HIGHLIGHTS OF CHINA & THE YANGTZE RIVER

HIGHLIGHTS OF CHINA & THE YANGTZE RIVER

HOST: ANNI DELIMA
 
As the longest river in China, the Yangtze River offers a picturesque collection of age old history and culture that has prevailed for centuries.
 
This complete hosted tour features the Yangtze River cruise on a luxury ship complete with shore excursions, vibrant metropolitan Shanghai, the world class city of Suzhou, the charming water towns of eastern China, and the imperial city of Beijing.

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Highlights:

Shanghai - Suzhou - Wuxi - Hangzhou - Yichang - Yangtze River cruise - Chongqing - Beijing

Includes:

* Roundtrip airfare
• Plaza Premium airport lounge pass
• Domestic flights
• Nine nights 4-star hotel accommodation
• Cruise: four nights Yangtze River sailing onboard President 7
• 13 breakfasts, 11 lunches, and eight dinners
• Sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary
• Private motor coach transportation
• Local English-speaking tour guide
• Merit Travel tour host**
• All taxes and gratuities

Level of support:

Merit Travel Hosted

Related Services Available to Add:

13 nights

$3,650* p.p.


Activity Level:
Out & About

Group size: 24 maximum

Departs Toronto/Vancouver:
Oct. 20, 2019


OPTIONAL TWO-NIGHT XI’AN EXTENSION
Nov. 3 to 5, 2019
$895* p.p.

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View Itinerary

DAY 1 | Oct. 20, 2019 | Toronto/Vancouver - Shanghai
Depart Toronto or Vancouver for your overnight flight to Shanghai.
China Eastern Airlines flight MU208 departs Toronto at 3:25 p.m. arrives Shanghai at 7:20 p.m. the following day.
Or China Eastern Airlines flight MU582 departs Vancouver at 1:20 p.m. arrives Shanghai at 4:35 p.m. the following day.



DAY 2 | Oct. 21, 2019 | Shanghai
Upon arrival in Shanghai you will meet your local tour guide at the airport and transfer to the hotel.
Accommodation at Wyndham Bund East Shanghai or similar (2 nights)



DAY 3 | Oct. 22, 2019 | Shanghai (B, L)
Shanghai is the vibrant metropolis and commercial centre of China.
Today you will visit the Shanghai Museum where dynasties of ancient Chinese art, furniture, and jade are on display.
Then we’ll visit the Shanghai Old City God Temple area, a busy shopping centre where you will find souvenirs and delicious local delicacies.
In the afternoon, you are free to enjoy some time to explore, and perhaps walk along the Bund, a mile-long pedestrian boardwalk along the Huangpu River which passes the Old French Quarter and has views across the river to one of Shanghai’s central business districts and the Pearl Tower.
OPTIONAL EXCURSION: Night Cruise on the Huangpu River ($65 pp)
Taking a cruise along the Huangpu River, is a fabulous way to see the lights and bustle of Shanghai at night. On one side of the river, there is the Bund and the French Quarter, lining the boulevard of the waterfront with grandiose buildings dating back to the early 19th century. On the other side is modern Shanghai where the Pearl Tower is front and centre amidst high end hotels, skyscrapers and brightly lit advertisements.



DAY 4 | Oct. 23, 2019 | Shanghai - Suzhou (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we travel by coach to Suzhou. Suzhou is also known as the “Garden City” due to its many classical gardens renowned for their charming natural beauty and harmonious construction.
We will also visit the Lingering Garden known to be one the finest gardens in China. Suzhou is known as “Venice of the East” as a large area of the city is covered by water with a vast number of ponds and streams.
OPTIONAL EXCURSION: Grand Canal cruise ($40 pp)
Cruise along the canal to view life along a typical Chinese waterway.
Then, visit a Silk Spinning Mill, and learn how silk is created from mulberry-munching silkworms to produce the finest thread and cloth.
Accommodation at suzhou Qingshan Hotel or similar (1 night)



