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See the pavilions of Shanghais Yuyuan Garden. Cruise a sampan on the Yangtzes Goddess Stream. Behold the 7th-century Dazu Rock Carvings 50,000 statues. Discover the Dongba culture of the Naxi people. Wander Lijiangs 800-year-old Dayan Town. See Beijings Summer Palace. Our 19-day cruisetour combines a 7-day Yangtze cruise; land discovery in Beijing, Xian and Shanghai; and more exploration in rarely visited locales where treasures elude most travelers.
Day 1: Shanghai, China
Fly to Shanghai, Chinas largest city, then transfer to your hotel. An intoxicating city of paradoxes, Shanghai is celebrated for both its colonial-era architecture along the famous Bund promenade and the futuristic skyline of its glittering Pudong district. Your Tour Director will help you check in and accompany you throughout your cruisetour. Enjoy free time to relax or explore. Throughout your journey, you will enjoy a variety of traditional Chinese and Western-style meals.
Day 2: Shanghai, China
This morning, tour Old Shanghai and travel along the elegant Bund, stopping to admire historic banks and customs houses and breathtaking city views. Then, stroll the pathways of the exquisite Yuyuan Garden. Dating to the Ming Dynasty, this oasis was specially built by Pan Yunduan, a 16th-century governor of Sichuan, for his aging father. After lunch in a local restaurant, tour the Shanghai Museum, one of Chinas finest collections, and admire decorative ceramics, bronzes, calligraphy and paintings from the regions past. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant before seeing the world-famous Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe from the best seats in the house.
Day 3: Wuhan, China
After breakfast, prepare for your flight to Wuhan. Upon arrival, embark your Viking-owned and -operated ship, docked close to Wuhans historic waterfront. For the next five days, you will sail into an astonishing world where fishermen scoop their catches with large handmade nets, families tend to water-laden rice fields and timeless monasteries perch on cliff walls. Throughout your cruise, you may choose between Chinese or Western meals, participate in tai chi on deck each morning, play mahjong, attend destination-relevant lectures and immerse yourself in traditional China during numerous tours and activities.
Day 4: Wuhan, China
Ancient and modern intermingle in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province. Former cradle of the brilliant Chu Civilization, Wuhan was an important commercial hub, as its merchants set out on the Yangtze on trade missions. It remains a central economic presence today. Visit the Hubei Provincial Museum, where you can hear the music of ancient bronze bells and view relics from 400 BC. Return to the ship and set sail this evening.
Day 5: Jingzhou, China
Day 6: Wu Gorge, China
Day 7: Three Gorges, China
For the next 150 miles, travel the most scenic stretch of the Yangtze as it forces its way through a spectacular series of limestone ridges known as the Three Gorges. During breakfast, cruise through Wu (Witches) Gorge, renowned for its magnificent scenery. Then, board a smaller boat for an excursion through the Goddess Stream. Sail through these remarkable canyons flanked by towering cliffs as you listen to the informative commentary of your Program Director. Along the way, see fascinating sites including the hanging coffins of the Ba people and the ancient plank road carved into the cliff side. Return on board for lunch, then spend the afternoon sailing through Qutang Gorge, the shortest, narrowest and most spectacular of the three large gorges. Dinner is served on board.
Day 8: Shibaozhai, China
Day 9: Lijiang, China
After breakfast, disembark and fly to Lijiang, watched over by the spectacular Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. This 2,000-year-old market village and UNESCO World Heritage Site is renowned for the canal-lined warrens and intimate enclaves of its remarkably preserved Old Town. Upon arrival, sample local specialties during lunch. Then visit the residence of Dr. Joseph Rock in the citys Yuhu Village. Dr. Rock was a respected botanist and explorer who chronicled many of his observations about the 20th-century Yunnan province inNational Geographicmagazine. After checking in to your hotel, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant
Day 10: Lijiang, China
Day 11: Chongqing, China
Enjoy an American buffet breakfast, then transfer to the airport for your flight to Chongqing. After lunch in a local restaurant, visit the General Stilwell Museum. Known as Vinegar Joe for his cantankerous personality, the highly regarded World War II General was the Allied Chief of Staff in China. Today, his former residence remains much as it was during his service here and features many of his personal artifacts and wartime mementos. After arriving at your hotel and having dinner, spend the remainder of your evening at leisure
Day 12: Chongqing, China
Enjoy a scenic drive through the steep hillsides of Dazu today. Then, after lunch in a local restaurant, visit the Dazu Stone Carvings, a spectacular collection of elaborate sculptures etched into the rock faces of mountainsides. Throughout this expansive UNESCO World Heritage Site, some 50,000 statues and 100,000 Chinese characters seem to emerge from the cliff sides. After time to explore this remarkable site, stop at a local restaurant for lunch. Then continue your drive to Chengdu, arriving in time for dinner and a free evening.
Day 13: Chengdu, China
Day 14: Xian, China
Day 15: Xian, China