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A Grand Tour of China

Including Yangtze Cruise

16 days from only €3,129pp

Experience more with so much included

  • A comprehensive tour of China visiting its greatest cultural legacies, iconic monuments, astounding palaces and astonishing scenery
  • Visit the astonishing Great Wall of China, the only man-made monument visible from space
  • See the world-famous Terracotta Army and the less-visited underground museum
  • Enjoy a tour of the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding
  • Marvel at the Temple of Heaven and the imperial gardens at the Summer Palace in Beijing
  • See the Longshen Rice Terraces, a man-made wonder
  • Enjoy a five-star Yangtze River Cruise through the breathtaking Three Gorges, with full board
  • Travel through the world’s largest ship locks of the Three Gorges Dam
  • Tour Shanghai and take in the Jade Buddha temple, Yuyuan Gardens and the old British Consulate
  • Take a guided tour of Tiananmen Square and the amazing Forbidden City, the world’s largest concentration of preserved ancient wooden buildings
  • Travel from Shanghai to Beijing on one of China's high-speed trains
  • Cruise the world-famous Li River and visit the picturesque riverside town of Yangshuo
  • Return flights from Dublin
  • Stay in hand-picked five-star and four-star hotels, with breakfast daily and 14 meals, which includes a Peking duck banquet
  • The services of our experienced tour manager throughout

Selected departures from March to October 2019

8.9 out of 10  
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At a Glance
Return flights & transfers
Travel on the world's fastest bullet train
4 and 5-star hotel accommodation
Programme of daily tours & visits
Daily breakfast & 14 meals
Expert tour manager
3 nights on the RV Century Sun
Checked Luggage
 

Overview

Since the days of Marco Polo, China has fascinated our western minds in the most compelling way. The country’s immense size, almost unimaginable wealth and other-worldly culture have together woven an intoxicating and quite irresistible spell.

The Chinese today are living through an astonishing transformation. As well as being justly proud of their long history and unique cultural legacy, they’re keen to show you their huge achievements as a rapidly growing world superpower. China has always been a nation of superlatives. The most populous on earth, it’s also the fourth largest. Silk, tea, paper money, porcelain and gunpowder all originated here. Effectively closed to outsiders for most of its history, China has developed its own unique character, language and society.

At the heart of Beijing lies the Imperial Palace. Collectively called the ‘Forbidden City’, it contains a staggering 9,999 rooms. Adorned with paintings of dragons and phoenixes, carvings and inscriptions, it’s crowned by typically Chinese turned-up roofs with gold-hued tiles. Tiananmen Square, the final resting place of Chairman Mao, holds a staggering 600,000 people. The Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven are stunning in their simplicity and laden with symbolism. And beyond the city lies the stupendous Great Wall, the largest structure ever built by man and one of the new seven wonders of the world.

Two centuries before the founding of ancient Rome, Xian was already a world-class city and gateway to the Silk Road. Home to over a dozen dynasties, it houses the extraordinary Terracotta Army. First discovered by farmers digging a well, the life-size and remarkably preserved warriors all have their own individual features. They’ve guarded the tomb of the first Qin Emperor for more than two millennia.

Guilin has some of China’s most breathtaking scenery. Beautifully set around four lakes and two rivers, it’s surrounded by the karst limestone scenery of lush forest-covered peaks and pinnacles. You’ll also visit the extraordinary Longshen Rice Terraces, carved into the hills in their thousands over centuries by the hands of Yao tribesmen.

In Chengdu, you’ll see some of the world’s most endangered and enchanting animals – Panda bears. This is the leading Panda research and breeding centre in China. We’ll visit them in the morning while they’re still active, and before they sleep for the rest of the day after eating their fill of bamboo.

Our three-day cruise on the Yangtze is a welcome change of pace as our five-star ship, the RV Century Sun, navigates through the spectacular Three Gorges. Shanghai, China’s wealthiest city, is an intoxicating mix of colonial tradition and modern economic dynamism. The riverside Bund became one of the greatest trading centres of the world. Today this lovingly restored waterfront contrasts with the forest of skyscrapers that cover the skyline.

