14 Day Luxury All Inclusive River Cruise Beijing to Shanghai

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14 Day Luxury All Inclusive River Cruise Beijing to Shanghai

Embrace the yin and yang of wonders old and new on this soul-enriching expedition. Their names alone evoke the wonder and timeless allure of China: the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Goddess Stream. Wide enough for cavalry to ride along its crest, stretching from the Yellow Sea to China’s eastern border, the Great Wall is one of China’s legends.

Our adventure map


Embrace the yin and yang of wonders old and new on this soul-enriching expedition. Their names alone evoke the wonder and timeless allure of China: the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Goddess Stream. Wide enough for cavalry to ride along its crest, stretching from the Yellow Sea to China’s eastern border, the Great Wall is one of China’s legends.

In Xi’an, 8,000 life-size Terra-cotta Warriors stand in formation, facing the enemies of an emperor who died 2,200 years ago. The red and white walls of the Potala Palace rise massively above Lhasa, and the floor of the gold-domed Jokhang Temple has been worn smooth by centuries of pilgrims reverently prostrating themselves before a seventh-century Buddha. Experience all of this on an adventure that also encompasses Beijing’s imperial palaces and exquisite gardens, Shanghai’s towering skyscrapers and the ethereal landscape of the Yangtze’s Three Gorges.

Day by day

First Day welcome to Beijing

A representative will greet you at the airport and transfer you to the luxurious Ritz-Carlton Beijing.

Hotel:   Ritz-Carlton Beijing

Second Day see the sights of Beijing 

Tiananmen Square provides your gateway to the UNESCO-designated Forbidden City, complete with palaces and gardens that housed China’s emperors for 500 years. Savour a treasure of a different kind over lunch—Peking Duck—a dish once served to emperors. Complete your imperial heritage exploration at the Temple of Heaven—another UNESCO World Heritage site and a masterpiece of architecture and landscape design.

Hotel:     Ritz-Carlton Beijing

Third Day sample life in Beijing 

What lies behind the doors of the 500-year-old courtyard houses in Beijing’s hutongs? Find out as you explore the area via rickshaw and sit down for lunch with a local family. Two towers mark the neighbourhood—one, a 600-year-old bell tower, hosts a traditional tea ceremony that will remind you of tea’s central place in China’s culture. Cap off your day at the Great Wall, followed by a Welcome Dinner with complimentary wine at the base of the Great Wall itself.

Hotel:     Ritz-Carlton Beijing

Fourth Day its Beijing then fly to Xi'an  

Emperors fled the summer heat to relax by the shores of Kunming Lake, where they created a Qing Dynasty garden embodying the highest achievement in Chinese landscape design. Stroll the Long Corridor, admiring the bridges and temples, and drift over the peaceful waters in a boat. From Beijing, fly to Xi’an, where you’ll settle into the Shangri-La Hotel and be treated to a traditional dumpling banquet.

Hotel:   Shangri-La Hotel

Fifth Day experience China’s first capital Xi'an                

Twenty-two centuries ago, Emperor Qin Shi Huang unified a huge area (and gave it his name)—and he intended to keep what he conquered, even in the afterlife. He created an astonishing terra-cotta army to guard his tomb, which laid undisturbed until the 20th century. Only about 8,000 of the UNESCO designated Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses have been excavated, and they still stand in battle formation at the museum dedicated to this amazing archaeological discovery. A jade workshop shows off another aspect of Chinese artistry, and a lovely traditional dinner and a cultural performance that re-creates the music, folk dances and gorgeous silk costumes of the Tang Dynasty provide the perfect ending to the day.

Hotel:     Shangri-La Hotel

Sixth Day we fly from Xi'an to Lhasa 

High on the Tibetan Plateau, Lhasa, the cultural and historical capital of Tibet, is both a thriving modern town and a mystical destination of pilgrimage. Check into the Shangri-La Lhasa hotel, where dinner comes with amazing views of the world’s highest city.

Hotel:     Shangri-La Lhasa hotel

Seventh Day visit Jokhang Temple and Tibet Museum in Lhasa   

Jokhang Temple, where butter lamps flicker and incense fills the air, is the holiest site in the holy city. Deepen your understanding of Tibet’s history at the Tibet Museum, meet a local family, and conclude an enlightening day with dinner at the hotel.

Hotel:   Shangri-La Lhasa hotel

Eighth Day its Potala Palace and Sera Monastery in Lhasa                 

Lhasa is certain to elicit awe with visits to some of its most sacred places. Be captivated and inspired by a mystic sense of peace at the jewel-bedecked tombs and golden altars of Potala Palace, the UNESCO-honoured historic home of the Dalai Lamas, and at Sera Monastery, where Buddhist monks still practice their faith under the watchful eye of Manjashuri, the God of Wisdom.

