Silk Road Adventure

Travel Idea:

Silk Road Adventure

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Length of trip:

17 days

Approximate price of this trip per person:

from $ 4634

Best travel dates to go:

Sep 27, 2008 to Oct 13, 2008; Oct 17, 2008 to Nov 02, 2008;


Detailed Description of this trip:

Calling all adventurous travelers: This itinerary was developed so you can walk in the footsteps of Marco Polo and other ancient explorers as you travel along the time-honored Silk Road. During your 17-day journey, tour age-old cities along this famous trade route—Urumqi, Turpan and Kashgar—and see 2,000 years of history, culture and commerce unfold. A landscape, population and culture very different from other parts China, this region is influenced by surrounding countries of Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. You will also explore China’s more modern metropolises- Shanghai, Xian and Beijing to experience their imperial treasures. You will be sailing along the legendary Yangtze, visiting riverside villages and uncovering the amazing natural beauty of the heart of China.



Trip Itinerary:

  • Day 1 - Shanghai

    Welcome to Shanghai, China’s largest metropolis. We will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.

    Relaxation

    Take time to relax and explore the city, with its ancient architecture of old China and today’s modern financial district. (B, L, D)

  • Day 2 - Shanghai

    Sightseeing

    After breakfast, tour Shanghai’s older district and elegant Bund.

    Museums

    A local lunch is followed by a silk carpet workshop tour and demonstration, and a visit to the Shanghai Museum, filled with ancient artifacts and art.

    Performing Arts

    Tonight, see famed Chinese acrobats at an amazing performance. (B, L, D)

  • Day 3 - Wuhan

    Shanghai & Wuhan.
    Sightseeing

    Take morning free time to further explore Shanghai.

    Commercial Flight

    After lunch, fly to Wuhan.

    Museums

    Tour the historic Wuhan Museum.

    River or Barge Cruise

    Embark on your ship. Dine aboard. (B, L, D)

  • Day 4 - At Sea

    Yueyang.
    Voluntourism

    Today, you visit a rural village’s elementary school, sponsored by Viking River Cruises. Enjoy sharing songs and stories with the children.

    River or Barge Cruise

    Then, cruise through the breathtaking Xiling Gorge, longest of the Three Gorges. (B, L, D)

  • Day 5 - At Sea

    Three Gorges Dam.
    Sightseeing

    Disembark for a tour of the Three Gorges Dam, where you learn all about this ambitious engineering project.

    River or Barge Cruise

    This afternoon, cruise through the 5 stair-step locks of the dam.

    River or Barge Cruise

    Meals aboard; Cruise through the night. (B, L, D)

  • Day 6 - At Sea

    Three Gorges & Lesser Three Gorges.
    Sightseeing

    Enjoy the Yangtze’s spectacular series of limestone ridges, known as the Three Gorges. Cruise through Wu (Witches) Gorge, noted for its sheer cliffs.

    Sightseeing

    Then, board a smaller boat for an excursion through the dramatic Lesser Three Gorges.

    Sightseeing

    Stop for lunch at a scenic overlook, then sail through these remarkable canyons flanked by towering cliffs. Along the way you see ancient burial sites and a plank road carved into the cliffside.

    River or Barge Cruise

    Return to your ship and sail through the most spectacular of the three large gorges, Qutang Gorge.

    Food and Dining

    Dinner is served aboard. (B, L, D)

  • Day 7 - At Sea

    Shibaozhai.
    Sightseeing

    After breakfast, tour the 12-story Shibaozhai Temple, a red pavilion built in 1650. Experience breathtaking views of the river valley.

    Food and Dining

    Return to your ship for lunch and dinner.

    River or Barge Cruise

    Cruise through the night. (B, L, D)

  • Day 8 - Chongqing

    Chongqing & Xian.
    Food and Dining

    Disembark after breakfast.

    Sightseeing

    Tour of the Chongqing Zoo and a local lunch.

    Commercial Flight

    Afterwards, fly to Xian, a key city of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.).

    Performing Arts

    Tonight’s treat is a banquet with food, song, dance and colorful costumes of the Tang Dynasty era. (B, L. D)

  • Day 9 - Urumqi

    Xian & Urumqi.
    Sightseeing

    This morning, tour the famed burial site of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, laid to rest with more than 6,000 life-sized and individually molded Terra Cotta Warriors.

    Commercial Flight

    After lunch, fly to Urumqi and check in to your hotel. (B, L, D)

  • Day 10 - Urumqi

    Sightseeing

    Explore the mountain valley of Urumqi, the world’s farthest city from the ocean. Urumqi has a unique multicultural population, influenced by neighboring countries of Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Turkey. Visit with local herdsmen and see their yurts, age-old dwellings where they still live to this day.

    Food and Dining

    Try regional specialties at today’s meals. This cuisine is far different from traditional Chinese food. (B, L, D)

  • Day 11 - Turpan

    Urumqi & Turpan.
    Sightseeing

    A motorcoach ride brings you to Turpan, the lowest basin in China. Tour the New City and Old City; see centuries-old mud houses still inhabited by locals. Visit the ruins of the ancient city of Jiahoe, dating back 2,300 years to the Han Dynasty.

    Performing Arts

    Tonight, dine on regional cuisine and enjoy a performance by local musicians. (B, L, D)

  • Day 12 - Turpan

    Turpan & Kashgar.
    Sightseeing

    This morning, you tour the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves followed by a visit to the Grape Valley. This oasis in the desert offers the best grapes for wine and raisins. See how the ancient karez irrigation system helped shape this industry.

    Commercial Flight

    After your visit, fly to Kashgar. (B, L, D)

  • Day 13 - China

    Kashgar.
    Sightseeing

    As you drive through Kashgar, see the 59-foot-tall statue of Mao. Visit the Id Kah Mosque, built in 1442; this Islamic mosque is the largest in China.

    Shopping

    After lunch, go shopping in the city’s famous Bazaar, featuring everything from animals and food to handcrafted clothing and souvenirs. (B, L, D)

  • Day 14 - Beijing

    Kashgar & Beijing.
    Commercial Flight

    This morning, fly to Beijing.

    Sightseeing

    After checking in to your hotel, take free time to explore China’s former imperial capital.

    Food and Dining

    Dinner at a local restaurant. (B, L, D)

  • Day 15 - Beijing

    Sightseeing

    This morning, you will walk the ramparts of the fabled Great Wall of China.

    Sightseeing

    After lunch, stroll along the Sacred Way, a long tree-shaded avenue with massive animal sculptures that leads to the Ming Tombs.

    Food and Dining

    A dinner of local specialties highlights the evening. (B, L, D)

  • Day 16 - Beijing

    Sightseeing

    After breakfast, visit the enormous Tiananmen Square, which can accommodate over 1,000,000 people.

    Sightseeing

    Then, visit the mysterious Forbidden City, with its elegant buildings and landscaped gardens, considered some of the finest in all of China.

    Sightseeing

    Later, tour the Summer Palace, a 700-acre complex of beautiful gardens and intricate buildings. Its Chinese name means Garden of Nurtured Harmony.

    Performing Arts

    Tonight, enjoy a traditional Peking duck dinner and a performance of the amazing Peking Opera. (B, L, D)

  • Day 17 - Beijing

    After breakfast, check out of your hotel and we will take you to the airport for your return flight.* (B)

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