China & Yangtze River Cruise with Hong Kong

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  • $3199
    Air+Tax Included
  • 18
    Days
  • Average Tour Review

BEIJING, XIAN, SHANGHAI, GUILIN, YANGTZE RIVER CRUISE AND HONG KONG

How can you begin to discover a country so vast, so ancient, so diverse? Our China tour with Yangtze River cruise doesn’t waste a moment, ensuring that you’ll experience the most intriguing, renowned sights on what is truly a trip of a lifetime. Count on your smarTours® guides to navigate the innumerable details of travel in China and add nuanced narrative to everything you’ll see—from Tiananmen Square to the Terracotta Army, the Great Wall to giant pandas. We’ll break the trip to meander along the fabled Yangtze, China’s longest river, on a scenic four-night cruise. And we’re not done yet! We wisely complete this escorted package with a visit to colorful, hectic, exciting Hong Kong.

Itinerary at
a Glance

  • 2 Nights in Shanghai
  • 3 Nights in Beijing
  • 2 Nights in Xian
  • 4-Night Yangtze River Cruise
  • 2 Nights in Guilin
  • 3 Nights in Hong Kong

Tour
Highlights

  • The Bund (Shanghai)
  • Tiananmen Square (Beijing)
  • Great Wall (Beijing)
  • Terracotta Army (Xian)
  • Yangtze River Cruise
  • Li River (Guilin)
  • Victoria Peak (Hong Kong)
  • Optional Macau Excursion

Activity Level: Adventurer 

Your Tour
Includes

  • Round-trip airfare from the Los Angeles (New York-JFK available at additional cost)
  • Airfare taxes, fees & fuel surcharges
  • All intra-China flights and ground transportation
  • Accommodation at deluxe hotels
  • Deluxe Yangtze River cruise aboard Victoria Cruises Premier ship in outside cabin with picture window and private balcony. Victoria Cruises was recently voted as one of USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Cruise Lines!
  • 34 meals: 16 full-buffet American breakfasts (B), 10 lunches (L) and 8 dinners (D).
  • Comprehensive sightseeing tours, admission fees included
  • All shore excursions
  • English-speaking Tour Director and local guides

Tour Itinerary

Click the Day by Day itinerary above (or swipe on mobile devices) to see the experiences that await on each day of your tour.

Depart U.S.

Take off in the afternoon on a nonstop flight to Shanghai. Airfare from U.S. is included in your tour package.

Arrive in Shanghai

After crossing the International Date Line, you’ll arrive late afternoon in the “Paris of the East.” After being greeted at the airport, you’ll be escorted to your hotel, getting a first glimpse of this dynamic city, which blends a seaport legacy with sleek 21st-century architecture. This evening, your Tour Director hosts a welcome briefing. Crowne Plaza Fudan Hotel (or similar)

Shanghai

We’ll start the day like the locals do—with morning exercise. Ours will be in the form of a guided stroll along the Bund, the bustling Huangpu River waterfront, followed by a walk through Yu Yuan Garden. Take a deep breath and enjoy the rockeries, pavilions and sculpture of this classical Ming Dynasty-era garden, which was created over 400 years ago to be a happy, tranquil place for the owner’s parents. The remainder of the day is free for exploration at your own pace. (You might sample the Nanxiang Steamed Buns!) We’ll gather for a buffet dinner at the hotel, followed by an…

Shanghai/Beijing

A morning visit to the acclaimed Shanghai Museum introduces us to amazing ancient Chinese art and artifacts, from bronze and jade to calligraphy and coins. After lunch, we’ll fly to the capital city Beijing, which so mesmerized the world during the 2008 Summer Olympics. Our hotel is centrally located in downtown Beijing, with easy access to Tiananmen Square, the largest public square in the world. B/L Capital Hotel (or similar)

