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Highlights of China and The Yangtze

11 Days 1 Country 5 Cities

See the classic symbols of China, including the Great Wall and giant pandas, in this Country Explorer trip.

"Most amazing holiday I ever had"


About this trip

See the classic symbols of China – the Great Wall, giant pandas, Terracotta Warriors, and ancient Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai – as you cross the country and take in its celebrated cities.

You'll enjoy Insider moments like… discovering an insider's view of the Three Gorges, on a relaxing three-night cruise of the mighty Yangtze River. And listening to the history of the Shibao Pagoda, as you explore the hallways of this ancient temple.

Trip type: Cruise Rail and Combos i

Trip code: CYA

10 Nights


27 Meals
  • 10 buffet breakfasts.

  • 9 lunches (including Be My Guest).

  • 8 dinners.

On trip-transport

No further information available

Highlights of China and The Yangtze

Your Itinerary

1. Arrive Beijing (3 Nights)

Welcome to Beijing. Upon arrival your Travel Director will escort you to your luxurious hotel and will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about the exciting days ahead.

Ritz-Carlton Beijing

2. Beijing Sightseeing

Begin your exploration of Beijing with a Local Specialist at Tiananmen Square, the gateway to the Forbidden City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stroll through the square and enter the Forbidden City, an 180 acre precinct of China's historic emperors. Built in the 15th century, the complex grew to encompass palaces, gardens and quarters for the imperial family, and offices for bureaucrats. Later, embark on a unique tour by rickshaw through the hutongs, the historic neighbourhoods of Old Beijing. Stop outside a traditional courtyard home and be invited in to join a local family for a Be My Guest lunch featuring traditional Chinese cuisine. This evening enjoy a Welcome Dinner with wine, consisting of succulent Peking Duck, a signature dish of the city.

Buffet Breakfast
Be My Guest Dining
Welcome Reception

3. Beijing and the Great Wall

Walk along a section of the legendary Great Wall with a Local Specialist. The UNESCO-designated site was originally built in the 6th century to keep out invaders from the north. It is now regarded as one of the most outstanding man-made wonders of the world. Back in Beijing; spend the evening enjoying a spectacular show at the Red Theatre. The show combines kung fu prowess with acrobatics and dance; it's the best performance in town.

Buffet Breakfast

4. Beijing sightseeing – Xi’an (2 Nights)

Start the day touring the Temple of Heaven with a Local Specialist, a UNESCO-designated site completed in the 15th century. A masterpiece of architectural and landscape design, it has influenced architecture throughout China for centuries. Visit the giant pandas at the Beijing Zoo. After lunch, fly to the ancient city of Xi'an, and settle into your hotel.

Buffet Breakfast
The Hilton Xi'an

5. Xi’an Sightseeing

Venture out with a Local Specialist during a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site of the legendary army of Terracotta Warriors and Horses. Twenty-four centuries ago, China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, was entombed with a vast army of warriors and horses made of clay. The large tomb complex lay undisturbed until the 20th century, when it became one of the most astonishing archaeological finds ever recorded. Visit the museum where some of these figures are exhibited and learn how they were created. See the massive defensive wall built around Xi'an by the first Ming emperor in the 15th century. In the evening, indulge in a lovely traditional Regional Meal—complete with chou-jiu, a milky rice wine served warm—and a cultural performance that re-creates the music, folk dances, and traditional costumes of the Tang Dynasty.

Buffet Breakfast
Regional Meal

6. Xi’an – Chongqing – Yangtze River cruise (3 Nights)

Visit the seven-story Big Wild Goose Pagoda with a Local Specialist. The site has been sacred to Buddhists since the 7th century; tradition says that throwing coins from the pagoda's windows will bring good luck. Enjoy a sumptuous dumpling Regional Meal before flying to Chongqing to board your luxurious ship and begin your Yangtze River cruise.

Buffet Breakfast
Regional Meal
M/V Century Paragon

7. Cruising the Yangtze River

Though the Yangtze is over 6300 kilometres long, the 120 kilometres known as the Three Gorges is famous for its unrivalled scenery. Every view is a picture straight out of China's iconic water-colour illustrations. The ship will stop at Shibao Pagoda, a colourful temple built into the side of a steep hill that is now an island as a result of rising waters from the Three Gorges Dam. Explore the site with a Local Specialist. Enjoy a Captain's Welcome Reception with wine in the evening.

Buffet Breakfast
Welcome Reception

8. Cruising the Yangtze River

Board a small boat with a Local Specialist for a cruise down the Shennong Stream, a pristine tributary of the Yangtze, to explore the beautiful landscape of the Wu Gorge. Later in the day, your ship will navigate the enormous locks of the Three Gorges Dam. In the evening, a Farewell Dinner with wine will be served.

