Today depart from Sydney for Chengdu via Shanghai, Xiamen, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Beijing or Fuzhou. Fly with China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, Capital Airlines, Air China, Hainan Airlines or Xiamen Airlines (subject to availability). Upon arrival, a tour representative will meet you at the airport and transfer you to check-in at the hotel.
This morning visit Kuanzhai Alley, one of Chengdu’s three historic conservation districts. Constructed in 1718 during the early years of the Qing Dynasty, this charming pedestrian thoroughfare is home to an eclectic mix of classic Sichuan architecture, modern cafes and smart boutiques. As you explore, listen to commentary from your guide about the district’s history and design, and witness how some of the city’s old establishments — local restaurants, traditional teahouses, Chinese calligraphy demonstrations — sit alongside the new.
Afterwards, enjoy the rest of the day at your own leisure or join an amazing optional tour 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).
After breakfast, transfer to Chengdu Railway Station for a high-speed train experience to Yichang (approx. 6.5 hour train ride). You will be met at Yichang Railway by your tour guide and transferred to the Yangtze 1 or 2 Ship (ship to be confirmed prior to departure), where you will begin your memorable four-night cruise down the Yangtze River. Yichang, renowned as the “Gateway to the Three Gorges” and the “Throat between Sichuan and Hubei”, is an important trading port and a transportation hub along the Yangtze River.
Enjoy your first day on the Yangtze River as your ship winds its way through spectacular scenery. Enjoy a beautiful breakfast buffet on board, and then join an optional shore excursion to the Three Gorges Project (not included). One of the largest construction projects undertaken by man, it is the biggest hydro project in the world. In the evening, you will return to the ship and attend the Captain’s Welcome Banquet and enjoy an evening of dancing.
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 will pass through the mountains of Eastern Sichuan. Participate in the optional excursion or relax by the pool, pamper yourself with a massage and make the most of the last full day on your ship. Tonight, enjoy the farewell dinner and pack your bags in preparation for disembarking tomorrow.
Today’s optional excursion is Fengdu Ghost City (not included). Located on the northern bank of the Yangtze River, Fengdu is an ancient city with a time-honoured history, known as the 'Ghost City' to most Chinese people. According to superstitious legend, the dead come to Fengdu Ghost City and the devils go to hell. Since Tang Dynasty, forty-eight temples have been built in the place, such as the 'Hall of the Jade Emperor'.
After breakfast, you will disembark the cruise ship in the magnificent 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) (not included) with an airport drop-off.
Today you will arrive home to Australia after the taking in the diverse experiences that this memorable holiday offers.