A small group tour combining the history of Beijing, the wonders of the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an, the pandas of Chengdu and the sophistication of Shanghai. Time exploring these iconic cities is perfectly complemented with an unforgettable cruise through the dramatic scenery of the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River.

• Shanghai: 3 nights

• Yangtze Cruise: 4 nights

• Chengdu: 1 night

• Xi'an: 2 nights

• Beijing: 3 nights

14nights Escorted Small Group Tour

This small group tour combines the iconic sights and cities of China, from the sophistication of Shanghai and the history of Beijing to the wonders of the Terracotta Warriors in ancient Xi’an. Head further afield to discover the famous Giant Panda in Chengdu, and see the dramatic scenery of the legendary Three Gorges on an unforgettable cruise along the Yangtze River.

• Shanghai: 3 nights

• Yangtze River Cruise: 4 nights

• Chengdu: 1 night

• Xi'an: 2 nights

• Beijing: 2 nights

• Mutianyu/ The Great Wall: 1 night

14nights Escorted Small Group Tour
 
 
ITINERARY

Day 1: UK to Shanghai Depart from the UK on your overnight flight to Shanghai.

Day 2: Shanghai Transfer to your hotel for a three-night stay. An early check-in is guaranteed so you’ll be able to get to your room as soon as you arrive. Freshen up and spend the rest of the day relaxing or sightseeing at your own pace. This evening, meet the rest of your group at a welcome dinner in a local restaurant. Stay: Central Hotel Shanghai (or similar). D.

Day 3: Shanghai This morning begins with a guided tour around the city. You’ll start in the Old Town, which sits inside the ancient city walls, before continuing to the beautiful Yu Garden, and the leafy tree-lined streets of the French Concession. This afternoon take a stroll along the  famous Bund waterfront before embarking on a private cruise along the Huangpu River. Stay: Central Hotel Shanghai (or similar). B, D.

Day 4: Shanghai Today, you’ll drive to the charming waterside city of Suzhou (approx. 1½ hours west of Shanghai). Known for its culture, canals and classical gardens, a full morning tour will start at the UNESCO-listed Administrator’s Garden, before continuing to other iconic sights like historic Pingjiang Road, Garden of the Master of Nets and the famous Pan Gate. Following lunch at a local restaurant, head back to Shanghai where the rest of the day is free to spend at your own leisure. Stay: Central Hotel Shanghai (or similar). B, L.

Day 5: Shanghai to Yichang Spend a morning exploring the city at your own pace, before transferring to the airport for your afternoon flight to Yichang. On arrival, transfer to Maoping Pier to board the luxurious Century Sun for your four-night Yangtze River cruise. Approx. journey time: 2 hours. Stay: Century Sun. B.

Day 6: Yangtze Cruise Today begins with tea, coffee, pastries and t’ai chi on deck before breakfast is served. Following breakfast, you’ll visit the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest ever hydroelectric dam. After a buffet lunch, there’s an optional tour to the Tribe of the Three Gorges, a beautiful spot along the river where picturesque landscapes, local people and historic culture thrive. Tonight, a buffet dinner will be followed by the captain’s welcome party. Stay: Century Sun. B, L, D.

Day 7: Yangtze Cruise Those looking for an early start to the day can enjoy tea or coffee and pastries on deck, as well as a t’ai chi exercise. Breakfast will combine with a spot of scenic cruising, as the Century Sun will sail through the beautiful Wu Gorge this morning. Following breakfast, take a cruise on a smaller wooden boat along the breathtaking Shennv Stream, a scenic tributary of the Yangtze. After lunch, there’s an optional shore excursion to the White Emperor City, an ancient temple complex overlooking the Qutang Gorge. Stay: Century Sun. B, L, D.

