China: Beijing, the Yangtze & Shanghai

15 days Land & Cruise
China’s sheer size is impossible to fathom until you walk across the expanse of Tiananmen Square or gaze at the seemingly endless Great Wall. Take a leisurely cruise down the Yangtze River and ride the world’s fastest train. Discover this magnificent country, from pristine landscapes to towering cityscapes and ancient sites to modern marvels.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Tour group size: 18 - 35 travelers

Tour pace: You will walk for about 2 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads and unpaved trails, with some hills and stairs.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 13 nights in handpicked hotels

  • On land: Breakfast daily; 7 family-style lunches; 3 three-course or family-style dinners with beer

  • Aboard the cruise: Breakfast daily; 3 family-style lunches; 4 three-course or family-style dinners with beer

  • Multilingual Tour Director, guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

  • Private deluxe motor coach

Map of Tour of China

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Beijing today.

Beijing 4 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Beijing

Land in the historic city of Beijing and make your way to your hotel.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Beijing

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Delve into more than 2,000 years of Beijing’s history with a local guide.

• Stroll the expanse of Tiananmen Square

• Wander through the Imperial Palace, also referred to as “The Forbidden City”

Later, get to know your Tour Director and fellow travelers at a welcome dinner.

Day 4: Sightseeing tour of Beijing

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Continue exploring Beijing on another guided tour.

• Walk among the structures at the Temple of Heaven and go behind the scenes at a pearl factory

• Sit down for an included family-style lunch

• Stop at Beijing’s Olympic Park, home of the 2008 Summer Games, where you’ll view the intriguing stadium known as the Bird’s Nest 

• Wander through the vast Summer Palace and see its Long Corridor and Marble Boat

• Cruise along Kumming Lake to soak in local scenery

Day 5: The Great Wall

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Head outside of Beijing to marvel at one of the world’s most impressive structures—the Great Wall.

• Tour the Great Wall at the Juyong Pass and enjoy free time to explore on your own (Please note: The Juyong Pass cannot be reached by cable car or elevator. Walking is required to reach this less crowded, more scenic section of the Great Wall.)

• Journey to the Sacred Way, a path of sculptures of ancient leaders and animals

Later, enjoy a free evening in Beijing or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Kung Fu Show $45pp* Details

This exciting theatrical performance, The Legend of Kung Fu, tells a story of a young boy who dreams of becoming a kung fu master one day. The show’s performers, a collection of some of the country’s best kung fu artists, put on a spectacular display that will leave you mesmerized.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $55)

Yangtze River Cruise 4 nights Hotel info

Day 6: Flight to Yichang & cruise embarkation

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Enjoy a free morning in Beijing or add an excursion.

Fly to Yichang and embark on a cruise of the Yangtze River, the longest river in Asia.

Optional Excursion - Hutong Rickshaw Ride & Family Visit $65pp* Details

Explore the old residential area of Beijing on a rickshaw tour. This ancient area is laid out in clusters of neighboring siheyuan, or quadrangles, which create small alleys known as hutong in the Peking dialect. These hutongs have a far-reaching history, which dates back to the Yuan Dynasty during the 13th century AD. Explore these old walking alleys as you drive through on a rickshaw, passing ancient living residences along the way. Then, learn more about life in the area as you talk with a local family during a visit to their home.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $75)

Day 7: Three Gorges Dam

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Step on shore at the man-made Three Gorges Dam, where a guide will explain its interesting history.

• Learn about the history, construction and lasting impact of the dam

• Spend the afternoon at Xiling Gorge, the first and largest of the Three Gorges

• Choose to meet the native tribes who inhabit the gorges on a shore excursion

Day 8: Lesser Three Gorges

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Drift along the Daning River and Shennong Stream, passing the mysterious ancient hanging coffins.

• Board a wooden boat called a sampan to explore the river’s tributaries

• Cruise to Qutang Gorge and gaze upon the Meng Liang staircase

Day 9: On-shore city visit

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Take an on-shore excursion to either Fengdu, known as the Ghost City, or Wanzhou, famous for its natural sites.

Xi'an 2 nights Hotel info

Day 10: Sightseeing tour of Chongqing

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Disembark in Chongqing, where a local guide leads you through this mountain city. Then, pay a visit to Chongqing Zoo, home to some of China’s famous pandas, before catching your flight to Xi’an.

Day 11: Sightseeing tour of Xi’an

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Take in the highlights of Xi’an on a guided tour.

• Marvel at the Terra-Cotta Warriors, an underground battle formation of 8,099 life-sized pottery soldiers

• Uncover the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda and Temple of Great Goodwill

Later, enjoy a free evening in Xi’an or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Tang Dynasty Evening $79pp* Details

After a Chinese dinner at a local theater, enjoy a colorful performance dramatizing the famous Tang Dynasty’s period of rule over Xi’an, portrayed through traditional Chinese dances, music and costumes.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $89)

Shanghai 3 nights Hotel info

Day 12: Flight to Shanghai

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Fly to Shanghai today. Later, a local guide leads you on a walk along the Bund, Shanghai’s historic waterfront promenade, on the way to dinner.

