A spellbinding odyssey on China’s cultural and historic waterways

4 min read

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises has introduced new highlights to its 2019 Asia programme, featuring three itineraries in China.

The itineraries include the 18-day Grand China and the Yangtze taking travellers from Beijing to Hong Kong; the 14-day China, Tibet and the Yangtze which will travel between Beijing and Shanghai and then the 11-day Highlights of China and the Yangtze.

With 11-day Highlights of China and the Yangtze, travellers can opt for a Gobi Desert pre-extension to their itinerary, which includes a seven-day pre-cruise/tour sightseeing tour visiting the Gobi Desert and Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar.

Offered on four departure dates – June 1, 2019, August 31, 2019, September 14, 2019 and September 21, 2019, this extension is offered on tours that depart from Beijing. Included in the tour is one night’s accommodation at the Hilton Airport, Beijing (or similar); three nights at the Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar (or similar); two nights at the Three Camel Lodge, Gobi Desert (or similar); breakfast daily, three lunches and two dinners; all service charges, taxes and porterage; Ulaanbaatar city tour and Throat Singing performance; Yol Valley (Vulture Gorge) visit; a visit to a camel breeder family; all transfers, transportation and intra-Asia flights and the services of a Tour Manager throughout your trip.

The 11-day itinerary includes a 3-night river cruise. Guests travelling aboard the Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer will not be disappointed as it was selected for its “incredibly high standards of luxury. Some of the standout features of the vessel include the largest cabins and suites on the river, all of which features private balconies, as well as the highest crew to passenger ratio on the river of 1:1. Other on-board facilities include an observation deck, two-floor theatre, library, and expansive spa, beauty and fitness facilities.

Brand Manager Lieria Boshoff said the programme and new pre-cruise/tour extension combined some of the country’s top highlights. “From staggering architectural monuments – the Forbidden City, Summer Palace and Great Wall – to the natural beauty of the Yangtze River’s Three Gorges, this itinerary introduces a discerning traveller to some of China’s top highlights,” she said.

“China must be heard, seen and felt to be understood, something that is perhaps better achieved at a slower pace… ensuring traveller comfort through the offering.”

Repeat customers travelling with Uniworld, Contiki, Trafalgar, Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold also qualify for bonus savings, Ms. Boshoff said.

China is a land of contrasts, with skyscrapers and ancient temples, serene gardens and bustling city streets. Highlights from Uniworld’s 11-day Highlights of China & The Yangtze itinerary include:

Great wall

In Beijing: The Great Wall and Peking duck lunch

No visit to China is complete without a visit to the ancient Great Wall, one of the destination’s most recognisable tourist sites and the largest man-made structure ever built. It started as a military border and today visitors can spend the day walking along various sections of the structure.

After an exploration of the Forbidden City, sit back and relax as you enjoy a festive lunch consisting of Beijing’s succulent signature dish, Peking Duck. Emperors were the first to enjoy this classic preparation of slow-roasted, crispy-skinned duck; in fact, the first mention of this delicacy dates back to the imperial kitchens in 1330, and it became eponymous with Beijing—or Peking, as it was then known—in the 1450s.


In Xi’an: The Army of Terracotta Warriors

The Museum of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses and the City Wall in Xi’an are next.

The museum is dedicated to the thousands of life-size terracotta warriors and horses that were buried along with China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, one of the most celebrated archeological finds to date, while no two soldier’s faces are alike.

Enjoy a noodle-making demonstration after lunch. In the evening, there is a traditional dinner with folk music and dances from the Tang Dynasty.


Cruising the Yangtze River

The capital of western China and one of the largest cities in the country, Chongqing, on the upper Yangtze, has seen explosive growth in the past half-century. Although the city is a major metropolis, the region is chiefly known for its mountains, hot springs and dense forests, which shelter temples, tombs and karst caves. Relax onboard as the ship cruises from Chongqing towards China’s fabled Three Gorges, stopping en-route at the iconic, red Shibao Pagoda.


In Shanghai: the Pudong skyline and the Bund

In Shanghai, ancient traditions and customs meet the modern world and passengers will have the opportunity to experience it all with a city tour, authentic dim sum lunch, visit to the Bund and a Shanghai Acrobatics show to end the day.

The Bund is a popular waterfront area in Shanghai, packed with Colonial-era history and various styles of architecture.

It is often referred to as “the museum of buildings”. Visitors can simply walk along the Bund or see the area on a Huangpu River cruise.