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River Cruising > Asia (multi-country) > North Asian Odyssey

North Asian Odyssey

27 Day
Between Beijing and Osaka
Yangtze
From * £13,895
£13,395
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0808 278 7213
North Asian Odyssey  - 27 day
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Venture to the mystical Far East, where colourful lands of exotic wonder reveal traditions thousands of years in the making. This epic 27-day journey brings the Asia of your imagination to life, transporting you from Beijing to Osaka in unrivalled luxury and enrichment. Our Journey Designers have handpicked a collection of special experiences to accompany your tour, so you’re promised authentic encounters in every region – from a spectacular Kung Fu Show beneath the Great Wall, to an inspiring evening cruise through Tokyo Bay on a charming yakatabune.

Combining a traditional land tour with the delights of a Yangtze River cruise, the North Asian Odyssey begins in China, where you’ll enjoy a luxury stay in Beijing before travelling the course of the river through a tapestry of sprawling cities and time-forgotten towns, including Xi’an, where you’ll encounter rare giant panda cubs during an exclusive Scenic Enrich experience. From Shanghai, we fly east to Tokyo, and there begin a 10-day tour of Japan’s renowned cultural highlights. See the lights of Tokyo during a Sundowners event on Tokyo Bay, learn the art of sushi-making during a Scenic Enrich culinary experience, and visit the exquisite city of Kyoto, where you’ll enjoy an authentic Geisha experience. Your journey ends in colourful Osaka, where you’ll enjoy a memorable farewell dinner, and raise a glass to the end of an unforgettable Asian adventure.

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Beijing to Osaka in 2018/2019
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* From price is for a 20 March 2019 departure. For a full list of pricing and availability, please see below. All prices are per person, twin share in GBP, based on two guests sharing. Terms and conditions apply and we reserve the right to withdraw our offers at any time. Please note, the ship operating a particular cruise is subject to change.
View your 27 day itinerary
Day 1

Fly from London Heathrow or Manchester. Regional airports on request at an additional supplement, please call for details.

Day 2
Beijing

You’ll be welcomed at Beijing Airport and transferred to the luxurious hotel located in walking distance of the Silk Markets, for a three night stay. A wonderful journey awaits, starting with a welcome feast of Peking Duck.

Meals included: Dinner
Day 3
Beijing
Highlights: Great Wall of China, Freechoice

Today is a special highlight as you visit China’s most iconic attraction – the Great Wall at Mutianyu.

Freechoice

Look forward to an unforgettable evening at either the famed Peking Opera or the spectacular Kung Fu Show.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 4
Beijing
Highlights: Forbidden City, Sundowners, Freechoice Dining

Wander through Tiananmen Square and enter the mysterious Forbidden City. Afterwards enjoy lunch with a local family in a traditional home before relaxing on a rickshaw ride through the ancient alleyways.

Choose between mixed Asian at Lost Heaven or Western dishes at The Cut.

Sundowners

Finish the day as you started, overlooking the Beijing Skyline. It’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy a drink and take in Beijing at dusk.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5
Beijing > Yichang > Yangtze River Cruise
Highlights: Summer Palace, Embark Cruise

Explore the landscaped beauty of the Summer Palace and cruise Kunming Lake before flying to Yichang to join your cruise ship at Maoping or Taohuacun Pier, the Yangzi Explorer. On board enjoy included wine and beer with your lunch and dinner.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6
Yangtze River Cruise
Highlights: Three Gorges Dam Project, Captain’s Reception

Inspect the Three Gorges Dam project site. Experience the ship elevator in operation (when available). Later, sail through Xiling Gorge while sampling afternoon tea delights. Tonight enjoy the Captain’s reception.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7
Yangtze River Cruise
Highlights: Wu Gorge and Qutang Gorge

Explore the dramatic Bamboo Gorge and Shennong Stream by longboat (sampan) and then visit a local village of rowers. Later, traverse Wu Gorge, known for its sheer rock walls, and Qutang Gorge, the most dramatic of the three gorges.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8
Yangtze River Cruise Yangtze River Cruise - Fuling, Gala Dinner
Highlights: Fengdu, Gala Dinner

Enjoy an insightful excursion in Fuling to the ‘816 Underground Project’. This afternoon is at leisure in Fuling. Tonight, mingle at the Taste of China gala dinner. Be sure to dress in your finest Chinese outfit.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9
Chongqing > Xi’an
Highlights: See a Panda at Chongqing Zoo

Disembark and visit Chongqing Zoo where you’ll get to see the rare and treasured giant panda before flying to Xi’an. Later, check into your hotel for a three night stay.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10
Xi’an
Highlights: Enrich - Terracotta Warrior and private museum visit

Enjoy a stroll around the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Thanksgiving Temple.

