FAQ on Specials by Yangtze Cruises, Inc.
(Note: the answers are for special promotion only and might not
apply to other products and services provided by China Planner or its associated tour
operator, namely, Yangtze Cruises, Inc.)
1. We are from Australia and we are interested in your tour specials. Do you
only accept Americans?
- Although most of group participants are Americans, we welcome people from all over the
world to join our tours as long as you speak English.
2. I am traveling alone and do now have a travel companion. Can I join you?
- You are welcome to join us. You just have to pay the single hotel room and/or cruise
ship cabin supplement, which are stated in the tour itineraries.
3. We want to join one of your tours, but we arrive in China earlier and
depart later. Can you help arrange hotels and transfers between airports and hotels?
- Yes, we do. You just have to pay the extra night hotel accommodations and the transfers.
4. We are traveling with a child under 12. Do you have discount for the kid?
- As you can see, our special programs are very specially packaged and include the deepest
discounts. There is no more margin for us to offer child discount or any other further
5. We are a family of 3 adults staying in one room. What discount do we have?
- For the reason stated above, there is no discount for triple occupancy. The third person
will be staying in a rollaway bed in the room.
6. I am alone. Can you help me find a travel companion?
- We got a lot of inquires like this. Frankly, we were not quite successful. Our simplest
answer is that it is hard to find one and youd better pay the single supplement. But
if you insist, please send us the detailed information about you: name, male or female,
age, race, smoking or no,
7. Are those tours guaranteed departures?
- Yes, our tours are guaranteed departures. But some times when you book it could be sold
out already. So early booking is strongly suggested.
8. How do we make a reservation, should we call you or email you?
- To make a reservation, please fill out an online form on our web site (http://www.ChinaPlanner.com/services/index.htm).
It would come to us in seconds.
If you use email, please send it to YangtzeUS@aol.com.
Please clearly state your name, phone number, dates and specific request the more
detailed the better. You can call us, but to save time, please send us an email, or fax to
us - fax number: (732) 821-0099. We need something in writing for your booking.
9. Id like take your Beijing 5 day tour in the Middle of October. But I
need to spend one day to participate in the Beijing Marathon race. What should I do?
- Yes, you can still join our tour. But, as it is a package, no refund for the day on your
own. The rule is No Credit Will Be Given For Your Voluntary Unused Services.
10. What taxes do we have in China and how much?
- Airport taxes, international departure tax, city construction tax. Airport tax in
Chinese currency is 50 yuan (US$6) per airport. International Departure Tax is 90 yuan
(US$12), only charged to the last airport. City Construction Tax is charged at around $1
per person per night on your hotel bills, and only in some cities, such as Beijing, Xian,
Guilin, Shanghai, etc.
11. When are you going to send us the final information?
- Around 3 weeks before departure. Most info will be sent by emails to keep our cost down.
12. We like your Beijing/Xian/Guilin/Shanghai tour, but we do not like to go
with other people. Can we travel alone?
- Yes, you can. Actually, all our special group tours can be customized and tailored for
our customers. The difference is cost. With some extra dollars, you can have your own
guide and drivers and cars/coaches. You will enjoy more privacy, intimacy and personal
13. How do I know if one departure is still available?
- The best way is to contact us by phone (800) 779-2856 or email and find out. Some times we
post the dates on the web pages, but booking situation changes faster than our frequency
of web update.
14. Wed like to join your Beijing/Xian 8 day tour (tour code: 04BX), but
we also want to add Datong after that. Can we do this?
- Yes, you can. The first part is billed the group rate, and the second part will be
handled as private tour. Or you can do the Datong private tour first, then join the group
tour. It is up to you.
15. What information do you need to confirm our tours?
- Besides the tour dates, please provide 4 things to confirm the tours: 1. passport names
(full names), 2. passport numbers; 3. Dates of birth. 4. International air tickets arrival
and departure information. Those are basic information, which we need for all bookings.
