DAY 1 – SHANGHAI
Take in the sights of Shanghai – Pearl of the Orient. Your guided walking tour explores the narrow alleys and cobblestoned lanes of the Old Town, taking you over the famous zigzag bridge by the pavilion teahouse. During your Old Town tour, visit Yu Garden, a classic Ming Dynasty garden and home with traditional halls and pavilions. Enjoy luncheon at a local restaurant, followed by a drive through the under-river tunnel to the Pudong area, the Wall Street of China. Among the many skyscrapers in Pudong, you’ll see the World Financial Center, the newest and highest building in China. Step aboard the magnetic Maglev Train, which will whisk you to Pudong. Take a flight to Guilin, where you’ll transfer to the Shangri-la Hotel, where you’ll check in and have dinner.
DAY 2 – GUILIN, LI RIVER
Guilin translates as ‘Sweet Osmanthus’ owing to the many fragrant trees found within the city. After breakfast you’ll take a scenic 50km cruise along the serene Li River from Guilin to Xingping. It is said that to sail along the Li River is like sailing through a traditional Chinese painting. Enjoy incredible panoramas of picturesque mountains dotted with peaceful rice paddies with water buffalo meandering along the river banks. See the fishermen gliding along on their narrow bamboo rafts, many of them still using specially trained cormorant birds to capture fish on their behalf. During your Li River cruise, you’ll be offered a light box luncheon. Disembark in the little town of Xingping. Time permitting, you can explore the picturesque town before making your way to Guilin Airport for your flight to Beijing. Check into the Kerry Hotel and enjoy a Chinese style dinner.
DAY 3 – GREAT WALL, TEMPLE OF HEAVEN & TIANANMEN SQUARE
Breakfast will be served at the hotel before you venture to one of mankind’s mightiest creations, the Great Wall of China. Built in third century BC to protect China’s northern border from marauding nomads and barbarians, the wall stretches over 4,500 miles from east to west. Today, it remains a poignant reminder of the painstaking endeavours of nearly one million workers. Your tour will visit the Badaling section of the Wall. Enjoy a Chinese style luncheon at a local restaurant, followed by some shopping opportunities. In the afternoon, take a tour of the Temple of Heaven - the largest group of temple buildings in China, and the largest heaven-worshipping architecture in the world. The Temple of Heaven was built in 1420 during the Ming Dynasty. See the intricate joinery and dovetailing used to create the wonderful architectural details without the use of steel, cement or a single nail. You’ll also have the chance to visit the largest city square in the world, Tiananmen Square, which covers 34 acres. This historic site is surrounded by the Great Hall of the People, Mao Zedong Memorial Hall and the National Museum. In the evening you’ll be served a traditional Peking Duck dinner.
DAY 4 – FORBIDDEN CITY & HONG KONG
After breakfast, you’ll visit the Forbidden City, also known as the Palace Museum; it was once the Imperial Palace from the Ming Dynasty through to the Qing Dynasty. Although the palatial complex is the largest in the world, covering more than 210 acres, the intricate detail within the pavilions and courtyards is incredible. Transfer to the airport with a light box luncheon before taking the afternoon flight to Hong Kong. On arrival, you’ll be met by your local guide and return to the ship in time for dinner on board.
Bookings for this tour will close on 20th December 2015. There is a strict minimum and maximum participation. Please ensure you book the correct tour code for the accommodation you require (Double = SHA812, Single = SHA813). Prices shown on your record of shore excursions are per person, not per room. Once your booking is confirmed, any cancellation made after bookings close will incur a 100% cancellation fee. This tour departs Shanghai on 26th March and returns in Hong Kong on 29th March. Please check your embarkation/disembarkation dates carefully before booking this overland. Flight times and further details will be advised on board. Hotels, flights and order of itinerary are subject to change.
This excursion is physically demanding. Be prepared for very early morning starts, lengthy days, climatic changes and delays at airports. This is an inclusive excursion programme. No refunds will be given for any unused portion.
The fare includes: transport by coach, boat, economy class air travel, sightseeing, meals and accommodation as described. Two glasses of local beer and soft drinks are included with luncheon; rice or house wine is also included with evening meals. Those wishing to order alternative beverages will be charged separately.
The fare does not include: items of a personal nature such as refreshments, telephone calls, laundry, gratuities, room service, fees for doctor’s visits and prescriptions/medication, visas and travel insurance.
What to pack: please remember your passport and any medication you may require. Luggage limit is one case per person with a maximum weight of 20kg. Comfortable soft-soled, non-slip shoes are essential for walking the Wall, which can become slippery when wet.
Visas: all guests must obtain a Chinese visa prior to embarking Queen Mary 2.
Weather: the temperature is likely to be cool in March. The temperature can be as low as 2°C in the morning, rising to approximately 8°C during the day.
Customs and traditions: please dress conservatively when visiting shrines and temples to respect local customs and cultures.
Traffic: Shanghai and Beijing are major cities, traffic can be very heavy. Everything will be done to maintain the itinerary, but some delays may be experienced.