Day 1: New Zealand – – Chengdu
Grab your passport and head to the airport to catch a flight to Chengdu, China. You will be met on arrival and transferred to the hotel. There is some time to relax before the first full day of touring tomorrow.
Day 2: Chengdu (B,L)
Your tour begins with a visit to one of China’s most adorable icons: the panda. Head to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding and see these beautiful creatures roaming in their semi-wild habitats. Then move to Jinli Old Street to admire its traditional architecture.
Optional: Sichuan Opera
Embrace an important element of Chengdu culture this evening by attending an operatic performance. This event includes singing, martial arts, fire breathing and pottery juggling. Additional cost applies.
Day 3: Chengdu – Yichang (B,D)
Travel from Chengdu to Yichang aboard a high-speed bullet train. Once you have arrived in Yichang, you will board the ship that will be your home for the next 4 nights while on the Yangtze river cruise.
Day 4: Yangtze River Cruise (B,L,D)
Begin your first morning cruising the Yangtze river by partaking in an early Tai chi session and follow it up with an excursion to the Three Gorges Dam site. You’re sure to be struck by the scale of the site; it is the largest hydropower project in the world, after all. Return to the ship for this evening’s welcome banquet dinner.
Optional: The Tribe of Three Gorges
Head to this scenic spot, one of only a few that remain untouched by the Three Gorges Dam work. Additional cost applies.
Day 5: Yangtze River Cruise (B,L,D)
Join a shore excursion to Lesser Three Gorges or Shennong Stream. These trips take you through narrower sections of the river and past sheer cliffs and mountains. The cruise continues sailing through the western section of Xiling Gorge.
Optional: White Emperor City
This ancient temple sits atop Baidi Mountain. Additional cost applies.
Day 6: Yangtze River Cruise (B,L,D)
Take up one of the optional excursions or relax on-board the ship today. There is a farewell dinner tonight.
Optional: Shibaozhai Pagoda
Additional cost applies.
Optional: Fengdu Ghost City
Additional cost applies.
Day 7: Disembark cruise – Chongqing – – Xian (B)
Disembark the cruise today and travel from Chongqing to Xi’an via bullet train. You will be met in Xi’an and transferred to the hotel. You have the rest of the day as leisure time.
Day 8: Xian – Terra Cotta Warriors, Moslem street (B,L)
Have an up-close encounter with one of Xi’an’s most ancient treasures: The Terracotta Army. This collection of soldiers and cavalry were built to protect the tomb of China’s first emperor, and each of the figures has undergone a painstaking repair and excavation. Take lunch with the group and then enjoy a post-meal walk along Moslem Street.
Day 9: Xian –– Beijing (B)
Board a bullet train and be whisked to China’s capital, Beijing. A guide will greet you at the station and escort you to the hotel.
Day 10: Beijing – Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City (B,L)
Set out to discover the sights and sounds of buzzing Beijing. The first stop is Tiananmen Square, one of the largest public plazas in the world. Cross the entrance into the Forbidden City for an in-depth tour that gives you an insight into this former domain of the Ming Dynasty. Afterwards, head to a silk factory outlet to learn about this luxurious textile.
Day 11: Beijing – The great Wall of China – 2008 Olympic games sites (B,L)
Head out of the Beijing city limits towards the Great Wall of China for an extraordinary morning of climbing and learning about this ancient defence structure. Move to a jade factory to learn about this precious gem before moving on to some of the sites used in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Take a load off of your feet with a traditional foot massage before returning to the hotel.
Day 12: Beijing –– Shanghai (B)
Travel from Beijing to Shanghai by bullet train. There is time to relax once you have been transferred and checked in to your hotel.
Day 13: Shanghai – Nanjing walking district, The Bund (B,L)
Hit the pavement to discover why Shanghai is China’s largest financial and commercial centre. Visit the Nanjing walking district, the Shanghai Museum and The Bund.
Optional: Huangpu River Cruise
Sail along Shanghai’s Huangpu river to admire the cityscape from the water. Additional cost applies.
Day 14: Shanghai –– Guilin (B,D)
Catch an internal flight from Shanghai to Guilin. You will be met upon arrival and transferred to the hotel where you can relax.
Day 15: Guilin – Longji (B,L)
Journey out to the rice terraces at Longji (also known as the Longsheng Rice Terrace) on a day excursion. There is a walk to the top of the mountain for an outlook over the neighbouring Zhuang and Yao minority villages. Return to Guilin later in the day.
Please note that walk on today’s itinerary is uphill and over uneven terrain. Alternate transport is available at additional cost and is payable locally.
Day 16: Guilin – Yangshuo (B,L)
It is an early start today to make the scenic drive towards Yangshuo.
Optional: Impression Sanjie Liu
Take in this performance of 600-plus actors that tells the story behind the Li River and local ethnic groups. This evening show lasts for 70 minutes. Additional cost applies.
Day 17: Yangshuo –– Guangzhou (B)
A transfer takes you to Guilin and you will travel by high-speed train to Guangzhou. Also known as Canton, Guangzhou is a busy port city famed for its quirky architecture and booming industry.
Day 18: Guangzhou – Macau – Hong Kong (B)
The tour takes you to the glittery city of Macau today. This former Portuguese territory is home to giant casinos and malls. Roll the dice on time spent in one of the casinos, or savvy shoppers will want to make a beeline for the glitzy boutiques. A transfer takes you to Hong Kong in the evening and you have the rest of the night as free time.
Day 19: Hong Kong (B)
The island of Hong Kong is a haven for food-lovers, devotees of retail therapy, and culture-vultures alike. Explore the city at your own pace today.
Day 20: Hong Kong –– New Zealand (B)
A transfer takes you to the airport at the appropriate time and you will board a flight back to New Zealand.
Day 21: New Zealand
Arrive home today.