Classic China & Yangtze River Cruise for Solo Travellers

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Dates
  • Newmarket Holidays


Join a group of friendly solo travellers for an unforgettable journey that combines ancient and ultramodern man-made sights, and some astounding natural wonders. Beginning amid Shanghai’s glass and steel, you'll tour China's most iconic sites. Cruise along the ageless Yangtze, through a land as rich in myth and legend as it is in startling, spectacular scenery, to the engineering marvel of the Three Gorges Dam. Laid-back Chengdu, home to Giant Pandas, ancient Xi'an with its astonishing Terracotta Army, and centuries-old Beijing provide yet more unforgettable sights, before your holiday draws to a close back in Shanghai.


Holiday Highlights

Walk along a section of to the Great Wall of China
See giant pandas in their natural habitat
See the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an
Sail along the Yangtze and visit the Three Gorges Dam
Explore Shanghai's Old City and Yuyuan Chinese Gardens
Experience Beijing - including visits to Tiananmen Square, the Olympic Stadium and the Summer Palace
A canal cruise in Suzhou, and a visit to the old city and Silk Embroidery Institute
A evening at the Beijing Opera
Shanghai evening cruise along the Huangpu River
Welcome and Farewell dinners

  • Far East
  • China
Tour Types
  • 50 plus
  • Seniors
  • Air Holidays & Breaks
  • Faraway Worldwide Holidays
  • AIR
  • River Cruise


Day 1

Fly overnight to Shanghai.

Day 2

Upon arrival, meet your guide and transfer to your hotel, before enjoying a guided introduction to this amazing city. The colonial grandeur of the buildings that line the west bank of the Huangpu River, on the famous Bund, hint at past glories, and are now surrounded by the modern city's gigantic skyscrapers. Your tour will include a visit to the rocket-shaped Pearl TV Tower, which surveys the city, and the fascinating Shanghai City History Museum. This evening, get to know the rest of your group as you enjoy a special Welcome Dinner.

Day 3

This morning, you'll tour Shanghai's Old City, at the heart of which is the 16th-century Yuyuan classical Chinese garden, with its pools, walkways and bridges - a haven amongst the bustling bazaars and street markets. After a fascinating day, you'll transfer to the airport for your flight to Yichang, to meet your five-star ship and begin your Yangtze cruise. Spend three unforgettable days enjoying the ever-changing vistas from your ship, as you cruise the mighty Yangtze River. Rest and relax on board, join early morning Tai-Chi sessions and hear the legends of the Three Kingdoms.

Day 4

Today you'll visit the immense Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest hydroelectricity project - a controversial feat of engineering that has wrought drastic change on the riverscape. You'll then sail through Xiling Gorge, the longest and deepest of the Three Gorges, which together stretch over 200km and vary from 100 to 300 metres in width.

Day 5

The 'Small Three Gorges' on the Daling River are a stunning backdrop for an excursion by boat, today. Sail through Wu Gorge and Qutang Gorge, admiring the sights of one of China's most dramatic regions. Though changed forever by the Dam's construction, the landscape retains the spectacular grandeur of its 900-metre cliffs and jagged peaks.

Day 6

This morning's port of call is the 2000-year-old 'Ghost City' of Fengdu, a place shrouded in ancient legend and Taoist teachings about the afterlife. For your last evening on board, join the Captain for a Farewell Dinner and crew show.

Day 7

Disembark in Chongqing, and enjoy a guided introduction to one of modern China's fastest-growing cities. Visit the contrasting 100-year-old streets of Ciqikou and explore beautiful Goose Neck Park, before boarding a fast train into Sichuan province and the relaxed, modern city of Chengdu, where you'll stay for the next two nights.

Day 8

In Eastern Sichuan's capital, modern developments contrast with the traditional tea-houses and colourful shops of old Jinli Street. One of the highlights of your stay in Chengdu will be a visit to the Giant Panda Breeding Research Centre, where you'll be able to learn about these wonderful creatures and the steps being taken to ensure their future survival. Dinner this evening will give you an opportunity to sample traditional Sichuan cuisine.

Day 9

Travel to China’s ancient capital for a two-night stay. Upon arrival, you'll visit the imposing, preserved walls and fortifications of this fascinating city, see the Great Mosque in the Muslim Quarter and the city's Tang dynasty monuments. This evening, enjoy a traditional Dumpling Dinner.

Day 10

An unforgettable day awaits, as you visit the legendary Terracotta Army - some 8,000 lifelike foot-soldiers, horsemen and charioteers discovered in 1974, and now one of the world's greatest tourist attractions. Close by, the yet-to-be-excavated tomb of emperor Qin Shi Huang is said to contain a vast underground city. You'll complete your tour of Xi'an's ancient treasures with a visit to the Small Goose Pagoda, before an evening in the city.

Day 11

This morning, board a high-speed train north to Beijing, where you'll spend the next three nights. Once here, celebrate your first evening in the city with a traditional Peking Duck dinner.

Day 12

Today you'll take a guided tour of the Chinese capital. See Tiananmen Square, Chairman Mao’s tomb, the Great Hall of the People, the museums of Chinese History and the Revolution, and the great Imperial Palace (the iconic Forbidden City). In the Palace's ceremonial halls and living quarters, you'll gain an insight into the extraordinary lives led by the 24 Chinese emperors who called it home. This afternoon, you'll also visit the tranquil Summer Palace at Yiheyuan.

