Classic Cities & Yangtze

403: 12 Days Private Shanghai - Yichang - Yangtze River Cruise - Chongqing - Xian - Beijing
Tour Type: Private Tour, any parts of the itinerary can be customized
Guide & Driver: English-speaking guide & air-conditioned, licensed car
Tour Highlights:
  • Must-see sights in China - the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Warriors
  • Take in the impressive skylines of Shanghai as you walk along the Bund
  • Unwind with a Yangtze River cruise tour & see the Three Gorges and dam project
  • Have a leisurely walk or an exciting bicycle ride on the time-honored City Wall of Xian
From $1819 per person Free Inquiry
Summer Palace
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Day 1 Arrival in Shanghai
Airport pick-up & airport-hotel transfer.
Your international flight will land Shanghai today. After you retrieve your luggage and clear the customs, you will find that our guide is waiting for you outside the customs of the airport. We will transfer you to the appointed hotel in downtown area and help you check in. The remaining time of the day is free for your individual activities.

Meals: No meals, advice freely available
Day 2 Shanghai
Shanghai Museum, Yuyuan Garden, A la carte lunch, the Bund, Huangpu River cruise, an ancient cultural street. (B+L)
The Bund
Photo by our client Ms. Vivian Rich
The first stop of your private China tour is Shanghai Museum, which houses large collections of historical art items like bronze ware, chinaware, calligraphies and paintings. Then go to the famous Yuyuan Garden, where the pavilions, halls, rockeries, ponds and cloisters all have unique Chinese characteristics. You may especially pay attention to their delicate design and fine layout. 

We will invite you to an a la carte welcome lunch (valued at CNY150.00 per person and included in our price) at a fancy and famous local restaurant, which boasts real Shanghai and Cantonese cuisines. 

In the afternoon, you will take a short cruise along the Huangpu River. From the cruise, you will see the best part landscape of the city, such as western-style buildings on the west bank of Huangpu River and modern skyscrapers on the east bank. Then you will have some free time to stroll on the Bund. You can see that buildings in Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, Classicism and the Renaissance style stand in a row along the Bund. After that visit an old street. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, A la carte lunch
Day 3 Shanghai - Yichang
Jade Buddha Temple. Fly to Yichang. Airport pick-up transfer. Yichang Museum if time permits. (B)
Nanjing Road
This morning you will pay a visit to the Jade Buddha Temple. The highlights of this temple are a Sitting Buddha and a Recumbent Buddha both carved with whole white jade. 

Then you will take a flight to Yichang, and our local guide will be waiting for you outside the baggage claim area of the airport. A comfortable private transfer will take you to downtown Yichang. If time is available, you will visit Yichang Museum, which mainly displays the local cultural relics with the earliest exhibitions dating back to 400,000 years ago. After that, we will drive you to the Three Gorges Tourist Center and help you check your luggage. Then the cruise ship company will arrange you to take a shuttle bus to the port for boarding the ship.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 4 Three Gorges Dam
Yangtze River cruise trip. A Captain's Welcome Party. (B+L+D)
Your cruise journey commences at 06:00 this morning. Sailing along the eastern Xiling Gorge, you will first disembark and pay a visit to the magnificent Three Gorges Dam Site. You may climb on the Viewing Platform located on Tianzi Mountain and have a panoramic view of the dam. Then you will be back to the ship and the cruise continues sailing into the western Xiling Gorge. Passing through this gorge is a kind of adventure because it is known for numerous torrents and dangerous shoals, but you do not need to worry about. You may also see many cultural relics in this gorge, such as hanging coffins. The Captain's Welcome Party will be held on board. You are invited to participate.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 Three Little Gorges or Shennong Stream
Yangtze River cruise trip. (B+L+D)
Three Gorges scenery
Sail through the Wu Gorge in the morning. Here, you will see twelve peaks standing in different postures and manners, among which the Goddess Peak in swirls of mist is the most charming and lively. Then according to the schedule of your cruise company, you will take a side excursion to the Three Little Gorges or Shennong Stream, both of which are tributaries of the River. The highlight is that you will take a pea boat drifting along the Shennong Stream, accompanied by the beautiful singings from the guide and boat trackers, who are all local Tujia minority people. Back to the ship and the cruise will pass through the Qutang Gorge. It is the most dangerous and shortest of the Three Gorges on the river. Standing on the deck of the cruise ship, you will see the steep precipices standing on both banks of this narrow stretch of water.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 Fengdu or Shibaozhai
Yangtze River cruise trip. A Farewell Party. (B+L+D)
Yangtze River cruise
Today, you will disembark at Fengdu or Shibaozhai for an excursion. According to the schedule of your cruise company, you will go to visit the Fengdu Ghost City or Shibaozhai. Fengdu is one of the most distinctive and famous historical towns since ancient times. As the netherworld in Chinese legend, the Ghost City is well-known for its ghost culture. After that, you will be back to the ship and the cruise continues sailing to the destination Chongqing. Tonight, you will feast on a farewell party on the cruise. Please enjoy yourself thoroughly.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 Chongqing - Xian
Disembark the cruise in Chongqing. Panda House, Residence of General Stilwell. Fly to Xian. Airport-hotel transfer. (B)
A traditional medicine store
The cruise is scheduled to arrive in Chongqing at around 08:30 to 09:00 when your ship ride will end. Our guide will meet you on board and transfer you to downtown Chongqing. You will visit the panda house in Chongqing Zoo to have a close contact with the cute pandas, and then visit the Residence of General Joseph W. Stilwell, which was founded in memory of General Stilwell who has contributed a lot to China during the World War Two and thus being the forever friend of Chinese people. Lunch is arranged on your own. Our guide will offer you some suggestions upon your request. After that, you will take a flight to Xian. Our local guide will be waiting for you at the airport. A comfortable private transfer will take you the appointed hotel in downtown area.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 8 Xian
Terracotta Warriors, Provincial History Museum, Big Wild Goose Pagoda. (B)
Terracotta soldiers
Today you will pay a visit to the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum which is famed as the Eighth Wonder of the world. Life-sized terracotta figures of warriors and horses were arranged orderly in battle formations, and each has its unique characteristic. They are replicas of what the imperial guard should look like more than 2,200 years ago. Lunch is arranged on your own.

