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Beijing to Hong Kong: A Connoisseur's China

Program Number: 21573RJ
Start and End Dates:
3/28/2015 - 4/11/2015;
Duration: 14 nights
Location: China
Price starting at: $4,060.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises
Meals: 38; 13 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches, 13 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

China offers many centuries’ worth of treasures to discover. Experience them through expert-led field trips and independently on this voyage from Beijing to Hong Kong. Multiple-day visits to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong allow you the opportunity to absorb the scope and beauty of these fascinating cities. Onboard the ship, join your Road Scholar group for expert lectures that delve deep into the history, culture and religions of China.




Activity Particulars

You must be able to handle your own luggage, get on and off a motor coach, walk a few blocks and climb a few stairs. You may choose shore excursions that are more physically demanding.



Programs with Crystal Cruises are designed for the independent traveler. These programs offer a lower base activity level and the option to add shore excursions based on your interests and physical ability. Road Scholar will provide three exclusive field trips and private onboard lectures with our own study leader.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Beijing (China), 3 nights; aboard Crystal Symphony, 10 nights.



Day 1: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.


Days 2-5: Arrival Beijing (China) / coach to Tianjin / embark Crystal Symphony:

Set foot in the Forbidden City, ride a rickshaw through narrow alleys, walk on the Great Wall, visit the Temple of Heaven and more during three days of expert-led field trips in Beijing. Lodging: Centrally located four-star hotel.



Day 6: Yantai:

Go ashore in Shandong province, the birthplace of Confucius and also a center of Buddhism and Taoism. In the Chinese culinary world, Yantai is known for outstanding seafood and red wines.



Days 7-10: At Sea / Shanghai:

Continue down the coast for three days in Shanghai, the buzzing metropolis at the mouth of the Yangtze River. Highlights include the Bund, a waterfront promenade lined with elegant buildings, and Yu Garden, created by the Ming Dynasty in the 16th century.



Days 11-12: At Sea / Xiamen:

Sail south to this port city on the Taiwan Strait. You might venture into the scenic countryside surrounding the city or take a short ferry ride to the car-free island of Gulangyu, where you’ll find lovely Victorian architecture.



Days 13-15: Hong Kong / disembark / departure:

Enjoy two days to explore Hong Kong independently or on shore excursions of your choice. You may wish to take the iconic ferry to Hong Kong Island, where you can venture to Victoria Peak by tram.



Crystal Symphony

This sleek 781-foot ocean liner is one of the most spacious at sea. It accommodates 940 passengers for whom it provides a spa, fitness facility, two pools, Jacuzzis and inspired dining options, including a restaurant, café and outdoor grill. Complimentary fine wines and premium spirits are available to you throughout the voyage.


China

From the opening of the Silk Road in the 1st Century BC, marking the beginning of trade between Central Asia and the burgeoning empires in the West, China has inspired global evolution. Six millennia of calligraphy, music, and dance emerged from the behemoth land during a dozen dynasties marked by conflicts of religion, power, and territory. Ruling emperors gave way to Communism and to Modern China, home to a fifth of the world’s population.



Meals and Lodgings
   Qianmen Jianguo Hotel
  Beijing, China 3 nights
   Crystal Symphony
  Crystal Symphony, At Sea 6 nights
   Qianmen Jianguo Hotel
  Crystal Symphony, At Sea 1 night
   Crystal Symphony
  Crystal Symphony, At Sea 3 nights
 Qianmen Jianguo Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: With its unique style of architecture, the hotel was listed in the Conservation List of Excellent Modern Architectures in Beijing in 2007. Enjoy the combination of centuries old Chinese culture and European style architecture. The hotel is about a 10 minute walk to Tiananmen Square.
  Contact info: 175, Yong an Road Xuan Wu District
Beijing,   China
phone: +86 10 630 166 88
web: www.qianmenhotel.com/en/index.html
  Room amenities: Phone, WiFi, TV, refrigerator, safe, A/C, 220 volt power socket
  Facility amenities: Business center, restaurants, bar, sauna, massage
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBD Contact Road Scholar Travel Services for rates and bookings.

