Essential Plus Cruise

13 Days

from £2,698

Enjoy a relaxing cruise along the Yangtze River, the longest river in Asia, and arguably the most picturesque. See the sights in the illustrious capital of Beijing, followed by the historical city of Xian, the ancient capital, and the spell-binding Terracotta Warriors. Finally, the vibrant city of Shanghai will bring you to China’s present.

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Day 1 UK to Beijing

Catch your scheduled flight from the UK to Beijing. We can also arrange departures from your local airport.

Day 2 Arrive Beijing (D)

Upon arrival, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel for a three night stay. In the afternoon you will have time to relax or take a walk in the surrounding area. Your guide will be pleased to advise you on what you can do. In the evening you will meet your fellow group members for dinner.

Day 3 Beijing City Tour (BLD)

This morning you will visit the Temple of Heaven – where the Ming and Qing emperors worshipped the god of heaven and prayed for good harvests for the coming year. Here you can witness the tradition of Tai Chi being practised in the courtyard. This will be followed by a stroll through Tiananmen Square, the biggest square in the world, and continue on to the Forbidden City which served as the grand imperial palace for centuries. Your final stop of the day will be at the Hutongs, for an insight into the everyday life of traditional Beijing people.

Day 4 Great Wall (BLD)

Today visit the Great Wall at Mutianyu, a post along the wall with breathtaking views in a less crowded atmosphere. Mutianyu was built in the mid-6th century and its rich history can be observed in its well-preserved construction. This will be followed by an opportunity for photographs at the Birds Nest Stadium and Water Cube, venues for the memorable 2008 Olympics and 2015 World Championships. In the evening, enjoy a delicious Peking Duck Dinner, in the city that gave it its name.

Day 5 Bullet Train to Xian (BL)

In the morning visit the Summer Palace, a magnificent complex of lakes, gardens, palaces and scenic views. Afterwards, enjoy a relaxing boat ride on the beautiful Kunming Lake, before catching a bullet train to Xian (approx. 5 hours 30 minutes), for a two night stay.

Day 6 Terracotta Warriors (BLD)

Your first stop today is the Terracotta Warriors, an awe-inspiring collection of 10,000 life size statues of the Chinese army made over 2,000 years ago, and almost perfectly preserved. This will be followed by an afternoon visit to Xian’s ancient city wall, which is best discovered on foot or by bike. This city wall is the most complete one to have survived in China, and is one of the largest military defence systems in the world. In the evening you will be treated to a tasty dumpling dinner while enjoying the Tang Dynasty Show, a colourful performance of traditional music and dance.

Day 7 To Chongqing (BL)

A visit to the Shaanxi Museum which houses over a quarter of a million artefacts, including treasures from many periods of China’s history, gets your day off to a good start. The next stop, the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, where you will discover China’s unique architectural style, followed by a visit to the Muslim Quarter to see local life in the community. Finally, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Chongqing for an overnight stay.

Day 8 Transfer to Yangtze River Cruise (BLD)

In the morning see the pandas at the local zoo and in the afternoon visit the ancient market town, Ciqikou. In the evening you will board your 5* ship for the start of your cruise along the majestic Yangtze River.

Days 9-10 Yangtze River Cruise (BLD)

On the first day of the cruise, you can relax while the ship meanders along the Yangtze, and enjoy the scenic views. There will be an excursion to Shibaozhai, with its impressive wooden pagoda, appropriately named “The Pearl of the Yangtze”. The final excursion of the last day will be an enjoyable journey on a small motorboat through the tranquil Goddess Stream while marvelling at the soaring limestone cliffs rising from the water.

Day 11 To Shanghai (BL)

On your way to Yichang, you will visit The Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest power station. Disembark at Yichang and be escorted to the airport for a flight to Shanghai, and a two night stay.