Beijing and The Great Wall

Beijing and The Great Wall
Today, encounter one of the world’s wonders: the legendary Great Wall, which stretches nearly 4,000 miles across China and was built more than 2,300 years ago. You’ll have plenty of time to explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site, take in the vistas and climb the well-preserved ramparts before heading to the Summer Palace, a former royal retreat of the Empress Dowager. Now a lovely park, it’s a scenic spot for our boat ride on peaceful Kunming Lake. Later on, join your fellow travelers for an evening banquet. On the menu: the celebrated…

Beijing

Take advantage of a free day to explore Beijing as you wish. On an optional Hutong and Temple of Heaven excursion, you’ll explore the city’s ancient back alleys via rickshaw before enjoying lunch with a local family in their home. Last stop on this smarTours option: a visit to the Ming Dynasty masterpiece, the Temple of Heaven. Whatever you decide to do today, we’ll all gather in the evening for “Legend of Kung Fu,” an entertaining performance that blends music and martial arts. You have to see it to believe it! B Capital Hotel (or similar)

Beijing and Xian

A visit to Beijing isn’t complete without seeing Tiananmen Square. Surrounded by impressive buildings and monuments, this vast square is a prime people-watching spot. We’ll then join a local expert to discover the Forbidden City, the largest ancient palatial structure in the world and home of 24 emperors throughout the Ming and Qing dynasties. It is a true architectural masterwork and home to the National Palace Museum. Later, we’ll catch our flight to Xian, ancient capital of China over 11 dynasties and historic gateway to the silk trading route. Grand Mercure Xian Renmin…

Xian & Terracotta Army

Ready to see one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century? You’ll be amazed by the Terracotta Army, an afterlife (and life-sized!) army of warriors, chariots and horses built over 2,200 years ago to guard the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi. This architectural treasure was unearthed in 1974 after being discovered by local farmers. Fun fact: each of the 8,000 soldiers differs in gestures and facial expressions. Our next stop is the Tang Art Museum, where we’ll view intriguing exhibits and demonstrations of Chinese culture, including folk arts, ancient painting works and calligraphy….

Xian/Yichang/Yangtze River Cruiser

After a short flight to Wuhan, we’ll transfer to Yichang in the western Hubei Province. This is the gateway to the Yangtze River Gorges. We’ll board our luxurious river cruiser later today and settle in our spacious cabins before setting sail late tonight. B/L/D Victoria Cruises Premier Ship 

Yangtze River Cruise

Awesome scenery? Check. Amazing views? Check. Architectural feats? Check. (Plus, cocktails with the captain!) Our first full day of cruising includes a stop at Sandouping village to visit and learn about the ongoing Yangtze Dam project, the world’s largest hydroelectric power project. We’ll then sail through the Three Gorges ship-locks towards the long, twisting passage of Xiling Gorge, where you’ll sight rushing rapids, weathered peaks, mysterious caves and temple landmarks. Tonight, be the Captain’s guest at a cocktail reception. B/L/D Victoria Cruises Premier…

Yangtze River Cruise

If yesterday wasn’t unforgettable enough, our cruise continues through the famous Three Gorges, undoubtedly the most scenic section of the Yangtze. We’ll sail through the misty Wu Gorge in the shadows of 12 soaring peaks. But we haven’t had our fill of gorges! In Wushan, we’ll board a smaller boat for a breathtaking excursion up the Daning River to see the Three Small Gorges. Prepare to be awed by lofty cliffs, emerald water, lush vegetation and quite possibly a troop of monkeys on the river banks! B/L/D Victoria Cruises Premier Ship

Yangtze River Cruise

On our cruising today, we’ll dock in Shibaozhai to see “The Pearl of the Yangtze,” a magnificent pagoda built without nails and considered one of China’s architectural gems. (Note: Shore excursion is subject to change due to water level.) Our last night aboard the ship features a farewell banquet and cultural show. B/L/D Victoria Cruises Premier Ship

Arrive in Chongqing/Disembark Ship/Guilin

We’ll bid farewell to river cruising in the mountain city of Chongqing, a modern river port with ancient history spanning 3,000 years. Delight in a visit to the Chongqing Zoo where you’ll see the adorable Giant Pandas. Later, board a high speed train to Guilin, home to the magnificent karst limestone formations, mist-covered hills and bamboo groves that have inspired Chinese art through the ages. B/L Guilin Bravo Hotel (or similar)

