China Summer 2012


Our Itinerary text and a map are located at this link

Click here for the Shanghai Section of the Trip

Click here for the Yangtze River Cruise and the Three Gorges Dam Section of the Trip

Click here for the Terra Cotta Soldiers in Xian

Click here for the Beijing Section of the Trip



Our Itinerary is as follows
China Summer 2012

Miami International Airport Hotel

Terminal 4 - AA-0299 Departs Miami 8:10AM arrives LAX 10:40AM
Terminal 2 - AA-0183 Departs LAX 2:50PM arrives Shanghai 7:45PM

Hotel in Shanghai Ritz-Carlton Portman

All Day in Shanghai - On our Own

All Day in Shanghai - On our Own

Shanghai
See the modern financial district juxtaposed with the older sections of the city.

Shanghai
This morning, tour Old Shanghai and travel along the elegant Bund, stopping to admire some of its historic buildings and city views. After lunch in a local restaurant, visit a silk carpet workshop for a demonstration. Then tour the Shanghai Museum. Dine in a local restaurant before seeing the world-famous Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe show from the best seats in the house. (B, L, D)

Shanghai & Wuhan
After breakfast, prepare for your flight to Wuhan. Once there, visit the Hubei Provincial Museum, where you hear the music of ancient bronze bells, then transfer to your ship, docked close to Wuhan’s historic waterfront. You are welcomed aboard with a Western meal, and set sail this evening. (B, L, D)

Yueyang
Today, visit an elementary school sponsored by Viking River Cruises. You are greeted and entertained by the children, then return to your ship. For the next 150 miles, you travel the most scenic stretch of the Yangtze through a spectacular series of limestone ridges known as the Three Gorges. (B, L, D)

Three Gorges & Three Gorges Dam
This morning, cruise through Xiling Gorge, the longest of the Three Gorges. After lunch, disembark for a tour of the Three Gorges Dam where you learn about this immense engineering masterpiece and what it means for the Chinese people and the Yangtze. Return to your ship and sail through the five-stage locks of the Three Gorges Dam. Dock overnight at Badong. (B, L, D)

Three Gorges & Lesser Three Gorges
During breakfast, cruise through Wu (Witches) Gorge, renowned for its magnificent scenery. Then, board a smaller boat for an excursion through the Lesser Three Gorges. Along the way, see fascinating sites including the hanging coffins of the Ba people and the ancient plank road carved into the cliffside. Return aboard for lunch, then spend the afternoon sailing through Qutang Gorge, the shortest, narrowest and most spectacular of the three large gorges. Dinner aboard. (B, L, D)

Shibaozhai
This morning, visit Shibaozhai Temple, a 12-story pavilion built in 1650. Tour the pavilion and temple before returning aboard for lunch. Cruise along the Yangtze through the night. (B, L, D)

Chongqing & Xian
After breakfast, disembark and enjoy a brief tour of Chongqing, the largest city in western China and an important inland port. Visit the Chongqing Zoo to see the giant pandas and other exotic species. After lunch in a local restaurant, fly to Xian, key city of the Tang Dynasty. From 618 to 907 A.D., this dynasty presided over one of China’s most glorious cultural periods, spreading its influence throughout Asia into Europe and Africa. This evening, you may choose to dine surrounded by the song and dance of this colorful era, or have dinner and relax at your hotel. (B, L, D)

Xian & Beijing
In the morning, tour the mausoleum where Emperor Qin Shi Huang was laid to rest over 2,000 years ago. See the thousands of life-sized terra cotta warriors, archers, infantrymen and horses that were buried with him; walkways provide a bird’s-eye view of the entire necropolis where the Terra Cotta Army was discovered in the 1970s. Each man and horse is molded with its own distinctive features. After lunch in Xian, fly to Beijing, China’s former imperial capital, whose rich history dates back more than 3,000 years. Check in to your hotel and dine there; free time this evening. (B, L, D)

Beijing
After breakfast, travel to nearby Badaling Hills. There, you behold one of the most impressive and best-preserved sections of the Great Wall of China—a 4,000-mile-long series of sandstone and earthwork fortifications built and maintained between the 5th century B.C. and the 16th century A.D. that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore its winding pathways and marvel at the panoramic views from its ramparts.

After a lunch of local specialties, walk along the Sacred Way, a tree-lined avenue guarded by massive sculptures of elephants, lions and camels leading to the Ming Dynasty tombs. This evening you can dine and relax at your hotel—or, enjoy an optional evening featuring China’s famous Peking duck and a recital by Peking Opera performers. (B, L, D)

Beijing
This morning visit the enormous Tiananmen Square, which can accommodate over 1,000,000 people. Then, tour Beijing’s Forbidden City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; made up of nearly 1,000 buildings, it is the world’s largest surviving palace complex. Walk its grounds among the opulent palaces, pavilions, courtyards and imperial gardens within the 26-foot-high walls.

After lunch in a local restaurant, see the Summer Palace, a 700-acre complex of elegant buildings and gardens (complete with man-made Kunming Lake) frequented by the Imperial Court when they wanted to escape the bustle of Beijing. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner. (B, L, D)

Beijing
After breakfast, check out of your hotel and proceed to the airport for your return flight. (B)

AA-186 Departs Beijing 6.55AM arrives Chicago 6.35AM
AA-294 Departs Chicago 9.05AM arrives Miami 1.05PM

The following meals are included:
B = Breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Dinner


Our Itinerary text and a map are located at this link

Click here for the Shanghai Section of the Trip

Click here for the Yangtze River Cruise and the Three Gorges Dam Section of the Trip

Click here for the Terra Cotta Soldiers in Xian

Click here for the Beijing Section of the Trip