Enigmatic Beijing welcomes you with the hustle of one of the world’s largest cities – and grand reminders of the ancient nation’s imperial heritage.
In famous Tiananmen Square, the world’s largest city square, we stand in the spiritual heart of China, surrounded by the Great Hall of the People, the Museum of the Chinese Revolution, and the Forbidden City, the legendary home of Emperors.
We are granted VIP access to Chong Hua Palace, where the architecture and furnishings remain as they were in the mid-18th century. We also gain access to one of the loveliest spots in Beijing, the Summer Palace, a monument to Chinese landscape architecture.
A full-day excursion takes us to the unparalleled Great Wall stretching 4,163 miles from the Yellow Sea to the Gobi Desert – and wide enough for five horsemen to ride abreast.
We bid farewell to Beijing with an excursion through the city’s hutongs, or winding lanes, by rickshaw, where we are invited to visit a local family in their home.
An afternoon flight takes us to Xi’an, the largest city in China’s northeast and capital of China for more than a thousand years. This great city once vied with Rome and Constantinople for the title of greatest city in the world. Here, we will view the stunning sight of an army of thousands of life-sized terra cotta soldiers, silently guarding the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang for 2,000 years – hidden from view until accidentally discovered in 1974.
Yangtze River Cruise
We fly to Chongqing this morning to what is possibly the world’s most populated city, with a metropolitan population of 32 million people. There, we embark this evening aboard our cruise ship for three-days on the Yangtze River.
Our beautiful ship provides a front row seat for spectacular Three Gorges scenery and easy access to the region’s splendid cultural heritage and folklore. The scenic area is known as the Grand Canyon of China, a place that has long inspired the country’s poets and painters.
This morning, we visit the controversial Three Gorges Dam and examine its history and its effect on both the region and the nation. Our cruise disembarks in Yichang, where we board our afternoon flight to Shanghai.
Leaving the ancient Yangtze, we arrive in the 21st century city of Shanghai with its space-age skyline and levitating trains. We will survey this amazing city’s architectural wonders – a stunning panorama. We will also discover the antique serenity among the paths of Yi Yuan Garden in Shanghai’s Old Town, built in 1577.
After a remarkable evening Shanghai Acrobatic performance, we pay a morning visit to the Temple of the Jade Buddha, a sanctuary for Zen Buddhist study and meditation.
Our afternoon flight takes us to yet another spectacular blend of old and new, Hong Kong. A cable car to the top of Victoria Peak gives us a thrilling view and a sampan float across Aberdeen Harbor takes us to hunt for treasures at the teeming Stanley Market.
Hong Kong & Home
You will be taken to the airport for your flight home or on to your next destination.
St. Regis Beijing, Beijing
Located just a few minutes from the Silk Market, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, the St. Regis Beijing is the hallmark of luxurious accommodations in China, with a rich tradition of exceptional service and hospitality. All guestrooms are beautifully furnished with a warm, inviting color scheme and have wonderful beds with duvets. Because of its excellence in hospitality, the St. Regis Beijing was noted as a 2014 Travel+Leisure World’s Best Hotel. A 2014 Travel+Leisure World's Best Hotel
Shangri-La Hotel, Xi'an
This new 397-room hotel is located in Xi'an's prestigious Gao Xin hi-tech development zone, on the doorstep to the city's finest shopping and entertainment. The hotel's facilities include a business center and fully-equipped health club with indoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, steam, and sauna rooms. Services include laundry service, beauty salon, gift & retail shops, and complimentary shoe shine. There are a tempting array of dining options, including a lobby lounge and specialty and Chinese restaurants. In-room dining is also available around the clock. The Shangri-La's spacious guest rooms and suites feature floor-to-ceiling windows with stunning views of the city or the gardens, along with internet access, 24-hour room service, coffee/tea facilities, a mini bar and electronic safe.
Victoria Jenna, Yangtze River Cruise
Your home for three lovely nights, the Victoria Jenna had her inaugural sailing September 2009 following her sister ship, the Victoria Anna, in setting a new standard of cruise ship design for Yangtze River cruising. This luxury vessel is constructed with a blend of both modern and elegant architecture. Victoria Cruises is the only American-managed cruise line on the Yangtze River. It has international multi-lingual cruise directors and offers an array of shipboard amenities including a lounge, panoramic observation deck, outdoor Jacuzzi, fitness center, and beauty salon. The Victoria Jenna takes luxury cruising on the Yangtze to a whole new level with its generous cabin space, floor-to-ceiling windows, and private balconies opening up to breathtaking views, allowing you to absorb the natural beauty of the Three Gorges from the comfort of your cabin. She also boasts elegant atriums with sparkling chandeliers and gleaming woods, with an overall décor of American and European influences with Asian accents. All cruises feature excellent cuisine, with both Western and Chinese specialties; interesting lectures on Chinese history and culture; live entertainment featuring traditional performing arts; Tai Qi, acupuncture and Chinese medicine lectures; introductory Mandarin lessons; international TV programming including HBO and BBC; in-house daily movies; internet access and online services; and on-board health and therapeutic services.
Pudong Shangri-La Hotel, Shanghai
Prominently situated along the famous Huangpu River, the Pudong Shangri-La Hotel has breathtaking views of Shanghai's legendary riverfront "the Bund" and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. Its 606 rooms are the most spacious in the city and are complemented by three restaurants, an entertainment center, and lobby lounge. The hotel is well equipped with recreational facilities including an indoor swimming pool, fitness center, tennis court, gym, massage, Jacuzzi, sauna, and steam bath. The rooms have an IDD telephone and computer/fax line, mini bar, refrigerator, work desk, electronic safe, and remote-controlled TV/radio. A 2014 Condé Nast Traveler Gold List & Travel+Leisure World's Best Hotel
Island Shangri-La Hotel, Hong Kong
Consistently voted one of the finest hotels in the world, the Island Shangri-La Hotel is centrally located in the heart of Hong Kong. Towering 56 floors above Victoria Harbor, it has direct access to Pacific Place - the island's most prestigious shopping and entertainment complex. Its eight award-winning restaurants bring an exquisite dining experience for the epicurean. The hotel also features the world's largest Chinese silk painting, "The Great Motherland of China," in its Atrium. The 565 rooms and suites of this luxurious hotel are among the largest in Hong Kong, and each offers breathtaking views of the city and harbor from wide bay windows. Amenities include broadband internet access, voice mail, satellite/cable television, DVD player, LCD TV in bathroom, international direct dial telephone, electronic safe, mini bar, coffee/tea making facilities, and full-size executive writing desk. The hotel's recreation and fitness facilities include a 24-hour fitness center, massage, aromatherapy, reflexology, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis, sauna and steam room, solariums, and an outdoor swimming pool. A 2014 Condé Nast Traveler Gold List, Condé Nast Traveler Platinum Circle & Travel+Leisure World's Best Hotel