12 Days China Splendor Tour with Yangtze Cruise
Shanghai / Yichang / Yangtze Cruise / Chongqing / Xian / Beijing
1. This price is based on a group (2 to 5 travelers) accommodated in 3-star hotel in lower seasons.
2. This price is subject to change according your group members and traveling time. Usually more travelers, lower the price; higher price in high seasons, lower in low seasons.
3. This price is valid until February 28th, 2023.
Shanghai (2 nights), Yichang, Yangtze River Cruise (4 nights), Chongqing, Xian (2 nights), Beijing (3 nights)
Highlights of the Trip
- Relax on a luxury cruise ship on Yangtze River from Yichang to Chongqing
- Marvel at the world famous project Three Gorges Dam Site
- Hike on the Great Wall of China
- Come face to face with Terracotta Warriors
Day 1-2: Fly to Shanghai & Shanghai
Your lifetime China Yangtze tour begins with welcome from your local guide at the Shanghai airport. In the metropolis Shanghai, you'll visit Shanghai Museum, Shanghai World Financial Center, Yu Garden and its Bazaar, the Bund and more sites.
Day 3: Shanghai & Fly to Yichang to Board Yangtze River Cruise
See China's future by visiting Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center and enjoy quiet time in Jade Buddha Temple; fly to Yichang city and transfer to the cruise port to board your Yangtze River cruise.
Day 4-6: Yangtze River Cruise
Enjoy the relaxing leisure life on Yangtze cruise, take shore excursions to Three Gorges Dam Site, Shibaozhai Pagoda, Shennv Stream, appreciate breathtaking scenery along Three Gorges - Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge and Xiling Gorge.
Day 7-8: Disembark in Chongqing & Fly to Xian & Xian Visit
In the morning, your cruise will disembark at Chongqing Chaotianmen cruise port and take a short trip in Chongqing by seeing pandas in Chongqing Zoo and wandering in Ciqikou Ancient Town. Fly to Xian and Have nice tour by visiting Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Ancient City Wall, and Muslim Quarter.
Day 9-12: High Speed Train to Beijing & Beijing
Enjoy the exploration in Giant Wild Goose Pagoda and Shaanxi History Musuem. Take a high speed train to the capital of China - Beijing from Xian. Explore the classic historical sites like Great Wall of China, Summer Palace, Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Temple of Heaven etc.
Full Itinerary Day by day
Day 1 Shanghai Arrival
Ni Hao! Welcome to Shanghai, the largest and the most developed metropolis in mainland China! You’ll be met by our local guide at the arrival hall of Shanghai airport / train station and escorted to your hotel in downtown area by a private, comfortable and non-smoking vehicle. The rest of today is on your own to explore the “Pearl of the Orient”.
Arrival Ideas: Shanghai has airlines connecting with 282 cities and regions, linking almost every part of the world and China. Also, travelers can take high speed trains to Shanghai from Beijing (about 5~5.5hrs), Xian (about 6~7.5hrs), Suzhou (about 0.5hr), Hangzhou (about 1hr), Huangshan (about 4hrs), etc.
Day 2 Shanghai (B, L)
After breakfast, you’ll take a full day to explore the west-meet-east, modern-blend-tradition culture of Shanghai. First, take an educational trip to Shanghai Museum, one of the Four Greatest Museums in China. From outside, you’ll appreciate the beautiful appearance in the style of “Ding” which symbolizes “a round heaven and a square earth”. While entering into the exhibition rooms, you’ll treat your eyes with large number of collections of historic relics from Bronze, ceramics, painting and calligraphic works to jades, coins, furniture, seals, sculptures, etc.
Then, head to Yu Garden, a typical ancient Chinese garden in Jiangnan area similar to the classical Suzhou Gardens! This garden fully embodies the traditional design of Chinese architecture with jagged pavilions with elegant decorations, glittering pools with roving fish, and pine trees sprouting to the sky, all designed to refresh your mood and spirit. Adjacent to the garden is the Yuyuan Bazaar where you can savor tasteful local snacks and explore elaborate traditional Chinese handicrafts and art works.
