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What People Are Saying About Us

I have come to expect excellence from Odysseys Unlimited and have never been disappointed.

Michael E. Leahy
Oak Lawn, IL

We have been to many, many places all over the world, with many different tour companies.  None of them compare to the Odysseys Unlimited small group experience.

Nancy & William Sondervan
Sherrills Ford, NC

The small group is wonderful and the quality of tour directors is exceptional.

Bill Jones
Vancouver, WA

All that was advertised was delivered. Consider this tour to be a real value as to sites visited, itinerary, hotels, and travel between sites.

Susan & Paul Krupp
Georgetown, TX

Odysseys does everything with style, but without pretension. Beautiful meals and hotels. Excellent guides.

Barbara Schoetzau
New York, NY

Very early in the tour we saw we got much more for our dollar than anything we could have put together ourselves. The value exceeded our expectations.

Tara Malmberg
Quitman, TX

Good value for $ — accommodations, food, guide, itinerary, and [small] size of group. Have traveled with other tour groups ... and like you best.

Jean Hall
Prairie Village, KS

We like the model – small groups, excellent tour directors, solid hotels, good mix of group/independent activities.

Roger Soder
Seattle, WA

The combination of excellent hotels with a small group is the way I like to travel. I would highly recommend Odysseys to everyone I know.

Patricia Joyce
Peoria, AZ

We love the small group experience.

Dave & Alice Wilson
Williamstown, MA

Odysseys is the best company we have traveled with. You have first-rate tours at affordable prices, with great itineraries, excellent guides, and outstanding accommodations.

Jane & Ronald Decker
Chicago, IL

Odysseys tours are just right for us: great value, nice group size, complete trips, sufficient free time.

Laurin & Phyllis LeTart
Shepherdstown, WV

This trip far exceeded our expectations: the small group size, the quality of the tour director (the best we’ve ever had), the ability to have dinners on our own, the lower cost without a significant reduction in the quality of the accommodations.

Barry & Bobbi Rosner
Somerset, NJ

I thought I would not like traveling in a group but I was wrong! [Our tour director] was so good at making the group seem as one that it turned out to be the best part of the trip.

Donna Stevenson
Dublin, OH

It was the best value in travel we’ve ever had. It was a wonderful experience.

Trish Merrill & Mac White
Austin, TX

This was my 7th trip with Odysseys and they keep getting better and better.

Merle Frank
Miami, FL

Love the small group format and the ease of traveling with arrangements made for us.

Ken & Carolyn Helm
Newburgh, IN

Tour exceeded my expectations having never taken a group tour. An excellent experience – can’t wait for my next one!

Ronni Goldberg
New York, NY

Absolutely the best bang for the buck – organization, quality, consistency.

Harvey Wine
Dallas, TX

I like the small size of Odysseys tours. [You] have excellent Tour Directors, great itineraries and spend more time in areas than some of the other tour companies.

Lynn Bafaloukos
Glendale, AZ

Because of the group size and outstanding guides, you make travel easy for us!

Sharon Irwin & John Akamatsu
Kent, OH
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6-time honoree Travel + Leisure's World's Best Tour Operators awards

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Small Group Tour Highlights
  • Beijing touring, including Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, Great Wall
  • Beijing hutong tour and home visit
  • Traditional Peking Duck dinner
  • Xian’s Terra Cotta Warriors
  • Three-night Yangtze River cruise, including Three Gorges and Small Gorges
  • Cruise aboard premier ship of Victoria Cruises
  • Included shore excursions
  • Visit to site of new Three Gorges Dam
  • Shanghai sightseeing: acclaimed Shanghai Museum, the Bund, Yu Yuan Gardens
Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Depart U.S. for Beijing, China

Day 2: Arrive Beijing We arrive in the Chinese capital and transfer to our hotel. After time to relax we meet our tour director for a walking tour of the area surrounding our hotel. Dinner is on our own.

