New York, NY, November 2005 — Limited to only 16 participants, Pacific Delight World Tours’ "Gold Experience" packages offer the best of the best: fully escorted throughout Asia; world-class accommodations; shipboard suites with balconies on Victoria Anna — Victoria Cruises' newest and most deluxe ship; private tours and excursions; and front section reserved seating at most shows. Two of the company's most popular itineraries, the "18-day China Classic" and "19-day Majestic China", both of which include the Yangtze River, are now being offered at $150 per person below normal rates if booked with deposit by December 15, 2005. Normal rates are $6,483 to $6,943 per person, double for 18 days and $6,593 to $7,053 for 19 days. Departures aboard Northwest or United from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland, OR, run April through October, 2006; add-on fares from dozens of US gateways range from $120 to $340. Additional early-bird reductions, ranging from $50 to $125 per person, with the same deadline, can be found on the company's web site, www.pacificdelighttours.com.
The main difference (besides the extra day) between the two "Gold Experience" packages is in the focus of its land portion: the 18-day version spends more time in Beijing for a more in-depth view of the city while the 19-day package features a longer stay in Shanghai with a day trip to the 12th-century Suzhou.
Both deluxe cruise-tour packages are fully-escorted upon arrival in Asia and include round trip trans-Pacific flights, all intra-China air/land transportation, accommodations in deluxe hotels (participants stay in Intercontinental's Harborview rooms in Hong Kong), a junior balcony suite on the ship, most meals — several in private rooms, extensive sightseeing and cultural entertainment, transfers, keepsake carry-on bag, baggage handling, and hotel taxes and service charges. Participants receive $100,000 flight insurance when air reservations are ticketed by Pacific Delight World Tours, and frequent-flyer members earn mileage credit. Cabin upgrades are available; single supplements range from $2,350 to $2,870.
The packages' centerpiece is a four-day downstream or five-day upstream cruise through the hauntingly beautiful landscape of the Yangtze River and Three Gorges, taking in the Three Gorges Dam construction site at San Dou Ping, the Small Gorges or crystal-clear Shennong Stream and the 12-story wooden pagoda at Shibaozhai. While on board guests dine a la carte at the top deck restaurant, hear lectures on China’s history and view live entertainment. On either end of the cruise participants visit the must-see cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an, Guilin, Chongqing and Hong Kong.
A partial roster of excursions includes imperial Beijing’s Tian An Men Square, Forbidden City, Great Wall at Badaling with a cable car ride down from the wall, Summer Palace and Drum Tower for panoramic city views; Shanghai’s Jade Buddha Temple, Nanjing or Huai Hai Road’s shopping emporiums, the Bund waterfront and Shanghai Museum; Xi’an’s extraordinary life-size terra-cotta army of 8,000 warriors and horses buried for 2,200 years and Shaanxi Provincial Historical Museum; Guilin’s Yao Mountain, accessed by cable car; the caves and rock formations while cruising along the Li River; and Hong Kong’s Stanley Market, Repulse Bay beaches, sampan community at Aberdeen and Victoria Peak. The outing to 12th-century Suzhou explores Pan Men City Gate, North Temple Pagoda, Garden of the Master of Fishing Net, the Embroidery Research Institute and a silk-spinning mill.
Special meals and cultural entertainment run the gamut: the energetic performance of "Legend of Kung Fu," a Beijing Duck welcome dinner party with wine; a Children’s Palace performance, dinner party and acrobatic show in Shanghai; lunch with a handmade noodle-making demonstration and a Tang Dynasty Theater dinner show in Xi’an; a dim sum lunch in Guilin; and a farewell dinner party in Hong Kong.
A deluxe pre-tour six-day extension to Tibet and seven-day, post-tour extension to Bangkok and Angkor Wat are priced at $1,488 and $2,739, respectively.
Pacific Delight World Tours, celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2006, is the largest provider of escorted and independent tours to China, the Orient and Southeast Asia, and has recently expanded into Turkey, Africa, India and the South Pacific. Reservations, brochures and information can be obtained from travel agents and Pacific Delight World Tours, telephone (800) 221-7179 or (212) 818-1781; web site: www.PacificDelightTours.com.