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Essential Plus Cruise

Small Group Tour

Essential Plus Cruise

Experience China on land and water

Enjoy a relaxing cruise along the Yangtze River, the longest river in Asia, and arguably the most picturesque. See the sights in the illustrious capital of Beijing, followed by the historical city of Xian, the ancient capital, and the spell-binding Terracotta Warriors. Finally, the vibrant city of Shanghai will bring you to China’s present.

Olympic Park Beijing China
ancient city walls xian china
pudong skyline shanghai china

Locations you will be visiting

  • BeijingTemple of Heaven china

    Beijing, China

    Discover the sights and traditions for Beijing with this handy destination guide.

    3 Days

  • Ancient City Wall xian china

    Xian, China

    Discover the sights and traditions for Xian with this handy destination guide.

    2 Days

  • Chongqing city view china

    Chongqing, China

    Discover the sights and traditions for Chingqing with this handy destination guide.

    1 Day

  • 3 Gorges yangtze china

    The Yangtze River, China

    Discover the sights and traditions for the Yangtze River with this handy destination guide.

    3 Days

  • pudong skyline shanghai china

    Shanghai, China

    Discover the sights and traditions for Shanghai with this handy destination guide.

    2 Days

YOUR TOUR ITINERARY

Essential Plus Cruise

12 day Tour Itinerary

An overview of your trip

DAY 1 Fly to Beijing

Take your scheduled flight from London to Beijing. Alternatively, we can arrange departures from your local airport.

  • Transport: Airplane
DAY 2 Arrive Beijing

Upon arrival, our representative will meet and arrange your transfer to your hotel for a three night stay. In the afternoon, there is time to relax, or explore the surrounding area.

DAY 3 Beijing City Tour

Your tour begins after breakfast, with a visit to the Temple of Heaven – where the Ming and Qing emperors worshipped the god of heaven and prayed for good harvests for the year. Here you can witness the tradition of Tai Chi being practiced in the courtyard, which is followed by a stroll through Tiananmen Square, and continues to the Forbidden City which served as the grand imperial palace for centuries. Your final stop of the day will be at the Hutongs. Here, you will gain a personal insight into the everyday life of traditional Beijing citizens.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
DAY 4 Great Wall

Enjoy a good breakfast at the hotel before your visit to the Great Wall at Mutianyu, a part of the wall with breathtaking views in a less crowded atmosphere. Mutianyu was built in the mid-6th century and its rich history can be observed in its unique construction. Back to the city and an opportunity for photographs at the Birds Nest Stadium and Water Cube, venues for the memorable 2008 Olympics and 2015 World Championships. In the evening, enjoy a fabulous Peking Duck Dinner, in the place that gave it its name!

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 5 Beijing to Xian

This morning visit the Summer Palace, which includes a grand collection of lakes, gardens, palaces and scenic views, followed by a relaxing boat ride on the beautiful Kunming Lake, before catching your bullet train to Xian (approx. 5 hours 30 minutes) and checking into your hotel.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Transport: Bullet Train
DAY 6 Terracotta Warriors

Today your guide will take you to visit the Terracotta Warriors, a stunning collection of 10,000 life size statues of the Chinese army, made over 2,000 years ago, yet preserved almost perfectly. This will be followed, in the afternoon, with a visit to Xian’s ancient city wall, best enjoyed as a peaceful stroll or lei- surely bike ride. This evening you will sample a delicious dumpling dinner while enjoying the Tang Dynasty Show, a colourful performance of traditional music and dance.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 7 Xian to Chongqing

Following breakfast, visit China’s unique architectural style at the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, before your last stop in Xian in the Muslim Quarter, and your chance to witness local life in the community. In the evening enjoy dinner in a local restaurant before boarding your 5* ship for the start of your cruise along the majestic Yangtze River.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Transport: Airplane
DAY 8 Chongqing and Yangtze River Cruise

On the first day of the cruise, you can relax while the ship meanders along the Yangtze, and enjoy the scenic views. There is an excursion to see the impressive wooden pagoda Shibaozhai, and an enjoyable journey on a small motorboat through the tranquil Goddess Stream included. All meals will be served on board the vessel.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Transport: Cruise
DAY 9 Yangtze River Cruise

