Luxury Small Group Journeys - China & The Yangzi 2017

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Best time to go: March to November

9 Nights | from £4,800pp

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Holiday type: Group departure

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Special offer

Save 50% on the Single Supplement
Travel on our Luxury Small Group Journey China and the Yangtze on select departures in May, June and September as a solo traveller for £6,350 (normal price: £7330). Must be booked by the 31st May. Subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply.

Luxury Small Group Journeys –China and The Yangzi with A&K Travel



  • Embark on a three-night cruise on the Yangzi River aboard all-balcony Sanctuary 'Yangzi Explorer'
  • Go off the beaten path to the less-visited and best-preserved Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China
  • View the incredible Terra Cotta Warriors with an on-site archaeologist
  • Enjoy an up-close-and-personal encounter with giant pandas, where they roam free in their natural habitat
  • Experience the narrow winding lanes and courtyard residences of a traditional hutong

China & The Yangzi 2017: Download PDF Itinerary


Day 1: Arrive Beijing, China
Arrive in the capital city of Beijing, China's long time seat of power, where you will be met by a member of the A&K team and transferred to your luxurious hotel. 
Four Seasons Hotel Beijing

Day 2: Beijing | China's Dynastic Capital
After your welcome briefing, participate in a private tai chi lesson taught by a master instructor at the ancient Temple of Heaven, the single most beautiful example of classical Ming period architecture. After lunch, explore the imperial grandeur of the Forbidden City and take in the history at Tiananmen Square. Tonight, gather for a special welcome dinner at your hotel.
Four Seasons Hotel Beijing | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 3: Beijing | View the World from the Great Wall
Travel to the well-preserved Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China. Walk or take a trip in a cable car to the top of the wall to take in sweeping views of the surrounding countryside. After experiencing this wonder of the world, return to Beijing. Then, take a pedicab through a hutong, a vast yet intimate neighbourhood of small winding alleyways dating to China's dynastic period.
Four Seasons Hotel Beijing | Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 4: Xian | Key to the Great Silk Road
Fly to Xian, a modern city cloaked in over 3,000 years of history. Once the most eastern stop on the Great Silk Road, Xian has become a melting pot of Middle Eastern and Asian influences. Upon arriving, enjoy lunch, and then visit the old city quarter with its teeming markets and beautiful Great Mosque, a 14th-century national heritage site. A blend of classic Chinese temple architecture and central Asian embellishments make it one of the most fascinating sites in Xian.
Shangri-La Hotel, Xian | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5: Xian | Terra Cotta Warriors, Army for the Afterlife
Today, accompanied by an on-site archaeologist, visit the excavation site of the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses, the life-size army created during the Qin Dynasty to protect Qin Shi Huang, China's first emperor, in his afterlife. More than 8,000 soldiers are spread throughout three dig pits, each revealing a unique face, testifying to the remarkable craftsmanship that went into making them. Then, enjoy a Chef's Table dumpling making demonstration followed by lunch. Later, enter the Ancient Gate of Xian's impressive City Wall with the option to cycle along its ramparts.
Shangri-La Hotel, Xian | Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 6: Chengdu | Exploring the People's Park
Fly to Chengdu, the charming capital of Sichuan Province. After lunch, immerse yourself in local life and culture at the People's Park, where area residents play traditional Chinese instruments, practice calligraphy and engage in tai chi. Observe a traditional tea demonstration and learn about unique, centuries-old match-making techniques still in use today. Tonight, enjoy a special Sichuan hot pot dinner.
Shangri-La Hotel, Chengdu | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 7: Chengdu to Chongqing | Pandas and a Bullet Train
Today, visit the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Centre. Enjoy the rare opportunity to observe these endangered creatures roaming freely in their natural habitat. Then, board a high-speed train for a ride through the Chinese countryside to Chongqing, where you embark on your luxury river cruiser, 'Yangzi Explorer,' for a three-night journey to Yichang. Settle into your cabin as the ship sails downstream to the stunning Three Gorges region. Tonight, watch a fascinating documentary on the Three Gorges Dam Project in the ship's Tang Theatre.
Sanctuary 'Yangzi Explorer' | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 8: Cruising the Yangtze | Asia's Great River
Start your morning with traditional Chinese exercise and work up an appetite for the buffet breakfast. Then, disembark and enjoy a shore excursion to Fengdu, where you take in local life on a visit to a village relocated to make way for the Three Gorges Dam Project. Meet with a local family, visit a Kindergarten and enjoy a kaleidoscope of sights at the farmers market. This afternoon, learn about Chinese traditional medicine and reflexology. This evening, attend the Captain's Reception.
Sanctuary 'Yangzi Explorer' | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 9: The Three Gorges | China's Ultimate Scenery
Early this morning, 'Yangzi Explorer' navigates the Qutang and Wu Gorges before anchoring at Badong, where you board a ferry and travel up the Shennong Stream. Transfer to "pea pod" boats poled by Tujia boatmen to view the scenic Bamboo Gorge. The Tujia are members of local minority culture famed for their boat-building skills and keen knowledge of the Yangtze. Return to 'Yangzi Explorer' by ferryboat, accompanied by a Tujia boat tracker who shares insights into his daily life. Tonight, enjoy a Taste of China" dinner, followed by on board entertainment.
Sanctuary 'Yangzi Explorer' | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 10: Yichang to Shanghai | Disembark 'Yangzi Explorer'
Arrive at the Three Gorges Project Dam Site and Exhibition Center to learn the history of the world's largest dam, including the story of the resettlement of the 1.2 million residents of the cities submerged behind the 600-foot-tall engineering marvel. Disembark in Yichang around midday, and fly to Shanghai this evening. Upon arrival, transfer to your elegant hotel, located on the city's historic Bund.
The Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund | Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 11: Shanghai | Pearl of the Orient
Explore dynamic Shanghai, where stunning modern skylines meet classic street markets and gardens. Contrast this experience with a visit to the charming rural village of Zhujiajiao, a traditional water village harkening back to China's imperial past. Glide along its main canal on a sampan (wooden boat). Tonight, enjoy a sundowner at the House of Roosevelt, before attending a performance by the Shanghai Acrobatics Troupe, featuring dazzling feats of strength, balance and athleticism.
The Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund | Meals: Breakfast

