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.
+ Sit down in one of Shanghai’s newly popular wine lounges and learn about China’s emerging taste for fine vintages… Enjoy a congenial luncheon and a glass of the house favorite.
+ Includes 4 UNESCO World Heritage sites c
  • Day 1 - Welcome to Beijing

    You’ll be warmly greeted at the airport and escorted to the luxurious Fairmont Beijing Hotel. The rest of this day is yours to relax and enjoy as you wish.
  • Day 2 - In + around Beijing c

    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 ,a sprawling complex of palaces, courtyards and pavilions. At colorful local market, you’ll mingle with city residents and experience a slice of daily life as you help your guide to select some produce for a local family. Joining this family for lunch in their home, you’ll enjoy congenial conversation and gain real insight into Chinese traditions that still endure in this rapidly evolving city. Then hop aboard a rickshaw to explore the ancient streets of a Hutong, an ancient enclave of traditional courtyard homes. This evening, sit down to a festive Peking Duck Banquet with wine. Meals B+L+D
  • Day 3 Great Wall + Summer Palace 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. Then 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.  Meals B+L
  • Day 4 – Fly to Yichang + Embark your Yangtze Cruise c

    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, 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 ms 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 elegant Dynasty Palace restaurant. Choose from a tempting array of international and regional Chinese dishes, accompanied by free-flowing wine.  Meals B+L+D
  • Day 5 - 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 6 – Up Shennong Stream + Through the Yangtze Gorges

    If you wish, you can join fellow passengers for 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 7 - 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 8 - Fly to Xian

    Disembark the Yangzi Explorer after breakfast and visit the Chongqing Zoo to see their marvelous Panda exhibit. Then transfer to the airport for your included flight to Xian, China’s ancient capital for 13 dynasties. At a bustling local market, an engaging Xian resident will share his lifetime of experience – offering a firsthand look into the culture of the city and the many exotic products for sale. Enjoy a dinner of savory dumplings, a regional favorite, and retreat to the 5-star Hilton Hotel, ideally located within the ancient city walls.  Meals B+D
  • Day 9 - Discover the Terra Cotta Army 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, horses and chariots that had been buried in perfect infantry formation to guard the tomb of an Emperor! This morning, 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. Enjoy a festive lunch of regional cuisine as you watch a lively noodle-making demonstration. Then visit the old defensive walls that still surround much of Xian’s historic core and hear colorful stories about this ancient Imperial capital.  Meals B+L+D
  • Day 10 - Onward to Shanghai

    We’ll take you to the airport today for your included flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival in this wonderfully cosmopolitan city, you’ll be met and escorted to the Fairmont Peace Hotel, a luxury landmark overlooking the historic waterfront Bund. Tonight, you’ll thrill to the daring feats and graceful artistry of the world-famous Shanghai Acrobats!  Meals B
  • Day 11 - Shanghai Sightseeing

    Your comprehensive guided tour of Shanghai begins this morning along the historic Bund; in a city now renowned for its striking 21st-century skyscrapers, this elegant waterfront boulevard is still graced with architectural landmarks built by European and Japanese mercantile companies after the 1842 Treaty of Nanjing opened the city to international trade. Then stroll in Yu Yuan Garden, originally established in 1577 by a government officer as a tranquil retreat for his aging parents. At the highly regarded Shanghai Museum, you’ll find a vast collection of artifacts spanning millennia of Chinese culture, history and civilization – from ancient bronzes and celadon pottery to precious jade and exquisite Ming Dynasty furniture. At midday, we’ll take you to one of the city’s newly popular wine lounges where the manager will share unique insight into China’s growing fascination for fine vintages. Sit down to a congenial luncheon accompanied by a glass of one of the lounge’s most popular wines.  Meals B+L+D
  • Day 12 - Farewell to Shanghai

    Transfer to the airport for your 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 »

Similar Trips

Check In!

