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Jewels of China & Yangtze Cruise 17 Days

$2,399.00 $1,999.00

Xi’an, Beijing, Wuxi, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai

Tour Highlights:

  • Discover the first emperor of China’s incomparable Terracotta Army
  • Walk upon the massive, fortified Ancient City Wall of Xi’an
  • Visit an icon of early Chinese Buddhism, the Great Wild Goose Pagoda
  • Learn local history in the Shaanxi Provincial History Museum
  • Enjoy an Imperial Dumpling Banquet and Tang Dynasty Singing & Dancing Show
  • Walk on the incredible Great Wall near Beijing
  • Uncover the mystery of the ancient imperial Forbidden City
  • Sit by tranquil West Lake in Hangzhou
  • Stroll in one of the finest Chinese gardens in Suzhou
  • Immerse yourself in the bustling metropolis Shanghai
  • Relax aboard a cruise along the majestic Yangtze River
  • Marvel at the scale of the massive engineering achievement of the Three Gorges Dam
  • Paddle up tranquil Shennong Stream, named for a mythical sage-emperor of ancient China
  • Visit the scenic two-centuries-old ‘Precious Stone Fortress’ – Shibaozhai
  • Enjoy a range of Optional Activities and shore visits should you desire

Savour the beauty of China’s ancient history, rich culture, delicate cuisine, thriving industries, and modern architecture.

During the Tang dynasty, Xi’an was the first Chinese city to open its doors to the wider world, ushering in huge changes through international trade and cultural exchange, and was the capital for eleven dynasties over a period of more than 2,000 years. Now the city is famed for the ‘Terracotta Army’ of Qin Shi Huang – the first ruler to unify the lands that became modern China.

To the east, in Beijing, walk along the Great Wall and unfold the mystery of the Forbidden City, then discover the exquisite southeastern cities Wuxi, Suzhou, and Hangzhou – long known for their culture and natural beauty, and immerse yourself in dynamic, cosmopolitan Shanghai.

Now, relax as you cruise along the majestic Yangtze River and discover the dramatic gorges, mountain villages and breathtaking scenery. A Yangtze River cruise is the thrill of a life time. You will enjoy the stunning picturesque scenery and the amazing natural beauty of the famed Three Gorges: Qutang, Wu and Xiling, while exploring the historical relics and ancient cultural sites along the mighty river.

Enjoy shore excursions to explore the fascinating history and tranquil landscapes including the spectacle of Fengdu Ghost City, a peculiar site that contains statues of demons and ghosts that roam the afterworld; the fun of drifting through Shennong Stream, which offers clear running waters, picturesque rock formations, and monkeys and goats along its banks; and the wonder of the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest dam.

Pace: Moderate – please be prepared for intervals of brisk walking and full days.

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Departure Dates

2019 Twin Share PP Single Supplement
24 Feb*~ 26 May 25 Aug $2,399
$1,999
If booked by 31 July

$1,320
03 Mar~ 02 Jun 01 Sep
10 Mar~ 09 Jun 08 Sep
17 Mar~ 16 Jun 15 Sep*
24 Mar~ 23 Jun 22 Sep*
31 Mar 30 Jun* 29 Sep*
07 Apr* 07 Jul* 06 Oct*
14 Apr* 14 Jul* 13 Oct
21 Apr* 21 Jul* 20 Oct
28 Apr* 28 Jul 27 Oct
05 May 04 Aug 03 Nov
12 May 11 Aug 10 Nov
19 May 18 Aug 17 Nov
* = Peak Season Surcharge: $300pp

Package Inclusions:

  • Airfares, taxes & fuel surcharges from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane with a full service Chinese carrier
    • E.g. China Southern/Eastern Airlines, Air China, China/Hainan/Sichuan/Xiamen Airlines (subject to availability)
  • 11 nights 3-4 star (local rating) hotel accommodation
  • 4 nights standard cabin with private balcony aboard Victoria Jenna (twin share only, cruise ship subject to change)
  • Daily breakfast
  • High-speed bullet train from Beijing to Wuxi
  • Round trip airport & hotel transfers
  • Air conditioned coach transportation
    • Baggage limit: 1 piece 20kg per person
  • All sightseeing & entrance fees
  • English-speaking tour guide(s)

