Classic China & Yangtze Cruise

14 Day Tour

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This holiday combines China's classic sights of Beijing, Xi'an, Guilin and Shanghai with a 3 night journey along the great Yangtze River.

It is a distillation of China's highlights providing not only an insight into urban and rural China but also a flavour of this 5,000-year-old civilisation. A cruise on the Yangtze is a great way to break up the journey and contemplate some of the world class sites that you will have seen at the start of your trip. The Three Gorges Dam is visited on the final day of the river cruise and is a spectacular finale to the scenic journey through karst limestone peaks and fertile farmlands; a journey that has inspired poets and painters for millennia.


You will be greeted at the airport by your driver and guide who will accompany you to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.


A morning tour of Tian'anmen Square, the largest public square in the world, and the Palace Museum, known as the Forbidden City; the complex of imperial palaces which was home to the emperors for over 500 years in the Ming and Qing dynasties.

You will then move on to old part of Beijing – the Hutongs. Your guide will take you for a walk through Hutong area and stop at a local home, where you will learn how to make dumplings – the most popular food in the country, and enjoy a home cooked lunch. After lunch, you will be driven to visit the Summer Palace, a former summer resort for the imperial family.

This evening, you will be at leisure or take an optional evening show The Legend of Kungfu. (B, L)


A full day excursion to include the Great Wall - the landmark of China and one of the most amazing feats of human labour. You are to visit the Mutianyu section. You will have lunch at a local restaurant near the Wall and have an opportunity to visit a Cloisonne workshop. On your way back to downtown, stop at the Olympic Green to photograph theiconic "Bird's Nest" - the Beijing National Stadium - host to many spectacular events of the 2008 Summer Olympics. This evening you will be treated to a delicious Beijing roast duck dinner. (B, L, D)


This morning visit the Temple of Heaven, a 15th century architectural masterpiece and UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the place where the emperors came twice a year to worship the God of Heaven and pray for good harvest. During the day, the park, where the Temple of Heaven located, is a popular place for Beijingers to come and exercise – and you will see all forms and styles of exercise from ballroom dancing, marching, kite flying, Chi Gong through to walking backwards (yes, frequent collisions occur). You will have chance to experience "tea ceremony" before you leave Temple of Heaven.

This afternoon you are transferred to railway station for the high speed train to Xi’an. Upon arrival, your Xi’an guide will meet you and take you directly for a city tour. You will visit the old town area and take a stroll along the bustling Muslim Street. Your dinner today is a dumpling banquet served at the famous De Fa Chang Restaurant.

Transfer to check in hotel after dinner and enjoy a relaxing evening. (B, L, D)


This exciting day of sightseeing will include the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses at the Tomb of Qin Shi Huang, the first Qin Emperor. After lunch you will stop to visit a pottery factory to learn how the terracotta figures are made. You will then continue to the ancient City Wall of the Ming Dynasty. Dating back to the 7th century, it is one of the oldest fortified walls in China.
This evening you will be at leisure or take the option to enjoy the Tang Dynasty Dinner Show. (B, L)


This morning, you will visit the Shanxi Provincial Museum where you will discover how Xi'an became the cradle of Chinese culture. After lunch, you will be transferred to the airport for a two-hour flight to Guilin. You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. (B, L)


After breakfast at hotel, enjoy a scenic Li River cruise to the legendary Yangshuo. Lunch will be served on board. Your cruise will take you through some of Guilin's best scenery and enjoy the simple lunch on the cruise. Disembark at Yangshuo, visit the lovely small town, and enjoy a stroll through the tiny, West Street of Yangshuo and afterwards check into your hotel. (B, L)


Morning is free at Yangshuo to explore the picturesque village nearby

Our guide will pick you up in the afternoon, and you will be transferred to the airport for a 1.5 hour flight to Chongqing. You will take a short city tour, if time permits. You will then be transferred to pier to board your Yangtze cruise ship, your home for the next 3 days. The ship will depart Chongqing at 9:00 pm. (B)


After breakfast enjoy a two hour shore excursion to Fengdu - Ghost City or Shibaozhai. Cruise through the spectacular Qutang Gorge. (B,L,D)


Today you will witness some of the most fascinating sights in all of China. Enjoy a shore excursion at Shennong Stream or Lesser Three Gorges. You will continue cruising through the Wu Gorge and the west part of Xiling Gorges. Sail through Three Gorges dam shiplocks. (B,L,D)


Enjoy a shore excursion at the Three Gorges Dam Project, one of the largest construction project ever undertaken and it will forever change the face of the Yangtze River. After disembarkation at Yichang, you will be transferred to airport for 2.5 hours to Shanghai, a cosmopolitan and bustling city. You will be transferred to your hotel upon arrival. (B, L)


Today, you will take a full day orientation tour including visits to Yuyuan Garden – the most beautiful private garden in Shanghai, the Old City and its bazaar, Shanghai Museum, a silk store and French Concession. You will also visit to Shanghai’s new Pudong area, now home to the modern skyscrapers directly face Puxi's historic Bund.

Your evening will be at leisure. Or alternatively, you could choose to either enjoy a night cruise along Huangpu River, or enjoy the stunning ERA acrobatic show. (B,L)


You will have a full day at leisure to explore the city by yourself or to do last minute shopping.
Alternatively, you could choose to take a half day tour to Zhujiajiao Ancient Water Town. (B)


At leisure until your transfer to the airport for homebound flight. (B)


Notes on our prices

The guide prices shown are designed to provide you with a broad indication of how much to budget for your holiday.

Prices are generally for private arrangements based on two people travelling together and sharing a room. There are a number of factors which will influence the price; these include the standard of accommodation, the season, and the level of private guiding versus shared excursions.


3* Traveler Inn Huaqiao Beijing Business Room for 3 nights
4* Howard Johnson Paragon Hotel Standard Room for 3 nights
3* Xi'an Skytel Hotel Standard Room for 2 nights
4* Xi'an Ramada Bell Tower Hotel Superior Room for 2 nights
3* Guilin Osmanthus Hotel Standard Room for 1 night
4* Guilin Bravo Hotel Standard Room for 1 night
3* Yangshuo Mountain Retreat Mountain View Room for 1 night
4* Yangshuo Mountain Retreat Mountain View Room for 1 night
5* Ship Victoria Cruises Main Deck for 3 nights
3* Xin Mei East China Hotel Superior Room for 3 nights
4* Sunrise on the Bund Hotel Deluxe Room for 3 nights

Your Holiday Includes: 

  • 13 nights’ accommodation at hotels listed above or similar including daily breakfast
  • High speed train Beijing/Xi’an, 2nd class tickets
  • Flight Xi’an/Guilin/Chongqing and Yichang/Shanghai on economy class including all taxes
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Sightseeing programs by private air-conditioned vehicle including all admission fees
  • Full board on 5* Victoria Cruise including all shore excursions (There is a compulsory tipping amount of RMB 150 per person on cruise, the receptionist will charge passengers when they check-in on the cruise)
  • English speaking local guide service in each city
  • Luggage handling and transfers from airport to hotel and vice versa.

Value for money
We believe that value for money is important, we want you to travel with ICAN Holidays again. When comparing prices, ensure you are comparing like for like as often there may be a cheaper option, but there may be hidden extras or the quality may not be as good.

Classic China & Yangtze River - 14 Days
Visit Beijing, Xi'an, Guilin, Yangtze River cruise, Shanghai. (Code: TLT)