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22 Day China Silk Road and Russia Waterways Tour 2020 (Tour Code: RCT) BUY NOW
  • GROUP TOURS
  • CUSTOMIZED TOURS
DESCRIPTION

This tour combines a China Silk Road tour with a Russia Waterways tour letting you explore the rich historical heritage of China and Russia and experience the lifestyles of the people in these two countries. In China, you will retrace the steps of Marco Polo along the Legendary Silk Road. See the preserved architectural splendours and explore the amazing artistic achievements of the incredible Buddhist cave art of Mogao Caves.While relaxing on a luxury cruise in Russia cruising along Moscow,Uglich, Yaroslavl, Goritsy, Kizhi, Mandrogui and St Petersburg, you will go on shore to visit many places of interest. This combined tour is an experience you will never forget.


13/05/2020-$6480, 26/08/2020-$6480
ITINERARY

Day 01: SYDNEY/MELBOURNE – GUANGZHOU  

Both Sydney and Melbourne passengers depart in the morning to Guangzhou, China on China Southern Airlines and arrive in the evening. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to the hotel. Stay overnight in Guangzhou.

 

Day 02: GUANGZHOU – URUMQI (B.D)

After breakfast, you will be transferred to airport for flight to Urumqi, capital city of Xinjiang province in China to start your China Silk Road tour. Both Sydney and Melbourne passengers will arrive in Urumqi in the afternoon. Upon arrival, you are met and transferred to the hotel. The rest of the day is for you to explore this city on your own.


Day 03: URUMQI (B.L.D)

A coach drive will take you to the Heavenly Lake located halfway to the top of the Bogda Peak. The deep-blue Heavenly Lake of Tianshan is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and covered with evergreen fir trees, which is a fascinating and wonderful sight one can have never seen elsewhere. A highlight today is a visit to local Kazakh family. You will be the guest in a Yurt sitting down having a chat with the warm-hearted Kazakh people, experiencing the authentic local life. Return to Urumqi. Stay overnight in Urumqi.

 

Day 04: URUMQI – DUNHUANG (B.L.D)

After breakfast, you are transferred to the train station for a train to Dunhuang, a famous passage on Silk Road. Dunhuang is considered by some to be the most wonderful section of the Silk Road tour. Well-known places here are the Mogao Grottoes, Sounding-sand Hill and the Crescent Spring. After arrival, proceed to Singing Sand Dunes, which is also called “Holy Hill”. The Hill is made up of colourful sand that looks like particles of grain. Sliding down on the sand from the top of the mountain makes a pleasant sound. At the beginning, it sounds like music from a stringed instrument and bamboo flute. The further down the person slides, the louder the sound is. Eventually the sound is like the performance of percussion section and drum. The friction between human body and the sand even makes a visible spark. When arriving at the bottom of Singing Sand Dunes, take a camel ride to climb up to the hill (at your own expense). You can slide down the sandy slopes. Another highlight of today’s tour is to visit the Crescent Spring, which is also called Sand Spring. The local people now also call it the “Medicine Spring”. The spring gets its name because it looks like a crescent.

 

Day 05: DUNHUANG (B.L.D)

In the morning, you will visit Yangguan Pass of the Great Wall. For years and years, the flowing dunes have eroded this pass into a broken beacon tower, standing alone in the boundless desert. Today's Yangguan Pass is not only a historic place of recalling the remote past, but also a hometown of tasty grapes. Come here, appreciate the beauty of the Great Wall, enjoy the natural view combined by oasis, desert and snow peaks, and taste the juicy fruits. Stay overnight in Dunhuang.


Day 06: DUNHUANG – TURPAN (B.L.D)

Today you will visit the Mogao Grottoes, one of the eight wonders of the world. On the way to Dunhuang, you will view the ruined portion of the Great Wall, which is traced back to Han Dynasty and the Beacon Tower on the Wall for relaying information of the warfare in the ancient time. Dunhuang Grottoes display a very colourful and descriptive world in the paintings of: Buddha, illustrations of Buddhist scriptures, the stories of ghosts on the earth, stories explaining the tenets of Buddhism, the development of Buddhist history, sacrificial ceremonies, and some paintings apparently just for decoration. There are seven different categories of paintings in these Grottoes. Many foreign visitors draw a conclusion that “it is certain that you will understand the ancient civilization of the whole world after you have seen Dunhuang Grottoes”.After that, you are transferred to train station to take a bullet train to Turpan, the Ancient city of Jiaohe, a famous historical city. Upon arrival, you are met and transferred to hotel. Dinner will be packed and eat on the train. Stay overnight in Turpan.


