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PEARLS OF CHINA

V4208

Hong Kong to Beijing on Crystal Symphony
DATES : April 9 - 21, 2014 (13 Days)  CRUISE-ONLY FARES FROM : $7,010 Per Person

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Pearls of China Pearls of China Map

From Shanghai's dizzying architecture to Beijing's monumental palaces and the Great Wall, China continues to fascinate.

Date Port Arrival Departure
Apr 9, Wednesday
Hong Kong, China (overnight) »   Embark pm
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. Discover the beauty and magic of Hong Kong today!
Apr 10, Thursday
Hong Kong, China »   10 pm
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. Discover the beauty and magic of Hong Kong today!
Apr 11, Friday
Cruising the Strait of Taiwan  »

Your Story at Sea

Adventure. Romance. Discovery.

Aboard the most award-winning ships at sea, your story can be written exactly as you wish: pamper yourself at the Feng Shui-inspired Crystal Spa, work-out at our state-of-the-art fitness center or Walk-on-Water along our 360o Promenade Deck; learn how to translate your story into a movie with USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Digital Filmmaking class at our Creative Learning Institute ®; or learn about art, history and worldly destinations with our engaging celebrity entertainers and speakers with our Crystal Visions® Enrichment Program; sneak away to watch recently-released movies in the Hollywood Theatre, shop our luxury boutiques, or simply lounge poolside while our attentive crew caters to your every whim. From mat Pilates and yoga to PGA golf instruction and paddle tennis on full-size courts, today is all about you. As evening arrives, dine on the renowned culinary creations of Nobu Matsuhisa, and Crystal’s own acclaimed chefs with new Modern Cuisine and Global Inspired menus, enjoy special wine-makers dinners, breakout new production shows, intimate lounges, a pulsing dance club or our action-packed Crystal Casino. The choices as always aboard the World’s Best are yours. How will you write your story on board?

Apr 12, Saturday
Xiamen, China » 8 am 6 pm

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.

 

Apr 13, Sunday
Cruising the East China Sea  »

Your Story at Sea

Adventure. Romance. Discovery.

Aboard the most award-winning ships at sea, your story can be written exactly as you wish: pamper yourself at the Feng Shui-inspired Crystal Spa, work-out at our state-of-the-art fitness center or Walk-on-Water along our 360o Promenade Deck; learn how to translate your story into a movie with USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Digital Filmmaking class at our Creative Learning Institute ®; or learn about art, history and worldly destinations with our engaging celebrity entertainers and speakers with our Crystal Visions® Enrichment Program; sneak away to watch recently-released movies in the Hollywood Theatre, shop our luxury boutiques, or simply lounge poolside while our attentive crew caters to your every whim. From mat Pilates and yoga to PGA golf instruction and paddle tennis on full-size courts, today is all about you. As evening arrives, dine on the renowned culinary creations of Nobu Matsuhisa, and Crystal’s own acclaimed chefs with new Modern Cuisine and Global Inspired menus, enjoy special wine-makers dinners, breakout new production shows, intimate lounges, a pulsing dance club or our action-packed Crystal Casino. The choices as always aboard the World’s Best are yours. How will you write your story on board?

Apr 14, Monday
Shanghai, China (overnight) » 8 am*  
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. Today, Shanghai is the center of China's economic resurgence and its skyline attests to this development in the form of towering skyscrapers, brightly lit commercial high-rises and the unsettling Oriental Pearl Tower. A testimony to Shanghai's colonial era, stately European buildings in art deco style line the Bund, the city's spacious waterfront promenade. An endless flotilla of sampans edge the Huangpu River, dividing old and new Shanghai. Beyond the rush of the city, serene ponds and gardens offer a gentle respite. Must-see sights include the Jade Buddha Temple and tranquil Yu Garden, impressive monuments to China's history and style. Inland lies Suzhou, with its majestic Grand Canal and classical gardens, as well as equally significant Hangzhou, terminus of the Grand Canal and the center of China's legendary tea industry.

Note: Arrival and departure times for this port will depend on tidal restrictions.
Apr 15, Tuesday
Shanghai, China (overnight) »    
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. Today, Shanghai is the center of China's economic resurgence and its skyline attests to this development in the form of towering skyscrapers, brightly lit commercial high-rises and the unsettling Oriental Pearl Tower. A testimony to Shanghai's colonial era, stately European buildings in art deco style line the Bund, the city's spacious waterfront promenade. An endless flotilla of sampans edge the Huangpu River, dividing old and new Shanghai. Beyond the rush of the city, serene ponds and gardens offer a gentle respite. Must-see sights include the Jade Buddha Temple and tranquil Yu Garden, impressive monuments to China's history and style. Inland lies Suzhou, with its majestic Grand Canal and classical gardens, as well as equally significant Hangzhou, terminus of the Grand Canal and the center of China's legendary tea industry.

Note: Arrival and departure times for this port will depend on tidal restrictions.
Apr 16, Wednesday
Shanghai, China »   5 pm*
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. Today, Shanghai is the center of China's economic resurgence and its skyline attests to this development in the form of towering skyscrapers, brightly lit commercial high-rises and the unsettling Oriental Pearl Tower. A testimony to Shanghai's colonial era, stately European buildings in art deco style line the Bund, the city's spacious waterfront promenade. An endless flotilla of sampans edge the Huangpu River, dividing old and new Shanghai. Beyond the rush of the city, serene ponds and gardens offer a gentle respite. Must-see sights include the Jade Buddha Temple and tranquil Yu Garden, impressive monuments to China's history and style. Inland lies Suzhou, with its majestic Grand Canal and classical gardens, as well as equally significant Hangzhou, terminus of the Grand Canal and the center of China's legendary tea industry.