Day 13: Sightseeing tour of Shanghai

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Continue your insider’s tour of Shanghai with a local guide.

• Visit the Jade Buddha Temple and Nanjin Road, a main shopping avenue 

• Walk through the Yuyuan Garden, the “Garden of Happiness”

Then, enjoy a free evening in Shanghai or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Dinner & Acrobatic Show $59pp* Details

Dinner and a show is a little different in China, as you’ll see tonight. After enjoying a dinner of local specialties, you’ll be treated to a gravity-defying acrobatic show. With amazing music, creative stage props and incredibly talented performers, the impressive acts can only be likened to the world-renowned performances at Cirque du Soleil.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $69)

Day 14: Free day in Shanghai

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Spend the day exploring Shanghai on your own or add an excursion.

In the evening, say goodbye to your group at a farewell dinner.

Optional Excursion - Zhujiajiao Water Village & Lunch $89pp* Details

Make your way to the ancient water village of Zhujiajiao, an almost 2,000-year-old town located in the watery regions south of the Changjiang River. This small, well-preserved spot is known as “Pearl Stream” and is crisscrossed by rivers, stone bridges and narrow streets. Explore the town on a canal boat ride, where you’ll pass ancient row houses, tea houses and buildings dating back to the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Float under the Setting-fish-free Bridge, the Shanghai region’s largest stone bridge, before disembarking to visit the Zhujiajiao history and culture museum, Qing Dynasty Post Office and Tongtianhe Medical Shop. Then, enjoy a Chinese lunch at local restaurant followed by free time to explore the village’s main street on your own.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $99)

Day 15: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Ride the Shanghai Maglev Train—a magnetic levitation train that’s distinguished as the fastest train in the world—on your way to the airport. Then, board your flight home or fly to Hong Kong to continue your trip.

Add Hong Kong Starting from $999 pp

Immerse yourself in the complexity and contrasts of Hong Kong. Your first impressions will be the skyscrapers of glass and steel and the hustle-bustle of passers-by. But look past the shiny new surfaces to discover an ancient culture that gives the city an exotic flavor and its citizens a unique outlook.

Hong Kong 3 nights Hotel info

Day 15: Travel to Hong Kong

  Included meals: Breakfast

This morning, fly to Hong Kong, a former British colony known for its striking skyline and range of global influences, and enjoy a free day in the city.

Day 16: Sightseeing tour of Hong Kong

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Uncover Hong Kong on a guided tour.

• Pass by Victoria Peak, Aberdeen Fishing Village and Stanley Market

• Enjoy panoramic views of the city’s world-famous skyline

Later, enjoy a free evening in Hong Kong or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Hong Kong by Night $105pp* Details

Experience the magic of Hong Kong while taking in the city’s bustling nightlife. After an included dinner, you'll visit the Temple Street Night Market, the perfect place for bargain hunting and rubbing shoulders with the locals. Wander through the market, then enjoy drinks aboard a leisurely cruise of Victoria Harbor.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $115)

Day 17: Free day in Hong Kong

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Hong Kong or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - New Lantau Island Tour $119pp* Details

When you first arrived in Hong Kong, you may have noticed that in this city where “east meets west,” mountains rather than high-rises dominate the view—especially to the south, where a giant Buddha sits perched on a hilltop. This is Lantau Island, a unique island replete with temples, rugged mountain paths and wandering cattle. On this full-day excursion, you’ll visit the Po Lin Monastery and the Tian Tan Buddha. You’ll also enjoy a cable car ride over the island and the South China Sea.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $129)

Day 18: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Passport & visa requirements

  • In order to enter China, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of return. 
  • We recommend having at least two blank passport pages for entry stamps.
  • U.S. and Canadian passport holders must obtain a visa in advance in order to enter China. You may choose to apply directly to the Chinese consulate or use a visa provider, such as our partner company, VisaCentral. Obtaining an Chinese visa will be an additional cost. 
  • No visa is required to enter Hong Kong on the tour extension, unless you are planning extend your stay over 90 days.
  • If you’re not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact the Chinese consulate (and Hong Kong's consulate if you are traveling on the tour extension) for specific entry requirements.

Tour pace

  • You will walk for about 2 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads and unpaved trails, with some hills and stairs. 
  • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
  • You should feel comfortable managing your own luggage at times, as well as getting in and out of small boats.
  • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.

