Sail Date: April 2019
This was the trip of a lifetime for us. Viking staff made all of the difference in the success of this trip. We began in Beijing. We flew on United from Tampa via Washington Dulles. IAD to PEK was a whopping 14+ hours. Customs ... Read More
This was the trip of a lifetime for us. Viking staff made all of the difference in the success of this trip. We began in Beijing. We flew on United from Tampa via Washington Dulles. IAD to PEK was a whopping 14+ hours. Customs clearance in Beijing was fairly painless. We were met by Viking guide Peter, who would be our guide for the next two days. We were taken to the Kerry hotel, where we spend 5 nights. Lovely hotel with small but well equipped room. The hotel has an outstanding health club and indoor pool. Their restaurants are all quite good. Kerry's Kitchen serves buffet for B,L & D. Nice array of Chinese and Western fare. Kerry's Pantry was sort of a take-out restaurant with some seating. Great salads, sandwiches and desserts. Centro is a 24 hour bar and restaurant. The bar was a good hiding place....with an excellent cheeseburger, btw!! We bought the Beijing extension, which gave us a tour of the Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace. Weather was a bit cool - 40's to 50's, but nice and sunny. We had our first lunch at a very large Chinese restaurant. It was pretty good. We had the second day free. We stayed close to the hotel, shopping in the two astonishing adjacent malls. Our actual tour then began. Our guide for the remainder of the journey was Roy. He made the trip for us. Expertly knowledgable and responded to every request and problem. We toured the Great Wall in perfect weather - 50's and piercing bright sun. Roy brought us to a location on the Wall which had almost no other people! Fabulous vantage points and lots of time to shoot photos and just marvel at this wonder of the world. The next day was Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Again perfect weather and great commentary from Roy. Next day we flew to Xi'an. Great flight on China Eastern Airlines. Comfortable seating and on-time flight. Getting through security in all of the Chinese airports is arduous....Full pat downs every time. We stayed at the Wyndham South. This was one of the nicest hotels we've stayed in. It is adjacent to a wonderful ourdoor mall with an engaging walk down to a pogoda. The Terra Cotta Warriors exceeded our expectations. Too much to try to describe here. Next, we flew to Chongqing on Hainan Airlines. It's the largest city in the world. We believed it when we rode through it. It was late in the day, so the building lights were coming on. Breathtaking! It was the first day of a holiday, so traffic was at a standstill. We finally got to the ship's boarding area at around 9pm. We had to descend a large, dangerous set of stairs which had no railing. Points off for Viking on this. We had a suite, # 508. It, along with every other aspect of the ship was just average. The ship is only 8 years old, but is quite worn. The service on the ship was excellent. The food was hit or miss. Everything needed salt, and I normally never salt my food. We had bought the Silver Spirits drink package and found that to be a waste, as we drank mostly the free-flow wine in the restaurant. The noise level in the restaurant was very high, probably due in part to the low ceiings on the ship. Very small fitness room with 2 treadmills, 2 bikes and 2 ellipticals....nothing else. The 6 day cruise was the most scenic cruise we've ever taken. Again, too much to try to describe here. Next, we flew on China Eastern to Shanghai. Exciting drive through this metropolis to the Westin Bund Center. Great hotel with good restaurants. Strange room setup, trying to be funky modern, but was rather dysfunctional. We toured the Yu Gardens and the Shanghai Museum. I'm not a museum person, but this one really appealed to me. It was very spacious and easy to get around.....and it was overwhelming! Finally we flew home on United, connecting in Chicago.....with less than two hours to clear customs and get to our connecting flight. Folks, don't let anyone do this to you. You need a minimum of 4 hours to do this. We barely made it, using the Mobile Passport app. In all, we highly recommend this trip, even though the actual ship is less than Viking's standards. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We have always wanted to visit China to see the difference in cities, culture and landscapes! This Cruise/Land Tour trip was the perfect way to do that. In the two weeks that we were there we saw 6 megacities, flew three domestic flights ... Read More
We have always wanted to visit China to see the difference in cities, culture and landscapes! This Cruise/Land Tour trip was the perfect way to do that. In the two weeks that we were there we saw 6 megacities, flew three domestic flights within China along with experiencing their airlines and airports, in addition to the 7 night, 6 day cruise on the Yangtze river! -Embarkation went smoothly except for a minor glitch of delayed luggage due to customs holding up one bus temporarily. This is not the fault of the cruise staff and we still left on time. Disembarking was a breeze as was transferring to and from the many airports and hotels. Never had to deal directly with our luggage until the time came to check baggage for our return flight home from Beijing! -The hotel accommodations were unbelievably top notch! All were 5*+ and we felt that the Ritz-Carlton in Shanghai and the Wyndham in Xian were the nicest