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

• Beijing: 3 nights
• Xi’an: 2 nights
• Yangtze Cruise: 3 nights
• Shanghai: 3 nights

12nights Escorted Small Group Tour
Escorted Small Group Tour

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

Day 2: Beijing 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 and refresh after your journey as soon as you arrive. This evening you will have the opportunity to meet the rest of your group and your tour leader at a welcome dinner which includes a Peking duck dish. Stay: Novotel Peace Beijing (or similar). D

Day 3: Beijing Your sightseeing begins with an early morning visit to the beautiful Temple of Heaven; you’ll arrive at the temple just as the gates are opening, thus avoiding the crowds that head here later in the day. Another advantage of arriving early is that you may be able to watch some of the locals performing t’ai chi. Surely the most iconic of China’s attractions is the Great Wall and this afternoon you will have the chance to visit the Mutianyu section (approx. 1¾ hours from Beijing). Following lunch at a local restaurant and a shopping stop at a factory where they make traditional enamel pieces, take the cable car up on to the wall, which is noted for its meandering chain of Ming Dynasty guard towers. Stay: Novotel Peace Beijing (or similar). B, L.

Day 4: Beijing Today begins with visits to Tian’anmen Square and the Forbidden City. Following lunch at a local restaurant, the city tour continues with a visit to the classical Summer Palace, which is home to a vast number of lakes, gardens and palaces to the north west of central Beijing. A boat ride on one of the lakes is included here (April to October; subject to weather conditions). The day concludes with a photo stop at the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube Olympic venues. Stay: Novotel Peace Beijing (or similar). B, L.

Day 5: Beijing to Xi’an Transfer to the station for your high speed train journey to Xi’an. On arrival, you will be met by your local guide who will take you on a tour of Xi’an’s historic city walls, where you can wander the streets of the Muslim Quarter. Tonight’s traditional dumpling dinner is a highlight of your holiday. Following dinner you’ll have the opportunity to catch a Tang Dynasty Show – a performance of Changan music and dance which originated in China’s Tang Dynasty. Approx. journey time: 5½ hours. Stay: Grand Mercure Xi’an (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 6: Xi’an An entire day of sightseeing in Xi’an awaits, beginning at the iconic Terracotta Warriors (approx. 1½ hours from the city). In the mid-1970s a clay warrior was found buried under farmland on the outskirts of Xi’an and through further excavations thousands more warriors were discovered, all lined up in a battle formation. You can witness these incredible pottery figures at the Museum of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses in a handful of the excavated pits. Before returning to Xi’an you’ll visit a jade factory. Later visit the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, an important Tang Dynasty site. Stay: Grand Mercure Xi’an or similar. B, L.

Day 7: Xi’an to Chongqing Fly on to the sprawling city of Chongqing, the gateway to the Yangtze River. Following a short city tour and dinner in a local restaurant, board the Century Sun for your three-night Yangtze River cruise. Stay: Century Sun (or similar). B, D.

Day 8: Yangtze Cruise Set sail this morning on your cruise downstream. Those looking for an early start to the day can enjoy coffee or tea and pastries on deck as well as a t’a chi exercise. Following breakfast there is an optional tour to the unique ‘Ghost City’ of Fengdu which is located on top of Ming Mountain (guests will need to climb approximately 750 steps to reach Fengdhu). Following a buffet lunch on board, there is a shore excursion to the striking hill fortress of Shi Baozhai. Later in the day there is a captain’s welcome party followed by dinner. Stay: Century Sun (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 9: Yangtze Cruise Today begins with tea, coffee, pastries and t’ai chi on deck before breakfast is served. This morning’s optional tour is a visit to the Fengjie White King Town, a town full of legend which sits on the north bank of the river at the entrance to Qutang Gorge. It is this gorge that the Century Sun will sail along this morning before entering the beautiful Wu Gorge. This afternoon there will be a cruise on a smaller boat along the breathtaking Shennong Stream, a tributary of the Yangtze. Dinner this evening is the captain’s farewell banquet. Stay: Century Sun (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 10: Yichang to Shanghai Following a morning visit to the Three Gorge Dam and a scenic cruise through the Xiling Gorge, the ship will arrive in Yichang where you will disembark. Transfer to the airport for your evening flight to Shanghai where you will spend three nights. Your Shanghai hotel is located in the beautiful French Concession, a charming place to wander round and find a pleasant spot for dinner. Stay: Regal International East Asia (or similar). B.

Day 11: Shanghai In the morning a guided tour takes you to the beautiful Yu Garden which was created in the 16th Century by a Ming Dynasty governor. You will then continue on to the Old Town which sits inside the ancient city walls, before enjoying a traditional tea tasting and a stroll along the waterfront Bund that’s lined with colonial era buildings. This afternoon, explore the French Concession – an area of Shanghai once administered by the French government – with its tree-lined avenues and French-style architecture, and Pudong, which is the city’s modern district. There will be a visit to a silk shop for some last-minute souvenir shopping. Stay: Regal International East Asia (or similar). B.

Day 12: Shanghai Enjoy another full day in Shanghai which will begin with a visit to the late 19th-Century Jade Buddha Temple. As the name would suggest, this lavish temple was built to house two jade statues of Buddha which were brought to Shanghai from Burma. Later, take a stroll along Nanjing Road, one of the country’s premier shopping streets. The rest of the day is free for some independent exploration. Stay: Regal International East Asia (or similar). B.

Day 13: Shanghai to UK Transfer by the high-speed Maglev train or road to the airport for your flight to the UK. B.

Stay longer

Tibet 4 nights

A mix of culture and nature await in the breathtaking region of Tibet. Witness Himalayan peaks and grand monasteries, and uncover the cultures of the Buddhist people who call this land their home.

Hong Kong 3 nights

Add a few days in vibrant Hong Kong to the end of your tour to really finish off your journey in style.

Stay longer

Tibet 4 nights

A mix of culture and nature await in the breathtaking region of Tibet. Witness Himalayan peaks and grand monasteries, and uncover the cultures of the Buddhist people who call this land their home.

Hong Kong 3 nights

Add a few days in vibrant Hong Kong to the end of your tour to really finish off your journey in style.


Is this for you?

A perfect introductory tour for guests wanting to experience a cruise along the Yangtze river, alongside China’s most iconic sights.

Good to know

• All departures are guaranteed
• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey)
• Average group size of 12 guests
• A maximum of 16 guests.

What to expect

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

• At the Great Wall of China there are many steep steps and slopes

• A busy itinerary packed full of experiences allowing you to see a lot in a short space of time. There are a few early morning and late evening excursions and journeys

• Crowds at the main sights and attractions

• 20kg luggage allowance on internal flights.

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 Novotel Peace Beijing, which is located within walking distance of the Temple of Heaven and Tiananmen 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 £660


Tour dates

2018 Apr 28; May 19; Jun 16; Sep 22; Oct 20

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 from £489 per person.

Gorges of the Yangtze

Why Kuoni?

What sets this tour apart from other introductory tours is the three night cruise along the Yangtze River on board the five star Century Sun river cruise ship. In Beijing you’ll also have the opportunity to avoid the crowds at the Temple of Heaven. With an early morning visit here you may have the chance to see the locals performing their daily morning exercise – the ancient art of t’ai chi.

Why Kuoni?

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Escorted Touring 2018/19