Arrive in Hong Kong then board the Regent Seven Seas Mariner for your 15-night cruise to Shanghai. After a day at sea, you'll arrive in Kaohsiung at the Southern end of Taiwan. The city’s roots date back to the 17th century, when it was a small fishing village. Today, it’s the second most populous city in Taiwan and known as the Harbour Capital. After a little time exploring, head on to Taipei where you can visit the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial, the fabulous Palace Museum's vast collection of Chinese art and the lovely Lungshan Temple.
Arrive in Japan and Ishigaki, the second largest island in the Yaeyama archipelago. Explore its emerald-green waters, or take a day trip to the neighbouring islands of Taketomi, Kuroshima and Kohama. Visit the beautiful island of Okinawa and the imposing Shuri Castle, home of the Ryukyu royal family for more than 400 years. Cruise to Nagasaki before leaving Japan for Korea and Jeju Island. Often referred to as the Island of the Gods, it's breath-taking landscape contains UNESCO-protected reserves and an abundance of plant and animal species.
Inchon, located on the west coast of South Korea, lies close to the capital city of Seoul. During the Korean War, it was the site of the Battle of Inchon, when United States troops landed to relieve pressure on the Pusan Perimeter. Continue to Beijing, China’s dynamic city, which has dazzled travellers since the days of Marco Polo. From the serenity of the Summer Palace Gardens to the Bird’s Nest olympic stadium, there's much to explore in Beijing. Your final port of call is Shanghai.
Disembark the Seven Seas Mariner and begin your 11-night tour with two nights in cosmopolitan Shanghai. Here, you can experience China old and new - from learning to play folk drums in Zhujiajiao to braving the glass-floored skywalk at the top of the towering World Finance Centre. Continue to Yangtze, the third-longest river in the world, where you'll embark on a three-night river cruise aboard the luxurious Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer. Sail through the sheer-sided Three Gorges, spot rice terraces and cliff-clinging villages, help pole longboats at Batong, and pass the mighty locks of the Three Gorges Dam.
After your river cruise, continue to Chengdu's Breeding Research Base, home to over a hundred giant and red pandas. Learn all about these wonderful creatures, see the cubs tumbling about in the nursery and even volunteer to be a keeper for the day. Next, you'll visit Xian and the world-famous Terracotta Warriors. This army of over 8,000 soldiers, complete with horses and chariots, was sculpted near Xian over 2,000 years ago. A guide will bring the warriors to life, before you visit a ceramics factory to have a go at moulding your own miniature version. Alternatively, enjoy a cycle ride around the top of Xian's ancient, yet perfectly preserved, city walls.
After another night in Xian, continue to Beijing for your final night. Ride a rickshaw through the city's narrow alleyways, learn to make steamed dumplings with a local family, or try your hand at graceful calligraphy. You can also visit the Great Wall – the mighty bastion that once stretched over 8,000km across the country – before heading to the hill-snaking Mutianyu section for a toboggan ride like no other. After all the excitment, wave goodbye to Beijing for your return flight to the UK.