Expedition Overview

Expedition Overview

SPECIAL OFFERS

2023 Early Booking Offer

For a limited time, starting on May 23*, save $400 per person on North America itineraries or save $500 per person on international itineraries when you book your space by 8/19/22 on select 2023 National Geographic Signature Land departures**. Take advantage of this special offer by calling 1-888-966-8687 or contacting your Travel Agent, or book online and mention code EARLY_BK_2023.

*Qualifying departures will open for booking to all travelers on May 26, 2022. Starting on May 23, 2022, early booking will be available to select groups. Please refer to the following schedule:

5/23:
Lifelong Explorers, Grosvenor Council Members, and Travelers who are currently on hold with National Geographic Expeditions for a future reservation

5/24:
National Geographic Expeditions or Journeys Past Travelers

5/25:
Disney Vacation Club Members, Disney Castaway Club Gold and Platinum Members, and Golden Oak Residents

5/26:
General Public

If you qualify for early booking, please call 1-888-966-8687 to book your expedition. Our hours are Monday to Friday, 9am-9pm ET.

If you do not qualify for early booking, this departure will open for booking to all travelers on May 26, 2022.
**The per-person savings is taken from the non-discounted prevailing rate for each departure as quoted by National Geographic Expeditions on the date of booking (“Regular Rate’”) and only valid on select National Geographic Expeditions land departures with travel start dates between November 7, 2022 and December 11, 2023, inclusive.

Qualifying land itineraries have a callout on the Special Offers box of the itinerary page on nationalgeographic.com/expeditions, and on the Special Offers page.

The offer designation may not reflect real-time offer availability; accordingly, availability is subject to confirmation at time of booking and payment of the standard deposit. Any courtesy hold, without payment of the standard deposit, will not guarantee availability of the offer for the selected departure date.

Offer availability is limited for each departure. The offer terminates on August 19, 2022 or when the limited spaces eligible for the offer on the applicable departure date have been booked, whichever is earlier.

Valid on new bookings only. Lead guest of the booking party must travel on the land package booked. Not transferable or redeemable for cash in whole or in part. Savings not applicable to deposit. Cannot be combined with any other offers, discounts or promotions. Not valid for group bookings. Offer is subject to change without notice. Offer valid for residents of the U.S. and Canada, except for Quebec. Bookings subject to restrictions and National Geographic Expeditions’ standard terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.
Available Departures
  • Aug 29-Sep 13, 2023
  • Sep 5-20, 2023
  • Oct 10-25, 2023
  • Oct 24-Nov 8, 2023
  • Spend a day interacting with giant pandas at a research center outside Chengdu, helping caretakers feed and care for the animals and learning about conservation efforts.
  • Meet National Geographic grantees across China and learn about the latest research efforts related to the environment and wildlife conservation.
  • Go behind the scenes at the Institute of Archaeology in Xi’an for an insider’s look at recent finds at the terra-cotta warrior site and other excavations.
  • Cruise two of China’s most legendary waterways, gliding through the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River and the karst landscapes of the Li River.

Itinerary

Itinerary

With the Great Wall’s 13,170 miles, Xi’an’s 8,000 terra-cotta warriors, the Forbidden City’s 800 palaces, China has a predisposition for grandeur. But the magic of the Middle Kingdom lies in personal encounters, whether it's a rickshaw ride through old Beijing or a tai chi lesson on a riverboat. Get an insider’s take on this country of contrasts, meeting conservationists and archaeologists, navigating karst caves and misty gorges, and exploring the legacy of ancient empires and the futuristic momentum of Shanghai.

Day 1: Beijing, China

Arrive at Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) and transfer to our hotel in the heart of the capital. Meet your fellow travelers at a welcome reception this evening.

