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Essential Plus Cruise

Small Group Tour

Essential Plus Cruise

View China from land, air and water with the Essential Plus Cruise tour

Enjoy a relaxing cruise along the Yangtze River, the longest river in Asia, and arguably the most picturesque. See the sights in the illustrious capital of Beijing, followed by the historical city of Xian, the ancient capital, and the spell-binding Terracotta Warriors. Finally, the vibrant city of Shanghai will bring you to China’s present.

Olympic Park Beijing China
ancient city walls xian china
pudong skyline shanghai china

Locations you will be visiting

  • Temple of Heaven Beijing China

    Beijing

    Beijing is the capital city of China and is the nation’s political and cultural centre.

    3 Days

  • Ancient City Wall xian china

    Xian

    Xian, the eastern starting point of the Silk Road, capital of Shaanxi province and one of China’s ...

    2 Days

  • 3 Gorges yangtze china

    Yangtze River

    Winding about 3,964 miles, Yangtze River is the largest in China and the third largest in the world ...

    3 Days

  • pudong skyline shanghai china

    Shanghai

    A vibrant financial city where tradition meets innovation

    2 Days

YOUR TOUR ITINERARY

Essential Plus Cruise

13 day Tour Itinerary

An overview of your trip

DAY 1 UK to Beijing

Catch your scheduled flight from the UK to Beijing. We can also arrange departures from your local airport.

  • Transport: Airplane
DAY 2 Arrive Beijing

Upon arrival, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel for a three night stay. In the afternoon you will have time to relax or take a walk in the surrounding area. Your guide will be pleased to advise you on what you can do. In the evening you will meet your fellow group members for dinner.

  • Meals included: Dinner
DAY 3 Beijing City Tour

This morning you will visit the Temple of Heaven – where the Ming and Qing emperors worshipped the god of heaven and prayed for good harvests for the coming year. Here you can witness the tradition of Tai Chi being practised in the courtyard. This will be followed by a stroll through Tiananmen Square, the biggest square in the world, and continue on to the Forbidden City which served as the grand imperial palace for centuries. Your final stop of the day will be at the Hutongs, for an insight into the everyday life of traditional Beijing people.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 4 Great Wall

Today visit the Great Wall at Mutianyu, a post along the wall with breathtaking views in a less crowded atmosphere. Mutianyu was built in the mid-6th century and its rich history can be observed in its well-preserved construction. This will be followed by an opportunity for photographs at the Birds Nest Stadium and Water Cube, venues for the memorable 2008 Olympics and 2015 World Championships. In the evening, enjoy a delicious Peking Duck Dinner, in the city that gave it its name.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 5 Bullet Train to Xian

In the morning visit the Summer Palace, a magnificent complex of lakes, gardens, palaces and scenic views. Afterwards, enjoy a relaxing boat ride on the beautiful Kunming Lake, before catching a bullet train to Xian (approx. 5 hours 30 minutes), for a two night stay.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Transport: Bullet Train
DAY 6 Terracotta Warriors

Your first stop today is the Terracotta Warriors, an awe-inspiring collection of 10,000 life size statues of the Chinese army made over 2,000 years ago, and almost perfectly preserved. This will be followed by an afternoon visit to Xian’s ancient city wall, which is best discovered on foot or by bike. This city wall is the most complete one to have survived in China, and is one of the largest military defence systems in the world. In the evening you will be treated to a tasty dumpling dinner while enjoying the Tang Dynasty Show, a colourful performance of traditional music and dance.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 7 To Chongqing

A visit to the Shaanxi Museum which houses over a quarter of a million artefacts, including treasures from many periods of China’s history, gets your day off to a good start. The next stop, the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, where you will discover China’s unique architectural style, followed by a visit to the Muslim Quarter to see local life in the community. Finally, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Chongqing for an overnight stay.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Transport: Airplane
DAY 8 Transfer to Yangtze River Cruise

In the morning see the pandas at the local zoo and in the afternoon visit the ancient market town, Ciqikou. In the evening you will board your 5* ship for the start of your cruise along the majestic Yangtze River.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Transport: Boat
DAY 9 Yangtze River Cruise

On the first day of the cruise, you can relax while the ship meanders along the Yangtze, and enjoy the scenic views. There will be an excursion to Shibaozhai, with its impressive wooden pagoda, appropriately named “The Pearl of the Yangtze”.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Transport: Boat
DAY 10 Yangtze River Cruise

