Today, you'll depart either Sydney, Melbourne or *Brisbane for Chengdu, China. Upon arrival, you'll be greeted at the airport by a friendly tour representative who will then transfer you to the hotel for check-in.
After breakfast, visit Kuanzhai Alley - one of Chengdu’s three historic conservation districts. Constructed in 1718 during the early years of the Qing dynasty, this pleasant pedestrian thoroughfare is home to a fascinating mix of classic Sichuan architecture and modern cafes and boutiques. While you walk, listen to commentary from your guide about the district's history and design, and notice how some of the city's old establishments — local restaurants, traditional teahouses, Chinese calligraphy demonstrations — sit alongside the new.
Then enjoy the rest of the day at your own leisure or join an amazing optional package to further explore what Sichuan has to offer, including the famous Giant Panda Breeding and Research Base of Chengdu, a traditional Sichuan Hot Pot dinner and a Sichuan Opera cultural show (not included).
The first stop of the optional tour is the Giant Panda Breeding and Research Center. Despite the giant panda’s status as a Chinese national treasure, its population has dropped to only 3,000. As a response to this ecological crisis, the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding opened in 1987 to care for rescued, wild pandas. Today, the open-air sanctuary is one of the most popular tourist destinations in southern China due to its focus on breeding and conservation. The goal for the centre is to introduce their pandas into the wild.
Your guide will then take you to a special hot pot restaurant. Hot Pot of Chengdu is a well-known dish in China. Hot pot is a traditional dish with options for spicy or non-spicy variants. Whether it is winter or summer, the hot pot restaurants are full of locals. People believe eating around the round pot means friendship and uniting. Naturally, the guide will not miss this opportunity to show you the delicious food of Chengdu.
Last immerse yourself in the captivating culture of Chengdu during an incredible Sichuan Opera show. Marvel at dazzling dancers and astounding acrobats as they deliver an extravagant spectacle of color and culture.
After breakfast, transfer to Chengdu Railway Station for a high-speed bullet train experience to Yichang (approx. 6.5 hours train ride). You will be met at Yichang Railway by your tour guide and transferred to the China Goddess 1, where you will begin your memorable 4 night cruise down the Yangtze River. Yichang, renowned as “Gateway to the Three Gorges” and “Throat between Sichuan and Hubei”, is an important trading port and a transportation hub along the Yangtze River.
Today’s activities include; a morning Tai Chi lesson and an optional shore excursion to the Three Gorges Dam Site. The Three Gorges Dam Site is one of the largest construction projects undertaken by mankind and is the biggest hydropower project in the world. You may also want to visit the Tribe of the Three Gorges, the only large scenic spot that has not been influenced by the Three Gorges Dam project, which showcases the abundant Ba Culture and Shu Culture. This evening you will return to the ship and attend the Captain’s Welcome Banquet and enjoy the evening entertainment with a Chinese dancing ball.
Today you may enjoy an optional shore excursion to Lesser Three Gorges - a shining pearl hidden in remote mountains. You will leave your cruise ship and board smaller vessels to sail through the narrower and breathtaking Lesser Three Gorges region, lined by sheer cliffs and mountains. Along the Yangtze River you will appreciate the beauty of the Qutang Gorge and Wu Gorge and visit the ancient plank road, Mengliang Stairway and the Hanging Coffins. You may also want to visit the White Emperor City, an ancient temple that is located atop Baidi Mountain on the northern bank of the Yangtze River in Fengjie County. You will then return to the ship and continue sailing into the western section of Xiling Gorge.
Today you may choose to join the optional excursion to visit the Fengdu Ghost City to see why it’s regarded as the “City of Ghosts”. The temples built on Ming Mountain depict the punish instruments and demon paintings, demonstrating the Chinese people’s imagination of hell. Return to the ship and continue to pass through the mountains of Eastern Sichuan. Tonight enjoy the farewell dinner and pack your bags in preparation for disembarking tomorrow.
This morning you will disembark the cruise ship in the magnificent and densely populated city of Chongqing. Transfer to Chongqing Airport for your homebound flight or join an optional tour to see what Chongqing has to offer including Three Gorges Museum and ancient village of Ci Qi Kou (Porcelain Village) with an airport drop-off.
Today you will arrive home to Australia after the taking in the diverse experiences that this memorable holiday offers.