Day 8: Yangtze Cruise Following another chance for t’ai chi, pastries and a hot drink on deck, sit down to enjoy your breakfast buffet. This morning, there's an optional shore excursion to the striking hill fortress of Shi Baozhai, followed by lunch back on board the ship. This afternoon join in with a selection of the Century Sun’s fantastic on-board activities, before sitting down for your farewell dinner. Stay: Century Sun. B, L, D.

Day 9: Chongqing to Chengdu Following breakfast, the Century Sun will arrive into Chongqing where you will disembark. Transfer to the station for your high-speed train journey to Chengdu. This afternoon you’ll visit the Wenshu Monastery and take a walk down the city’s ancient Jinli Street, before sitting down for dinner at a local restaurant. Approx. journey time: 2 hours. Stay: Tibet Hotel (or similar). B, D.

Day 10: Chengdu to Xi’an This morning you’ll spend time at the Chengdu Panda Base, a famous research centre that specialises in the breeding and conservation of baby pandas. Following lunch at a local restaurant, transfer to the station for your first-class high-speed rail journey to Xi’an. Transfer to your hotel on arrival, before spending the evening at leisure. Approx. journey time: 3¾ hours. Stay: Grand Mercure Xi’an on Renmin Square (or similar). B, L. 

Day 11: Xi’an An entire day of sightseeing awaits, beginning with an early morning visit to the iconic Terracotta Warriors (approx. 1½ hours from the city). You’ll arrive just as the doors open to avoid the crowds that head here later in the day. If an archaeologist is available during your visit, then a meet and greet will be scheduled for you to chat about the work they’re doing. This afternoon, visit the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, a landmark temple set in beautiful gardens, before you get creative with a traditional dumpling making class. This evening, you’ll have the opportunity to catch a Tang Dynasty Show – a dramatic performance of Changan music and dance which originated in China’s Tang Dynasty. Stay: Grand Mercure Xi’an on Renmin Square (or similar). B, D.

Day 12: Xi’an to Beijing This morning explore Xi’an’s busy Muslim Quarter, a historic neighbourhood and foodie heaven famed for its market stalls and unusual culinary creations. You’ll then continue to the Great Mosque, one of the oldest and largest mosques in China. Following lunch at a local restaurant, transfer to the station for your first-class high-speed train journey to Beijing. On arrival, the rest of the evening is free to spend at your own leisure. Approx. journey time: 4½ hours. Stay: Park Plaza Wangfujing (or similar). B, L.

Day 13: Beijing Your tour of the capital begins with an early morning visit to Tian’anmen Square, followed by a wander around the Forbidden City. After lunch at a local restaurant, the tour will continue at the classical Summer Palace, home to a vast number of lakes, gardens and palaces. A boat ride on one of the lakes is included here (subject to weather conditions). This evening, enjoy a classic Peking duck dinner at a local restaurant. Stay: Park Plaza Wangfujing (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 14: Beijing Today begins with an early morning visit to the beautiful Temple of Heaven; you’ll arrive at the temple just as the gates are opening to avoid the crowds that head here later in the day. Afterwards you'll have the opportunity to take part in a t’ai chi lesson. Following lunch, you’ll have the chance to visit the Mutianyu section of the iconic Great Wall (approx. 1¾ hours from Beijing). This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Stay: Park Plaza Wangfujing (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 15: Beijing
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. B.


Stay longer

Tibet 4 nights

Day 1: Beijing to Lhasa
Transfer to the airport for your early morning flight to Lhasa. On arrival, a local guide will transfer you to the hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax at the hotel. Approx. journey time: 4½ hours. Stay: Four Points by Sheraton (or similar). B.

Day 2: Lhasa

After breakfast, spend the morning at the Sera Monastery; one of three famous university monasteries in Tibet. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before spending the afternoon with a local family where you'll learn all about life in Tibet. Stay: Four Points by Sheraton (or similar). B, L.

