|Stateroom||Fares from (pp)|
A discretionary gratuity of $15.50 per guest for suites, $14.50 per guest for mini-suites and club class, and $13.50 per guest for interior, oceanview, and balcony staterooms will be added to your onboard account (per day charge). This gratuity will be shared amongst those staff who help provide and support your cruise experience, including all waitstaff, stateroom stewards, buffet stewards, and housekeeping staff across the fleet. A 15% gratuity is added to bar charges, dining room wine accounts, and Lotus Spa® services. This is shared amongst the beverage staff, their support staff and Lotus Spa® personnel.
Day 1: Fly UK » Beijing, China
Fly overnight from the UK to Beijing
Day 2: Beijing, China
On arrival into Beijing, you will be met by your guide in the arrivals hall and transferred to your hotel. Spend the remainder of your day at leisure.
Beijing is a captivating city steeped in history. It is the nation’s capital and has been for most of the previous 600 years, so it is no surprise that Beijing is home to a treasure-trove of ancient sites. With its unequalled wealth of history, Beijing served as the centre for the many different empires and cultures that ruled China and has been the heart of politics and society throughout its long history. The ancient monuments, the stories of days gone by as well as the dynamic and modern city Beijing has become today, make it a destination not to be missed.
Meals: None provided on day of arrival
Day 3: Beijing, China
Today, your guide will take you to Tiananmen Square. Built under the guidance of Chairman Mao Zedong, Tiananmen Square is one of the largest public squares in the world, said to hold a capacity crowd of over one million. It houses not only the Monument to the People’s Heroes, it is also the final resting place of Chairman Mao himself in the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong.
Explore the Forbidden City which was originally constructed in the 15th century and consists of almost 1,000 buildings surrounded by defensive walls and a moat. Since 1987, the Forbidden City has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its palatial architectural style has been an influence on many imperial buildings throughout Asia.
The Hutong districts of Beijing are the original residential areas of the city with old buildings lining narrow streets. Hutongs were designed to reflect the Chinese system of Feng Shui with four hutongs joining together to make a courtyard in the middle, known as Siheyuan. Explore one of the hutongs using a cyclo-rickshaw with a driver who will pedal you around the area at a relaxed pace. Ride around the car-free alleyways soaking up the atmosphere of a time long past and watch for the local people shopping in the small stores, playing with their children or engrossed in a game of mah-jong.
This evening, you will enjoy a Peking Duck Dinner, a national favourite dish and a symbol of China.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 4: Beijing, China
Originally built under the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, The Great Wall of China is the country’s most iconic sight. Snaking through the northern countryside from the Gobi Desert in the west into the Bohai Sea in the east, the Great Wall of China is the longest wall in the world. The section you will visit is Mutianyu, a section which is well restored and with good facilities but does not attract as many people as at some other locations. Be prepared for a stiff climb as your walk can sometimes resemble ascending a staircase. Alternatively, take the cable car up and down for panoramic views (tickets included).
Explore one of China’s most symbolic and important materials: jade, at this comprehensive factory. Whilst at the Jade Factory, you will learn how to tell if jade is real or fake and watch artisans at work, carving this emerald stone into works of art.
Visit the Summer Palace, the largest and most well-preserved royal park in China with over 3,000 man-made ancient structures. The palace is the former residence of many of the Qing Emperors and hosts a stunning example of a Chinese garden and incorporates the Fengshui notion of ‘Mountain’ and ‘Water’. Join a boat ride across Kunming Lake (weather permitting) to the decorative marble boat from where you may return via the Long Corridor, one of the longest outdoor passageways in the world.
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
Day 5: Beijing to Xian, China
Today, you will be met and transferred to the station for your onward bullet train to Xian.
Train times to be advised, seats in First Class.
Upon arrival into Xian, you will be met and transferred to your hotel for check in.
The city of Xian holds a very special place in Chinese history. It has long played a pivotal role in China’s extensive history and has been a thriving hub for cultural exchange, economic trade as well as national politics for centuries. Over two thousand years ago, Qin Shi Huang unified China, becoming known as the First Emperor; it is his final resting place that is protected by the Army of Terracotta Warriors.
In the afternoon, with your local guide, walk on the Ancient City Wall of Xian, one of the best preserved city fortifications in China. It was constructed in 1370 and is of grand scale with walls 12 metres high, 8 miles long and featuring 98 sentry buildings from where the soldiers could fire arrows at the enemy. The wall’s ideal spot and layout gives visitors a bird’s eye view over this fantastic city.
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
Day 6: Xian to Chengdu, China
Today, your guide will take you to see one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th century, the Terracotta Warriors. The figures represent the army of Qin Shi Huang and they were entombed with the emperor to protect him in the afterlife. Each of the warriors were individually made and their unique features can be seen in the intricate detail of their faces and uniforms.
Located in the front of the Terracotta Warrior Museum is the art ceramics and lacquer factory. Visit this factory which produces Qin terracotta warriors and horses, and lacquer products, where you can buy your own portable soldier.
In the afternoon, you will be met and transferred to the station for your onward bullet train to Chengdu
On arrival into Chengdu, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Spend the remainder of your day at leisure.
