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Yangtze River, China

The Yangtze River and Best of China

15-day tailor-made holiday from £4,330 pp incl. flights


Short description

Between gleaming cities, natural splendour and ancient wonders, this comprehensive tour showcases China’s storied highlights

British Airways Sale

The British Airways Sale is now on, with some superb savings in Club World and World Traveller to a wide range of destinations – ends 4th October 2022.


  • Cruise the Yangtze’s rural beauty in all-inclusive luxury, enjoying the largest cabins on the river
  • The Great Wall, Terracotta Army and the Forbidden Palace
  • Travel in luxury, with gourmet dining and private touring and transfers
  • Get swept up in China’s cutting-edge cities – Shanghai and Beijing

In Brief

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


Recommended for:
City | History & culture | July holidays | Natural world | October holidays | River cruise | September holidays

From gleaming skyscrapers to centuries-old national treasures and the rural charm of the Yangtze River, you’ll see all of China’s highlights in style, with flight hops, a luxury cruise and private touring, gourmet dining and transfers throughout. And, in between Shanghai’s megacity bustle, Xian’s Terracotta Army and Beijing’s Great-Wall and Forbidden-Palace grandeur, you’ll stop off at millennia-old river towns and ride a rickshaw through local markets to pause at incense-clouded temples. Such included extras as acrobatic displays, tasting dinners and folkloric dance performances bring it all to life.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1

Begin your holiday in style, with complimentary airport lounge access before your overnight flight to China.

Days 2-5

On arrival, a private transfer will bring you to your central accommodation. To showcase the capital’s myriad highlights, you’ll then enjoy the services of a private guide and driver for the next three days. First, you’ll take in the iconic Tiananmen Square, the garden-ringed Summer Palace and the ancient halls of the Forbidden City. The next day, after a visit to the dramatically tiered Ming Tombs, you’ll enjoy a true trip highlight – the Great Wall. Alongside your usual included lunch, you’ll also be treated to a Peking duck dinner. On your last day, you’ll get a taste of daily Chinese life with a rickshaw tour of the city’s maze of hutong laneways, stopping at temples and palaces.

Stay: Park Plaza (Superior) or New World Beijing (Deluxe)

Meals: B L

Days 6-7

Following a private transfer, you’ll fly out to Xian – the ancient terminus of the Silk Road. Your private touring will start with the 7th-century Big Wild Goose Pagoda, a dynastical wonder that towers five storeys high. The next morning, you’ll explore the labyrinthine lanes of the Muslim Quarter and its spectacularly oriental Great Mosque – the oldest in China. You’ll also walk right onto Xien’s 14th-century ramparts, fortified with giant watchtowers, before taking in the Terracotta Army – often referred to as the eighth wonder. This evening, you’ll also enjoy a theatrical dance performance paired with a dinner of Cantonese delicacies.

Stay: Grand Mercure on Renmin Square (Superior) or Wyndham Xian (Deluxe)

Meals: B L

Day 8
Yangtze River Cruise

Your next private transfer and flight hop will see you to a private tour of Chongqing, taking in the giant pandas of its zoo, its lantern-lit timber old town and the Three Gorges Museum, showcasing your historic cruise route. A private transfer will then see you to the luxurious Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer to set sail on a 400-mile river cruise, considered the most scenic area in China. Here, you’ll enjoy private-balcony views from you opulent cabin and all-inclusive fine dining matched with wines and beers. There’s even everything from a spa and fitness centre to a two-floor theatre, library and dumpling making classes. 

Stay: Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Days 9-10
Yangtze River Cruise

This morning, early risers might want to start the day with a Tai Chi session with the onboard doctor before a choice of excursions. Perhaps take in the 816 Underground Project, the world's largest artificial military cave built more than half a century ago. Work continued on the project for more than 17 years, only to be mothballed by the government before any nuclear material could be produced. Alternatively, pay a visit to the White Crane Ridge Underwater Museum for a unique look at a section of the Yangtze river bed home to a collection of ancient rock carvings long since submerged. You'll then head on to a local market before returning to your ship for demonstrations on Chinese reflexology, language and tea ceremonies. End the day with dinner and an optional Three Kingdoms open-air show. The next day, you’ll be treated to the most scenic section – the Three Gorges. Sailing under limestone cliffs flecked in dense forest, you’ll also board a traditional sampan longboat for a truly evocative experience.

Stay: Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Days 11-13

After breakfast, you’ll pause at the Three Gorges Dam – an engineering feat that measures nearly 200m in length. Your flight to Shanghai, again sandwiched by included transfers, will then see you to two days of private touring. Before the incense-clouded Jade Buddha temple, you’ll take in China’s most spectacular modern architecture at the Bund and its finest exhibits at the Shanghai Museum. There are also the evocative, 19th-century French and British concessions, along with a spectacular acrobat show. On your last day, you’ll summit the World Financial Center for citywide views before descending to the bustling old city bazaar, the tranquil Yu Gardens and the intriguing Historical Display Museum. Lunch is included on days 12 and 13 only. 

Stay: Howard Johnson (Superior) or Fairmont Peace Hotel (Deluxe)

Meals: B L

Days 14-15
Depart for UK

After breakfast, a final private transfer will bring you 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: Superior Deluxe

15-day tailor-made holiday from £4,330 pp incl. flights

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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.

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