Day 3: Lhasa
Start the day at the famous Potala Palace, the magnificent winter residence of the Dalai Lama. Following lunch, spend the afternoon exploring the Jokhang Monastery – the spiritual heart of Tibetan Buddhism – and take a stroll along historic Bakhor Street. Stay: Four Points by Sheraton (or similar). B, L.

Day 4: Lhasa to Beijing
Enjoybreakfast at the hotel before transferring to the airport for your return flight to Beijing. The rest of the day is free for you to explore Beijing at your own pace. Approx. journey time: 4 hours. Stay: Park Plaza Wangfujing (or similar). B.

Day 5: Beijing
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. B.

Day 1: UK to Shanghai Depart from the UK on your overnight flight to Shanghai.

Day 2: Shanghai Transfer to your hotel for a three-night stay. An early check-in is guaranteed so you’ll be able to head to your room as you arrive. Freshen up and spend the rest of the day relaxing or sightseeing at leisure. This evening, meet your group and tour leader at a welcome dinner in a local restaurant. Stay: Central Hotel Shanghai (or similar). D.

Day 3: Shanghai This morning, head out for a guided tour around the city. Begin in the Old Town, which sits inside the ancient city walls, before continuing to the beautiful Yu Garden and the leafy tree-lined streets of the French Concession. This afternoon, take a stroll along the famous Bund waterfront ahead of a private cruise along the Huangpu River. Stay: Central Hotel Shanghai (or similar). B, D.

Day 4: Shanghai Today, you’ll drive to the waterside city of Suzhou (approx. 1½ hours west of Shanghai). Known for its culture, canals and classic gardens, a morning tour starts at the UNESCO-listed Administrator’s Garden and takes in sights like historic Pingjiang Road, Garden of the Master of Nets and the famous Pan Gate. After lunch, head back to Shanghai where the rest of the day is free to spend at leisure. Stay: Central Hotel Shanghai (or similar). B, L.

Day 5: Shanghai to Yichang Spend this morning exploring the city at your own pace before transferring to the airport for your afternoon flight to Yichang. On arrival, transfer to Maoping Pier to board the luxurious Century Sun for your four-night cruise along the Yangtze River. Approx. journey time: 2 hours. Stay: Century Sun. B.

Day 6: Yangtze Cruise
Start the day with tea, coffee, pastries and t’ai chi on deck before having breakfast in the dining room. This morning visit the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest ever hydroelectric dam. After a buffet lunch on board, you can join an optional tour exploring the Tribe of the Three Gorges; a beautiful spot along the river where dramatic landscapes, local people and historic cultures thrive. Tonight, a buffet dinner will be followed by the captain’s welcome party. Stay: Century Sun. B, L, D.

Day 7: Yangtze Cruise Early risers can start the day with tea, coffee, pastries and t’ai chi on deck. Enjoy breakfast as the Century Sun sails through the beautiful Wu Gorge. This morning, head out for a small boat cruise along the Shennv Stream, a scenic tributary of the Yangtze. After lunch, there’s an optional shore excursion to the White Emperor City; an ancient temple complex that overlooks the spectacular Qutang Gorge. Stay: Century Sun. B, L, D.

Day 8: Yangtze Cruise Awake to a final early morning of t’ai chi, pastries and a hot drink on deck. After breakfast, there’s an optional shore excursion to the striking hill fortress of Shi Baozhai. Have lunch on the ship and enjoy some time at leisure – perhaps joining in with a selection of fantastic on-board activities. Tonight, rejoin the group for your final dinner on board. Stay: Century Sun. B, L, D.

Day 9: Chongqing to Chengdu Following breakfast, the Century Sun will arrive into Chongqing. Disembark the ship and transfer to the station for your high-speed train journey to Chengdu. This afternoon visit the Wenshu Monastery, an ancient Buddhist temple built in the Tang Dynasty, and enjoy a stroll down the city’s historic Jinli Street. This evening have dinner at a local restaurant. Approx. journey time: 2 hours. Stay: Tibet Hotel (or similar). B, D.

