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Grand China Experience with Yangtze River Cruise

Day 1: Mar 16 Mon US major gateway / BEIJING

Meet your tour manager and depart from a major US gateway for your included flight to Beijing . You'll board a Boeing 747 for your international flight to the capital city of Beijing . Meals and complimentary wine or beer are included. In-flight meal service

Day 2: Mar 17 Tue ARRIVE BEIJING

All tour participants will arrive into Beijing 's new International Airport in the afternoon where you are introduced to your Chinese National and local Beijing guide. Transfer to your five-star hotel where you will check in and enjoy the amenities while preparing for this evenings dinner. Tonight, enjoy a good night's sleep, feel refreshed in the morning and be ready to begin touring this land rich in culture, history and much more. A currency exchange counter is conveniently located in the hotel lobby. In-flight meal service (D)

Day 3: Mar 18 Wed BEIJING

After an included American-style breakfast the tour will begin with a visit to the Temple of Heaven . You've seen this landmark sanctuary dozens of times in pictures of China 's landscape. Another famous China landmark is Tiananmen Square . Outside of China the square is best known for the Tiananmen Square Protest of 1989. In the spring of 1989 a series of demonstrations led by students, intellectuals, and labor activists resulted in a massacre which left hundreds of civilians dead. The square's dimensions are almost 110 acres and its name, Tiananmen, literally translates to Gate of Heavenly Peace. Next you'll visit the adjacent Forbidden City, located at the center of ancient Beijing , which once was the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The palace complex, with its many exceptionally well preserved wooden buildings, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. At the close of the day, you visit the Summer Palace with its exquisitely designed gardens, and perhaps a pearl factory if time permits. AB, L, D

Day 4: Mar 19 Thu BEIJING

Today you have a full day excursion to the Great Wall and the famous Ming Dynasty Tombs. The Great Wall, one of the greatest wonders of the world, is a 4,000 mile long rampart built over several centuries to keep out the invading Mongols. No matter which direction you walk on the wall, you will just stop and gaze at this awesome landmark C one of the few sites on earth that the astronauts are able to see from outer space! Later you travel to a secluded valley which houses the thirteen Imperial burial mounds of the Ming Dynasty. The Ming Tomb Area spreads out over 15 square miles. Here, two of the elaborate burial mounds have been fully excavated and are open to the public. Time permitting, you will visit a jade factory before enjoying a culinary delight, a Peking Duck Banquet. This is not like the duck your buddy, the duck hunter fixes C this one is absolutely scrumptious! AB, L, D

Day 5: Mar 20 Fri BEIJING / XI'AN

This morning, transfer to the Beijing airport for your flight to the city of Xi'an . This ancient city, known as one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, is the largest and best developed city in northwestern central China . After lunch you will tour the ancient city Wall of Xi'an which once completely surrounded the city as a military defense system. The balance of the afternoon is yours to explore Xi'an . AB, L, D

Day 6: Mar 21 Sat XI'AN

Today's tour recalls the glories of ancient Xi'an as you visit the burial site of Emperor Qun Shi Huang, with his incredible army of 8,000 Terra Cotta Soldiers, positioned in military formation, to protect him in his afterlife. These life-like figures are more than 2,000 years old and will give you a whole new perspective on how people really looked and dressed in years gone by. The next visit will be to the majestic Wild Goose Pagoda, one of China 's major icons. Built in 652 during the reign of Emperor Gaozong of the Tang dynasty, this temple was a guiding force in the spread of Buddhism. The highlight this evening is a 20-course Chinese Dumpling Dinner followed by the beautiful and colorful Tang Dynasty Culture Show. This show always receives great reviews. AB, L, D

.Day 7: Mar 22 Sun XI'AN

Your journey today will take you into China 's country side stopping in a village for a visit to a farmer's newly constructed home. Meet the family and enjoy a tour of the home for a better understanding of the Chinese culture. You will also visit a nearby school and church. Students are so very excited to meet Americans and the feeling is always mutual. Later, visit a factory that produces grain drills as well as farm power tillers. Time permitting you will visit a combine factory. Then it's back to XI'AN to enjoy an American style dinner. AB, L, AD

