The China and Asia experts at Pacific Delight Tours have launched the new air-inclusive 14-day Grand Yangtze Victoria1 River Silver Experience, which includes a nine-day Yangtze River cruise through China’s scenic heartland on the five-star Victoria Sophia from Victoria Cruises, along with roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles or San Francisco.
The program begins in Shanghai, China’s fastest growing metropolis, where passengers will have an opportunity to relax after the transpacific flight. Sightseeing in Shanghai includes Old Town, picturesque Yu Garden and the Bund, Shanghai’s colonial riverside promenade, where visitors will receive an insightful glimpse into the city’s profound history.
Along the way to meet their cruise ship, guests will stop at the picturesque water town of Zhujiajiao known for its tranquil canals, cobblestone streets and ancient charm. Travelers will then depart on a voyage along the Yangtze River.
The first stop on the cruise itinerary is Nanjing, capital of the Jiangsu Province, where travelers will experience the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum and a Qing Dynasty-style Bazaar surrounding a Confucian Temple. This is followed by spectacular Jiuhashan Mountain
(also known as Mountain of the Nine Lotuses), a UNESCO World Heritage site revered for its exceptional beauty. Travelers will experience the feeling of walking into a living Chinese ink painting, as the sheer peaks and their breathtaking vistas unfold before them (Huangshan, also known as Yellow Mountain, may be substituted based on weather and road conditions).
Continuing upstream, travelers will observe the natural scenery of the areas surrounding Guichi on their way to Wuhan, where they will spend time visiting the Hubei Provincial Museum. The museum houses artifacts from the first century BC, as well as mementos of the province’s revolutionary history.
Next, passengers will receive a tour of the Three Gorges Dam, an extraordinary feat of engineering and the largest hydro-electric dam project in the world. Upon returning to the ship, they will pass the ship locks and sail through the first of the famed Three Gorges – Xiling Gorge.
One of the most talked about excursions is an incredible sailing experience on a traditional sampan, through Goddess Stream – one of the Yangtze’s scenic tributaries. Here, guests will board smaller craft to experience the quiet beauty of its narrow gorges.
After sailing through Wu Gorge and Qutang Gorge, the cruise arrives at Fengdu, where passengers will have an opportunity to observe local culture and everyday life in one of the new resettlement towns on the Yangtze’s south bank – a sharp contrast to the hustle and bustle of life in Shanghai.
The cruise disembarks in Chongqing, where travelers will catch their flight to Beijing for the last leg of the trip highlighted by the Great Wall of China. Guests will also visit Tiananmen Square, the largest public area in the world, followed by a tour of the impressive 15th century Imperial Palace at Beijing’s Forbidden City. An excursion to the elegant Summer Palace will showcase the largest imperial garden in the world, including over 3,000 structures with a variety of pavilions, towers and arched bridges surrounding Lake Kunming, where participants will enjoy a boat ride (weather permitting).
The air-inclusive World of Difference Silver Experience program starts at $2,999 per person, based on double occupancy, and includes transpacific air from Los Angeles or San Francisco via Air China or China Eastern Airlines (departures from JFK are an additional $200); intra-China flights; fuel surcharges, port charges, taxes and fees; on-board lectures, cultural entertainment, Tai Chi and Chinese language lessons, Captain’s Cocktail Party and farewell banquet on the Yangtze River cruise; meals; and the USTOA $1 Million Travelers Assistance Program.
Pacific Delight Tours, www.PacificDelightTours.com