Transportation & arrival information

  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead arrive in Beijing and depart from Shanghai or from Hong Kong for the tour extension). A Go Ahead representative will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead for an additional cost.
  • Flights from Beijing to Yichang, Chongqing to Xi’an and Xi’an to Shanghai as well as a four-night Yangtze River cruise are included in the price of your tour. (The tour extension also includes a flight from Shanghai to Hong Kong).
  • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.

Baggage allowance

  • Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. 
  • Contact your airline for detailed information regarding baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights. We recommend that you limit your baggage to under 44lbs to avoid charges on included flights within China.
  • One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height).
  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & packing tips

  • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.
  • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.
  • Waterproof shoes or sandals, a swimsuit, sunscreen and insect repellent are recommended for outdoor activities. 
  • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
  • It is preferable not to visit temples or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

  • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.
  • Please be sure to take proper care with sun exposure, the sun can be especially strong in some of the areas you are visiting. 
  • Drink bottled water only. Refrain from drinking tap water, including when brushing your teeth.
  • Bring a small first aid kit, including antacids, anti-diarrhea medication, motion sickness medication and any prescription medications in your carry-on bag. 
  • Avoid eating fresh fruits and vegetables unless they are cooked or washed in clean water and peeled.
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour and any possible delays encountered.
  • Certain over-the-counter and prescription medications may be banned in one or all of the countries on this tour. Importing these drugs can carry severe consequences, including imprisonment. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to departure to ensure that any drugs you may want to bring with you are legal in all countries you will visit.
  • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead at least 30 days prior to your departure by logging in to goaheadtours.com and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.

Cuisine

  • The diversity of Chinese cuisine reflects China’s long history. With each dynasty, new recipes and cooking styles emerged. The food on your tour will introduce you to many of the country’s Eight Cuisines— Shangdong, Sichuan, Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Hunan and Anhui. Popular ingredients throughout include noodles, tofu, bok choy, bitter melon, Chinese broccoli and meats like chicken, duck and shrimp. Most meals are served with rice, and are often seasoned with ginger, garlic and white pepper. Along the Yangtze River, you may sample Ahhui cuisine. Some traditional Ahhui dishes include braised turtle with ham.

Electricity & air conditioning

  • Mainland China operates at 220 volts and uses Type A, C and I plugs with two flat pins, two rounded pins or three flat pins set at an angle, respectively. 
  • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.
  • The strength of the air conditioning in Asian hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what one might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.
  • Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed. 

Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply. 
  • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches. 
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.

Time zones

  • China is 12 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. 
  • When it’s noon in New York, it's midnight in Beijing.

Currency

  • The renminbi (the people’s currency) is the official currency in China. The yuan is the basic unit of the renmibi and the two names are often used interchangeably. (You will use the Hong Kong dollar on the tour extension.)
  • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. 
  • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed. 
  • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. 
  • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
  • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.

Tipping

  • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
  • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD/CAD to $10USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver.
  • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. 
  • Tips can only be paid in cash. 
  • The cruise line will automatically bill a flat service charge of 150 yuan (approximately equal to $22.50 USD/CAD) to each passengers’ credit card upon check-in. (Please note: Currency rates can fluctuate.) This charge will cover tips to the onboard crew, including housekeeping and restaurant staff. Tips for the river cruise guides are not automatically billed. The cruise line recommends tipping the equivalent of $5USD/CAD to $6USD/CAD per person per day.

Purchasing excursions on tour

  • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
  • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa or MasterCard as payment for excursions. 
  • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged. 
  • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

Have you been on tour with us? Visit My Account to submit a review.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Tour Date: 10/12/2016

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

China tour -Food issue

Unfortunately I had very bad experience (being a vegetarian) I have to beg to get vegetarian food all the time (being single out as a vegetarian) it was very difficult to get the food I wanted. Morning breakfast is the only thing I had choose to eat some thing afterward I have to wait for next day breakfast. I had big problem with Delta Airlines while coming & going which I have addressed separately to the airlines. Being Go Ahead member for many years I never experience this bad this time.. The guide was trying help me as much as possible but it was hard on him to do it.

 

Dear Traveler, We regret that your included meal options did not meet your expectations. A member of our Quality Control team has reached out to you to learn more about your experience. If you would like to provide additional feedback, please give us a call back at 1-800-597-0350. Regarding vegetarian dishes, the number of options varies from destination to destination. In more meat-centric, family style food cultures, it can be more challenging to find a wide array of options. We regret that you didn't feel satisfied with this aspect of your experience, and we will be sure to share your comments with our Operations team for further evaluation. Regarding your flight experience, we regret that your journey was not seamless, and we do hope that the airline is working with you to reach a solution. Again, we do hope that you will give us a call back if you would like to discuss your tour. We truly value customer feedback, and we regularly use it to evaluate and improve our tours. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | November 21, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 10/11/2016

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: ON

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

A Taste of China in 19 Days...

