Highlights of China & the Yangtze - 2017

Beijing • Xi’an • Guilin • 3-Night Yangtze River Cruise • Shanghai
  • THE CENTURY LEGEND
  • SEE CHINA’S CULTURAL CENTERS – BEIJING, XI’AN, SHANGHAI AND GUILIN
  • WITNESS THE BREATHTAKING TERRA COTTA WARRIORS
  • HIKE A SECTION OF THE GREAT WALL NOT USUALLY OPEN TO TRAVELERS
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Luxury
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Base prices are factored using double-occupancy rooms; supplemental fees may apply for those traveling independently.
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Experience China’s astonishing culture and diversity in the most intimate style — in a small group of just 24-28 travelers. On this shorter itinerary, ideal for first-time visitors to this legendary country, you’ll explore China’s equally fascinating past and present, from the Great Wall to the Three Gorges Dam … from cosmopolitan Shanghai to beautiful, culture-rich Guilin … and from the imperial Forbidden City to the charming pandas at the Chongqing Zoo. The centerpiece of your itinerary is a relaxing three-night cruise down the Yangtze River aboard the five-star, all-suite Century Legend. And by land, you’ll travel in comfort in deluxe hotels throughout your trip.

Traveling in a small group allows you to meet the welcoming people — in their homes, villages, schools, and more – for the most rewarding cultural exchanges. And you’ll stay active with our hike along a less-traveled wild section of the Great Wall, cycling and walking along Xi’an’s ancient city wall and ample explorations by foot in China’s monumental cities. Plus, you maximize your exploration of China — and the value of your international airfare — with our optional three-night extensions in vibrant Tokyo, Japan, or Shanghai and Hangzhou, a lakeside city known for its stunning beauty.

Itinerary at a Glance

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DAYS 1-2:

Depart home / Arrive Beijing, China

Fly overnight to Beijing. Upon arrival on Day 2, you will transfer to our downtown hotel and have free time to explore, with lunch and dinner on your own.

DAY 3:

Beijing

This morning, we head to one of the largest public plazas in the world, Tian’anmen Square. We’ll see the Great Hall of the People, Monument to the People’s Heroes and the Mao Zedong Mausoleum during our walk around this massive space. Then, following lunch in a local restaurant, explore the Forbidden City, the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Also breathtaking in scale, its 980 buildings comprise 9,000 rooms that were once off limits to the public. Today, we can experience it as a magnificent museum of culture. Adventure Discovery: This evening, we gather for a delicious Welcome Dinner, featuring a meal once reserved for the emperor, traditional Peking Duck.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 4:

Beijing

Today, we set out for a full-day tour of the wild section of the Great Wall. Once at the wall, we lace up for an invigorating walk along a less-visited and more challenging stretch of the ancient fortification. This is a rare chance to experience a quieter corner of this beloved monument up close. We also enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, and visit the Ba Da Ling Hotel, whose store sells historic Chinese handicrafts. Tonight is at leisure with dinner on your own.

Included Meals:

Breakfast  & Lunch

DAY 5:

Beijing / Xi'an

Experience a more personal side of Beijing on this morning’s optional tour by trishaw of the city’s ancient hutong, the Old Quarter of narrow lanes. We pause during our tour for tea and lunch in the home of a local family. Or, you may enjoy your last morning in Beijing at leisure and seek out lunch on your own.

After lunch, we board a train for an exciting journey to Xi’an, once China’s capital. Our ride today affords a unique opportunity to glimpse the outskirts of Beijing and the rural countryside. Upon arrival, your evening is at leisure and dinner is on your own.

Included Meals:

Breakfast

DAY 6:

Xi'an

Today we gain insight into the remarkable culture of Xi’an during a full day of rewarding activities. This morning, we tour Xi’an’s nearly intact city walls and visit the exquisite Small Wild Goose Pagoda. Adventure Discovery: Learn the fine art of Chinese calligraphy with local residents. We’ll continue our active morning on rented bicycles, riding along the ancient walls. For lunch, we savor jiaozi — artfully sculpted Chinese dumplings. Afterward, we marvel at the life-size statues of the 2,200-year-old Terra Cotta Warriors on an afternoon tour. After a rewarding day, enjoy dinner back at the hotel.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7:

Xi’an / Fly to Guilin

After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for your flight to Guilin, known by many as the most beautiful city in China with its scenic Li River. Upon arrival in Guilin this afternoon, our panoramic tour takes us to the Chuanshan Cave, where we admire colorfully lit stalactites. Enjoy the evening on your own or join an optional "Guilin by Night" tour that includes dinner and a boat ride.

Included Meals:

Breakfast  & Lunch

DAY 8:

Guilin

After breakfast, we embark on a scenic, full-day cruise along the serene Li River, drifting through a beautiful canvas of towering karst mountains standing like shoreside sentinels. During our cruise, we enjoy lunch on board and stop to visit to the small township of Yangshuo, a charming village along the river bank, with many boutiques, markets and coffee shops. 
Adventure Discovery: We return to Guilin by motorcoach, stopping en route at a local school where the students and teachers greet us warmly and share their lessons with us. This is a rare opportunity to learn about the local curriculum. This evening, enjoy dinner at the hotel.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 9:

Guilin / Fly to Chongqing / Embark the Century Legend

This morning, we fly to Chongqing, gateway to the Yangtze River. Upon arrival, there’ll be time for lunch on your own. Then, we pay a visit to the Chongqing Zoo — one of the best zoos in China to observe the country's renowned pandas. Their population is on the rise after nearing extinction, thanks to organizations like the one we visit today. This afternoon, we head to our pier to embark the deluxe Century Legend to begin your Yangtze River cruise.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 10:

Yangtze River cruise / Shi Bao Zhai

Enjoy a day of sailing the scenic Yangtze River today. We disembark at the small village of Shi Bao Zhai to visit its famous pagoda, a wooden pavilion built against the mountain. We'll also talk with some local residents whose home was relocated as the water levels rose after completion of the Three Gorges Dam. Cultural Discoveries: You'll learn about traditional Chinese medicine during a special lecture. You'll also participate in a Tai Chi class, allowing you to better appreciate this ancient practice of "meditation in motion".

