Top 10 Reasons to Take a River Cruise
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No longer a mystery, but still intriguing.


A Yangtze River cruise and China tour is the perfect vacation and
the most affordable way to see this immense land and its people.

For many years, much of this vast, mysterious land was closed to visitors. Even today, access to certain areas such as Tibet is tightly controlled. Only recently has China begun to take center stage among the major players of the world. Napoleon called China a “sleeping giant” and warned everyone to beware once it wakened. Well, I think we can all say that China has more than awakened — its impact on the world has been felt in numerous arenas ranging from sports to politics to becoming one of the world’s top travel destinations.

For travelers, China is now among the top 5 tourist destinations in the world.
When we think of China — which has so much to offer, from the cosmopolitan city of Shanghai to the ancient monasteries of Tibet — we picture this immense land stretching from the Pacific westward towards Europe. No doubt about it, China is huge. But, did you know that the United States, Canada, and Russia are all larger? It’s true! China does have the world’s largest population at over 1.3 billion people and has overtaken the United States to become the world’s largest energy user.

Before we start to delve into things to do and places to see we need to spend a moment talking about China’s most important asset and the part that we guarantee will impress you the most is — the people! You know how many of us in business always say “it’s the people that make our company what it is,” well, with China maybe more than any other place we've visited, we were enthralled by the people and in particular the children of China. Their warm genuine desire to meet you, talk with you and learn from you is unforgettable. Their smiles will be more well remembered than the Mona Lisa and the hospitality and access to all you meet will amaze you. Yes, it is the people who make China what it is today for you the visitor.

The sheer size of China can be daunting when planning a vacation.
There are so many components to consider when planning any trip, but China can be especially challenging. That's why the combination of a Yangtze river cruise and land program is not only the only way, but is the perfect way to see this amazing country. Almost all river cruise operators offer several quality cruise and land programs that will take you to the major sites in China — all located within what we like to call the China triangle: the mass of land falling between Beijing in the north, Xi’an to the west and Shanghai in the southeast. Within this triangle you will experience the iconic China vacation as you see the old and the new, the modern and the ancient, often side by side. Generally speaking, you’ll arrive in either Beijing or Shanghai, cruise for 6 to 10 days and then fly between Chongqing and Xi’an or Beijing.

The ancient, imperial capital of China... Beijing.
While in Beijing, you'll have plenty to do as you can imagine, from the Forbidden City nestled in its original 250-acre complex of palaces, pavilions and some of the lushest gardens we’ve ever enjoyed. The highlight of your visit will probably be the ancient imperial palace which should have been more aptly named, the “biggest palace” as it consists of some 800 buildings and about 9000 rooms.

The terracotta warriors of X'ian.
Our other favorite and one of the two most photographed sites in all China is the Summer Palace, a UNESCO world Heritage Site and one of the best preserved imperial gardens in the world. If you can select a morning tour, do so before it becomes crowded. By the way, guess what is the other most photographed site? Yep! You guessed it... the Great Wall, and you’ll have a personal guide and plenty of time to get a great perspective on why and how it was built.

A second point of the triangle will be the ancient capital of China, Xi’an (pronounced she-an) which was actually China’s original capital during the first dynasty. You may not have heard of Xi’an, but you most assuredly know about one of the most amazing archeological discoveries of the 20th-century — the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses, over 8,000 very life-like and life-sized figures buried as a memorial to the first Emperor of China. Here’s a factoid about the Warriors you may not have know, they were not discovered during a complex archeological dig, but by a farmer trying to plant his crops.

Shanghai. The historical trade center of China.
The final point of our triangle will be the enthralling city of Shanghai, China’s largest city and in fact considered by many to be the largest urban metropolis in the world. Shanghai is where Chinese culture first came into contact with Western culture, as evidenced by the Bund, that famous waterfront promenade which for many years housed the commercial and political representatives from countries such as the United States, Great Britain, Japan, Russia, Germany, France, and Italy. It is now one of the major tourist destinations in all of China. Shanghai really is where China looks to the future — there seems to be no end to the building boom. Modern shopping malls and sky scrapers abound — you won’t want to miss the Oriental Peal TV Tower, the highest tower in Asia; at the same time, though, a tour of Shanghai evokes certain nostalgia for the past in such sites as the peaceful Yu Yuan gardens and the Old Shanghai Museum.

The exciting and vibrant island of Hong Kong.
Beckoning millions of visitors each year, it is no fluke that this dynamic city, a melting pot of Eastern and Western cultures, is one of the world’s top tourist destinations due to its fabulous shopping, world class cuisine, stunning city skyline, and more.

Things to consider when planning a trip to China.
Now, large countries, especially those spread over huge geographical areas, usually have extremes in weather. Well, China is no exception to this rule and it does experience tremendous diversity in its weather, from bitter cold to searing heat. We suggest that your visit to China take place either in the spring, from March to May, or fall, from September to early November. Of course, these periods will see prices at their highest. You can take a cruise and land tour to China almost any month of the year — if you are willing to risk winter’s cold or summer’s heat and humidity then consider a trip in November or in July to August. Prices will be lower.

If you are like many travelers, your “bucket list” is rather lengthy, so China may not be a destination you plan to visit frequently or ever again. If this is the case, do consider extending your travels to include a pre and/or post trip stopover in the fabulous city of Hong Kong. Your Premier agent can explain how to do this and arrange all the details.

Current status of river cruising in China.
Currently, none of the cruise lines Premier offers are sailing on China's Yangtze River. If you are interested in finding a river cruise on the Yangtze River, please contact our expert travel planners by phone – or use the "Get A Quick Quote" email option below – and we'll help you find the best cruise line available sailing the Yangtze.


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TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Unless otherwise noted, prices and offers are in USD, cruise only per person, based on double occupancy and do not include airfare, taxes or fees. The displayed prices are based on minimum category riverview window stateroom and applicable only to the sailing date(s) shown. Prices for other dates may vary based on the date and stateroom selected. Other than “Hot Deal” offers, price does not reflect any cruise line or Premier savings. Where Premier includes “prepaid tips” in an offer, it applies only to the cruise portion of the trip and not any land portion or shore excursions. To obtain the best price, please use the "Get Quote" button or call one of our river cruise and small ship cruise specialists. Certain discounts or prices may require full payment at the time of booking in order to be eligible. We urge you to book early as river and small ship cruises sell out almost a year in advance. Prices and availability may change without notice and are not guaranteed until a deposit is received and applied to your reservation. Call 1-855-255-1200, for complete details. We reserve the right to correct any informational or typographical errors. ©2010-2023 Premier River Cruises, LLC, a Travel of America Company. All rights reserved worldwide. CST #1015320-40.

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