Cruise offer

Excluisve Rail and Cruise Tailor-made holiday

China, South Korea & Japan Rail & Cruise

28 Day rail & cruise from £3,750 pp incl. flights  

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Holland America 28 Day rail & cruise on Westerdam, Holland America from £3,750 pp incl. flights  

Departure 01 February 2020 | China, South Korea & Japan Rail & Cruise


  • Beijing
  • Huangshan
  • Huangshan Mountain
  • Tangmo
  • Hangzhou
  • Shanghai
  • At Sea
  • Qingdao
  • At Sea
  • Tianjin
  • Dalian
  • At Sea
  • Fukuoka
  • Busan
  • Jeju Island
  • Nagasaki
  • At Sea
  • Shanghai

China, South Korea & Japan Rail & Cruise

from £3,750 pp incl. flights
Cruise offer
Excluisve Rail and Cruise Tailor-made holiday

Includes pre-cruise:

  • 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

Includes post-cruise:

  • 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.

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Day by day itinerary

Day 1 — Depart UK to Beijing

Make the most of your complimentary airport lounge access before boarding your overnight flight to China.

Day 2 to 5 — Beijing
The Summer Palace, Beijing

The Summer Palace, Beijing

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.

Day 6 — Beijing to Huangshan

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.

Day 7 — Huangshan Mountain

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.

Day 8 — Huangshan Mountain to Tangmo

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.

Day 9 — Tangmo to Hangzhou

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.

Day 10 — Hangzhou

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.

Day 11 — Hangzhou to Shanghai
Jade Buddha Temple, Shanghai, China

Jade Buddha Temple, Shanghai, China

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.

Day 12 to 13 — Shanghai

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.

Day 14 to 15 — Shanghai
Jade Buddha Temple, Shanghai, China

Jade Buddha Temple, Shanghai, China

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.

Day 16 — At Sea
Day 17 — Qingdao

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.

Day 18 — At Sea
Day 19 to 20 — Tianjin
 Though Tianjin often plays second fiddle to Beijing, this city has a number of important cultural sights of its own. At the Confucius Temple, learn about the great philosopher's teachings and do as the locals do by writing prayers or wishes on small plaques. You can learn about the city’s history at the excellent Tianjin Museum and at the Shi Family Mansion, the stately former home of one of Tianjin’s leading families.
Day 21 — Dalian
Dalian evening city building

Dalian evening city building

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.

Day 22 — At Sea
Day 23 — Fukuoka
Fukuoka cityscape, Japan

Fukuoka cityscape, Japan

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.

Day 24 — Busan
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple and Haeundae Sea in Busan, South Korea

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple and Haeundae Sea in Busan, South Korea

South Korea’s second-largest city (after the capital, Seoul), Busan is located in the southeastern corner of the country along the Sea of Japan. It combines a vibrant, big-city atmosphere with a famously laid-back attitude and subtropical landscapes. Often described as the "San Francisco of Korea," thanks mainly to its hilly terrain and close-knit neighborhoods, it offers visitors a little of everything: fashionable boutiques, dynamic culture and buzzy nightlife, as well as sandy beaches, hot springs and nearby mountains crossed with hiking trails and dotted with temples. Cultural highlights include the Gamcheon Cultural Village; the spectacular Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, built into the side of a cliff; and Art Street in Sinchang-dong, which hosts art competitions, exhibitions and cultural events such as the annual Busan International Film Festival. Those who enjoy hiking can explore the famed cliffs of Taejongdae Park, while the white sand beaches at Gwangalli and Haeundae are ideal places to relax by the seashore. Foodies will love Busan, too, not just for its excellent restaurants but also for the many atmospheric markets: the low-key Millak Hoe Town Market, tourist spots like Jagalchi Fish Market and the market at Haeundae with its ramshackle stalls selling gukpab (a traditional rice soup).
Day 25 — Jeju Island

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.

Day 26 — Nagasaki
Nagasaki at night, Japan

Nagasaki at night, Japan

Situated in the northwest of Kyushu, the third-largest island in Japan, Nagasaki is one of the country’s most cosmopolitan port cities, with a decent tourism infrastructure, a fascinating past that stretches back to the early 7th century and a picturesque harbor that’s been an active port since the 16th century. Home to around 500,000 residents, the city is a buzzy yet relaxed place with abundant services, shops and restaurants as well as several cultural and historic attractions that are easily explored on foot and via public transportation. Check out the Nagasaki Peace Park and Atomic Bomb Museum, which outline the horrific bombing of the city during World War II while making a poignant pledge for world peace. Foodies will enjoy the wide variety of tastes to be found in Chinatown and the Shianbashi Gourmet Street. If you are visiting with children, the Huis Ten Bosch theme park—modeled on a medieval Dutch town—makes for a fun diversion. Look out, too, for popular annual events like October's Kunchi Festival and the wintertime Nagasaki Lantern Festival.
Day 27 — At Sea
Day 28 — Shanghai to UK
Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai

Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai

Debark and take your included private transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK

Sailing on MS Westerdam

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All of our cruise specialists are also global travel experts. They'll happily draw from their years of experience to combine your cruise with any number of pre- and post-cruise holiday options, creating a trip designed for you.

Included as standard...

  • 1 year complimentary Priority Pass membership
  • Complimentary airport lounge access *
  • Welcome Home Gift

* fly-cruise only

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