This was a dream come true to tour through China. I definitely want to go back and see more of the country. Our tour guide Michael was 5 star + ...so helpful with keeping us all in line and happy. He is the best guide I have come across; he was sensitive to everyone's needs. Unfortunately Beijing was overcast with smog and bad air and that took away from our view of that city & surrounds but hopeully in future China can get that cleared up. The cruise down the Yangtze was fabulous - meals were excellent! Zi'an is worth at least a few more days than what was offered on this tour. Please Go Ahead -add a day or two more at least. Seeing the warriors was amazing but the pushing of the crowds of people was frustrating and dangerous. Timed visits would be better. Shanghai was wonderful and I will go back there again. And the extension to Hong Kong was well worth it. High-end hotel, incredible food and fabulous scenery. Overall all I was thrilled with the trip. And we had a fabulous group to travel with, 2 Canadians and 28 Americans- a good balance! LOL!!!! I will definitely travel with Go Ahead again!

 

Hi Carmel! We’re delighted to learn that this tour was a dream come true for you! We can absolutely understand why you want to go back – there’s simply so much to see in China! We appreciate your feedback on your Tour Director, and we’re glad that his efforts made a positive impact on your trip. We appreciate your suggestion to add another day in Zi’an and will be sure to share that with our Product Development team for consideration. We regret that your visit to the terracotta warriors was crowded. This is certainly a popular site, and it can be difficult to know when it is less busy. Thank you for sharing your experience, and we look forward to your next trip!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | November 01, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 8/31/2016

Number of Past Tours: 6

From: IN

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

china trip

Excellent and nothing to complain.

3 / 5

3 / 5

Tour Date: 8/31/2016

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: IN

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Could be Better Organized for Vegetarians

Enjoyed the trip in Beijing forbidden city, temples. Accommodations were all great with very good locations. Cruise was ok however, boring with no activities in the day time. The cruise was over crowded. For Vegetarians not that much option other than eating the same vegetables again and again. I understand we expected Chinese food in China but not for every meal. Quality of the food was not good for vegetarians and service was very poor. They do not speak or understand a single word of English. In Beijing the food was better than Xi'an and Shanghai. In Xi'an and Shanghai food was very poor. We were tired of eating the same vegetables. When majority of the family is vegetarian served only one dish or two is not a good idea. Most of the items were non vegetarian. For vegetarians more options recommended. Like Indian food or simple Rice, yogurt, Pizza, Subway or some varieties of vegetables. Not expected to eat the same old vegetables for 15 days with the same greasy sauses. It was very hard. In the Cruise Smoking is the worst thing. They should separate smoking and non-smoking rooms, areas to serve food etc. Most of them were smoking everywhere in the cruise including in front of our room. When we open the room door all we smell is smoke. Very hard to inhale the smoke and boring to sit in our congested rooms for 12 hours. The cruise tips were not notified ahead of time that we need to pay as soon as we enter the ship for the amount of $45. Michael notified the day before the trip. Tips policy needs to be modified by go ahead tours. Each and every driver, guides paying tips is way too much money and taxing for customers. Either Go ahead tours should come up with a different policy either paying them a salary and not ask customers to pay tips each and every time when they ride the bus, meet the local guides or in the cruise. It should be taken care off before our tour would be greatly appreciated. Our tour director, is another shining example of what makes GoAhead the best! He was outstanding. We had excellent weather for the most part on the entire tour with the exception of a day of rain on the Xian and Shanghai. Visit to the zoo in the rain was not worth at all. Thanks to Michael for taking care of us very nicely and it was a great pleasure working with him.

 

Dear Sudha, We are glad to learn that you enjoyed many aspects of your tour, such as experiencing Beijing and traveling with your Tour Director. We’re also pleased to hear that you had good weather, as that can certainly make a difference in your tour. Regarding dietary preferences, the variety of meal options for vegetarians, for example, largely depends on the destination. Chinese cuisine is fairly meat-centric, and therefore it can be a bit more challenging to find a wide variety of vegetarian options. We regret that the included meal options did not meet your expectations and that you felt you had too much Chinese food. We do try to provide variety when possible; however, we are also conscious of the fact that many people travel to specific destinations for the cuisine, which is invariably connected to the culture and history. In terms of the service, we regret that you felt it was not good. It's true that a fair number of service staff you will encounter on many of our tours do not speak English. This is a reality of traveling in another country, and unfortunately, Go Ahead cannot guarantee English-speaking staff at restaurants or hotels. In the future, if you have trouble communicating, your Tour Director is always there to help and to act as a resource. Again, we regret that you feel this aspect of your tour could have been better, particularly as a vegetarian, and we will be sure to communicate this to our Operations team. Regarding the cruise portion of your tour, we regret that the smoking was bothersome to you. This is a major cultural difference between the U.S., for example, and China. Smoking remains prevalent in China, and many public establishments have yet to place any restrictions on it. Again, we regret that this negatively impacted your experience; however, this is not something that Go Ahead is capable of influencing in the future. Regarding tips, we are sorry if you were not notified about the tips on the cruise. Generally speaking, it is customary to tip any service staff. This would be the same if you were touring in the U.S., for example. In terms of the tipping policy itself, Go Ahead does not determine how this works. Drivers and local guides are not directly employed by Go Ahead, but instead they work for an agency which we work through to arrange guided excursions. Again, we regret that this system did not meet your expectations. We thank you for sharing your feedback, and we will be sure to share it with all relevant departments. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 1-800-597-0350. Thank you, and we hope to welcome you on tour again.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | September 27, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 10/15/2015

