First name is required!
Last name is required!
First name is not valid!
Last name is not valid!
This is not an email address!
Email address is required!
This email is already registered!
Please enter valid email address
Password is required!
Enter a valid password!
Please enter 6 or more characters!
Please enter 16 or less characters!
Passwords are not the same!
Terms and Conditions are required!
Email or Password is wrong!
Please select the captcha checkbox!
Please select the valid captcha!
Something went wrong! Try again later!

  • See all the wonders of Beijing, Xian, Shanghai and the Three Gorges
  • Visit the birthplace of porcelain 
  • See the elegant classical gardens of Suzhou
  • Explore a sacred Buddhist mountain and much more
  • Visit the enormous Tiananmen Square
  • Travel to the Badaling Hills
  • Tour Old Beijing’s hutongs (narrow alleys) via rickshaw
  • Scenic cruising along the Yangtze

This trip is discontinued instead see:



China Delights

Classic China

Wild China



This 18-day odyssey explores China’s cradle of culture with an epic 11-day Yangtze cruise between Chongqing and Nanjing. See all the wonders of Beijing, Xian and Shanghai, as well as the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terra Cotta Army and Old Shanghai. And, uncover the roots of Chinese civilization from Jingdezhen, birthplace of porcelain; to Mt. Jiu Hua’s remote Buddhist Temple complex; to Suzhou with its elegant classical gardens. Those who really want to understand the origins of Chinese culture should strongly consider this itinerary, our ultimate China experience.

Travelers Also Viewed All similar trips
Cities & Attractions
Flights & Transport
  • Only ground transport

Viking River Cruises Travel Reviews & Ratings
100% Recommend

5.0 out of 5
Excellent 4 Great 0 Average 0 Disappointing 0 Terrible 0
5.0 Guide
5.0 Activities
5.0 Lodging
4.8 Transportation
5.0 Meals
China's Cultural Delight

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Viking River Cruises .



Incredible experience August 2015

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Incredible experience sailing on the Grand European tour from Amsterdam to Budapest! Just wonderful! The tours were interesting, and most allowed for adequate free time to explore the areas visited. But the staff! Beyond compare.
Read more

Operator Viking River Cruises



Already planning our next cruise August 2015

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We talked about doing a cruise with Viking ever since we were made aware of them back in 2008. We just arrived home yesterday and are still floating on air! The spectacular time we had is almost beyond description. First, we loved our stateroom. It was the basic 150 square foot space. This room was so well designed. We met new friends and always had someone new to share a conversation with. The gem in the hospitality crown was our Program Director, who had more energy than any five people put together. I could go on and on but I will say this: we are already planning our next cruise with Viking.
Read more

Operator Viking River Cruises



We enjoyed the entire experience August 2015

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We enjoyed the entire experience; Normandy and Omaha Beach were especially moving. The food and service deserve praise too. This is our third Viking cruise and we'll do it again. Viking does it first rate all the way. Keep it up.
Read more

Operator Viking River Cruises



Every bit as good as it looks January 2015

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Viking was the only European river cruise company we knew about because of their TV commercials, so we booked with them. .We were extremely pleased with our Danube cruise, especially the port excursions, then we went with them to Russia. Having done two river cruises I now know there are lots of other cruise lines, but I don't see any reason to switch at this point. One thing to mention: most of the people on board are in their 50s and 60s , so I wouldn't bring kids or grandkids along -- they won't have any companions their own age. But we did enjoy meeting the other people on board -- many of whom had responded to their TV commercials, too, we discovered!
Read more

Operator Viking River Cruises


Day 1: Beijing, China

Accommodation : The Forbidden City, Beijing, China

Fly to Beijing, China’s imperial capital whose rich history dates back more than 3,000 years, then transfer to your hotel.* After check-in, you have free time to relax or explore.

Day 2: Beijing, China

Meals : B, L, D
Accommodation : UNESCO The Great Wall, Beijing, China

This morning visit the enormous Tiananmen Square, which can accommodate over 1 million people. Then, tour Beijing’s Forbidden City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Made up of nearly 1,000 buildings, it is the world’s largest surviving palace complex. Walk its grounds among the opulent palaces, pavilions, courtyards and imperial gardens within the 26-foot-high walls.