Package Exclusions:

  • Prepaid tipping: $100pp
  • China visa (required)
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses & anything optional

Stopover PackagesOptional Extension

Hong Kong Stopover from $389pp

Once a sleepy fishing village, Hong Kong has developed into one of the premier financial powerhouses of the Far East. It is a city which boldly blends modernity with Chinese heritage and British colonial influence. A safe, well organised, fast paced shopping paradise, it also offers up some unmatched cuisine experiences.

For details, tap the image above or click here.

Optional ProgramsOptional Extension

Special offer – Book ALL optional programs for a $50pp discount!

These special programs can be prepaid in Australia more than 30 days before departure. Note: If certain activities or shows are unavailable, a similar alternative will be provided.

Beijing Forbidden City Tour $80
Beijing Peking Duck Dinner $40
Beijing The Golden Mask Dynasty $75
Beijing Hutong Life & Panda House Tour w/Lunch $80
Beijing Chinese Kung Fu Show $75
Wuxi Grand Canal Cruise $35
Wuxi Jiangnan Dumpling Lunch $25
Suzhou Western Buffet Dinner $40
Hangzhou Impression West Lake or similar $80
Shanghai ERA: The Intersection of Time / SPIRAL $75
Shanghai Jin Mao Tower, Xintiandi & Maglev Train Tour $70
Shanghai Huangpu River Cruise $40
Shanghai Shanghai Disneyland Package
(cannot be combined with ERA & Jin Mao Tour)
$199

Hotel Accommodation Optional Extension

Beijing Chunhuiyuan Hot Springs Hotel or similar
Wuxi Swiss-Belhotel Liyuan or similar
Suzhou Holiday Inn Suzhou Taihu Lake or similar
Hangzhou Hangzhou Merchant Marco Edgelake Hotel or similar
Shanghai Wassim Hotel Zhoupu or similar
Board your international flight from Australia for a connecting flight via an intermediate city to Xi’an. Your tour guide will greet you at the airport and then transfer you to your hotel to rest.
The highlight today is a visit to the Terracotta Army to see the life-sized ‘army’ in the vast mausoleum of the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. This site is among the top archaeological excavations of the 20th century. This will be followed by a visit to a ceramic art factory. In the evening, enjoy a special Imperial Dumpling Banquet and traditional Tang Dynasty Singing & Dancing Show.
After breakfast, visit the Shaanxi Provincial History Museum. Enjoy a special noodle lunch including an interesting noodle making demonstration. Then visit the Great Wild Goose Pagoda, the symbol of the city. Later, walk along the Ancient City Wall, which is not only the most complete city wall to survive in China, but also one of the largest ancient military defence systems in the world. Fly to Beijing in the evening in the evening to continue your holiday.
Beijing, China’s massive capital, has a history stretching back three millennia, and since the 2008 Olympic Games, it has been known for its modern architecture as well as grand ancient sites such as the Forbidden City complex, the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties. After breakfast, visit Tiananmen Square, the second-largest public square in the world! Tiananmen Square is named after the Tiananmen (Gate of Heavenly Peace) located to the north of the square, separating it from the Forbidden City. The square contains the Monument to the People’s Heroes, the National Museum of China and the Mausoleum of Chairman Mao Zedong, and holds great cultural significance as it was the site of several important events in Chinese history.

Optional Program: Forbidden City Tour – Continue on to the incredible Forbidden City, a true architectural masterpiece, and the imperial palace from the Ming to the Qing dynasty (1420 to 1912). The complex is home to the National Palace Museum, and consists of 980 buildings covering 72 ha (over 180 acres). The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987 and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world!

Optional Program: Peking Duck Dinner – Tonight, head out for a Beijing speciality which is one of the most famous Chinese dishes, Peking Duck.

