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12 Day Magical China & the Yangtze River

Avalon Tour & River Cruise starting in Beijing and finishing in Shanghai

Read reviews and enjoy exclusive savings on Avalon's 12 Day Magical China & the Yangtze River. Discover China's ancient history and fascinating culture on this delightful China river cruise. Sightseeing with a Local Guide shows you the highlights in Beijing, Xi'an, and...read more


Operator: Avalon
Type: Tour & River Cruise (Premium)
Duration: 12 Days
From: Beijing to Shanghai
Tour Code: WYC
Visits: China
Our Price From:
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Per Person ($AU)

Day By Day


Arrive In Beijing, China

Welcome to China's capital city. Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.


Your full-day sightseeing starts with a visit to the FORBIDDEN CITY and its IMPERIAL PALACE, once the home of China's great emperors. Nearby is 100-acre TIAN'ANMEN SQUARE, the largest public square in the world. After lunch, enjoy some time at your leisure. This evening, enjoy a special PEKING DUCK WELCOME DINNER at an award-winning restaurant in your hotel. (B/L/D)


The GREAT WALL OF CHINA once stretched 6,437 kilometres (4,000 miles) across China's barren northern terrain from the Bohai Sea to the Gobi Desert. Head north to a village where the Great Wall is well preserved, and walk along the wall to enjoy sweeping vistas of this mammoth fortress. Tonight, attend a performance of the PEKING OPERA, a traditional form of Chinese theatre, including a behind-the-scenes look at the colourful makeup being applied to the performers. Alternatively, you may choose to attend the LEGEND OF KUNG FU SHOW. Here, performers use a fusion of kung fu, dance, and acrobatics to tell the story of a monk who studies Buddhism and kung fu his whole life and eventually becomes a Zen master. (B/L)

Beijing - Xi'an

This morning, visit the TEMPLE OF HEAVEN and enjoy a rickshaw ride through one of Beijing's HUTONGS, the city's ancient alleys. Experience life in this historic neighbourhood as you are invited into the courtyard of a family's home for tea. Later, fly to Xi'an. (B/D)


One of the largest and wealthiest cities in the world when China dominated the silk trade, Xi'an today is an archaeological treasure trove. Sightseeing begins with the enormous tomb of China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi, accidentally discovered by local farmers in 1974. Marvel at the legion of TERRACOTTA WARRIORS that has been guarding the burial site for 2,000 years. You will also enter the VIP VIEWING AREA for an up-close view of these life-size statues. During lunch, enjoy a NOODLE-MAKING DEMONSTRATION by a master chef and learn how Chinese noodles are made by hand. Next, visit the DAYAN PAGODA, built in 652 AD. This evening, enjoy the "Tang Dynasty" DINNER SHOW, featuring a colourful assemblage of classical performances. (B/L/D)

Xi'an - Chongqing (Embarkation) - Yangtze River Cruise

This morning, visit the Xi'an City Wall South Gate and learn to write like a local during a traditional Chinese CALLIGRAPHY CLASS; you may even see some locals practicing their morning tai chi. Next, fly to Chongqing, China's capital during World War II. Visit a local ZOO to see pandas and eat dinner at a local HOT POT restaurant before boarding the Century Legend for a 3-night cruise through the breathtaking Three Gorges of the Yangtze. Join your travelling companions for a PRIVATE WELCOME RECEPTION including cocktails and snacks. (B/D)

Cruising: Shibaozhai

The morning is at your leisure to enjoy a variety of onboard activities. You may choose to start your day with a tai chi session on the Sun Deck, take a swim in the pool, or simply relax and enjoy the scenery. After lunch, take a WALKING TOUR of Shibaozhai with its 400-year-old, 12-story, red wooden pagoda perched high on a cliff side. This evening, the Captain hosts a welcome party, followed by dinner and a special performance by the ship's crew. (B/L/D) Please note: Depending on river conditions, an alternate shore excursion may be offered.

Cruising: Qutang Gorge - Wu Gorge - Shennv Stream

Again, enjoy the morning at your leisure on the ship. You may choose to take an optional shore excursion to Baidi Cheng, known as the "White Emperor City," to see the Baidi Temple. Later in the morning, sail downstream through the first and second of the three gorges - Qutang Gorge, the shortest but most dramatic gorge, and Wu, known for its quiet beauty and forest-covered mountains. You can nearly touch the perpendicular walls rising from the riverbanks as your Captain negotiates this narrow gap. After lunch, disembark for a BOAT EXCURSION down Shennv Stream. Along the way, see picturesque scenery and the mysterious hanging wooden coffins. Before returning to your ship you will also board a wooden boat on a smaller section of the stream, where the crew will sing songs as you glide across the stunning deep emerald-green waters surrounded by densely forested hills. This evening, join the Captain for a special farewell dinner. (B/L/D) Please note: Depending on river conditions, the boat excursion may be on the Daning River.

