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LIST: UK TOUR OPERATORS TO CHINA

These are UK-based tour operators and specialist travel agencies featuring holidays, tours and travel in China.
Asian Horizons 020 7470 8811 Escorted tours, private groups, educational and cultural travel and tailormade holidays to China.
Bamboo Travel 020 7720 9285 SE Asia specialist operating tailormade holidays and tours.
Carrier 01625 547030 Carrier offer upmarket individual tailormade tours in China, but they've also introduced a selection of three escorted tours.
China Direct 020 7538 2840 Tailormade and small group tours of China. Also educational tours for schools & colleges and assistance for families adopting children from China.
China Holidays 020 7487 2999 China-only specialists since 1997 offering tailormade and fully-inclusive group tours throughout China.
China Links Travel 0203 344 3866 Group tours or tailormade travel to all the classic sites and experiences of China.
Complete India & Asia 01283 820467 Travel Consultants/Operators (since 1994) offering tailormade cultural and adventure in China.
Couture Travel Company, The 0845 603 9815 Luxury holiday operator offering hotel & resort-based tailor-made holidays worldwide.
Cox & Kings 020 7873 5000 A selection of tailor-made and escorted tours between 9-20 days including classic tours to Beijing, Shanghai and the Great Wall. Cox & Kings have been reminding us that they are the world's longest established travel company and that 2008 is their 250th anniversary.
CTS Horizons 020 7836 9911 China Travel Service has been the best known specialist operator to China for years (1986), with a wide range of escorted and tailormade holidays to China.
Cultural Tours 020 7636 7906 China specialists with a good range of escorted tours and tailormade programmes.
Dragon Travel 02920 913338 A good selection of tour itineraries throughout China.
Emperor Tours 020 8306 7388 China specialists offering group tours and tailor-made.
Far East Gateways 0161 437 4371 A selection of multi-centre itineraries and tailor-made options.
Interchange 020 8681 3612 Interchange specialise in tailormade tours for independent travellers and groups, but they have a small escorted tour programme which includes an 18-day tour of rural China focused on Yunnan province and visiting Kunming, Lijiang, Guiyang, Maili, Guilin, Yangshuo and Longsheng.
Journeys of Distinction 0161 491 7616 JOD specialise in fully escorted coach tours worldwide. They added China to their portfolio of destinations in 2004, where they offer a comprehensive 21-day fully escorted 'Very Best of China' tour, which takes in the major centres such as Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai and Guilin. The highlight is a 3-night, 5-star cruise along the Yangtze River, and the tour finishes in Hong Kong.
Kuoni 01306 747002 Pound sign A selection of classic escorted tours to all of China's key sites.
Master Travel 020 7501 6742 Escorted group study tours in China. The tours are focused on subjects such as Community Care, Housing and Secondary Education in China.
On The Go Tours 020 7371 1113 Escorted group tours from seven to fifteen days, featuring Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, Badaling, Suzhou, Luoyang, Guilin, Qufu, Jinan, Yanshuo, Nanjing and the Three Gorges. They also have tours with extensions to Lhasa (Tibet) and Hong Kong.
Oriental Travel 020 7632 4550 China specialists offering small group tours and tailormade travel for individuals & groups.
Page and Moy 0800 567 6638 Page & Moy have a 2-week, fully-escorted classic tour (Shanghai-Yangtze river-Beijing) to China. P&M are part of the Kaleidoscope Travel Group which specialises in escorted travel. Sibling brands include Travelsphere and singles operator, Just You.
Pettitts Travel 01892 515966 Luxury tailormade tours to the 'must-see' sites of China
Regent Holidays 0117 921 1711 starRegent have always specialised in communist (now mostly former communist) countries so they've been covering China for many years. They offer tailormade tour itineraries and escorted grand tours.
Rickshaw Travel 01273 322 399 Rickshaw specialise in responsible tours, or "meaningful experiences", interacting with local communities staying in locally owned hotels & lodges or homestays, using local transport & guiding services, and ensuring that both you & the community mutually benefit from your visit.