  • Fairmont - Beijing, China

    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, 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 Peace Hotel - Shanghai, China

    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

    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 Group Journey Value

+ All-inclusive 4-night cruise in a balcony stateroom aboard the deluxe ms Yangzi Explorer with guided shore excursions daily, onboard enrichment program, entertainment, and fine dining with free-flowing wine at lunch and dinner
+ Extensive escorted sightseeing with never more than 16 guests including all entry fees
+ 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
8/31/2017
Guaranteed
9/11/2017 $4899 $4399 $4979 $4479 $5059 $4559 $6099 $5599 $6199 $5699
         
9/7/2017
Guaranteed
9/18/2017 $4899 $4399 $4979 $4479 $5059 $4559 $6099 $5599 $6199 $5699
         
10/12/2017
Guaranteed
10/23/2017 $4899 $4399 $4979 $4479 $5059 $4559 $6099 $5599 $6199 $5699
         
10/19/2017
Guaranteed
10/30/2017 $4899 $4399 $4979 $4479 $5059 $4559 $6099 $5599 $6199 $5699
         
3/15/2018
Guaranteed
3/26/2018 $4799 $4299 $4979 $4479 $4959 $4459 $5999 $5499 $6099 $5599
         
4/19/2018
Guaranteed
4/30/2018 $5199 $4699 $5279 $4779 $5359 $4859 $6399 $5899 $6499 $5999
         
5/10/2018 5/21/2018 $5199 $4699 $5279 $4779 $5359 $4859 $6399 $5899 $6499 $5999
         
6/7/2018 6/18/2018 $4799 $4299 $4879 $4379 $4959 $4459 $5999 $5499 $6099 $5599
         
7/12/2018 7/23/2018 $4599 $4099 $4679 $4179 $4759 $4259 $5799 $5299 $5899 $5399
         
8/23/2018 9/3/2018 $4799 $4299 $4879 $4379 $4959 $4459 $5999 $5499 $6099 $5599
         
9/6/2018 9/17/2018 $5199 $4699 $5279 $4779 $5359 $4859 $6399 $5899 $6499 $5999
         
10/11/2018 10/22/2018 $5199 $4699 $5279 $4779 $5359 $4859 $6399 $5899 $6499 $5999
         
10/18/2018 10/29/2018 $5199 $4699 $5279 $4779 $5359 $4859 $6399 $5899 $6499 $5999
         
3/21/2019 4/1/2019 $5199 $4699 $5279 $4779 $5359 $4859 $6399 $5899 $6499 $5999
         
4/11/2019 4/22/2019 $5199 $4699 $5279 $4779 $5359 $4859 $6399 $5899 $6499 $5999
         

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

Ask about international air service on 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 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

+ All-inclusive 4-night cruise in a balcony stateroom aboard the deluxe ms Yangzi Explorer with guided shore excursions daily, onboard enrichment program, entertainment, and fine dining with free-flowing wine at lunch and dinner
+ Extensive private car sightseeing in Beijing, Xian and Shanghai including all entry fees
+ 27 meals featuring international and Chinese cuisine: 11 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 8 dinners
+ All on-tour transportation including private 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?

Depart Any Thursday - Per Person Double

Dates   Main Deck Xiling Deck Wu Deck Cabin Wu Deck Suite Quatang Deck Suite
Departure Return   Regular Deal Regular Deal Regular Deal Regular Deal Regular Deal
7/6/2017 8/23/2017 $5199 $4699 $5279 $4779 $5359 $4859 $6399 $5899 $6499 $5999
         
