Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Don't miss out on the 30/30 Special!

We are giving 30% off to the first 30 passengers who book our Tibet Highland & Yangtze River 16 Days 14 Nights (RDT) tour! This vacation visits Beijing, Xian, Lhasa, the Yangtze River, and Shanghai.
 Included in the tour:
International airfare out of LAX/SFO
Transfers
Meals as outlined in the itinerary
Sightseeing with guide
 5-star accommodations

Deals like this are sure to sell out soon so call (888)345-7489 to book your tour today!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spotlight on: Tibet Highland and Yangtze River 16 Days 14 Nights

Photo courtesy of Boeing Image
Day 1: USA – Beijing
Depart to Beijing, the capital city and political center of China.


Day 2: Arrive Beijing
Touch down and greet your guide in the arrivals hall. Transfer to your 5 star hotel and rest up for a full day of sightseeing tomorrow.




Day 3: Beijing
We begin our sightseeing tour with a visit to the Forbidden City, the world’s largest palace complex which was previously off-limits to the public. Admire the opulent splendor of imperial times as we tour the bay of rooms, and then continue on to visit the exquisite Summer Palace. Stop for photos at the 2008 Olympic sites bird’s Nest and Water cube. Return to the hotel for a traditional Peking Duck Banquet dinner.


Day 4: Beijing
Like a giant dragon snaking it’s way 4000 miles across China's ever changing-landscapes, the Great Wall stands today as a bastion of pride and culture to the Chinese people.  Spend some time climbing its ancient steps and descent the wall to visit the Sacred Way leading to the Ming Tombs Museum. 
Day 5: Beijing
Enjoy the day at leisure, free to venture into the city or just relax.  Uncover the charm of Old Beijing on an optional rickshaw tour of the "hutongs" (narrow alleyways or lanes), lined with wood carvings, ornate brick designs and colorful street vendors.  Arive at the traditional courtyard residence of our host and enjoy a lunch of local delights.

Day 6: Beijing - Xian
Before flying to Xian, we visit the Temple of Heaven, constructed in 1420 and frequented by Ming and Qing emperors for annual pilgrimages of prayer.  Later in the day, arrive in Xian, the central stronghold for the country's most significant ancient dynasties.

Day 7: Xian
A fascinating city with over 3,100 years of history, Xian is most famous for the chance discovery of Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Terra Cotta Soldiers.  Tour the pits which house countless rows of standing soldiers, horses and chariots, then continue on to visit Xian's massive City Wall, the most complete surviving city wall in China.  Stop by the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and head back to the hotel to prepare for an Imperial Dumpling Banquet and Tang Dynasty Show

Day 8: Xian - Lhasa
Depart to Lhasa, the capital city of the Tibetan Autonomous Region.  Known as the "Roof of the World", the tibetan plateau's average height towers more than 13,000 feet above sea level.  Upon arrival, we are transferred to our five star hotel.

Day 9: Lhasa
Today we will visit the architectural wonder and cardinal landmark of Lhasa, Potala Palace.  Built on the Red Hill overlooking the city, this exquisite palace covers over 100 acres and was once a spiritual and temporal palace of the Dalai Lama.  Descend the palace grounds and stroll along Barkhor Street, an old section of Lhasa lined with colorful street stalls and colorful ethnic handicrafts.  Continue on to Jokang Lamasery, the most important pilgrimage site in Tibet.

Day 10: Lhasa
Depart Lhasa and head to Yamdrok Yumsto Lake, one of Tibet's three holy lakes, which rests over 14,000 feet above sea level.  Enjoy a picnic lunch alongside the river and take in the stunning natural vistas of sparkling waters and rolling mountains.  Drive back to Lhasa and enjoy the rest of the day free at leisure.

Day 11: Lhasa - Chongqing - Yangtze River Cruise
Fly to Chongqing, a charming mountain city, and head to the docks to board our ship, the Victoria Anna, ready for our Yangtze River adventure.  The majestic Yangtze River is the third-largest river in the world, next to the Nile in Africa and th Amazon in South America.

