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Beijing, Xian, Chengdu, Guilin, Yangzi River, Shanghai / Ultimate China

Think of the must see sights in China and this fourteen night journey captures them all. Your journey begins in Beijing - home to one of China’s largest ancient monuments, The Forbidden City, and base for exploring The Great Wall - before journeying onto Xian, home of the Terracotta Warriors. A short stay in Chengdu to visit the the magnificent Giant Pandas and savour on the famous spicy Sichuan cusine. Discover Guilin with its breathtaking scenery and unsurpassed beauty of the Li River. Board the Sanctuary M.S Yangzi Explorer for a three night voyage along the Yangzte River, one of the countries most scenic regions before heading to exhilarating city of Shanghai. An illuminated metropolis with fascinating architecture and the Bund on the banks of Huangpu River, it’s a wonderful contrast to the traditional charm of Zhouzhuang water village. This crossing captures the essence of China and is enhanced with stays in the finest hotels.

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Nights 14

Beijing, Xian, Chengdu, Guilin, Yangzi River, Shanghai /Itinerary

Ultimate China


Day /1

Fly to Beijing

Fly to Beijing from London Heathrow.

Day /2

Transfer to The Waldorf Astoria Beijing

Transfer to The Waldorf Astoria Beijing

On arrival you will be met by your guide and transferred to The Waldorf Astoria Beijing for a three night stay. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Waldorf Astoria

Day /3

Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, Imperial Palace

Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, Imperial Palace

Full day of sightseeing including visits to Beijing’s main imperial-era attractions. The morning will start with a visit to the vast Tiananmen Square, which is home to China’s Parliament – The Great Hall of the People. Walking through The Gate of Heavenly Peace from where Mao declared China as the People’s Republic in 1949, visit The Forbidden City, the former home to many of China’s Emperors. After lunch your visit to this magnificent city continues by visiting the Imperial Summer Palace where once again you can marvel at the opulence in which the Emperors once lived. (B,L)

Day /4

The Great Wall of China, Tombs of The Ming Dynasty Emperors

The Great Wall of China, Tombs of The Ming Dynasty Emperors

Enjoy a full day visit to The Great Wall of China and to the Tombs of the Ming Dynasty Emperors. The visit to the Great Wall will be at the relatively quieter Mutianyu section, where there will be ample opportunity to explore this section of the Wall and take in the stunning views of the surrounding countryside. After lunch at the architecturally interesting Commune by the Wall you will visit the magnificent Ming Tombs and The Sacred Way before returning to the City.(B,L)

Day /5

Beijing - Xian

Beijing - Xian

This morning visit the magnificent Temple of Heaven, where the Emperors came to pray for good harvests and today it’s where local residents come for morning exercises such as Tai Chi and Ballroom dancing! It’s a fascinating visit. From here we visit the Hutongs, the small lanes and former courtyard houses of an Old Beijing and although getting commercialized, it remains an interesting visit. After a simple lunch, transfer to the Airport for the short onward flight to Xian, you are met on arrival and transferred to the Sofitel On Remin Square for two nights.(B,L)

Sofitel Renmin Square

Day /6

Xian - The Army of Terracotta Warriors

Xian - The Army of Terracotta Warriors

Without a doubt the highlight of any visit to Xian and possibly even China is to explore the legacy of The Army of Terracotta Warriors and visit the incredible burial site, where they were discovered only recently. A full day is organized that passes by the Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shihuang and visits the Warriors themselves who stand guard over Emperor Qin’s tomb. A simple lunch is offered whilst visits are also planned to the impressive Shaanxi Museum and to the Wild Goose Pagoda. (B,L)

Day /7

Xian - Chengdu

Xian - Chengdu

This morning a visit is arranged to the Old City of Xian and where your guide will bring alive Xian’s association with the mighty Silk Road. Here, visit the old City Walls, where a short bike or buggy ride is enjoyed, The Islamic Quarter and also the Great Mosque, which is a beautiful spot in the midst of peaceful gardens. Lunch is offered. Before arriving at Xian’s Airport a visit to the fascinating Terracotta Warriors of the Han Dynasty is arranged and which date from about 80 years later than the better known ones visited yesterday. Late this afternoon fly onwards to Chengdu, on arrival you will be met by your guide and transferred to the Ritz-Carlton Chengdu for an overnight stay.(B,L)

