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Roof of the World

Journey into the heart of the Himalayas, discover the revered pilgrimage centre of Lhasa in the mountain kingdom of Tibet, and enjoy a cruise along the mighty Yangtze River through the spectacular Three Gorges on this incredible holiday. Includes hotel stays in Beijing, Xian, Lhasa and Shanghai, travel package from the UK, overseas transfers and excursions

Cruise and Land Tour Holiday
  • Summer Palace, Beijing
  • Beijing
  • Great Wall of China
  • Terra Cotta Warriors
  • Jokhang Temple, Tibet
  • Sera Monastery, Tibet
  • Potala Palace, Tibet
  • Three Gorges
  • Yuyuan Garden District, Shanghai

Call us now on 01756 706500 to secure your cabin!


Save £1000 per person on 2023 departures Terms and conditions apply

Roof of the World Special Offer

This unique holiday combines a cruise along the Yangtze River taking in the stunning Three Gorges, with hotel stays in the fascinating cities of Beijing, Xian and Shanghai, plus Lhasa, a holy land to Tibetan Buddhists.

Begin with a three-night hotel stay in Beijing, China's imperial capital whose history dates back over 3000 years. Discover the grand Tiananmen Square, the epicentre of ancient and modern Chinese history, before exploring three incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Enjoy a visit to the Forbidden City with its opulent palaces and imperial gardens, head to one of the best-preserved sections of the Great Wall of China, and stroll along the Sacred Way of the Ming Tombs, the burial place of emperors. A traditional rickshaw tour through Beijing's hutong neighbourhoods concludes your time in this exciting city.

Spend two nights in Xian, gateway to the famous Terracotta Warriors, and three nights in Lhasa, the spiritual centre of Tibet and sacred to Tibetan Buddhists. This is a land where Himalayan beauty, ancient culture and spiritual traditions converge. During your time here, join a local family for traditional tea, visit the UNESCO-listed Jokhang Temple, a revered pilgrimage site, and tour the spectacular Potala Palace, home to the Dalai Lama. After an unforgettable few days, fly to Chongqing to embark your ship and begin cruising along the mighty Yangzte River.

Admire the striking red 12-storey Shibaozhai Temple overlooking the river, navigate the serene Three Gorges taking in remarkable canyons and scenery, and join a tour of the renowned Three Gorges Dam. Hear the music of ancient bronze bells in Wuhan, where ancient and modern combine, before flying to Shanghai for a two-night hotel stay with highlights including the famous Bund promenade and exquisite Yuyuan Garden.

R231 Operated by Viking River Cruises


Roof of the World Itinerary

Day 1 - UK - Beijing (China)

Fly from the UK to Beijing.

Day 2 - Beijing

Arrive in Beijing and check-in to your hotel. (D)

Day 3 - Beijing

Discover two of Beijing's cultural treasures. Discover Tiananmen Square, the world's largest public square, and see the Monument to the People's Heroes, the Great hall of the People and Mao Zedong's mausoleum. Continue to the UNESCO-listed Forbidden City, the world's largest temple complex, which once served as the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Admire the grand palaces and beautiful gardens. Please note: This excursion is physically demanding and will take 4 hours. There is an optional excursion which takes in one of Beijing's most renowned stage shows, the Legend of Kung Fu. (B,L,D)

Day 4 - Beijing

Travel to one of the best-preserved sections of the Great Wall of China and view the burial site of emperors. Learn about the history of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, before strolling along the Sacred Way of the Ming Tombs, another UNESCO-listed site. The tree-lined avenue is guarded by sculptures of elephants, lions and mythical beasts. The Great Red Gate is one of the largest stone archways in China. Today's optional excursion is a Peking Duck Dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 5 - Xian

Before leaving Beijing, enjoy a rickshaw tour along the back lanes of the city's hutong neighbourhoods (only available on Beijing - Shanghai departures). After lunch, fly to Xian which is the eastern terminus of Asia's Silk Road. More than 3000 years of history have unfolded in this fascinating city. This evening, relax at the hotel after dinner (B,L,D)

Day 6 - Xian

Today you'll discover the magnificent Terra Cotta Warriors. Head to the mausoleum where Emperor Qin Shi Huang was laid to rest and see the remarkable sculpted warriors and infantryman that were buried with him. Each man and horse has its own distinctive features. After lunch, enjoy time at leisure. This evening, there is an optional excursion - a Tang Dynasty Dinner and show. (B,L,D)

Day 7 - Lhasa (Tibet)

