Ancient Cities & Yangtze River Discovery (17 Days)

Beijing, Xi’an, Chengdu, Chongqing, Yangtze River, Nanjing, Yichang & Shanghai

On this fantastic cultural tour, you will discover many of the ancient cities throughout China. It is perfect for experiencing all the ‘must see’ places in China, as well as giving you the opportunity to view the beautiful Heritage listed gardens. A luxurious Yangtze River Cruise highlights the beauty of the area, as well as being home to engineering triumphs! While you immerse yourself in ancient Imperial life, you will also enjoy luxury accommodation and transport in order to fully experience the trip of a lifetime!

Day 01: Depart Australia – Arrive Beijing (-/-/-)

Enjoy your morning flight to Beijing. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by the local tour guide who will check you in for three nights at the Novotel Peace or similar hotel.

Day 02: Beijing (B/L/D)

After breakfast at the hotel, today’s highlights include tours of Tiananmen Square, the largest city centre square of its kind in China; the Forbidden City, the site of thousands of palaces and spellbinding artworks that will give you an in depth insight in to the royal life of Chinese Emperors and Concubines; and the Summer Palace, home of a World Heritage listed Imperial Garden. In the evening you will enjoy a feast of Peking Duck, as well as an entertaining acrobatic show.

Day 03: Beijing (B/L/D)

Wear comfortable walking shoes today as you will explore the Great Wall after breakfast. In the afternoon, enjoy a tour to the famous Ming Tombs. Return to Beijing for free time, shopping and walking along the famous Wangfujing Street.

Day 04: Beijing (B/L/-)

After breakfast, tour the Temple of Heaven. The focus here is the famed Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest, a round edifice constructed of wood without a single nail. Spend the afternoon at leisure; visiting local markets or explore Beijing at your own pace.

Day 05: Beijing – Xi’an (B/L/D)

Morning flight to Xi’an. On arrival, transfer to downtown and visit the Provincial History Museum where you can feast your eyes on thousands of treasures and precious historical relics. Check in at the Golden Flower hotel for two nights stay. For dinner, feast on a Dumpling Banquet followed by a show of Tang Dynasty singing and dancing.

Day 06: Xi’an (B/L/-)

After breakfast, today’s full day tour includes the world famous 6,000 life-size Terracotta Warriors and Horses, and the Wild Goose Pagoda.

Day 07: Xi’an – Chengdu (B/-/D)

In the morning take a tour to the Drum and Bell Tower Square. You will also visit the Muslim Quarter and food market. Enjoy a bullet train ride to Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan Province. On arrival, meet and transfer to Crowe Plaza Hotel or similar for 2 nights stay, enjoying a delicious Sichuan Hot Pot for dinner.

Day 08: Chengdu (B/L/-)

Spend the morning visiting the Giant Panda Reserve to see these famous animals in an environment similar to their natural habitat. Travel back to Chengdu for lunch and a tour of the city in the afternoon. Enjoy free time shopping in the city.

Day 09: Chengdu – Chongqing (B/-/D)

After breakfast, board your high-speed train to Chongqing. Chongqing is known as ‘The Mountain City’, famous for its super spicy Sichuan Hot Pot and its bicycle-free hilly streets. On arrival, start your tour with Erling Park and the General Stilwell Museum. Then visit the Three Gorges Museum, dedicated to protecting the history and culture of the Three Gorges area. After dinner at a local restaurant, we board our luxurious Century Paragon Cruise for a three night voyage down the Yangtze River. You will visit the ancient temples and witness the stunning scenery and gorges that line the Yangtze’s banks.

Day 10: Shibao Pagoda (B/L/D)

Enjoy an afternoon shore excursion to Shibao Pagoda ‘The Pearl of the Yangtze’. Today will also include a river briefing and the Captain’s Welcome Party, with a welcome dinner and crew cabaret performance. *Optional morning excursion to Fengdu’s ‘Ghost City’ (river conditions permitting).

Day 11: Three Gorges – Shennong Stream Pea Pod Boat Excursion (B/L/D)

Voyage through the Three Gorges. First is the Qutang Gorge, the shortest and narrowest. Then take in the sheer cliffs and mountainous forests of the Wu Gorge. Transfer to a Pea Pod Boat to cruise through Shennong Stream. In the evening, sail through the Three Gorges Dam Ship Locks. *Optional shore excursion to White Emperor City (river conditions permitting).

Day 12: Yichang – Nanjing (B/L/-)

Visit the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest power station. Transfer to the train station and board a bullet train to the ancient capital city of Nanjing. Check in to the Grand Hotel or similar for two nights stay. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure.

Day 13: Nanjing (B/L/D)

After breakfast visit the Dr Sun Yat San Mausoleum and surroundings. Explore Nanjing Museum, Yangtze River Bridge, the ancient Ming Dynasty City Wall and Confucius Temple Market, and Qinhuai River.

Day 14: Nanjing – Shanghai (B/-/D)

Transfer to the railway station to board a bullet train to Shanghai. On arrival, visit the Shanghai Museum and Jade Buddha Temple. After dinner, travel to the viewing platform of the Oriental Pearl Tower (third highest tower in the world) for spectacular views of the city by night. Stay overnight at The Crowne Plaza Hotel Shanghai or similar.

Day 15: Shanghai (B/L/-)

Spend the morning visiting the historic Bund (one of the world’s best preserved examples of Art-Deco architecture, located adjacent to the Huangpu River), and the famous Nanjing Road Shopping District. After lunch visit the bustling Chenghuang Market in the old town area, and the Xin Tian Di upmarket area. *Optional after dinner evening cruise on Huangpu River can be arranged upon request.

Day 16: Depart Shanghai (B/-/-)

After breakfast, enjoy last minute shopping or explore the city until transfer to the airport for your flight home. If you have never tried the Maglev train, you have a chance to take it to the airport!

Day 17: Arrive Australia (-/-/-)

Arrive home in the morning with happy memories to last a lifetime.

Number of Days 17

Price From $5285

Departure Dates

25th March – 10th April**
15th April – 1st May**
6th May – 22nd May
27th May – 12th June
24th June – 10th July**
2nd September – 18th September
16th September – 2nd October**
7th October – 23rd October*
28th October – 10th November
18th November – 1st December

16th March – 1st April
6th April – 22nd April*
27th April – 13th May*

*Peak season surcharges apply from $200 per person
**Peak season surcharges apply from $400 per person


Return international economy class airfares with full service airlines
Domestic airfare and taxes
Tipping for guide and driver
1st class high speed train, Xian – Chengdu – Chongqing/Nanjing – Shanghai
Most meals as indicated
5* accommodation with buffet breakfast
5* Luxury Century Paragon Cruise with balcony cabin
All transportation, daily tours and admission fees
Professional English speaking guide


Travel Insurance
Personal expenditures
Compulsory service charge from RMB150/person ($30) payable upon boarding your cruise
Chinese Visa

*Surcharges may apply for select departure dates

Price Details

(Fully Inclusive Twin Share)

From $5,285 per person Departing Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide & Perth flying Cathay Pacific or Qantas

Single Room Supplement from $1,685pp
Land Only Including Tipping from $4,585pp (15 Nights)

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