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 11:

Yangtze River cruise

Today, we join a shore excursion to the Goddess stream. Our private motorboat takes our small group into the narrow canyon-like river. We return to our ship after this invigorating experience and set off on our cruise through the magnificent Three Gorges – Wu, Qutang and Xiling – each flanked by towering cliffs and soaring mountains. Throughout our journey, we learn their tales and legends that have been passed down through the ages. Cultural Connection: Learn about the Yangtze River and the Three Gorges Dam project during an enlightening lecture.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 12:

Disembark ship / Yichang / Fly to Shanghai

After breakfast aboard, we disembark the Century Legend for an excursion to the fascinating Three Gorges Dam, one of the largest projects of its kind. After, transfer by motorcoach to Yichang, where you'll enjoy an included lunch. This afternoon, take a panoramic tour of this riverside city before we head to the airport for your flight to Shanghai. Tonight, enjoy the evening at leisure and dinner on your own.

Included Meals:

Breakfast  & Lunch

DAY 13:

Shanghai

We enjoy a complete view of Shanghai today on a full-day tour. We walk along the city’s famous Bund, a riverfront promenade overseen by grand colonial-era buildings. Continue to the Shanghai Museum, a rich repository of art and culture. Then, we walk the pathways of the 400-year-old imperial Yu Yuan Garden and the ancient lanes of the city's Old Town. Along the way, we’ll pause at a local restaurant for lunch. Later, the evening is on your own to explore this fascinating city that blends the ancient and modern. You may choose to join your Adventure Leader for a casual pub crawl in Shanghai's Xintiandi neighborhood.

Included Meals:

Breakfast  & Lunch

DAY 14:

Shanghai

You will have all day to explore Shanghai on your own, perhaps crossing the Huangpu River to the bustling district of Pudong or shopping along the pedestrian Nanjing Road. You might also join an optional tour to the Fengjing, a charming and historic canal town of ancient stone bridges and folk art. This evening, we gather for a final time in an Italian restaurant at the hotel for a festive Farewell Dinner.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 15:

Shanghai / Return home

Following breakfast at our hotel, transfer to the airport for your flight home. Or, begin your optional three-night extension in Hangzhou & Shanghai.

Included Meals:

Breakfast

Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Adventure Leader or regional expert.

Please Note: Cruise itinerary and port times are subject to change. Fluctuating water levels may affect cruise itinerary.

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Vantage Uniworld Viking River Cruises Vantage Advantage
Journey Highlights of China & the Yangtze Magical China & the Yangtze River Imperial Jewels of China
Cruise-Only Prices* $0 $3,499 $2,724 Save up to $2,400 per couple over our competitors!
Trip Length 0 days 12 days 14 days The best pacing and most discoveries!
Per Diem $0 per day $292 per day 195 Save up to $200 per couple, per day.
Included Tours and Special Features 20 sightseeing tours & Cultural Connections - a $2,999 value per couple! Tour of the Great Wall and Forbidden City; visit Xi'an & Terra Cotta Warriers; Tea with local family; lunch at farmers home, full day cruising Guilins Li River, Chinese watercolor painting lesson and local school visit in Guilin, visit Chongquing Zoo and pandas, and more! Visit Great Wall, Terra Cotta Warriers, Hong Kong City Tour Visit Great Wall, Terra Cotta Warriers, Cultural Curriculum Experience the BEST of China & the Yangtze River with the MOST Cultural Connections and special features!
Single Travelers FREE Single Supplement available on every departure — a value of $1,299! Plus free extensions-a value of up to $299! No special offers No special offers Single friendly! We are the only company to offer FREE Single Supplements plus, FREE Single Supplements on extension options!
Meals 29 meals 21 meals 37 meals Enjoy the most amount of meals with authentic local flavor AND the freedom to enjoy a few meals on your own!
Extend Your Trip 4-days Hangzhou & Shanghai Post, $0 $0 per day 4-days Japan, $1,299 $325 per day None 2 choices: Hong Kong & Guillin: 5-days $1,999-$399 per day; Shanghai: 3-days $499-$166 per day THE BEST EXTENSION VALUE!
Ship Accommodations Brand-new, 5-Star Century Legend. Ship features indoor swimming pool & more! Deluxe cabins are 301 square feet with private balcony. All meals at VIP restaurants Exclusive use of Executive Lounge with 24 hours free WIFI & Coffee, Tea and Fruits 2 Onboard lectures Brand-new, 5-Star Century Legend or Century Paragon, Signature suites are 301 square feet with private balcony. Ship has indoor lap pool. 5-Star Viking Emerald, built in 2011. Verandah staterooms are 250 square feet. Pay less and stay on the 5-Star Century Legend, the newest ship cruising the Yangtze. Exclusive extras only for Vantage travelers.
Sightseeing 20 sightseeing tours & Cultural Connections — a $3,260 value per couple! 11 days of excursions 16 guided tours Most sightseeing plus exciting Cultural Connections planned to enhance your experience of the Chinese culture!
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