Enjoy the cruise.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Transport: Cruise
DAY 10 Yangtze River Cruise and to Shanghai

As you make your way to Yichang, there is a chance to visit The Three Gorges Dam, before lunch on board. On arrival, transfer to the station for your bullet train to Shanghai, and a two night stay.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Transport: Cruise, Bullet train
DAY 11 Shanghai City Tour

Enjoy a hotel breakfast before the start of your Shanghai City Tour. The stops include the Yu Yuan Gardens, a horticulturists dream, followed by the impressive Jade Buddha Temple, and the fascinating Shanghai Museum. Then there is the opportunity to admire the city’s contrasting architectural styles on a stroll along the Bund, before marvelling at the cityscape from the observatory at the top of the Shanghai World Financial Centre.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
DAY 12 Fly to UK

Breakfast will be followed by your transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK.

  • Meals included: Breakfast
  • Transport: Airplane
Optional Extras - Cultural Experiences

There is some free time in your itinerary for you to explore on your own, or treat yourself to an excursion. Use the links below to create a to-do list, or, if you’d prefer us to book you onto one of these or any other excursions, please let us know when booking your tour.

  • colourful Beijing opera china
    China

    China: Beijing Opera

    Delight at a performance of traditional Beijing Opera

    View this package
  • Tai Chi on the Bund shanghai china
    China

    China: Tai Chi Lesson

    Practise this ancient martial art with a Tai Chi lesson

    View this package
  • tea performer china
    China

    China: Tea Tasting

    Appreciate the varying blends of Chinese tea at a tasting

    View this package
  • caligraphy china
    China

    China: Calligraphy Lesson

    Create your own piece with a class in Chinese caligraphy

    View this package

Sample Accommodation

4★ Xinqiao Hotel, Beijing

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4★ Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel, Xian

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5★ Victoria Cruises, Yanngtze River

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4★ Holiday Inn Express, Shanghai

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Your holiday details
Departures and Prices 2024 and 2025
Depart Return Days Price from Availability Reservation
Depart02/09/2024 Return13/09/2024 Day12 Depart£3,625 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart09/09/2024 Return20/09/2024 Day12 Depart£3,625 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart07/10/2024 Return18/10/2024 Day12 Depart£3,625 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart14/10/2024 Return25/10/2024 Day12 Depart£3,625 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart04/11/2024 Return15/11/2024 Day12 Depart£3,425 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart10/03/2025 Return21/03/2025 Day12 Depart£3,575 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart14/04/2025 Return25/04/2025 Day12 Depart£3,675 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart05/05/2025 Return16/05/2025 Day12 Depart£3,675 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart12/05/2025 Return23/05/2025 Day12 Depart£3,675 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart01/09/2025 Return12/09/2025 Day12 Depart£3,725 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart08/09/2025 Return19/09/2025 Day12 Depart£3,725 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart06/10/2025 Return17/10/2025 Day12 Depart£3,725 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart13/10/2025 Return24/10/2025 Day12 Depart£3,725 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation
Depart03/11/2025 Return14/11/2025 Day12 Depart£3,575 AvailabilitySpaces available Reservation

Single supplement from £675

Land only from £2,475
(without international flights)

Prices and products are subject to availability at the time of booking.

This tour itinerary is also available as a Private Tour. Please ask for more details.

China: Essential Plus Cruise
price
from
£3,425
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What's included:
  • International flights in economy class departing from London Heathrow with British Airways. Regional departures and flight upgrades are available on request
  • Domestic flights in economy class
  • Bullet train in first class
  • 4★ accommodation based on twin share
  • Transfers
  • English speaking guides
  • Meals as stated
  • Entrance fees to the sites listed
  • Airport taxes
  • Local tips: RMB525 (approx. £59) per person,
  • RMB150 (approx £18 ) per person tips aboard the Yangtze Cruise,
  • Personal spending
  • Travel insurance
  • China visa and fees

When making an enquiry or reservation we will request your contact details, however no payment will be required at this stage. We will contact you for payment details and to confirm your booking, your details and the details of those travelling with you along with any extras you’d like to add.

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