[Itinerary] Experience China’s most magnificent cities and breathtaking sights in 18 days with Viking River Cruise tour. Visit Beijing and the Great Wall, the Bund of Shanghai and Xian’s Terracotta Warriors. Wander the canal-lined warrens of Lijiang, China’s most authentic Old Town, and observe endangered pandas in Chengdu. Enjoy a 6-day cruise tour along the spectacular Yangtze River and Three Gorges.
*Airport meet & greet transfers included when air is purchased from Viking River Cruises.
The following meals are included: B = Breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Dinner
DAY 1 Shanghai, China
Arrive in Shanghai, China’s largest city, and then check into your hotel.
DAY 2 Shanghai, China
This morning, tour Old Shanghai and travel along the elegant Bund, stopping to admire some of its historic buildings and city views. After lunch in a local restaurant, tour the Shanghai Museum; see its ancient ceramics, bronzes, calligraphy and other artifacts. Dine locally before admiring the dexterity of Chinese acrobats at a performance. (B, L, D)
DAY 3 Shanghai, China
After breakfast, prepare for your flight to Wuhan. Upon arriving, transfer to your ship docked close to Wuhan’s historic waterfront. You are welcomed aboard with a Western meal. (B, L, D)
DAY 4 Yueyang, China
Today, visit an elementary school sponsored by Viking River Cruises. You are greeted and entertained by the children, then return to your ship. You travel the most scenic stretch of the Yangtze through a spectacular series of limestone ridges known as the Three Gorges. (B, L, D)
DAY 5 Three Gorges Dam, China
This morning, cruise through Xiling Gorge, the longest of the Three Gorges. After lunch, disembark for a tour of the Three Gorges Dam, where you learn about this immense engineering masterpiece and what it means for the Chinese people and the Yangtze. Return to your ship and sail through the 5-stage locks of the Three Gorges Dam. Dock overnight at Badong. (B, L, D)
DAY 6 Lesser Three Gorges, China
During breakfast, cruise through Wu Gorge, renowned for its magnificent scenery. Then, board a smaller boat for an excursion through the Lesser Three Gorges. After lunch onboard, then spend the afternoon sailing through Qutang Gorge, the shortest, narrowest and most spectacular of the three large gorges. Dine aboard. (B, L, D)
DAY 7 Shibaozhai, China
This morning, visit Shibaozhai Temple, a 12-story pavilion built in 1650 along the Yangtze. Tour the pavilion and temple before returning aboard for lunch. Enjoy Yangtze River scenery as you cruise this afternoon and through the night. (B, L, D)
DAY 8 Chongqing, China
After breakfast, disembark and enjoy a scenic drive through the steep hillsides of Dazu. After lunch in a local restaurant, visit the Dazu Stone Carvings, a spectacular collection of elaborate sculptures etched into the rock faces of mountainsides. It is one of UNESCO World Heritage Site. After time to explore this remarkable site, return to Chongqing. (B, L, D)
DAY 9 Chongqing & Lijiang, China
After breakfast, you’ll stop at the General Stilwell Museum, where you can learn more about the American general’s stormy relationship with Chiang Kai-shek and the Allies during World War II. After lunch, you will fly to Lijiang, which boasts one of China’s most unique Old Towns. (B, L, D)
DAY 10 Lijiang, China
Arise in Lijiang today, renowned for the canal-lined warrens and intimate enclaves of its remarkably preserved Old Town. After breakfast, visit the former residence of Dr. Joseph Rock, a famed explorer and botanist of the 1920s who first introduced Lijiang’s Naxi culture to the world through his writings and photographs. You will have the remainder of the day to explore this charming city, once the center of silk embroidery and a major stop on the famed Tea Horse Ancient Road. Lunch and dinner are on your own. (B)
DAY 11 Lijiang & Chengdu, China
Enjoy another free morning exploring the atmospheric streets and lovely waterways of Lijiang’s Old Town. You’ll enjoy an included lunch at a local restaurant. This afternoon, transfer to the airport for your flight to Chengdu. Upon arrival, you’ll visit a local tea house to experience the age-old custom of drinking tea while locals play mahjong before you enjoy dinner at a nearby restaurant. (B, L, D)
DAY 12 Chengdu, China
After breakfast, visit some of Chengdu’s most famous residents at the Panda Base. You will have a chance to see these incredible creatures in their natural habitat. After lunch, explore the Sanxingdui Museum, a repository of cultural and historic relics of gold, jade, stone, bronze and more. After dinner, attend the Sichuan Opera for an unforgettable evening marked by dramatic music, colorful costumes, fire-breathing and bian lian, or face-changing. (B, L, D)
DAY 13 Xian, China
You will fly to Xi‘’an this morning after breakfast and arrive in time for lunch at a local restaurant. Xian was a key city of the Tang Dynasty(618 to 907 AD), presided over one of China’s most glorious cultural periods. You will visit the South City Gate and City Wall to witness remnants of its power. Enjoy dinner this evening at a local restaurant. (B, L, D)
DAY 14 Xian, China
After breakfast, tour Xian’s archaeological wonder: thousands of life-sized Terracotta Warriors buried with Emperor Qin Shi Huang, each soldier and horse molded in incredible detail. After lunch, you have free time to further explore Xian. This evening, you may choose to dine surrounded by the song and dance of this colorful era. (B, L, D)
DAY 15 Xian, China
Today, fly to Beijing, China’s imperial capital, whose rich history dates back more than 3,000 years. Check in to your hotel and dine there; enjoy free time this evening. (B, L, D)
DAY 16 Beijing, China
After breakfast, travel to the Badaling, where you will visit one of the most impressive and best-preserved sections of the Great Wall of China, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
After lunch, visit the Sacred Way, a tree-lined avenue guarded by massive sculptures of elephants, lions and camels leading to the Ming Dynasty tombs. This evening, dine at a local restaurant and relax at your hotel, or enjoy an optional Peking duck dinner, the region’s famous dish. (B, L, D)
DAY 17 Beijing, China
This morning visit the Tian’anmen Square, which can accommodate over 1 million people. Then, tour Beijing’s Forbidden City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
After lunch in a local restaurant, take some free time to explore Beijing on your own or do some shopping. Enjoy your dinner this evening, or attend The Legend of Kung Fu for a beautiful display of this performance art, which has roots that date back 4000 years.(B, L, D)
DAY 18 Beijing, China
After breakfast, check out of your hotel and proceed to the airport for your return flight. (B)
Cruise the Yangtze River on Viking Emerald. Accommodating 256 guests with full verandas, hotel-style beds in every spacious suite and stateroom, public areas bathed in light and an English-speaking crew, Viking Emerald is one of the most sophisticated river ships sailing the region.
ALL PRICES BELOW ARE PER-PERSON BASED ON DOUBLE OCCUPANCY.
Shanghai to Beijing