Number of Past Tours: 7

From: OH

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

From Imperial Palaces to the Pudong, Shanghai

From our initial visits in Beijing through our final visits in Suzhou and Shanghai, our Go Ahead trip to China was awe-inspiring! We truly enjoyed our diverse and convivial group. The itinerary was excellent, although quite physically demanding (the level is “challenging”: a lot of walking, some uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and notable slopes). We started the tour in Beijing where we experienced our initiation into throngs of swarming people, extremely poor air quality (some reports indicate that 24 hours in the city is like having smoked 40 cigarettes), and the densest traffic patterns we had ever experienced. It was in Beijing that we did the most walking: through Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City (largest palace complex in the world) on the first day, in the immense Temple of Heaven complex (Saturday in the park: people exercising, dancing, playing board games, playing cards, doing needlework, …) and the Summer Palace on the second day, and at the Great Wall on day three. On that third day, we woke up to crisp, clear, suddenly smogless skies, inspired to tackle the steep climb at the Juyongguan pass. The spectacular view from near the top made the rigorous ascent worth every step! We were offered an additional optional tour while in Beijing, a “hutong” tour. Those who chose to participate seemed to agree that this glimpse into the more authentic old Beijing was extremely worthwhile. The frenetic pace of visiting popular sites in Beijing was followed by the relaxing four-day cruise on the Yangtze River on the Victoria Grace. The rooms were quite adequate, the service excellent, the food delicious and the views often spectacular. Watching our passage through the five-step lock of the Three Gorges Dam was a treat! Go Ahead passengers had three included excursions; the ship offered four others at an additional cost. We were pleased with the ones we selected; a “relocation tour” was highly appreciated by fellow group members. In Chongqing, our zoo trip was short, but we were delighted to see the giant pandas. The following day, near Xi’an, the Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses was extremely crowded but the views of the life-size terracotta figures arranged in battle formations totally breathtaking… an iconic highlight. We regretted the last minute cancellation of the Tang Dynasty evening. Due to a late departure from the museum and inextricable traffic slowdowns, we were unable to make the show. Our tour ended in Shanghai where we ambled on the Bund while admiring the view of the older buildings on the Puxi bank of the Huangpu River and the architecturally stunning skyscrapers of the Pudong side; we visited the Jade Buddha Temple and strolled through the Yu Gardens / Bazaar. The acrobatic show option offered by Go Ahead was amazing. We were offered an additional activity (additional fee), an evening cruise on the river that provided views of the buildings as they sparkled and dazzled. We opted for the Go Ahead day trip to Suzhou and did not regret the decision in spite of 4 ½ hours of round-trip traffic. The farewell dinner was held in a lovely restaurant in the French Concession. It was a thrill to take the magnetic-levitation train (300 km/hour) to the airport on our departure day. 1. Food. Lunch and dinner were generally served around tables for 10 people equipped with large “lazy Susan” style centers. There was sufficient variety in the dishes served to not feel like you were repeatedly eating the same things (e.g. meats and seafood – chicken, pork, beef, duck, donkey; fish, shrimp, calamari). We often had ten or more dishes from which to choose (soup, meats, vegetables, rice, fruit). 2. Water. The water is not potable. Each hotel provided 2 small bottles per room per day but this quantity does not meet needs for teeth brushing and drinking. Fortunately, our hotels were located near convenience stores where additional bottles could be purchased. 3. Money. We found it extremely helpful to have a large quantity of small American bills for many of the daily tips that we needed to pay (bus drivers, required local guides in each city); many small vendors also accepted American dollars. It is equally helpful to always have a stock of small yuan bills (5, 10, 20) as there is a danger of being given fake bills as change. We obtained the additional change at the hotel front desk (no charge). 4. Bathrooms. Except for our excellent hotels, the large majority of the facilities that we used were equipped with squatting toilets, although in some places you could find at least one western-style facility. You need to travel with plenty of toilet paper / wipes and with antibacterial products for hands (often no soap). Used toilet paper is deposited in small bins. A member of our group suggested a dab of Vicks VapoRub ointment under the nose for those sensitive to strong restroom odors. 5. Mosquito Repellent. This was needed for the cruise on the Yangtze River. Mosquitoes were spotted as we walked through wooded areas and on the boat when balcony doors were opened. 6. Domestic Flights in China. You should have a lock with you for your checked suitcase for these flights. It is helpful to plan for all chargers and batteries to be packed in your carry-on bag. Our Tour Director also recommended that all liquids be stowed in our checked luggage to avoid any hassle at the security checkpoint. The restriction on liquids eliminates the option of bringing a drink on the plane. 7. Postcards. If you want to send postcards, be forewarned that they are almost always sold in packs of 8 or 10. We did not have to find a post office for mailing. Our hotels either sold us stamps or collected the money for postage and carried our cards to the post office for us. 8. Shopping. There are a number of group stops for shopping in pre-selected factory stores. Some members of our group appreciated these opportunities; others thought they carved too much time out of our schedule. There is also frequent access to markets and small vendors where those who love to bargain will enjoy the experience. If you’re an avid shopper, arrive in China with lots of room in your suitcase. This empty space can be filled with bubble wrap that can subsequently be used to protect items purchased. This tour provided us with an informative introduction to China and visits to the iconic sights we had always wanted to see. There were obviously issues that just had to be accepted: air quality, crowds, traffic. The inevitable little frustrations that occur with travel situations, especially with groups, have already begun to fade from memory. The hotels were wonderful: lovely facilities, helpful staff, bountiful breakfast buffets, convenient locations providing access to places to eat and stores where water could be purchased. The bus drivers were all excellent, garnering the admiration of those whom they safely transported. The local guides were, for the most part, very good. Our Tour Director, Peter, was extremely experienced and knowledgeable, expressed himself with candor about situations in the country, provided additional opportunities for optional excursions, and did his utmost to provide the best possible service. The evening of the farewell dinner, he thoughtfully surprised everyone in the group with a calligraphy gift that he had personally created. We close with wishes for equally happy travels to all who will take the Imperial China & Yangtze River tour in the future!