Home to the adorable, cuddly giant pandas and Sichuan peppercorn, the provincial capital of Sichuan, Chengdu, is undoubtedly one of the fastest-growing cities in southwestern China. Chengdu is famous for its unique and spicy cuisine and UNESCO declared Chengdu a City of Gastronomy in 2011. The city is also the home of The Giant Panda conservation with a very successful research and breeding centre that cannot be missed.
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
Day 7: Chengdu, China
Today, you will visit the Chengdu Panda Reserve which houses about 60 pandas, the world’s largest captive Giant Panda population. The facility comprises a large area covered by trees and bamboo, reminiscent of the pandas’ natural habitat. Stroll around the grounds to observe the pandas in their enclosures and visit the informative museum to learn more about the achievements of the breeding programme.
Visit the charming ancient Jinli Street. Most famously known for a place to buy baldachin - a rich, ornate cloth, it was one of the busiest commercial areas during the Shi Kingdom.
Weave through the bustling streets lined with food stalls, craft and gift shops, restaurants and tea houses. As the sun goes down, watch as red lanterns are lit up, performers start their acts and the town comes to life.
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
Day 8: Chengdu to Shanghai, China
Today, you will be met and transferred to the airport for your onward flight to Shanghai.
Flight times to be advised, seats in Economy Class.
Shanghai's attractions are legendary, from exquisite temples and superb museums to the Bund's elegant 19th-century European architecture. The city is also your gateway to the Grand Canal and the legendary city of Suzhou.
Day 9: Shanghai, China
Check out of your hotel and transfer to the Shanghai Cruise Terminal to embark Sapphire Princess and begin your 16 night South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam & Thailand Cruise.
Day 10: Day at Sea
Sometimes floating serenely just isn't enough - splash around, or take a dip in one of this ship's bubbling hot tubs. Alternatively, Sapphire Princess can keep you on the run, literally, with paddle tennis, jogging tracks and state-of-the-art gyms equipped with machines that'll keep your heart rate pumping.
Day 11: Busan, South Korea
The second largest city in South Korea, Busan is your gateway to a fascinating land whose culture is a unique amalgam of old and new. Modern high-rise towers dwarf ancient Buddhist temples. The city's bustling business district offers a stark contrast to the serene grounds of Yongdusan Park. In short, Busan is a microcosm of South Korea, a nation whose startling economic success often obscures one of Asia's most sophisticated and venerable cultures.
Busan was the scene of bitter fighting during the Korean War. The United Nations Memorial Cemetery marks the final resting place for the troops from 16 nations who gave their lives during the conflict.
Day 12: Kagoshima, Japan
From the 12th century to the Meiji Restoration of 1868, Kagoshima was the chief stronghold of the mighty Shimazu clan. The city lies at the top of the Satsuma Peninsula, a mountainous, geothermal wonderland of hot springs and geysers. The area is also rich in modern Japanese history: Saigo Takamori and the Satsuma samurai were leaders of the Meiji Restoration that toppled the shogun and restored the Emperor to power in 1868. In 1877, dissatisfied with the direction of the new government, Saigo led the Satsuma Rebellion, which ended in his death and the final defeat of the samurai.
The symbol of Kagoshima is Sakura Jima - the volcanic island that sits just offshore. The volcano has erupted over 30 times in recorded history.
Day 13: Day at Sea
Spend the day poolside, where you can enjoy hand-tossed pizza served to you just out of the oven, or enjoy the evening at Movies Under the Stars® with fresh popcorn. Don't forget to try The Sanctuary®, a tranquil haven exclusively for adults.
Day 14: Taipei (Keelung), Taiwan
The oldest Chinese reference to Taiwan dates back to the Han Dynasty in the 3rd century B.C. However, it wasn't until the 17th century A.D. that Chinese Hakka traders first settled on the island. These bold merchants were soon followed by European and Asian adventurers seeking to control and colonise the strategic island. The most famous migration of all occurred in 1948, when the government of the Republic of China fled the mainland.
Taipei is Taiwan's capital city and one of the world's most important commercial centres. Despite its turbulent history, Taiwan today boasts an economy that is the envy of the world. Modern Taiwan is a world leader in the production of bicycles, computer chips, plastics, chemicals and computer notebooks. Taipei is a sophisticated modern metropolis that has not forgotten its rich traditional past.
The port of Keelung is your gateway to Taiwan. Visit the bustling city of Taipei and other interesting areas surrounding on this fascinating island in the East China Sea.
Day 15: Day at Sea
There’s always something happening on board — from heading to the Princess Theater for a lavish original musical production to enjoying a blockbuster movie poolside under the stars or simply relaxing in a lounge sipping a cocktail where a live band is playing your song. Passionate about our culinary craft, we’re committed to serving you mouthwatering, handcrafted dishes made from scratch throughout your voyage. Be sure to join us at one of our award-winning speciality restaurants to celebrate your next birthday, anniversary or milestone and enjoy tantalising specialities.
