China's Yangtze by Small Ship | insightCuba

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China's Yangtze by Small Ship

12 Days / 11 Nights

  • Beijing
  • Juyong Pass & The Great Wall
  • Yichang
  • Yangtze River 
  • Fengdu
  • Xian
  • Shanghai

Visit the Great Wall | Cruise the Yangtze River and Three Gorges Dam | Shop at a Farmer's Market with a Local Family | Learn Tai Chi with a Master at the Temple of Heaven | Dine with a Famous Chef | 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Map of China
Blend the beauty of the Yangtze with the splendors of Beijing on this voyage through the heart of China. Experience the day-to-day pleasures of city life as only a resident of Beijing can. Visit with local hosts, who welcome guests for lunch and a rickshaw tour of a hutong, or traditional district, of this metropolitan city. Guests will also enjoy a Peking duck banquet, and explore iconic sites such as the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven and more.Your journey also includes a cruise along the Yangtze River, that visits the famous Three Gorges Dam, sails through the Xiling Gorge, and takes visitors along Shennong Stream by sampan. The 12-day adventure doesn’t stop there. Visitors also see the pandas in Chongqing Zoo and fly to Xiang for a stop in with the Terra-Cotta Warriors before wrapping up in another metropolitan stronghold — Shanghai.
Accomodations and Deck Plan for the Yangzi Explorer:

Three Gorges Dam China
Beijing, China and the Forbidden City
Day 1

Welcome to Beijing! You’ll be met on arrival and escorted to the luxurious Fairmont Beijing Hotel.The rest of this day is yours to relax and enjoy as you wish.

Forbidden City, Beijing, China, bridge and canal
Day 2

Alongside your expert native guide, you'll marvel at Tiananmen Square and tour the Forbidden City, once the exclusive enclave of emperors. At a local market, help select produce for your local hosts, a family you’ll join for lunch during your rickshaw tour through a hutong. This evening, enjoy a Peking Duck Banquet with wine.

Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Great Wall of China
Great Wall & Summer Palace
Day 3

Travel to Juyong Pass to explore one of the most scenic and historic sections of the Great Wall, the site of many ancient battles. Then tour the Summer Palace, a former seasonal retreat of China’s royalty. 

Meals | Breakfast, Lunch

MS Yangzi Explorer Suite
Yichang / Yangtze River
Day 4

Tour the Temple of Heaven whe re you’ll also enjoy a private class with a tai chi master. After sightseeing, we’ll take you to the airport for your included flight to the river city of Yichang. Here you will transfer to the pier to board the MS Yangzi Explorer, China’s finest small ship. Settle in to your balcony stateroom before an elegant dinner with wine. 

Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tai Chi aboard the MS Yangzi Explorer
Three Gorges Dam
Day 5

Early risers can start the day with tai chi on deck before an expansive buffet breakfast. A relaxing morning onboard offers a chance to relax on your private balcony, attend an informative talk on Chinese traditions, or indulge in a treatment at the shipboard spa. After lunch, you’ll step off the ship to visit the Three Gorges Dam. Later, the Yangzi Explorer will navigate through Xiling Gorge, the longest of the river’s Three Gorges.

Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Qutang Gorge on the Yangtze River, Three Gorges
Yangtze River Gorges
Day 6

If you wish, you can join fellow passengers for early morning Tai Chi before breakfast is served. Then step off ship for an unforgettable journey up Shennong Stream. You’ll explore this spectacular region in traditional sampan boats poled by Tujia boatmen. After lunch, you’ll want to be on your balcony or with fellow passengers on the Sun Deck as the Yangzi Explorer navigates Wu Gorge, renowned for massive cliffs that rise sharply from the river. Later, our ship cruises through spectacular Qutang Gorge, the narrowest of the river’s Three Gorges.

Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Old fishing boat on Yangtze River near Three Gorges Dam
Day 7

A delightful morning onboard our 5-star ship is yours to do as you wish. You might learn about China’s thriving pearl industry or attend a workshop on traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy. After lunch, you can tailor your touring with the included excursion of your choice.

Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Ancient Xian bell tower
Fly to Xian
Day 8

Visit the Pandas in Chongqing Zoo. Then transfer to the airport for your included flight to Xian, China’s ancient capital for 13 dynasties where you’ll explore a local market with a native resident. Savor traditional dumplings and retreat to the 5-star Hilton Hotel. 

Meals | Breakfast, Dinner

Terra Cotta Warriors in Xian
Xian and the Terra Cotta Army
Day 9

Today, you'll have a meeting with an archaeologist who will introduce your tour of the Terra Cotta Warriors. Then, enjoy a noodle-making demonstration for lunch. Then visit the old defensive walls that still surround much of Xian’s historic core and hear colorful stories about this ancient Imperial capital.

Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Shanghai market
Day 10

Fly to Shanghai where you’ll be escorted to the landmark Fairmont Peace Hotel overlooking the historic Bund. Tonight you’ll thrill to a performance of the Shanghai Acrobats. 

Meals | Breakfast

Shanghai, Yu Yuan gardens
Day 11

Walk along the elegant waterfront Bund, delight in the lovely Yu Yuan Garden and tour the highly regarded Shanghai Museum. At midday, we’ll take you to one of the city’s newly popular wine lounges where the manager will share unique insight into China’s growing fascination for fine vintages. Sit down to a congenial luncheon accompanied by a glass of one of the lounge’s most popular wines. 

Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Shanghai dancers with fans
Farewell to Shanghai and China
Day 12

Transfer to the airport for your flight.

Meals | Breakfast

Activities in this itinerary should be considered a sample only. Final itineraries are sent to guests one to two weeks prior to departure.

Sofitel Wanda Beijing

With a central location in the Beijing, the Sofitel Wanda Beijing offers easy access to the Exhibition Center, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. The hotel's striking design draws on Sino-French influences and accentuates the strong cultural links between France and China reflected in the overall theme and décor. The hotel features 417 luxurious rooms, 4 restaurants, a Grand Ballroom, Health Club and indulgent LeSpa. Guest accommodations include in-room safe, high-speed internet access, mini-bar and satellite television.

Fairmont Beijing

The Fairmont Beijing Hotel brings unprecedented luxury and hospitality offering guests a distinctive stay right in the heart of China’s modern capital business center. Located in the central business district, our distinctive collection of comfortable and contended guest rooms, top-end spa treatments, gym facilities and award-winning restaurants allow our globe-trotting guests to enjoy opulence from all aspects, while on their journey in China’s capital. Continuing The Fairmont Hotel’s global brand of unique hospitality excellence, The Fairmont Hotel Beijing has been recognized in various awards and accolades over the past few years, including Beijing’s Best Business Hotel by TTG Asia 2012, Trip Advisor’s Number One Hotel in 2012, Traveler’s Choice Award in 2013 for Luxury, and Traveler's Choice Award in 2014 for Romance and Luxury. 

Hilton Hotel Xi'an

Tang Dynasty artwork and contemporary style blend beautifully at this new deluxe hotel, ideally located downtown within the ancient walls of the city.

Fairmont Peace Hotel Shanghai

Now a member of prestigious Fairmont Hotels, this historic landmark on the Bund has been splendidly renovated and is once again the city’s premier luxury address.

Yangzi Explorer

With only 58 beautiful staterooms, the all-balcony Yangzi Explorer is the most intimate ship on the river. An elegant single-seating dining room features fine international cuisine including wine with lunch and dinner. Enjoy expertly guided, small-group shore excursions, relax in the Explorer Lounge, and refresh in the spa. To enhance your voyage, the Explorer offers a comprehensive and enriching onboard cultural program.

  • Exclusively escorted sightseeing

  • Expert native guide

  • 7 nights in handpicked luxury and deluxe hotels

  • 4 nights, all-inclusive, in a balcony cabin on the MS Yangtze Explorer including fine dining and wine with lunch and dinner

  • 27 meals featuring international and Chinese cuisine including 11 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 8 dinners

  • Small group size, never more than 16 guests

  • All entrance fees to scheduled activities and events

  • All on-tour transportation including airport transfers and all 3 internal flights

  • Luggage handling, hotel taxes & service charges, and all airline fees & fuel charges for all included flights

  • 24-hour emergency customer service hotline

*Trip-cancellation coverage available for an additional fee through Allianz.

China's Yangtze by Small Ship
DateDouble Occupancy
(per person)
Cuban Visa
 Main Deck Cabin - $4,899   
 Xiling Deck Cabin - $4,979   
Aug 23 – Sep 3, 2018Wu Deck Cabin - $5,059   
 Wu Deck Suite - $6,099   
 Qutang Deck Suite - $6,199   
 Main Deck Cabin - $5,299   
 Xiling Deck Cabin - $5,379   
Sep 6 – Sep 17, 2018Wu Deck Cabin - $5,459   
 Wu Deck Suite - $6,499   
 Qutang Deck Suite - $6,599   
 Main Deck Cabin - $5,299   
 Xiling Deck Cabin - $5,379   
Oct 11 – Oct 22, 2018Wu Deck Cabin - $5,459   
 Wu Deck Suite - $6,499   
 Qutang Deck Suite - $6,599   
 Main Deck Cabin - $5,299   
 Xiling Deck Cabin - $5,379   
Oct 18 – Oct 29, 2018Wu Deck Cabin - $5,459   
 Wu Deck Suite - $6,499   
 Qutang Deck Suite - $6,599   
 Main Deck Cabin - $5,299   
 Xiling Deck Cabin - $5,379   
Mar 21 – Apr 1, 2019Wu Deck Cabin - $5,459   
 Wu Deck Suite - $6,499   
 Qutang Deck Suite - $6,599   
 Main Deck Cabin - $5,299   
 Xiling Deck Cabin - $5,379   
Apr 11 – Apr 22, 2019Wu Deck Cabin - $5,459   
 Wu Deck Suite - $6,499   
 Qutang Deck Suite - $6,599   

Single Supplement Pricing:

Main Deck Cabin$1900$1600$2000$1500$1600
Xiling Deck $1970$1970$2070$1570$1670
Wu Deck Cabin$2140$1840$1500$1700$1840
Wu Deck Suite$2350$2050$2150$1950$2050
Qutang Deck Suite$2450$2150$2550$2050$2150


Sep-Oct 2018
and Apr 2019

Mar 2019
Main Deck Cabin$2000$1900
Xiling Deck Cabin$2070$1970
Wu Deck Cabin$2240$2140
Wu Deck Suite$2450$2350
Qutang Deck Suite$2550$2450

SAVE $600 per couple + $300 solo on this tour when you pay-in-full at the time of booking.

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