This cruise-land tour combination is a great way to see quickly the well-known highlights of the huge country of China. Viking River Cruises takes care of all the details and we just had to enjoy the trip. We were met at the airport and quickly taken to our hotel. There our guide, Johana, met us and started taking care of us. She was excellent! The land tour part of this trip involved 3 intra-China flights. I had been a little apprehensive about that. Johanna handled all the check-in details, all we had to do was go thru security and customs once she took us to the airports. the cruise part of the trip is on the Viking Emerald, a very comfortable ship with every cabin having a private balcony. Spacious for a river cruise. Flat screen TV with the basic news channels and movies. Balcony had room for 2 chairs and gave great perspective of Three Gorges. We were on the same deck as the dining room which was very convenient. Dining Room was very noisy, but the service was excellent and the food good.
The weather thru the Three Gorges was misty and rainy. The fog held us up one night so we were almost 12 hours late going thru the ship locks. The staff worked most of the night to secure an alternate excursion for us so we did not feel as though we had missed a thing. The Great Wall is a hard climb, once again Johanna was helpful and honest, giving everyone options. The mornings at the Terracotta Soldiers in Xi'an and at Tiananmen Square-Forbidden City involved hours of walking and were worth every step.
For anyone who wants to hit the high spots of China from panda bears to the world largest dam, this is the trip to take.