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Spirit of China & the Yangtze River

Most popular

Price per person
from £2,812

Price based on
London Heathrow
20th Apr 2019 departure

Key inclusions

  • Private home pick-up service
  • Flights
  • Transfers
  • 15 days

  • Asia & The Far East

  • Active pace

  • Cosmos escorted tours

Great value escorted tours in the world's most captivating places. No other travel company matches our expertise, on-trip experiences - with a great mix of included excursions and free time - and value.

Spend 13 spellbinding days on your affordable tour of China, including a picturesque Yangtze River cruise. Your holiday in China begins in the exciting city of Shanghai on the Yangtze River delta. You’ll marvel at the exquisite Yu Yuan Gardens and the Shanghai Museum—with works of art dating 6,000 years old. In Wuhan, explore beautiful East Lake—China’s second largest freshwater urban lake. Discover 200,000 cultural relics in the Hubei Provincial Museum, including ancient pottery, jades, artwork and coins. Next, board the bullet train to Yichang to embark on your 4-night cruise on the legendary Yangtze River.

Before passing through the dramatic vistas of the Xiling Gorge, you’ll visit the monumental Three Gorges Dam. Disembark briefly from your ship to glide on the mysterious emerald waters of Goddess Stream on a boat excursion, then continue on the Yangtze through its dramatic gorges lined with forested mountain views. You’ll tour Shibaozhai with its 400-year-old, 12-story, red wooden pagoda perched high on the cliff side. Disembark from your Yangtze River cruise for more adventures, beginning with a visit to see the pandas at Chongqing Zoo. You’ll fly to Xi’an, one of China’s great ancient capitals, to see the emperor’s vault surrounded by the stunning find of its thousands of Terracotta Warriors, chariots, and horses guarding the tomb. In Beijing, take a guided tour of Tian’anmen Square past Mao’s Mausoleum. Visit the Forbidden City—the largest collection of China’s ancient buildings and home to the historic Ming and Qing dynasties. Your budget-minded tour of China includes once-in-a-lifetime experiences, including a visit to the iconic Great Wall of China. You’ll witness sweeping vistas from the wall that once stretched 4,000 miles across China’s barren northern terrain.

Your value-minded tour of China and the Yangtze River is a journey into a spirit of history, beauty, culture, and natural wonders like no other.

At a glance

Shanghai Sightseeing with a Local Guide including headsets; visit Yu Yuan Gardens and the Shanghai Museum

Wuhan Visit East Lake and the Hubei Provincial Museum; travel by bullet train from Wuhan to Yichang

Yangtze River Cruise Four-night cruise through the Three Gorges, including a tour of the Three Gorges Dam Site, a boat excursion on Goddess Stream, and a walking tour in Shibaozhai

Xi’an Sightseeing with Local Guide including headsets; visit the Terracotta Warriors, city wall, and a lacquerware factory; walking tour through the Muslim quarter

Beijing Sightseeing with a Local Guide including headsets; visit Tian’anmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Great Wall; Peking Duck dinner

Extend your tour and see even more

  • 4 days: Hong Kong extension

  • 6 days: Mongolia extension

To book your holiday with an extension, call 0330 0588 237 or speak to your travel agent.

What's included

  • Private home pick-up service
  • Flights
  • Transfers
  • Services of a tour director
  • Accommodation
  • Selected meals
  • Porterage
  • All airport taxes
Price match guarantee

With accommodation, transfers, excursions, selected meals, private VIP home pick-up and the services of an expert Tour Director all included in the price, our escorted tour holidays are highly rated by our customers. But should you find a like-for-like tour cheaper elsewhere, we will match its price and give you a further £100 reduction.

Private home pick-up service

Our private home pick-up service is included up to 50 miles to your departure airport. Your driver will happily load and unload your luggage, and drive you to your departure terminal. At the close of your trip, you'll be welcomed by your driver in the arrivals hall and returned home again. A supplement is payable per mile over 50 miles.

Read more about our private home pick-up service.

Make your own way

For more information please see our booking conditions for tour-only holidays.

Customer Reviews

Value for money fantastic experience you would never be able...

31st October 2018
Mr Philip Scholes

Value for money fantastic experience you would never be able to see and visit what we did while we were there if you tried to do it yourself.Very organized tour as there were many internal flights, bullet trains , coaches and a cruise ship to catch. Visa to enter China are expensive

Fabulous holiday, exhausting but worth every bit of effort. Would...

30th October 2018
Mrs Susan Bedford

Fabulous holiday, exhausting but worth every bit of effort. Would do it all again in a heart beat.

