At a glance
28 Day rail & cruise on Westerdam, Holland America from £3,750 pp incl. flights
Departure 01 February 2020 | China, South Korea & Japan Rail & Cruise
- Huangshan Mountain
- At Sea
- At Sea
- At Sea
- Jeju Island
- At Sea
China, South Korea & Japan Rail & Cruise
Excluisve Rail and Cruise Tailor-made holiday
- Complimentary UK airport lounge access
- Flights between London and Beijing
- 12 nights accommodation in typically 4* (Superior) hotels on a B&B basis
- First class train tickets between Beijing-Huangshan, Huangshan-Hangzhou & Hangzhou-Shanghai
- Private round trip transfers to/from railway stations and city hotels
- Private sightseeing including lunch, highlights include: The forbidden city & Summer Palace in Beijing, Rickshaw rides, visit a traditional village and local family, take in the mountain peaks of the Huangshan scenic areas, temples and Tea plantations.
Includes on board:
- Meals in the Main Dining Room, Lido Restaurant, 24 hour in-room dining & Terrace Grill
- Entertainment and Activities
- Club HAL for children 3 - 17 years
- Library Facilities for books, DVD hire & board games
- Access to Explorations Central™ (EXC™) - an immersive onboard programing designed to make the journey more engaging, vivid and meaningful
- Transfer from ship to airport
- Flight from Shanghai to UK
Recently updated with new bar, entertainment and dining venues, plus completely reimagined suites, Westerdam is a fascinating destination in her own right. On board, enjoy live entertainment with Music Walk™, including Lincoln Center Stage, B.B. King’s Blues Club and Billboard Onboard. Learn culinary skills at a cooking show or hands-on workshop with America’s Test Kitchen. Enrich your travel experience at the new Exploration Central atop the ship.
Travel first-class on hi-speed trains from Beijing to Shanghai before embarking on your cruise to explore some of East Asia's most treasured landmarks.
Day by day itinerary
Make the most of your complimentary airport lounge access before boarding your overnight flight to China.
Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to the Capital Hotel for a 3-day stay on a B&B basis, before enjoying a programme of private tours, including visits to Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the imperial Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven and the Great Wall.
Check out of the hotel and take your private transfer to the railway station to board the first of your first-class train rides, sweeping through the Chinese landscapes to Huangshan. Enjoy a private tour of its historic centre, where cobbled streets and ancient architecture date back to the 13th-century. Check in to the Parkview Hotel for an overnight stay.
After your included breakfast, enjoy a private tour of the great “Yellow Mountain”. Start with UNESCO-listed Hongcun village, admiring its thousand-year charms on a bike ride around the lake, before a visit to a local family. Your private guide will escort you up into the mountains with a cable-car ride, admiring such stunning viewpoints as “Fairy Maiden Peak” and “A Monkey Gaping at the Sea of Cloud”.
Finally transfer to the Shilin Hotel with its gorgeous mountain views.
Enjoy the sunrise over the mountains, before taking your private tour to the village of Lingshan, famous for its bamboo houses, canals and its “Ancient Water Street” comprising of three miles of blue flagstone. Next, drive to Tangmo, an historic stone village where you will stay at a charming 100-year-old residence, the Gites de France.
Discover Tangmo village today, with its thousand-year-old lanes uncovering hidden pavilions and quaint water-side houses. Learn some traditional papercraft and make your own stone-tablet rubbings before private transfers will take you on your first-class trip to Hangzhou, where you’ll check into the Sunny Hotel for a 2-night stay on a B&B basis.
Today, you’ll see just why historic Hangzhou has long been popular with artist’s, taking in its willow-lined lake followed by a serene cruise before visiting at its hidden pagodas and temples – ranked among the country’s most sacred, all brought to life by your expert private guide.
Visit the rolling Dragon Well Tea Plantation before heading on a walk through the green countryside to Yellow Dragon Cave’s rock formations. A stop at a traditional Chinese medicine shop will then see you on to your last train sprint to Shanghai. Here, you’ll be met at the station by a private driver and brought to your hotel, the Sunrise on the Bund.
With two full days in Shanghai, your private tour will showcase both its megacity skyscrapers and hidden charms. Visit the Shanghai Museum, the exotic Yu Garden and the ornate Jade Buddha Temple. Also visit Suzhou – an ancient town famed for its pretty waterways and enjoy a cruise along its Grand Canal.