Day 07: TURPAN (B.L.D)

Turpan boasts China’s four most: highest temperature, lowest spot, sweetest grapes, and least rainfall. All of these make it possible for many miracles to happen in this area. You will visit the Flaming Mountains, which is 100 kilometres long from east to west, and 10 kilometres wide with an average height of 500 metres. The mountain of red sandstone is covered with visible signs of water erosion, and is devoid of any plant life. It is easy to recognize these mountains as they glow under the blazing sun. A special visit to the Grape Valley nestling on the western slopes of the Flaming Mountains will be arranged, where you will have a chance to call on a local family to experience the ethnic life style, while tasting the beautiful flavours of the Xinjiang fruits and enjoying the local minority songs and dances.

 

Day 08: TURPAN – URUMQI (B.L.D)

You will start with the Ancient Ruins of Jiaohe City, traced back to the later period of Western Han Dynasty. The city was completely abandoned in the Yuan Dynasty and the city of Jiaohe was left to ruin. Continue onto visit the ingenious Turpan Water system that created an oasis in the extraordinarily arid area of Turpan. This system covers 5,000 kilometres in length and it is one of the three greatest projects in ancient China as famous as the Great Wall and the Grand Canal.Drive back to Urumqi and visit the Xinjiang International Grand Bazaar the second biggest bazaar in the World. It is a magnificent commercial architectural complex embodied with a strong flavour of Islam. The Bazaar furnishes different kinds of goods made in Xinjiang as well as other neighbouring countries and offers all the ethnic food and handmade souvenirs you would anticipate. You can practice haggling with venders there. You will also visit Xinjiang Museum. After that, you are transferred to hotel in Urumqi. Enjoy a local banquet with Xinjiang specialty in the evening.

 

Day 09: URUMQI – ST PETERSBURG (B.L)

In the morning, you are free at leisure. Have a lunch at local restaurant. Then you will visit Xinjiang Museum. Afterwards, you are transferred to airport for your flight to St Petersburg to start your Russia Waterways tour. You will arrive in St Petersburg in the evening. Upon arrival, you are met and transferred to your hotel in St Petersburg.

Accommodation: 4* hotel in St Petersburg


Day 10: ST PETERSBURG (B.D)

Today enjoy a river and canals tours as well as a visit to Kazan Cathedral.

Accommodation: 4* hotel in St Petersburg

 

Day 11: ST PETERSBURG (B.D)

Today you are transferred to pier and embark on our cruise ship. You will have free time to have your good rest.

Accommodation: On board MS Crucelake**** or similar

 

Day 12: ST PETERSBURG (B.L.D)

St Petersburg is Russia’s cultural and historical treasure, one of the world’s most beautiful cities. It is known as Venice of the north, thanks to its numerous canals and hundreds of bridges. It can rightly be called a living museum – so many of its buildings are a part of Russia’s history. Today’s city tour includes the visit to Peter-and-Paul fortress and Hermitage Museum.

The Hermitage originally started as the private art collection of Catherine the Great. The art works are displayed in numerous halls, many of which are works of art in themselves. You will have your lunch in the city.

*Bus city tour: Nevsky Prospect, Palace Square, Vassilievsky Island, University Embankment, St. Isaac's cathedral (NOTE: Outside view!), Palace Embankment, Church of the Spilled Blood cathedral (NOTE: Outside view!), St Peter & Paul Fortress with visit of the Peter & Paul Cathedral (visit inside), cruiser Aurora (outside view). 

Accommodation: On board MS Crucelake**** or similar

 

Day 13: MANDROGUI (B.L.D)

Mandrogui is the name of a small village that has no architectural wonders, giant castles or churches. You will however discover the unique style and architecture of the northern tribes that have occupied these lands for centuries. Here among the beautiful landscapes of this peaceful place we will have Russian famous shashlik (meat kebab) made on the grill. You will have free time to stroll around the town and buy some souvenirs, before returning to the ship. Whilst cruising on board the ship, you will experience live music concerts, a Russian language course, Russian song lessons, dancing music in bars nightly and the Captain’s bridge tour.   

Accommodation: On board MS Crucelake**** or similar


Day 14: KIZHI (B.L.D)

Arrive at Kizhi Island in the morning. Kizhi is the name of a unique island located on Lake Onega. In the centre of the island stands the amazing Transfiguration Church. This wooden church and its 22 domes are said to be built without a single nail. In fact, originally, the Transfiguration Church was located in another place. The Bolsheviks, who had little, if no, respect for religion, had some respect for its architectural value. So they decided to move this unique church as far from the major cities and people as possible, to distant Kizhi Island. You will devote this day on the island to the open-air museum of wooden architecture

Accommodation: On board MS Crucelake**** or similar


Day 15: GORITSY (B.L.D)

Goritsy is famous for the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery (1937). This monastery’s strong walls and bastions were used by some nobles as a safe house during the Time of Trouble. The Polish Armies stormed it, but never succeeded capturing it. Unfortunately, the monastery was not successful in repelling the attacks of other invaders four centuries later. The Bolsheviks closed the monastery in the early 20th century and sent its monks to the prison camps. On your walking tour around the small town you will go inside the local Monastery of Saint Cyril on the White Lake, an exceptional Museum of icons.

