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Majestic Yangtze River & Asia 18 Days

  

Early Booking Discount :  $200.00 / person
If booked before 12/15/2008

Tour Code:  CEAE

TOUR ITINERARY:

Day 1     USA - Beijing

Anticipation fills the air as you board an international jetliner bound for China; your Ritz Tours Premiere Vacation has begun! Spend the night aboard as the airplane traverses the Pacific, crossing multiple time zones and the international dateline to arrive at Beijing, site of last year's 2008 Olympic Games.

 

Day 2     Arrive Beijing

Touch down in Beijing and deplane for baggage retrieval and clearing customs. Meet your Ritz Tours guide in the arrival hall and transfer to the city. As the motor coach enters Beijing, you observe the city's skyline is peppered with skyscrapers amidst traditional old style buildings. Beijing is the modern day capital of an ancient 5000 year old country. Bearing the alias "Land of the Dragon," China is a nation replete with history and ancient culture. After checking in, settle in to the plush accommodations at one of Beijing newest, most luxurious hotels. A full day of sightseeing awaits you tomorrow.  

 

Day 3     Beijing

Beijing is home to over 13 million inhabitants and served as capital for the nation since the Ming Dynasty emperor Yongle moved the capital here in 1620. The city tour starts with sprawling Tiananmen Square, the world's largest public square covering 99 square acres. Walk through the square and across the street to the famed Forbidden City, the official home to China's emperors. Enter through the gates of the Forbidden City noting that in the past, commoners were not allowed onto its grounds. Ample time will be allocated to this, the largest imperial palace compound in the world and the PalaceMuseum located within. Rounding out the day's sightseeing are the emperor's SummerPalace and LakeKunming located within its grounds. Head back to the hotel to wash up before delighting your taste buds at a special Peking Duck Feast, savoring delicious duck prepared in the traditional northern way.

Meals: American Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Party

 

Day 4     Beijing

Without question, the Great Wall is the focal point of any tour to China. Unrivalled in sheer size and length, the Great Wall snakes its way 4000 miles across China's north and was built as a defense against invading armies. The undertaking was begun under China's unifying emperor Qin Shi Huang and was not complete until the Ming Dynasty. The Great Wall of China is one of the world's seven great man-made wonders and from atop, it isn't hard to see why it earned this honor. This afternoon, the motor coach drops the group off at the nearby MingTombMuseum and the Sacred Way to the Ming Tombs for a visit. Arrive back at the hotel later in the afternoon to wash up before taking dinner at the hotel.

Meals: American Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner at hotel

 

Day 5     Beijing

Hutongs are narrow alleyways or lanes formed by the lines of Siheyuan (traditional style local homes) on both sides and are almost always associated with Beijing. The hutongs and siheyuan are located in Old Beijing. After breakfast, embark on an exploration by pedicab through the hutongs of Old Town Beijing to arrive at the siheyuan of a local resident. Here you stop for a visit which includes a lunch prepared by your host. Afterwards, the rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore Beijing at your own pace; or you may choose to take advantage of the facilities available at the hotel.

Meals: American Breakfast, Lunch

 

Day 6     Beijing - Xian

China's emperor was considered by his subjects to be the "Son of Heaven." Sent here to administer matters on earth under the mandate of heaven, the emperor paid ceremonial homage to the heavens every year. During this time, the emperor would abstain from meat and come to the Temple of Heaven to pray for a bountiful harvest. On the way to the airport, you will visit the Temple of Heaven before boarding a flight to Xian, capital of the ShannxiProvince. Dinner is served at the hotel this evening upon arrival.

Meals: American Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner at hotel

 

Day 7     Xian

Citizens of Xian boast that their city's 5000 year history is unmatched by any other city in China. Xian is certainly rich in history and culture as it served as the capital for thirteen dynasties. A farmer's accidental discovery of the Terra Cotta Warriors in 1974 catapulted Xian into the limelight. The find ranks as one of most significant archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. The Terra Cotta Army was buried to protect China's unifying emperor, Qin Shi Huang, as he journeyed into the afterlife. Three excavation pits are open to the public with a fourth dig underway. During your lunch break, a noodle-making demonstration can be viewed in the cafeteria. Head back into town, stopping at the massive City Wall and visiting to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. The rest of the afternoon is free at leisure. Tonight's special entertainment is the internationally acclaimed Tang Dynasty Dinner Show; dinner is served at the show.

