Viking Voyage to China in January 2019
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to experience the sights, sounds, and tastes of a truly fascinating place? Why not consider joining your Augustana friends in the People's Republic of China? The Augustana Band will make its fifth concert/study tour in this magical land. YOU can be a part of the Augustana Alumni and Friend group who travels alongside, but in a tour especially created just for you!
- Travel options
- What's included?
- Accommodation and meals
- Costs and Payment Schedule
- "The Small Print"
- Questions? How to Register
Cruise the Yangtze River and voyage through historic Xian, Beijing and Shanghai on this privately guided journey fit for ancient emperors and modern-day Augustana Vikings. Led by our world-traveler and host of more than 25 foreign excursions for students, Brad Heegel ’76, you’ll explore China's famed monuments and locations including the Forbidden City, spiritual temples and enchanting river gorges. You’ll walk along the Great Wall, come face to face with the Terracotta Army, and visit ancient gardens and Buddhist temples. You’ll experience ancient and modern China at its absolute best (without the crowds and summer heat!) and beam with pride as our students perform for full houses in some of China’s most spectacular concert halls. With your accommodation and transport arranged by our experts at Seminars International, this adventure offers up a great combination of must-see highlights and free time to explore on your own or in small groups.
Our Friends and Alumni Tour of China participants have two options from which to choose:
- 21 days. Depart with the Band from Minneapolis on Jan 7 and return Jan 26. Stops include Shanghai, Wuhan, Yangtze River cruise, Xian and Beijing. $5,960 pp
- 16 days. Meet the Band at the start of their 4-day Yangtze River Cruise and travel in tandem with the group on through Beijing. Includes all the above with the exception of Shanghai and is round-trip from Sioux Falls. $5,395 pp
- Delta Airlines from MSP (three week tour) or United Airlines travel roundtrip from Sioux Falls (2 week tour)
- Twin occupancy rooms in 4 star, first class hotels
- All meals including full “western” breakfast buffet each day
- Four-night Yangtze River Cruise with tributary and highlight excursions
- All transport between destinations and to/from included activities via private motorcoach, 2nd class rail on bullet train.
- Services of a full-time Chinese English-speaking guide who, along with Brad, makes sure your needs are met and ensures that your vacation exceeds your expectations
- All gratuities for drivers, guides, meals. No need to tip - it's all built in!
- All entrance fees for included sites (see itinerary). All tickets for concert and other events.
- Visa fees
The full (three week tour):
Sun, Jan 6 SIOUX FALLS/MINNEAPOLIS. Depart Augustana University by private motorcoach for overnight journey to Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport.
Mon, Jan 7 Depart MINNEAPOLIS. Early morning departure from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Delta Air Lines to Shanghai.
Wed, Jan 9 SHANGHAI. Sightseeing in Shanghai to include the Bund, Shanghai Museum, Silk Factory, French Concession, C.C.P., First Congress Museum and Chenghuang Temple. Attend an evening Chinese acrobatic show. (B,L,D)
Thu, Jan 10 SHANGHAI. Sightseeing in Shanghai to include the Jade Buddha Temple, East Jinling Road and walking tour of Old Town. Attend an evening concert by the Augustana Band at Jiaotong University. (B,L,D)
Fri, Jan 11 SHANGHAI/WUHAN. Morning free in Shanghai for independent exploration. In the afternoon, board train to Wuhan. Arrive Wuhan in the evening and transfer to the hotel for check-in. (B,L,D)
- The TWO-WEEK Tour begins on this day with DEPARTURE FROM SIOUX FALLS. Depart 6:25 am on United #3934 to Chicago arriving 8:04 am. Connect to UA #835 departing non-stop at 10:00 am. for Shanghai, China.
Sat, Jan 12 WUHAN. Visit the campus of Hubei University for a student exchange day and attend a concert by the Augustana Band at the university. (B,L,D)
- TWO-WEEK TOUR: SHANGHAI/WUHAN Arrive Shanghai 2:03 pm and connect to flight arriving Wuhan early evening. Rest and prepare for a busy Sunday!