Accommodation: On board MS Crucelake**** or similar


Day 16: UGLICH (B.L.D)

Uglich is a small town located on the Volga River. It is most famous for the tragic events that took place in 1591, when the 10 years old Prince Dimitry, the last heir to the thrown of the ancient Ruyrik Dynasty, was killed here. Historians now agree that he was killed by Boris Godunov, adviser to Dimitry, who wanted the throne to himself. Dimitry’s death plunged Russia into decades of political turmoil known as the Time of Trouble.

You will discover the town on a walking tour with a visit to the Kremlin, Transfiguration Cathedral, and the Church of Saint Dimitry on the Blood.

Accommodation: On board MS Crucelake**** or similar

 

Day 17: MOSCOW (B.D) 

Arrive in Moscow this morning. Moscow is Russia’s largest city; it’s political and economic capital. Through bribes, diplomacy and coercion, Moscow overcame its two rival principalities to become Russia’s first city. Moscow’s role was briefly challenged when Tsar Peter the Great moved the capital to his new city Saint Petersburg, on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Today’s city bus tour includes Kremlin with the visit to one Cathedral.

*Bus city tour: Leningradsky Avenue, Tverskaya Street, Teatralny passage, Lubyanka, KGB Building, Manez Sq., Red Square (free time): GUM, Historical Museum Resurrection gate, Kazan Church, Intercession Chathedral, Lower trade stalls, Kremlin Towers: Savious, Tsar's, St. Nicolas, senate, mausoleum, cathedral of Christ the Saviour (passing by), NOTE: Sparrow Hills are not visited! 

Accommodation: On board MS Crucelake**** or similar

 

Day 18: MOSCOW (B.D)

You will be first transferred to hotel. You will enjoy Moscow Metro tour and have a stop in Arbat Street for some free time to stroll around.

Accommodation: 4* hotel in Moscow


Day 19: ST PETERSBURG (B.L.D)

Today you are free to explore St Petersburg by yourself. Take the Peterhof (lower park only) walking tour to the Grand Cascade with Samson Fountain, Greenhouse, Roman Fountains, Chessboard Hill Cascade, trick fountains, Monplaisir Palace. You may take part in the optional Rivers & Canals tour in the afternoon.

Accommodation:  On board

 

Day 19: MOSCOW – GUANGZHOU (B)

You are at leisure until disembarking the cruise and then transfer to airport to take your flight to Guangzhou, China and fly overnight.


Day 20: GUANGZHOU (D)

You arrive in Guangzhou in the morning. Upon arrival, you are met and transferred to hotel for the night. You will have a free afternoon for rest.

 

Day 21: GUANGZHOU – SYDNEY/MELBOURNE (B.D)

After breakfast, check out of hotel and start an orientation city tour including Chen Clan Temple, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall and Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street for some last minute shopping. Afterwards you are transferred to restaurant for an early dinner before transfer to airport for your flight homeward to Australia. Fly overnight. 

 

Day 22: SYDNEY/MELBOURNE

Arrive in Sydney or Melbourne in the morning. Your unforgettable China Silk Road and Russia Waterways tour ends.


Departure Date: 13 May and 26 August 2020 

Tour price: *$7,280, now $6,480 per person, twin or double share for hotels and twin share for cabin.


Single supplement: $1,469

Note: The departure date is subject to the date of cruise.


Tour price includes:

1. China Southern Airlines economy class ticket: Sydney or Melbourne – Guangzhou – Urumqi – St Petersburg//Moscow – Guangzhou – Sydney or Melbourne;

2. Airport tax and fuel surcharge (currently $780, subject to change). 

3. All accommodation, mainly 4-star hotels in China;

4. All the sightseeing tours with entrance fees as indicated in the itinerary; 

5. A 8-day river cruise between St. Petersburg and Moscow including all port taxes in a twin shared cabin of Main Deck on Motorship «Moonlight Sonata»; 

6. All transfer and transport; 

7. Many meals as mentioned in the itinerary; 

8. Bullet train tickets in China for Urumqi – Dunhuang – Turpan;

9. Russia visa support letter.

 

Tour price excludes:

1. Travel insurance;

2. Russia visa fee (currently $210, subject to change) and China visa (single entry, currently $120, subject to change);

3. Tips to guides and drivers ($8 per person per day in China and 10EUR per person per day in Russia);

4. Personal expenses;

5. Any services or meals not mentioned in the itinerary. 

 

Motorship «Crucelake» is the four-deck vessel built in Germany. All cabins of the ship are with private facilities (shower, toilet), hairdryer, refrigerator, satellite TV, radio and air conditioning. The passenger capacity of this ship is 248 passengers.


 


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