Next, drive to Pudong New District to the third tallest building in China - Shanghai World Financial Center. Stand on the 100th floor (474 meters) to have panoramic view of Shanghai downtown, Huangpu River as well as nearby towering buildings. Later, take a wonderful stroll along the Bund with a rich collection of buildings and structures of various architectural styles. Feel the perfect fusion of Chinese and Western cultures while at the same time take in the stunning Shanghai skyline with your own eyes! (Note: If time and energy permits, you can have a nice walk along Nanjing Road to experience the modern atmosphere of Shanghai.)
Optional activities: 1) Take a relaxing Huangpu River night cruise to see the city’s most significant edifices and streets sparkling under the atmospheric cover of darkness (about 50 minutes); 2) Enjoy an entertaining and breathtaking Acrobatic Show at Shanghai Circus World or other acrobatic theatres (usually performs during 19:30~21:00).
Have Panoramic View on the Top of Shanghai World Financial Center
Yu Garden with Traditional Design of Chinese Architecture
Panoramic View of the Bund of Shanghai
Shanghai Museum on the People's Square
Day 3 Shanghai & Flight to Yichang for Yangtze Cruise (B, L)
Want to deeply know the past, today and future of Shanghai? This morning’s visit to Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center will show you everything about Shanghai. You will see the amazing transformation of Shanghai that was originally a small fishing village and now surprisingly a super modern world metropolis. Different usages of photography, models and interactive multimedia displays make your visit enjoyable and entertaining. The best features are the old rare photos of landmarks, such as the Bund, Nanjing Road, Yu Garden, during the international settlement, and the large scale model showing the detailed layout of Shanghai.
Then you will be followed a trip to Jade Buddha Temple, a famous Buddhist Temple peacefully situated in the bustling Shanghai downtown. It is famous for the two pieces of Jade Buddha - one is the sitting Jade Buddha of 1.95 meters tall and the other is the smaller reclining Jade Buddha of 0.96 meters tall. Besides appreciating the Jade Buddha, you can have a basic understanding about Chinese Buddhism by visiting the Buddhist halls.
After the tour, be escorted to Shanghai airport for a flight to Yichang (about 2 hours and 20 minutes). Upon arrival, you will be met at the arrival hall of Yichang Sanxia Airport and transferred to Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal (or Yichang East Railway Station) and take the tourist bus arranged by the cruise company to shuttle to Maoping Port for embarkation. Your once-in-lifetime Yangtze River cruise starts!
Tips for boarding: (1) All the cruise companies will arrange free transfer service at Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal or Yichang East Railway Station during 16:00~21:00. You could choose either one to take the tourist bus to Maoping Port. (2) Please call the ship one day ahead or at least in the morning on the boarding day to have clear idea about which pier you are going to use; (3) The boarding time and departure piers may change based on the ship line, water level, season, weather and other factors. Please pay attention to the important info your travel consultants sent to you before your boarding.
See the Future of Shanghai in Urban Planning Exhibition Center
Jade Buddha Temple
Day 4 Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D)
In this morning, wake up leisurely and enjoy the gentle sunshine shining over the tranquil Yangtze River. You can either follow the Taichi master to play Taichi on the sundeck or enjoy a cup of coffee to stretch your mood to start your beautiful day. It will be colorful and interesting no matter you stay onboard or go shore excursions at river stops.
Onboard you will enjoy different kinds of cultural activities and entertainment, like attending a Yangtze River History and Culture Lecture to know deeply about the third longest river in the world, taking part in the Captain’s Welcome Party to make new friends, or having great fun at the wonderful evening shows with sing, dance and music.
Also, you will follow a local English-speaking tour guide and make a shore excursion to the world-famous project - Three Gorges Dam. The dam is the largest hydropower station in the world with an annual energy output of 84.7 billion kilowatt-hours. The Three Gorges Dam includes three areas: the dam itself, a hydroelectric, and a system of locks. The height of the Three Gorges Dam is 185 meters (607 ft) above the sea level. The dam is about 2,300 meters (7,546 ft) long and about 115 meters (377 ft) wide. With a water capacity of 39.3 billion cubic meters, the dam will hold a huge reservoir which will efficiently prevent flooding in the middle and lower portions of the Yangtze River. (Optional experience: you can choose to sail through the world’s largest ship lift - Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift to very closely marvel at the huge dam which is a totally fresh and exciting experience for travelers.)