Day 3: Beijing After this morning’s briefing with our tour director, we begin our discovery of this 2,000-year-old city at vast – and infamous – Tiananmen Square, and the Forbidden City, seat of imperial power during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368–1911). Tonight we enjoy a traditional Peking Duck dinner at a local restaurant. B,D

Day 4: Beijing/Great Wall Our day begins with a rickshaw ride through Beijing’s ancient back roads and alleys (hutongs). Here we visit the home of a local family for a rare glimpse of the traditional communal life­style that is fast disappearing. Then we make a brief photo stop at Olympic Park, site of the 2008 Olympic Games. This afternoon we encounter the Great Wall, the incredible collection of ancient defense installations (and UNESCO World Heritage site) that stretches more than 5,500 miles and where we visit the Mu Tian Yu section by cable car. B,L,D

Day 5: Beijing This morning we tour the splendid Temple of Heaven complex where China’s emperors once worshipped. Later this afternoon we tour the Summer Palace, the former royal retreat with beautiful gardens and temples that is now a park attracting both visitors and locals. B,L

Day 6: Beijing/Xian This morning we fly to Xian. Once among the world’s greatest cities, Xian devolved into a provincial backwater until the accidental discovery of the Terra Cotta Warriors in 1974 – considered among the most significant archaeo­logical finds of the 20th century. This afternoon we tour Xian’s ­impressive nine-mile city wall and moat. Tonight we enjoy a special dinner of traditional Chinese dumplings. B,L,D

Day 7: Xian Our day begins at Small Wild Goose Pagoda (c. 652 CE), among China’s most acclaimed Buddhist temples. After lunch we visit the museum hous­ing the renowned Terra Cotta Warriors, the more than 7,000 life-sized soldiers created to guard China’s first emperor in the afterlife. We see these astounding pieces, each with an individually sculpted face, stand­ing in military formation in three separate vaults. The entire complex is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. B,L,D

Day 8: Xian/Chongqing/Board Ship This morning we fly to Chongqing, where we visit the zoo housing the beloved pandas. Following dinner at a local restaurant, we board our Victoria Cruises ship and set sail this evening. B,L,D

Day 9: Yangtze Cruising – Shibaozhai or Fengdu Prized for its haunting natural beauty, the Yangtze is one of the world’s busiest and longest (3,600 miles) rivers. As we cruise along this storied waterway, this afternoon we visit either the Red Pagoda in Shibaozhai or the “ghost city” of Fengdu, with its complex of shrines, temples, and monasteries. B,L,D

Day 10: Yangtze Cruising – Qutang Gorge/ Wu Gorge/Small Gorges/Xiling Gorge It’s a day of beautiful scenery as we first pass through narrow Qutang Gorge, smallest of the Yangtze gorges, followed by tranquil Wu Gorge. Then we board a small sampan for a cruise through the stunning Small Gorges. Flanked by sheer cliffs and steep mountains, the Small Gorges recall scenes from ancient Chinese scroll paintings. Back on board our Victoria Cruises ship, late this afternoon we enter 42-mile Xiling Gorge, with its swift rapids and churning whirlpools. Tonight we enter the locks of the immense Three Gorges Dam. B,L,D

Day 11: Yangtze Cruising – Three Gorges Dam/Shanghai We tour the site of the immense Three Gorges Dam Project this morning then continue cruising to Yichang. Here we disembark and fly to Shanghai, the “Paris of the East.” Dinner tonight is on our own in this cosmopolitan city. B,L

Day 12: Shanghai Our day begins with a walking tour of the Xin Tian Di shopping and entertainment area of reconstituted traditional homes. We continue on to be­loved 16th-century Yu Yuan Gardens, whose plantings, courtyards, and pavilions create the illusion of moun­tains, caverns, and lakes. After lunch together we tour the acclaimed Shanghai Museum of ancient Chinese art and artifacts. Tonight we dine on our own then attend an acrobatics show. B,L