1 / 5

3 / 5

3 / 5

Tour Date: 9/9/2015

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: VA

Tour Director: 1 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Tour Director need councelling

Tour director in Baijing needs some retraining and counclling. All he does is demand tip money for himself and the other so called expert guides. He is a poor handler of itinerary and other related matters. We had such a huge difficulty in getting flight to Hong Kong. He wasted more than an hour at luggage check in counter doing absolutely nothing. Our flight to Hong Kong was to leave at 11:30 am. Our luggage was checked in around 11 am and by the time we entered Immigration it was past 11 am, and there were hundreds of people in as many lines ahead of us. After immigration there were securoty check. By the time we were cleared of all that it was already past our flight time. All of us going to Hong Kong would have missed the plane. Luckly for us the flight was delayed and we could barely make it.

 

Dear Inderbir, Welcome home, and thank you for sharing your important and detailed insight into your experience on tour with us in China. Our Tour Directors are trained to demonstrate the upmost professionalism and discretion when interacting with our travelers. Your feedback regarding the conduct of your Tour Director is certainly not appropriate, and we have addressed it with his supervisor. This Tour Director will receive additional training and instruction, and we thank you for alerting us to his behavior. Thank you very much for traveling with Go Ahead, and for informing us of your observations on tour. We do hope to travel with you again soon!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | October 14, 2015

4 / 5

4 / 5

Tour Date: 9/9/2015

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: VA

Tour Director: 2 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Excellent Tour, Director not so excellent

We had great time in China and Hong Kong, Food was excellent and all the hotels we stayed in were first class hotels. However, our tour director in China was a lousy no good at any thing. He will not answers your questions properly, he was a poor manager and was greedy. He tell us how much money we should be paying him in US dollars. He tell us this thing number of times. He will come to each individual and ask him/her if his money pack was ready. At Shanghai airport he wasted more than an hour at luggage check in doin nothing and we almost missed our flight to Hong Kong. Ask any of 12 or so other guests. I am goin to make a complaint about his handling of entire tour soon. However, all the other tour directors or guide were excellent, particularly the one at Hong Kong.

 

Dear Harpal, Thank you for traveling with Go Ahead, and for reviewing your recent trip with us. We are so pleased that you felt that the tour was excellent, and it sounds like you really enjoyed your hotels! We also want to thank you for taking the time to discuss your experience with our Quality Control team. We have shared your feedback about your Tour Director with his supervisor, and will be sure that the behavior you described does not reoccur on future tours. Thank you again, and we hope that you choose to travel with Go Ahead again soon!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | October 14, 2015

3 / 5

3 / 5

Tour Date: 9/2/2015

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: IL

Tour Director: 3 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

CHINA TRIP

Itinary is good but too many people in group some time difficult for TOUR DIRECTOR to coordinate. Food choices could be better ? Transportation and transfer to Air Line was good and very smooth . Some more option on tour could be better ? Boat Tour Passengers were not Allowed to go on there own if they are not taking there tours??Strange policy?

