Visa and Passport Information
China: A visa is required by all nationalities. A single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travelling.
From 1st November 2018, British Passport Holders will be required to present themselves in person at the Chinese Visa Processing Centre in London, Manchester, Edinburgh or Belfast on the day of application, to provide biometric information (fingerprints). Appointments can be booked and forms completed via www.visaforchina.org
In order to apply for your Chinese visa you will need to submit supporting documents from our local supplier confirming your itinerary and travel arrangements, which we will obtain on your behalf. So that we can provide this for you, and to ensure all local arrangements are in place, we require a copy of your passport no later than 8 weeks before you are due to start your trip. Once we have your passport copy we shall process and pass on the documents you require 6-8 weeks before your trip, please be mindful of this when applying for your visa. If you require the supporting documents earlier than this, please contact Explore so we can arrange this.
Passengers wishing to extend their stay in China should be aware that current visa regulations only allow foreigners to stay in the country for up to 30 days. Please consider this when planning your trip.
You should confirm all visa related questions with the relevant Embassy prior to departure.
Passengers with flights that transit via Beijing or Shanghai airports (Beijing Capital International airport, Shanghai Pudong International airport and Hongqiao International airport) should take note of the following:
Citizens of certain countries holding a valid passport, a visa for their final destination and a transit flight ticket with a confirmed departure seat and date leaving within 72 hours to a third country (region), may be exempt from a transit visa, provided that their stay within the Beijing or Shanghai administrative regions does not exceed 72 hours.
On arrival at Beijing or Shanghai Airports please head for immigration and look for a desk marked Transit Visa Exemption. Please have all your necessary travel documentation on you such as your onward tickets, passport etc. as you will need to show this to the immigration officer. Please ensure you state to the immigration officer that you want to transit without visa. This is especially important if you do not want your Chinese visa to be invalidated. You will then be given a stamp called a transit pass (Hexagon Shape) rather than the normal regular immigration stamp (Oval Shaped).
Please refer to your local Chinese Consulate for a list of countries that are eligible for the 72 hour transit visa exemption within Beijing and Shanghai airports. Nationalities that are not eligible for exemption may need to obtain a double entry visa and should seek further advice from their local Chinese Consulate.
Please ensure that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity from the date of return to your home country.
If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information.
You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.
Joining Tour Abroad
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.
Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.
If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.
For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here
Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.
You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore
We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.
On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.