We will be open at 9:00 am. Call 020 7590 0613
Forbidden City, Beijing, China

Best of China with APT

15-day tailor-made holiday from £5,795 pp incl. flights


Short description

An escorted tour of China's icons, including a luxury Yangtze River cruise


  • Cruise down the Yangzte on board the splendid Sanctuary Yangzie Explorer
  • Climb the Great Wall of China and wander the pathways of the Forbidden City
  • Contrast the ancient Terracotta Warriors with the neon city-scape of Shanghai

In Brief

  • 3 Nights Beijing
  • 4 Nights Yangtze River Cruise
  • 2 Nights Xian
  • 3 Nights Shanghai


Recommended for:
City | Escorted tour | History & culture | Natural world | River cruise

Taking in the highlights of China, including an unforgettable four-night Yangtze River cruise through the spectacular Three Gorges region – home to the controversial Three Gorges Dam – this 14-day fully escorted tour with APT is the perfect way to explore the history and landscapes magnificent country, travelling with like-minded people in the company of expert guides and visiting Beijing, the Great Wall, Xian, Shanghai and of course the mighty Yangtze River. APT's Freedom of Choice touring and dining concept, available at selected destinations, allows you to see what interest you most and eat at your preferred restaurants, adding a unique tailored element to this wonderful group holiday.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1

Depart the UK on an overnight flight to China's capital, Beijing.

Day 2

On arrival in Beijing you'll be met and transferred to your hotel in the centre of the city. Spend the rest of the day at leisure before heading to an evening welcome reception where you'll meet your APT Tour Director and fellow travellers.

Stay: Raffles Beijing

Day 3

After breakfast at your hotel you'll head out with your group and guide for a tour of Tian'anmen Square and the Forbidden City, two of Beijing's most important historic attractions. Return to your hotel and freshen up before heading out this evening to enjoy a traditional Peking Duck banquet.

Stay: Raffles Beijing

Meals: B L D

Day 4
Great Wall of China

Today you'll visit one of China's true icons as you head north from Beijing to one of the best-preserved sections of the Great Wall of China. A guided walk along its famous ramparts affords wonderful views of the surrounding mountains and across to the nearby village of Mutianyu. Overlooking the wall you'll enjoy a lunch at a local restaurant accompanied by free-flowing drinks. This afternoon you might choose to relax with afternoon tea at the Raffles Hotel before attending a Peking Opera show or maybe you want to explore the Silk Alley Market or take in a Kung Fu show at the Red Theatre. 

Stay: Raffles Beijing

Meals: B L

Day 5
Yangtze River Cruise

This morning you'll enjoy a private cruise on a traditionally styled sailing boat along the shores of the beautiful Summer Palace.   Afterwards transfer to the airport for your flight to Yichang and your luxury river cruise along the Yangtze.

Stay: Sanctuary Yangtze Explorer

Meals: B L D

Day 6
Three Gorges Dam & Xiling Gorge

Sail through the spectacular Three Gorges region, the morning will be spent relaxing on board and soaking up the dramatic landscapes. After lunch you'll arrive at the Three Gorges Dam where you'll leave the ship for a tour of this incredible and often controversial feat of engineering. At the end of the tour you'll rejoin the ship and cruise through Xiling Gorge - the longest of the three gorges. Pass through Yellow Ox Gorge and under the Huangling Temple set among orange groves and pomelo trees. In the evening you'll enjoy a Welcome Reception with the captain followed by a delicious Welcome Dinner.

Stay: Sanctuary Yangtze Explorer

Meals: B L D

Day 7
Shennong Stream, Qutang Gorge & Wu Gorge

The ship stops at Badong this morning where you'll disembark for a traditional sampan ride, a long boat poled by local Tujia boatman. Take in the serene surroundings of the river, its clear waters, surrounding forests and dramatic rock formations. After lunch, head to Wu Gorge, known for its sheer granite peaks before passing between two towering cliffs as you enter Qutang Gorge.