rooms we've ever stayed in! -The food on board the ship and in all the restaurants was phenomenal. So many opportunities to try new and unusual dishes that we'd never heard of or had before. The only "problem" was there was always too much! -Service aboard the ship was excellent from the cabin attendant to our wonderful waitress Alice and waiter in the dining room. Many are multitalented and also provide the passengers with evening entertainment shows! Any requests of staff were handled efficiently and with a smile. -A variety of onboard activities were offered, from experiencing a tea ceremony explanation, having a silk garment made to talks by the tour director and explanations by local experts on the history, culture and sites as we made our way on Yangtze for six days. -The shore excursions and land tours were equally eye opening, everything I expected and so much more! Visiting a 2nd grade classroom in an elementary school was one of many opportunities to interact one on one with the people. The tours did require some physical activity and walking. Climbing 12 floors to the top of a temple, watching the giant pandas in the Chongquin Zoo, exploring the Three Gorges dam and Terra Cotta warriors in Xian. The Three Gorges on the Yangtze were amazing with a chance to see up close one the most beautiful gorges from a Sampan! Walking on the Great Wall may have been the highlight however. There were just so many sites and experiences in this trip! We have been to many places in the world but we both agree that this is probably the most memorable trip we've taken! -The advantages of having a tour director with our group the whole two weeks was unbelievable. Our tour director Roy for our group of 36 people was Amazing. He did everything and I mean everything! He handled every little detail so that we could just enjoy ourselves. He made the difference between a good trip and an unbelievably excellent trip and he should be commended many times over. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
NO COMMENTS ON VESSEL (OR CABINS) BECAUSE THIS WAS HER LAST VIKING CRUISE. A BRAND NEW SHIP IN 2019!!! Our 2-week Imperial Jewels odyssey, Shanghai to Bejing, celebrated our 50th anniversary. It was extremely well-organized by very ... Read More
NO COMMENTS ON VESSEL (OR CABINS) BECAUSE THIS WAS HER LAST VIKING CRUISE. A BRAND NEW SHIP IN 2019!!! Our 2-week Imperial Jewels odyssey, Shanghai to Bejing, celebrated our 50th anniversary. It was extremely well-organized by very competent staff. Airfare booked thru Viking provided direct flights on American Airlines & included all transfer of ourselves & bags. Welcoming Viking escorts met us, took us to our hotels on the first of many tour bus rides & handled check-in. We met our excellent, personable & continually informative Viking escort, Roy Liu, & our "family" of 35 fellow travelers. All 3 cities featured elegant 4-5 star hotels like Ritz-Carlton. We sailed from Wuhan after 2 nights. The tour includes 3 internal flights on Chinese airlines via vast modern airports. Plentiful daily sightseeing utilizes travel days to see things en route. It is a VERY strenuous tour including countless stairs & uneven pavement. (Few wheelchair service opportunities.) Our only excursion-free "day of rest" was the first on the river. Fascinating, constant learning opportunities introduced the culture, history, landmarks, etc.plus activities like daily Tai Chi exercise class. The hard-working, totally service-oriented Chinese crew provided night time entertainment with colorful costumes & folk dancing. No formal nights or casino. Nice bars with live music duo. No smoking. The ship's elegant dining room had 8-person tables; no assigned seats. Breakfast & lunch had both buffet & menu service. Western-style foods are plentiful on board & at hotels, but don't go if you dislike Chinese cuisine. Restaurant meals on excursions usually many dishes family-style on a "lazy Susan." LOVED the food's variety, flavors, & freshness but missed ice cubes! Viking constantly supplied necessary bottled water. (Even used for brushing teeth!) Free-flow "house" wine, beer, soft drinks at meals. ON SHIP: Wi-fi free but seldom available due to geography. OFF SHIP: Wi-fi free at hotels but no Google, Facebook, etc. Need alternative apps. ALWAYS carry toilet paper; ladies, brief wait for western-style public toilets. Highlights too numerous to list included the expected like Terra Cotta warriors & Great Wall & unexpected like a Chinese elementary school & the exotic Goddess stream gorge. This trip does NOT go to the panda breeding center. We adored these charmers at their Chonqing Zoo enclosures. Glad we went south-to-north as Beijing was the peak experience! November chilly but bearable up north, still warm & humid in the south. (October has millions of Chinese traveling for biggest national holidays.) Viking doesn't waste time at overpriced "factory" businesses but took us to a few quality establishments selling silk embroidery, bronzes, jade, etc. The few small shops on board had higher prices than on land & didn't bargain. Most popular was a tailor creating custom-made silk garments that were bargains compared to US prices. Order early! Added-cost excursions: Only 3, We did the Tang Dynasty Dinner/Show at Xian & the Kung Fu Theatre in Beijing. Both FABULOUS theatrical productions with music,dance, thrills, astonishing special effects worthy of Las Vegas. Incredible value! SO GLAD we experienced this journey to an endlessly surprising, dynamic destination! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