16. Do you have brochures for the specials?
- We basically publish all the necessary information on the web pages and send additional
information to our customers by emails. There is no urgent need to print brochures. This
is one of the reasons we could keep the cost down and make the prices to you very
17. Are you sure your tour packages are special?
- Our special packages are hard negotiated, carefully selected and well integrated of all
the special elements to give our customers extra values. Our special packages are designed
for working class people just like ourselves. You work hard. You have a dream to spend
some nice time in our unique country - China. Only now, the China trip has become so
affordable. For merely $2,000, you can have a deluxe 2-week tour, all-inclusive, including
4-5 deluxe hotels. We welcome our customers to compare apple by apple, and shop around
before you make decisions. Anyway, it is your hard-earned money and you have to use it
wisely. Just as they say: "You can pay more. But Why?"
18. We want to take your Beijing/Xian 8 day tour, but
we hope to make some changes. Is it OK?Our tours are specially packaged and all arrangements the dates and activities -
are fixed and can not change; and they are group tours we have other participants.
Our tour programs are carefully selected and crafted, and we believe they best suits most
of the visitors. If you want to do the same tour in a different date other than published
on the site, or you want to make changes to the arrangements due to your special needs, we
can help. All of our tours are customizable. We can make the group tour a private tour for
you. The only difference is that a private tour costs more - sometimes, a lot more.
19. What is the group size?In our plan, a group should be around 16-20 people. Actually, we got below 16 in some
shoulder season months (Feb, March, Nov, etc), and more than 30 in high season months
(Sept and Oct). We monitor the quality closely and make sure everybody gets enough
personal attention in the group.
20. About optional tours. Should we book them in advance or we decide on the
- We suggest that you pay before you departure so everything will be in place when you
arrive. You CAN wait till you are there; But that will be subject to availability and
21. Do I need to send you my passport to apply China visa?
- Yes. We need your passport to apply visa, which is a sticker attached to your passport.
For more detailed information about how to apply China visa, please check our site http://www.ChinaPlanner.com/china-visa/chinavisa.htm
22. How do we get China visa? Can you help us?
- Chinese embassies and consulates no longer accept mail-in application for visa. If you
live in the US or Canada, we can help get it. If you live in other countries, you need to
contact your local embassies or consulates. Please check www.ChinaPlanner.com for the list of embassies and
consulates in your country.
23. What do you need to apply a China visa?To apply China visa, we need a visa form
filled out by you, a passport photo attached to the form, and your actual passport. It is
$75 per person plus $20 per FedEx delivery, which will be billed to your final payment. It
takes 2 weeks for us to process it and send your passport/visa back to you. Rush services
are available upon request, and with additional fee.
24. Where can I get a visa form?
- The simplest way is to print it from our web site: http://linktrip.com/visaform.htm. Or we can
also email, mail from post office or fax one to you. You can make some Xerox copies.
25. How should we send you our passport and visa forms?
- Please always send such important documents as passports and air tickets by FedEx, UPS
or Airborne, etc, which you can track your packages. Please do not use post office
services as our clients had numerous bad experiences with them.
26. Do I need a visa to visit Hong Kong?
A. For most people, you do not need a visa to visit Hong Kong for a period of time. If
you are a US or Canada citizen, you can stay in Hong Kong for 3 months visa free. For
people from other countries, please contact us for more detailed info.
27. Can we apply Chinese visa on our own?
- Yes, you can. But we do not suggest that. Since the embassies and consulates no longer
accept mail-in application, you have to visit them twice first trip, hand in
application. Second trip, some days later, to pick up. You need to bring all the documents
including confirmation from travel agency. In New York, each time our "visa guy"
has to wait in a queue for couple of hours. If you have time, do it by yourself. For most
people, it is not worth the time to do it by your own. Yangtze Cruises, Inc charges $75
per person, including the consulate charge $50 per person. A $20 FedEx charge is
guaranteed the speedy and safe delivery.
28. We booked All Nippon Airways to fly to China. We have to
stop in Japan for one night. Can you book the hotel for us? Do I need a visa to visit
Japan?Yes, we can book the hotel for you in Japan, if the airline does not provide free
accommodations. We can actually booking hotels in other Asia countries or districts.
