Ritz in China, Japan

Discovering Yangtze and the Land of the Rising Sun

By: J.L. Erickson

Through November, Ritz Tours is offering two vacation packages that take you throughout East Asia.

Its 14-day Golden Yangtze Discovery program combines stays in historical Beijing, culturally rich Xian and cosmopolitan Shanghai with a Yangtze River excursion. The program, with prices starting at $2,199 plus per person, double, offers Beijing highlights that include tours of Tiananmen Square, the ancient Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the Temple of Heaven and the Ming Tomb Museum. Several days in Xian provide visitors with the chance to see Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Terra Cotta Warriors, the ancient City Wall and the Big Wild Goose Pagoda.

A sail on the Yangtze River, China’s longest, introduces travelers to China’s unique sights and sounds. The cruise travels between Chongqing and Yichang and offers views of the Three Gorges and Small Gorges. Sailing with Victoria Cruises, passengers benefit from onboard entertainment, lectures, cultural presentations and demonstrations, in addition to various shore excursions. The tour concludes with several nights in the port city of Shanghai. Possible extensions to Hong Kong, Tokyo and Vietnam are also available.

An eight-day Japan Experience program is also available, priced from $1,899 per person, double. It begins with several days in Tokyo where travelers have the opportunity to tour the Imperial Palace and the Asakusa Kannon Temple and spend time in the Ginza district for shopping and exploring. A motorcoach ride then takes travelers to Mt. Fuji for remarkable views of this cloud-shrouded peak that rises high into the sky, and a cruise of Lake Ashi ends with a night in Hakone, a favorite weekend retreat for locals looking to pamper the soul and spirit with traditional mineral baths. In Kyoto Japan’s sixth largest city a sightseeing tour features visits to Kyomizu Temple, the Golden Pavilion and Heian Shrine. A motorcoach ride to Osaka concludes the tour. Extensions to Hong Kong are available.

Both packages include roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles or San Francisco, airfare between cities visited in Asia, five-star hotel accommodations, sightseeing in air-conditioned motor coaches, meals and entertainment per the itinerary and guided tours. Single supplements range from an additional $600 to $900 per person depending upon the date of departure.