 

Dear Madhav, Thank you for reviewing your recent trip with us to explore Imperial China & the Yangtze River! We are glad that you enjoyed the itinerary, and thank you for your suggestions to improve the areas of the tour that did not meet your expectations. We have made changes to this tour based on feedback such as this effective immediately, and we are certain that they will improve the tour overall. Thank you again for your comments and for traveling with Go Ahead. We hope to see you on tour again soon!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | October 14, 2015

4 / 5

4 / 5

Tour Date: 9/2/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: WV

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

China - Everything I Expected

The trip to China covered all of the big attarctions - Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, Terra Cota Warriors, Forbidden City, and some of the lesser advertised attractions. I liked having the trip laid out including meals, since traveling to somewhere you have never been can be challenging. The tour director kept the group moving (and when you have 33 people it can bedifficult), the transportation buses were clean and comfortable, the hotels were very good, and the time was well spent. As with any trip there are always improvements that can be made - and I have communicated these to Go Ahead. Looking back on this trip - it was everything it said it would be, I enjoyed it, would go again, but would suggest some changes to it.

2 / 5

2 / 5

Tour Date: 9/2/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: KS

Tour Director: 2 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Could be better

My wife and I just returned after 2 week tour of Imperial China and Yangtze river cruse. I am afraid it did not meet our expectations at all. We made our own flight arrangements and reached our hotel in Bejing around 5 pm. There was no one at the hotel from the tour company to facilitate our check in process which was quite tedious. Out tour director Michael did show up late in the evening. Our trip to Tieanamen square was very stressful. Since it was the first day the square was open to the public after several days it was extremely crowded and Michael should have taken us there on a different day. Overall the river cruise was fair. The cabins were cramped and we were not allowed to get off the boat unless we bought the optional excursion tours. Our tour director offered us optional excursion boat cruise on first day in Shanghai and everyone enjoyed that. The optional tour of Suzhou on last day in Shanghai was a disaster. We left the hotel at 8 am and returned at 6:30 pm. Out of those 10 hours we were in the bus for at least 6 hours. There was not much to see at this excursion and was a complete waste. I know we expected Chinese food in China but not for every meal. Quality of the food was not good and service was poor. The days dinner was not included we ate at the restaurants in the hotels we were staying and food was excellent. Our tour director was a little short tempered and did not have much patience.

 

Dear Arun, We thank you for your review, and regret that there are aspects of this tour that did not meet your expectations. We have taken suggestions from your group and made changes to this tour effective immediately that will benefit future travelers, and we thank you for your thoughtful feedback. Additionally, we appreciate you taking the time to discuss your concerns with us, and we hope to welcome you onto another Go Ahead tour in the future.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | October 14, 2015

4 / 5

4 / 5

Tour Date: 7/15/2015

Number of Past Tours: 6

From: FL

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

China at last!

After wanting to go to China for about 4 years, I made it finally. The history and the sights of the Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors, and of course the Yangtze River Cruise were amazing! I will admit the amount of travel involved in this tour was extensive. Not only the long trip across the Pacific, but the inter-China flights were a bit bothersome. I am not complaining. I loved the trip, but for those who don't like to be on the go at all times will find this tour overwhelming. The country was more scenic than I thought it would be. It was beautiful. The excursions were informative and interesting. The native tribes of the 3 Gorges; a must do!! Our local guide Nina was so sweet that I wanted to take her home with me. The river cruise on Victoria Cruise's "Grace" was smooth and enjoyable. *I know its summer but, was it ever HOT!! The humidity was awful and I went through more clothes than I ever did on a trip. Between the pearl, silk, and terracotta demos and shopping, I ended up bringing back some great merchandise. Our original tour director Michael had to leave us after Beijing due to a family emergency, but he was replaced by Peter who did a very good job given the circumstances. Pete even bought me a birthday present in Shanghai toward the end of our tour. That was unexpected and appreciated. You must also sign on for the Kung Fu and acrobatic show excursions. They were awesome! *The only real down side was that my original flight to Beijing from Florida was delayed and I missed the connection in Newark. That was a glitch that United Airlines created and I had to get a hotel in New Jersey until the next day. Then, that flight was delayed 6 and 1/2 hours! I practically missed the 1st 2 days of the trip. Michael was able to squeeze in the 1st day's itinerary (The Forbidden City and Tianamen Square) for me so I wouldn't miss the chance to see them before we left Beijing. Thanks Mike! Overall, I love Go Ahead and I will be traveling with them again and again and again.....

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 7/1/2015

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: OH

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

First Year Anniversary

It was a fascinating trip, a lot of walking, so bring good walking shoes. We enjoyed visiting all of the sites, from seeing something as old as the Great wall to watching the Panda bears. Our tour guide, Michael, was excellent, he was professional, patient, and friendly. Don;t be taken back of they want their picture taken with you, the Chinese people are very friendly. We decided to go out for Chinese for our first year anniversary..