Day 12: Shanghai | Life on the Bund
Stroll the streets of Old Town and visit the 16th-century Yu Garden with its pavilions and streams. Walk along the Bund, Shanghai's most popular promenade. This afternoon, explore studios and galleries in the M-50 Contemporary Art District. Then, gather tonight for a farewell dinner.
The Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 13: Depart Shanghai
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to depart for home or begin a Hong Kong Post-Tour Extension.


Please note: The Three Gorges Dam's lock will be undergoing maintenance from  the 30th January to the 30th April 2017, no tourist cruises will be allowed to cross the lock during this period. Therefore, guests aboard Sanctuary 'Yangzi Explorer' are going to disembark at Maoping Pier, just upstream of the Three Gorges Dam instead of Yichang on Day 10. You will still visit the dam site and exhibition centre, but will not cruise down the lowermost portion of Xiling Gorge.

Back to China


Departure Dates & Pricing

Departure Dates Per Person from
17th, 24th, 31st Mar £5,015Book now
7th, 14th, 21st, 28th Apr, 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th May, 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th Sep, 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th Oct £5,365Book now
2nd, 30th Jun, 11th, 25th Aug £4,800Book now


The above prices include all accommodation, guiding and meals as specified. Subject to availability. Excludes international flights. Single Supplement on request
Please note that two groups of 18 A&K guests may be travelling on board the 'Yangzi Explorer""
Price based on Main Deck, supplements apply for other cabins.
Minimum age is 10 years.


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A&K Offices

Our office in Hong Kong is managed by a local team of experienced and passionate travel professionals with an intimate knowledge of China, enabling them to provide clients with great insight into this fascinating destination, and ensuring a seamless experience every step of the A&K journey. With their long standing personal connections and networks they're also there to help you uncover local secrets and experiences, and to open doors to people and places normally beyond the reach of the ordinary traveller.

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Meet the Orient & Indian Subcontinent Team

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Annie, Brandon, Debbie, Margaret, Vicky Smith, Lynne and Rachel - are experts in designing travel experiences across the region to suit your personal needs, interests and budget.

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Useful info


Best time to be there

While there are differences in the climate according to the region in China, it is best to travel in Spring and Autumn when the weather is not too hot nor freezing cold. But we also pay attention to festival periods and special occasions.

Fly to

Beijing/Shanghai/Hong Kong (British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Virgin)

flying time

11 hours 20 minutes non-stop

time difference

GMT +7 hours


Visa required for UK passport holders

Health Requirements

Yellow Fever certificate if arriving from an endemic area

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