Sun, Jan 13 WUHAN. In the morning, visit Hubei Provincial Museum, including the Chime Bell Exhibition for a performance on the bells. Visit Optics Valley, East Lake High-tech Zone. Attend an evening concert by the Augustana Band. (B,L,D)
Mon, Jan 14 WUHAN/YICHANG/YANGTZE RIVER CRUISES. Transfer by private motorcoach to Yichang for tour of the city and dinner before boarding the MV Century Sun to set sail on the Yangtze River for a 5-day/ 4-night cruise. Buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner provided on the ship daily. (B,L,D)
Tue, Jan 15 YANGTZE RIVER CRUISE. Morning shore excursion to the Three Gorges Dam Site at Sandouping, the largest in the world. Later sail through the Three Gorges Dam ship locks and through Xiling Gorge. Afternoon shore excursion to Tribe of the Three Gorges, offering an interesting glimpse into life in the Xiling Gorge region. This evening, attend the Captain’s Welcome Party. (B,L,D)
Wed, Jan 16 YANGTZE RIVER CRUISE. Morning shore excursion to Shennv Steam. Scenic cruising through the Wu Gorge, known for its quiet beauty, forest-covered mountains, and cliffs so sheer that the sun barely penetrates the precipices. Continue sailing through Qutang Gorge, the most dramatic gorge. Afternoon shore excursion to White Emperor City, an ancient city overlooking the western end of Qutang Gorge. (B,L,D)
Thu, Jan 17 YANGTZE RIVER CRUISE. Morning shore excursion to Shi Baozhai Pagoda in Zhongxian County. This afternoon, enjoy onboard activities. (B,L,D)
Fri, Jan 18 YANGTZE RIVER CRUISE/CHONGQING/XIAN. Cruise ship arrives in Chongqing this morning. After breakfast, disembark for a tour of Chongqing and lunch. Transfer to train station for 2-hour journey to Xian. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel for check-in. Sightseeing in Xian includes Terra Cotta Warriors, Muslim Quarter, Ancient City Wall, Bell and Drum Tower, Big Wild Goose Pagoda Square for an evening music fountain show. (B,L,D)
Sat, Jan 19 XIAN. Continue with touring of Xian this morning. Attend an evening concert by the Augustana Band in one of the new Xian Concert Halls (pending). (B,L,D)
Sun, Jan 20 XIAN. Continue with touring of Xian this morning. Attend an evening concert by the Augustana Band in one of the new Xian Concert Halls (pending). (B,L,D)
Mon, Jan 21 XIAN/BEIJING. Continue with touring of Xian this morning. Afternoon transfer by private motorcoach to the train station for departure by bullet train to Beijing. Upon arrival in Beijing, check in to the hotel. (B,L,D)
Wed, Jan 23 BEIJING. Continue with sightseeing in Beijing at the Great Wall of China. Visit a Jade factory and the colorful Snack Night Market featuring local delicacies and treats. (B,L,D)
Thu, Jan 24 BEIJING. Sightseeing today includes the famous Beijing Zoo, Hutongs and the Peking Opera. Enjoy a farewell “Peking Duck” dinner at a local restaurant. (B,L,D)
Fri, Jan 25 BEIJING. Day free for independent exploration. Attend an evening concert by the Augustana Band at the Beijing Concert Hall. (B,L,D)
Sat, Jan 26 BEIJING/MINNEAPOLIS/SIOUX FALLS. Morning transfer by private motorcoach to Beijing Capital International Airport for departure on Delta Air Lines. Upon arrival at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, clear customs and transfer by private motorcoach to Sioux Falls. (B)
- TWO-WEEK TOUR: BEIJING/CHICAGO/SIOUX FALLS. Morning transfer by private motorcoach to Beijing Capital International Airport for departure on United Airlines #850 at 1:25 p.m, arriving Sioux Falls (via Chicago) on UA #4869 at 9:17 p.m. (B)
Twin-occupancy at accommodations as indicated or similar with buffet breakfast daily; all dinners and all lunches as indicated in the itinerary (beverages excluded). Single supplement available.
NOTE: Participants with special needs may incur surcharges for additional services. Handicap accessibility varies significantly from country to country.