The Ritz-Carlton Chengdu

Day /8

Chengdu - Guilin

Chengdu - Guilin

This morning visit the Giant Panda Breeding Research Institute and for the child in all of us it’s a great experience getting so close to these magnificent Bears. This is one of the world’s leading research centres on the breeding habits of Pandas. After lunch visit the main sights of Chengdu including its fascinating Daoist Temple and People’s Park, always very busy in the afternoon where you can visit to a traditional Sichuan Park tea-house. Late this afternoon fly onwards to Guilin , you will be met on arrival and transferred to the Shangri-La Hotel Guilin for a two night stay.(B,L)

Shangri La Guilin

Day /9



An early start for what will be the highlight of your visit to Guilin – a cruise down the Li River. Immediately as you set sail the scenery is imposing and over the next few hours you will be stunned by what nature can produce. Many of the hills and cliffs have names supposedly evocative of what they resemble though at times you may need some imagination! A simple lunch is served on-board. On arrival in Yangshuo, spend time looking around the town and also enjoy a gentle float down a tributary of the Li River on a traditional bamboo raft. This evening, tickets are offered for the spectacular show Impression: Sanjie Liu directed by the acclaimed Zhang Yimou before returning to the city.(B,L)

Day /10

Guilin - Chongquing

Guilin - Chongquing

Depart Guilin and transfer to Chongqing where on arrival you are met transferred to the port for the boarding of the Sanctuary M.S Yangzi for the 3 night cruise. Evening dinner is served on-board this evening and the ship sets sail late evening.(B,D)

Day /11- 12

Crusing The Yangzte River

Crusing The Yangzte River

Enjoy two days cruising down the Yangzte River on the Sanctuary M.S Yangzi Explorer. Carrying just 124 guests,the Sanctuary M.S Yangzi Explorer offers the finest and most personalised service on the river. Onboard facilities include a la carte dining, a luxury spa, an observation deck, 24-hour room service, a two-floor theatre, library, and beauty and fitness facilities. The ship also has the most spacious and indulgent spa on board any cruise vessel on the Yangzi. Guests will have the opportunity to participate in shore excursions and cultural activities. Includes all meals on board with selected beverages.

Day /13

Yichang -  Shanghai

Yichang - Shanghai

This morning, on arrival in Yichang, your guide will meet you as you disembark the Sanctuary M.S Yangzi Explorer and transfer to the Airport for your onward flight to Shanghai. On arrival, transfer to the Peninsula Hotel Shanghai for a three night stay.(B)

The Peninsula Shanghai

Day /14

Explore Shanghai

Explore Shanghai

This visit the city’s famous Bund, flanked by the magnificent buildings previously owned by the great trading houses and banks of the early 1900’s. Also visit the Yu Gardens before an afternoon visit to the excellent Shanghai Museum and the fascinating, if unimaginatively named, Urban Planning Centre. Indugle in a traditional Shanghainese cuisine at Din Tai Feng Restaurant for lunch. (B,L)

Day /15

Zhouzhuang, Chinese Gardens, Humble Administrator's Garden

Zhouzhuang, Chinese Gardens, Humble Administrator's Garden

Travel to the traditional water village of Zhouzhuang where a visit is made to one of the town’s old merchant’s houses before continuing to Suzhou. Lunch is offered at the Suzhou Pan Pacific Hotel and this afternoon, explore Suzhou’s remarkable classical Chinese style gardens, which are on the United Nations’ World Heritage List and visits are planned to The Humble Administrator’s Garden and The Garden of the Master of the Nets before returning by road to Shanghai. (B,L)

Day /16

Return to London Heathrow

Transfer to Shanghai's Pudong Airport for your flight to London Heathrow.(B)

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