Guilin & Li River Cruise

Towering limestone pinnacles and misty waters create a storybook setting for a leisurely cruise on the Li River. We’ll see everything from water buffalo and rice paddies to fishermen on bamboo rafts. A stop in the bustling market town of Yangshuo affords free time to explore and shop. Join your fellow travelers tonight for a special dinner. B/L/D Guilin Bravo Hotel

Guilin/Hong Kong

This morning, we’ll visit Reed Flute Cave, called “The Palace of the Natural Arts” for its stunning rock formations. (One even looks like the Statue of Liberty!) Lighting lends a magical, neon atmosphere to the cave. Later, we’ll take the bullet to Hong Kong. Here, we’ll transfer to our hotel in the heart of bustling Kowloon, near the majestic harbor promenade. B Regal Kowloon Hotel (or similar)

Hong Kong

Take a ride to the top of Victoria Peak for spectacular city and harbor vistas. Our morning Hong Kong tour also includes a visit to vibrant Stanley Market (bargains await!), scenic Repulse Bay and the exotic Aberdeen floating fishing village. The afternoon is at leisure for shopping or independent exploration. Be sure to sample the amazing array of delicacies in this culinary mecca. B Regal Kowloon Hotel (or similar)

Hong Kong

Experience the true “East Meets West” flavor of Hong Kong with a free day. You can also join an optional excursion via high-speed turbojet ride to Macau, a fascinating city that was once under Portuguese rule. Here the European/Mediterranean influence is evident in its fortresses and churches, yet it exudes a strong Chinese heritage. Macau is also Asia’s gambling capital, if you are so inclined! B Regal Kowloon Hotel (or similar)

Hong Kong/U.S.

Following breakfast, we’ll transfer to the airport for the return flight to the U.S. Your China journey ends as we touch down later today. B

Guided Tour Pricing

Price includes round-trip airfare from the U.S. (Land-only pricing available on request.)

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Rates are per person based on double occupancy.
2019 Departures: Single room supplement is $899.

Add $100 if departing from New York (JFK).

Business Class Upgrade
LAX/Shanghai/LAX add $3495. JFK/Shanghai/JFK add $3595

China visa fee is not included.

For more information on this tour, please contact us here or call us during business hours (Mon-Fri, 9:00-5:30 EST) at 800-337-7773.

Reservations and Payments
Reservations can be made by phone (1-800-337-7773) and will be confirmed upon receipt of $300 per person non-refundable, non-transferable deposit which must be received within 48 hours of reservation. Full payment is due 75 days prior to departure. Baggage fees may apply. Space and prices subject to availability. For complete booking information and terms & conditions click here.

Optional Tours Customize your trip with these optional tours.

Pricing is subject to change. Payment (non-refundable) should be made by cash or credit card (VISA, MasterCard or AmEx, subject to service charge).

Shanghai Acrobats Performance

  • Shanghai
  • From approx. $35 Per Person

Delight in the amazing skills of this renowned troop during an evening performance.

Full-Day Hutong (Old Beijing) & Temple of Heaven Tour with Lunch

  • Beijing
  • From approx. $65 Per Person

Go behind-the-scenes for an unforgettable tour of Hutong, the old city of Beijing. You’ll ride on a traditional three-wheel cycle (rickshaw) through the labyrinth that comprises this quarter. Walk along ancient back alleys and see where ordinary citizens live side-by-side with gracious old estates once owned by Beijing’s old aristocracy. After an included lunch with a local family, visit the Temple of Heaven, a masterpiece of architectural harmony and precision.

Macau Day Tour with Lunch

  • Hong Kong
  • From approx. $130 Per Person

Take the turbojet ride to Macau, formerly under Portuguese rule, and you’ll be struck by the clear European/Mediterranean influence with its beautiful fortresses and churches yet its simultaneous Chinese heritage. Your visit today includes A-Ma Temple, Mount Fortress, Section of the Old Walls, Nam Van Lake and the ruins of St. Paul Cathedral. Time to try your luck at the Casino before returning to Hong Kong by turbojet later this afternoon.
Note: For this optional tour payment by cash only.

