Offer is valid on new bookings only and is only combinable with the family and friends savings offer, additional restrictions may apply.
Applies to new bookings only. Offer combinable with pay-in-full discount. Certain restrictions may apply.
Member-Only savings. Exclusive repeat traveler discounts. Additional restrictions may apply.
Join Aboard MS Yangzi Explorer
Now undergoing full refurbishment, China’s finest luxury small ship the Yangzi Explorer will reemerge later this year with a stylish new look in all 62 suites and staterooms. Featuring the most spacious cabins (all with balconies!) and contemporary Chinese style, General Tours luxury shipboard experience will be enhanced with a newly designed restaurant and a talented culinary team focused on an exciting new menu of regional Chinese cuisine and international dishes. Enjoy expertly guided small group excursions enhanced with General Tours enriching shipboard culture + education program. The inviting Explorer Lounge and onboard spa add to your cruising experience.
Day 1 - Day 1 - Welcome to Beijing
|You’ll be warmly greeted at the airport and escorted to the luxurious Fairmont Beijing Hotel. The rest of this day is yours to relax and enjoy as you wish.|
Day 2 - Day 2 - In + around Beijing
|Stand in Tiananmen Square and admire the architectural landmarks that surround one of the world’s grandest public plazas. Then follow in the footsteps of Ming Dynasty Emperors on an expertly-guided tour through the magnificent Forbidden City ,a sprawling complex of palaces, courtyards and pavilions. At colorful local market, you’ll mingle with city residents and experience a slice of daily life as you help your guide to select some produce for a local family. Joining this family for lunch in their home, you’ll enjoy congenial conversation and gain real insight into Chinese traditions that still endure in this rapidly evolving city. Then hop aboard a rickshaw to explore the ancient streets of a Hutong, an ancient enclave of traditional courtyard homes. This evening, sit down to a festive Peking Duck Banquet with wine. Meals B+L+D|
Day 3 - Day 3 Great Wall + Summer Palace
|Juyong Pass was recognized very early in China’s history as a site of great strategic importance and indeed this section of the thousands-mile long Great Wall is one of only three that were recognized by military leaders as being practically impregnable. Today, as you walk atop this ancient defensive structure, your expert guide will be on hand to enrich your exploration with dramatic stories and legends of the great battles that were waged here. Then tour the resplendent Summer Palace, erstwhile seasonal retreat of China’s emperors. Set on wooded hills surrounding a tranquil lake, this assemblage of pavilions, palaces and gardens offers a fascinating look into Imperial life long ago. Meals B+L|
Day 4 - Day 4 - Fly to Yichang + Embark your Yangtze Cruise
|This morning, you’ll enjoy a guided tour of the Temple of Heaven; it’s a resplendent example of Ming Dynasty design and engineering that also offers fascinating insight into ancient Chinese beliefs in numerology and cosmology. The temple’s tranquil grounds are the perfect place for General Tours specially arranged private class with a Tai Chi Master.|
After sightseeing, we’ll take you to the airport for your included flight to the river city of Yichang. On arrival, you’ll be escorted to the pier to board the Yangzi Explorer, China’s finest river ship. You’ll have time to settle in to your balcony stateroom and refresh before dinner is served in the Explorer’s elegant restaurant. Choose from a tempting array of international and regional Chinese dishes, accompanied by free-flowing wine. This evening, the 7 Wonders of China documentary will be screened in the Tang Theater. Meals B+L+D
Day 5 - Day 5 - The Immense Three Gorges Dam
|Early risers can start the day with invigorating Tai Chi exercise before an expansive buffet breakfast. A relaxing morning onboard offers a chance to relax on your private balcony, attend an informative talk on Chinese traditions, or indulge in a treatment at the shipboard spa. After lunch, you’ll step off ship to visit the Three Gorges Dam; stretching more than 3,300 yards across at the top and towering over 600 feet, this massive construction project took 17 years to complete! It’s still the world’s largest hydro-power dam and this afternoon’s guided tour explores its far reaching impact upon the geography, archaeological sites, industries, and residents of the region. Back onboard, you can enjoy a lecture on traditional Chinese medicine. Later, the Yangzi Explorer will navigate through Xiling Gorge, the longest of the river’s Three Gorges. Then as the river widens and sweeps through groves of orange and pomelo trees, you’ll experience the tranquil side of life along China’s mightiest river. Tonight’s Captain’s Welcome Reception is followed by dinner and then entertainment in the Tang Theater. Meals B+L+D|
Day 6 - Day 6 - Up Shennong Stream + Through the Yangtze Gorges
|If you wish, you can join fellow passengers for early morning Tai Chi before breakfast is served. Then step off ship for an unforgettable journey up Shennong Stream. You’ll explore this spectacular region in traditional sampan boats poled by Tujia boatmen. The landscapes here are unrivalled, encompassing crystalline rushing waters, dense forests and towering rock formations. As you venture upstream, you’ll espy coffins stowed high within the limestone cliffs that tower above you – a legacy of the region’s earliest inhabitants. Before returning to ship, you’ll visit a nearby village to experience life in a rural community. After lunch, you’ll want to be on your balcony or with fellow passengers on the Sun Deck as the Yangzi Explorer navigates Wu Gorge, renowned for massive cliffs that rise sharply from the river. Later, General Tours ship cruises through spectacular Qutang Gorge, the narrowest of the river’s Three Gorges. Then enjoy a demonstration of traditional Chinese arts and crafts before sitting down to another elegant à la carte dinner accompanied by free-flowing wine. Meals B+L+D|
Day 7 - Day 7 - Ashore in Fuling
|A delightful morning onboard General Tours 5-star ship is yours to do as you wish. You might learn about China’s thriving pearl industry or attend a workshop on traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy. After lunch, you can tailor your touring with the included excursion of your choice:|
The 816 Underground Project: This unique tour takes you underground into a vast cavern that was built by more than 60,000 laborers as part of a top-secret military project. Initiated in the 1960’s and designed to house China’s first nuclear reactor, construction was halted after 17 years before the project’s completion. The tunnels and cavern remained a closely guarded secret for nearly 50 years until the Government revealed its presence in 2002.