China is also home to one of the world’s great cuisines – with the ubiquitous Peking Duck from the north, chillies from the west and fruit and carp from the sub-tropical climate of the south. Real Chinese food is both a revelation and a gourmet paradise. In Britain our standard greeting is ‘How are you?’ In China, it’s ‘Have you eaten today?’

This tour is a remarkable journey of discovery of one of the world’s most ancient cultures, aspects of which are almost beyond our comprehension, blended with a remarkably stunning topography and a staggering pace of modernisation.

Your Itinerary

Watch A Grand Tour of China Video

Price Includes

The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room with single rooms available at the relevant supplement. Price includes flights to and from Shanghai; 14 nights’ accommodation in four-star hotels including 3 nights on board a five-star Yangtze cruise ship; daily breakfast and 14 meals; all tours and entrance fees as described; all transfers; all touring as mentioned; all local accommodation taxes and airport/flight taxes; four domestic flights and two rail journeys; hotel porterage of one item of luggage per person and the services of a Riviera Travel tour manager.

Not included: Chinese visa - see visa and health information.

Things to note:

  • Itinerary may be subject to change depending on domestic flight timings and Yangtze & Li river water levels.
  • All included lunches and dinners are Chinese meals and are set menus of several courses and dishes shared around tables of 6-10 persons, one local beer or soft drink is normally included as is unlimited Chinese tea. Breakfasts are buffet style with western food options.
  • Hotel beds can be ‘firm’ in China and rooms are normally twin-bedded. Requests for double beds can be made but not guaranteed in advance.

Visa Information

All Irish Passport holders require a visa to travel to China. This must be applied for in person, postal applications are no longer accepted. The duration of the visa is for three months and it is valid from the date of issue. We therefore recommend applying for the visa no more than 2 months before departure, to ensure it covers the full duration of your stay in China.

Please visit http://ie.chineseembassy.org/eng where you can download the Visa Application Form to submit your application in person in Dublin at:

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Ireland,
118 Merrion Road,
Dublin 4
(Office opening hours 09:00 to 12:00 Monday to Thursday)

A single entry tourist visa costs €40 per person. Personal applications will take a minimum of 5 working days to process.

Important note: Only payment by bank draft issued by Bank of Ireland or Allied Irish Bank or Postal Order issued by An Post payable to The Chinese Embassy in Ireland will be accepted. The denomination of the currency being Euro only.

Your passport needs to be valid for at least 6 months from date of travel and have at least two completely empty pages. Visa fees are subject to change without notice and non-refundable.

Whilst care has been taken to ensure that the information provided relating to visa requirements is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in requirements after this time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information. therefore, whilst we strive to provide the most up-to-date information, we strongly suggest that you re-confirm requirements with the relevant embassy prior to travel.

Useful Information

Mobility

We want to ensure you make the correct choice before you book your holiday with us. If you have any concerns regarding the suitabilty of the holiday due to rediuced mobility we would encourage you to call us to discuss these concerns. General information on mobility in connection with our tours can be found here.

Transfer Times

All transfer times listed here are approximate, and dependant on traffic. If you have a question regarding transfer times please don't hesitate to contact us

Arrival airport First hotel location Transfer time Final hotel location Departure airport Transfer time
Shanghai Pudong International Airport Shanghai 30 mins Shanghai Shanghai Pudong International Airport 30 mins

Fact File

  • Currency: Yuan
  • Deposit: €200 per person
  • Flight Time: Approx.  10 hrs (outbound) and 12 hrs (inbound)
  • Language: Chinese
  • Time Zone: GMT+7 (+8 during winter months)
  • Country: China

Health

There is no specific health advice for this tour, though it is always advisable to contact your GP six to eight weeks prior to travel. For mobility related queries please contact the reservations team.

Ships Available

MS Swiss Corona
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MS Lord Byron
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