This afternoon, you will first visit Shaanxi History Museum, one of the most renowned history museums with abundant cultural relics. In its main exhibition hall, there three thousand antiquities carefully selected from all its nearly four hundred thousand pieces. Then, you will travel to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Built mainly of bricks and woods more than 1,300 years ago to collect Buddhist scriptures, the pagoda is in a shape of square pyramid and gradually decreases upwards.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 9 Xian - Beijing
City Wall, A local family visit and home-cooked lunch, A high speed train to Beijing. Railway station pick-up. (B+L)
Great Wall
Photo by our clients Bruce and Ruth Campbell
In the morning, you will visit the ancient City Wall. Standing on the wall, you will see an ancient capital inside while a modern developing city outside. They are in sharp contrasts but co-exist harmoniously.

Then, pay a visit to a local family to get to know more about the local people's life. You can raise questions that you feel interested and the host will answer you friendly. Of course, your guide will be the translator then. Around noon, the hostess will invite you to enjoy a homely cooked a la carte lunch at her home.

In the afternoon, you will take a high speed train to Beijing, and our local guide will be waiting for you at the railway station. A comfortable private transfer will take you to the appointed hotel in downtown area. Relax for the remainder of the day by yourself.

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, Home-cooked a la carte lunch
Day 10 Beijing
Badaling Great Wall, Bird's Nest (drive by), Temple of Heaven. (B)
Today you will visit one of the greatest world heritage sites - the Badaling Great Wall. Badaling is the best-preserved and most famous section among all the existing Great Wall of China. Standing on it, you will see the long wall, like a huge dragon, winding up and down the mountain ranges. We do not provide lunch today. On the way back to the downtown, we will drive by the Bird's Nest (Olympic National Stadium). You can see the full view of the nest and take some pictures. The last stop today is the Temple of Heaven, which was once the royal temple for the emperors to offer sacrifices to God of heaven. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
Day 11 Beijing
Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, A la carte lunch, Summer Palace. (B+L)
Summer Palace
Summer Palace
In the morning, visit Tiananmen Square - one of the largest and grandest city squares in the world. After a stroll on the square, you will pass the Meridian Gate and enter the imperial palace – the Forbidden City. First built in the Ming Dynasty about 600 years ago, it is the world's largest palace complex. Now it is a tourist site as well as a museum exhibiting imperial architecture, culture relics and court lives. 

As is our practice to avoid the poor food at the cheap tourist eateries, we will serve you an a la carte lunch (valued at CNY150.00 per person and included in our price) at a nice local restaurant, where you can taste the authentic Chinese food. 

In the afternoon, explore the Summer Palace. Based on Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill, it was a classical mountain and water garden. It is also the largest and best-preserved imperial garden of the nation. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast, A la carte lunch
Day 12 Departure from Beijing
Bid farewell at the airport. Thank you for travelling with us. (B)
Today you will take your international flight back home. Our guide and driver will meet you at the hotel and transfer you to the airport. Hope next time we still have the chance to serve you with our dedicated service. 

Meals: Western buffet breakfast
B-- Breakfast L-- Lunch D-- Dinner
DestinationsLuxury HotelsStandard Hotels
ShanghaiRenaissance Shanghai Yu Garden Hotel Ocean Hotel Shanghai
Yangtze RiverYangtze Gold Cruises with balconyPresident No.7/No.8 with balcony
XianCrowne Plaza Xi'an Holiday Inn Xian Big Goose Pagoda
BeijingHotel New Otani Chang Fu Gong Pentahotel Beijing
Earlier Booking, Bigger Savings on 2019 tours
12% off - book by Dec 31, 2018; 10% off - book in January, 2019
Tour Prices with Luxury Hotels
2-3 travelers4-5 travelers6-9 travelers
$2429 $2137$2249 $1979$1999 $1759
Tour Prices with Standard Hotels
2-3 travelers4-5 travelers6-9 travelers
$2249 $1979$2069 $1820$1819 $1600
  • Prices are per person in US Dollars based on double occupancy.
  • The prices in red reflect 12% discount.
  • Any parts of the itinerary e.g. tour length, activities & hotels can be tailored to your individual interests.
Price Includes
  • Domestic airfares
  • Hotel accommodation with breakfasts
  • A la carte lunches as itinerary specifies
  • Private English-speaking guides
  • Private drivers & air-conditioned vehicles
  • Entrance fees to tourist sites
  • Yangtze River cruise with full board
Price Excludes
  • International airfares
  • Entry Visa fees
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips or gratuities for guides and drivers
Why Travel With Us
Other level available for this itinerary:
  • Our Customer Reviews
  • Questions & Answers
Earlier Booking, Bigger Savings!
10% off - book 60 days in advance
5% off - book 30 days in advance