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Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer

8 night China getaway

This itinerary combines our three night itinerary with sightseeing and accommodation in Beijing and Shanghai.

Please note that this cruise commences three days prior to the three night itinerary departure dates. Please see the sailing dates for more information.

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Day 1


Arrive at Beijing International Airport where you will be met by a Sanctuary representative after customs who will transfer you to check-in at our partner hotel, the Peninsula Hotel Beijing. The evening is at leisure.

Overnight: The Peninsula Hotel Beijing (partner hotel)

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Day 2


After a buffet breakfast at the hotel, it is time to visit the largest city square in the world, Tiananmen Square (440,000 m² - 880m by 500m). Tiananmen Square has great cultural significance as it was the site of several important events in Chinese history. Then stop at the Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty and for almost five hundred years, it served as the home of emperors and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political centre of Chinese government. After a half day tour, return to the hotel and the remainder of the day at leisure to explore Beijing.

Overnight: The Peninsula Hotel Beijing (partner hotel)

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Day 3


Buffet breakfast at the hotel followed by a tour to one of the seven wonders of the world, "The Great Wall of China". Today you have the opportunity to visit a part of the Great Wall of Mutianyu, this section of the wall is located in Huairou County, some 70 kilometres northeast of Beijing. To reach the Great Wall, take a cable car ride where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery before walking on the monumental manbuilt structure. After a half day tour, return to the hotel and balance of the day at leisure.

Overnight: The Peninsula Hotel Beijing (partner hotel)

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Day 4



This morning you will transfer by private car to Beijing Airport to board your flight. Arrive at Chongqing Airport where a Sanctuary representative will assist and transfer you to the 5 star deluxe Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer. Dinner will be a set a la carte menu on board. The ship will set sail on its downstream course in the evening through the Three Gorges region. The total length of this cruise is 660 kilometres and is considered by most Chinese to be the most scenic area in all of China.

Overnight: Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer

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Day 5


Start your morning with an early bird tea or coffee and a traditional Tai Chi lesson, led by our certified Tai Chi Master and work up an appetite for the buffet breakfast.

This morning, choose between a visit to an intriguing, secret project, hidden in the mountains of Fuling - The 816 Underground Project or the White Crane Ridge Underwater Museum and a local market tour.

The 816 Underground Project is the world’s largest artificial military cave. Over 50 years ago, more than 60,000 constructers, came to Jianzishan, an uninhabited place among mountains and forest, to start work on a top-secret construction project of a monumental scale. The work continued for 17 years and was nearly completed when the government decided to suspend it, before any nuclear material could be produced. Now as the secrets of military caves are revealed, you will be able to look at the true face of 816 project hidden for 50 years.

Alternatively, you can choose to visit to the White Crane Ridge Underwater Museum and local market tour. The museum will take you some 148 feet under water to admire the river bed and the intricate ancient rock carvings left there many years ago. Learn about the Yangtze river, it’s flora and fauna, while enjoying this fascinating museum. Your next stop will be the local market, where you will gain insight into the region’s rich culinary culture. This is a daily market where farmers meet to buy and sell a variety of goods, ranging from fruit and vegetables to fish and meat, and of course a whole array of pickles - which Fuling is famous for.

Return to Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer for a lunch buffet in the Dynasty Dining Room, followed by demonstrations such Chinese foot reflexology and traditional Chinese medicine in the Tang Theatre.

Learn about beautiful pearls in this afternoon’s lecture, Pearls of the World. This is followed by the Captain’s welcome reception, complete with complimentary canapé’s.

Tonight, you have a chance to attend an epic open air live action show*, dramatizing the lives and battles of feudal lords and their armies from the ancient Han dynasty. Based on the famous 14th-century novel ‘The Romance of the Three Kingdoms’, the story is part historical, part legend, and part mythical. The show includes battles on horseback, light and aquatic special effects, 3D holographic projection and fireworks, with the Yangtze River as the background, and a 180-degree all-swivel auditorium.

For those who choose to disembark at Zhongxian County for the Three Kingdoms Open Air Show, a late buffet dinner will be available upon their return. Guests who decide to remain onboard can indulge in an a la carte dinner before guests reconvene for karaoke and a live band performance.

Overnight: Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer

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Day 6


Today is all about the striking Three Gorges; Qutang, Wu and Xiling.

Enjoy a tea or coffee and practice your Tai Chi before the commentary on the Qutang Gorge begins on the Explorer Deck.

A breakfast buffet is served before guests return to Deck 6 as we pass through the Wu Gorge. Through the commentary, discover the myths and facts that make each gorge unique as we pass through them.

Experience a unique ride along the Shennong Stream on a sampan - a traditional longboat rowed by expert Tujia boatmen. As we gently float through this stunning riverine gorge flanked by verdant forest, you’ll see evidence of early settlements in the form of hanging coffins stowed high within the limestone cliffs.

Before returning we will visit a traditional trackers village, where you will have a chance to get a fascinating glimpse of the traditional, rural Chinese community. You’ll find mud huts as homes, basic kitchens where the meat is dried on hooks and coffins in the bedroom. And, while there are satellite dishes, villagers still pride their heritage.

This evening we have prepared a special farewell dinner, ‘A Taste of China’, followed by Three Gorges Project lecture and a live band performance.

Overnight: Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer

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Day 7


After breakfast you will arrive at the Three Gorges Project Dam Site and Exhibition Centre for a private tour. This tour will serve as a general introduction to the project site which is currently the world's largest engineering project. 

After the Dam visit, your Tour Coordinator will transfer you to the airport for the flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival at Shanghai, you will be transferred to the Peninsula Hotel Shanghai for check in. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Overnight: The Peninsula Hotel Shanghai (partner hotel)


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Day 8


After enjoying breakfast at the hotel, depart from the hotel to see the famous "Bund", an area of Huangpu District in central Shanghai. Next stop, visit a garden that many consider to be one of the finest Chinese gardens in the region, the Yu Garden. The garden was first established in 1559 as a private garden created by Pan Yunduan, who spent almost 20 years building a garden to please his father Pan En, a high-ranking official in the Ming Dynasty, After a half day tour, return to the hotel and balance of the day is at leisure to explore Shanghai.

Overnight: The Peninsula Hotel Shanghai (partner hotel)

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Day 9


Enjoy breakfast at the hotel prior to your transfer to the Pudong International Airport by private vehicle for your departure flight. Your local guide will assist you with check in.