Day 13: Shanghai This morning we visit the Bund, the mile-long riverside embankment where foreign investors – and their buildings – once held sway over Shanghai. Still one of the city’s most popular attractions, the Bund draws visitors and locals alike. Then the remainder of the day is at leisure; your tour director will help you find your way from here, perhaps to the bustling Nanjing Road shopping district … to the Oriental Pearl TV Tower for a bird’s-eye view of this dynamic city … or to a scenic boat ride along the Huangpu River that bisects Shanghai. Tonight we toast our China adventure at a farewell dinner. B,D

Day 14: Depart for U.S. We depart Shanghai for our return flights to the U.S. B

Please note: This trip involves full days of sightseeing and significant amounts of walking on stairs and uneven surfaces. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to its fullest.

B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included

Tour Price Includes
  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities; all flights within itinerary
  • 12 nights’ accommodations: 3 nights aboard Superior First Class ship of Victoria Cruises; 9 nights in Deluxe hotels
  • 29 meals: 12 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 8 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described including all entrance fees
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip, including shore excursions
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)
Tour Dates & Prices

2019 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

Oct 29Oct 15Sep 3
Sep 24
Oct 1
Los Ang, San Fran$3,984$4,284$4,484
Port (OR), Seattle$4,184$4,484$4,684
Boston, Chicago,
New York, Phoenix,
Washington, DC
$4,284$4,584$4,784
Atlanta, Baltimore,
Charlotte, Cincinnati,
Cleveland, Dallas,
Denver, Detroit, Hou,
Miami, Minn, Orlando,
Philadelphia, Tampa
$4,384$4,684$4,884

Please call if your city is not listed or for land only prices. Prices are per person based on double occu­pancy in an outside cabin and include airline taxes, surcharges, and fees of $489, which are subject to change until final payment is made.

Single travelers please add $1,195. Your $375 deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days prior to departure. All 2019 tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.

Business Class upgrade (subject to availability) on round-trip Trans-Pacific flight: $3,795 per person

A visa is required for this tour. Odysseys Unlimited will provide information about visa requirements upon reservation.

Accommodations
    Wanda Vista Beijing Hotel, Beijing / Days 2-5 / Deluxe

    Close to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, the 417-room Wanda Vista Beijing Hotel was designed to display the strong cultural links between France and China. Hotel amenities include four restaurants, bar, and lounge; internet access; laundry and dry cleaning services; fitness center with massage and spa; and indoor pool. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

    Wyndham Grand Xian South, Xian / Days 6-7 / Deluxe

    The Wyndham Grand Xian South blends traditional Chinese architectural influences with upscale, contemporary style.  Its surroundings echo the hotel’s connections to history and modernity, as it stands within walking distance of the famous Giant Wild Goose Pagoda as well as a 24-hour shopping mall.  This contemporary-style hotel offers two restaurants and a lounge, fitness center with indoor heated pool, hot tub, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, laundry and dry cleaning services, and hair salon.  Air-conditioned guests rooms have private bath with hair dryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, in-room safe, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

    Victoria Cruises, Chongqing / Days 8-10 / Superior First Class

    With the largest fleet to ply the Yangtze, multilingual cruise directors, and informative river guides, Victoria Cruises offers a comprehensive Yangtze experience as the leader in Yangtze River cruising. Air-conditioned and carrying 218-378 passengers, the ships feature breakfast and lunch buffets and classic Chinese dinner banquets, reading room, fitness area, gift shop, and beauty salon. On-board activities include lectures on Chinese history and culture, Tai Chi lessons, calligraphy demonstrations, and traditional entertainment in the evening. Cabins all are outside, non-smoking, and 155 square feet with private bathroom with bathtub and shower, balcony, and satellite TV.