After lunch in a local restaurant, take some free time to explore Beijing on your own or do some shopping. Or, you may choose to tour the Summer Palace, a 700-acre complex of elegant buildings and gardens (complete with its manmade Kunming Lake) frequented by the Imperial Court when they wanted to escape the bustle of Beijing. Enjoy your final dinner this evening, or attend an optional Peking opera, a form of traditional Chinese theater.

Day 3: Beijing, China

Meals : B, L, D
Accommodation : UNESCO Riding rickshaws, Xian, China

After breakfast, travel to the Badaling Hills. There, you behold one of the most impressive and best-preserved sections of the Great Wall of China. This 4,000-mile-long series of sandstone and earthwork fortifications was built and maintained between the 5th century BC and the 16th century AD, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore its winding pathways and marvel at the panoramic views from its ramparts.

After a lunch of local specialties, visit the Sacred Way, a tree-lined avenue guarded by massive sculptures of elephants, lions and camels leading to the Ming Dynasty tombs. This evening, dine at a local restaurant and relax at your hotel, or enjoy an optional Peking duck dinner, the region’s famous dish.

Day 4: Xian, China

Meals : B, L, D
Accommodation : Terra Cotta Warriors, Xian, China

Today, tour Old Beijing’s hutongs (narrow alleys) via rickshaw.† Discover the sights and sounds of traditional Chinese life. After lunch, fly to Xian, key city of the Tang Dynasty. From 618 to 907 AD, this dynasty presided over one of China’s most glorious cultural periods spreading its influence throughout Asia into Europe and Africa. This evening, have dinner and relax at your hotel.

Day 5: Xian, China

Meals : B, L, D
Accommodation : UNESCO Chongqing Sazu Stone Carvings, China

After breakfast, tour the mausoleum where Emperor Qin Shi Huang was laid to rest over 2,000 years ago. See the thousands of life-sized Terra Cotta Warriors, archers and infantrymen that were buried with him, each man and horse molded with its own distinctive features. Walkways provide a bird’s-eye view of the entire necropolis where the Terra Cotta Army was discovered in the 1970s. After lunch, you have free time to further explore Xian. This evening, you may choose to dine surrounded by the song and dance of this colorful era.

Day 6: Chongqing, China

Meals : B, L, D
Accommodation : Merchant, Fengdu, China

Today, fly to Chongqing, gateway to the Yangtze, to board your ship and enjoy a Western dinner.

Day 7: Fengdu, China

Meals : B, L, D
Accommodation : Shibaozhai Ricepaddies, China

This afternoon, sail into Fengdu, a city dating back to the Han Dynasty. From here, embark on a tour of Snow Jade Cave, an underground labyrinth of caverns featuring dramatic karst limestone formations. Return to your ship for dinner and evening cruising.

Day 8: Shibaozhai, China

Meals : B, L, D
Accommodation : Three Gorges

After a morning of scenic cruising along the Yangtze, tour the 12-story Shibaozhai Temple, an impressive example of Qing Dynasty architecture set on the banks of the river. Dine aboard.

Day 9: Three Gorges, China

Meals : B, L, D
Accommodation : Three Gorges Dam

For the next 150 miles, travel the most scenic stretch of the Yangtze as it forces its way through a spectacular series of limestone ridges known as the Three Gorges. During breakfast, cruise through Qutang Gorge, the shortest, narrowest and most spectacular of the three large gorges. Then, board a smaller boat for an excursion through the Lesser Three Gorges. Sail through these remarkable canyons flanked by towering cliffs. Along the way, see fascinating sites including the hanging coffins of the Ba people and the ancient plank road carved into the cliffside. Return aboard for lunch, and spend the afternoon sailing through Wu ("Witches") Gorge, renowned for its magnificent scenery. Dinner is served aboard. This evening, sail through the 5-stage locks of the Three Gorges Dam.

Day 10: Three Gorges Dam, China

Meals : B, L, D
Accommodation : Jingzhou elementary school

This morning, disembark for a tour of the Three Gorges Dam, where you learn about this immense engineering masterpiece and what it means for the Chinese people and the Yangtze. Lunch and dinner are served aboard while you cruise through Xiling Gorge, the longest of the Three Gorges.

