On arrival in Beijing
, be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. This evening, enjoy a Welcome Reception. Stay Three Nights:
Beijing Capital Hotel
Beijing, Forbidden City
Enjoy a half day of included sightseeing activities with a visit to Tiananmen Square, one of the world's largest city squares. Continue on to the Forbidden City, the former home to an ancient line of Chinese Emperors during the Ming dynasty through to the Qing dynasty for a duration spanning nearly 500 years. Afterwards, enjoy time at leisure to explore the diverse city centre. (B/D)
Insider Experience: Tonight sample the most iconic dish of Beijing with a delicious banquet of Peking Duck at a local restaurant.
Beijing, Great Wall of China
Today discover China's greatest icon, the Great Wall of China. Winding from the Yellow Sea into the Gobi Desert
for over 6,000 kilometres, become immersed in the stunning architectural mastery. During a cable car ride to the Mutianyu section, one of the best-preserved parts of the wall, you can absorb breathtaking views. Later, return to the city via Beijing National Stadium (the Bird's Nest). (B/L)
Beijing, Yichang, Embark Cruise
Head to the airport for your included flight to Yichang and transfer to your river ship for a four-night cruise along the Yangtze River. Stay Four Nights: a premium Victoria Cruises river ship (B/L/D)
Insider Experience: This morning, enjoy a pedicab tour of Beijing's old hutongs (alleys) and stop along the way to visit the home of a local Chinese family.
Three Gorges Dam, Xiling Gorge
Take in the stunning scenery of the Yangtze River on a relaxing cruise through the Three Gorges region, considered by many to be China's most picturesque area. Disembark to tour the Three Gorges Dam
this afternoon before continuing through Xiling Gorge, the longest and deepest of the Three Gorges. (B/L/D)
Three Lesser Gorges, Wu Gorge, Qutang Gorge
Maybe this morning you'd like to rise with the sun and enjoy a tai chi class on board. Today's excursions takes you along the Daning River, home to the smaller but equally spectacular Three Lesser Gorges: Dragon Gate, Misty and Emerald Green. Your cruise continues on through Wu Gorge, a stunning region well known for its picturesque sheer peaks and towering cliff faces. After lunch, pass between two mountains, Chijia and Baiyan, en route to the narrowest of the Three Gorges, Qutang Gorge
Today discover Shibaozhai, a striking red pagoda built into the base of a steep hill. Disembark and explore the pagoda's 12 floors, each of which contains a range of historic artefacts. There may also be an option to visit the 'Ghost City' of Fengdu (own expense), where you'll have the opportunity to further explore a number of traditional shrines, temples and monasteries. This evening, sample a delightful dinner on board as you enjoy your final night cruising the Yangtze River. (B/L/D)
Chongqing, Disembark Cruise, Xi'an
Farewell your Victoria Cruises ship this morning in Chongqing. From here, head to the Chongqing Zoo, where more than 200 varieties of rare animals are on display, including the country's famous giant pandas. Later, board an included flight to the time-worn city, Xi'an. Stay Two Nights: Xi'an, Wyndham Hotel (B/D)
Insider Experience: This evening, enjoy a quintessential Chinese experience as you indulge in an authentic dumpling banquet and be captivated by a Tang Dynasty show.
Known for its remarkable collection of Terracotta Solders, a discovery of Xi'an awaits today. Travel to the Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses via a clay factory where the creations are still made to this day. While at the open-air museum, admire the three excavation pits that housed the sculptures since around 210 BC. Tonight, head to Xi'an's Muslim Quarter where stalls are brimming with exotic treats and various souvenirs for sale. (B/L)
Insider Experience: Tonight, head to Xi'an's Muslim Quarter where stalls are brimming with exotic treats and various souvenirs for sale.
Xi'an, Shanghai, Wuzhen
After a morning at leisure, make your way to Shanghai on an included flight. Upon arrival, travel to the ancient water town of Wuzhen, home to a network of beautiful canals and cobblestone streets. Enjoy further leisure time this evening after checking into your hotel. Stay: Wuzhen, Tong'an Guesthouse (B)
Insider Experience: Tonight, check in to the Tong'an Guesthouse for your special overnight stay.
Board a boat for a cruise along the peaceful canals of Wuzhen. Back in Shanghai, enjoy the evening to yourself for relaxation or exploration. Stay Two Nights: Shanghai,Hotel Equatorial Shanghai (B/L)
Visit a silk factory and enjoy a Farewell Dinner of contemporary Yunnan cuisine at Lost Heaven restaurant. (B/D)
Insider Experience: This morning, take part in a tea ceremony at a traditional teahouse in Yu Garden.
