This trip was a 50th anniversary gift to ourselves and our second Viking River Cruise. We knew from our prior one not to expect the ocean cruising experience of imitation Vegas shows, dress up night, bingo, dancing and spas. We came to see and experience as much of China as we could see in 2 weeks. There are some highly detailed reports here, so I will just provide a summary.
The passengers are divided into smaller groups with your own guide for the whole trip and there are local guides at each stop. They were all wonderful, with interesting, humorous commentary and surprisingly open comments about what China is like for its citizens now. We thought the hotels (2 Westins and a Ritz Carlton in Shanghai) were more modern and fancy than we expected. You hit all the highpoints: the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Terra Cotta Army, pandas galore, the Three Gorges Dam and scenic cruising in the Three Gorges region. We thought the ship was comfortable if not luxurious, the food very good and the staff friendly and helpful. The fellow passengers were well traveled, informed and interesting. Everything, including transfers to and from the airport, moving from hotel to ship, etc. was super organized. We went in the spring and had nice weather which is probably better than trying this trip in the summer.
As for the negatives, there is a lot of walking, stair climbing and keeping up with the group. It's probably not a great idea if you're not physically fit, although a woman in her 80s did fine with wheelchair assist at times. At times the trip felt a little like the TV show the Amazing Race and could probably use some more downtime. We also got pretty tired of Chinese cooking, but, of course, we were in China.