Meals: American Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Show

 

Day 8    Xian - Chongqing - Yangtze River Cruise

Before departing Xian, enjoy a special Imperial Dumpling Banquet lunch. Afterwards, transfer to the airport and board a short flight bound for Chongqing. A bustling city located in the Sichuan province, Chongqing is home to some of the spiciest cuisine in all of China. Later in the day, head to the docks where your Victoria cruise ship awaits to take us on our highly anticipated majestic Yangtze River adventure. As the sun sets, the ship picks up anchor and prepares to sail down the mighty Yangtze.

Meals: American Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 9     Yangtze River Cruise

The first shore excursion of your cruise will occur at one of two towns (depending on local river conditions): Fengdu or Wanzhou. Fengdu is a peculiar site that is accessed via cable car. It contains numerous statues of devils and ghosts that roam the afterworld. Wanzhou was agglomerated in 1997 to become a part of the greater ChongqingMunicipality, although it lies 143 miles away. By the time the Three Gorges Dam is completed, 47% of Wanzhou's old urban area will be submerged.

Meals: American Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 10     Yangtze River Cruise  

Enter the exciting part of the cruise, the famous Three Gorges! The ship passes through Qutang Gorge, the shortest, narrowest, but most visually dramatic of the three. Next up is Wu Gorge, known for its serene beauty, forest covered mountains and sheer cliffs. Arrive at Wushan where you disembark to board smaller vessels. These vessels allow access to the Lesser Gorges via one of the tributaries of the Yangtze - either DaningRiver or Shennong Stream. Re-board the cruise ship to pass through Xiling Gorge, the longest and deepest of the Three Gorges. In the evening, sail through the Three Gorges ship locks. 

Meals: American Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 11     Yangtze River Cruise - Yichang - Shanghai 

On this last day of the cruise the ship arrives at SandoupingVillage where you disembark to board a motor coach taking you to the Three Gorges Dam Site. The controversial project is the largest of its type in the world and once completed in 2009, will change the landscape of the Yangtze RiverValley forever. Re-board and sail on to the ship's final destination, Yichang, where you transfer to the airport for a flight to Shanghai, China's largest metropolis. Check into one of Shanghai's top luxury hotels upon arrival and enjoy dinner at the hotel.

Meals: American Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner at hotel 

 

Day 12     Shanghai 

Cosmopolitan and dynamic, Shanghai stirs the senses. China's most modern city exudes an international flair that can be traced back 100 years when it was quartered off into sections occupied by foreign nationals. Start your city tour by visiting the Yu Garden, a Ming dynasty garden ranked as one of the top four gardens in China. Continue on to the waterfront Bund, stopping to walk along the mile-long stretch along the HuangpuRiver lined by buildings of European heritage. Most pictures seen of China feature the skyline offered at the Bund. The motor coach also drives by frenetic Nanjing Road, a favorite shopping area for locals. After dinner, you'll take in an exciting performance of Chinese Acrobatics. 

Meals: American Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Show

 

Day 13     Shanghai - Hong Kong - Bangkok 

Bid farewell to Chinaand the Yangtze as you board a flight bound for Bangkok, the "City of Angels." Transfer planes in Hong Kong to arrive at Bangkok. The motor coach takes the group for check in at the luxury hotel to wash up and change before attending a Thai Classical Dinner Show later in the evening.

Meals: American Breakfast, Dinner Show

 

Day 14     Bangkok

Founded in 1782 by the first king of the Chakri Dynasty, Bangkok is Thailand's capital city and also its cultural, spiritual and commercial center. Buddhism is one of the cornerstones of Thai culture, and you certainly appreciate the level of devotion lavished upon the EmeraldBuddhaTemple. Admire the royal splendor of the GrandPalace and Coronation Hall. Later in the day, the group visits the Gems Factory before taking the remainder of the day at leisure.

Meals: American Breakfast, Lunch

 

Day 15     Bangkok

Today, you explore the world famous Damnern Saduak Floating Market, Thailand's largest and most photographed floating market on Bangkok's timeless klongs (canals). The floating market is an excellent way to see firsthand the old style and traditional way that locals buy/sell fruits and vegetables from their small boats. The afternoon is spent at leisure.

Meals: American Breakfast, Lunch

 

Day 16     Bangkok - Hong Kong

Today the group departs Bangkok and heads back to Hong Kong. Incorporated to be a part of China during the Qin dynasty in 221 BC, Hong Kong has always been a gateway between the East and the West. It was a small fishing village that evolved into an international trading center. Hong Kong was ceded to Great Britain in 1842 resultant from the Opium Wars and became its colony in the far east; it was returned to China in 1997. Known today as "Asia's WorldCity," it serves as China's shining example of international commerce. Upon arrival at Hong Kong, you're met by the Ritz Tours local guide and transferred into town. No sightseeing has been planned today.

