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25 January 2016, 00:00

Celebrate the Year of the Monkey on Saga’s 17-night Grand Tour of China

* See the Terracotta Warriors
* Enjoy a 4-day cruise on the Yangtze
* Explore Beijing and Shanghai
* Visit the Great Wall
* Jump on a bullet train and visit the panda breeding centre in Chengdu

It’s the Year of the Monkey and Saga guests can immerse themselves in the treasures of bygone dynasties, cosmopolitan cities and natural wonders during a 17-night Grand Tour of China which includes a four-night cruise on the Yangtze River.

The escorted tour begins with a two-night stay in the metropolis of Shanghai before guests fly to Yichang to meet river cruise ship Victoria Anna to sail along the Yangtze. The sailing includes passing the Three Gorges, an area of dramatic granite cliffs, caverns and farmland valleys. The Three Gorges Dam, a wonder of hydroelectric engineering, is another highlight on this comprehensive tour.

Guests sail in comfort on the 266-passenger river cruise ship which is well-equipped with air conditioning, two restaurants, three bars and two lounges, a library, fitness room and beauty salon.

To see the Goddess Stream, a beautiful tributary of the Yangtze, guests embark a smaller boat before Victoria Anna sails on to Chongqing where guests stay for two nights to view the UNESCO-protected 7th century Dazu rock carvings and the Hongya Cave stilted buildings.

A ride on the bullet train to Chengdu is next on the itinerary and a two-night stay includes the opportunity to visit a panda breeding centre which is devoted to increasing the population of giant pandas and other endangered animals.

Guests later head off the beaten track to discover the ancient city ruins of Sanxingdui, probably once the largest city in south China, dating to the Bronze Age. Next, there’s a relaxing cruise along the Li River, sailing past jagged limestone peaks and bamboo groves to Yangshuo.

The tour continues to Guilin Fubo Hill Park, on the west bank of the Li, to visit a tea plantation before a flight to Xi'an for a two-night stay. Here, the 8,000-strong Terracotta Army awaits; discovered in 1974 by farmers digging a well, the sculptures depict the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. They were buried with the emperor in 210-209 BCE to protect him in his afterlife.

Before flying to Beijing, guests visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, built in 652AD to store scriptures brought back from India. On arrival in Beijing, a three-night stay offers ample time to visit Tian'anmen Square and the vast Forbidden City, former home to the imperial palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

Saga’s Grand Tour of China ends at the ultimate tourist attraction, The Great Wall, which provides a suitably memorable end to this special holiday in the Year of the Monkey.


For details call free on 0800 414 383 or visit

17 nights from £2929 departing London Heathrow from April 26, May 10, June 21, July 19, August 2, September 6, 13, October 11, 25 and November 8, 2016. Price includes VIP door-to-door chauffeur service, all flights, airport taxes, accommodation, most meals, porterage, tour manager, tourist visa, travel insurance or a discount if passenger has own insurance cover.

There is a Singles only departure available on August 23, 2016

Editors: Chinese New Year and The Year of the Monkey begins on February 8.

Saga Holidays offer a variety of Long-Haul, European and UK destinations, exclusively available for people aged 50 and over. All Saga holidays include welcome drink, porterage of luggage and cancellation cover, VIP door to door travel service is also included on all long haul holidays and now on selected European escorted tours.

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