Please contact us with details. You do not need a visa to visit Japan for up to 90 days if
you are a US citizen or Canadian citizen. For more info, please contact Japanese
consulates nearest you.
29. I noticed that almost all the special tours only give land package prices. Do
you book international air tickets?
- We can book international air tickets for customers in the US, and some from Canada.
Departure from other countries, you have to purchase your own air tickets from a local
But, we basically only help customers with air tickets when they book a tour or some
other travel services with us. We might not sell international air tickets only when we
are busy with other travel arrangements of our customers. But you can always send us an
email, so we might forward it to the right agency to help.
30. Which airlines do you use for international air? Which
airline do you use for internal flights in China?For international air, whichever is available and which ever offers our best rates. The
options are: United Airlines, Northwest, Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern
Airlines, Japan Airlines, Asiana Airlines, American Airlines, etc. For China domestic air,
we use the above mentioned 3 Chinese airlines and some others. They are all state-owned
fleets of Boeing and Airbus planes, with pilots trained by them. We feel they do not make
any difference. Most flights within China are just one hour or one and half. You will
enjoy the safe and brief trips.
31. Can we use the mileage for international air tickets booking?
- If you use the mileage for international air booking, please contact your airline
directly and quickly. If you book international airline through us and have paid it, you
can call the airline and use your mileage for upgrade.
32. Are the air tickets paper tickets or E-tickets?
A. Some are paper tickets and some are E-tickeks. It is
decided by the airlines.
33. Can we pay you when we arrive in China?All tours have to be prepaid and no tour- in cash is accepted, as we need to
prepay all the suppliers: hotels, airlines, etc. If you have a small unpaid balance due to
last minute added services, we will collect them upon your arrival in China. A service fee
of $50 may apply.
34. Should we pay ChinaPlanner.com or Yangtze Cruises, Inc?
What is the relationship between them?ChinaPlanner.com and Yangtze Cruises, Inc are under the same owner. China Planner or
Chinaplanner.com (or www.linktrip.com) is a web
site, while the operation part of the site is handled by Yangtze Cruises, Inc, a China and
Asia travel service wholesaler for over 11 years in the US, with offices in China, and
agencies in many countries. So all inquiries and payment should be made to Yangtze
Cruises, Inc. This company also owns some other popular web sites.
1). Yangtze Cruises, Inc contact
2). Yangtze Cruises, Inc payment
35. I am coming from Canada. Can I pay by credit card?We do not accept credit cards from people out of the US. And we do not accept credit
card whose holder is not the traveler or one of the travelers. A 5% surcharge from credit
card company will be added if a credit card is accepted. Since all the tours are specially
discounted, we prefer cash payment: ether by checks or wire transfer. More info about payment.
36. Who and Where
should I mail the check to?
You should make the check payable to Yangtze Cruises, Inc, the actual tour operator for www.ChinaPlanner.com. The mailing address is:
Yangtze Cruises, Inc (New Jersey)
2031 US HWY 130, Suite F
Monmouth JCT, NJ 08852
Tel: (732) 821-6688 (for FedEx airbill, etc)
37. What is your bank information for wire payment:
- To wire the payment to us, please use the following bank info. Please note that the bank
transfer charges are on your own.
Bank: The Chase Manhattan Bank
ABA number: 021000021
Bank address: 1141 Broadway, New York, NY 10018, USA
Beneficiary: Yangtze Cruises, Inc.
Beneficiary address: 566 7th Ave, Suite 506, New York, NY 10018
Please ask your banker to wire as "same day funds", which we can get it in hours
or next day. Otherwise it could take several days.
38. We are from India. We want to join your tour, but our country has a policy
of foreign currency control. How could we send money to you?
- For people from India, Pakistan, etc, we will instruct you how to send the payment to
39. When should we send our deposit?
- As soon as you decide the trip. Because of the unbeatable prices in the market, our
tours fill up quickly. Early booking will save you lot of money and avoid the risk of
unavailability. Especially the international air tickets. We have to reject many bookings
each year (with regrets) due to the reasons of "No international air tickets" or
"departure is full". We hate it because you lose a nice trip and we lose a
40. How much do you need for deposit?
A. US$300 per person.
41. When should we send the final payment the balance?
- For people out of the US, we ask for final payment 90 days before your departure. For
people in the US, we require final payment 60 days before departure.
