Footsteps of Empress Cixi: Cruise and Summer Palace

Footsteps of Empress Cixi:
Cruise and Summer Palace

Cruise along a stretch of river favoured by the notorious Empress Cixi. Explore
the gardens, pavilions, temples and halls of the UNESCO-listed Summer
Palace and learn about the life and legacy of the colourful empress.


For nearly a half-century Empress Dowager Cixi (1835-1908) used her cunningness and connections to rule China from behind the throne. Even today, many still blame her for wastefully spending money on the Summer Palace, an elaborate pleasure garden built at a time when China faced grave threats from within.

This scandalous and colourful woman even has a stretch of the Changhe River named after her. The river is the only imperial waterway in Beijing, with a history of more than 700 years. Empress Cixi was particularly fond of this part of the waterway, using it to reach the Summer Palace, and subsequently it became known as the ‘Waterway of Empress Dowager Cixi’.


Footsteps of Empress Cixi: Cruise and Summer Palace

09:00 - 13:00
14:00 - 18:00

Meet your driver and guide at the hotel and set off to the pier at Purple Bamboo Park. Board the boat for the same cruise along the stretch of river taken by the Empress Cixi over a century ago. During the journey to the Summer Palace, take in the sights, both ancient and modern, along the riverbank.

The cruise ends at Kunming Lake, the central lake in the Summer Palace. This man-made reservoir provided water for the city and the irrigation of surrounding fields for 3,500 years. On arrival, disembark from the boat and spend some time exploring the peaceful gardens.

The UNESCO-listed Summer Palace is an imperial garden was used as a summer retreat for Qing dynasty emperors. Built between 1750 and 1764, it is an outstanding masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. The natural landscape of hills and open water is skillfully blended with artificial features such as exquisite pavilions, halls, bridges and temples to form a site of outstanding aesthetic value. Dowager Empress Cixi took up permanent residence here for a while, giving rise to some wonderful tales of extravagance and excess. Throughout the tour hear the life, legends and legacy of this fascinating historical figure.

At the end of the tour, the driver and guide will take you back to the hotel.




  • A half-day tour with a professional English-speaking guide. Other languages are on request and may be subject to supplementary charges
  • Transportation by air-conditioned vehicle with professional driver.
  • Cruise as indicated in the programme
  • All entrance fees for visits as mentioned in the description.
  • All applicable taxes and service charges


  • Personal expenses such as meals, drinks, tips and gratuities, shopping, portage fees and optional tours, unless otherwise stated
  • Hotel accommodation in the destination of commencement.
  • Compulsory Christmas, country-specific festival and/or New Year dinner at included hotels
  • Single supplement charges for single travelers, where applicable
  • Any airline tickets, visa fees, additional transportation cost from and to the general meeting point
  • Supplements for transfers for customers arriving or departing from any airport or resorts located outside the general pick-up and drop-off locations
  • Hotel expenses of a personal nature, should an overnight be included: this includes mini-bar consumption, laundry, room service, any telephone or other communication cost not mentioned in the program
  • Travel insurance coverage for customers (highly recommendable)


  • This tour is operated on full private basis with English-speaking guide. Other languages are on request / subject to availability and supplementary charges may apply
  • Return transfers for this excursion apply only / are inclusive for customers staying in and inside downtown Beijing. Transfers outside these areas, including any accommodation outside the Central Business District and both Beijing’s International Airports are excluded. Supplements apply for customers who want to join this excursion outside one of these regions.
  • We regret to inform you that most of the museums in China are closed all day on Mondays and public holidays; wherever possible, we will try to offer alternative visits for touring options on this day.
  • Customers are advised that during the Lunar Festival celebrations (celebration of Chinese New Year), excursions and tours may be subject to supplementary charges and/or may see longer waiting times than normal.
  • We regret to inform you that this excursion is not suitable for wheelchair users.
  • We will always make the effort to confirm the exact pick-up time upon reservation. For any operational issues in which are not able to confirm the exact pick-up time in advance, we reserve the right to inform you the day before the departure of the tour.
  • Please note pick-up and drop-off services may not be confirmed for customers staying at private residences, apartment complexes, or other non-registered tourism accommodations. Customers may be asked to meet at a nearby hotel for pick-up and drop off.
  • Natural elements of any kind have a destructive effect on electronic equipment. It is the customer’s own responsibility to ensure that any camera, mobile telephone or other device is properly wrapped and protected against these elements. We cannot be held responsible in any way for negligence and/or not following suggestions for any damage related to this.
  • Please ensure that you bring sunglasses, a hat /cap and sunblock with a high SPF factor when traveling with us on this tour – even when it is cloudy, the sun’s rays are still very powerful.
  • We reserve the right to make necessary changes to the excursion in case of unfavourable weather conditions or situations where we are forced to make alterations to guarantee the safety of our guests.
  • The protection of the country’s flora and fauna is of immense importance for us. We will not pursue any activities for guests that are not in line with our animal, wildlife and environment protection principles.
  • It is the responsibility of the customer to provide us with the correct hotel information, should pick-up and drop-off services be included in the package. Any changes in accommodation outside 24 hours will be handled accordingly: changes within 24 hours may be on request.
  • In the event of no-show or change of accommodation without prior consent and confirmation from us within 24 hours may result in the applicable cancellation charges as outlined in the terms and conditions.


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