Today’s highlight is an excursion to the majestic Great Wall of China at Juyong Pass. This is one of the three most famous passes along the Wall, together with Jiayuguan and Shanhaiguan. Just 60 km from downtown Beijing, Juyong Pass was the northern route to Beijing in ancient times. Once here, there is plenty of time to learn about the wall’s construction and you’ll have the chance to climb a portion of this 6,000 km marvel.

On the way back to Beijing, we stop at one of the largest jade exhibitions in Asia. Then, after lunch, see skilled artisans at work at a cloisonne factory. Cloisonne is a famous traditional enamel ware, known as the ‘Blue of Jingtai’ in China, with a history of over 500 years. It was so called because blue was the colour typically used for enamelling, and Jingtai was the reign title of the 7th Ming Emperor.

Optional Program: The Golden Mask Dynasty – This phenomenal show incorporates dancing, acrobatics, magnificent costumes and lot of surprises. Seen by an estimated 1.1 million people, it is one of Beijing’s must-see shows.

Enjoy a tour to the Summer Palace, the largest preserved ancient garden in China and a former summer resort for Emperors followed by a visit to a Chinese Herbal Medicine Institute to learn about traditional Chinese medicine, which has existed for thousands of years, as you enjoy a rejuvenating foot massage.

Optional Program: Hutong Life & Panda House Tour w/Lunch – A rickshaw will take you around the intricate winding hutongs to admire these old courtyard dwellings, built during the Mongol Yuan Dynasty. Even today, when many have been developed into upscale restaurants, tea houses, and boutiques, many residents are reluctant to move from their beloved hutongs. On this tour, you are invited to visit a local family’s house to experience authentic ‘old Beijing’ life. Next, visit the Panda House in Beijing Zoo to see China’s adorable national treasure – the Giant Panda.

Optional Program: Chinese Kung Fu Show – This show is an energetic mix of traditional Chinese martial arts, dance and high-flying acrobatics set in a modern theatre. Combined with an excellent storyline, exceptional stage design and professional actors this show is not to be missed for Chinese Kung-Fu enthusiasts or those seeking a thrilling performance.

Take a high speed train to Wuxi, an ancient city, richly endowed with natural attractions due to its pleasantly warm and moist climate. Wuxi boasts a reputation of being the ‘Land of Fish and Rice’. Enjoy the scenery as we pass by Lake Tai, the third-largest freshwater lake in China. This evening, we will stroll along the trendy yet traditional Nanchang Street, composed of both ancient and modern architecture, and juxtaposed with the peaceful atmosphere of the waterside town and fashionable life of Wuxi.

Optional Program: Jiangnan Dumpling Lunch – Enjoy a traditional lunch that includes the famous xiao long bao, a Chinese steamed bun filled with minced pork and tasty soup, prepared in a small bamboo steaming basket (xiao long).

This morning, visit one of the largest freshwater pearl exhibitions in the country. After lunch, travel by coach to Suzhou, an elegant city with canals, stone bridges, and meticulously designed gardens. Suzhou has been referred to as ‘Paradise on Earth’ by Chinese poets and writers since ancient times. As a large area of the city is covered by water, including a vast number of ponds and streams, Suzhou is also known as ‘Venice of the East’. It is also known as the ‘Garden City’ due to its many classical gardens, renowned for their charming natural beauty and harmonious construction. Visit the Lingering Garden, which is among the finest in China.

Optional Program: Grand Canal Cruise – Take a cruise along the UNESCO World Heritage listed Grand Canal of over a thousand years to view life along what was known as ‘China’s golden waterway’ in its heyday.

Optional Program: Western Buffet Dinner – Enjoy a sumptuous western style buffet dinner with at your hotel, a relaxing way to wind down the day.

This morning visit a silk spinning mill, and learn how silk is created from mulberry-munching silkworms to produce the finest thread and cloth. After lunch, travel by coach to Hangzhou, described by Marco Polo as ‘the most beautiful and magnificent city in the world’. Upon arrival, take a boat ride on the serene West Lake, the most renowned feature of Hangzhou, and noted for its scenic beauty which blends naturally with many famous historical and cultural sites.

Optional Program: Impression West Lake – This evening, enjoy an open-air performance, a masterpiece created by Zhang Yimou, acclaimed film and theatre director, and architect of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics Games Opening Ceremony.