Exicting and varied tour Good experiences and a real adventure...

28th August 2018
Mrs Jean Smith

Exicting and varied tour Good experiences and a real adventure

Everything well arranged, slick and all of the group were...

22nd May 2018
Mr Terence Darbyson

Everything well arranged, slick and all of the group were looked after what ever their needs were. Our main tour guide Jason Gao was excellent in every way, he was attentive, caring, funny and has masses of knowledge. The guides for the locations we went to were in the same caliber as Jason with excellent English, funny and we covered more than expected. Great wall visit the steps are steep, I took a walking stick. Our luggage we hardly saw between hotels/location, Jason looked after that. You do not get overloaded with details until you need it i.e. what are we doing tomorrow scenario, all that info comes to you at the end of your day before you go to your room, too much info too soon created confusion. If you are thinking of going to China then do it, it is a fantastic country to visit, it is clean, people friendly and so much history. Get a Chinese translator on your smart phone, very helpful. WHAT A HOLIDAY. Thank you Cosmos and thank you Jason, you are a star.

Fantastic from start to finish...

22nd May 2018
Mrs Christine Hill

Fantastic from start to finish

saw all the sites we most wanted to go to...

15th May 2018
Trusted Customer

saw all the sites we most wanted to go to china

Great guide ... saw everuthing we wanted to and more...

8th May 2018
Mr Henry Stahr

Great guide ... saw everuthing we wanted to and more

Good standard of hotels which were conveniently located and a...

24th October 2017
Trusted Customer

Good standard of hotels which were conveniently located and a very well organised tour.

All the highlights in one trip, long days but well...

23rd October 2017
Mr Alistair Brace

All the highlights in one trip, long days but well worth it

Trip of a life time. Busy but enjoyable holiday....

22nd October 2017
Trusted Customer

Trip of a life time. Busy but enjoyable holiday.

Overview

Spend 13 spellbinding days on your affordable tour of China, including a picturesque Yangtze River cruise. Your holiday in China begins in the exciting city of Shanghai on the Yangtze River delta. You’ll marvel at the exquisite Yu Yuan Gardens and the Shanghai Museum—with works of art dating 6,000 years old. In Wuhan, explore beautiful East Lake—China’s second largest freshwater urban lake. Discover 200,000 cultural relics in the Hubei Provincial Museum, including ancient pottery, jades, artwork and coins. Next, board the bullet train to Yichang to embark on your 4-night cruise on the legendary Yangtze River.

Before passing through the dramatic vistas of the Xiling Gorge, you’ll visit the monumental Three Gorges Dam. Disembark briefly from your ship to glide on the mysterious emerald waters of Goddess Stream on a boat excursion, then continue on the Yangtze through its dramatic gorges lined with forested mountain views. You’ll tour Shibaozhai with its 400-year-old, 12-story, red wooden pagoda perched high on the cliff side. Disembark from your Yangtze River cruise for more adventures, beginning with a visit to see the pandas at Chongqing Zoo. You’ll fly to Xi’an, one of China’s great ancient capitals, to see the emperor’s vault surrounded by the stunning find of its thousands of Terracotta Warriors, chariots, and horses guarding the tomb. In Beijing, take a guided tour of Tian’anmen Square past Mao’s Mausoleum. Visit the Forbidden City—the largest collection of China’s ancient buildings and home to the historic Ming and Qing dynasties. Your budget-minded tour of China includes once-in-a-lifetime experiences, including a visit to the iconic Great Wall of China. You’ll witness sweeping vistas from the wall that once stretched 4,000 miles across China’s barren northern terrain.

Your value-minded tour of China and the Yangtze River is a journey into a spirit of history, beauty, culture, and natural wonders like no other.

Total meals included:

  • 12 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 7 dinners

Depart UK

Day
1

Shanghai, China

Day
2

On arrival, you will transfer to your hotel.

Welcome to Shanghai, China’s largest city and centre of trade. Hotel rooms are available for a mid-afternoon check-in.