Shanghai is a city of two faces. It is home to some of the world’s tallest skyscrapers, miles of luxury goods shops, and scores of trendy bars and restaurants. But look just beyond the main streets and you’ll find narrow alleyways packed with traditional lane houses, where laundry billows from bamboo poles, and local communities are alive and well.Shanghai has always been China’s most Westernized city. In its heyday, Shanghai had the best nightlife, the greatest architecture, and the strongest business in Asia. Nearly a century later, after extreme tumult and political upheaval, it’s back on top.Shanghai’s charm lies not in a list of must-see sites, but in quiet, tree-lined streets, the Bund’s majestic colonial buildings, sweet boutiques, and a dizzying array of places to eat and drink, from literal hole-in-the-walls to celebrity chef restaurants.Today, Shanghai has nearly 24 million people, the skyscrapers keep getting taller, the metro keeps getting longer, and the historical buildings continue to evade the wrecking ball.
Check out of your hotel and take your included transfer to theport to embark the ship. Spend a further 2 days on board docked in the city, allowing plenty of time to explore and to sample the vibrant nightlife.
The city of Qingdao (Green Island) in China's Shandong Province is renowned for its wonderfully temperate climate, array of popular beaches and scenic nearby mountain ranges. A mix of modern and traditional architecture and public art, such as the large red May Wind sculpture in May Fourth Square, makes the streets a joy to stroll. There’s culture aplenty, too, from the Museum of Marine Products, an aquarium that houses hundreds of fascinating specimens and living sea creatures in an exhibition hall and aquarium, and the Naval Museum, which charts the development of the Chinese navy.The shops sell everything from shell carvings and pearl necklaces to antiques and electronics, while the restaurant scene is impressively global but excels at seafood, particularly fresh oysters, clams and lobster. There are also celebrations aplenty—including an international beer festival and a summer beach festival—and for relaxation, look no further than the nearby wide beaches, famous for their soft sand and sparkling waters.
The Dalian you see today, an important Asian trading port on China’s northeast coast, not far from North Korea, grew from a small fishing village and was shaped enormously by three powers that ruled the city over the course of the 20th century: Russia from 1898 to 1905, Japan from 1905 until the end of World War II and, after the city was liberated by Soviet troops, China. At first glance, Dalian looks like many other Chinese cities—sprawling and industrialized. But look a bit closer and you’ll notice its pleasant seaside promenades, lush green spaces like Labor Park (particularly lovely during cherry-blossom season) and grand historic buildings, including those on Russian Street and the Art Nouveau Yamato Hotel. Beyond its historic and cultural sites, Dalian’s seaside location makes it one of the best places in China to enjoy fresh seafood. When you are ready for a break from exploring the city, head to one of Dalian’s many restaurants and you’ll see families, couples hand in hand and groups of friends tucking into seafood feasts and sipping Tsingtao beer, a legacy of German rule in Qingdao, some 400 kilometers (250 miles) to the south.
Fukuoka, Kyushu's largest city, was once two separate entities: Fukuoka in the west and the merchant area of Hakata to the east. Joined together in 1889, the contemporary city—population 1.5 million—has a lively, modern atmosphere, an array of impressive architecture by international starchitects, including Rem Koolhaas, César Pelli, Emilio Ambasz and Aldo Rossi, and a number of cultural attractions and museums such as the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum. Modern developments like Canal City—a mixed-use complex designed by American Jon Jerde that contains hotels, cinemas, restaurants and shops—lend the city space a futuristic air, as does the striking 234-meter (768-foot) Fukuoka Tower, which is covered in mirrored glass and has an observation deck. On the historical side, sites like the Kushida Shrine and the ruins of Fukuoka Castle offer traditional and cultural insights. The pond in the center of Ōhori, Fukuoka's largest park, was once part of Fukuoka Castle's moat, and you'll find gardens, a zoo, an amusement park and a car museum in Uminonakamichi Seaside Park.
Jeju, formerly Cheju, may not be familiar to most Americans, but for Korean travelers the country’s largest island and home to one of 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites is a popular destination. The island is roughly the size of Maui and has much in common with the Hawaiian islands. Like them, it is a volcanic island—it first emerged from the sea some two million years ago and the volcano Hallasan, which reaches a height of 1,950 meters, is the tallest peak in South Korea. It also shares the mild subtropical climate of Hawaii—even in winter, temperatures rarely drop below freezing—and offers a similar broad range of activities whether in the warm ocean water or exploring the island’s interior on well-marked and maintained trails.
Jeju has long been known as the "Island of Gods" after a legendary lost race from whom the island’s inhabitants are said to have descended. Perhaps this history helps explain the super-human feats of the haenyeo, women divers who harvest abalone from the sea floor without the use of scuba gear. Remarkable giants can still be spotted here with humpback and orca whales common in this part of the East China Sea.