Tour and Cruise
A fourteen day small group tour of China
the bewildering diversity that is China - its modern and its
historic grandeur, as well as its more humble past and present
too, with elements of all four aspects of this country
coexisting alongside each other, seemingly without contradiction.
This tour takes you to all the 'must see' attractions and
sights, making a country that can be unapproachable and
difficult for the individual traveler come alive in a friendly
and fun way.
The special luxury of a six
night cruise along the Yangtze River gives you a more
comprehensive yet relaxing look at a broader cross-section of China than
regular visitors get. And, if you're wanting still more, you can add extra time in
China or elsewhere at the beginning and/or end of your tour.
Total flexibility. And
(Click map for
a larger image)
This tour gives you an opportunity to visit
a very varied cross-section of China, ranging from its
capital of Beijing, its major western port of Shanghai, to
Xi'an, home of the Terracotta Warriors, plus a six night cruise
along the Yangtze River (the longest river in Asia)
including the famed Three Gorges, and an optional trip on to
Lots of included sightseeing makes
sure you get the best out of your time in China, while some
free time gives you the flexibility to ensure you see and do
everything you want.
You're free to add to this tour any
way before or after the main portion to create an Asian
experience exactly as you wish.
here for a detailed day by day tour itinerary to open in a
The tour allows you to make
your own way to Beijing, China, any way you wish (we may be able
to help you with discounted airfares - ask for a quote).
You should arrive into Beijing no later than Wednesday, 18
in time for the start of the tour the next morning. (The
total package includes your hotel room for this first arrival
night and breakfast the next morning.)
If you're starting your
travels in North America, you'll probably take a flight that
same day, or maybe the day prior, depending on your flight
The tour ends on Tuesday 1
July in Shanghai. You
are free to fly back home today, or to stay longer
in China, or perhaps to go somewhere else in Asia before returning home.
You're welcome to add
whatever you may wish before or after the main tour, and if you
want to do only the cruise with neither the pre or post cruise
portions, we can even arrange that so as to work as conveniently
as possible with your preferences.
We recommend you should
consider arriving a day early into Beijing so as to
safeguard against anything that might go wrong, that could
otherwise cause your flights to be delayed, you to miss a
connection, or your baggage to be misdirected. This will
also give you a day to rest and relax before the start of the
We also recommend you
consider our post-tour extension to Guilin. This is
a spectacularly beautiful part of China - we'd have included it
for everyone but didn't want to go over the time and money
budgets that some people necessarily must keep within. But
if you can justify the extra time (two more nights) and money
($600), you'll be delighted to have added this to your total
China experience. Details of the Guilin extension are on
the day by day itinerary page.
You can of course add any
other touring, anywhere else in China, or just plain anywhere
else at all.
Small Group Size
The group is limited to a
maximum of 25 persons.
Most of the time we'll be
traveling on large coaches with plenty of empty seats so there'll always be lots
of room for everyone to spread out.
Because we're a small group,
if we decide we want to change or vary a day's itinerary, we'll
simply make the changes we wish.
June marks the start of
China's summer season, same as here. Weather will be warm
to hot, with average daily highs reaching into the low 80s, and
considerably cooler at night (dropping to the mid 60s).
Occasional rain can be
expected, and in some areas, this can take the form of
spectacular tropical thunderstorms. Be sure to bring an
Humidity is sometimes very
high, too, so consider wearing cotton rather than synthetics.
And perhaps buy some Chinese silk clothing, too!
The cruise portion of our
tour is on the newly rebuilt (2004) ship, Victoria Prince.
The ship has been rebuilt to a high standard of comfort, and is
now officially rated as five star by the China National Tourism
The ship cruises at 17.5
mph, and we've chosen to travel down-river so as to give us more
time ashore and less time fighting the river current, as would
be the case on the upstream itinerary.
rooms have outside verandahs, and standard staterooms are a
spacious 211 sq ft.
For the luxury lovers,
junior (294 sq ft) and deluxe (458 sq ft) suites are also
The ship has 103 air
conditioned cabins capable of carrying up to 206 passengers,
with 121 crew to ensure high service at all times. Smoking
is limited to the outside observation deck only.
Meals are single seating,
featuring a mix of Chinese and western style cuisines, with
buffet style service at breakfast and lunch and 'family style'
(Chinese style) at dinner. All three meals are included
A fitness center, and
onboard internet, provide stimulation for the mind and body.
In addition to the off-ship
touring (see the day by day
itinerary for details of all the included touring at no
extra charge), activities are provided for your education and
entertainment on board, including lectures about the history and
culture of China, language, painting, and Chinese medicine.
Tai Chi Chuan (a form of healthy exercise) is offered every
morning, and in the evenings, various shows are offered.
In addition, movies are available through your in-cabin
The cruise line, Victoria
Cruises, has been in business 18 years, and operates the largest
fleet of five-star rated vessels in China.
There's a lot to like about
the Victoria Prince, and river cruising in general.
Our favorite part of the experience is not having to pack and
unpack your bags, not having to check in and out of hotels, and
having a quality controlled base from which to fan out to
sightsee each day. This makes for a wonderfully relaxing
way of traveling.