8/24/2017 8/30/2017 $5199 $4699 $5279 $4779 $5359 $4859 $6399 $5899 $6499 $5999
         
8/31/2017 9/6/2017 $5599 $5099 $5679 $5179 $5759 $5259 $6799 $6299 $6899 $6399
         
9/7/2017 11/20/2017 $5599 $5099 $5679 $5179 $5759 $5259 $6799 $6299 $6899 $6399
         
3/15/2018 3/28/2018 $5799 $5299 $5879 $5379 $5959 $5459 $6999 $6499 $7099 $6599
         
3/29/2018 4/4/2018 $6099 $5599 $6179 $5679 $6259 $5759 $7299 $6799 $7399 $6899
         
4/5/2018 5/2/2018 $6099 $5599 $6179 $5679 $6259 $5759 $7299 $6799 $7399 $6899
         
5/3/2018 8/29/2018 $5699 $5199 $5779 $5279 $5784 $5284 $6899 $6399 $6999 $6499
         
8/30/2018 9/5/2018 $5999 $5499 $6079 $5579 $6159 $5659 $7199 $6699 $7299 $6799
         
9/6/2018 10/31/2018 $6099 $5599 $6179 $5679 $6259 $5759 $7299 $6799 $7399 $6899
         
11/1/2018 11/30/2018 $6099 $5599 $6179 $5679 $6259 $5759 $7299 $6799 $7399 $6899
         

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 »

Private Tour 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 »

(106 Traveler Reviews)

  • Marge from IL gives this tour 

    This tour was everything we hoped to visit and more. LiLi Jung, our tour guide made the trip!! We liked the small group (10). We liked the fees that were all inclusive (airfare, excursions, meals, and in-country flights). There is so much culture and history in China, all of the guides were so knowledgeable. Every day ran very smooth....no problems. The best was walking and climbing the Great Wall and seeing the Terra Cotta soldiers.. Read More »

  • Robert from CA gives this tour 

    The sights we saw and things we did were amazing. The tour guides were friendly, knowledgeable, and accommodating. We particularly liked the Yangtze River cruise, visit to the panda zoo, Xian and Shanghai portions of the tour. With only one other couple on our tour, we had the ability to tailor the agenda to our preferences, including the amount of time we spent at each location, choices of foods to eat, and ability to add some activities and sights that a larger group would not have been able... Read More »

  • Janis from FL gives this tour 

    I was impressed with the efficiency of all involved. The tour guides were waiting for us, we kept on schedule. We never had any long delays waiting for transportation. Good job! Read More »

  • Barbara from FL gives this tour 

    What delighted me most was walking along China's Great Wall on my own. I also really enjoyed riding in the "peapod" sanpan boat. Read More »

  • Alexsandro from FL gives this tour 

    Our guide, Song Jun "Andy" was great and visiting Mrs. Wong's home for lunch in Beijing's hutong by rickshaw. Also, grinding corn, the Terracotta warriors and giant pandas. Read More »

  • Veronica from CA gives this tour 

    We adopted our daughter from China 17 years ago and wanted to return with her as a high school graduation present. Her and I thought everything about this trip was fabulous. We were very impressed Alexander Roberts staff before the trip such as obtaining visas, emails informing us of documents to be completed and general information to prepare for our adventure. Airline tickets were also purchased through A&R and we received an excellent rate for travelling abroad. While in the... Read More »

  • Glenda from FL gives this tour 

    Small group. Well organized. Great guide. Excellent hotels. Wonderful overview of China. Read More »

  • Robert from FL gives this tour 

    All of China, great wall, Terra Cotta warriors, everything was very good Read More »

  • Bill from IL gives this tour 

    Entire experience, great wall, sampan ride, learning about china, all was well. Excellent travel director, professional, caring and flexible Read More »

  • Anne from IL gives this tour 

    Everything was delightful! Especially the pandas, Great wall, our guide was the best. The itinerary was great, we had a wonderful time traveling. It was a great experience. Read More »

Save $1,000 Per Couple
+ $500 Solo

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

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!

Great Walls: Playing
Mahjong in Beijing

Stroll through any Beijing park, or venture down any hutong and you are sure to spot them right away: four players hunched over a square table with a mass of decorated tiles the rough size of dominos.  This is Mahjong, China’s... Read More >>

Silk Road Smorgasbord: Xian’s Muslim Quarter  

While known to many for its famed Terracotta Warriors, Xian is the oldest of China’s imperial capitals and was the origin of the great Silk Road, a vast network of trading routes which stretched from China... Read More >>