Day 12: Yangtze River Cruise
We arrive at Fengdu or a relocation village for our first shore excursion.  Dating back to the Eastern Han Dynasty, the "Ghost City" of Fengdu earned its nickname from the numerous ghost and demon-decorated temples and statues spread throughout the town.


Day 13: Yangtze River Cruise
Sail through the centerpiece of our Yangtze River cruise, the famed Three Gorges.  Enter Qutang Gorge, the shortest, narrowest and most dramatic of the three.  Continue on through the 25-mile long Wu Gorge, known for its quiet elegance and 12 unique peaks, then disembark and board a smaller vessel to navigate our way through the impressive Lesser Gorges.  Return aboard the ship and sail through the Xiling Gorge, the longest and deepest of the three.  This evening, sail through the ship locks of the dam.

Day 14: Yangtze River Cruise - Yichang - Shanghai
Arrive at Sandouping Village and visit the magnificent Three Gorges Dam, a massive water conservancy project aimed to curb flooding and create a new source of hydroelectric power for China.  Our arrival at Yichang marks the end of our Yangtze journey.  Transfer to the airport and fly to Shanghai.



Day 15: Shanghai
A "bright pearl" at the mouth of the Yangtze River, Shanghai is China's largest economic center and a dynamic blend of Eastern and Western cultures.  Admire the marvelous vistas of traditional pavilions, ponds, and rock gardens in the classical Yu Garden, and continue on to visit the Bund.  Stroll along this waterfront promenade and admire the dazzling skyline and unique architecture, which spans various historical periods.  Drive by premiere shopping district, Nanjing Road, then return to the hotel.  In the evening, enjoy dinner followed by a special Acrobatics Performance.

Day 16: Shanghai - USA
All too soon, our fascinating journey has reached its end.  Return to the US, arriving the same day, or extend your trip with an optional extension to Asia's world city, Hong Kong.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spotlight on: London

6 Days 5 Nights
Starting from $600
Brimming with a cornucopia of diverse ethnic cultures, London still remains quintessentially British, evident in the city's time-honored symbols - Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and those ubiquitous boxy taxis and double decker buses.  Ever-evolving and always exhilarating, today's London is one of the world's most foremost financial centers as well as a global hotspot for arts, culture and cuisine.

Prices are per person, twin share, double occupany
5-nights stay at Guoman Tower Hotel
Fine breakfast daily at hotel
Round trip London Heathrow Airport/hotel transfers by cab
Additional $35 charge each way per person for transfers from/to London Gatwick Airport
A morning tour of London is on seat-in-coach basis - Visits: The Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Downing Street, Picadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, and the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace (occasionally the Changing of the Guards may be substituted with the Horseguards Parade) No admission is included in the tour
A comprehensive courtesy pick-up service from Guoman Tower Hotel is offered for the morning tour

Guoman Tower Hotel
Inspired by the slow roll of the Thames just outside, the Guoman Tower Hotel provides a feeling of serenity and peace, away from the bustle of London and the city.  You will find a wide selection of comfortable bars and restaurants and 19 fully equipped meeting-rooms at the hotel.  The Tower Bridge, the Thames and St Katharine's Dock add to the amazing landscape surrounding the hotel.  Whatever the purpose of your stay, you'll find all rooms welcoming, relaxing and furnished with every comfort and convenience.

Call 1.888.345.7489 to book your London City Package today!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Travel 101: Preparing for your Tibet Highland and Yangtze River Trip

Packing always appears to be a main problem when preparing for any vacation, which is why we have compiled a list of notes to take into consideration when packing for your Tibet Highland and Yangtze River Trip

Baggage
China domestic flights: each passenger is allowed to check in one piece of luggage per flight, up to 44 lbs., and one carry on bag with a combined total dimension not exceeding 45 inches.  Checked luggage must have a lock and a luggage tag showing the contact information of the owner. 
It is important to pack a change of clothing and toiletries in your carry on bag to avoid any inconvenience caused by delayed luggage.