Hotel:   Shangri-La Lhasa hotel

Ninth Day see the Pandas then we fly to Chongqing,               

Before boarding your ship in Chongqing, visit the giant pandas at the zoo.

Ship:     Century Legend

Tenth Day we cruise the Yangtze River

Mist-shrouded peaks loom above the winding Yangtze as you cruise through the Three Gorges region, offering views straight out of China’s iconic watercolour illustrations. A stop at Shibao Pagoda, built into the side of a steep hill, offers a colourful encounter with some unusual legends. End the day with the Captain’s Welcome Reception.

Ship:    Century Legend

Eleventh Day the shimmering waters of the Goddess Stream 

The turquoise waters of the Goddess Stream shimmer around your small boat as sheer cliffs rise high overhead. The day offers one of China’s most amazing contrasts, for your ship will leave these peaceful waters to navigate the Three Gorges Dam locks. Bid adieu to the river with a Farewell Dinner.

Note: Due to water conditions, we may substitute a Shennong Stream boat tour if the Goddess Stream is not available.

Ship:    Century Legend

Twelfth Day we Disembark at Yichang then fly to Shanghai

As the world’s largest hydroelectric project, the Three Gorges Dam is designed to control flooding on the Yangtze and provide electrical power for a huge part of the country. The controversial project has forever altered the landscape, but its scale is a tribute to the nation’s ambition. Fly to Shanghai, where you’ll check into the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund.

Hotel:     Waldorf Astoria Shanghai 

Thirteenth Day see the busy streets of Shanghai

Past, present and future combine on the exciting, busy streets of Shanghai, one of the world’s most exhilarating cities. The Bund, Shanghai’s famed waterfront promenade, brimming with spectacular skyscrapers designed by world-famous architects, reminds you that this city was the West’s gateway to China, while Shanghai’s Old Town—the original walled city with traditional tea-houses, temples, narrow alleyways and markets—reminds you of its legendary heritage. Whether looking forward to the future or back at the past, one thing remains constant—dim sum. Be treated to a traditional dim sum lunch complete with dumplings, steamed buns and rice noodles. Cap off the day watching the famous Shanghai acrobatic troupe perform their astonishing, gravity-defying routines.

Hotel:     Waldorf Astoria Shanghai 

Fourteenth Day we bid farewell to Shanghai 

Transfer to the airport for your flight home, or continue your adventure with a memorable optional extension in Hong Kong.



All meals on-board, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients

Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions

Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners

Unlimited beverages on-board, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, speciality coffee and tea, and mineral water

Travel Highlights

  • 1 country: China.
  • 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites.
  • Services of an experienced Cruise Manager.
  • Captivating on-board local entertainment.
  • Cultural enrichment, including the hutongs in Beijing and dine with locals at the base of the Great Wall, Beijing’s Summer Palace,  Xi’an’s traditional dumpling banquet, Terra-cotta Army, Tang Dynasty dinner show, Sera Monastery, traditional dim sum lunch .                         
  • All transfers on arrival and departure days.
  • All gratuities, both on-board and onshore.
  • Exclusive Generations Family Programme on select summer departures.

The Difference

Impeccable service with a larger on-board staff than any other river cruise line.

Intimate and Beautifully designed ships and carrying an average of just 130 guests.

All gratuities on-board and onshore.

All-scheduled airport transfers.

Elegant and well-appointed river-view staterooms and suites.

In-suite butler service (ships in Europe except Russia and Portugal in 2016).

All dining on-board and unlimited beverages (including many premium spirits such as Grey Goose, Crown Royal, and Glenfiddich).

A wide choice of personalised excursions led by English-speaking local experts.

A number of exclusive excursions offered only by us.

Well-equipped on-board fitness centre.

On-board exercise and wellness classes (with certified on-board wellness instructors in Europe).

Bicycles and Nordic walking sticks for onshore use.

Ship-wide internet and Wi-Fi access.

On-board entertainment and signature lectures.

Additional Information

Price is a seasonal from price

All cabins are luxury, but upgrades are available

Guarantees, Bonds and Awards

  • This tour is run by our outstanding travel partners who are award winners British Travel Awards Best Small Group.
  • All Tours are Guaranteed Departures.
  • Tours are fully bonded, protected and guaranteed and you pay the operator directly when booking.
  • ABTA protected

Best prices, more information and booking

Great Discounts are available – please speak with our expert who can arrange extra unique discounts.

Only £100 per person deposit required (except for last minute bookings).

By booking through us you will receive additional customer service and extra discounts.

Please ask our expert about last minute special offers available throughout the year.

If this is not quite what you are looking for, please mail us we have many great alternatives.

You can call our expert on 0207 620 8963 – UK time 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday (this number is specifically for this or similar multi-day tours of Britain, Europe or World-Wide) or out of those hours please leave a voice-mail for a call back.

Alternatively email us at info@21stcenturytravel.co.uk and request a call back or if you prefer mail, we can send you more details from there.