Ship Details | Yangtze River Cruise - Avalon China Cruises

Magical China & the Yangtze River 2016

12 Day River Cruise from Beijing to Shanghai

2016 Information. Switch to 2017 »

Discover ancient history and fascinating culture on this delightful journey through China and along the Yangtze River. Start in Beijing, where you will visit the Forbidden City with its Imperial Palace, sample authentic Peking Duck, and walk along the incomparable Great Wall of China. You will also explore one of the city’s ancient alleys by rickshaw and experience a cultural performance at the Peking Opera or the Legend of Kung Fu show. In Xi’an, see the famed Terracotta Warriors up close from a special VIP viewing area and learn how to write ancient Chinese calligraphy. Next, in Chongqing, see pandas at a zoo and begin your Yangtze River cruise with a private welcome reception on board the Century Paragon. Shore excursions include a walking tour of a riverside community to see its beautiful pagoda, a tour of the Three Gorges Dam site, and a small boat cruise on the emerald-green waters of Shennv Stream. On the ship, enjoy the nightly entertainment, participate in a Tai Chi class, or enjoy a spa treatment. Final stop is Shanghai, China’s center of trade. Here, walk along the Bund, see stunning displays of ancient bronze and jade at the Shanghai Museum, and enjoy a traditional dim-sum feast. You will also attend a high-flying acrobat show and take a fascinating walking tour through the former French Concession where tree-lined streets and Art Deco architecture transport you to a bygone era.

It’s a memorable vacation sure to leave you with many photos and stories to share back home.


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Highlights & Sightseeing

Cruise: deluxe 3-night cruise from Chongqing to Yichang in a Deluxe Stateroom with two lower beds, private facilities, and balcony

Beijing: sightseeing including headsets; visit the Forbidden City, Imperial Palace, Tian’anmen Square, Great Wall, and Temple of Heaven; Peking Duck welcome dinner; Peking Opera performance or Legend of Kung Fu Show; hutong tour by rickshaw

Xi’an: sightseeing including headsets; visit the Terracotta Warriors including the VIP viewing area and Dayan Pagoda; noodle-making demonstration; calligraphy class; “Tang Dynasty” dinner show

Chongqing: visit a local zoo to see pandas; hot pot dinner; begin your Yangtze cruise aboard the Century Paragon; private welcome reception

Shibaozhai: walking tour

Shennv Stream: boat excursion down one of the Yangtze’s lesser gorges

Three Gorges Dam Site: sightseeing of the impressive dam site

Shanghai: sightseeing including headsets; visit the Bund, Yu Yuan Gardens, a silk factory, and the Shanghai Museum; dim sum lunch; walking tour of the French Concession; see an acrobatic show

Special experiences by local entertainers, artisans, and experts, designed to enrich your experience.

  • Peking Opera or Kung Fu show
  • Rickshaw ride through Hutongs
  • Dim Sum lunch

Meals

  • American breakfast daily
  • 7 lunches
  • 7 dinners including a Peking Duck welcome dinner in Beijing and a farewell dinner in Shanghai

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1Arrive in Beijing, China

Welcome to China’s capital city. Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.

Day 2Beijing

Your full-day sightseeing starts with a visit to the FORBIDDEN CITY and its IMPERIAL PALACE, once the home of China’s great emperors. Nearby is 100-acre TIAN’ANMEN SQUARE, the largest public square in the world. After lunch, enjoy some time at your leisure. This evening, enjoy a special PEKING DUCK WELCOME DINNER in an award-winning restaurant in your hotel. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3Beijing

The GREAT WALL OF CHINA once stretched 4,000 miles across China’s barren northern terrain from the Bohai Sea to the Gobi Desert. Head north to a village where the Great Wall is well preserved, and walk along the wall to enjoy sweeping vistas of this mammoth fortress. Tonight, attend a performance of the PEKING OPERA, a traditional form of Chinese theater, including a behind-the-scenes look at the colorful makeup being applied to the performers. Alternatively, you may choose to attend the LEGEND OF KUNG FU SHOW. Here, performers use a fusion of kung fu, dance, and acrobatics to tell the story of a monk who studies Buddhism and kung fu his whole life and eventually becomes a Zen master. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 4Beijing–Xi’an

This morning, visit the TEMPLE OF HEAVEN and enjoy a rickshaw ride through one of Beijing’s HUTONGS, the city’s ancient alleys. Experience life in this historic neighborhood as you are invited into the courtyard of a family’s home for tea. Later, fly to Xi’an. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 5Xi’an