Enjoy a day at leisure, then transfer to the airport for your flight to Tokyo. Transfer to your hotel and enjoy a Welcome Dinner with your fellow travellers and Tour Manager. Stay Two Nights: Tokyo, Shinagawa Prince Hotel, or similar (B/D)
There's much more to Japan's capital than the skyscrapers and neon-lights that first come to mind. A full-day tour of Tokyo illuminates the ancient history behind Asakusa Kannon Temple and the fascinating Ameyoko Market, as well as the Imperial Palace Plaza. Later, enjoy a visit to Nakajima no Ochaya, a tea house in Hamarikyu Garden that dates back to 1704. You are invited to sample authentic Japanese tea and sweets here. Afterwards, spend time at the Edo Tokyo Museum, where exhibits depict the fascinating history of Japan's capital during the peaceful Edo period. This evening you might explore the buzzing city centre or relax back in the comfort of your hotel. (B)
Upon arrival, you will enjoy a tour of the spectacular Hakone National Park with Mt Fuji resting in the distance. Lying in the foothills of this stunning mountain, Hakone is a breathtaking region of spoils including lakes, forests and hot springs. Enjoy a short cruise on the tranquil Lake Ashi, a former crater, which is popular among nature lovers and hikers because of its abundant reeds and walking tracks. Continue to the renowned hot springs at Owakudani. Stay: Hakone, Prince Hotel, or similar (B)
Insider Experience: Today you will make the journey to the resort town of Hakone by train, travelling in a 'Romancecar' (observation car) on the picturesque narrow gauge line.
Mount Fuji, Matsumoto
This morning, travel to Mt Fuji, arguably Japan's most distinctive landmark. Continue to one of the country's most famous castles. Stay overnight in Matsumoto. Stay: Matsumoto, Hotel Buena Vista or similar (B)
Insider Experience: Later, enjoy a visit to Matsumoto Castle, an impressive fortress completed in 1593. Built on a plain, this five-storey fortification is a celebrated National Treasure of Japan.
Your journey continues today, travelling to Takayama, pausing enroute for an excursion to the nearby Folk Village where an open air museum of rustic farm dwellings depicts the traditional architectural styles found in the mountains. Set on a hillside overlooking the idyllic Takayama Valley, some of the buildings in the picturesque village date back 500 years. After exploring here, you'll continue to Takayama to spend the night. Perfectly named, Takayama, meaning 'Tall Mountain', is set atop brilliant hills and is home to a fascinating array of narrow streets and wooden houses which appear almost untouched by time. Stay: Takayama, Ouan Hotel, or similar (B)
Takayama, Nagoya, Hiroshima
The city of Hiroshima is now an iconic symbol of peace across the world after experiencing immense destruction at the conclusion of World War II. The memorial Peace Park was established to remember the more than 100,000 lives that were lost, and the A-Bomb Dome is a fascinating relic from the devastating event. Explore these critical historic sites at your own leisure and also some culturally significant buildings and temples that withstood the war. Stay Two Nights: Hiroshima, Sheraton Hotel, or similar (B)
Insider Experience: Travel by Bullet Train from Nagoya to Hiroshima.
Hiroshima, Miyajima Island
Translated to 'Shrine Island', the wooded island is home to the famous Itsukushima Shrine, a Shinto shrine which appears to float in the island's waters at high tide. During your time here you'll enjoy a walking tour and see cheeky wild deer. This afternoon is set aside for you to discover the other sites of Hiroshima at your own leisure. (B)
Insider Experience: Today, travel by tram and boat to Miyajima Island.
The capital of Japan for more than a thousand years, Kyoto is a living museum of the country's artistic heritage and religious and cultural traditions. Travel here today after a host of included sightseeing experiences. Stay Three Nights: Kyoto, Hotel Grand Bach, or similar (B)
Insider Experience: This morning visit Hiroshima's World Peace Memorial Park and the A-Bomb Dome Museum.
With buildings capped at 15 meters (with few exceptions) and blinking advertisements banned on rooftops all together, you can enjoy the unspoiled historic surrounds of the stunning city. A tour this morning introduces you to famous landmarks including the Nijo Castle, built in 1603; Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion) which has an exquisite Japanese garden; and Kyoto Imperial Palace, the Imperial family's residence until the capital was relocated to Tokyo. (B)
Insider Experience: In the afternoon, venture to some of Kyoto's beautiful formal gardens and enjoy a traditional tea ceremony in a typical Japanese thatched farmhouse.
Visit Nara today, a cute and compact city of narrow streets. Enjoy a walking tour through Nara Park, home to the beautiful Todai-ji Temple, the largest wooden building in the world. Travel back to Kyoto where you will enjoy time at leisure this afternoon. (B/D)
Insider Experience: Back in Kyoto, wander the streets of the famous Gion district and keep watch for one of the many beautiful geiko and maiko, the titles given to geisha and their apprentices while in Kyoto.
Upon arrival in Osaka, you will enjoy a guided tour that includes a visit to the Floating Garden Observatory in the iconic Umeda Sky building. Here you will enjoy panoramic views over Osaka and its castle, ahead of a Farewell Dinner at the hotel with your fellow guests this evening. Stay: Osaka, Cross Hotel, or similar (B/D)
Insider Experience: Travel by Bullet Train to Osaka.
Transfer to Osaka airport for your onward flight. (B)