Day 12 Shanghai City Tour (BLD)

The first stops on today’s itinerary are the Yu Yuan Gardens followed by the Jade Buddha Temple. The centuries old Yu Yuan Gardens is home to beautiful pavilions, walkways, streams, courtyards and flowers. The Jade Buddha Temple is home to large, intricate sculptures of Buddha. After a visit to the Shanghai Museum, there will be an opportunity to admire Shanghai as a modern metropolis at the Bund. Later, from the top of the Shanghai world financial centre, you can enjoy a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the whole city.

Day 13 Shanghai to UK (B)

Transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK.

This group tour will typically use 4 Star Hotels or properties of a similar standard if those listed are not available. All rooms are equipped with a double or twin beds, private bathroom facilities, air-conditioning, heating, TV’s, telephones and WiFi as standard.

Your 4★ Hotels

Beijing: Guangxi Hotel 4★

Conveniently located near the Panjiayuan Antique Market and 5 km from Hongqiao Market and Temple of Heaven. Facilities include an indoor swimming pool.

Xian: Grand Dynasty Culture 4★

Located near Great Mosque, Drum Tower and the Bell Tower. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool and a health club. There is also a restaurant and a nightclub.

Chongqing: 88 Eling Park Hotel 4★

A garden-style hotel situated near Eling Park in the centre of Chongqing, and is just 5 km from Caiyuanba Railway Station. The hotel’s Royal Garden restaurant serves Cantonese dishes while the Lotus Café offers international fare and coffee.

Yangtze River: Victoria Cruise 5★

Used on all our group tours, boasting the largest five-star fleet on the Yangtze River. All cabins have modern amenities featuring private bathrooms and balconies. You also have the option to upgrade to Executive Deck for only £99 (3 night cruise). Restaurants serve delicious onboard meals. Spectacular views of the scenery can be gain from every stateroom and public area.

Shanghai: Greenland Jiulong Hotel 4★

The hotel offers comfortable guestrooms with modern amenities and there is a restaurant serving both Chinese and Western cuisine.

Tour Name: Essential Plus Cruise

Tour Code: EPC13
 13 Days

Depart Return Price from
 21/03/19 02/04/19 £2,698
04/04/19 16/04/19 £2,798 NOW £2,723*
11/04/19 23/04/19  £2,798 NOW £2,723*
09/05/19 21/05/19 £2,798
16/05/19 28/05/19 £2,798
06/06/19 18/06/19 £2,698
25/07/19 06/08/19 £3,098
08/08/19 20/08/19 £3,098
05/09/19 17/09/19 £2,898
12/09/19 24/09/19 £2,898
19/09/19 01/10/19 £2,898
10/10/19 22/10/19 £2,948
17/10/19 29/10/19 £2,948
24/10/19 05/11/19 £2,948
19/03/20 31/03/20 £2,698
02/04/20 14/04/20 £2,798
09/04/20 21/04/20 £2,798
07/05/20 19/05/20 £2,798
14/05/20 26/05/20 £2,798
04/06/20 16/06/20 £2,698
Direct Flights from Manchester

Single supplement from £478

Land only from £1,998 £1,998 (no international flights or visa fees)

Prices and products are subject to availability at the time of booking.

The deposit for these arrangements is £300 per person. Balance is due 10 weeks before departure.

Please call 020 8543 8133 for more information or to make a booking.


  • International flights in economy class departing from London Heathrow with British Airways. Regional departures and flight upgrades are available on request.
  • Domestic flights in economy class
  • Bullet train in first class
  • 4★accommodation based on twin share
  • Transfers
  • English speaking guides
  • Meals as specified (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • Entrance fees to the sites listed
  • Airport taxes
  • Visa fees


  • Local tips: RMB400 (approx £47) per person
  • RMB150 (approx £18) per person tips aboard the Yangtze Cruise
  • Personal spending
  • Travel insurance

*Manchester Flight Offer Terms and Conditions. Offer subject to availability on selected dates, for new bookings only and cannot be combined with any other offer. China Links Travel terms and conditions apply.