    Kunlun Jing An, Shanghai / Days 11-13 / Deluxe

    This 43-story hotel is located in the heart of Shanghai’s former French Concession within walking distance of the famous shopping areas of Nanjing Road and Huaihai Road and other attractions in the commercial and entertainment district. The 772-room Kunlun Jing An offers a variety of amenities, including eight restaurants and lounges, laundry/valet service, barbershop and beauty salon, gift shop, elevators, internet access, and safety deposit boxes. The hotel also has squash and tennis courts, a health club with fitness center, indoor pool, spa, sauna, steam bath, and massage service. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, sitting area, mini-bar, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

    Cordis, Hong Kong at Langham Place, Hong Kong / Extension / Deluxe

    Well located in the heart of Kowloon’s Mongkok neighborhood and surrounded by bustling markets and noodle shops, the contemporary Cordis, Hong Kong at Langham Place connects directly to both the Langham Place Mall and Mongkok subway station. The 665-room hotel features four restaurants, including Michelin-rated Ming Court; a bar; internet access; laundry and dry cleaning services; rooftop pool; fitness center with sauna and steam room; and full service spa. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, coffee-making facilities, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

Ratings are based on the Hotel & Travel Index, the travel industry standard reference.
Post-Tour Extension

Hong Kong – On Your Own

4 days/3 nights for $1,095 total price
Single Supplement: $455

Explore this dazzling Chinese city on your own: great shopping, a mouth-watering diversity of cuisine, and a vibrant city scene.

 

Your Tour Price Includes
  • Air transportation Shanghai/Hong Kong, inclusive of airline taxes and fees
  • 3 nights’ accommodations at Cordis, Hong Kong at Langham Place (Deluxe)
  • 3 meals: 3 breakfasts
  • Transfers to/from airport
Tour Directors for this Journey
George Geng

“George was just fantastic! He made sure that everything went perfectly and explained about local customs and peoples. He took care of all the details so all of our tours and transfers went seamlessly.”
Linda Swanson & John Seely
Lake Bluff, IL

Chen Guodong

“Chen was a superb tour director.”
Irwin Brodsky
Hackensack, NJ

Xu Huabiao

“Xu was excellent and friendly. Very good talking one-on-one and to the group.”
Joe Eskridge
Tryon, NC

Michael Song

“Michael was just the best. He treated us as individuals and catered to our every need. He was an excellent communicator and knowledgeable.”
Michael Field
Minneapolis, MN

Ping Wang

“Ping is outstanding. She always goes beyond what is expected. She is a wonderful representative of her country and your business.”
Margaret Alverson
Denison, TX

Jackie Zhang

“Jackie was warm, interesting, competent, attentive, smart, helpful, concerned, intelligent, and funny. He is the best!”
Gabrielle Rhodes Handler
Overland Park, KS

Vicki Zhang

“Vicki Zhang is an amazing tour guide. She is well-organized and made us feel very welcomed. She is extremely well-informed about past and present China. In short, she is delightful.”
Terry & Joe Fyne
Fullerton, CA

Mike Zhao

“Mike is one of the best tour directors I have had, he made miracles happen.”
Shirley Campbell
Pleasant Hill, CA

William Zhuang

“William could not have been more conscientious, concerned, involved, and helpful!! He was a joy to have each and every day!”
David & Joan Underwood
Evergreen, CO

Destination Insight

Suggested Reading

John Bryan Starr
Understanding China
A Yale professor’s essential primer on the history, politics and economy of China. A succinct and refreshingly forthright best-selling guide, this third edition brings us right up to date with events in the rapidly evolving nation.

Jung Chang
Wild Swans, Three Daughters of China
In this riveting tale of three generations spanning the end of Old China, Mao’s regime and the Japanese occupation, Chang chronicles the enormous changes in China since 1929.

Simon Winchester
The River at the Center of the World
With ease and grace, Winchester writes about the character of the Yangtze and the people and places along its banks. An absorbing portrait of the great river that flows through the heart of China.

Eyewitness Guides
Eyewitness Guide China
This hefty illustrated guide to sites, attractions and places throughout China features excellent maps and hundreds of color photographs and site diagrams.

