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Uniworld - Treasures of China & the Yangtze River


Delve into China’s timeless cultural legacy on this exotic and unforgettable journey.

Begin your adventure in cosmopolitan Shanghai—China’s commercial center—home to dazzling architecture, delicious dim sum, and delightful acrobats. Experience them all first-hand, along with a visit to the excellent Shanghai Museum. Embark upon a scenic Yangtze River cruise that ventures into the heart of the Middle Kingdom and its stupendous Three Gorges, renowned for their rugged mountain peaks, shape-shifting clouds, and curious rock formations. Visit the Shibao Pagoda—a magical place reputed to make wishes come true—and enjoy a city tour of Chongqing and its wonderful zoo, where you’ll see giant pandas, China’s adorable ambassadors. Fly to Xi’an for a face-to-face encounter with eight thousand fierce Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, entombed 22 centuries ago to guard the spirit of China’s first emperor. 

Then it’s onward to Beijing to see the Temple of Heaven. Adorned with extravagant patterns, vibrant colors, and intricate carvings, this gilded temple is a superb example of Ming Dynasty artistry. Visit the Forbidden City—the imposing former residence of China’s powerful emperors—and Tiananmen Square, the setting for many historic events and the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Olympic Games, a spectacle that mesmerized viewers around the world. Dine with a local family and take a rickshaw ride through the city’s atmospheric hutongs—charming maze-like neighborhoods with a true nostalgic vibe. Conclude your journey with a walk along a scenic section of the 5,500-mile-long Great Wall, an experience you will rave about for years to come. 

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1 – Shanghai

Arrive at the airport, where you will be met by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the Pudong Shangri-La.

Day 2 – Shanghai

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Shanghai city tour, dim sum lunch, and Shanghai Acrobats performance

Long a bustling commercial center, Shanghai has become one of the world’s most exciting cities, brimming with spectacular skyscrapers designed by world-famous architects. Stroll along the Bund, Shanghai’s famed waterfront promenade, and get a sense of its 19th-century roots. Enjoy a traditional dim sum lunch at the Pudong Shangri-La, after which you’ll have time to browse through the district’s intriguing shops. In the evening, a performance by the world-renowned Shanghai Acrobats will dazzle you.

Day 3 – Shanghai, fly to Yichang


Visit the Shanghai Museum, a stunning contemporary structure that houses treasures of Chinese art, including ancient bronzes from the Shang and Zhou periods, exquisite jades, calligraphic works from many dynasties, and Ming and Qing furniture. Later, fly to Yichang and board your elegant ship.

Day 4 – Yichang, cruising the Yangtze River

The Three Gorges Dam is the world’s largest hydroelectric project, and one that is changing China's landscape and economy. It is designed to both generate power to fuel China’s economic growth and control flooding on theYangtze. You’ll visit this astonishing feat of modernengineering before setting sail along the most scenic section of the Yangtze, the Three Gorges. In the evening, enjoy a Captain’s Welcome Reception with complimentary wine.

Day 5 – Cruising the Yangtze River, Shennong Stream

FEATURED EXCURSION: Explore Shennong Stream
Board a small boat for a cruise down the Shennong Stream, a pristine tributary of the Yangtze, to explore the beautiful landscape of the Wu Gorge.

Day 6 – Cruising the Yangtze River, Shibaozhai


Shibao Pagoda, whose red walls and yellow gate are a Yangtze River landmark, was built into the side of a hill in the 18th century. Although the temple is 12 stories tall, only its top 3 stories still tower over the water. Make a wish and climb the stairs; legend has it that the higher you climb, the more likely it is that your wish will come true. In the evening, a Farewell Dinner with complimentary wine will be served.

Day 7 – Chongqing, fly to Xi’an

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Chongqing city tour with zoo visit, and traditional dumpling banquet

Disembark in Chongqing, the booming capital of western China. As part of your city tour, you’ll visit the giant pandas at the Chongqing Zoo. Later, catch a flight to the ancient city of Xi’an, where you’ll settle into the Shangri-La Xi’an hotel and savor an extraordinary dumpling banquet in the city widely considered the home of this delicious delicacy.

Day 8 – Xi'an

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Museum of the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, City Wall, and Tang Dynasty dinner show

Twenty-four centuries ago, China’s first emperor was entombed with a vast army of warriors and horses made of clay. The tomb complex lay undisturbed until the 20th century. Only about 8,000 of the life-sized Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses have been excavated thus far, some of which you’ll visit at the museum. Afterwards, you’ll see the massive defensive wall built around Xi’an in the 15th century. In the evening, indulge in a traditional dinner and a performance that re-creates the music, folk dances, and costumes of the Tang Dynasty.

Day 9 – Xi’an, fly to Beijing


Catch a flight to Beijing and visit the UNESCO-designated Temple of Heaven before checking into the Ritz-Carlton Beijing. In the evening, enjoy a delicious dinner at your hotel.

Day 10 – Beijing

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: The Great Wall and kung fu show at Beijing's Red Theatre

Start the day off with a visit to one of the nation's most iconic sites, the UNESCO-designated Great Wall of China. Walk along the top of the wall to appreciate just how formidable a barrier it would have been to the nomadic mounted warriors who confronted it over the centuries. Back in Beijing, spend the evening at the Red Theatre, taking in a spectacular show that combines kung fu prowess with acrobatics and dance.

Day 11 – Beijing

FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, hutongs tour with home-hosted lunch, and Peking duck Farewell Dinner with complimentary wine

The last full day of your China adventure begins in broad Tiananmen Square, which is both the heart of modern Beijing and a gateway to the wonders of imperial China. Chairman Mao’s mausoleum borders the square, as does the Forbidden City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site you’ll visit today. Your next stop takes you to the backbone of Old Beijing—the ancient residential lanes known as the hutongs. Hop aboard a rickshaw for a behind-the-scenes tour of these historic neighborhoods, where you can still see the region’s traditional courtyard homes. You’ll be invited to join a family in their home for a delicious traditional lunch. In the evening, enjoy a Farewell Dinner of succulent Peking duck, a signature dish of the city since imperial times.

Day 12 – Depart Beijing

Transfer to the airport for your flight home, or continue your adventure with our memorable optional extension.

See the full itinerary below and call our travel expert for dates for this or reverse itinerary. Cruise Uniworld for less 1-800-640-4899