Enrich

Gaze at Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s amazing Terracotta Warriors in the company of a museum curator, an amazing opportunity to learn first-hand about the restoration process. (VIP viewing platform closed indefinitely for major repairs).

Enrich

Be treated to a special private after hours viewing of ancient artefacts at a local museum. Enjoy a refreshing drink and learn about the history of Shaanxi Province from the museum’s curator. Continue your refreshments overlooking the Big Wild Goose Pagoda at sunset.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 11
Xi’an
Highlights: Enrich - lunch in Painter’s home, Xi’an City Wall

Later explore Xi’an’s ancient city wall on foot, by push bike or electric buggy.  Tonight enjoy the wonderful Tang Dynasty Cultural Show with dinner.

Enrich

Visit a local painter’s home in nearby Hu Xi’an County, famous for its rural peasant paintings, and learn about his art before you enjoy lunch with his family.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 12
Xi’an > Shanghai
Highlights: Muslim Quarter, Maglev Train

This morning explore the Muslim Quarter, an integral part of daily life in Xi’an at the eastern end of the Silk Road. Later fly to Shanghai and experience the speed of the Maglev train from the airport before being transferred to your luxurious hotel for a three night Special Stay.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 13
Shanghai
Highlights: City sightseeing tour

Today, discover Shanghai’s stark historical contrasts. Stroll along the famous Bund before comparing its heritage buildings to those in Yu Gardens. Across the Huangpu River, explore the Pudong area and discover modern China. Admire the view from Shanghai Tower, the tallest building in Pudong. Tonight, enjoy the agility and skill of the renowned Shanghai Acrobats.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 14
Shanghai
Highlights: Freechoice

Later, spend your free time exploring Nanjing Road’s shopping opportunities before enjoying your highlight dinner.

Freechoice

Wander through the Shanghai Museum and People’s Square before exploring the French Concession Region and Xintiandi entertainment area. Alternatively, visit Zhujiajiao, a town with a rich canal life and a wealth of traditional buildings and bridges.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 15
Shanghai > Tokyo
Highlights: Discover Japan

It’s time to bid farewell to China and transfer to Shanghai airport for your flight to Japan. This evening meet for your Japanese welcome reception and dinner at your hotel in Tokyo, your Special Stay for the next four nights.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 16
Tokyo
Highlights: Asakusa old town, Sensoji Temple, Sundowner on dinner cruise

Begin your discovery of Tokyo in Asakusa district, paying your respects at Sensoji, the city’s oldest Buddhist temple. After lunch enjoy a cruise on the Sumida River before a gentle walk through the peaceful Hama-Rikyu Gardens located across from your hotel.

Sundowners

Take in the bright lights of Tokyo during your evening dinner cruise on Tokyo Bay on a yakatabune, an old fashioned houseboat.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 17
Tokyo
Highlights: Enrich - Sushi making, Freechoice

Wander through the Tsukiji Fish Market to see the morning’s catch being distributed.

Choose from an Asian mix at China Blue or with your Tour Director, culturally immerse yourself in the traditional Japanese evening bar scene serving Yakatori.

Enrich

Immerse yourself in Japanese cuisine with the help of a local chef, as you prepare your own sushi lunch.