DAY 5 | Oct. 24, 2019 | Suzhou - Wuxi (B, L)
This morning travel by coach to Wuxi, one of the oldest cities in China with a history of more than 3,000 years. We’ll visit one of the largest fresh water pearl farms in the country, followed by the Lingshan Grand Buddha.
Later, we’ll stroll along Nanchang street, a fashionable pedestrian street composed of both ancient and modern architectural styles.
Accommodation at Swiss-Belhotel Liyuan Wuxi or similar (1 night)



DAY 6 | Oct. 25, 2019 | Wuxi - Hangzhou (B, L, D)
After breakfast we will travel by coach to Hangzhou, described by Marco Polo as “the most beautiful and magnificent city in the world”.
We will experience an oriental tea-tasting at the Dragon Well Tea Plantation and take a boat ride on the serene West Lake, the most renowned feature of Hangzhou, for its scenic beauty which blends with many famous historical and cultural sites.
OPTIONAL EXCURSION: Impression West Lake ($115 pp)
This is one of China’s top live-action performances, featuring the local culture and unique charm of West Lake in Hangzhou, and famous for its dreamlike and fantastic elegance. The show was created by Zhang Yimou, China’s most famous movie director and general director of the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Accommodation at Jinma Palace Hotel Hangzhou or similar (1 night)



DAY 7 | Oct. 26, 2019 | Hangzhou - Shanghai - Yichang (B, L, D)
Today we travel by coach to Shanghai, and then fly to Yichang, the starting point of your Yangtze River Cruise. In the evening we board the luxury President 7 cruise and receive a welcome orientation.
Tour guests have the chance to purchase the onboard VIP package.
OPTIONAL PACKAGE: Yangtze River Onboard VIP Package ($130 pp)
• Cabin assigned on deck 4 or 5
• Free coffee, tea and snacks during happy hour in the afternoon
• Enjoy all meals at the VIP restaurant and à la carte where available (à la carte meals need to be paid separately)
• Wine, beer and soft drinks during lunch and dinner
• Express check-in and check-out
• Room turn-down service
• Welcome fruit basket in cabin
• VIP area reserved for evening entertainment
• Free sauna and swimming
• Two hours free internet per sailing



DAY 8 | Oct. 27, 2019 | Yangtze River cruise (B, L, D)
The Yangtze River adventure begins this morning, when we disembark at Taipingxi or Sandouping. We will visit the Three Gorges Dam Project, the world's largest dam. We then cruise through Xiling Gorge, the longest of the Three Gorges.



DAY 9 | Oct. 28, 2019 | Yangtze River cruise (B, L, D)
Today we disembark at Wushan where we board small riverboats for a leisurely ride through Shennong Streams picturesque rock formations, spotting playful monkeys and goats along the river banks.
Later, we cruise onwards through Wu Gorge, famous for its quiet beauty, and the Qutang Gorge, the shortest and most dramatic of the Three Gorges.



DAY 10 | Oct. 29, 2019 | Yangtze River cruise (B, L, D)
Today we enjoy a shore excursion to Shibaozhai. The Shibaozhai Pagoda is a 12-storey, 18th century temple built in Zhongxian Province on the northern bank of the Yangtze River and represents one of the unique gems of Chinese Architecture.



DAY 11 | Oct. 30, 2019 | Chongqing - Beijing (B, L, D)
This morning we disembark the cruise at the port of Chongqing, visiting Ciqikou Old Town, where history can be traced back for more than 1,700 years.
Afterwards, you may choose to visit the Panda House at the Chongqing Zoo, before flying to Beijing, China’s capital city.
OPTIONAL EXCURSION: Panda House ($50 pp)
The Chongqing Zoo was built in 1953 and lies in the southern suburb of Chongqing. It occupies an area of 45 hectares (112 acres), making it one of the biggest urban zoos in China. The panda house alone is about 2 hectares (5 acres) in size. The zoo is home to more than 230 different animal species, and houses more than 6,000 animals.
Accommodation at Ramada Beijing North or similar (4 nights)



DAY 12 | Oct. 31, 2019 | Beijing (B, L)
Beijing has served as the capital of five dynasties over a period of 800 years. Today, we will visit Tiananmen Square, the second largest public square in the world, and the Forbidden City, the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming to Qing dynasty. Then we continue to the Jingshan Chinese Herbal Institute and learn about traditional Chinese medicine, which has existed for thousands of years.
OPTIONAL EXCURSION: The Golden Mask Dynasty ($85 pp)
“The Golden Mask Dynasty” is an original Chinese musical drama which tells a mythical fairy tale-like story of war, royal banquets, and romance.
The large-scale production includes more than 200 performances and features Chinese dances, acrobatics, costumes, and lighting and acoustics, representing a soul-stirring and romantic “great love and harmony” legend!