 Crystal Symphony
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: With her sleek silhouette and shimmering elegance, the legendary Crystal Symphony finds a natural home in the world's most glamorous harbors and idyllic ports of call. Generous per-passenger space ratios have become a Crystal trademark, along with forward-facing observation decks, a Palm Court lounge, and a wide teak promenade encircling the ship. A makeover in 2006 refreshed the Bistro Café and shops, reconstructed the casino and Starlite Lounge, and added a new nightclub called Luxe. An even more extensive refurbishment in 2009 transformed the Crystal Penthouses, Lido Café, and Prego Italian restaurant. Accented by a lovely waterfall, the focal point of the central two-deck atrium is a sculpture of two ballet dancers created especially for the space. Crystal Cove, the lobby lounge, is the spot to meet for cocktails as you make your way to the nearby dining room. Throughout the ship, public rooms shine with low-key contemporary style and flow easily from one to the next.
  Ship Information: Ship's Registry: The Bahamas 781 feet long x 99 feet wide 51,044 gross registered tons 20 knots cruising speed 21 knots maximum speed 922 passengers capacity An international crew of 545 with 40 countries represented European-trained hotel and dining staff
  Contact info: 2049 Century Park East, Suite 1400
Los Angeles, CA 1400 USA
phone: 310-785-9300
web: www.crystalcruises.com
  Room amenities: Cabins: There are no inside cabins on Crystal Symphony. Still, relatively small stateroom sizes are cozy and chic with boutique-hotel-style decor. All cabins have ample closet and drawer/shelf storage, as well as bathroom shelves. Many have private balconies furnished with chairs and tables. Most suites and penthouses have a walk-in closet. Crystal Penthouse suites have guest powder rooms. Amenities: Rich wood cabinetry, 100% Eygyptian cotton sheets, feather beds and plush duvets, wood and padded hangers, a small refrigerator filled with complimentary bottled water and soft drinks, a personal safe, two hair dryers, a flat-screen TV with a DVD player, and a sitting area with sofa, chair, and table are typical standard features in all cabins. Suite and penthouse extras vary, but all have a DVD/CD player, butler service, personalized stationery, and stocked minibars with wine, beer, and choice of liquor. Bathrooms: Every bathroom has oval glass sinks, granite counters, a full-size tub, Aveda toiletries, plush towels, and bathrobes for use during the cruise. Many suites and penthouses have a whirlpool tub and separate shower.
  Facility amenities: Public spaces have a sophisticated and contemporary feel with fine Italian and French fabrics, Axminster wool carpets, oriental rugs, teak deck furniture and English mohair lap blankets. 8 passenger decks, 2 specialty restaurants, dining room, buffet, ice cream parlor, Wi-Fi, safe, refrigerator, minibar (some), DVD, 1 pool, Fitness classes, gym, hair salon, 1 hot tub, sauna, spa, steam room, 5 bars, casino, cinema, dance club, library, dry-cleaning, laundry facilities, laundry service, Internet terminal, library
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program starts on Day 2 at the program hotel in Beijing with a welcome orientation. You will be staying at Qianmen Jianguo Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends on Day 15 after breakfast on board the ship in Hong Kong. You will be staying at Crystal Symphony the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. **IMPORTANT INFORMATION** All participants MUST register online with Crystal Cruises. To register go to checkin.crystalcruises.com to access the Priority Check-in and Planning Center. To log in, you need type in your first/last names as they appear on your passport and your booking number (which appears on your cruise confirmation or can be obtained from Road Scholar). You will need to enter your contact and passport information in order to register. Once registered you will be able to book excursions and on-board activities (such as specialty dining, spa appointments, etc). If you did not recieve a booking number, please call us at 1.866.359.5966. For more information on using the Priority Check-in & Planning Center please see the attachment at the end of this booklet. Proof of citizenship is required for ALL guests.
  Parking availability:
N/A
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Beijing
  Nearest airport:  Capital Airport
  Transportation to site: Transfers will be provided from the Beijing airport to the program hotel for all participants who arrange their air travel through Road Scholar, and are arriving on Day 2 of the program. There will be one designated group transfer, which Program Only Participants (POPS) may join if the flight times coincide with your arrival flights. The group transfer time will be confirmed in your final program materials sent approximately 5 weeks prior to the program. Participants who are arranging their own flights should arrive in Beijing no later than 4:00 pm.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Crystal Symphony
  Transportation from site: There will be one departure transfer from the port in Hong Kong to the airport on the morning of Day 15. Program Only Participants may join this transfer as long as it coincides with your flight departure times. The group transfer time will be confirmed in your final program materials sent approximately 5 weeks prior to the program. Flights may depart at any time on Day 15
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Depart North America
(Saturday, March 28)
   
 Depart From: Depart on overnight flight to Beijing.

Day 2: Arrival to Beijing / Program Orientation
(Sunday, March 29)
   
 Arrive To: Arrive at Beijing International Airport where your Group Leader will meet you. After check-in and a short rest, get together for a Welcome Meeting at your hotel. For those making your own international travel arrangements, meet your Program Leader at 6 pm – the program starting time – in the lobby of your hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner at the program hotel.
   
Accommodations: Qianmen Jianguo Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Beijing / Forbidden City
(Monday, March 30)

Note: The Forbidden City will require some walking and uneven walkways.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Take a pedicab ride though Beijing hutongs, "old Beijing" neighborhoods. Though these "hutongs" are rapidly disappearing, this neighborhood near Beihai Park still retains traditional courtyard homes and customs.
 Lunch: Lunch is hosted by a courtyard family in a neighborhood of hutongs (residential lanes and alleys).
 Afternoon: Explore the Forbidden City. This 250-acre imperial compound once was the residence and seat of the Qing Emperors and forbidden to all others.
 Dinner: Enjoy a Beijing specialty at a welcome banquet in a Peking Duck restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Qianmen Jianguo Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: The Great Wall of China
(Tuesday, March 31)

Note: Walking up to 1 mile at the Great Wall.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Travel outside of Beijing city to a green mountain range where you can walk the Great Wall and experience spectacular views of the Wall winding its way up and down the distant mountains.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Transfer back to Beijing with a photo stop at Tiananmen Square.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: Join your national guide for a discussion of contemporary Chinese issues.
   
