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There is so much to recommend this great journey through China, offering an in-depth exploration of her best-loved highlights and lesser-known treasures, combined with a Yangtze River Cruise.
Service charge of RMB150pp (approx £15) payable on board Century Paragon. Gratuity to River Guide and Cruise Director at guest's own discretion.
Century Paragon deck upgrades from £40 per cabin per deck.
Cabin upgrades: Junior Suite from £200; Executive Suite from £375; Presidential Suite from £1065. All per person twin shared.
British Airways upgrades: World Traveller Plus from £295 one way, Club World from £1145 one way.
Metropark Causeway Bay Hotel extra night per twin/single room with buffet breakfast from £120. Private airport transfer £75 per person one way (min 2 passengers).
On Day 18 take the train to Shenzhen and drive onwards to Hong Kong to connect to your homeward flight to London Heathrow arriving around 0455 on Day 19. Refer to price panel for tour price without Hong Kong.
A Great Journey through China
Depart Heathrow at around 1645 on the British Airways non-stop flight to Beijing.
Arrive Beijing and transfer to the 4-star Jianguo Hotel or similar, described as ‘an Englishman’s club’ by a frequent visitor. Visit the quaint hutong quarter by Lake Houhai. Enjoy a welcome dinner. (D)
Visit Tiananmen Square en-route to the magnificent Forbidden City, the vast complex of palaces and pavilions which was home to successive Emperors for more than 500 years. Afternoon visit to the beautiful Summer Palace. (BL)
Admire the less-crowded and more scenic part of the Great Wall at Mutianyu. Visit the Ming-era Temple of Heaven. In the evening enjoy a traditional Peking Duck dinner. (BLD)
Visit the Lama and Confucius Temples. Fly to Xian and the 4-star (officially 5-star) Grand New World Hotel. On arrival visit the Ming City Wall. (B)
Visit one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century – the Terracotta Warriors interred with the Emperor Qin Shi Huang over 2000 years ago. Marvel at the formidable sight of 7000 individually crafted, life-sized figures, complete with horses and chariots. After lunch visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Grand Mosque and intriguing Muslim quarter. Optional evening Tang era music and dance dinner performance. (BL)
Fly to Chengdu and visit the People's Park and jointhe locals for afternoon tea. Optional Sichuan Opera performance after a dinner of typical Sichuan cuisine. Stay at the stylish M Hotel Chengdu. (BD)
Drive to Leshan and take a cruise to marvel at the magnificent Giant Buddha, hewn from the mountainside in the 8th century, and 233ft high. Back in Chengdu visit the quaint old quarter at Jinli. (BLD)
This morning see the world’s beloved Giant Pandas at the Panda Research Base. Take the train to Chongqing and board the MV Century Paragon for your 3-night cruise to Yichang. (BD)
Optional excursion to Fengdu. In days gone by Fengdu was believed to be the abode of devils and the 700 temples on Mingshan Hill with their bizarre statuary bear testimony to the city’s notoriety as the ‘City of Ghosts’. Afternoon shore visit to the quaint wooden temple of Shibaozhai. Captain’s welcome dinner. (BLD)
Pass through the shortest and narrowest gorge, Qutang Xia (8km). Mists frequently swirl around the mysterious limestone peaks in Qutang Xia, some nearly 1200 meters high, while the river rushes by, swift as an arrow. Cruise through the second gorge, Wu Xia, 44km long with its peaks rising to dizzy heights above the river. Visit the Daning River or the Shennong Stream. (BLD)
Enter the western section of Xiling Gorge. Moor at Yanjiawan for a shore visit to the Three Gorges Dam construction site, one of mankind’s greatest engineering feats to date. Resume sailing through Xiling Gorge, which, stretching 75km, is the longest of the gorges and known for its swift current and dangerous shoals. Arrive Yichang and fly to shanghai to stay at the Central Hotel for 2 nights. (B)
Visit the elegant Yuyuan Garden. Opposite are the Huxing Teahouse and the old Chinese quarter of Shanghai where cobbled streets are lined with traditional shops selling herbal medicines, handicrafts, Chinese tea and a variety of tantalising snacks. We sample a Shanghai ‘dim sum’ lunch at the quarter’s most famous restaurant and explore the quaint bazaar. Afternoon admire bird's eye views from the Oriental Pearl Tower. This evening admire the illuminated Bund and Pudong from a cruise on the Huangpu River. (BD)
Enjoy a day trip to Suzhou to explore the city's classical gardens. Explore the old town, see a silk mill and enjoy a cruise on the Grand Canal. Return to Shanghai. (BL)
Fly to Guilin and visit the Tea Research Institute. Overnight at the Bravo Hotel or similar. (B)
Take the world-renowned Li River cruise to Yangshuo and drift gently through magical landscapes. Browse through Yangshuo’s colourful shops and stay at the superb Yangshuo Resort. Admire impressive scenery at the sunset view point and enjoy a spectacular son et lumiere show performed on the river by a cast of 600. (BLD)
Morning visit to the extraordinary Silver Cave. Lunch is taken in a riverside setting. Afternoon admire magical scenery along the Yulong River with free time to relax and enjoy the beautiful rooms and setting at the resort. (BL)
Return to Guilin and take the train to Shenzhen. Drive onwards to Hong Kong and transfer to the Metropark Causeway Bay. (BL)
A short walk in the Central district shows how feng shui influences local architecture. Ascend to the middle-levels on the longest outdoor escalator, known as the ‘Heavenly Ladder’, to observe local life in the high-rise neighbourhoods with buildings dating back to Pre-World War II. Ascend the Peak by the one-hundred year-old tram for a birds-eye view of the Pearl of the Orient and enjoy lunch at superb Peak restaurant. Afternoon scenic drive to Repulse Bay. Continue to the Aberdeen Fishing Village and Stanley Market. Round off the day with the famous ferry ride to view the spectacular skyline on both sides of the harbour. (BL)
Enjoy the many other attractions of this city at your leisure. Board the late evening non-stop British Airways flight home, arriving at Heathrow at around 0455 on Day 21.
