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16 Days Yangtze Cruise Tour

Day 1 Beijing
Arrive in Beijing, China's capital city, you are met and transferred to your hotel.

Day 2 Beijing (B, L)
Explore the landmarks of imperial Beijing: the famous Tian'anmen Square, which is also the largest public square in the world; the imposing Forbidden City, a treasure trove of art and heirlooms which has as many as 999 rooms; and the breezy landscapes of the Summer Palace, still much as they were during the court of Empress Dowager.

Day 3 Beijing (B, L, D)
With its various segments stretching nearly 4,000 miles across the rugged terrain of northern China, the Great Wall is truly a world wonder. Today's visit will allow ample time to linger at the site, photograph it from dramatic perspectives, and contemplate the resilience of the ancient people who toiled under the harshest conditions to erect the wall entirely by hand. Continue to the Ming Tombs, burial site of the Ming Dynasty's roytitley before returning to the city for a delicious Peking duck dinner.

Day 4  Beijing - Xi'an (B, L, D)
In the morning, visit the Temple of Heaven, where dynastic Chinese rulers historically worshipped the Emperor of Heaven and prayed for bountiful harvests. It was a critical task for all emperors to perform rituals and tasks in order for his empire to reap successful harvests and good fortune. This remarkable construction is pledged highest level of Chinese traditional architecture. After lunch, you'll explore the fascinating ancient Hutong neighborhoods. Your tour will lead you through some of the best-reserved Hutong neighborhoods that most represented the history, culture and lifestyles of old Beijing. Your journey continues with a short flight to the ancient city of Xi'an in the evening.

Day 5 Xi'an (B, L, SD)
Xi'an was the cradle of ancient Chinese civilization dating back to 4,000 BC, and the capital city for eleven dynasties up to the 9th century. Tour the highlights of the city and outskirts today, none more spectacular than the army of Terra Cotta Soldiers buried around the tomb of Emperor Qin for 22 centuries, but hidden beneath the earth until their discovery in 1974. Also explore Shaanxi Provincial Museum, the landmark Big Wild Goose Pagoda, and Ming-era City Gate. This evening, enjoy a dazzling dinner banquet and stage show at the Tang Dynasty Theater.

Day 6 Xi'an - Chongqing - Yangtze Cruise (B, L, SD)
A morning flight takes you to Chongqing. After a brief city tour, board the comfortable cruise ship that will carry you along one of the world's great scenic waterways, the Yangtze River. Settle into the cabin and acquaint yourself with its many modern facilities. Victoria Cruises

Day 7 Yangtze Cruise - Fengdu (B, L, D)
Depart this morning for an unforgettable cruise down the fabled Yangtze River. Enjoy the river scenery and an array of shipboard activities. Go ashore in Fengdu, the folkloric "Ghost City", with its eerie temples and ghostly depictions.

Day 8 Yangtze Cruise - Two Gorges - Three Little Gorges or Shennong Stream (B, L, D)
Continue through ever-changing rural panoramas into the first of the famous Three Gorges, Qutang Gorge, the shortest, but by far the most dramatic with its gentle bluff banks lined with ancient plank pathways. Board small vessels for a breathtaking voyage on the Daning River to its Three Small Gorges, each covered with greenery and alive with the calls of birds and monkeys or sail through the beautiful Shennong Stream known for lush pine gorges and translucent water. In the late afternoon sail to Wu Gorge, second of the three main gorges and noted for its stunning "Twelve Peaks".

Day 9 Yangtze Cruise - Xiling Gorge - Three Gorges Dam (B, L, D)
A thrilling final day of sailing through Xiling Gorge, the longest of the Three Gorges and a rushing passage of rapids embraced by emerald terraced hills. Shore excursion will feature the new Three Gorges Dam site, the world's largest construction project, set for completion in 2009. View the diversion channel, Xiling Bridge and a small scale model and visit the highest point for viewing the site. Disembark in Yichang and drive for one hour to the Yichang airport where you'll take the afternoon flight to Shanghai, the cosmopolitan port city near where the Yangtze spills into the East China Sea.

Day 10 Shanghai (B, L, D)
Immerse in the culture and sophistication of Shanghai on a full day tour of the city's premier sights. Wander the lovely paths and pavilions of the 500-year-old Yuyuan Garden; stroll the riverfront Bund; and view all manners of Chinese arts displayed in the astounding galleries of the new Shanghai Museum. Return to the hotel at day's end to prepare for a thrilling show of the Shanghai Acrobats.

Day 11 Shanghai - Guilin (B, L)
Fly to Guilin, China's most scenic city that best known for its immortal stone mountains and fantastic caves. Enjoy an afternoon outing to the Fubo Hill and the Reed Flute Cave, another scenic spot in Guilin. Pay attention to the music the vendors make as they blow their flutes constructed from the actual reeds that grow outside the cave. Enjoy the radiating lights that illuminate the natural rock formation and stone pillars along the zigzag pathway within the cave full of historic treasures.

Day 12 Guilin (B, L, SD)
Board a riverboat for a full-day Lijiang River cruise. The cruise meanders down streams and through lush green valleys, bamboo groves, and hundreds of fairy-like rock formations. Along the way, you are rewarded with scenes of a multitude of waterfront and farming activities, and the fascinating sight of fishermen using cormorant birds to catch fish. Conclude the day with a dinner and a show highlighting Guilin's ethnic cultures.

Day 13 Guilin - Hong Kong (B, L)
A short flight takes you to Hong Kong, "the Pearl of the Orient". Now a special administrative zone of China, this former British colony remains as vibrant and forward-looking as ever.

Day 14 Hong Kong (B)
This morning, we go to take the Star Ferry to cross the Victoria Harbor, and take the Peak Tram, which was built in 1888 and is still the steepest train in the world. Looking down from The Victoria Peak you'll be amazed by the spectacular view of the surrounding city skyline, the world-famous Victoria Harbour and Kowloon, towering skyscrapers and peaceful green hillsides. Then a scenic drive takes you past Repulse Bay to the colorful floating community of Aberdeen, and vibrant Stanley Market, a favorite bargain shopping area.

Day 15 Hong Kong (B)
Enjoy a free day for shopping and sightseeing as you wish. Our representatives will be on hand to assist with your plans.

Day 16 Hong Kong - USA (B)
Bid farewell to China as you fly aboard your selected airline home.

Hotel Accommodations:
Beijing New Otani Hotel
Xi'an Sheraton Hotel
Cruise Line Victoria Cruises
Shanghai Central Hotel
Guilin Royal Garden Hotel
Hong Kong Regal Kowloon Hotel

Price: $2,900 Single Supplement: $1,190

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