Climate

Beijing/Xian:  Similar in climate to Nebraska and Kansas - however Beijing and Xian receive less snow and rain during the winter.  Late winter and early spring bring regular dust storms and haze

Lhasa: Temperatures can reach the mid-80s in the summer and mid-60s in the winter.  At night or when it rains or snows, temperatures drop significantly.  Precipitation is minimal in the winter; summer showers are more common but occur mainly at night

Shanghai: Summers here are hot and humid with frequent rain.  Winter is shorter, cooler, and often overcast with slight drizzle.

For more travel information click here

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pick of the week: Lhasa, Tibet

With an average height towering more than 13,000 feet above sea level, it is no wonder why Lhasa is known as the “Roof of the World”. This mysterious Buddhist Kingdom offers visitors spellbinding religious monuments, exotic cultures, and breathtaking scenery of some of the world’s tallest mountains. Visit Lhasa’s most famed attractions on our Tibet Highland & Yangtze River Tour (RDT).

Visit the architectural wonder and cardinal landmark of Lhasa - Potala Palace on day 9 of your Tibetan adventure. Built on the Red Hill overlooking the city, this exquisite palace covers over 100 acres and was once a spiritual and temporal palace of the Dalai Lama.


Descend the palace grounds and stroll along Barkhor Street, an old section of Lhasa lined with colorful street stalls and colorful ethnic handicrafts. Continue on the Jokang Lamasery, the most important pilgrimage site in Tibet.

Return to your five star hotel for the night and rest up for tomorrow’s adventure. Depart Lhasa and head to Yamdrok Yumsto Lake, one of Tibet’s three holy lakes, which rests over 14,000 feet above sea level. Enjoy a picnic lunch alongside the river and take in the stunning natural vistas of sparkling waters and rolling mountains.
In addition, to commemorate our 30th anniversary as the nation’s leader in escorted vacations to Asia, we are giving 30% off* to the first 30 passengers who book this Tibet Highland & Yangtze River 16 Days 14 Nights (RDT) tour!
Call 888.345.7489 to book this tour today!!
*This offer cannot be combined with any other discounts and applies to new bookings only. Discount applies only to the base tour fare (excluding taxes, fuel surcharge, extensions, etc.) for any July or August departures. Please call 888-345-7489 for more details.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

30/30 Special - Save 30% Now!

We are pleased to announce that 2010 marks our 30th anniversary as the nation's leader in escorted vacations to Asia. To commemorate this occassion we're offering a special 30/30 Deal as a thank you for supporting us all these years.

We are giving 30% off to the first 30 passengers who book our Tibet Highland & Yangtze River 16 Days 14 Nights (RDT) tour! This vacation visits Beijing, Xian, Lhasa, the Yangtze River, and Shanghai and includes international airfare out of LAX/SFO, transfers, most meals, sightseeing with guide, and 5-star accommodations.

Deals like this are sure to sell out soon so call (888)345-7489 to book your tour today!




*This offer cannot be combined with any other discounts and applies to new bookings only. Discount applies only to the base tour fare (excluding taxes, fuel surcharge, extensions, etc.) for any July or August departures. Please call 888-345-7489 for more details.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


How are you celebrating St.Patrick's Day?
In London, the 2010 parade and accompanying festival in Trafalgar Square is estimated to be one of the biggest yet - with a parade of floats, marching bands, dancers, live music and performances passing through Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street and Trafalgar Square, it’s no wonder everyone wants to join the celebration!

Visit Trafalgar Square on our Great Britain Vacation and our Europe Delight Vacation

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pick of the week: Siem Reap

Angkor: This magnificent UNESCO World Heritage site contains incredible ruins from the Khmer Empire from the 9th to 15th century. Noted by UNESCO as “one of the most important archaeological sites in South-East Asia”, the Angkor Archaeological Park includes the magnificent Angkor Wat. Once described as an epic in rectangular forms, Angkor Wat is the most popular and visited temple within the site. The mother of all temples, it is the world’s largest religious building and one of the most breathtaking monuments of Angkor.