One of the largest and wealthiest cities in the world when China dominated the silk trade, Xi’an today is an archaeological treasure trove. Sightseeing begins with the enormous tomb of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi, accidentally discovered by local farmers in 1974. Marvel at the legion of TERRACOTTA WARRIORS that has been guarding the burial site for 2,000 years. You will also enter the VIP VIEWING AREA for an up-close view of these life-size statues. During lunch, enjoy a NOODLE-MAKING DEMONSTRATION by a master chef and learn how Chinese noodles are made by hand. Next, visit the DAYAN PAGODA, built in 652 AD. This evening, enjoy the “Tang Dynasty” DINNER SHOW, featuring a colorful assemblage of classical performances. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6Xi’an–Chongqing (Embarkation)–Yangtze River Cruise

This morning, visit the Xi’an City Wall South Gate and learn to write like a local during a traditional Chinese CALLIGRAPHY CLASS; you may even see some locals practicing their morning Tai Chi. Next, fly to Chongqing, China’s capital during World War II. Visit a local ZOO to see pandas and eat dinner at a local HOT POT restaurant before boarding the Century Paragon for a 3-night cruise through the breathtaking Three Gorges of the Yangtze. Join your traveling companions for a PRIVATE WELCOME RECEPTION including cocktails and snacks. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 7Cruising: Shibaozhai

The morning is at your leisure to enjoy a variety of onboard activities. You may choose to start your day with a Tai Chi session on the Sun Deck, take a swim in the pool, or simply relax and enjoy the scenery. After lunch, take a WALKING TOUR of Shibaozhai with its 400-year-old, 12-story, red wooden pagoda perched high on a cliff side. This evening, the Captain hosts a welcome party, followed by dinner and a special performance by the ship’s crew. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

NOTE:
Depending on river conditions, an alternate shore excursion may be offered.

Day 8Cruising: Qutang Gorge–Wu Gorge–Shennv Stream

Again, enjoy the morning at your leisure on the ship. You may choose to take an optional shore excursion to Baidi Cheng, known as the “White Emperor City,” to see the Baidi Temple. Later in the morning, sail downstream through the first and second of the three gorges—Qutang Gorge, the shortest but most dramatic gorge, and Wu, known for its quiet beauty and forest-covered mountains. You can nearly touch the perpendicular walls rising from the riverbanks as your Captain negotiates this narrow gap. After lunch, disembark for a BOAT EXCURSION down Shennv Stream. Along the way, see picturesque scenery and the mysterious hanging wooden coffins. Before returning to your ship you will also board a wooden boat on a smaller section of the stream, where the crew will sing songs as you glide across the stunning deep emerald-green waters surrounded by densely forested hills. This evening, join the Captain for a special Chinese-style farewell banquet. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

NOTE:
Depending on river conditions, the boat excursion may be on the Daning River.

Day 9Cruising: Three Gorges Dam Site–Xiling Gorge–Yichang (Disembarkation)–Shanghai

This morning, visit the THREE GORGES DAM SITE, the largest dam of its kind in the world. Afterward, sail through Xiling Gorge, the last of the three gorges, before bidding farewell to your ship’s crew in Yichang. After lunch in Yichang, transfer to the airport for your flight to Shanghai, China’s most populous city and center of trade and industry. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 10Shanghai

Start your day with a stroll along the Bund, the city’s riverfront boulevard lined with historic buildings, housing, banks, and trade houses. Then, visit YU YUAN GARDENS, dating back to the Ming Dynasty, and a SILK FACTORY to learn about the silk-making process. For lunch, a traditional DIM SUM feast awaits. Meaning “to touch your heart,” dim sum was originally a snack but has transformed into a full meal with a wide variety of steamed dumplings, spring rolls, and more. Afterward, enjoy time at leisure. This evening, be entertained by a spectacular ACROBATIC SHOW. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 11Shanghai

This morning, visit the SHANGHAI MUSEUM, featuring stunning displays of ancient bronze, jade, and ceramics. Then, take a WALKING TOUR of the former French Concession, once Shanghai’s leading residential and retail area. Today, the qualities that made the area so popular endure—from quaint, tree-lined streets and exquisite architecture to charming shops and fashionable restaurants and bars. Along the way, see the famous Art Deco Cathay Theatre, explore the narrow lanes of Xintiandi, and visit Fuxing Park, where locals play chess, dance, practice tai chi, and more. The afternoon is at your leisure. This evening, your Tour Director hosts a special farewell dinner at your hotel. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 12Shanghai

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

Ship Details

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Hotels

Beijing
Xi'an
Shanghai

Beijing

Fairmont Beijing

Fairmont Beijing 8 Yong An Dong Li, Beijing,  China 8 Yong An Dong Li
Beijing, China

Hotel as shown or similar

The Fairmont Beijing Hotel, located in the heart of Beijing, offers top quality amenities, unique architecture, and superlative décor. Guestrooms come primed with first class amenities, including cutting edge technology, hand-selected linens and spa inspired bath products. Whether you indulge at the opulent Willow Stream Spa or dine in one of the award-winning restaurants this luxury hotel is sure to make for a comfortable stay.

