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Yangtze Sampler Small Ship Cruise + Tour (2020 Itinerary)

USD $5,999
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$600 Off Pay-In-Full Savings

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Save $600 per couple ($300 solo) when you pay-in-full on all Small Group, Small Ship and Private Journeys when you pay-in-full within 7 days of booking and prior to the final payment date. Before prices begin to increase due to higher demand, now is a great time to take advantage of these remarkable savings. Plus as always, receive our AffordableTours.com 7% extra everyday savings. (Not all packages may apply, contact your Travel Consultant for applicable dates.)
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Travel is one of life's most rewarding experiences, perhaps even more so when it's shared with those you love! Take advantage of our Family & Friends offer and Save $100 per person anytime you book 4 or more people on the same A+R program.
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Tour Itinerary

Countries Visited


Cities Visited

Beijing , Hangzhou , Shanghai , Xian , Yangtze River , Yichang

  1. Day 1
    Day 1 - Welcome to Beijing

    On arrival at the airport, you’ll be warmly greeted and escorted to General Tours luxurious hotel in the heart of the capital.

  2. Day 2
    Day 2 - In + Around Beijing

    Your expertly guided, full-day exploration begins in Tiananmen Square. Covering more than 100 acres in the heart of the city with a scale reminiscent of Moscow’s Red Square or the Piazza San Marco in Venice, it ranks as one of the grandest public plazas in the world. Then follow in the footsteps of Ming Dynasty emperors as you explore the magnificent palaces, courtyards and pavilions of the sprawling Forbidden City . It is said that there are 9,999 rooms within these imposing walls and although you won’t see everyone, your guided tour offers a fascinating look into the splendor of Imperial life centuries ago.
    Then explore by rickshaw through the narrow lanes of a Hutong, one of the city's few remaining enclaves of traditional, centuries-old courtyard homes. After lunch, you'll tour the resplendent Summer Palace . Set on wooded hills surrounding a tranquil lake, this assemblage of pavilions, palaces and gardens offers a fascinating look into Imperial life long ago. From April to November, General Tours tour of the Summer Palace includes a boat ride on Lake Kunming, a delightful and tranquil way to experience the architectural landmarks and sublime natural beauty of this World Heritage Site. Tonight’s festive Peking Duck banquet is accompanied by wine and local beer.  Meals B+L+D

  3. Day 3
    Day 3 - The Great Wall

    The Great Wall stretches for nearly 4,000 miles across northern China - its oldest sections dating back more than 2,000 years when various states and dynasties first began to build these defensive walls. A few centuries after these earliest sections were constructed, Emperor Qin Shihuang consolidated them into a single, massive fortification to guard his empire against Hun invaders from the north. Succeeding emperors maintained, reconstructed and built anew, and much of what is seen today is the result of work that was done during the Ming Dynasty. As a result the wall is not uniform throughout its length; situated farther from the capital than other parts of the Great Wall, the section at Mutianyu draws fewer visitors and is celebrated for its many defensive towers and splendid setting amidst the rugged mountains. Ascending by cable car, you'll walk atop the Great Wall here at Mutianyu as General Tours expert guide shares dramatic stories of its past. For lunch today, we'll take you to the famous Brickyard Restaurant, conveniently located nearby. Back in the city, the rest of your afternoon and evening is free to enjoy and dine as you wish.  Meals B+L

  4. 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

  5. Day 5
    Day 5 - Xiling Gorge + The Three Gorges Dam

    Early risers can start the day with invigorating Tai Chi exercise before breakfast. This morning’s optional Tribes of the Three Gorges excursion has been specially prepaid for A+R guests. Taking you into one of the most scenic areas of Xiling Gorge, you’ll be introduced to some of the region’s indigenous peoples. Through their food, dress and a lively folk performance, you’ll learn about the history and culture of the Tujia, Ba and Chu ethnic groups.
    After lunch onboard, we’ll visit the immense Three Gorges Dam where you’ll learn about its far reaching impact on the geography, archaeological sites, industries, and residents of the region. By special arrangement, A+R guests will get an up-close look at the Three Gorges Ship Lift. Like a giant elevator, this engineering marvel - built in cooperation with BMW - is capable of raising and lowering ships and freighters weighing up to 30,000 tons. It’s the largest ship elevator in the world and turns the 3 to 4-hour passage through the multi-step locks into an 8 minute ride!
    Back onboard, 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