Optional excursion: Enjoy a shore excursion to Tribe of Three Gorges today for an extra fee. Located on Xiling Gorge near Three Gorges Dam, the Tribe of Three Gorges is like a dreamland garden with breathtaking views - fishing boats along the river side, fishermen using bird to catch fishes, fishing nets hanging along the creek, young couple meeting on the bridge and lots more. You won’t miss the wedding ceremony of Tujia ethnic group.
Take Yangtze River Cruise in Spring
Three Gorges Dam with Ship Locks
Play Taichi in the Morning on Sundeck
Day 5 Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D)
Today you will continue sailing through the spectacular Three Gorges! Follow the guide’s live interpretation and soak up the breathtaking gorge scenery passing by as you drift through Xiling Gorge, Wu Gorge and Qutang Gorge respectively.
On this day, take an enjoyable shore excursion to Shennv Stream (Goddess Stream), a tributary of the Yangtze River in Wushan County. You will be switched to a smaller boat to sail down this primitive stream running in a narrow side gorge where you will have close-up views of steep mountains and hanging coffins high on the cliffs as well as hear some of the local history. Besides, you will be entertained with local music and dance offered by the Tujia ethnic group. (Please note: some cruise ships will make an excursion to Shennong Stream which offers the similar experience at Shennv Stream.)
Optional excursion: Enjoy a shore excursion to White Emperor City today with an extra fee. Located at the entrance of Qutang Gorge, this excursions gives you the chance to know Romance of the Three Kingdoms and offers the best pot to appreciate the magnificent “Kui Gate”.
Shennv Stream with Primitive Gorge Scenery
Breathtaking Wu Gorge Scenery
Day 6 Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D)
In this morning, you will make a shore excursion to Shibaozhai Pagoda, a pearl of Yangtze River in Zhongxian County. Reputed as one of the eight extraordinary architectures in the world, this 12-story, 16th century red wooden pagoda leans against the side of the rocky and craggy hill about 200 meters tall. Climbing up to the top of Shibaozhai, you can not only visit the Buddhist temples and halls but also have panoramic view of Yangtze River. (Please note: Comfortable shoes are highly recommended since there will be many stairs to climb up the pagoda.)
Optional excursion: Have a shore excursion to Fengdu Ghost City today with an extra fee. Called “the Homeland of Divine Comedy in China”, it consists of buildings, structures, dioramas and statues related to the afterlife in hell. Entering this “City of Ghosts”, you will know many mysterious stories about underworld and cruel tortures and different kinds of devils and Chinese demons. (Please note: the visit to Fengdu Ghost City requires much walking and comfortable shoes highly recommended!)
In this evening, enjoy the well-prepared Captain’s Farewell Party with all your mates onboard and have a pleasant dinner together. After the banquet, take part in the cabaret show to enjoy your last night.
Breathtaking Autumn Scenery of Yangtze Gorge
Shibaozhai Pagoda, a Pearl of Yangtze River
Fengdu Ghost City
Day 7 Chongqing & Flight to Xian (B, L)
In this morning, your ship will arrive at Chongqing Chaotianmen Port around 09:00 where you will go through a check-out procedure and disembark.Upon arrival, your guide and driver will pick you up at the port and escort you to have a trip in Chongqing. First drive 13km to Chongqing Zoo which has more than 240 species of animals and over 4,200 in total. In the Panda House, you can have a memorable time and close contact with the lovely giant pandas and red pandas. Besides, you can see the rare South China tiger and white tiger, the Asian elephant and more animals.
Next will be an interesting visit to the thousand-year-old Ciqikou Ancient Town which was a famous business harbor in ancient time. Reputed as “Little Chongqing”, Ciqikou is a heaven-like place where you can leisurely wander along the bustling old streets with Ming and Qing architectures standing by, visit the featured shops, taste delicate local snacks, or enjoy a cup of at the old teahouse.