Cruising: Three Gorges Dam Site - Xiling Gorge - Yichang (Disembarkation) - Shanghai

This morning, visit the THREE GORGES DAM SITE, the largest dam of its kind in the world. Afterward, sail through Xiling Gorge, the last of the three gorges, before bidding farewell to your ship's crew in Yichang. After lunch in Yichang, transfer to the airport for your flight to Shanghai, China's most populous city and centre of trade and industry. (B/L)


Start your day with a stroll along the Bund, the city's riverfront boulevard lined with historic buildings, housing, banks, and trade houses. Then, visit YU YUAN GARDENS, dating back to the Ming Dynasty, and a SILK FACTORY to learn about the silk-making process. For lunch, a traditional DIM SUM feast awaits. Meaning "to touch your heart," dim sum was originally a snack but has transformed into a full meal with a wide variety of steamed dumplings, spring rolls, and more. Afterward, enjoy time at leisure. This evening, be entertained by a spectacular ACROBATIC SHOW. (B/L)


This morning, visit the SHANGHAI MUSEUM, featuring stunning displays of ancient bronze, jade, and ceramics. Then, take a WALKING TOUR of the former French Concession, once Shanghai's leading residential and retail area. Today, the qualities that made the area so popular endure-from quaint, tree-lined streets and exquisite architecture to charming shops and fashionable restaurants and bars. Along the way, see the famous Art Deco Cathay Theatre, explore the narrow lanes of Xintiandi, and visit Fuxing Park, where locals play chess, dance, practice tai chi, and more. The afternoon is at your leisure. This evening, your Tour Director hosts a special farewell dinner at your hotel. (B/D)


Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

Trip Inclusions

Included Experiences

  • CRUISE: Deluxe 3-night cruise from Chongqing to Yichang in a Deluxe Stateroom (DELUXE STATEROOM) with two lower beds, private facilities, and balcony.
  • BEIJING: Sightseeing including headsets; visit the Forbidden City, Imperial Palace, Tian'anmen Square, Great Wall, and Temple of Heaven; Peking Duck welcome dinner; Peking Opera performance or Legend of Kung Fu Show; hutong tour by rickshaw.
  • XI'AN: Sightseeing including headsets; visit the Terracotta Warriors including the VIP viewing area and Dayan Pagoda; noodle-making demonstration; calligraphy class; "Tang Dynasty" dinner show.
  • CHONGQING: Visit a local zoo to see pandas; hot pot dinner; begin your Yangtze cruise aboard the Century Legend; private welcome reception.
  • SHIBAOZHAI: Walking tour.
  • SHENNV STREAM: Boat excursion down one of the Yangtze's lesser gorges.
  • THREE GORGES DAM SITE: Sightseeing of the impressive dam site.
  • SHANGHAI: Sightseeing including headsets; visit the Bund, Yu Yuan Gardens, a silk factory, and the Shanghai Museum; dim sum lunch; walking tour of the French Concession; see an acrobatic show.
  • SIGHTSEEING: Your day-by-day itinerary indicates in UPPERCASE all inside visits, special features, and guided sightseeing. All included guided sightseeing is conducted by a Certified Local Guide.
  • LOCAL FAVOURITES: Special experiences by local entertainers, artisans, and experts, designed to enrich your experience.
  • MEALS: American breakfast daily (B), 7 lunches (L), 7 dinners (D) including a Peking Duck welcome dinner in Beijing and a farewell dinner in Shanghai.

Included Meals

  • 11 Breakfasts
  • 7 Lunches
  • 7 Dinners

Trip Notes

  • Accommodation, itinerary and inclusions subject to change.
  • Prices are for land / cruise only. Flights not included

Operator Details

Avalon Reviews: (372)
River Cruises on Sale: 94
Gratuities: Onboard Included Only
Airport Transfers: Available, Not Included
Balconies: French & Private Balcony
Shore Excursions: Included
Drinks: Wine & Beer Included with Meals
Destinations: Asia & Europe

Reviews (1)

Trip reviews from past clients of Global Journeys who have travelled on Magical China & the Yangtze River with Avalon.
NSW, Australia
May 2017
2 Trips
“12 Day Magical China Tour”
Booking With Global Journeys
All of the booking arrangements worked perfectly (international flights, airport pickups and drop offs, hotel accommodation, internal domestic flights, local bus tours etc). We could not have had a better China Tour guide than Vicky Qin, she was fantastic. The itinerary was busy but that's what you want in a tour such as this. The overall tour group of 16 people consisting of 2 Canadians, 12 Americans and us (2 Australians) was a comfortable and manageable number. We visited all of the "must see" sights including the Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors, Giant pandas, Yangtze River, Three Gorges Dam and many others. The VIP dining room on the river cruise was an excellent feature and the overall standard of meals on the tour was high, with western options available on most occasions. I would highly recommend this Tour.

Prices & Dates

There are currently no tour departures available for this tour - either it's the end of the season, or this tour itinerary has been changed and will no longer continue. Feel free to contact us for information about when next seasons dates will be released or click to view general brochure release dates for all destinations.

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Tour Notes
Trip prices are per person, and reflect applicable discounts. Discounts are subject to availability, exclusive to Global Journeys and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Trip prices are correct at the time of the products going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however are subject to change by Avalon. Full terms & conditions are available here.
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