Experience tea-tasting at the Dragon Well Tea Plantation. Then travel by coach to Shanghai, a vibrant metropolis and the commercial centre of China. Upon arrival, walk along the famous Bund, a mile-long stretch along the Huangpu River. Lined with colonial architecture of European design, it is the best place to capture the Western influences of the old days. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure strolling along the bustling shopping district, Nanjing Road. Afterwards, you may join an optional Huangpu River Cruise (at your own expense).

Optional Program: Huangpu River Cruise – As you cruise along the Huangpu River, you will get a glimpse of the history and spectacular view of cosmopolitan Shanghai. On one side of the river, there is The Bund, a landmark of Shanghai. Lining the boulevard of the waterfront are grandiose solid buildings of Western style dating back to the early 19th century. On the other side is the charming image of modern Shanghai.

This morning, visit the Shanghai Museum to see ancient Chinese art, furniture and jade. The rest of the afternoon is at your own leisure, or you may join our optional programs.

Optional Program A: Jin Mao Tower, Xintiandi & Maglev Train Tour – Visit the Jin Mao Tower Observation Deck (88th floor) for a panoramic view of the Huangpu River and the Bund. Then explore the affluent Xintiandi (New Heaven and Earth) area which holds the historical and cultural legacies of the city. Xintiandi was the site of the first congress of the Communist party of China, and is now the most expensive place to live in China. Next, experience the world’s fastest commercially operating train, running between the city and Shanghai airport with a top speed of 431km/h. Note: This program cannot be combined with Shanghai Disneyland Package.

Optional Program: ERA: The Intersection of Time, or SPIRAL – Tonight you can watch a stunning Chinese acrobatic show combining Chinese performing arts and modern technology, comparable to the tradition of the Broadway Musical. Note: This program cannot be combined with Shanghai Disneyland Package.

OR

Optional Program B: Shanghai Disneyland Package – Newly opened in June 2016. Shanghai Disneyland showcases a never-before-seen world of wonder where you can ignite the magical dream within your heart and experience fun, adventure and thrills for guests of all ages! Includes standard Shanghai Disneyland admission and one transfer in each direction. Note: Departure transfer is at a set time. If you prefer to stay behind at the resort, you must make your own way back to the hotel. This package cannot be combined with other optional programs on this day.

This morning fly to the port city of Yichang, the starting point of our Yangtze River Cruise for the next four nights. After dinner, we board the cruise and receive an introduction on cruise events and onboard activities.
Arr/Dept Events
19:00-20:00 Board the ship at Yichang Dock
24:00 Departs Yichang
Today, your cruise enters the Xiling Gorge. Named for Mount Xiling, this is the longest of the Three Gorges. In fact, Xiling Gorge comprises four smaller gorges with rather poetic names; Precious Sword, Horse Lung & Ox Liver, Soundless Bell, and Shadow Play.
Arr/Dept Events
08:00 Briefing on the cruise
08:00-09:00 Passing the Xiling Gorge (East Part)
09:00-11:00 Shore excursion: Three Gorges Dam Site
11:00-13:00 Shore excursion: Visit tribe of Three Gorges (optional)
13:30-15:30 Passing the Three Gorges Dam
16:00 Sail through 5-stage shiplock
18:00 Captain’s Welcome Dinner
20:00 Evening entertainment
Arr/Dept Events
06:30 Breakfast
08:00-12:00 Shore excursion: Shennong Stream
13:30-17:00 Sail through Wu Gorge and Qutang Gorge
17:30 Shore excursion: White Emperor City (optional, river conditions permitting)
Arr/Dept Events
07:00 Breakfast
08:30-10:30 Shore excursion: Shibaozhai Pagoda
10:30-12:30 Shore excursion: Fengdu Ghost City (optional)
14:00-16:00 Lectures
18:00 Farewell Dinner
After breakfast, disembark from our cruise in the port city of Chongqing at 9am. Transfer to the airport for a connecting flight via an intermediate city to Australia.
Arrive in Australia.