Our 5 night cruise down the Yangtze River on the Viking Emerald was a core highlight of the 12 day Viking Imperial Jewels of China tour. Suffice to say that the cruise exceeded all of our expectations, as did the entire tour overall.
The Viking service was fantastic, led by our tour guide, Paul Liang, who set a very high standard for the rest of the Viking staff to follow. On board the ship, we were delighted by the exceptional service and cheerful friendliness of the entire crew. The food was of course very good, with many opportunities to sample the local cuisine. Cabins were a generous size, with balconies standard for all. Morning Tai Chi lessons on the sun deck with Master Tom every morning were a special treat for us early birds. The spectacular scenery of the Three Gorges region, with a particularly enjoyable excursion up the Lesser Three Gorges of the Daning River, proved to be a memorable backdrop for a great many enthusiastic photographers. As well, our close encounters with the local population, especially during our visit to a Viking sponsored elementary school, gave us all a new appreciation for the hospitality and openness of the Chinese people. Our program director, Daniel, did an excellent job of providing both informative and often humorous presentations on the history and culture of the region.
Overall, easily 5 stars plus, with a strong recommendation to anyone who has not yet had the pleasure of visiting this great and ancient country to try the Viking Emerald and the Imperial Jewels of China. In one word, stupendous!