Stay: Sanctuary Yangtze Explorer

Meals: B L D

Day 8
Fengdu or Relocation Tour

Early risers can enjoy a Tai Chi class on the observation deck this morning before breakfast is served and the tour continues with a trip to Fengdu - a "ghost city" located on the banks of the river at the foothills of the surrounding mountains. Alternatively you may prefer to join a 'Relocation Tour' where you'll visit a local family who were relocated during the construction of the Three Gorges Dam, an intriguing insight into the recent history of the region. In the afternoon you'll have the opportunity to attend a Chinese Brush Painting and Calligraphy demonstration, learn how to play the ancient game of Mahjong, take part in a dumpling-making class - run by the ship's chef - or learn a few useful words of Mandarin, certain to help you on the rest of your tour through China.

In the evening you'll join your fellow passengers and crew for a sumptuous farewell dinner.

Stay: Sanctuary Yangtze Explorer

Meals: B L D

Day 9
Chongquin & Xian

Leave the ship at the riverside city of Chongquin, the finishing point of your Yangtze River Cruise. Originally established in the 11th century, this city has a fascinating past having played a key role in World War II. This morning you'll pay a visit to Chongquin Zoo to see the giant pandas before heading to lunch at a traditional restaurant where you'll be served an authentic hot pot.

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Xian and transfer to your city-centre hotel. In the evening you'll have a choice of dining options including Chinese, European and Brazilian at a selection of the city's best restaurants.

Stay: Sofitel Renmin Square

Meals: B L D

Day 10
Xian and the Terracotta Warriors (Freedom of Choice)

Spend this morning touring Xian's historic city wall, still one of the world's largest military defence systems, before travelling to the site of the Terracotta Warriors, a clay model army of some 8,000 soldiers, dating back more than 2000 years. Spend time at the site before heading to the Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses where you'll learn more about this archaeological wonder.

Today's freedom of choice touring options include a Tang Dynasty cultural performance and a local dumpling dinner, or a guided tour of Xian's Muslim Quarter with dinner at a local restaurant.

Stay: Shangri-La Hotel, Xian

Meals: B L D

Day 11
Shanghai (Freedom of Choice)

After a morning at leisure you'll transfer to Xian airport and fly to Shanghai where you'll spend the next three nights. You'll take the high speed Maglev train into the city. Choose where you'd like to dine this evening from a wonderful selection of recommended local restaurants.

Stay: Fairmont Peace Hotel

Meals: B L D

Day 12

Spend this morning on a guided bus tour through Shanghai's downtown area, stopping at the Oriental Pearl Tower next to Pudong Park. Here, you'll take an lift up to the viewing deck for panoramic views of the city skyline. After lunch, visit a local silk factory for an insight into local silk manufacturing. Dine at your leisure this evening before rejoining your group for an acrobatics show where you'll enjoy premium seating.

Stay: Fairmont Peace Hotel

Meals: B L

Day 13
Shanghai (Freedom of Choice)

After breakfast, embark on one of today's Freedom of Choice dining options. Perhaps cruise the Huangpu River and visit Yu Garden for a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, take part in a Shanghai dumpling cookery class, or board a boat for a tour of the scenic waterways in nearby Jinxi

Tonight you'll enjoy a farewell dinner at The Cathay Room with spectacular views over the Pudong district, the prefect opportunity to swap stories and say farewell to your fellow travellers.

Stay: Fairmont Peace Hotel

Meals: B L D

Days 14-15

Transfer to the airport for your overnight flight home. 

Meals: B



Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Accommodation rating: Deluxe

15-day tailor-made holiday from £5,795 pp incl. flights

Meet our experts

Speak to a tailor-made specialist on 020 7590 0613

Meet the team

Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0613 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

Learn why Wexas is the leader in creating luxury holidays. What is tailor-made travel?

Expert advice & support

Visit us in our London office

Let our travel specialists curate the perfect holiday:

  • Inspirational ideas based on experience
  • Established for over 50 years
  • Tailor a holiday to your precise requirements
  • Personalised quotes and documentation

Every step of the way

Every step of the way

Our services are with you from start to finish:

  • Dedicated personal consultants
  • Free airport lounges on qualifying bookings
  • Care and guidance pre, post and during holiday
  • Full financial security: ABTA & ATOL protected