  6. Day 6
    Day 6 - Up Shennong Stream + Through the Three Gorges

    Step off ship this morning 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 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 onboard the Yangzi Explorer navigates Wu Gorge, renowned for its massive cliffs rising sharply from the river. Later, General Tours ship cruises through spectacular Qutang Gorge, the narrowest of the river’s Three Gorges. If you wish to join this afternoon’s optional excursion to the White Emperor City, it has been specially pre-paid for A+R guests. Set on the top of Baidi Mountain overlooking Qutang Gorge, you’ll discover a fine ensemble of Ming Dynasty halls including the lovely Observing Stars Pavilion where Zhuge Liang, a great military strategist of the Three Kingdoms Period, would come to observe the night sky and make weather forecasts that helped him plan his victorious battles.  Meals B+L+D

  7. 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 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.

    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

  8. Day 8
    Day 8 - Disembark in Chongqing + Fly to Xian
    Disembark the Yangzi Explorer after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your included flight to Xian, China's capital for 13 dynasties. On arrival, you'll be escorted to General Tours 5-star Hilton Hotel, ideally located within the ancient defensive walls of the city. A+R guests will be upgraded to Club Room accommodations with access to the Lounge for cocktails and breakfast. This evening's congenial dinner features savory dumplings - a regional specialty and favorite.  Meals B+D
  9. Day 9
    Day 9 - Touch Antiquity + The Terra Cotta Army

    Join staff at the Xian Museum this morning for General Tours exclusive Touch Antiquity experience. Donning white cotton gloves, you'll handle and examine priceless ancient objects as museum staff offer insight into their provenance and cultural significance. Next you’ll visit the Terra Cotta Army . Discovered in 1974 by local farmers who were digging a well, this site is still regarded as China’s greatest archaeological discovery. It has been estimated that more than half a million laborers and craftsmen worked for nearly 40 years to complete the tomb and the thousands of terra cotta soldiers, horses and chariots that were buried here to serve the Emperor in the afterlife. By special arrangement, you will meet with a local archaeologist - a great way to gain deeper insight into the history and discovery of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today's lunch features a lively demonstration into the ancient art of noodle-making!  Meals B+L+D

  10. Day 10
    Day 10 - Fly to Hangzhou
    After breakfast, you'll be escorted to the airport for your included flight to Hangzhou, where we'll take you to an authentic working tea plantation nestled in the verdant hills outside of the city. Joining tea farmers to prepare the soil and pick the tea leaves is a fun and enriching way to learn how the region has earned its reputation as one of China's best sources for Dragon Well tea. After a congenial lunch with the farmers, you'll return to the city for a delightful walking tour. There's an old Chinese proverb about Hangzhou, "Above there is Heaven; below there is Hangzhou." Indeed, the city's beauty has inspired artists and poets for centuries, and this afternoon's stroll along the picturesque shores of West Lake is a delightful way to experience its enchanting scenery. This evening, you can dine where you wish before retiring to General Tours 5-star hotel.  Meals B+L
  11. Day 11
    Day 11 - By Rail to Shanghai

    Sit back and enjoy comfortable Business Class seats aboard the ultra-modern High-Speed Train to Shanghai. On arrival in this cosmopolitan city, you'll be escorted to General Tours luxury hotel in the heart of town. This afternoon, your guided sightseeing tour reveals the evocative beauty of Yu Yuan Garden. Originally established in 1577 by a government official for his aging parents, the garden's unique ensemble of plantings, lotus ponds, winding paths, pavilions and bridges is revered as a superb example of classical landscaping during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Tonight, you'll thrill to the daring feats and graceful artistry of the Shanghai ERA Acrobatic Show, a multimedia extravaganza that blends traditional Chinese acrobatics, martial arts, dance and music with spectacular costumes and cutting-edge technology.  Meals B+L

