Visits: Beijing, Xian, Chongqing, Yangtze river Cruise , Shanghai Tour Code: OAW
USA - Beijing
Set out on your exciting China and Yangtze adventure by boarding a trans-Pacific jetliner bound for Beijing. The evening is spent aboard as the plane crosses the international date line.
Arrive in China, the ancient Land of the Dragon. After clearing customs and baggage retrieval you are met and welcomed at the airport by your Ritz Tours guide. Transfer to the luxury accommodations which have been provided to help you recuperate after the flight. On the way to the hotel, note that the city is one that infuses ancient cultural masterpieces with modern day architecture.
Beijing (AB, L, DP)
Beijing is a city in the midst of a transformation. Selected as host city for the 2008 Summer Olympics, construction now abounds in Beijing. After breakfast, take the motorcoach to the Forbidden City, which served as the imperial palace for 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Construction began under emperor Yongle in 1406 and took 14 years to complete. Just across the street is infamous Tiananmen Square, which holds title as being the world’s largest public square. In the afternoon continue on to visit the emperor’s Summer Palace before returning to your hotel. Tonight, a special treat is in store as you attend a special Peking Duck Feast.
Beijing (AB, L, DH)
Built as a defense against maurauders from the north, the Great Wall of China serves as the focal point of any tour to China. Spanning thousands of miles across China’s north, it is at once a symbol of national pride and a man-made natural wonder. China’s unifying emperor Qin Shi Huang began the great undertaking, and it remained a work in construction for many dynasties. Descend the Wall later to visit the Sacred Way, taking a leisurely walk along the pathway which the Sons of Heaven used to enter and leave this earth. In the same area of the Sacred Way is the Ming Tomb Museum, which you will also visit. This evening, dinner is served at the hotel
After two full days of sightseeing, it feels good to have an entire day free at leisure. Spend the day exploring Beijing at your own pace. An optional tour is available to the Hutongs - traverse the narrow walkways of Old Town Beijing by Rickshaw, taking a stop for a traditional home visit.
Beijing-Xian (AB, L, DH)
Start the day with a pilgrimmage to the solemn Temple of Heaven, where the emperor, or "son of heaven," prayed for the coming harvest. Continue on to the airport to board a short flight to Xian, the famed starting point of the Silk Road. Xian is an ancient city that enjoys a 3100 year history. Its population of 7.5 million ranks it as one of the top 10 most populous cities in China. On the way into town from the airport, we drive by Xian’s massive City Wall, the only momento left as a symbol of its imperial past. Dinner is served at the hotel this evening.
Xian ( AB, L, DS )
The star attraction of Xian is the Terra Cotta Army of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of a unified China. Their accidental discovery by a farmer in 1974 has yielded three excavation pits featuring thousands of life-sized warriors, horses and chariots in battle formation, poised to defend the emperor in the underworld. After spending ample time at the dig, the group heads back into town to surmount the City Wall and visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Tonight, following a sumptuous Imperial Dumpling Banquet, attend an enchanting Tang Dynasty Stage Opera.
Xian - Chongqing (AB, L, D)
Depart Xian for Chongqing by air. Located in the Sichuan Province, the mountainous city of Chongqing is China’s largest municipality and known for its cuisine that will scorch your tastebuds until they are numb. Chongqing served as the provisional capital for Chiang Kai Shek from 1937 to 1945 and holds the dubious distinction of being the world’s most heavily bombed city.
Chongqing - Yangtze Cruise (AB, L, D)
Chongqing is a mountain city with some 3000 years of history. Take a leisurely city tour of Chongqing including a visit to the Stillwell Museum. Later in the day, head to the banks of the Yangtze River the Victoria Cruise ship awaits. Also known as "Chang Jiang," meaning Long River, the Yangtze is the longest river in all of Asia, flowing almost 4000 miles to the East China Sea. In the still of the night, the ship sets sail down the mighty Yangtze.
Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D)
The first shore excursion of your Yangtze adventure occurs at Shibaozhai where time is taken to see its famous 12-story tall wooden pagoda. Built over 400 years ago, it is amazing that no nails were used in the construction of this pagoda. Depending on river conditions, Shibaozhai may be substituted with Fengdu or Wanzhou. Return to the ship later and continue down the river.
Yangtze River Cruise ( B, L, D )
Today the ship enters the Three Gorges, one of nature’s most amazing sculptures. The ship gingerly navigates the narrow waterway of Qutang Gorge to arrive at Wushan, where you board smaller vessels in order to access the Lesser Gorges. As you ply through the shallow waters of either the Daning River or Shennong Stream, take time to appreciate the spectacular scenery afforded by this small tributary of the Yangtze. A bit downstream from Wushan you pass Wu Gorge, a 25 mile long stretch known for its quiet beauty, forest-covered mountains and sheer cliffs. Xiling Gorge is the longest of the Three Gorges and also the deepest with walls rising over 4000 feet. In the evening, the ship sails through the Three Gorges ship locks.
Yangtze River Cruise - Yichang - Shanghai (B, L, DH)
The controversial Three Gorges Dam is being built to control the annual floodwaters that devastate the Yangtze River basin and to produce hydroelectric power. Over one million people have been relocated and entire towns have already been submerged by the rising water level. Today, you take an excursion to visit the Three Gorges Dam site and to marvel at this massive engineering undertaking. The cruise ship arrives at Yichang were you disembark and board a short flight to Shanghai.
Shanghai - Suzhou - Shanghai (AB, L, D)
Board a motorcoach this morning that will take the group to Suzhou. Suzhou has been conferred the nicknames "Venice of the East" and the "Garden City." It is an ancient town interlaced by canals and resplendent with numerous beautiful gardens. Your city tour includes visits to the Humble Adminstrator’s Garden, the Grand Canal, and a Silk Factory where some of China’s finest silk products are made. In the afternoon, board the motorcoach and head back to Shanghai.
Shanghai (AB, L, DS)
Shanghai is a cosmopolitan metropolis with a strong international heritage. Our city tour starts with a drive through bustling shopping district Nanjing Road and the Bund, a mile-long stretch along the Huangpu River. Feel the romance and nostalgia of Shanghai’s intriguing history as we stroll past the grandiose western buildings of vintage architecture. We also spend time visiting the exhibits at the world famous Shanghai Museum. In the evening, attend a performance of Chinese Acrobatics after dinner.
Shanghai - USA (AB)
Your China adventure is over all too soon as you transfer to the airport and board the homebound international flight, bidding a fond farewell to this ancient land. *** Home Sweet Home ***
Sheraton Great Wall
Victoria Cruise (Dn)
JJ Cathay Garden
Departure & Pricing:
Price includes fuel surcharge $164. Taxes of $101 not included
September 11th security fee $2.50 - $10.00 not included
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