After the tour, you will be taken to Chongqing Jiangbei Airport for a flight to Xian (about 1.5hrs). Upon arrival, the local guide will pick you up at Xian Xianyang Airport and escort you to your hotel. The rest of today is free on your own to explore this ancient capital of China for 13 dynasties.
Ciqikou Old Town
Chongqing Chaotianmen Dock
Day 8 Xian (B, L)
In this morning, drive about 40km to the Eighth Wonder of the World - Terracotta Warriors and Horses which was founded in 1974 by local farmers and later listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. Get into the living historical classroom to witness one of the greatest archaeological discoveries in the world. Visit the three pits containing more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses and know the history of Qin Dynasty (221-207BC), the emperors and the funerary art.
Next, drive back to Xian downtown for some leisure time on the Ancient City Wall, the largest and best-preserved existing ancient city wall in China. This rectangular city wall is 13.75km in length, 12m in height and 15-18m in width which takes about 4 hours’ walking for the circuit. Standing on the ancient wall, you can enjoy panoramic view of Xian City. Then, you’ll be followed a trip to Muslim Quarter where you can taste different local food and snacks and explore Muslim culture.
Optional activities: 1) Take a relaxing cycling trip on the Ancient City Wall (about 2 hours); 2) Enjoy a brilliant Tang Palace Dance Show (usually from 20:00 to 21:00) after a hearty dumpling dinner.
Terracotta Warriors and Horses, the Eighth Wonder of the World
Relaxing Cycling on Xian Ancient City Wall
Day 9 Xian & High Speed Train to Beijing (B, L)
After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. First, you’ll head to Da Cien Temple with a history of 1350 years. The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda with seven-story at a height of 64.5 meters is the famous building in the temple. This pagoda was built by the famous Buddhist master Xuan Zang (the prototype character for Tang Seng in the famous Chinese novel “Journey to the West”) to preserve precious Buddhist relics, scriptures and figures of Buddha he bought back from India during the early Tang Dynasty. (Please note: It charges extra 30 Yuan to visit or climb up the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda.)
Next, take an educational trip to Shaanxi History Museum with more than 370,000 pieces of cultural relics. Ramble in the modern exhibition halls to appreciate the relics such as bronzes, porcelains, terracotta armies, paintings, murals, currencies dating back from the Zhou to the Tang Dynasty period (1100BC to 907AD).
After the tour, you’ll be escorted to Xian North Railway Station for a high speed train to Beijing (about 5hrs). The local guide will pick you up at Beijing West Railway Station and escort you to your hotel. The rest of today is on your own to explore this ever-changing megacity.
Shaanxi History Museum
Giant Wild Goose Pagoda
Day 10 Beijing (B, L)
After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. Today, you’ll deeply explore the rich history and culture of imperial Beijing. Enjoy a brief visit to the most important landmark - Tian’anmen Square where Chairman Mao announced the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. The square is surrounded by grand buildings including the Great Hall of the People, Chairman Mao Memorial Hall and the Monument to the People’s Martyrs and the Forbidden City.
Walking through the Tian’anmen, you’ll visit one of the world’s five most important palaces - the Forbidden City, the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of Qing Dynasty (1420 to 1912) with 24 emperors lived. The complex is the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world which consists of 980 buildings with 9,999 rooms. You’ll follow the central axis to visit Meridian Gate, Gate of Supreme Harmony, Hall of Supreme, Hall of Middle Harmony, Hall of Preserving Harmony and other gates, halls and gardens.
After lunch, you’ll drive to the western outskirts of Beijing to Summer Palace, the largest and best-preserved royal garden in China. Listed as World Heritage Site, Summer Palace is a vast ensemble of lakes, pavilions, halls, temples, gardens and bridges. Spend some enjoyable time strolling around Longevity Hill, Kunming Lake and Long Corridor and feast your eyes with beautiful landscape.
Optional activities: 1) In the evening, you can watch a fascinating Kung Fu Show in the Red Theater (Hong Ju Chang) which usually starts at 19:30; 2) Enjoy the classic Beijing Opera at Liyuan Theater during 19:30~21:00.