Meals: American Breakfast

 

Day 17     Hong Kong  

A half day tour of Hong Kong takes you to visit such famous landmarks as the open air Stanley Market, RepulseBay, and the Aberdeen's Floating Community. Take a cable car ride up to VictoriaPeak where you drink in the full panoramic vista of Hong Kong and its harbor. After lunch, the rest of the afternoon is free to do whatever your heart desires.

Meals: American Breakfast

 

Day 18     Hong Kong - USA   

All too soon your Majestic Yangtze & Asia vacation is at an end as the group transfers to the airport to go home. Board your homebound international wide body jetliner as it re-crosses the Pacific to arrive back at home.

Meals: American Breakfast        

 

 

Dates & Tour Costs (Per Person):

Departure

Return

Air & Land from LAX/SFO

Single
Supplement

03/12/2009

3/29/2009

$5099.00

$2500.00

03/26/2009

4/12/2009

$5099.00

$2500.00

04/02/2009

4/19/2009

$5199.00

$2600.00

04/09/2009

4/26/2009

$5199.00

$2600.00

04/16/2009

5/3/2009

$5199.00

$2600.00

04/23/2009

5/10/2009

$5199.00

$2500.00

04/30/2009

5/17/2009

$5199.00

$2500.00

05/07/2009

5/24/2009

$5299.00

$2500.00

05/14/2009

5/31/2009

$5299.00

$2500.00

05/21/2009

6/7/2009

$5299.00

$2500.00

05/28/2009

6/14/2009

$5299.00

$2500.00

06/04/2009

6/21/2009

$5399.00

$2500.00

06/18/2009

7/5/2009

$5399.00

$2500.00

07/02/2009

7/19/2009

$5399.00

$2500.00

07/16/2009

8/2/2009

$5399.00

$2500.00

07/30/2009

8/16/2009

$5399.00

2500.00

08/06/2009

8/23/2009

$5399.00

$2500.00

08/20/2009

9/6/2009

$5299.00

$2500.00

09/03/2009

9/20/2009

$5499.00

$2800.00

09/10/2009

9/27/2009

$5499.00

$2800.00

09/17/2009

10/4/2009

$5499.00

$2800.00

09/24/2009

10/11/2009

$5499.00

$3000.00

10/01/2009

10/18/2009

$5499.00

$3000.00

10/08/2009

10/25/2009

$5499.00

$3000.00

10/15/2009

11/1/2009

$5499.00

$3000.00

10/22/2009

11/8/2009

$5499.00

$3000.00

10/29/2009

11/15/2009

$5399.00

$2800.00

11/05/2009

11/22/2009

$5299.00

$2700.00

11/19/2009

12/6/2009

$5199.00

$2700.00

*Prices listed are for Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO) departure

* Fuel surcharge and taxes apply and are additional

 

Tour Package Features:

-- Premiere Hotel Accommodation

Beijing C SofitelWandaHotel

Xian C Sofitel Hotel

Yangtze River C Victoria Katarina

Shanghai C St Regis Hotel

Bangkok C The oriental Hotel

Hong Kong C Intercontinental Grand Stanford (Harbour View)

-- Fine Dining

Meals provided as specified in itinerary

Full American or buffet breakfast daily at hotels

Lunches at local restaurants or on board

Western or Chinese dinners in hotels, or dinner party and show at local restaurants

Local Specialties: Peking Duck Feast in Beijing, Imperial Dumpling Banquet in Xian

 

-- Special Entertainment

Beijing C Hutongs Pedicab

Xian C Tang Dynasty Dinner Show

Victoria Cruises C Cultural Lectures, Lessons & Shows

Shanghai C Chinese Acrobatics Show

Bangkok C Thai Classic Dinner Show

-- Transportation

Round trip transpacific air based on Cathay Pacific Airways

China domestic air tickets

Comfortable air-conditioned tour coach with professional service of experienced drivers

-- Sightseeing

Comprehensive sightseeing program

Experienced and knowledgeable tour manager escorts the group throughout China

Specialist local guides added in major cities

 

-- Travel Protection

Travel Protection is provided at no additional charge if final payment is received 60 days prior to departure date.



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