Starting from $300, our Angkor City Package includes:

3 nights hotel accommodation, double occupancy

Full American breakfast daily at the hotel

Round trip airport hotel transfers

One day tour, lunch and admission included – visit Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon, Baphuon, Phimeanakas, Former Royal Palace, Terrace of Elephants, Terrace of LeperKing, Phnom Bakheng

One day tour, lunch and dinner included, visit Ta Prohm, Ta Keo, Chau Say Tevoda, Roluos Group, Lolei, Preah, Bakong, Les Chantiers Ecoles


To book this Siem Reap city tour call 1.800.900.2446

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

And the results are in...

While the Oscars may have marked the end of award season, we here at Ritz Tours are still celebrating.
The results are in and we are pleased to announce that
Ritz Tours has been awarded with TravelAge West's "2010 Editor's Pick Award" in the category of Best Tour Operator to Asia as part of the WAVE (Western Agents Vote of Excellence) Awards.

Chosen by Editor-in-Chief, Ken Shapiro and his entire editorial team, Shapiro "believe[s] our picks this year reflect the best of the best, as my team and I considered a wide-range of attributes and features when evaluating these travel companies. As a result, I think all of the Editor’s Pick winners should be very proud of this acknowledgement.”

Thank you TravelAge West for this great honor!
For a full list of TravelAge West's Editor's Pick Awards, click here

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I see London I see France - Europe's Hot Spots at a Glance

Art. History. Culture. Cuisine. With all that it has to offer, Europe is definitely one of the most fascinating places one must visit in a lifetime. However, with so many attractions, planning a vacation to Europe can become overwhelming and you may feel as though you don't know where to begin. That is why we have narrowed down a list of the main attractions you can put on top of your must-see-in-Europe list.
Constructed nearly 5,000 years ago, this engineering feat has sparked numerous theories sepculating its construction, creators and meaning. This mysterious site was added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites in 1986 and continues to amaze hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. While its original purpose remains uncertain, there is no doubt that Stonehenge should be on the top of your list.


Orginally established as a spa resort by the Romans in AD 43, the city of Bath is a breathtakingly beautiful town adorned with elegant townhouses and a number of architectural wonders. Pictured above is one of the world's finest and best-preserved Roman Spas. Experience the stunning complex of bathhouses situated atop natural springs on our Great Britain Vacation! (Tour Code: RUK)

With scenery that rivals Tuscany's sweeping hills and the French Alps, it's easy to see why 19th century writers called the Lake District their poetic muse. Witness the breathtaking panoramas of jagged mountains, wooded valleys and some of England's largest and most spectacular lakes as we stroll the area on day 6 of our Great Britain Vacation.

Serving as the Royal Family's London residence since 1837, the Buckingham Palace is a sight to be seen. The extravagant Palace serves as an ideal backdrop for any picture and is just one of the many places we will visit on day 3 of our Great Britain Vacation.

Described by Ernest Hemingway as a "moveable feast", this romantic city leaves an indelible mark on the soul of each visitor. Embark on a scenic drive on day 5 of our Europe Delight package in which you will have the opportunity to witness the Eiffel Tower, Opera House, Place de La concord, Champs Elysee and Arc de Triomphe.

Already experienced the gondola ride at the Venetian, Las Vegas? Well, we assure you that although they did do a remarkable job of replicating the scenery, nothing compares to a gondola ride along the Grand Canal. Offering unforgettable views of the parades of palazzos, which date from the 12th-18th century, the experience will be a ride of a lifetime.  Visit this incredible city on our Italy tour.

Venture to the world famous Louvre Museum, home to a staggering collection of art, including the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo on our Europe vacation.

An architectural project gone awry, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most remarkable pieces of work and Italy's most famous landmark. Both our Europe Delight and Italy Essence packages will escort you to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The "Eternal City" of Rome has been known for centuries as the capital of the world, housing an evolving blend of timeless monuments, ruins and ancient culture. No trip to Rome would be complete without a visit to the Colosseum, the iconic symbol of the city.

And last but not least, toss a coin into the legendary Trevi Fountain to ensure your return to this magical city.