We were so delighted with our recent Imperial Jewels of China cruise that, on our return, I actually emailed a review, very similar to the one below, to the Viking office in Beijing and in the UK.
The whole trip was magic from start to finish. From the first contact 12 months ago to the final goodbye from our tour escort Francis at Shanghai Pudong airport, the organisation, service and product were quite superb. We cannot fault the choice of hotels, the people, the excursions or the entertainment in any way. The ship itself (the Viking Century Emerald) was wonderful, and the food, accommodation, on-board shops, staff and crew all far exceeded our expectations, but with one important criticism: when I was ill and needed help, I pressed the SOS button in our cabin repeatedly, but it failed to elicit any response. Had I been dangerously ill, this could have had serious consequences. However, having said that, the attention I received once I had attracted attention, was excellent and very kind.
Our flights to and from China were with BA, and were fine, and the internal flights we took all happened smoothly and according to schedule. All the Viking people we dealt with - admin staff, local guides, coach drivers, and especially our tour escort and the ship's staff and crew - deserve the highest praise. Every aspect of the organisation was superb, and we were particularly impressed with the efficient and apparently seemless way the schedule was reorganised at very short notice and extra entertainments and coaches were laid on, when fog on the Yangtse caused the boat trip to be curtailed unexpectedly.
This was our first trip with Viking. We will definitely be travelling with them again, and in fact are now considering booking in the next few weeks for 2013.