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 7/1/2015

Number of Past Tours: 10

From: MD

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great Tour Director

This was a fantastic tour.

3 / 5

3 / 5

Tour Date: 5/6/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

China and Yangtze River Cruise

China was fascinating. I thought the itinerary was a bit hectic, not enough down time between excursions. My wife is disabled. I recommend indicating on the tour info, that it requires quite a bit of walking and climbing. We, and other disabled people, slowed the group down a bit. The river boat was too crowded. The room was way too small, meal lines were too crowded. Website for the boat was misleading in terms of accommodations. Wife needed medical care on board, and was disappointed that the doctor was NOT an MD, and did not speak a word of English. Meals in general were OK. I would have liked a more varied menu, and soft drinks and water should have been more plentiful. Michael, the tour director, was excellent. He went above and beyond to help my wife move along with the group, etc. He spoke good English, was very friendly and accommodating, and made you feel like family.

 

Dear Sal, Welcome home, and thank you very much for your review! We are so pleased to hear that you thought your Tour Director, Michael, was excellent. We are certainly happy that he went above and beyond to be accommodating, and make you feel like a family. We regret to hear that you found your itinerary to be hectic. We understand that China is a huge country with a lot to offer in terms of sights and activities. Our goal is to pace the tour so that a great deal is accomplished each day, while maintaining the comfort of our travelers. We have passed your feedback to our Operations and Product Development teams who are constantly reviewing, assessing, and revising our tours based on comments such as this. We want to assure you that we have contacted cruise line directly, and there is a licensed Medical Doctor and health clinic on board as advertised. We are very sorry if this confusion caused any unrest during your trip. Please remember that your Tour Director is there to advocate on your behalf should emergencies such as this arise on tour. If you have further feedback, or if you would like to discuss any part of your comments in detail, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We take our travelers’ feedback very seriously as it allows us to continually improve our tour experiences. Thank you again for your review, and we do hope to welcome you onto a Go Ahead tour in the future. Many thanks,

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | July 14, 2015

4 / 5

4 / 5

Tour Date: 5/6/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CT

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Service with a smile

I was so impressed by the willingness of the Chinese guides and service personnel to please us. They couldn't do enough to make sure our needs were met and to make us feel welcome. Even when there may have been a language problem, they would look for someone to interpret to make sure our needs were met. And they did it with a smile!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 4/1/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Tour Director

Michael was an exceptional guy who accommodated every request from a very diverse 22 people...Great guy and an asset to the China tour. This tour is for people who want to explore the culture of the great Chinese people...Glad I went with my girlfriend Pat and her choice to go with Go Ahead Tours was exceptional...Will do it again in the future.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 10/10/2014

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: FL

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

China the adventure!

This was a very nice tour, that included all the right things to see and do in the right amount of time. Another great tour, thanks Go Ahead!

4 / 5

4 / 5

Tour Date: 10/8/2014

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: WA

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

What an experience

This was a fun trip and full of many different experiences. The days were full of things to see and do. The cruise on the Yangtze River was well done and the staff on the river boat were awesome. The number one highlight of the trip was the ability to climb part of the Great Wall of China. If you are looking for a new adventure I would highly recommend this tour.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 9/10/2014

Number of Past Tours: 8

From: SK

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Another great Tour!

A fast paced tour that takes in a lot of historical and cultural highlights of this fascinating country. I was very surprised to actually see how far this country has come in a relatively short period of time. The infrastructure and architecture are amazing! Accommodations were all first rate with very good locations. Food was very good and there was plenty of it! However, do not expect chicken balls and eggrolls! Andy, our tour director, is another shining example of what makes GoAhead the best! He was outstanding. We had excellent weather for the most part on the entire tour with the exception of a day of rain on the River cruise. It was very easy to access an ATM anywhere and we had no issues with using credit cards etc anywhere on the entire tour. I continue to be asked about highlights of this tour. For me it was the visit to the Hutangs in Beijing, Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors and Hong Kong. Then there was the River Cruise, Three Gorges Dam, temples, Forbidden City, and on and on. As always I will appreciate this tour even more as I reflect upon it in the weeks and months to come.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 9/10/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: LA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Andy the Awesome Tour Director

I also took advantage of the a Hong Kong extension and have to say that this entire trip was AWESOME. The people in the group that I was placed with were all seasoned travelers. Everyone was courteous and took advantage of everything this tour had to offer. We were always on the same page with everyone looking out for each other. Andy the awesome tour guide had every question basically answered before it was asked, we wanted for nothing. Highly recommend this tour but beware it is quite challenging, there are many many steps to climb in China and LOL, there is no lift or elevator at the Great Wall of China.

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