Fly to Lhasa, the spiritual centre of Tibet, often known as 'The Roof of the World'. To Tibetan Buddhists, Lhasa is a holy land and a revered pilgrimage centre. It is also the highest capital in the world, and where you'll enjoy traditional tea with a Tibetan family. Witness the way Buddhist beliefs and practices are integrated into everyday life. (B,L,D)

Day 8 - Lhasa

Experience the spiritual sanctuary of Tibetan Buddhism as you visit the 1300-year-old Jokhang temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will be alongside pilgrims who have travelled from afar to this holy place. After a local lunch, explore the adjacent Barkhor Market in Old Lhasa, before heading to the Tibetan Museum to learn about the area's history. Tonight, enjoy a traditional Tibetan dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 9 - Lhasa

This morning, enjoy a tour of the magnificent Potala Palace. This impressive hilltop fortress is the home of the Dalai Lama. It has 1000 rooms and the tombs of several Dalai Lamas. Later, visit Sera Monastery, the educational centre of the Gelug sect. The monks often engage in passionate debate, and you may meet a monk during your time here. Enjoy lunch and dinner in local restaurants. (B,L,D)

Day 10 - Chongqing (China)

Fly to Chongqing and embark your ship to begin your five-day cruise along the Yangtze. Enjoy a Western dinner this evening. (B,L,D)

Day 11 - Shibaozhai

This morning, enjoy a visit to Shibaozhai Temple, a red 12-storey pavilion overlooking the river. It is an impressive example of Qing Dynasty architecture. See the Rice Flowing Well and enjoy a tour of the pavilion and temple before returning to the ship for lunch. This afternoon, take in the breathtaking scenery along the Yangtze River. (B,L,D)

Day 12 - Three Gorges

Cruise the most scenic stretch of the Yangtze - the Three Gorges. During breakfast, navigate Qutang Gorge, the shortest of the Three Gorges. Later, board smaller boat for an excursion through the Goddess Stream, past towering canyons and the hanging coffins of the Ba people. Return to the ship for lunch and spend the afternoon cruising Wu Gorge. Dinner on board. This evening, sail through the locks of the Three Gorges Dam. (B,L,D)

Day 13 - Three Gorges Dam

This morning, join a tour of the Three Gorges Dam. It is the world's largest hydroelectric power project and you will see the inner workings. Learn how it controls flooding. Lunch and dinner are served on board the ship as you cruise Xiling Gorge, the longest of the Three Gorges. (B,L,D)

Day 14 - Jingzhou

This morning, cruise into Jingzhou, the seat of 20 emperors during the Zhou Dynasty. During your visit, stop at an elementary school sponsored by Viking. The children will treat you to a song and dance performance. Return to the ship. (B,L,D)

Day 15 - Wuhan

Ancient and modern combine in Wuhan, the former cradle of the Chu Civilization. Enjoy a visit to the Hubei Provincial Museum and hear the ancient bronze bells, and see relics from 400 BC. Return to the ship for dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 16 - Shanghai

After breakfast, disembark your ship and fly to Shanghai. Shanghai is renowned for its colonial-era architecture along the Bund promenade. Upon arrival, check-in to your hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 17 - Shanghai

This morning, explore Old Shanghai and head along the famous Bund. At the Shanghai Museum, see ceramics, bronzes and paintings from the region's past. After lunch, walk along the pathways of the beautiful Yuyuan Garden. It dates back to the Ming Dynasty and was built by Pan Yunduan. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant before watching the world-famous Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe. (B,L,D)

Day 18 - Shanghai

After breakfast, check-out of your hotel and head to the airport for your return flight to the UK. (B)

Day 19 - Shanghai - UK

Arrive back in the UK.

The Captain reserves the right to modify the cruise itinerary. The orders of the tours and visits may vary slightly on the reverse itinerary.

Price Includes

  • 6-night full board cruise
  • Return economy class flights from London or selected regional airports and flights within China
  • 3-night hotel stay in Beijing, 2-night hotel stay in Xian, 3-night hotel stay in Lhasa, and 2-night hotel stay in Shanghai
  • Complimentary house wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner on ship
  • Guided excursions
  • Free Wi-Fi access
  • All port and airport taxes
  • Transfers as stated
  • Gratuities on board

Price Does Not Include

  • Travel insurance
  • Chinese visa (must be obtained independently)

Cruise Extensions

  • Beijing Extension Enjoy a 2-night stay at the Fairmont Beijing or similar - from £399pp
  • Shanghai Extension Enjoy a 2-night hotel stay - from £399pp
  • Tokyo Extension (reverse itinerary) Enjoy a 3-night hotel stay - from £1449pp
Map for Roof of the World