Arrive in Beijing, China’s capital and cultural hub, where you’re met and transferred to your luxury hotel.
After a welcome briefing in the morning, participate in a tai chi lesson at the Temple of Heaven, a classic example of Ming architecture. After lunch, explore Tiananmen Square before taking a walk in the footsteps of emperors in the Forbidden City. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner with your fellow guests.
Travel to the well-preserved Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China. Walk or ride a cable car to the top, for the stunning mountain views. On returning to Beijing, you can Ride Like a Local on a pedicab through a hutong — a neighbourhood of small winding alleyways.
Fly to Xian, the region made famous by Marco Polo. Once a vital stop on the Great Silk Road, Xian is now a melting pot of Asian and Middle Eastern influences. This afternoon, view the Great Mosque, a fascinating site blending classic Chinese temple architecture and central Asian embellishments. Next, visit the lively Muslim Quarter of Xian to see its lively traditional markets.
Today, view the world-famous Terracotta Warriors, lost for two millennia until accidentally discovered by a farmer in 1974. View these historical figures with an on-site archaeologist at your side. Next, enjoy a private Chef’s Table experience in dumpling-making. Then you can enter the Ancient Gate of Xian’s City Wall to stroll along its ancient ramparts.
After the short flight to Chengdu, visit the People’s Park, the city’s largest public park. Here, you can immerse yourself in local life and culture, watching residents playing traditional Chinese instruments, practicing calligraphy and engaging in tai chi. After enjoying a tea demonstration at a local teahouse, spend the evening savouring local Sichuan specialties at a traditional dinner.
Visit the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Centre to observe the much-loved giant pandas roaming within a natural habitat. Afterwards, enjoy the afternoon at your leisure, either relaxing or exploring Chengdu centre. The city is renowned for its thriving music scene and nightlife, not to mention the foodie scene.
Fly to Lhasa, the heart and soul of Tibet Autonomous Region. At 3,490 metres, this is one of the highest cities on earth. Relax and get acclimatised before exploring this exciting region.
Visit the vibrant Ani Tsankhung Nunnery to experience the spiritual heart of Tibet. See the sacred Jokhang, a 1,300-year-old temple. Next, wander through Lhasa’s Barkhor Bazaar and visit the Dropenling Tibet Handicraft Development Centre. Continue on to the renowned Sera Monastery to witness the lively monk debates which take place here. Then discover the Dalai Lama’s former summer residence at Norbulingka, surrounded by trees, ponds, gardens and pavilions.
Visit Sanggye Dhunghor, where some 200 statues were carved into the dramatic rock face. Your next stop involves venturing beyond the towering walls of the awe-inspiring Potala Palace to see the Dalai Lama’s former winter residence.
Fly to Chongqing to embark upon your river cruise. Your three-night journey takes you through the spectacular Three Gorges region.
Start your morning with traditional Chinese exercises to work up an appetite for the huge buffet breakfast. Disembark in the small city of Fuling and enjoy a shore excursion to the White Crane Ridge Underwater Museum to see the centuries-old rock carvings. Continue to a local market to gain an insight into the region’s rich culinary culture, before boarding your ship again to attend the captain’s reception.
Early this morning, the Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer navigates the Qutang and Wu gorges before anchoring at Badong. Here, you can board a ferry to travel up the Shennong Stream. Disembark to board a local ‘pea pod’ boat poled by Tujia boatmen — members of a local minority culture famed for their river prowess – to view the scenic Bamboo Gorge. Tonight, gather for a Taste-of-China dining experience you’ll never forget.
Explore the Three Gorges Dam Site and Exhibition Centre in the morning before you disembark and fly to Shanghai. On arrival this evening, transfer to your elegant hotel on the city’s world-famous Bund waterfront.
Explore Shanghai, visiting Zhujiajiao, a water village which evokes China’s medieval past. As you explore, you can cruise the main canal in a traditional sampan (wooden boat). Enjoy a Scenic Sundowner at the House of Roosevelt, taking in the skyline views of Shanghai, before attending a Shanghai Acrobatic show.
Stroll the Bund, Shanghai’s vibrant promenade. Afterwards, wander through the streets of Old Town and then discover the wonders of Yu Garden. Finally, explore the M-50 Contemporary Art District before you gather for the farewell dinner.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home or spend a little more time in China with a post-tour extension.