View over Hong Kong and Victoria Harbor
If you are joining or ending a luxury cruise in China this winter or next – be it in Hong Kong, Tianjin or another port – then why not consider customizing a private pre or post cruise tour.
Many cruises start and end in Hong Kong, so you are spoiled for choice for things to do prior to or after your cruise. There’s a side to Hong Kong for everyone – shop until you drop; enjoy some of the best food that Asia has to offer; visit temples and local markets; take a sampan ride out into Victoria Harbor to admire the view; and of course there are some wonderful hotels in which to kick back, relax and be pampered. Hong Kong really is THE place in which to indulge in luxury and spoil yourself.
If you only have an extra day or two to spare after taking in all that Hong Kong has to offer, then we’d recommend a day trip to Macao. Here you can experience a slice of the Mediterranean in China – Macao is a former Portuguese colony with regal squares and fountains, beautifully preserved Catholic churches and delicious Macanese cuisine which is a blend of Portuguese and Chinese. Of course Macao is also famous for its casinos and gambling. Those who wish to experience the glitzy, non-heritage side of Macao would be best staying overnight for this.
Colonial heritage site of Senado Square in Macao
For those starting or ending a cruise in Hong Kong with at least 3 – 4 days to spare, why not venture a short flight away to experience a bit of mainland China? Winter is an ideal time to visit Huangshan (Yellow Mountain), just under 2 hours flight time from Hong Kong. Although it’s cold it is the best time to see the ‘sea of clouds’ effect. You can spend a few hours hiking the mountain (you can also take the cable car up the peaks if you prefer) and you can wander around the beautiful nearby UNESCO world heritage Huizhou villages to get a flavor for traditional China.
Another UNESCO site that’s more than worth the time to get there is Lijiang in Yunnan province. It’s a great place to get lost in the cobbled streets and over the winding canals whilst enjoying the special views out over the traditional Chinese roofs of the old town. The hotels we recommend in Lijiang are built in the traditional style so it’s really a unique place to visit and experience. Our newest favorite is the Amandayan. Average daytime temperatures in winter in Lijiang are 57 – 63°F (14 – 17°C) but it can be close to freezing at night – just as well most places light cozy fires to keep you warm.
The 'sea of clouds' at Yellow Mountain
For a rather more unique side-trip from Hong Kong, you might consider a 3 or 4 day trip to Lhasa, Tibet (we generally recommend 4 because we suggest a day for your body to acclimate to the altitude). It’s actually a great place to visit off-season because it’s not so crowded and although cold, it’s very dry with blue skies most days. Your visit might even coincide with the Losar celebrations for Tibetan new year.
For visiting Shanghai or Beijing the season isn’t of so much importance but given that you’ve just booked with one of the best cruise lines in the world, don’t you want the equivalent in service and unique access for land touring in China? Visit a less touristed section of the Great Wall. Access a private palace within the Forbidden City not open to the general public. Hop on a quick flight to Xi’an to get exclusive access to the Terracotta Warriors. Take a walking tour of Colonial Shanghai with an historian. All this, plus you are relaxed traveling in your private luxury vehicle rather than sharing a guide and a driver on a bus with 48 other people.
For the utmost in service, unique access and ultimate flexibility that a private tour allows, consider using Imperial Tours for your pre or post cruise touring.