The White Crane Ridge Underwater Museum: Venture close to 150 feet under water to see what lies beneath the surface of the Yangtze River. You’ll discover ancient rock carvings from the Tang Dynasty that were permanently submerged after the construction of the Dam and also learn about the Yangtze’s flora and fauna. Before returning to ship, you’ll spend time with local farmers and other residents at a lively market filled with a wide variety of fish, meat, produce and Fuling’s famous pickles.
Note: Today’s morning at leisure and your choice of an included afternoon excursion applies to cruises from May to September. Guests on General Tours other sailings will visit the 816 Underground Project in the morning and the White Crane Ridge Underwater Museum in the afternoon. Meals B+L+D
Day 8 - Day 8 - Fly to Xian
|Disembark the Yangzi Explorer after breakfast and visit the Chongqing Zoo to see their marvelous Panda exhibit. Then transfer to the airport for your included flight to Xian, China’s ancient capital for 13 dynasties. At a bustling local market, an engaging Xian resident will share his lifetime of experience – offering a firsthand look into the culture of the city and the many exotic products for sale. Enjoy a dinner of savory dumplings, a regional favorite, and retreat to the 5-star Hilton Hotel, ideally located within the ancient city walls. Meals B+D|
Day 9 - Day 9 - Discover the Terra Cotta Army
|In 1974, local villagers digging a well stumbled upon what would ultimately become China’s greatest archaeological discovery… Thousands of life-sized terra cotta soldiers, horses and chariots that had been buried in perfect infantry formation to guard the tomb of an Emperor! This morning, we’ve arranged for you to meet with a local archaeologist – a great introduction to this World Heritage Site. Gaze upon this extraordinary terra cotta army as you learn about their history and discovery. Enjoy a festive lunch of regional cuisine as you watch a lively noodle-making demonstration. Then visit the old defensive walls that still surround much of Xian’s historic core and hear colorful stories about this ancient Imperial capital. Meals B+L+D|
Day 10 - Day 10 - Onward to Shanghai
|We’ll take you to the airport today for your included flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival in this wonderfully cosmopolitan city, you’ll be met and escorted to the Fairmont Peace Hotel, a luxury landmark overlooking the historic waterfront Bund. Tonight, you’ll thrill to the daring feats and graceful artistry of the world-famous Shanghai Acrobats! Meals B|
Day 11 - Day 11 - Shanghai Sightseeing
|Your comprehensive guided tour of Shanghai begins this morning along the historic Bund; in a city now renowned for its striking 21st-century skyscrapers, this elegant waterfront boulevard is still graced with architectural landmarks built by European and Japanese mercantile companies after the 1842 Treaty of Nanjing opened the city to international trade. Then stroll in Yu Yuan Garden, originally established in 1577 by a government officer as a tranquil retreat for his aging parents. At the highly regarded Shanghai Museum, you’ll find a vast collection of artifacts spanning millennia of Chinese culture, history and civilization – from ancient bronzes and celadon pottery to precious jade and exquisite Ming Dynasty furniture. At midday, we’ll leave the past behind to experience a thoroughly modern side of Shanghai at one of the city’s currently popular restaurants. Fusion cuisine, handcrafted cocktails and sommelier-curated wine lists are now as popular here as in any other world-class city. As General Tours sit down to lunch accompanied by a glass of the house wine, restaurant staff will join us to offer insight into the city’s ever-changing food-and-wine scene. Meals B+L+D|
Day 12 - Day 12 - Farewell to Shanghai
|Transfer to the airport for your flight. meals b|
A single entry China visa is required for U.S. citizens.
Additional Packages Available
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