  12. Day 12
    Day 12 - Shanghai Sightseeing
    After breakfast, your guided city tour begins with the highly regarded Shanghai Museum, home to a vast collection of artifacts spanning millennia of Chinese culture, history and civilization. Here you’ll find breathtaking exhibits of ancient bronzes celadon pottery, precious jade, and exquisite Ming Dynasty furniture. After lunch at Casanova, one of Shanghai's most stylish restaurants, you'll enjoy a guided stroll along the elegant waterfront Bund. See impressive landmarks built more than a century ago by Japanese and European trading companies as you learn about the city's colorful history and experience its vibrant modern day culture. This evening, gather with your fellow travelers for a congenial farewell dinner.  Meals B+L+D
  13. Day 13
    Day 13 - Depart Shanghai

    After breakfast, you’ll be escorted to the airport for your homeward journey. Or why not travel on with us to Hong Kong?  Meals B

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Additional Packages Available
Please call us for pricing and availability for the packages listed below:

  • Xiling Deck
  • Wu Deck Cabin
  • Wu Deck Suite
  • Qutang Deck Suite
  • Health and Safety Protocols for Alexander Roberts Tours

    Committed to Your Well Being While You’re With Alexander Roberts

    • All Alexander Roberts' staff will maintain appropriate physical distancing at all times, so expect a warm and genuine greeting but not a handshake or a hug!
    • All high-touch surfaces in coaches and private cars – like door handles, railings, arm rests, and window controls – will be sanitized each morning and regularly throughout the day.
    • Alexander Roberts' expert guides and drivers will don face masks whenever in proximity to guests.
    • Alexander Roberts staff have been trained on Extra Care procedures – and how to respond to issues that may arise as you travel.
    • Complimentary face masks and hand sanitizer will be available in all vehicles while touring.
    More Space + Extra Care While Touring
    • Larger luxury motorcoaches so each traveler will have two seats to themselves while touring.
    • Private airport transfers with a spacious luxury vehicle when you come and go for every tour
    • Regular and frequent sanitizing of all high-touch vehicle surfaces.
    • Prearranged entry for all sightseeing minimizes standing in line with other travelers.
    • Whisper Headsets for groups of 5 or more allow for proper physical distancing while sightseeing, except for certain nature activities in remote areas like the Amazon.
    More Space + Extra Care While Dining
    • Alexander Roberts carefully selects restaurants to avoid crowded high-capacity venues; Alexander Roberts emphasizes fine farm-to-table dining with attentive and efficient service – and the choice to dine al fresco whenever available.
    • No large-group dining; enjoy more spacious dining settings and smaller, well-spaced tables for included meals.
    • Restaurant staff will follow the guidance of local health authorities and WHO protocols which may include facial coverings.
    Extra Care at Luxury Hotels
    • Alexander Roberts' hotels are always selected for their outstanding locations, evocative ambiance, impeccable service – and cleanliness.
    • OAlexander Roberts' partners include the most respected luxury brands – like Belmond, Four Seasons, Park Hyatt, Kempinski and JW Marriott; they are now leading the industry with their sophisticated hygiene standards and protocols to ensure the well being of all their guests.
    • Hotels will be continuously and rigorously vetted to ensure that they are following established WHO guidelines including social distancing and sanitizing procedures of guestrooms and public spaces.
    • Hotel breakfasts will usually feature à la carte service and group seating will be replaced by smaller, appropriately distanced tables.
    And Always... Alexander Roberts' Distinctive Style

    In a Small Group of Never More than 16 Guests or on a Privately Guided Tour for just your traveling party, their experienced guides have the flexibility to adjust your sightseeing based upon local conditions – to avoid times of heaviest traffic and crowding, for example. Alexander Roberts can dine in smaller authentic restaurants, minimize the time waiting in lines, and leave a lighter footprint. You’ll learn the history and stories behind the world’s most iconic landmarks, immerse more deeply in the wonders of the natural world, and delight in genuine cultural engagement not possible in a larger group. It’s travel without a crowd.

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    Pricing is for package: Main Deck

    OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

    Questions & Answers

    Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

    Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

    Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

    Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

    Alexander Roberts Tours Customer Reviews

    Overall Rating
    Professional Staff
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    Value for Money

    Ratings based off 96 reviews about Alexander Roberts Tours - currently showing 1 reviews with comments only

    Our tour guide was the best! He was knowledgeable about the country, always early, courteous and made us feel welcome in his country. Our tour had a side trip that was incredible due to our guide's particular experiences, The pick of our guide for our trip was absolutely perfect. Thank you for making our trip so wonderful.

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