National Geographic
China Adventure Map
A double-sided, full-color map of China, at a useful scale of 1:4,375,000, which shows roads and cities. Printed on tear- and water-resistant paper.

Richard Perry Hayman
Yangzi River Map
Double-sided, this full-color map guide features photos and ten maps showing the Yangzi from the Himalayas to the East China Sea.

Kathy Flower
Culture Smart! China
This is a handy guide to local customs, etiquette and culture.

Kevin Bishop
Odyssey Guide Xi’an, Shaanxi & the Terracotta Army
With color photographs, insightful essays on culture and history, site plans and places of interest in and around China’s ancient capital.

Geremie R. Barme, Mary Beard (Editor)
The Forbidden City
A compact, elegant volume in Harvard’s excellent Wonders of the World series, this pocket history illuminates the culture, mystique, architecture and politics of imperial Beijing. Fittingly, the book opens with Mao’s symbolic address from the Gate of Heavenly Peace.

Deirdre Chetham
Before the Deluge, The Vanishing World of the Yangtze’s Three Gorges
A vivid portrait of the Three Gorges region of the Upper Yangtze River, by the director of the Asia Center at Harvard. Chetham offers a personal, detailed glimpse into the daily life along the river, its spectacular natural beauty and checkered history, including recent efforts to tame it.

Evan Osnos
Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China
Longtime Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker Osnos considers China’s modern struggle: the conflict between a growing need for individualism and the Communist Party’s fight for conformity.

Julia Lovell
The Great Wall, China Against the World, 1000 BC – 2000 AD
The Who, Why and Wherefore of the Great Wall, this marvelous history demolishes myths (no, the wall is not a continuous structure of great antiquity, as much of it was built in the 1600s) with fresh insight and wit.

Louisa Lim
The People’s Republic of Amnesia, The Legacy of Tiananmen Square
NPR China correspondent Lim evaluates the impact of the Tiananmen Square Massacre through the interwoven stories of eight individuals involved in and shaped by the events of June 4th, 1989.

William Lindesay
The Terracotta Army of the First Emperor of China
A beautiful introduction to the extraordinary tomb of Qin Shi Huangdi, First Emperor of China, this concise visual overview features richly colored illustrations and photographs accompanied by detailed captions.

Jonathan Spence
Mao Zedong
Yale sinologist, writer and historian Spence tracks the life of the architect of the People’s Republic from his provincial upbringing to his savage three-decade rule.

Peter Hessler
River Town, Two Years on the Yangtze
Hessler’s compelling, personal story of life as a Peace Corps volunteer in Fuling, where foreigners are a curiosity, explores the culture, traditions and ideas of an isolated world.

John Hersey
A Single Pebble
A haunting novel by the Pulitzer Prize-winner. Hersey writes, with deceptive simplicity, of an American engineer looking for a dam site on the Yangtze. Think Hemingway on the Yangtze.

Kirk Denton (Editor)
China, A Traveler’s Literary Companion
An introduction both to China’s finest modern writers and its diverse cultures, concerns and landscapes, organized geographically.

Tash Aw
Five Star Billionaire
The celebrated Malaysian author brings his characters together in gritty, glamorous and very cosmopolitan 21st-century Shanghai to wheel and deal and make their fortunes. A harrowing piece of contemporary literature.

Amy Tan
The Valley of Amazement
Moving between the glittering world of courtesans in turn-of-the-century Shanghai, a remote Chinese village and the rough- hewn streets of nineteenth-century San Francisco, bestselling author Amy Tan’s long-awaited epic novel maps the lives of women connected by blood and history.

Henry Nicholls
The Way of the Panda
Nicholls, whose previous book was on the Galapagos tortoise, here turns to the panda as a powerful political and cultural symbol for modern China as well as for conservation.

Martin Walters
Chinese Wildlife
This compact introduction to birds, mammals, reptiles, insects and plants found from the Tibetan plateau to the deserts, tropical forests and mountains includes 200 color photographs.

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