Shanghai

Day
3

Sightseeing today includes a stroll through the Old Town and the beautiful YU YUAN GARDENS, a place of peace and tranquility in this bustling city. Visit the SHANGHAI MUSEUM, where superb antiquities and fine arts dating back 6,000 years are on display. Walk along the famous Bund with its colonial architecture and explore Nanjing Road, the city’s main pedestrian and shopping area.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Shanghai - Wuhan

Day
4

Enjoy your morning at leisure before flying to the port city of Wuhan, one of China’s oldest metropolitan cities, located on the mighty Yangtze.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Wuhan - Yichang (Embarkation) - Yangtze River Cruise

Day
5

This morning visit picturesque EAST LAKE, before time at the HUBEI PROVINCIAL MUSEUM. The well-known museum contains over 200,000 cultural relics, including pottery, jades, lacquerwares, and ancient calligraphy, paintings, and coins. Hear musicians perform beautiful music using a replica of the ancient bronze chime bells. This afternoon, board a BULLET TRAIN for Yichang. Upon arrival, board your 4-night CRUISE through the breathtaking Three Gorges of the Yangtze.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Cruising: Three Gorges Dam

Day
6

Start your day with a visit to the THREE GORGES DAM site. Afterward, watch endless dramatic vistas unfold before you as your ship passes through the serenely beautiful Xiling Gorge, the Yangtze’s longest.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Cruising: Wu Gorge - Qutang Gorge

Day
7

Today, disembark for a BOAT EXCURSION down Goddess Stream. Along the way, see picturesque scenery and the mysterious hanging wooden coffins. Before returning to your ship you will also board a wooden boat on a smaller section of the stream, where the crew will sing songs as you glide across the stunning deep emerald-green waters surrounded by densely forested hills. Later, sail through two of the three gorges—Wu Gorge, known for its forest-covered mountains, and Qutang, the shortest but most dramatic gorge.

NOTE: Depending on river conditions, the boat excursion may be on the Shennong Stream.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Cruising: Shibaozhai

Day
8

Today, take a WALKING TOUR of Shibaozhai with its 400-year-old, 12-story, red wooden pagoda perched high on a cliff side.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Cruising: Chongqing (Disembarkation) - Xi'an

Day
9

Disembark your cruise in Chongqing, where you will visit a local ZOO to see pandas. Enjoy time at leisure in the old town area of Cikikou before your flight to Xi’an. Upon arrival, the evening is free to enjoy one of the great ancient capitals of China.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

Xi'an

Day
10

Today, enjoy a visit to the first emperor’s funeral vault to see the amazing TERRCACOTTA WARRIORS. Nothing will prepare you for this incredible display of 8,000 life-sized model warriors, chariots, and horses. Later, visit the ancient CITY WALL, built in 1378 and surrounding the city, then visit the XI’AN ART, CERAMICS AND LACQUER EXHIBITION CENTRE.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Xi'an - Beijing

Day
11

Take a WALKING TOUR through the lively Muslim Quarter to explore the Islamic food markets. This afternoon, fly to Beijing, the capital of China and the country’s political, social, and historical hub.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

Beijing

Day
12

Sightseeing today includes a stroll through TIAN’ANMEN SQUARE past Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum. You’ll also visit the treasure-filled FORBIDDEN CITY, the largest and best-preserved collection of ancient buildings in China. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, it was home to emperors as well as the centre of politics.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Beijing

Day
13

The GREAT WALL OF CHINA once stretched 4,000 miles across China’s barren northern terrain from the Bohai Sea to the Gobi Desert. Head north to a village where the Great Wall is well preserved and walk along the wall to enjoy sweeping vistas of this mammoth fortress. This evening your dinner features the local delicacy, PEKING DUCK.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Beijing

Day
14

Your tour ends with breakfast this morning.

Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK, or extend your stay in Hong Kong.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

Home landing in the UK

Day
15

Print itinerary

Extend your tour and see even more

To book your holiday with an extension, call 0330 0588 237 or speak to your travel agent.

Hong Kong, China

Welcome to Hong Kong! Your hotel room is available for a mid-afternoon check-in.

Hong Kong

Your sightseeing tour begins with a ride on the popular STAR FERRY from Kowloon Island to Hong Kong Island. On arrival, take a CABLE-CAR RIDE up Victoria Peak for panoramic vistas. Then, explore the old Sheung Wan neighbourhood and visit the DRIED SEAFOOD MARKET. Savour a DIM SUM feast for lunch before traversing the Central District aboard the historic DOUBLE-DECKER TRAM, commonly referred to as the “Ding Ding” due to the sound of its bell. The evening is at your leisure.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Hong Kong

Enjoy free time for independent exploration.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

Hong Kong

Fly to Shanghai and join day 1 of your China tour.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

To book your holiday with an extension, call 0330 0588 237 or speak to your travel agent.

Beijing

Welcome to Beijing, the capital of China! Hotel rooms are available for a mid-afternoon check-in.