Reviews

Karen

This was our first Smartour we took on the recommendation of a friend who has taken several. You did not disappoint. Mark was our tour guide for the group of 13. We were more like a family who he led us through tours, flights, hotels. We never felt cheated with any sightseeing with 4 intro China flights. No time wasted. The hidden gem and highlight for us was Guilin. Beautiful city and extraordinary hotel. The only criticism would be the location of the Shanghai Crowne Plaza. It was 30 mins. Outside of the city. Luckily we did our own air because I knew I needed time to adjust after traveling 20 hours. The daytime tours were excellent but no other guests had the opportunity to see Shanghai at night. Our next stop, Beijing hotel was 2 blocks from Tianemen Square. All 13 of us walked to experience it lite up at night. Thank you for Mark, the itinerary and beautiful hotels. You are on my list of recommended travel tours.

Marge G

The China & Yangtze River Cruise w/ Hong Kong was truly amazing! Smartours had all arrangements down to a science, with all tours and transfers running like clockwork. Our tour director, Jason Hu, was a wonderful, caring young man who went the extra mile to take care of our group of 19....always with a smile. Our tour guides, Jennifer, Tom, Alun, Kenny, Linda and Kelly were very knowledgeable and smoothed the way for some interesting tours, as well as being very attentive. The Yangtze River cruise was wonderful and the scenery magnificent. We could not have asked for better accommodations or meals in China....all places were truly the best, as was the Hong Kong hotel. I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone seeking a top notch tour to see the highlights of China!

Martha

Julian and I are still talking and telling everyone we meet about the surprisingly wonderful trip we recently took. Our guide, Mr. Li Bo, Oscar, was our mother, father, savior, historian, bathroom locator and best friend throughout the entire trip. He seemed to have a second sense and was there when we needed him, either for a pharmacy, help with our luggage or credit cards and the ATM's. The local guides, especially Allie, in Shanghai were extremely helpful and knowledgeable. The hotels and Yangtze River rooms were excellent. All the shows, parks and extras and river cruises were wonderful. The food was pretty good but the hot pots and dim sum that we had when we ventured out on our own was sensational. It's an amazing country with beautiful and unusual sites. I look forward to more trips with SmarTours and I can only hope that they are as great as this trip was for us. Thank you Oscar.

Robert K

We were a group of 34 seniors departing from JFK on 12 Oct 2017. The itinerary was the same as the standard 17-day tour and it was well-paced for our group. Mark Ma was our Tour Director, and he was very helpful, friendly and made sure that everyone was safe and enjoying the trip. My group has been on several guided international tours, and this was one of the best. smarTours helped us set up the tour, get our visas and got us first-class hotels throughout the trip. I recommend that you consider them for your travel group. Ms. Suzanne Anderson at their NYC office was specially helpful. Thanks to everyone at smarTours for this excellent experience.

Sheryl

We just returned from our 4th SmarTour. Our guide Sun Harry made our China trip outstanding. He spoke perfect English, was knowledgeable, kind, friendly,fun and was able to keep our large group of 34 with different needs and wants very happy. He taught us so much about the chinese culture. He always informed us in advance of what we needed for the next adventure. The trip was very active and diversified and we visited cities, villages, and enjoyed lunch in a family home. We interacted and had many opportunities to join local welcoming people in their different recreational activities like exercising in the parks and listening to music. The food was outstanding with many choices. The 4-day Yangtze River was spectacular. The beautiful hotel accommodations were places we would not be able to stay at if not on this tour. We were taken to many cultural performances that we will always remember. Thank you Sun for making our trip so special and teaching us so much. We also enjoyed the other local guides knowledge.