Day 10: Chengdu to Xi’an Today starts with a visit to the Chengdu Panda Base; a famous research centre that specialises in the breeding and conservation of baby pandas. Enjoy some time to explore before heading out for lunch at a local restaurant. Transfer to the station for your first-class, high-speed rail journey to Xi’an. Head to your hotel where you can spend the rest of the day at leisure. Approx. journey time: 3¾ hours. Stay: Grand Mercure Xi’an on Renmin Square (or similar). B, L.

Day 11: Xi’an It’s an entire day of sightseeing, starting with an early morning visit to the world-famous Terracotta Warriors (approx. 1½ hours from the city). You’ll arrive just as the doors open to avoid the crowds that head here later in the day. If an archaeologist is available, a meet and greet session will give you the chance to chat about their current work. This afternoon, visit the Small Wild Goose Pagoda – a landmark temple set in beautiful gardens – and join a cooking class where you’ll learn how to make traditional Chinese dumplings. This evening, you’ll have the chance to watch a dramatic Tang Dynasty Show. Stay: Grand Mercure Xi’an on Renmin Square (or similar). B, D.

Day 12: Xi’an to Beijing Start today in the city’s busy Muslim Quarter; a historic neighbourhood and foodie heaven famed for its market stalls and unusual culinary creations. Continue to the Great Mosque, one of the oldest and largest mosques in China, and have lunch at a local restaurant. Later, transfer to the station for your first-class, high-speed train journey to Beijing. On arrival, the rest of the evening is free to spend at your own leisure. Approx. journey time: 4½ hours. Stay: Park Plaza Wangfujing (or similar). B, L.

Day 13: Beijing Your tour of the capital begins with an early morning visit to Tian’anmen Square, followed by a wander around the Forbidden City. After lunch, the tour continues at the classic Summer Palace, which is home to a huge number of lakes, gardens and palaces. A boat ride on one of the lakes is included here (subject to weather  conditions). This evening, experience a classic Peking duck dinner at a local restaurant. Stay: Park Plaza Wangfujing (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 14: Beijing to Mutianyu Begin your final day with an early morning visit to the Temple of Heaven; arriving early means that you’ll avoid the crowds that head here later in the day. Join a local  t’ai chi lesson before you continue to the Mutianyu section of the iconic Great Wall (approx. 1¾ hours from Beijing). This evening you’ll stay at the stylish Brickyard Retreat; a small converted tile factory where each room overlooks views of the Great Wall. Tonight, join a farewell dinner in the hotel’s restaurant. Stay: Brickyard Retreat (or similar).  B, L, D.

Day 15: Mutianyu After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. B.


Stay longer

Tibet 4 nights

Day 1: Beijing to Lhasa
Transfer to the airport for your early morning flight to Lhasa. On arrival, a local guide will transfer you to the hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax at the hotel. Approx. journey time: 4½ hours. Stay: Four Points by Sheraton (or similar). B.

Day 2: Lhasa

After breakfast, spend the morning at the Sera Monastery; one of three famous university monasteries in Tibet. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before spending the afternoon with a local family where you'll learn all about life in Tibet. Stay: Four Points by Sheraton (or similar). B, L.

Day 3: Lhasa
Start the day at the famous Potala Palace, the magnificent winter residence of the Dalai Lama. Following lunch, spend the afternoon exploring the Jokhang Monastery – the spiritual heart of Tibetan Buddhism – and take a stroll along historic Bakhor Street. Stay: Four Points by Sheraton (or similar). B, L.

Day 4: Lhasa to Beijing
Enjoybreakfast at the hotel before transferring to the airport for your return flight to Beijing. The rest of the day is free for you to explore Beijing at your own pace. Approx. journey time: 4 hours. Stay: Park Plaza Wangfujing (or similar). B.

Day 5: Beijing
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. B.

ABOUT THIS TOUR

Is this for you?

