Luxury Small Group Journeys - China & The Yangzi 2016

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Best time to go: March to June, August to September

13 Nights | from £5,310pp

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Holiday type: Group departure

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China and the Yangtze


  • Three night cruise on the Yangtze River in a deluxe cabin on board the all-balcony Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer, the best vessel sailing on the river
  • Stay in the region's top hotels, including Four Seasons Hotel Beijing and The Peninsula Shanghai
  • Take a private tour with an on-site archaeologist at the Terracotta Warriors excavation
  • Enjoy an up-close encounter with giant pandas, China's living national emblem, where they roam free in their natural habitat
  • Witness China's modernity in Shanghai and visit the M-50 Contemporary Art District
  • Go off the beaten track to the less-visited and best preserved Mutianyu section of the Great Wall
  • Take a walking tour of the Muslim Quarter in Xian
  • Take a pedicab through one of Beijing's hutongs, and by contrast, take a high-speed train through the Chinese countryside

Arrive in the capital city of Beijing, where a member of the A&K team will meet you and accompany you to your luxurious hotel.
Four Seasons Hotel Beijing

After a welcome briefing, set off in the late morning for the Great Wall of China where, after lunch, either walk or take a cable car to the top of the well-preserved Mutianyu section to absorb the panoramic views of the forested countryside. Spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing before a welcome dinner at your hotel in the evening.
Four Seasons Hotel Beijing | MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Start the day with a tai chi class taught by a master instructor at the ancient Temple of Heaven, the single most beautiful example of classical Ming period architecture. Afterwards take a pedicab through a historic hutong, a vast maze of small winding alleyways that illustrate a bygone Beijing that is rapidly vanishing. After lunch, spend the afternoon exploring the imperial grandeur of the Forbidden City and taking in the history of Tiananmen Square.
Four Seasons Hotel Beijing | MEALS: Breakfast and Lunch

Fly to Xian, a modern city cloaked in 3,000 years of history. Once the most eastern post of the Silk Road, Xian is a veritable melting pot of Middle Eastern and Asian influences. After lunch, explore the old city quarter, home to teeming markets and the beautiful Great Mosque, a 14th-century national heritage site. An intriguing 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

Visit the famous excavation site of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses accompanied by one of the site's archaeologists; the life-size army was created during the Qin Dynasty to protect Qin Shi Huang, China's first emperor, in his afterlife. More than 8,000 of the soldiers are spread throughout three excavation pits, each revealing a unique face, testifying to the remarkable craftsmanship that went into making these warriors. Afterwards enjoy a noodle-making demonstration followed by lunch. Later enter the Ancient Gate of Xian's impressive City Wall with the opportunity to cycle along its ramparts.
Shangri-La Hotel, Xian | MEALS: Breakfast and Lunch

Take a special tour of the Yangling Museum to view its Restoration Lab and recent discoveries from Han Dynasty tombs. This afternoon, fly to Chengdu, the charming capital of Sichuan Province.
Shangri-La Hotel, Chengdu | MEALS: Breakfast

Head off the beaten path to the relaxed riverside city of Leshan, where you'll board a private boat to see the 1,300-year-old, stone-carved Leshan Giant Buddha. At 233 feet tall, it's the largest stone Buddha statue in the world. Learn how it was carved and why it was positioned to overlook the confluence of three rivers - the Minjiang, Dadu and Qingyi.
Shangri-La Hotel, Chengdu | MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Visit the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Centre, an A&K Philanthropy-supported project which provides an unforgettable opportunity to come face to face with the pandas roaming freely in their natural habitat. Afterwards take a high speed train through the Chinese countryside to Chongqing to board the Sanctuary 'Yangzi Explorer' for a picturesque three night voyage to Yichang. Settle into your cabin as the ship sets sail downstream towards the stunning Three Gorges region. During the evening, a documentary on the Three Gorges Dam Project will be shown in the ship's Tang Theatre.
Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer | MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Start the day with traditional Chinese exercise to work up an appetite for breakfast. See how tea is prepared in the traditional way and learn how to make dumplings with the ship's chef. Disembark after lunch for a shore excursion to Fengdu, where you'll visit a village that has been relocated to make way for the Three Gorges Dam Project. There's the opportunity to meet a local family and experience the lively farmers market. Join the Captain's Reception in the evening, followed by a welcome dinner.
Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer | MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Early this morning the 'Yangzi Explorer' navigates the Qutang and Wu Gorges before anchoring at Badong, where you'll board a private ferry which takes you upstream to the Shennong Stream. Here you'll board a traditional 'pea pod' boat poled by Tujia boatmen to see the picturesque Bamboo Gorge. The Tujia are members of a local minority culture famed for their boat-building skills and knowledge of the Yangtze River's many currents and eddies. Later try your hand at Chinese brush painting and calligraphy before a 'Taste of China' dinner and on-board entertainment in the evening.
Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer | MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Arriving at the Three Gorges Project Dam Site and Exhibition Centre, learn about the history and capacity of the world's largest dam, including the fascinating story of the resettlement of the 1.2 million residents of the cities submerged behind this 600-foot-tall engineering marvel. Disembark in Yichang to fly to Shanghai arriving late evening, then on to your elegant hotel, located on the city's historic Bund.
The Peninsula Shanghai | MEALS: Breakfast and Lunch

Explore dynamic and energetic Shanghai, where spectacular modern skylines meet with classic street markets and gardens - before a contrasting visit to the charming rural village of Zhujiajiao, a traditional water village while gliding through its main canal on a sampan. This evening enjoy a scenic sundowner at the House of Roosevelt Sky Bar, a rooftop bar overlooking the colourful city lights of Bund and Pudong districts. Following on there is a performance by the Shanghai Acrobatics Troupe.
The Peninsula Shanghai | MEALS: Breakfast

Explore the streets of Old Town and visit the 16th-century Yu Garden with its serene pavilions and streams before taking a walk along the Bund, Shanghai's most popular promenade. During the evening explore the studios and galleries in the M-50 Contemporary Art District, before gathering in the evening for a festive farewell dinner.
The Peninsula Shanghai | MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

After breakfast, you'll be driven to the airport for your flight home.
MEALS: Breakfast

NOTE: The cruise schedule is subject to change.

Back to China


Departure Dates & Pricing

Departure Dates Per Person from
17th Mar£5,439Book now
7th, 14th, 21st, 28th Apr, 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th May£5,635Book now
9thJun, 7th Jul, 4th, 18th, 25th Aug£5,310Book now
1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th Sep, 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th Oct£5,635Book 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 Ex
Hong Kong Post Tour Extension. 3 days from £1,195. Available on the 7, 21, 28 Apr; 5,19 May; 7 Jul; 25 aug; 8, 15, 29 Sep; 6, 20 and 27 Oct departures.
Price based on Main Deck, supplements apply for other cabins.

Celebration Holidays

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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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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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