42. What is your cancellation policy?
A. Please check our 2 documents online for details: (1) Asia
and China Tour Terms and Conditions; (2) Yangtze River
Cruise Rerservation Rules.
43. Do you sell insurance?
- We strongly recommend travel insurance to our customers. But we do not sell or represent
travel insurance companies. Please contact us for a list of insurance companies used by
44. Do you sell train tickets?
- Yes, we do. We sell domestic train tickets and international train tickets, such as
Beijing/Ulan Bator and Beijing / Moscow trains, Beijing/Hong Kong train tickets, etc.
45. How can we find your guide when we arrive?
- Our guide will be holding a sign of your name or our company name (Yangtze Cruises, Inc)
in his hands at the exit of the customs where many people are waiting there. If you can
not find him, he will find you.
46. Where should I exchange my money?
- Best time? When you arrive your first hotel in China. All hotels have a desk for money
exchange. The rates are on a board to the wall. Rates are announced by the central bank of
China every day.
47. How should I tip my guide?
- Before you departure to China, we will send you a detailed instruction about tipping,
shopping, making phone calls, etc in China.
48. Do you have guide with us every day?
- Our special packages are designed for group tours. We will have a guide and a driver in
each city and they will accompany you every day when you are in that city. When you go to
next city, another guide and another driver will be accompanying you there. For a group of
more than 30, we sometimes assign a national guide or tour manager to accompany you
throughout the trip in China.
49. Do we need to dress up?
- Please check your tour itinerary. You might have some formal occasions: the captain's
welcome and farewell banquets on the cruise ship, Beijing Duck dinner, Xian Tang Dynasty
dinner and show... As a tourist, you are not expected to be very formal, but blue jeans,
shorts or slippers might not be the best choice.
50. How do you handle your tour? Does your guide Speaking English?
- Our special tour programs is based on join-in group tours. The guides all speak fluent
English some speak very good English as they do the job every day.
51. How do you arrange the meals?
- We arrange 3 meals a day. Breakfast is always in the hotels in buffet style, with rich
selections: juices, fruits, bread, bacon, sausage, fried eggs, Chinese dumplings, rice
soup, vegetables - both Chinese and Western style. Lunches and dinners are normally in
Chinese style. Normally with pork, vegetables and fish, 6 dishes and a soup. Please check
a sample menu.
52. Can you provide guides of other languages?
- If you have a group of 10 people or more, we can arrange a guide who speaks your
language. We have guides who speak French, German, Spanish, Arabian, Japanese, Korean,
53. Why you always suggest we send you email instead of telling us
everything on the phone?
- First, we appreciate your phone calls. But to save costs and keep our prices down, we
could not hire many people to answer phone calls. If you send us an email, we will reply
in hours or minutes. Your questions are straight to the point and our answers are simple
and clear. It saves both of us time. Not to say that many answers are actually clearly
written on the web pages of our sites. What you need might be just a reminder or a link by
email, besides another look at the pages you visited. An unpublished policy is that each
phone call is limited to 3-5 minutes. So, we suggest your write down your questions before
you call. You need important answers in writing anyway. Hey, call us any time -- just keep
it brief. OK?
54. I was told that there is an airport tax attached to the air tickets in
- Based on recent regulations by Chinese Aviation Authority, starting Sept. 1, 2004, all
the airport taxes are to be pre-collected for our 2004 tour programs at the first city you
arrive in. For 2005, we will collect the airport tax in the final payment.
55. Can you tell me our cabin number on the cruise ship?
- China cruise ships are small and the cabins of same category are basically the same. So
cruise lines do not assign cabins before hand. You cabin will be assigned at check in.
56. Do you work with travel agencies?
A. If you are a travel agent, or a group organizer, or you
have a group looking for help, please contact