Buffet Breakfast
Farewell Dinner

9. Yichang – Shanghai (2 Nights)

Before disembarking in Yichang, visit the world's largest hydroelectric project, the Three Gorges Dam, with a Local Specialist. Then catch a flight to Shanghai, settle into your hotel on the 'Bund' and relax over a delicious dinner.

Buffet Breakfast
Waldorf Astoria Shanghai

10. Shanghai Sightseeing

Stroll along the 'Bund' with a Local Specialist. Admire the view of the Pudong district with its spectacular skyscrapers from Shanghai's famed waterfront promenade. After savouring a tasty traditional dim sum Regional Meal, browse through the shops in the district. In the evening, be dazzled by the world-renowned Shanghai Acrobats.

Buffet Breakfast
Regional Meal

11. Depart Shanghai

Transfer to the airport for your flight home, or continue your holiday with an extension to Hong Kong.

Buffet Breakfast

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What's Included

Sightseeing Highlights

    • City tour of Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai

    • Visit Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and the Great Wall in Beijing and the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an

    • Cruise along the Yangtze through the Three Gorges

    • View the ancient City Wall in Xi'an

What's Included


    • 10 buffet breakfasts.

    • 9 lunches
      (including Be My Guest).

    • 8 dinners.

What's Included

Travel Highlights

    • Luxury air-conditioned coach or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)

    • Hand-picked 4 or 5 star accommodation

    • Hand-picked Insider Experiences

    • Optional Experiences and free time

    • All porterage and restaurant gratuities

    • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras

    • An expert Travel Director and separate Driver

    • Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing

    Airport Transfers

  • Specific transfer information can be found on the airport transfers page

Why Trafalgar?

The Trafalgar Experience

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Enjoy the wonder of travel, crisscrossing the globe through the seasons. On effortless adventures in breathtaking new horizons, forge lifelong friendships and memories. Our lovingly crafted itineraries are a fascinating mosaic of cultures, flavours, festivals and local stories. We’re with you all the way, guiding you and ensuring you experience the real thing: the sheer love of travel, entirely hassle-free.

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"Is simply the best way to position what our guests love to experience and what we love to deliver" - Gavin Tollman CEO


Meet warm-hearted locals and like-minded travellers. Along your journey of discovery, stop to share stories and flavours with local farmers, chefs and winemakers. Pause to admire the handicrafts and rich traditions of amazing artisans. Explore the essence of Europe through captivating accounts shared by expert historians and savvy local guides.


Travelling with your tastebuds, treating them to new flavours, spices and textures along the way. From the very first breakfast to the last nightcap, travelling through Europe indulges your palate, with every meal an opportunity to discover regional fare. Savour each new flavour, try the local tipple and take home fresh culinary inspiration. Let us share our love for food and hospitality with you.


Once you've packed your suitcase, we take care of the rest, removing all your concerns so that you can be secure in the knowledge that an award-winning global company with an impeccable reputation has taken care of every little detail. We arrange everything you'll need along your journey - meals, accommodation and travel logistics, because we are with you all the way. Travel the world with peace of mind, knowing you’re in the hands of Trafalgar.

Highlights of China and The Yangtze

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11 days, 5 cities

Highlights of China and The Yangtze

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Beijing, China


Shanghai, China

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  • Twin-share option
  • Land only price
  • Flights available

This trip is not currently available to purchase through this website.

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Please ensure that you have read all our Notes before you buy this trip.

    Visas are required for China.Flights: Prices include internal airfares and taxes for flights: Beijing to Xi'an, Xi'an to Chongqing and Yichang to Shanghai.Note: This itinerary is operated by our sister company Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection. Ship staff and crew gratuities will be charged to your on-board account, which can be adjusted if required by request at the end of your cruise. Substitute visits to other sites may occur during your trip due to operational reasons. Ship and hotels are subject to change.
  • Trip prices are per person, land only, based on double occupancy and reflect applicable discount. Discounts are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice.
  • Trip prices are correct at the time of the products going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however are subject to change - please confirm all details at time of booking.
  • For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Website Terms of Use page.
  • Twin-share option not available for trips to South America, Costa Rica, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii or for any holiday & cruise combination, or in Asia and Eastern Mediterranean except Highlights of Turkey (without cruise) & Best of Turkey. It's also not available on Small Group trips.  Guided Vacations included in this restriction are Newfoundland and Labrador (DNLA) as well as Panama, the Canal & Beyond (LPAN).  
  • For trips that are part of our Guaranteed Room Share, please note that there is a no smoking policy in all shared rooms. Solo travel is not accepted on guided Family Experiences holidays unless travelling as part of a family group. 

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