Enjoy Panoramic View of Summer Palace
Visit Tian'anmen Square in Spring
Enjoy Panoramic View of Forbidden City
Day 11 Beijing (B, L)
In this morning, drive about 70 kilometers to the Seven Wonders of the World - the Great Wall. Visit the Mutianyu section, the longest but less crowded great wall in China. Mutianyu Great Wall is regarded as the “Essence of Great Wall of Ming Dynasty” for its imposing and very solid characters. You can take a cable car or an enjoyable 40-minute walk to set your feet on the historic great wall. Climbing up its rising towers, you’ll be impressed by the breathtaking scenery with abundant vegetation and know the profound culture of great wall and wisdom of ancient Chinese people.
After the exciting tour, continue your trip to Ding Tomb, one of the tombs at the Thirteen Tombs of Ming Dynasty. Being the only Ming tomb to have been excavated, Ding Tomb is for Wanli Emperor and his two empresses. Walk through the Sacred Way and pass the doorways to visit the two exhibition rooms and Underground Palace.
Then, drive back to Beijing City and take a short stop at the Beijing Olympic Village to view the famous Bird’s Nest and Water Cube from the outside.
Optional activity: In this evening, treat yourself a hearty dinner at Quan Ju De to taste the famous Peking Roast Duck.
Panoramic View of Ding Tomb
Summer Scenery of Mutianyu Great Wall
Day 12 Beijing & Beijing Departure (B)
After breakfast, your guide and driver will take you to Temple of Heaven, an imperial complex visited by the emperors of Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest. Know the symbolism of “Heaven” and “Earth” and explore the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, the Imperial Vault of Heaven and the Circular Mound Altar. Enjoy the vivid life by visiting the surrounding park to see locals playing Taichi, flying kite, dancing, writing water calligraphy, and others.
Next, get back to the traditional part of Beijing to hop on a rickshaw to explore Beijing Hutongs and the culture of quadrangle dwellings. Shuttle among different Hutongs to get a feel of the old Beijing lifestyle, pass various antique shops and different boutiques and truly feel the historical change of Beijing.
After the tour, your guide will escort you the airport for your flight to next destination or home.
Grand Ceremony Held in Temple of Heaven
Beijing Hutong Rickshaw
Recommended Add-on Options
+ 2 more days to visit the city with best scenery under heaven - Guilin
Surrounded by karst peaks, Yangshuo is situated on the bank of Li River in Guilin. Yangshuo has long been renowned as a popular place for foreign tourists. It is said “guilin landscape tops those elsewhere, and yangshuo landscape tops that of Guilin”. Outdoor options are plenty here and West Street is a good place to explore.
+ 2 more days Chengdu Leisure Life Experience & Giant Panda Visit
Immerse yourself in the Land of Abundance and Hometown of Giant Pandas!
You’ll totally enjoy the ancient culture and slow pace of living when having close contact with the cute pandas in Chengdu Panda Base, sipping tea in the hundred-year-old teahouse in Renmin Park, seeking for Three Kingdom culture in Jinli Old Street, exploring Ancient Shu Civilization in Jinsha Site Museum...
- Entrance fees of the scenic spots as listed in the itinerary.
- Meals as specified in the itinerary.(Exceptions: If the western breakfast is not available in some of the hotels, breakfast would be either Chinese breakfast or Chinese and western breakfast.)
Hotels: Hotel Based on two persons sharing one room with
or a king size
bed; All hotels as listed in the above itinerary serve daily western or
Please note double bed room is on request basis which is subject to Hotel's
and re-confirmation upon check-in.
Service, room facilities and breakfast might be not up to standard in some remote areas.
- Transportation: Flights or train as listed in the itinerary.
- Sightseeing As listed in the Itinerary will be escorted with English-speaking guide;
Service of local guide and van is for a maximum of 8 hours
the full day individual
* Please note that our English-speaking guide and driver provided for you in each city or area will not fly with you from one city to another.
- Private Transfers between airports, hotels and scenic spots while sightseeing in each city or area by private air-conditioned vehicle with driver and English-speaking guide as listed in the itinerary.
- Service Charge (the planning, handling, operational and communication charges) & Government Taxes.