The final excursion of the last day will be an enjoyable journey on a small motorboat through the tranquil Goddess Stream while marvelling at the soaring limestone cliffs rising from the water.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Transport: Boat
DAY 11 To Shanghai

On your way to Yichang, you will visit The Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest power station. Disembark at Yichang and be escorted to the airport for a flight to Shanghai, and a two night stay.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Transport: Boat, Airplane
DAY 12 Shanghai City Tour

The first stops on today’s itinerary are the Yu Yuan Gardens followed by the Jade Buddha Temple. The centuries old Yu Yuan Gardens is home to beautiful pavilions, walkways, streams, courtyards and flowers. The Jade Buddha Temple is home to large, intricate sculptures of Buddha. After a visit to the Shanghai Museum, there will be an opportunity to admire Shanghai as a modern metropolis at the Bund. Later, from the top of the Shanghai world financial centre, you can enjoy a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the whole city.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 13 Shanghai to UK

Transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK.

  • Meals included: Breakfast
  • Transport: Airplane
Optional Extras - Cultural Experiences

There is some free time in your itinerary for you to explore on your own, or treat yourself to an excursion. Use the links below to create a to-do list, or, if you’d prefer us to book you onto one of these or any other excursions, please let us know when booking your tour.

  • colourful Beijing opera china
    China

    China: Beijing Opera

    Delight at a performance of traditional Beijing Opera

    View this package
  • Tai Chi on the Bund shanghai china
    China

    China: Tai Chi Lesson

    Practise this ancient martial art with a Tai Chi lesson

    View this package
  • tea performer china
    China

    China: Tea Tasting

    Appreciate the varying blends of Chinese tea at a tasting

    View this package
  • caligraphy china
    China

    China: Calligraphy Lesson

    Create your own piece with a class in Chinese caligraphy

    View this package

Sample Accommodation

Guangxi Hotel, Beijing

View this hotel
Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel, Xian

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88 Eling Park Hotel, Chongqing

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Victoria Cruises, Yanngtze River

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Greenland Jiulong Hotel, Shanghai

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Your holiday details
Departures and Prices 2019/20
Depart Return Days Price from Availability Reservation
Depart21/03/2019 Return02/04/2019 Day13 Depart£2,547 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart04/04/2019 Return23/04/2019 Day13 Depart£2,647 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart11/04/2019 Return23/04/2019 Day13 Depart£2,647 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart09/05/2019 Return21/05/2019 Day13 Depart£2,647 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart16/05/2019 Return28/05/2019 Day13 Depart£2,647 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart06/06/2019 Return18/06/2019 Day13 Depart£2,547 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart25/07/2019 Return06/08/2019 Day13 Depart£2,947 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart08/08/2019 Return20/08/2019 Day13 Depart£2,947 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart05/09/2019 Return17/09/2019 Day13 Depart£2,747 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart12/09/2019 Return24/09/2019 Day13 Depart£2,747 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart19/09/2019 Return01/10/2019 Day13 Depart£2,747 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart10/10/2019 Return22/10/2019 Day13 Depart£2,797 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart17/10/2019 Return29/10/2019 Day13 Depart£2,797 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart24/10/2019 Return05/11/2019 Day13 Depart£2,797 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart19/03/2020 Return31/03/2020 Day13 Depart£2,547 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart02/04/2020 Return14/04/2020 Day13 Depart£2,647 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart09/04/2020 Return21/04/2020 Day13 Depart£2,647 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart07/05/2020 Return19/05/2020 Day13 Depart£2,647 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart14/05/2020 Return26/05/2020 Day13 Depart£2,647 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart04/06/2020 Return16/06/2020 Day13 Depart£2,547 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation

Single supplement from £478

Prices and products are subject to availability at the time of booking.

The deposit for these arrangements is £300 per person. Balance is due 10 weeks before departure.

China: Essential Plus Cruise
price
from
£2,547
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What's included:
  • International flights in economy class departing from London Heathrow with British Airways. Regional departures and flight upgrades are available on request
  • Domestic flights in economy class
  • Bullet train in first class
  • 4★accommodation based on twin share
  • Transfers
  • English speaking guides
  • Entrance fees to the sites listed
  • Airport taxes
  • Local tips: RMB400 (approx £47) per person
  • RMB150 (approx £18) per person tips aboard the Yangtze Cruise
  • Personal spending
  • Travel insurance
  • China visa

When making an enquiry or reservation we will request your contact details, however no payment will be required at this stage. We will contact you for payment details and to confirm your booking, your details and the details of those travelling with you along with any extras you’d like to add.

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