A 22-night cruise from Beijing to San Francisco aboard P&O International’s sumptuous luxury liner Arcadia lies at the heart of a new fly-cruise-and-stay holiday from Australia that tours China’s Great Wall and Ming Tombs.
The cruise visits South Korea, Japan and Honolulu, with time at the end in San Francisco, where Arcadia (a stylish vessel with 3000 artworks displayed around the decks) spends a night in port before passengers disembark.
‘Great Wall to Golden Gate’, the latest holiday from Worldwide Cruise Centres (worldwidecruisecentres.com.au) also includes four days in Beijing, staying at the Novotel Beijing Peace. This city-centre hotel is ideally located at Wangfujing, within walking distance of the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and shopping malls.
‘Great Wall to Golden Gate’ lasts 26 nights and costs from $6499 per person twin share, valid at that rate until 31 July 2015 or until sold out, whichever comes first.
The holiday starts on 17 March 2016 with a flight from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane to Beijing.
Transfer by private car on arrival to the Novotel Beijing Peace for a four-night stay (with daily breakfast included). Some of the most amazing sights in and around the Chinese capital unfold over the next two days.
The Ming Tombs (Dingling) are the best -preserved Chinese imperial tombs and you’ll explore them and learn their history. Before lunch on day one, you’ll have a chance to visit a jade carving factory. Then, visit the Mutianyu section of Great Wall, the best preserved section, the former northern barrier defending the capital.
Day two takes in the main highlights of inner city Beijing and a two-hour visit to the Forbidden City, plus the Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace. Not all the attractions you’ll see are historical. Along the way, you’ll visit a Chinese silk art factory, a centre for Chinese traditional medicine and a pearl market, culminating in a exhilarating Acrobatic Show.
Time now to explore the Chinese capital on your own before being transferred by private car to board Arcadia.
Exclusively for adults, Arcadia offers a relaxed pace and more than a hint of extravagance. Exterior glass lifts offer far-reaching views across the sparkling ocean. Innovative features of this stylish vessel include a three-tier theatre, a fine-dining restaurant that spans two decks – and a luxurious spa, complete with thermal suite and hydrotherapy pool.
Arcadia has many places to spend an hour or two – Caffe Vivo, The Piano Bar and The Rising Sun are just three. In the evening, spellbinding shows in The Palladium theatre, a casino, Electra nightclub and The Globe, offer everything from comedy to live music.
Frist port of call is the South Korean island of Jeju, an area of outstanding natural beauty and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then, Busan, with Korea’s finest Buddhist temples, before crossing into Japanese waters to dock in Nagasaki, city of Madame Butterfly, where the Peace Memorial Park commemorates the lives lost in World War II.
Osaka, Japan’s third-largest city, is followed by a full week at sea to relax, enjoy the ship and cross the International Date line before arrival in Honolulu, Hawaii. Maybe visit Pearl Harbour, Waimea Falls Park to watch daredevil divers – or just stroll Waikiki Beach, before sailing to Hilo on the east coast of the Big Island, known for 128-metre-high Akaka Falls.
Across the Pacific now to the American mainland and wonderful San Francisco, home to a little bit of everything, trademark cable cars, wooden houses and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Maybe catch Alcatraz Island and sample a San Francisco cocktail (sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, sloe gin, orange bitters, bitters and cherry) before flying back to Australia.