Silk Steps 01278 722460 Tailormade and group tours away from the standard attractions.
Steppes Travel 01285 651010 Tailormade travel and small group tours to all parts of China from the Yangtse to the Great Silk Road. They also operate wildlife and conservation tours under their eco brand, Steppes Discovery, and expert-led history/archaeology tours under their The Traveller brand.
Thomas Cook Tours 0844 879 8018 Tour operator division of Thomas Cook specialising in 'fully escorted' tours (door-to-door chauffeur service, scheduled flights, quality hotels, tour managers, and virtually all other travel requirements taken care of). They have a small selection of classic tours in China. TCT won 'Best Escorted Tours Operator' at the British Travel Awards 2011.
Travel 2 0870 155 0066 Strong range of escorted tours from 7-days to 26-days, covering everything from the standard 'must-see' sites such as the Great Wall and the Terracotta Army, to exploring the Gobi desert and Guangxi province.
Travel Department, The 020 7099 9665 Escorted holidays with a planned itinerary and a local guide, bookable online as an "all-in" package, with depatures from Belfast, Edinburgh, Leeds Bradford, Bristol and London Heathrow.
Travel Indochina 01865 268940 starFar East specialists operating a programme of scheduled small group tours in China.
Travelsphere 0844 318 8132 Pound sign Travelsphere specialise in fully-escorted tours. They have a wide selection of tours ranging from 10 to 18-days, plus extensions to Hong Kong and other parts of the Far East. In 2007 they celebrated 20 years of taking visitors to China. Billie Austen, their Product Director, said: "When Travelsphere first started offering packages, China was still deeply Communist and wary of the Western world. A lot of negotiation and compromise had to go on behind the scenes just to get our first visitors out there. Our biggest challenges seem so simple today: finding a coach, arranging airport transfers - even booking a hotel. Our passion and commitment to the country saw us through and the Chinese government now considers us a favoured operator - they have even honoured our customers at a unique dinner held in the State banqueting room of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing."
Tropical Sky 0870 9079 605 Tailor-made holidays to Shanghai and Hong Kong. TS is a specialist long-haul operator to 'tropical' destinations launched by three well-known travel industry characters, Steve Garley, Mike Collins and Jake Grieves-Cook, the latter two formerly with the well-known specialist, Tropical Places, which was bought by Thomson.
Virgin Holidays 0844 557 3865 Escorted 7-night tours of China highlights, based on accommodation in Shanghai & Beijing and on Virgin's flight.
Voyages Jules Verne 020 7616 1000 A range of fully-escorted grand tours of China from 7-days to 26-days.
Wendy Wu Tours 0870 343 0386 starAustralian specialist operator to China with an office in London (since spring 2005). They offer a good range of 7 to 28-day escorted grand tours.

 

Notes

  • Soma Journeys is a small travel business founded in July 2012 by former TV presenter, Cristy Elmendorp, specialising in adventure trekking and life-enhancing journeys in Asian destinations including China.
  • Ride China is a motorcycle tour company based in Kunming, offering unique guided small group tours with support vehicle to some of China's most intriguing destinations on specific departure dates. They also offer motorcycle rentals and self-guided tour itineraries for independent riders. They are registered and fully bonded with China Tourism Bureau.
  • China Odyssey Tours is an online travel agency based in China, specialising in tailor-made China tours for couples & groups, business & leisure from the USA & UK.
  • The China Guide is an American-owned travel agency based in Beijing offering a huge range of excursions and tours in China.
  • ReadyClickandGo specialise in customised private guided day trips, sightseeing tours and cultural experiences in China, which are pre-bookable online and backed up by a small team of experienced travellers.
  • A Chinese company, Wild Giant Panda, has started organising eco-tours to see giant pandas in the Shaanxi Qinling Mountains where they not only have the highest density of wild giant panda distribution in China, but also populations of Golden Monkey, Golden Takin, and Crested Ibis.

 

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