Ritz on the Yangtze

New summer specials to China

By: Judi Erickson

Amid growing interest in China travel, Ritz Tours has introduced three new “Summer Saver” programs for select departures between July and early September, offering in-depth exploration of the Yangtze River and some of the region’s best-known cities.

Ritz’ 12-day Affordable Yangtze summer special is priced from $1,599 per person, double, including airfare, hotel and sightseeing and includes Beijing as the first stop on the itinerary that offers tours of Tiananmen Square, the ancient Forbidden City, the magnificent emperor’s Summer Palace, the ornate Temple of Heaven, as well a walk atop the Great Wall.

After Beijing, travelers head to Chongqing to embark on a seven-day downstream Yangtze River journey with Victoria Cruises that takes in the awe-inspiring Three Gorges and Three Gorges Dam, Mt. Huangshan, historical Nanjing, and numerous additional stops. Upon arrival in Zhenjiang, guests head to Shanghai, where a city tour introduces travelers to picturesque Yu Garden, bustling Nanjing Road and the waterfront Bund.

Ritz also is offering two Summer Saver specials: a 13-day Yangtze Summer Saver (centered around a week-long journey along the Yangtze) priced from $1,599 per person, double, and a 14-day Affordable Yangtze itinerary (upstream), starting at $1,699 per person, double.

For the winter, Ritz has launched a 12-day Affordable Yangtze special, priced from $1,599 per person, double, that features roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles or San Francisco; intra-China airfare; luxury hotel accommodations in Beijing and Shanghai; sightseeing in air-conditioned motorcoaches; a seven-day journey on the Yangtze River with Victoria Cruises; meals and entertainment and tour guides.

Departures are available from Los Angeles or San Francisco for 2005 on: July 4, July 18, August 1, August 15 and August 29. At least two passengers are required for the tour to take place. Full payment is due within 48 hours of booking.

For those looking to extend their travels in Asia, Ritz is offering a four-day/three-night Super Value Extension to Hong Kong (starting at $700 per person; single supplement is $270) that can be tagged on to the end of the Affordable Yangtze program. The Hong Kong extension features airfare from Shanghai to Hong Kong and from Hong Kong to the U.S., accommodations at the Hyatt Regency, daily American breakfast at the hotel, and a half-day city tour.