Your $2795 per person tour
price includes all the following :
Three nights accommodation in
One night accommodation in
One night accommodation in
Chongqing to Shanghai for six days and nights
Two nights accommodation in
Breakfasts every morning
Six lunches on the cruise
Five lunches on the other
parts of the tour
Six dinners on the cruise
'Getting to know you' Peking
Duck dinner in Beijing
Farewell dinner in Shanghai
Touring every day
Flights within China
Taxes, port fees, fuel
Per person pricing for the
tour and cruise is as follows :
Tour & Cruise
Main (lowest) deck
Bridge (upper) deck
Extras and Inclusions
Port Taxes are included.
Flights within China (Beijing
to Xi'an, Xi'an to Chongqing, and optionally Shanghai to
Guilin) are included. Chinese aviation has an
excellent safety record, and has been fatality free for over
Single supplement is $1195 for main
deck cabins, $1245 for Promenade deck and $1295 for Bridge
Special offer :
Single supplement is reduced to only $595 for a 'run of
ship' room (ie choose the Main deck cabin above and pay only
$595 extra as a single).
Single supplement for the Guilin extension is
Rates include all meals and tours
specified on the
Note : Ask if you'd like
first class upgrades for the domestic China flights and/or
upgrades from hotel rooms to suites
You can pay for your cruise using a
credit card via Paypal with no credit card surcharge.
A $400 per person
non-refundable deposit is required to confirm your participation
and to hold your preferred grade of cabin, and the balance is due 90 days prior to departure.
What about the Air Fare?
These days airlines seldom
give discounts to groups, and sometimes even charge more, while
also adding extra restrictions to the tickets. And most
people have their own favorite carrier they wish to fly to
maximize their frequent flier benefits. For these reasons,
we do not arrange the international air travel for you.
You can choose whichever
carrier has the best fare and the best schedules for you, and
you can also choose a carrier that you wish to earn miles with.
You can even cash in miles and fly on frequent flier awards.
However, note also that we
can sometimes help with discounted tickets to China for less
than the airlines themselves quote, by booking through a
specialty China travel wholesaler. We'd be pleased to help
you get discounted air quotes if you wish.
If you're adding on the
option to Guilin, and if it isn't convenient for you to arrange
this yourself, we can help you with a flight from Guilin to
Beijing, Hong Kong or Shanghai at the end of this optional
We'll be pleased to answer
any questions you might have about arranging your air
transportation, of course.
Using Frequent Flier Miles
We all know it can be
difficult to get the exact flights you want if you're trying to
cash in some frequent flier miles. So here are some tips
to help you if you're trying to use frequent flier miles :
Check availability in all
cabins (coach, premium economy, business and first class) and be
prepared to fly one way in one cabin and the other way in a
downgraded cabin if necessary
Check availability for both
the 'real' flights on the real airlines, and on codeshare
flights too if your mileage can be used for both - for
example, Northwest codeshares with Delta.
Be flexible about dates - if
you have to spend another day or two in China so as to get free
flights, that's probably a trade-off you'll be pleased to
Suggested Tour Extensions
We suggest you arrive in
Beijing a day or two before Wednesday 18 June, so that you are
well rested when the tour starts, and you have a 'safety margin'
of a day or so in case of flight delays, missed flights, and
We of course suggest you
consider the Guilin extension at the end of the main tour.
Other things to consider at
the end (either of the main tour or after the Guilin extension)
could be time in Hong Kong, or elsewhere in Asia, or perhaps
taking a train back to Beijing and flying home from there.
Need More Information?
If you've a question or need
more clarification, go ahead and ask. Click for Live
Chat Help (if we're online) or
send us an email, or feel free to call us at (206)337-2317.
You will be asked to send in your $400 per person confirming
deposit as soon as your places on this tour have been
Tour Terms and Conditions
standard terms and conditions
apply to this tour.
In addition, please note
these extra terms :
1. The 90 day
payment due date is considered to be Friday 14 March.
2. US citizens require a
current passport that will not expire for at least six months
after the date of their planned return back to the US in order
to be admitted to China. They also require a Chinese
visa. Citizens of other countries should check with the
airline that will transport them to China to determine what
passport and visa requirements may apply.
We can help you get your
Chinese visa - the process is simple and straightforward,
and approval is quick and almost guaranteed. The
Chinese Embassy in the US charges a fee to issue your visa,
which you would pay.
3. Tour price is based on a
China/US exchange rate in the wholesale range between 7.1 - 7.3
yuan to the dollar. If the exchange rate varies outside of this rate
prior to final payment being received, the tour price will be
adjusted (either up or down) to reflect the change in the cost
of tour components. If the price of the tour increases by
more than 5%, participants will be offered a no cost, no penalty
opportunity to cancel and receive a full refund of all monies
4. Same as most other
countries, the internal flights within
China restrict the amount of luggage you can carry, free of
charge, to 44lbs per person (plus a carry-on). You can of
course take more than this, but be prepared to pay excess
baggage charges if you do.
5. Itinerary -
particularly for the cruise - is somewhat weather dependent
and may vary depending on what is best possible at the time.
18 Jan 2008, last update
14 May 2014