance and trade. Tour begins and ends in Central on Hong Kong Island and lasts about 3.5 hours.
 
Cheung Chau Island: You’ll be met at your hotel and escorted to the pier to board the ferry to Cheung Chau Island. With no motorized vehicles allowed, Cheung Chau offers a chance to experience traditional village life away from the 21st-century rhythms of Kowloon and the bustling districts on Hong Kong Island. Fishing boats ply the harbor of Cheung Chau and the waterfront promenade is alive with local shops, seafood restaurants and family-run grocery stores. This 6-hour tour includes a tasting of Cheung Chau’s culinary specialties.
 
Curated Arts of Hong Kong: Accompanied by our specialist guide, this exclusive tour takes you to some of the city’s most highly-regarded galleries and artists’ studios where professional staff and gallery managers will offer insightful introductions to their current exhibitions and artists. This tour also visits Duddell’s, an innovative dining venue that brings in rarely-seen contemporary art work – most on special loan from private collections. This 3-hour tour includes roundtrip private transfers from your hotel.
 
Heritage Tour: This unique tour explores the legacy of the five great clans that played such an important role in the early days of Hong Kong - with some of the families, like the Tangs, tracing their arrival in the area to the 12th century. Tucked in amongst the modern apartment towers and busy highways of Kowloon and the New Territories, you’ll discover a virtual living museum where historic sites offer a glimpse into the life and culture of these long-ago, once-powerful families. Among the highlights, you’ll visit the walled village of Shan Ha Wai, tour the Tang-styled Buddhist temple at the Chi Lin Nunnery, and see the stately home built in 1865 by a descendent of the Man clan. A final stop at the Hong Kong Museum of History offers a great wrap-up of the history you’ve explored on this fascinating half-day tour.

Day
4

Depart Hong Kong

Your car and driver will take you to the airport or cruise ship terminal for your onward journey.  Meals B

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Occupancy


Trip Type

DepartureReturnFromAvailability
16 April 202401 May 2024$8,599Guaranteed
AccommodationPriceAvailability
Main Deck$8,599Guaranteed
Xiling Deck$8,799Guaranteed
Wu Deck Cabin$8,999Guaranteed
Wu Deck Suite$9,499Guaranteed
Qutang Deck Suite$9,499Guaranteed
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
07 May 202422 May 2024$8,599Sold Out
AccommodationPriceAvailability
Main Deck$8,599Sold Out
Xiling Deck$8,799Sold Out
Wu Deck Cabin$8,999Sold Out
Wu Deck Suite$9,599Sold Out
Qutang Deck Suite$9,699Sold Out
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
11 June 202426 June 2024$7,999Guaranteed
AccommodationPriceAvailability
Main Deck$7,999Guaranteed
Xiling Deck$8,199Guaranteed
Wu Deck Cabin$8,399Guaranteed
Wu Deck Suite$8,699Guaranteed
Qutang Deck Suite$8,799Guaranteed
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
03 September 202418 September 2024$8,599Available
AccommodationPriceAvailability
Main Deck$8,599Available
Xiling Deck$8,799Available
Wu Deck Cabin$8,999Available
Wu Deck Suite$9,599Available
Qutang Deck Suite$9,699Available
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
17 September 202402 October 2024$8,599Available
AccommodationPriceAvailability
Main Deck$8,599Available
Xiling Deck$8,799Available
Wu Deck Cabin$8,999Available
Wu Deck Suite$9,599Available
Qutang Deck Suite$9,699Available
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
08 October 202423 October 2024$8,599Guaranteed
AccommodationPriceAvailability
Main Deck$8,599Guaranteed
Xiling Deck$8,799Guaranteed
Wu Deck Cabin$8,999Guaranteed
Wu Deck Suite$9,599Guaranteed
Qutang Deck Suite$9,699Guaranteed
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking
22 April 202507 May 2025$8,599Available
AccommodationPriceAvailability
Main Deck$8,599Available
Xiling Deck$8,799Available
Wu Deck Cabin$8,999Available
Wu Deck Suite$9,499Available
Qutang Deck Suite$9,599Available
Call for Details PhoneRequest a Quote Booking

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.
Book by December 31, 2024 for travel in 2024 + 2025.

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.

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