Beijing - Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Today, fly to Ulaanbaatar, capital of Mongolia. After some time in the hotel, enjoy a city tour that includes Sukhbaatar Square and the NATIONAL HISTORY MUSEUM with a rich collection of exhibits covering the history and people of Mongolia.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Ulaanbaatar - Gobi Desert

Early this morning, fly to the Gobi Desert. Covering most of southern Mongolia, the Gobi is the world’s fourth largest desert. Visit EAGLE VALLEY and marvel at stunning mountain scenery and the Gobi Glacier. The Gobi supports more than 300 varieties of flora and fauna and several endangered species, including the Snow Leopard and the Bactrian Camel.

Accommodations in the Gobi Desert.

You will be staying in a traditional ger, a round dwelling with a wooden frame. Your ger is comfortably furnished with twin beds and furniture. A natural ventilation system helps it stay cool in the heat of the day, and a stove provides heat at night. Please note – shared bathroom and shower facilities are located in a separate building.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Gobi Desert

This morning, stop at the largest SAND DUNES in the region en route to Bayan Zag. Here, explore the CEMETERY OF DINOSAURS, where the world’s best-preserved dinosaur skeletons and their petrified eggs were excavated. Then, visit a CAMEL BREEDERS CAMP to learn about the nomadic lifestyle and culture, and to try some traditional food.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Gobi Desert - Ulaanbaatar

Fly back to Ulaanbaatar early this morning. Upon arrival, visit the BOGD KHAN WINTER PALACE, the GANDAN MONASTERY, and Zaisan Hill, offering sweeping views of the city. This evening, enjoy a MONGOLIAN FOLKLORE PERFORMANCE featuring traditional musical instruments, throat singing, and dances.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Ulaanbaatar - Beijing

Today, return to Beijing and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

To book your holiday with an extension, call 0330 0588 237 or speak to your travel agent.

Things to note

A visa is required to travel on this tour. Please refer to www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice prior to departure for the latest requirements and how to apply.

Tipping is an expected element in China's tourism  industry. Customarily every passenger pays on arrival to the guide and then it is distributed appropriately between the local guides and drivers. As a guideline we recommend 5- 7 USD per person per day.

Victoria Cruise ship will vary depending on departure date.

Shore excursions are subject to change depending on local conditions. A detailed itinerary will be handed out on the vessel each day. If you do not wish to take part in a shore excursion but you still wish to disembark the cruise ship, there is a mandatory port tax which must be paid by each customer. The port tax amount is approx. USD20-USD30 dollars per person however this amount can vary and for security reasons, it is not always possible to disembark at all ports of call.

Hotels

It may occasionally be necessary to use alternative hotels of a similar standard to those shown.

Shanghai - Golden Tulip New Bund Asia

The Golden Tulip Bund New Asia merges the concepts of work and leisure with a playful, trend-led design concept. With this in mind, you'll find all the modern facilities one would expect from a 4-star hotel in Shanghai, from a state-of-the-art gym to after hours cocktails.

  • Location

    Hongkou District 422 Tiantong Road Shanghai, China

  • Facilities

    • Wifi
    • Restaurant on site
    • In-room safe
    • Hairdryer

Wuhan - Ramada Plaza Tian Lu Wuhan

Located in the heart of Wuhan, the Ramada Plaza Tian Lu Hotel features 2 restaurants, an indoor pool, and a fitness centre.

  • Location

    5 Youth Rd Wuhan, China

  • Facilities

    • Wifi
    • Restaurant on site
    • Bar/lounge
    • Lifts
    • Pool

Yangtze River - Victoria Lianna

The Victoria Lianna offers graceful public areas, with high ceilings carved with delicate craft and detail. Personal onboard service and programs which focus on the Yangtze's unique destination its scenery, natural history and culture greatly enhance the cruising experience.

  • Location

    Yangtze River, China

  • Facilities

    • Wifi
    • Restaurant on site
    • Bar/lounge
    • Lifts
    • Hairdryer

Xi'an - Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel

Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel beautifully balances the ancient and the new. With world-class facilities and services designed to please even the most seasoned world travellers, the hotel captures the spirit of Xi'an.

  • Location

    172 Lian Hu Road Xian, China

  • Facilities

    • Restaurant on site
    • Bar/lounge
    • Lifts
    • Coffee maker in-room
    • Hairdryer
    • Pool

Beijing - Novotel Xin Qiao

Located in the heart of the city means that you can explore both the modern metropolis of Beijing and its rich cultural history on foot. In a short walking distance is Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City plus the highly popular shopping strips of Wang Fujing, with the Pearl and Silk markets close by.

  • Location

    1 Chong Wen Men Xi Da Jie Beijing, China

  • Facilities

    • Restaurant on site
    • Lifts
    • In-room safe
    • Coffee maker in-room
    • Hairdryer
    • Iron/ironing board

Why book with us?