Hotel Amenities

Fitness Room
Currency Exchange
Business Center
Dry Cleaning
Bar/Lounge
Spa Services
ATM
Elevator
Beauty Salon
Restaurant On-Site
Pool
Concierge desk
Luggage Storage
Parking/Valet
Room Amenities

In-Room Safe
Hair Dryer
Room Service
Iron/Ironing Board
Pay Movies
Desk
Mini-bar
Alarm Clock
Air Conditioning
Complimentary Toiletries
Internet Access
Phone
Voicemail
Coffee Maker
Television
Cable/Satellite
Climate Control
Wake-Up Calls
Complimentary Newspaper

Xi'an

Shangri-La Hotel, Xi'an

Shangri-La Hotel, Xi'an 38B Keji Road, Xian,  China 38B Keji Road
Xian, China

Hotel as shown or similar

Return from a day of travel to the elegant interior of the Shangri La Hotel Xian. Enjoy dinner at one of the hotel's restaurant where you can relax and unwind recalling a day of new experiences and life enriching tales. If you choose to stay in for a day, spa services and a swimming pool will revitalize you for your next adventure.

Hotel Amenities

Parking/Valet
Fitness Room
Gift Shop
Dry Cleaning
Beauty Salon
Luggage Storage
Bar/Lounge
Business Center
Concierge desk
Currency Exchange
Pool
Restaurant On-Site
Spa Services
Elevator
Room Amenities

Climate Control
Desk
In-Room Safe
Air Conditioning
Cable/Satellite
Complimentary Toiletries
Room Service
Coffee Maker
Television
Mini-bar
Complimentary Newspaper
Iron/Ironing Board
Phone
Hair Dryer
Wake-Up Calls
Window Opens
Internet Access

Shanghai

Fairmont Peace Hotel

Fairmont Peace Hotel 20 Nanjing Road East , Shanghai,  China 20 Nanjing Road East
Shanghai, China

Hotel as shown or similar

Fairmont Peace Hotel, a 'luxurious Art Deco masterpiece', brilliantly reinvented for the 21st century where old fashioned glamour sparkles with a new luster. This landmark hotel served as a glamorous playground for the elite, where every night was an extravagant gala event and veritable Parisian fashion show. Situated just steps from the famous Bund promenade and unrivaled shopping on Nanjing Road, it is the perfect place to explore Shanghai's spectacular scenery and vibrant lifestyle.

Hotel Amenities

Fitness Room
Restaurant On-Site
Pool
Parking/Valet
Bar/Lounge
Luggage Storage
Currency Exchange
Concierge desk
Dry Cleaning
Spa Services
Elevator
Business Center
Gift Shop
Room Amenities

Mini-bar
Coffee Maker
Alarm Clock
Voicemail
Room Service
Air Conditioning
Complimentary Toiletries
Phone
Smoking Rooms
Window Opens
Complimentary Newspaper
Iron/Ironing Board
Television
Wake-Up Calls
In-Room Safe
Climate Control
Pay Movies
Desk
Hair Dryer
Cable/Satellite
Internet Access

 Optional Excursions

The following list of optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These optional excursions might or might not be offered. Whether it's a special dinner, a local show or a special behind-the-scenes glimpse into an historical site, optional excursions are a wonderful way to enrich your vacation even further. Plus, they give you flexibility. We include the must-see sites and experiences, and we also understand that people take interest in different activities and may want to craft a more personal vacation by hand-picking optional excursions that appeal to them.

We know that many times travelers celebrate special occasions on vacation and you can now pre-purchase celebration packages before your cruise departure. We offer special birthday, anniversary and wedding vow packages. These packages include all the elements you need to celebrate with family & friends.

Availability of optional excursions is subject to sufficient participation, weather conditions, seasonal suitability, days of operation, group interests, and general feasibility for your vacation. The approximate value listed gives you a good, general idea of what you can expect to pay but may vary once you are on your vacation. Some information provided might be in a foreign currency; to get an estimated price, use a currency converter for exchange rate information (pricing may vary at the time of booking).

Once you have booked your vacation, Avalon Waterways provides the ability to pre-purchase excursions and packages, register for your cruise and provide emergency contact information online.

Shanghai

Shanghai

Zhujiajiao (Water Town) Half Day Tour
Zhujiajiao (Water Town) Half Day Tour

Zhujiajiao (Water Town) Half Day Tour

Located in a suburb of Shanghai, Zhujiajiao is an ancient water town well-known throughout the country. With a history of more than 1,700 years and covering an area of 47 square kilometers, the little fan-shaped town glimmers like a bright pearl in the landscape of lakes and mountains. Endowed with another elegant name - 'Pearl Stream' - the little town is the best-preserved among the four ancient towns in Shanghai. Unique old bridges cross bubbling streams, small rivers are shaded by willow trees, and quaint houses with courtyards attached are a welcomed contrast to the hustle and bustle of Shanghai.

Approximate value: $82 USD per person

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