Freechoice

Head to west Tokyo and visit the Imperial Shinto Meiji Shrine, before seeing the Shibuya scramble crossing. Or, wander through picturesque Shinjuku-Gyoen Gardens before witnessing the Shinjuku entertainment district come alive at dusk.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 18
Tokyo > Five Lakes > Hakone
Highlights: Mt Fuji cable car and cruise on Lake Ashinoko

Venture deep into the stunning scenery of Kawaguchiko Area. Discover the incredible workmanship involved in creating kimonos at the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum. Near Hakone, walk around the hot springs of the Owakudani geothermal area before admiring the stunning scenery during your cable car ride down to your Lake Ashinoko cruise.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 19
Tokyo > Himeji > Hiroshima
Highlights: Himeji Castle

Relax in your Green (Business) Class tickets on the Shinkansen train to Himeji Castle and marvel at Japan’s most spectacular and one of the few remaining original castle’s. Continuing to Hiroshima where tonight, sample Okonomiyaki, a delicious Japanese-style pancake, a specialty of the region. You’ll enjoy two restful nights in Hiroshima.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 20
Hiroshima > Miyajima Island
Highlights: Mazda Car Factory, Itsukushima Shrine Miyajima Island

This morning see industrial robots perform around the Mazda car factory. Later sail by ferry to Miyajima Island to visit Daisho-in Temple and the floating sixth century Torii Gate at the Itsukushima Shrine.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 21
Hiroshima > Kyoto
Highlights: Enrich - Peace Park and Museum

Later travel by Shinkansen train to the culturally rich city of Kyoto, home to many World Heritage-listed Sites. Settle into your three night stay at your hotel in Kyoto.

Enrich

Experience an emotional visit to the Peace Park and Museum before visiting Orizuru Tower to create your own special origami donation.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 22
Kyoto
Highlights: Freechoice, Enrich - Maiko (apprentice Geisha) dinner

Spend the afternoon at leisure.

Freechoice

Revel in the atmosphere of the ancient preservation districts or visit the Silver Pavilion and then stroll along the Philosopher’s Walk. Alternatively visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine, featured in the movie Memoirs of a Geisha and marvel at the architecture of Nijo Castle, a classic reminder of the fascinating Edo-period shogunate’s power.

Enrich

After strolling through the Gion District, tonight’s dinner will allow you to interact with a Maiko, an apprentice Geisha, who’ll host your meal presentation. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn about what is involved in becoming a Geisha and the art of Japanese hospitality.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 23
Kyoto
Highlights: Tea Ceremony

Begin with a visit to the Kinkaku-ji known as the Golden Pavilion before wandering through the classical Zen Garden at Ryoanji Temple.

Choose between Japanese cuisine at Shinensen Heihachi, or international cuisine at the historic Fortune Garden.

Ryokan Upgrade
For a unique insight into Japanese culture, choose to stay tonight in a Ryokan. This traditional Japanese Inn has tatami mat flooring with futon beds, sliding shoji paper doors, onsen hot spring baths and private facilities. Includes dinner and breakfast (additional cost).

Enrich

Partake in a Japanese tea ceremony whilst dressed in a traditional Japanese kimono, a great photo opportunity.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 24
Kyoto > Nara > Osaka
Highlights: Tondabayashi, Freechoice Dining

Begin your drive to Osaka with an excursion to Nara, where you’ll visit Todaiji Temple and see deer in Nara Park. Later stop at the timeless village of Tondabayashi Jinaimachi. Visit a traditional house and wander around this splendid historical time capsule, with houses and buildings that date
back to the Edo period.
Upon arrival in Osaka begin a memorable two night Special Stay in Osaka.

Choose from the Sky Lounge Windows on the World (35th floor), or the Cosmopolitan, a gorgeous grill style restaurant also overlooking the Osaka skyline.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 25
Osaka
Highlights: Freechoice

Later see how beer is made at the Asahi factory before reliving your experiences at your tonight’s farewell dinner.

Freechoice

Admire the view from the Floating Garden Observatory and walk the lively and eccentric downtown area of Osaka or alternatively visit the Museum of History and the rebuilt Osaka Castle.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 26
Osaka > UK

Depart today with treasured memories of your time in Japan. Be transferred to Osaka airport for your flight home.

Day 27
Arrive UK

Welcome home.

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All prices are per person, twin share in GBP based on two guests sharing.
Optional pre and post land tours
Discover even more by adding an optional escorted land tour or city extension before or after your departure. We have curated a number of choices for you to choose from to tailor make your itinerary.

North Asian Odyssey

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