A great introductory tour for guests wanting to experience a cruise along the Yangtze River, alongside China's most iconic sights.

Good to know

• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey)

• Average group size of 10 guests

• A maximum of 16 guests.

What to expect

• Special diets, including vegetarianism, cannot be adequately provided for in China

• Many stairs and steep slopes at the Great Wall of China

• A busy itinerary packed full of experiences allowing you to see a lot in a short space of time. There are also a few early mornings and late evenings

• Crowds at the main sights

• 20kg baggage allowance on internal flights

• A compulsory cruise tipping fee of RMB150 per person, paid locally.

Accommodation on tour

We have selected quality city hotels that are perfectly located for local exploration and offer a comfortable base for post-excursion relaxation, including the Park Plaza Wangfujing, which sits within walking distance of the Forbidden City and Tian’anmen Square. On the luxurious Century Sun ship, your home as you cruise along the Yangtze River, each cabin features floor-to-ceiling windows and a balcony.

Single travellers

Single room supplement from £885

Is this for you?

This small group tour offers a superb exploration of China, combining iconic sights with a four-night cruise along the Yangtze River.

Good to know

• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey, where the minimum age is 10)

• Average group size of 10 guests
• We recommend travelling with no more than one suitcase and one day bag

• A maximum of 16 guests on the land tour. The ship can accommodate 306 guests so expect to share activities and excursions.

What to expect

• Special diets, including vegetarianism and gluten free, cannot be adequately provided for in China

• With many stairs and steep slopes at monuments and the Great Wall, the tour is not suitable for those with walking difficulties

• There are early mornings and late evenings throughout to help maximise your sightseeing opprortunities and experiences

• Expect crowds at the main sights

• Baggage allowance on domestic flights is limited to 20kg; excess luggage fees will apply locally

• Optional cruise excursions are bookable locally and payable once on board

• A compulsory cruise tipping fee of approx. RMB150 per person is payable locally.

Accommodation on tour

We’ve selected quality hotels that are perfectly located for local and independent sightseeing. The luxurious Century Sun is your home on the Yangtze River. This elegant ship has some of the largest cabins on the river, each with floor-to-ceiling windows and a private balcony. On land, you’ll spend your final night at the Brickyard Retreat in Mutianyu Village; a converted tile factory where all rooms look out to stunning views of the Great Wall.

Single travellers

Sole use room from £4503

DATES AND INCLUSIONS

Tour dates

2019 Apr 25; May 02, 16; Jun 06; Sep 19, 26; Oct 24

Included in price

• Quality accommodation

• Insightful local tour leaders

• Hand-picked itineraries

• Flexible arrival times

• Small groups and a relaxed approach

• Porterage and guide tips

• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner), or the freedom to explore local restaurants independently

• All specified flights.

Upgrade your tour

Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary, departing on the date of your choice for a supplement from £1329 per person.

Tour dates

2020 Apr 09, 23, 30; May 14; Jun 04; Sep 10; Oct 15

Included in price

• Quality accommodation

• Insightful local tour leaders

• Hand-picked itineraries

• Flexible arrival times

• Small groups

• Porterage and guide tips

• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

• All specified flights.

Upgrade your tour

Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary, departing on selected dates from £4866 per person.

Kuoni highlights

What really sets this tour apart is the unforgettable four night cruise along the Yangtze River – while most tours only offer three nights, our extra night means you have even more time to relax and enjoy the sights along the river. We also offer some great exclusive experiences, like first class train travel and the possibility of an archaeologist meet and greet at the Terracotta Warriors.

Kuoni highlights

What really sets this tour apart is the unforgettable four-night cruise along the Yangtze River. While most only offer three nights, our extra night means you’ll have even more time to enjoy the stunning sights along the river. This tour is packed full of exclusive experiences, from a meet and greet session with an archaeologist at the Terracotta Warriors to spending the night in a converted tile factory that overlooks views of the Great Wall of China.