Accommodations: Qianmen Jianguo Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Temple of Heaven / Embark the Crystal Symphony
(Wednesday, April 1)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: At the Temple of Heaven, a 15th century architectural masterpiece, walk its encircling park and enjoy the activities of local people practicing calligraphy, tai chi, musical instruments, dancing, or flying kites. Then experience the majesty of the Temple itself, built as a symbol of the relationship between heaven and earth.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Transfer to embark the Crystal Symphony for 10 nights.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Yantai, China
(Thursday, April 2)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: INDEPENDENT EXPLORATION: If you care to do some wine tasting, you are in luck. Because happily, and somewhat surprisingly, Yantai is known for red wine. Zhangyu Red Wine has been produced in the region for more than one hundred years and has long been earning accolades for its quality. For wine enthusiasts, a visit to the Changyu Wine Museum, located in the former home of the Changyu Wine Company, is a must, as it offers the chance to hear about the area’s traditions in winemaking and taste a few vintages. Other temptations for the palate come from the sea; Yantai is famous for abalone, scallops, crabs and prawns. Treats for the eye are just as readily enjoyed, with picturesque scenes of rivers, hills and beaches unfolding in and around the city. Especially inspiring views can be savored from the peak of nearby Yantaishan Mountain, an officially designated scenic area.
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship. Some Crystal shore excursions may include lunch.
 Afternoon: Independent exploration continues
 Dinner: Group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room and review of tomorrow's itinerary and options.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Cruising the Yellow Sea
(Friday, April 3)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: Join your study leader for a morning lecture.
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Join your study leader for aan afternoon lecture.
 Dinner: Group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room and review of tomorrow's itinerary and options.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Shanghai, China
(Saturday, April 4)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: INDEPENDENT EXPLORATION: Choose from a variety of Crystal's shore excursion and explore Shanghai on your own. Shanghai, located just inside the mouth of the great Yangtze River, marks the point where Asia's longest and most important river completes its 3,400-mile journey to the Pacific. The city's unique location is the source of its existence and has determined what it is today. Until 1842, Shanghai was merely a tiny fishing village. Following the first Opium War, Shanghai became a treaty port, which opened the city to foreign influence and resulted in the development of numerous British, French and American colonial settlements within the city and along the Yangtze River.
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, or the Trident Grill.
 Afternoon: Continue your independent exploration of Shanghai.
 Dinner: Group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room and review of tomorrow's itinerary and options.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Shanghai, China
(Sunday, April 5)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: Independent exploration of Shanghai continues.
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship. Some Crystal shore excursions may include lunch.
 Afternoon: Independent exploration of Shanghai.
 Dinner: Group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room and review of tomorrow's itinerary and options.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Shanghai, China
(Monday, April 6)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Independent exploration of Shanghai continues
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Independent exploration of Shanghai continues. The ship is scheduled to depart the port at 5:00 pm.
 Dinner: Group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room and review of tomorrow's itinerary and options.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Cruising the Yellow Sea
(Tuesday, April 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Join your study leader for a morning lecture
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, or the Trident Grill
 Afternoon: Join your study leader for an afternoon lecture
 Dinner: Group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room and review of tomorrow's itinerary and options.
   
Accommodations: Qianmen Jianguo Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Xiamen, China
(Wednesday, April 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: INDEPENDENT EXPLORATION: Looking out over the Taiwan Strait, Xiamen has long been an active port city, used as a base to defend against pirates during the Ming Dynasty and a hub for tea exportation in the 19th century. Today, Xiamen is the gateway to the culture and scenery of south China, with ancient temples, excellent universities and inviting beaches. A short ferry cruise from Xiamen sits the island of Gulangyu, a favorite retreat for the locals. Should you visit the island, you will likely investigate its sights via electromobile, as there are no gas-powered vehicles on the island. This, along with beautiful vistas and interesting architecture, lends Gulangyu its unique appeal.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Independent exploration continues.
 Dinner: Group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room and review of tomorrow's itinerary and options.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Hong Kong, China
(Thursday, April 9)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: INDEPENDENT EXPLORATION: Although Hong Kong has returned to its original Chinese roots, it still remains a cosmopolitan city with influences, languages and accents from around the world. Here East meets West and the result is electric. Soaring skyscrapers rise from the hills and harbor, blending geography and nature with commercial concrete, steel and pulsating neon in a way that brings traditional Chinese culture and Western-style commerce into perfect harmony. The bustling city streets are lined with teeming markets and sophisticated boutiques tucked tightly into any available crevice. Some of the world's best shopping is found in Central, located on Hong Kong Island and only a short ferry ride away.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Independent exploration continues.
 Dinner: Group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room and review of tomorrow's itinerary and options.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Hong Kong
(Friday, April 10)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Independent exploration in Hong Kong continues.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Independent exploration continues.
 Dinner: Group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room and review of tomorrow's itinerary and options. Y
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Hong Kong / Disembark ship / Transfer to airport
(Saturday, April 11)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Transfer to the airport for your return flight home.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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