Risa m

From start to finish this trip was packed with amazing historical, cultural, and contemporary China. Our guide Harry, whose pleasure it was to share his passion for his country's history was always helpful and ready to answer our questions. Harry was the best guide ever, and I highly recommend touring with him. The itinerary is not to be believed! The accommodations are deluxe. Pack light, as it is very informal, and wear good shoes. Do not miss this trip. You won't be sorry. I cannot wait to experience another trip with SmarTours!

Helena

We had a excellent trip in China! That was already our 6s tour with SmarTours and the tour met all our expectations. The itinerary and the hotels were very good. Especially thanks to our terrific tour guide Oscar for all of his help and attention.The photos are below: China - https://flic.kr/s/aHskW8CZ85 Hong Kong - https://flic.kr/s/aHskUShhvU

Alvin F

Great trip from the start. China Eastern Airline treats its customers better than a lot of U.S. airlines. Seats had enough room, 3 sufficient meals were served on the 15 hour flight. Our guide, Li Bo, was absolutely exceptional from start to finish of the tour. The hotels were all 5 star. The sites along the trip were all unbelievable, even without the optional tours. We had enough free time to do the little extra things that we wanted to do. The local guide were all very good, friendly and knowledgeable. China surprised us with its absolute beauty, size, opulence of the tourist sites. Even the factories that were visited proved to be eye opening and not just tourist traps. The trip left us extremely happy that we had taken it and was an absolute bargain.

Sharon K

On October 13, 2016, we left for our trip to China & the Yangtze River Cruise. 27 people who couldn't wait to meet each other and most of all our tour guide, Mark Ma. To say that he's the best would be an understatement. Our trip was fabulous from the moment we met him til we boarded the plane, homeward bound. His knowledge of China is vast and his English is perfect. This is my 3rd trip with Smart Tours and I love traveling with them. The price is unbeatable for what we always get. From hotels, to transportation, tours and food Smart Tours can't be beat. The trip is physically demanding but the upside is I lost 6 pounds from so much walking. I can't wait for my next trip. Thanks!!

Bonnie K

We hit the road running, flight from LA to Shanghai...our guide Mark was waiting for us and we set off for the hotel. Mark Ma spent the entire time with us. For most of us that have travelled a lot, we all felt he was one of the best ever. He was patient, intelligent, knowledeable, and informative. There were 26 in our group of varying ages and abilities. At the end of the day, we saw so much and were ready for bed at night. There is so much to see, but the crowds of people for us proved very tiring. China proved to be a remarkable country, we were all blown away how they have advanced mainly since Tienamen and then of course where they are going from here. The cities were all new and amazing, and very, very clean. We were hard pressed to find any litter anywhere. All of the major attractions were amazing....The Terra Cotta Warriors were almost beyond belief...no one should miss seeing this piece of history. At every place we went, Mark and smarTours had arranged for a tour guide for us for that area....they were able to give us great insight to that days activities from a local perspective.For your information, we saw tours from much more expensive tour companies all along the way...they were seeing most of the same sights, staying at many of the same hotels...be sure to realize the value of this trip

Ray M

My second smarTour trip was simply amazing. The value for money incredible, Harry our tour director just perfect and China mind blowing. I just can't say enough about this amazing experience, except to say "just do it". You won't have any regrets.

Ellis

Overall the tour was great. Harry was quite knowledgeable and a great tour leader who assisted with every needs. He saw that as Vegetarians we were accorded enough choices for our diet. Individual guides in the cities were also quite knowledgeable and provided a wealth of information.

Marlene T

This tour with Sun (Harry) was the best tour I have ever taken! He was an excellent tour guide and now friend to all of us that were on the tour together. Not only did we see most of the spectacular sites in China, crisscrossing the country, but Sun provided a lot of information regarding China, was always careful to meet everyone's needs and was a total support throughout the trip. His calm manner of navigating all the details for our group of 23 and for all the airports, buses, cruise boats and trains was amazing. His command of the English language and his sense of humor kept us very engaged! I have great memories of China, learned a lot and made a friend forever with Sun (Harry)! I would like to go on other Smartours and would welcome him as my guide anywhere in the World.
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