Day 11: Jingzhou, China

Meals :B, L, D
Accommodation : Dongting Lake of the Yangtze River

This morning, arrive in Jingzhou, where you visit an elementary school sponsored by Viking River Cruises. You are greeted and entertained by the children, then return to your ship for scenic cruising.

Day 12: Dongting Lake, China

Meals : B, L, D
Accommodation : Wuhan Bells, China

Sail across Dongting Lake, China’s second largest freshwater lake. Stop for a visit to the 66-foot-high Yueyang Tower, built without a single nail, and its nearby pavilions, originally built during the Qing Dynasty. Cruise overnight.

Day 13: Wuhan, China

Meals : B, L, D
Accommodation : Jingdezhen Ceramicist, China

After breakfast, stop in Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province. Tour the Hubei Provincial Museum to see its many ancient artifacts, including a large collection of bronze bells.

Day 14: Jingdezhen, China

Meals : B, L, D
Accommodation : Mt Jiuhua Temple, China

Today, visit the Ceramic History Museum in this city dubbed “the Porcelain Capital” due to its 1,700-year history of making pottery. Learn how ceramics were produced in ancient times and their significance to each dynasty. Dine aboard the ship as we sail overnight.

Day 15: Mt. Jiu Hua, China

Meals : B, L, D
Accommodation : Shanghai, China

Marvel at the tranquil beauty of Mt. Jiu Hua, one of only four sacred Buddhist mountains. Visit one of the area’s Buddhist temples, then return to your ship for dinner.

Day 16: Shanghai, China

Meals : B, L, D
Accommodation : UNESCO The Bund in central Shanghai, China

After breakfast in Nanjing, enjoy a scenic journey to Suzhou, nicknamed “Venice of the East” for its intricate canals. Take a guided walk through the Old Town and along the city’s canals, then tour a silk factory and the exquisite Fishermen’s Garden.

After lunch, continue to Shanghai; check in to your hotel and have dinner with an evening free to relax or explore.

Day 17: Shanghai, China

Meals : B, L, D
Accommodation : Shanghai, China

This morning, tour Old Shanghai and the Bund, an elegant riverfront promenade lined with historic buildings. Visit the comprehensive Shanghai Museum to see some of its extensive collection of art and artifacts. Dine in a nearby restaurant, then enjoy a performance of the famous Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe.

Day 18: Shanghai, China

Meals : B

After breakfast, check out of your hotel and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* Consider extending your China journey with 2 extra nights in Shanghai to further explore this fascinating city, or choose an escorted land program that includes 3 nights in Hong Kong and 1 night in Guilin.

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 5,120

Price Per Day:

$ 284 per person
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Trip Includes
  • 11-day Yangtze River cruise in veranda stateroom
  • 2 nights in Shanghai: Westin, Ritz-Carlton Portman or Jing An Shangri-La; 2 nights in Xian: Sheraton, Hilton or Crowne Plaza; 3 nights in Beijing: Kerry, Regent Beijing or Ritz-Carlton (or similar)
  • Fully escorted: 16 guided tours with audio headset
  • All meals: 17 breakfasts, 16 lunches, 16 dinners, featuring regional specialties with select meals at local restaurants, including Welcome Cocktail Reception & Dinner and Captain’s Farewell Dinner
  • Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with onboard dinner and lunch service
  • Visit 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Intra-China flights
  • Culture Curriculum: Attend a colorful ethnic costume show; listen to lectures on the Yangtze River, Buddhism, Mao Zedong & current affairs; enjoy a tea ceremony; learn tai chi from a master; find out how to make your own dumplings
  • All port charges
  • Free internet service, connection speed may vary
Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Standard Group
Start City
End City

Trip ID#: ChiCulVik


Great Choice!

You can access members-only savings of up to $700 on over 6,000 Stride Select trips.

Sign in to see trip eligibility

Provide email and password

With your FREE membership you get to:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
Already a member?

We respect your privacy and take great care to protect your information. By joining you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Tours & Operators on Stride Awarded and Featured by:

  • National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure
  • Outside, The New York Times