China is an amazing country to visit.Viking has organized this trip to allow a comprehensive view of major cities in China as well as cruising the Yangtze River.The trip started in Beijing with an extra day which we spent on an extra tour to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall.This section is not busy allowing great photographic opportunities.By starting at Beijing you get to see the Hutongs as well as the major Beijing sites.The optional Peking Duck and Opera, although not a high point of the tour, is a must to experience the Chinese culture.All internal flights were well handled in terms of luggage transfer and minimal wait times.The optional Tang Dynasty Dinner and Show is well worth the price.
The Viking Emerald although new this year appears worn.Perhaps the high humidity on the Yangtze takes its toll.Both food and room service were excellent.Lectures were interesting. The music in the evenings was well done.Both shows that the crew did were well done.The scenery was awesome.The Three Gorges Dam was a marvel. I enjoyed the school visit the most!
Our hotel was within walking distance of the Bund in Shanghai-an extra bonus.We also did the Hong Kong extension. The Li river near Guilin is so different to the Yangtze that this alone is a good reason to do the extension. The morning market in Guilin was also different than anything we had experienced earlier.Hong Kong is a shoppers paradise.There are many things to do and see within walking distance of the hotel. We wanted to see and experience as much of China as we could and opted to do two additional tours.These were Grayline tours. The was Highlights of the Night and the other was Lantau 360 Island Explorer.
Food was a concern before we took the cruise.All breakfasts were Buffet and included traditional American fare.Lunch and dinner were about half Chinese and half American. The quality was excellent and there was a wide variety of dishes presented.
All hotels were 5*at least.An exceptional tour overall.