Accommodations:The St. Regis Beijing
Day 2: Great Wall/Beijing

Start your day with a tai chi session led by a master practitioner. Then step back in time at the less visited Jinshanling section of the Great Wall, which retains the fortification’s original character. Later, meet with National Geographic grant recipient Zhang Boju from Friends of Nature, China's oldest environmental organization, to hear about his latest conservation efforts in the capital city. Tonight, feast on Peking duck with your fellow travelers.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:The St. Regis Beijing
Day 3: Beijing

Stroll the vast and historic Tiananmen Square and then navigate the 900-some buildings and temples of the Forbidden City. Enjoy lunch before heading to a traditional hutong neighborhood for a rickshaw tour. Delve into imperial Beijing at the Temple of Heaven, a UNESCO World Heritage site surrounded by gardens.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodations:The St. Regis Beijing
Day 4: Beijing/Xi’an

Fly from Beijing to Xi’an, once the eastern terminus of the Silk Road and the capital of China. On a special behind-the-scenes visit to the Institute of Archaeology—normally closed to the public—learn about latest excavations and see the artifacts up close. This evening, gather for dinner at a restaurant in the city’s colorful Muslim Quarter.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Sofitel Xi’an on Renmin Square
Day 5: Xi’an

After breakfast, view the legendary terra-cotta army, composed of thousands of soldiers, chariots, and horses that were buried around 210 B.C. at the tomb of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang. Later, walk or ride a bike atop the massive city wall. During free time, browse the maze of markets and sites in the Muslim Quarter.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodations:Sofitel Xi’an on Renmin Square
Day 6: Yichang/Yangtze River

Fly to Yichang, and board a luxurious riverboat for a four-night voyage on the Yangtze through the breathtaking Three Gorges region.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:

Yangzi Explorer

Days 7-9: Yangtze River

On daily excursions, visit the world's largest engineering project at the Three Gorges Dam; venture into narrow tributaries by local sampan boat, taking in gorgeous scenery; in Fuling choose between the 816 Underground Project, the world's largest artificial military cave, or the Baiheliang Underwater Museum. Back on the ship, learn about traditional healing and local crafts, enjoy morning tai chi, and gaze at the dramatic gorges.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Accommodations:

Yangzi Explorer

Day 10: CHONGQING/Chengdu

Disembark this morning and travel to Chengdu, stopping along the way to visit the Dazu Grottoes, a World Heritage site where centuries-old rock carvings depict Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist themes as well as scenes of ordinary life during the Tang Dynasty. Arrive in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:The St. Regis Chengdu
Day 11: Chengdu

Spend today at the Dujiangyan Giant Panda Base overseen by the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda. We’ll have the chance to prepare meals and feed the pandas, help clean the enclosures, and hear about conservation efforts. Return to Chengdu for dinner.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:The St. Regis Chengdu
Day 12: Chengdu/Guilin

This morning, settle into your first-class seat on the high-speed train to Guilin, known for its surreal landscape of mist-shrouded karst mountains. Upon arrival, enjoy an optional walk to Elephant Trunk Hill for panoramic views of the surrounding karst peaks.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Shangri-La Hotel Guilin
Day 13: Guilin and Yangshuo

Today, embark on a cruise down the Li River. Glide beneath limestone pinnacles and terraced rice fields that have inspired Chinese artists for generations, and stop to browse at a local market. Return to Guilin for an evening on your own.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodations:Shangri-La Hotel Guilin
Day 14: Guilin/Shanghai

This morning, fly to bustling Shanghai. Over lunch, meet with conservationist and wildlife photographer Jing Li, a National Geographic grantee working to conserve critically endangered birds in the greater Shanghai area. After lunch, zoom up to the observation deck of China’s tallest building, Shanghai Tower, for a superlative view of the skyline. Stroll neon-lit Nanjing Road and the historic Bund waterfront during the evening on your own.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodations:Fairmont Peace Hotel
Day 15: Shanghai

Begin the day meandering among the pavilions, ponds, and zigzag bridges of Yu Garden, Shanghai’s celebrated classical Chinese garden, dating to 1559. Peruse an intriguing range of antiques and goods at the Old Bazaar. Tonight, toast your Chinese adventure at a local restaurant.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Fairmont Peace Hotel
Day 16: Shanghai

After breakfast, transfer to the Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) and catch your flight home.

Meals Included:Breakfast