DAY 13 | Nov. 1, 2019 | Beijing (B, L, D)
Today’s highlight is an excursion to the majestic Great Wall, the most famous icon representing China, where you will also have an opportunity to climb a portion of this 3,700-mile marvel.
We continue to one of the largest jade exhibitions for some shopping or exploring.
After lunch, you will see skilled artisans at work at a Cloisonné factory, before passing by the Olympic Bird’s Nest and Water Cube, iconic feature sporting venues of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
This evening, a farewell banquet will be held featuring Peking roast duck, a local delicious delicacy.



DAY 14 | Nov. 2, 2019 | Beijing (B)
Today, you are free to enjoy at your leisure, exploring, shopping or relaxing, there are tour options available to join such as visiting the Temple of Heaven or Hutong Life tour with lunch.
OPTIONAL EXCURSION: Temple of Heaven & Hutong Life tour with lunch ($100 pp) The Temple of Heaven, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was the preferred venue for hosting annual ceremonies of prayer for good harvest, by the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasty.
Then enjoy a famous rickshaw Hutong tour & visit a local family for a traditional Beijing zhajiang mian (‘fried sauce noodles’) lunch. Hutongs are traditional alley ways that made up Beijing’s old city, and the rickshaws allow a glimpse into the old way of life and traditional Beijing culture.



DAY 15 | Nov. 3, 2019 | Beijing - Toronto/Vancouver (B)
Today depart to the airport for your flight home. China Eastern Airlines flight MU5183 departs Beijing 7:25 a.m. arrives Shanghai 9:55 a.m. connecting with China Eastern Airlines flight MU207 departs Shanghai at 12:05 p.m. arrives Toronto 1:25 p.m.
Or China Eastern Airlines flight MU581 departs Shanghai at 1:30 p.m. arrives Vancouver at 8:10 p.m.
Optional two-night Xi'an extension.



DAY 15 | Nov. 3, 2019 | Beijing - Xi'an (L, D)
Today we fly to Xi’an, the first Chinese city to open its doors to the world during the Tang dynasty. Over a period of more than 2,000 years, Xi’an was the capital for eleven dynasties.
Upon arrival, you will visit the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum and see the attached life-sized defending army to the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. This site is regarded as the Eighth Wonder of the World and is among the top archaeological excavations of the 20th century.
Continue with a visit to an Art Ceramics Factory before we enjoy the special local Imperial Dumpling Banquet Dinner and the traditional Tang dynasty singing and dancing show.



DAY 16 | Nov. 4, 2019 | Xi'an (B, L, D)
Today we visit the Shanxi Provincial Historical Museum and enjoy a local noodle lunch with a noodle-making demonstration.
After lunch, we visit the Ancient City Wall which is not only the most complete city wall that has survived in China, but also one of the largest and most complete ancient military defense systems in the world.
Continue with a visit to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, the symbol of the city. It is said to have been built to house and protect Buddhist criptures collected by the Chinese monk, Xuan Zang, the key figure in the classical Chinese novel, “Journey to the West”.



DAY 17 | Nov. 5, 2019 | Xi'an - Shanghai - Toronto/Vancouver (B)
After breakfast you will fly to Shanghai for your international flight home.

Location Map:


*CDN$ p.p. dbl. occ. Taxes included. Single supplement: $1,095. Not included: China visa fee (approx. $200 p.p.). Two-night optional Xi’an extension single supplement: $250 p.p. Airfare available from most Canadian airports, please enquire. **Minimum 16 passengers required for a Merit Travel tour host.

® Merit Travel trademark owned by, and use is granted by, Merit Travel Group Inc. Offers are based on availability and may be subject to change. Certain exclusions, limitations and restrictions may apply. For full terms and conditions visit, https://merittravel.com/terms-and-conditions/.

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