Day 16: Hong Kong, China
Skyscrapers form a glistening forest of steel and glass, junks and sampans ply the busy harbour waters, and the green, dragon-crested hills of Kowloon beckon. Welcome to Hong Kong, one of the world's great travel destinations. Now a semi-autonomous region of China, Hong Kong - literally "Fragrant Harbor" - has lost none of its charm, excitement or exoticism. Modern skyscrapers and luxury hotels climb the slopes of Hong Kong Island. Narrow streets are crammed with noodle vendors, fortunetellers and bonesetters. The endless array of shops offer the visitor everything from hand-tailored suits and ancient porcelain to the latest consumer electronics. And everywhere more than seven million people are moving at a breathtaking pace in one of the world's great monuments to capitalism, commerce and enterprise.
The former Crown Colony has enough attractions to last a lifetime. To take in the entire spectacle, head to Victoria Peak for panoramic views. Enjoy lunch on one of the city's floating restaurants. Walk down one of the crowded streets to take the city's rapid pulse. And whether you think you are in the mood or not - shop. After all, you are in the duty-free capital of the world.
Day 17: Day at Sea
Passionate about our culinary craft, we’re committed to serving you mouthwatering, handcrafted dishes made from scratch throughout your voyage. Be sure to join us at one of our award-winning speciality restaurants to celebrate your next birthday, anniversary or milestone and enjoy tantalising specialities.
Day 18: Da Nang/Hue (Chan May), Vietnam
The port of Chan May is located halfway between two historic and important cities: Da Nang and Hue. At the height of the Vietnam War, Da Nang was America's major strategic base. And the 1968 Tet Offensive marked a major turning point in that conflict - particularly in the bitter fighting for control of the old imperial capital.
But that was nearly four decades ago. Today Hue is a World Heritage Site. Visitors will long remember its imposing Imperial Citadel and the serene harmony of the Thien Mu Pagoda. Marble Mountain Beach, where American marines stormed ashore in 1965, is now an internationally renowned resort.
The surrounding coast is lined with superb white-sand beaches. Vietnam's major cultural attractions are within an easy drive.
Day 19: Day at Sea
On every Princess ship, you'll find so many ways to play, day or night. Explore The Shops of Princess, celebrate cultures at their Festivals of the World or learn a new talent — their onboard activities will keep you engaged every moment of your cruise vacation.
Day 20: Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My), Vietnam
Over three decades have passed since the Vietnam War ended with the fall of Saigon. Today, the name of this bustling metropolis on the Mekong River is Ho Chi Minh City. Yet, the essence of the city, a major trading centre since the 18th century, remains unchanged. The air is filled with the cries of street hawkers and honking horns. Bicycles, motorbikes and automobiles fly down the boulevards at dizzying speeds. And everywhere, friendly faces and warm greetings meet you.
The port of Phu My (pronounced "Foo Me") is your gateway to Ho Chi Minh City and the seaside resort of Vung Tau.
Day 21: Day at Sea
Take a dip in the sparkling freshwater pools and leave your everyday world behind. Unwind on a padded lounger and soak up the sun, catch up on reading, listen to music or dream of your next adventure on board or ashore. And what better way to relax and revitalise after a day exploring the world than a long soak in one of Princess Cruises whirling hot tubs. And don’t forget, there is always a server nearby to bring you a refreshing cocktail or your favourite beverage.
Day 22: Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Thailand
Laem Chabang is your gateway to Bangkok. This enchanting city on the Chao Phraya River is a magical place where graceful dancers perform in shimmering silk gowns, temples with gold-leaf spires harbour priceless Buddhas and riverboats cruise a maze of canals. The only nation in Southeast Asia to escape colonial rule, Thailand offers a rich and ancient culture that flowered unhindered by Western influence. Proud and strongly nationalistic, the Thai people call their nation Muang Thai - "Land of the Free."
Founded in 1782 by King Rama I, Bangkok is home to more than eight million people. The capital's proper name is Krung Thep - the "City of Angels."
Day 23: Ko Samui, Thailand
Thailand's third largest island has been attracting international travellers for less than half a century. Before then, this island in the Gulf of Thailand was noted for its coconut plantations and rubber production. Today, Ko Samui's premier charms are its powdery white beaches, its Buddhist temples or wats, and its crystalline waters. Despite the island's increasing popularity, it retains a casual and unspoiled air that offers a bracing tonic to the experienced traveller.
The majority of the island's population resides in Nathorn, Ko Samui's capital. The island's first settlers were a mix of Hainanese coconut farmers and Malay fishermen.
Nathorn is an anchorage port. Passengers transfer to shore via ship's tenders.
Day 24: Day at Sea
It's your last full day on board... time to top up that tan, buy those last minute mementos, or perhaps book your next cruise on board in order to receive some excellent benefits.
Day 25: Disembark in Singapore and fly to the UK
After a hearty breakfast on board, bid farewell to Sapphire Princess, and transfer to the airport. Fly overnight, back to the UK.
Day 26: Arrive in the UK
Terms & Conditions: Fares shown are 'from' per person based on two adults sharing the lead grade of stateroom. All promotional discounts have been applied to fares displayed. Promotional details, fares and itineraries were correct at time of publish (11 December 2018) but are subject to availability and can be changed/withdrawn at any time without notice. E&OE.