$5,960 is the cost for the full three-week tour. In addition, a $150 IPO (International Program Office) fee is an administrative charge for all study abroad programs. Participants are required to register in Studio Abroad, as part of the university risk management plan. By being in this system, we are able to track and offer the secondary insurance policy, EIIA: https://www.eiia.org/internati
$5,395 is the cost for the two-week tour, based on a minimum of 12-20 paying participants.
$975 Single Accommodations Supplement*
*Course cost is calculated on a specific group size based on contracted rates. One less paying participant could impact program cost.
Above costs based on exchange rates and tariffs in effect as of above date; subject to change in the event that there is a fluctuation of more than 4%.
On or before 10/4/2018 - $500 per person due with enrollment.
On or before 11/8/2018 - Balance due upon receipt of invoice.
Passports and Visas:
U.S citizens must obtain a tourist visa prior to arrival in China and have a passport with at least 6 months’ validity remaining. Check that your passport is valid up to 7/26/2019 and has two blank Visa pages available. Additional information with tourist visa requirements will be sent a few months prior to departure.
Cancellation and Refunds:
Should cancellation occur prior to 90 days before departure, the initial deposit will be refunded less a $100 fee per person. In addition to any airline penalties, the following specified costs are non-refundable: 90-61 days: full deposit; 60-46 days: 50% of program price; 45-31 days: recoverable costs only (possible forfeiture of entire program cost); cancellations received 30 days or less from departure will receive no refund. Cancellations must be submitted in writing; the date such notification is received by Seminars International, Inc. is the cancellation date. Trip cancellation insurance is strongly recommended.Exclusions:
Items not listed above, including but not limited to meals other than those indicated; beverages except at breakfast and where indicated with dinner; optional entertainment and excursions; any baggage charges; all personal items, such as telephone calls, laundry expenses, individual room service; trip cancellation insurance (information available through Seminars International); non-tour related gratuities; departure taxes; passport and visa fees. Note: Most countries require passports to be valid up to six months after the scheduled return.
Air transportation is included in program cost round-trip from Sioux Falls, SD.
Flights based on currently confirmed airfare by United Airlines subject to restrictions and cancellation penalties by the airlines; current taxes and fuel surcharge of $304.01 are included and subject to change until ticketed.
NOTE: Airfare is based on a negotiated group airfare. A minimum of 10 participants must travel on group flights. 15 seats will be held; additional space may not be available or may incur additional cost.
Some participants may wish to extend their stay or originate or deplane from different cities. Every effort will be made to assist program members who require deviations in air and/or land arrangements for a $75 per person service charge, plus any additional charges levied by the airline. Once the deviation has been booked, any changes may incur additional costs. Please remember that you are purchasing a group program. Thus, any deviation from the program arrangements will require staff time that is not calculated in the program price. No refund can be granted to participants who wish to omit portions of the itinerary. All deviation requests must be submitted in writing at least 100 days prior to departure to avoid any misunderstandings.
Items not listed above, including but not limited to meals other than those indicated; beverages except at breakfast and where indicated with dinner; optional entertainment and excursions; any baggage charges; all personal items, such as telephone calls, laundry expenses, individual room service; trip cancellation insurance (information available through Seminars International); non-tour related gratuities; departure taxes; passport fees. Note: Most countries require passports to be valid up to six months after the scheduled return.
Participants are responsible for ensuring that they meet passport and visa requirements of each country visited.
Management and Responsibility:
Seminars International (SI) acts only as an agent and neither SI nor any employee or appointee nor any other person, party or organization or agency collaborating with it is or shall be responsible or liable for any injury or loss, accident or damage, delay or deviation or curtailment, howsoever caused or arising or the consequences thereof, which may occur during any part of the travel or program or during such free time as the members may elect to spend independently on program. The airlines or commercial carriers concerned are not to be held responsible for any acts, omissions, or events during the time the passengers are not on board their planes or conveyances. The passage contracts in use by the airlines concerned, when issued, will constitute the sole contract between the airlines and the purchaser of this program and/or passenger.
Brad is delighted to field any questions you might have and to provide you the link to register you for this exciting adventure! Please feel free to call or email Brad Heegel at the numbers/address below. He looks forward to visiting with you!
Brad Heegel, '76