Close to the Silk Market in Beijing’s diplomatic quarter, the 4-star Jianguo Hotel offers guests an indoor pool and sauna, and rooms with IDD telephone, cable TV, minibar, air conditioning, tea & coffee making facilities and hairdryer. The Jianguo boasts a fancy French restaurant, a superb Chinese restaurant serving traditional imperial cuisine, a British-style ‘pub’ with buffet lunch and evening live music, a lobby lounge for afternoon tea overlooking the gardens, a café serving western dishes and a cake shop.
Just a 10-minute walk from Xian’s old city walls and West Gate, the 5-star Grand New World is a large, modern and comfortable hotel with rooms featuring IDD telephone, internet access, tea & coffee making facilities, cable TV, hairdryer and safe. There is also a beauty salon, massage, gym, indoor pool, sauna, business centre, restaurant and coffee shop. A good buffet breakfast is offered and both Chinese and western food is served in the hotel restaurants and coffee shop.
A great choice in Shanghai – of course very centrally-located, just off Nanjing Road. The Central Hotel is modern and smart with 319 good-sized, stylish rooms and cheerful and friendly staff. Bedrooms have cable and satellite TV, minibar, safe, internet access, air conditioning, and tea and coffee making facilities.
Over looking the Ronghu Lake, the Guilin Bravo Hotel has an intimate atmosphere and is close to night markets and shops. Spacious guest rooms and suites are equipped with individually controlled air-conditioning, safety deposit box, free internet access, IDD telephone, TV and mini bar. The Patio Café is open 24 hours and serves Western and Asian cuisine. Various provincial Chinese cuisines are available from the Lijiang Restaurant. Live entertainment is available from the lobby bar in the evening. The hotel also has a small outdoor pool.
This 33-storey tower boasts floor-to-ceiling windows that give unobstructed views from many rooms of the famous harbour and city skyline, and there are more magnificent views from the rooftop swimming pool. The hotel also offers a sauna, gym and Jacuzzi. The 266 rooms are spacious with air conditioning, minibar, hairdryer, cable and satellite TV and safe.
The Yangshuo Resort is a superbly-equipped resort hotel with a fantastic range of facilities for its guests, world-class design and chic decoration in a contemporary but distinctly Chinese style, as well as an unbeatable location right on the banks of the Yulong River, amidst a 5-acre arable farm. Rooms at the Yangshuo Resort are exceptionally spacious and all boast a balcony overlooking the Yulong River and the dramatic karst mountains beyond.
The M Hotel Chengdu combines modern elegance with contemporary comforts. The guest rooms are modern, spacious and comfortable, all with flat screen TV, in-room safe, and a sofa. There is a fitness centre, and the M-Café – an all-day dining restaurant that serves traditional Southeast Asian cuisine such as Bak Kut Teh, Singapore Peranakan Laksa and other Peranakan dishes.
We are pleased to share feedback that we received from some of our valued clients.
All in all a marvellous holiday. I was particularly impressed with the seamless operation of your organisation in terms of arranged transports, hotels, flights etc.
The Very Best of the Middle Kingdom
We have had the most fantastic time in China with CTS Horizons. The logistics were faultless, the hotels and food excellent, so much was included, it was great value for money. We will treasure our memories of this holiday for a long time to come.
The Very Best of the Middle Kingdom
I e-mailed immediately on my return from holiday to say what a fantastic time I had - I have never done this after going on any other holiday!! I would thoroughly recommend this trip to anyone. I am a single travller, and was very well looked after throughout. This tour is worthy of the "trip of a lifetime" label.
The Very Best of the Middle Kingdom
This was our first holiday with CTS, and it exceeded all expectations. The tour manager, local guides, hotels and food were all faultless. Nothing was too much trouble. An excellent tour all the way through - we were sorry to come home. This was our first holiday with CTS but it will not be our last.
The Very Best of the Middle Kingdom
Century Cruises boast one of the newest fleet on the Yangtze River with all of their seven ships built after 2003. They are proud to offer the largest cabins of any Yangtze fleet and all cabins have ceiling to floor sliding doors that open onto private balconies.
Facilities on board
A five-star service is provided on board with European hospitality experts providing personal management on every ship. Cabins are finished with high quality furnishings and bathroom products and offer a range of amenities including satellite tv, tea and coffee making facilities, safety deposit box and fridge. All ships have grand atrium lobbies, stylish public areas and spacious observation lounges with panoramic windows. There is also a sundeck with bar, a beauty salon, fitness centre, library and internet cafe. The Century Paragon also has a stunning indoor swimming pool and a cinema.
The on-board restaurants offer an intimate atmosphere and serve a selection of Chinese and Western Cuisine to a high standard. All vessels have a panoramic restaurant, an elegant atmosphere in which to enjoy fine dining. The Century Legend and Century Paragon also have an A La Carte Restaurant.
Higher deck cabin upgrades available.
Discover China's highlights and venture off the beaten track.See Itinerary
A classic tour through the charming scenery and quaint by-ways of old China.See Itinerary
Explore the splendours of Beijing, Xian, Shanghai and a majestic cruise along the Yangtze River.See Itinerary
Celebrate the Chinese New Year in the charming town of Pingyao.See Itinerary