- Luggage Transfers between airports, trains and hotels.
- Flights (Economy class) not as listed in the itinerary.
- Accommodation not as listed in the itinerary.
- Visa Fees: Please make sure that you have got your valid passport and visa before your entry to China. We can send you a free official invitation letter to assist you in obtaining your visa after the reservation deposit is received.
- Sightseeing not listed in the itinerary.
- Meals not listed in the itinerary.
- Personal expenses such as room service, internet charge, laundry, drink, fax, telephone call, optional activities, etc.
- Gratuities, tips to guides, drivers, bellboys, etc.
- Excess Baggage Charges.
- Life Tourist insurance. Please kindly note that the full coverage travel insurance from your country of origin should be purchased in advance on your own.
- Optional activities.
Essential China Travel Information & Service
To help you have a further understanding of your tour, we provide some essential travel information like your tour guides, drivers, private cars/vans, accommodations and meals that you could know more about how is your China Yangtze cruise tour going. All the experience will be vivid and memorable in any time in any destination.
Your Private Tour Guide
The tour guides in all destinations are qualified, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and responsible!
All of our guides in every destination are locals. They will be greeted you punctually upon arrival at airport, train stations or cruise ports. And escort you to your hotel and tourist attractions and make you have full understanding about the local life, scenic spots as well as show you the fun places for more featured activities and things to do according to your time and interests.
“All our guides, especially those who we had a chance to spend more time with (Guilin, Chengdu, Lijiang, Zhangjiajie) were great. Always very accommodating, punctual and attentive.” - Review from Zane, Canada
Your Private Driver & Car
Taking our private transportation will make you comfortable, relaxed and worry free!
All our drivers are licensed with many years’ driving experience. They are always polite, friendly and helpful, glad to offer more service you may need during the transfer. Our vehicles are air-conditioned, non-smoking, clean and expertly maintained. We use different types of cars/vans to guarantee your comfort. Besides, there is need to worry about your luggage for we use vehicles with extra space for your luggage.
"With respect to the drivers, we can state that they are excellent drivers and very friendly. They are pleasant with smiling face and helpful too." - Review from Pedro Corro‚ USA
Comfortable & Homelike Hotel
In each destination, we guarantee you a comfortable stay!
The hotels we choose are based with star rating, great location, well-pointed facilities and high quality service and guests’ feedbacks. Choices are a lot and you could decide where to stay on your own. When taking a Yangtze River cruise, you are guaranteed a comfortable cabin or suite with private balconies to enjoy breathtaking scenery.
“All the hotels were comfortable and in good locations. The food was generally good with a wide choice of both western and Chinese choices for breakfast. The room sizes even with the extra bed for Jessica were also fine.” - Review from McHale, USA
Dining, Meal & Local Food
On Yangtze River cruise, you are offered three meals (usually buffet with western and Chinese dishes) each day. In other cities of China, breakfast and lunch usually are included in your tour packages. You’ll dine in local restaurants, follow local customs and enjoy local dishes. The food quality and dining environment will suit for your taste. If you have any suggestions or special requirements (vegetarian or food allergies), just let your travel consultants and guides know. They will arrange the suitable food and restaurants for you. Recommended evening dining options are: Peking Roast Duck in Beijing, Dumpling Dinner in Xian, and Hot Pot in Chengdu etc.
“We had very good breakfasts in all the hotels and were given a substantial lunch every day.” - Review from John, United Kingdom
You might also like
Shanghai / Yichang / Yangtze Cruise / Chongqing / Chengdu / Xian / Beijing
Shanghai / Guilin / Chongqing / Yangtze Cruise / Yichang / Zhangjiajie / Xian / Beijing
Shanghai / Yichang / Yangtze Cruise / Chongqing / Chengdu / Lhasa / Xian / Beijing
No documents found.
If you have some ideas or suggestions for this tour, please feel free to talk with our professional, experienced and enthusiastic travel consultants now.
They’ll help you modify the China Yangtze cruise tour and itinerary from time to time until you are totally satisfied.
What travelers said about Yangtze cruise tour
-October 11, 2021
Hi Riley, Thank you for planning our trip so well....