Note: Arrival and departure times for this port will depend on tidal restrictions.
Apr 17, Thursday
Cruising the Yellow Sea  »

Your Story at Sea

Adventure. Romance. Discovery.

Aboard the most award-winning ships at sea, your story can be written exactly as you wish: pamper yourself at the Feng Shui-inspired Crystal Spa, work-out at our state-of-the-art fitness center or Walk-on-Water along our 360o Promenade Deck; learn how to translate your story into a movie with USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Digital Filmmaking class at our Creative Learning Institute ®; or learn about art, history and worldly destinations with our engaging celebrity entertainers and speakers with our Crystal Visions® Enrichment Program; sneak away to watch recently-released movies in the Hollywood Theatre, shop our luxury boutiques, or simply lounge poolside while our attentive crew caters to your every whim. From mat Pilates and yoga to PGA golf instruction and paddle tennis on full-size courts, today is all about you. As evening arrives, dine on the renowned culinary creations of Nobu Matsuhisa, and Crystal’s own acclaimed chefs with new Modern Cuisine and Global Inspired menus, enjoy special wine-makers dinners, breakout new production shows, intimate lounges, a pulsing dance club or our action-packed Crystal Casino. The choices as always aboard the World’s Best are yours. How will you write your story on board?

Apr 18, Friday
Dalian, China » 8 am 5 pm

The world's powers have been wrestling over the city of Dalian for over a century. In 1895, Japan laid claim to Dalian. A few years later the Russians took over. In 1905, Japan gained it back. After World War II, the Soviet Union occupied the city for ten years before leaving on friendly terms.

Once you visit Dalian, you will understand what all the fuss is about. It is a large, clean, modern city with a perfect location on the Yellow Sea. Scenic beaches beckon from just outside of town, annual festivals celebrate high fashion and the lotus flower, seafood is plentiful and delicious, and the national pastime, soccer, is followed with a passion.

Apr 19, Saturday Beijing, China » 8 am  
 
Beijing: Temple of Heaven (overnight land program) »    
Welcome to Tianjin, China! After disembarking your Crystal ship, you will travel to Beijing. Following lunch, your Beijing experience begins with a visit to the Temple of Heaven. Built between 1406 and 1420, the complex of buildings that make up the Temple of Heaven cover 273 hectares and represent the pinnacle of Ming and Qing architecture. This was the place where the Ming & Qing emperors went to worship Heaven and pray for better Harvest. In early morning when the air is filled with the fragrance of old cypresses, the temple grounds are full of people practicing a dozen or more forms of exercise, from qigong of martial arts, from opera singing to disco. It is one of the best places in Beijing to observe ordinary Chinese at play.  In the later afternoon, check into your hotel and enjoy a buffet dinner and evening at your leisure.

Apr 20, Sunday
Beijing: Forbidden City/Tiananmen Square (overnight land program) »    

Following a buffet breakfast at your hotel, board your air-conditioned motor coach and journey to the Forbidden City, the world of The Last Emperor. Between the 15th and early 20th centuries, this magnificent complex, containing 210 acres of pavilions, gardens and courtyards, was home to 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Considered one of the greatest feats in human history, the city’s construction is presently one of the largest and best-preserved palace complexes in the world. There are more than one million rare and valuable objects in the museum, many of which are on display for you to view.

Next, proceed to Tiananmen Square. Originally designed and built in 1651, it was enlarged to approximately 100 acres and cemented over in 1958. The square derives its name from the imposing stone Gate of Heavenly Peace, which once served as the main gate of the former Imperial Palace. Designed for massive gatherings, the plaza can accommodate more than one million people. Aside from military parades, Tiananmen Square has become a rallying point for student demonstrations, most notably a pro-democracy rally in 1989. It was in this square that Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Mao’s body is entombed in the nearby Mao Zedong Memorial Hall.

Enjoy lunch before commencing a fascinating rickshaw tour of Beijing’s hutongs, or narrow streets and alleys. First appearing in Beijing during the Yuan Dynasty of 1271 to 1368, hutongs are created by courtyard houses, which form a Siheyuan, or quadrangle. Most quadrangles are surrounded by high walls; the passages that join one quadrangle to another are the narrow hutongs you will investigate today aboard your rickshaw. A highlight of this unique experience is your visit with a local family, offering an intimate glimpse into Chinese life.

Tonight you are invited to a spectacular dinner and performance at the Great Hall of the People. This impressive structure is where China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress, assembles for deliberations on state affairs. The building houses lavish facilities for official entertaining, including the enormous banquet hall where Richard Nixon dined during his historic visit to China in 1972.

Apr 21, Monday
Beijing: Great Wall (overnight land program) »    

After an early breakfast at your hotel, board your motor coach for the scenic, 47-mile journey through the countryside to one of mankind’s most impressive creations, the Great Wall. En route, stop at the Olympic Park for a view of the ‘Bird’s Nest’ and ‘Water Cube’, Beijing’s intriguing landmark structures erected for the 2008 Olympics.

Built in the 3rd century BC to protect China’s northern border from marauding nomads and “barbarians,” the Great Wall stretches about 4,500 miles east to west. Today, it remains a monument to the painstaking endeavors of nearly one million workers. Please wear comfortable shoes with soft rubber soles, as the walkway’s worn stones are frequently slippery.

Stop briefly at a local restaurant for a lunch of Chinese cuisine before returning to your hotel in the early afternoon.

Have dinner at your hotel, using the voucher you received during check-in at the restaurant of your choice or, if you prefer, enjoy room service.

Apr 22, Tuesday Beijing, China »    
*  Arrival and departure times will depend on tidal restrictions.
All itineraries and times are subject to change. Click on ports for detailed information.
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