Day 13

The Great Wall of China is famously (though not entirely accurately) the only man-made structure visible from space. Travel to Mutianyu, considered the best-restored section of the Great Wall where, amid steep, forested hills, part of the wall has been lovingly restored, and it's easy to appreciate the immensity of this marvellous feat of engineering. Your day will also include the opportunity to see the exterior of the amazing 'Bird's Nest' stadium from the 2008 Olympic Games. This evening, enjoy an included excursion to the world-famous Beijing Opera, to discover its mix of song, dance and acrobatics?

Day 14

Step back in time, this morning, on a walking tour of the ancient hutongs, Old Peking's fast-disappearing labyrinth of narrow alleyways and hidden courtyard houses, before bidding farewell to Beijing to catch a high-speed train to Suzhou.

Day 15

With its tree-lined waterways, UNESCO-listed classical gardens and its silk-trade associations, Suzhou is a breath-taking treasure chest of sights and history. Discover the old city, visit the beautiful Lingering Garden and the Silk Embroidery Institute, and enjoy a canal cruise as this fascinating place is brought to life by your guide. Late this afternoon, drive south to Shanghai where you'll enjoy a night-time cruise along the Huangpu River, followed by a Farewell Dinner and the chance to say your goodbyes and reminisce about your recent adventures.

Day 16

Transfer to the airport, early this morning, for the daytime flight home at the end of a wonderful holiday.

What's Included

A canal cruise in Suzhou, and a visit to the old city and Silk Embroidery Institute
A four-night, five-star, full-board Yangtze river cruise
12 lunches and 10 dinners, including a Peking Duck dinner
Return flights to Shanghai
All internal flights in China
High-speed train journeys from Chongqing to Chengdu, Chengdu to Xi’an, Xi’an to Beijing and Beijing to Suzhou
A Shanghai city tour and a visit to the Pearl Tower
Entrance to the Giant Panda Breeding Research Centre in Chengdu
A guided city tour of Xi'an
Comfortable, air-conditioned coach travel and transfers
Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager

You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.

Touring with Newmarket Holidays

With more than 35 years’ tour-operating experience, Newmarket Holidays can provide escorted tours, river cruises, cruise holidays and resort-based stays that combine superb value for money and the highest standards of customer care. Having won Best Escorted Tours Holiday Company six years running at the British Travels Awards, the company has become one of the largest and most respected independently owned tour operators in the UK.

Newmarket Holidays offers a huge array of escorted tours, short breaks, long explorations and holiday experiences for just about every interest and activity level, with transfers, excursions, carefully chosen accommodation and many entrances included in the price. All holidays also include a friendly and knowledgeable tour manager to help you make the most of your trip and to ensure your holiday operates as smoothly as possible. And although much of your escorted tour is prearranged, you’ll still have plenty of free time to relax and the flexibility to do your own thing.

With Newmarket Holidays, there’s a whole world to explore, from the historic railways of the Isle of Man and the canals of Amsterdam to the exciting city of New York and the magical sight of the Taj Mahal in India. Alternatively, relax and unwind beside the blue waters of Lake Garda, enjoy a guided tour of Poland’s former royal capital or spend a few nights in the heart of Moscow in Russia. Newmarket Holidays has something special for all couples, groups, families and solo travellers, including romantic breaks in Paris, safari adventures in Kenya, Santa experience days in Lapland and rail journeys through the Italian countryside.

There’s also a choice of holiday types and themes, such as small group tours, rail holidays, UK and Ireland short breaks, Christmas markets and cultural experiences, as well as concerts and events. As a company that now focuses on UK, European and Worldwide air holidays, ocean cruises and river cruises, you can even choose how to travel to your chosen destinations. Not forgetting that Newmarket Holidays specialises in included and optional excursions to ensure your escorted tours are memorable from beginning to end.

When you choose an air holiday, you can either tour as many attractions and cultures as you can fit in or base yourself at a quiet resort and take your pick from a collection of excursions and day trips. This means that your holiday can be as adventurous or as relaxing as you wish. If a cruise is your ideal group tour, Newmarket Holidays has departures from nearly every major port in the UK and can take you to places in and around Europe, the Canary Islands, the Baltic Cities, Greenland, the Far East, Australia and Africa. You can also choose from a wide range of European and worldwide river cruises or select a Christmas and New Year river cruise along the Danube, the Rhine or the Seine River.

From the moment you book an escorted tour, resort-based stay or cruise holiday, you can have peace of mind that your money is safe because Newmarket Holidays is a member of ABTA and is licensed by ATOL. Also, the company has a 4.5 out of 5 customer rating, which is a testament to the quality of the escorted tours and the outstanding customer care provided by the team. But that’s not all. As Newmarket Holidays is all about offering the best value for money holidays, this competitive tour operator promises to price match any like-for-like escorted tour found cheaper elsewhere.

Please note: After many years of operation, Newmarket Holidays has decided to discontinue the UK and European coach breaks and tours departing from local pick-ups in the UK (as of 2019) to concentrate on its range of UK, European and Worldwide air holidays, ocean cruises and river cruises. 



tour details

This tour is operated by Newmarket Holidays

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