Day 8: Mar 23 Mon XI'AN / CHONGQING

This morning, the group will transfer to the Xi'an airport for the flight to Chongqing , where you'll see those lovable Pandas and the Flying Tigers Museum . If time allows you'll visit the General Stillwell Museum , which formerly was the private residence of General Stillwell, the commander of the China-Burma-India Theater during World War II. In the evening you'll board a luxurious cruise vessel for a three-day Yangtze River Cruise. Departure time is 9:00 p.m. You will be sailing through China 's beautiful countryside, relaxing and end enjoying lectures presented by our river guides while en-route. Each day, dine in style, starting with an American-type breakfast and Chinese cuisine for lunch and dinner. Then too, you have an included shore excursion each day of the cruise. AB, L, D


While cruising on the Yangtze, one of the longest rivers in the world, you will see how the one time low lying cities, homes, and factories have been relocated to prevent their destruction from the quickly rising backwaters, created by the nearly completed massive Three Gorges Dam. Your first day includes a shore excursion to the ancient city of Fengdu or Wanxian, as well as visits to a school, a market, or the ancient Ghost City . Tonight enjoy a cocktail party hosted by the captain. AB, L, D


Today you pass through the beautiful and scenic Qutang Gorge and Wu Gorge, two of the mighty Three Gorges. Along the way, the large cruiser stops and you'll board a smaller vessel that travels to the Shennong Stream. Here you board an even smaller boat for an escorted cruise up the incredibly scenic Shennog Stream, one of the tributaries of the Yangtze. See how the ancient Chinese hung their coffins off high cliffs and laid their dead to rest in chiseled out caverns. Watch the playful monkeys and the interesting rock formations that look like huge animal heads. Later the ship will pass through the five massive locks of the Three Gorges project. Passage through these massive locks is always at the discretion of the dam supervisors and is based on the completion of the fifth lock that should be completed by mid summer. This, the world's largest state-of-the-art hydro electrical plant and dam building project employed up to 25,000 workers during construction. The Three Gorges Dam is now very near completion, except for the hydro elevator, designed to elevate and lower small boats. After passing through the ship locks, you will disembark the luxury cruiser and enjoy a two hour motor coach tour of the Three Gorges Dam site. This tour is conducted by the Three Gorges Project commission and consists of commentary, photo stops and a tour of the visitor's center. AB, L, D


This morning the cruise continues past the last of the three gorges, Xiling Gorge which is the longest of the Three Gorges. The ship will then pass through another set of locks at the Gezhouba Dam, which is down stream from the new Three Gorges Dam. The cruise will end at the city Yichang , Hubei province. We'll take an afternoon flight to Shanghai .

Day 12: Mar 27 Fri SHANGHAI

Shanghai , a city of 16 million inhabitants , is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. You'll be amazed by this city, with its rich historical architecture, combined with the most modern architectural creations. Today's sightseeing tour introduces you to the major attractions of the city, including Nanjing Road , the Jade Buddha Temple , and the famous Bund, situated on the city's waterfront. Divided by the river, you'll see an international architectural display on one side, and the city's newest skyline on the other. Walk the Bund to get the feel of the new and the old. Later you will tour Shanghai 's newest development area, Pudong, with its exquisite cosmopolitan architecture. Tonight includes a spectacular Acrobatic Show C no one does this as well as the Chinese! AB, L, D

Day 13: Mar 28 Sat SHANGHAI

Today is yours to enjoy any way you please - perhaps shopping for those special gifts or just spending the day exploring more of this beautiful city. Our experienced local Chinese guide, can give you expert tips on how to have a wonderful day. AB

Day 14: Mar 29 Sun SHANGHAI / USA

Following breakfast, transfer to the train station where you'll board the fastest train in the world. Travel to the airport 267 miles per hour, arriving in time for check-in and our flight back to the USA . AB, In-flight meal service

"Our Tour Director and fellow escorts will give special care to your every need!"