The staff was very service oriented and professional. Opportunity to learn a lot of cultural information about China history, way of life. Fun and interesting people, plus fun shows by the staff. Like the beer and wine at meals at no ... Read More
The staff was very service oriented and professional. Opportunity to learn a lot of cultural information about China history, way of life. Fun and interesting people, plus fun shows by the staff. Like the beer and wine at meals at no additional cost. Smooth ride up a river than in the ocean. Tour guides where informative and English speaking was very good. Will go on another river cruise sometime in the future. Hotel accommodations prior and after cruise were excellent. Air fairs could have been more direct for us living In Seattle than fly to Dallas and then to China and returning to Dallas before proceeding to Seattle. When others in our groups flight did go to Seattle. Weather was great for this trip and our concerns for smog did not develop in the big cities. We had clear beautiful days. Tour buses where great and lots of water was handed out to those who needed it. Great variety of excursion tours to learn culture and opportunities to shop and taste different foods. We would recommend this tour to anybody interested in China. Like that no motorized chairs where able to use this cruise like some ocean cruises. You had to be able to walk so tours were not slowed up. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Never been there, wonderful experience. It was a great experience,guide was wonderful. Would do trip again, if the world wasn’t so big. Looking forward to our next adventure. Met wonderfully people. Really enjoyed traveling with them. ... Read More
Never been there, wonderful experience. It was a great experience,guide was wonderful. Would do trip again, if the world wasn’t so big. Looking forward to our next adventure. Met wonderfully people. Really enjoyed traveling with them. Hotels were excellent. Next time we would be a little bit more aggressive. Money exchange was a bit confusing, use credit cards. Tours were great enjoyed everyday, looking forward to our next trip. Staff was great everything was wonderful. Foods were a experience, difficult to make choices although they tried to give us choices. Beer and wine on board was great, no complaints. We really recommend this trip it was more than we expected. China is a great country, but we really needed more time there. Only complaint was boarding our ship, which was horrible. They really needed a better boarding ramp. Everyone was upset the way we boarded. The ship was great once we were aboard. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Great itinerary to see China (Beijing/Great Wall; Xian/Terra Cotta Warriors; Yangtze River/3 Gorges Dam & sights) and land portion of tour with excellent guides and 5 star hotels was really outstanding. However, the Viking Ship Emerald ... Read More
Great itinerary to see China (Beijing/Great Wall; Xian/Terra Cotta Warriors; Yangtze River/3 Gorges Dam & sights) and land portion of tour with excellent guides and 5 star hotels was really outstanding. However, the Viking Ship Emerald (actually a Chinese ship with all Viking passengers) was damp and musty with below average service. Humidifiers in hallways should have given us our first clue as to serious problems with the ship. We asked for room humidifier and air filter fans and the crew provided these immediately. Dining room service was unusual for a cruise -- couples had to share menus at dinner and at lunch only one menu per table was provide for 8 people (does Viking have a strange cost cutting effort going on?) -- and wait service was impatient and wanted you to order quickly. My onboard credit was denied and I was curtly asked to prove that I had it. Luckily I had a cruise reservation form that had a Viking logo on it so they could finally give us our $250 credit. We has a suite but no one told us that laundry was free -- the Viking documentation was generic and said we had to pay. All other cruises we have taken have a paper in the room which tells of perks that come with the room. Embarkation to ship at Chongqing was a true disaster, extremely unsafe and must be fixed by Viking. From busses we had to descend many crumbling concrete stairs with no railings dragging our carry on luggage by ourselves with absolutely no help from Viking staff of 10-15 standing by watching us struggle to help each other down the wet and muddy stairs. When we complained the Viking staff said China did not allow the Viking ship staff to help us; however, someone delivered our large luggage from the airport to the ship down those same stairs. The ship is supposed to be refurbished in Dec 2018 so that may help appearance, but probably not service. I give this cruise 3 stars because the guides were terrific (ours was Joshua); tours very good (lots of steps -- not easy, but outstanding); the hotels were 5 star plus; and the itinerary outstanding. I also hope that Viking can fix the embarkation disaster (should be easy fix) and the ship is being refurbished. We hope Viking could train the crew to European standards and print a few more menus. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
My 90 year old mother chose this trip after taking Prague to Paris with the grandaughters. Its was wonderful. After reading the reviews, I was concerned about the physical aspects of the trip & reviewers discussing the difficulty of ... Read More
My 90 year old mother chose this trip after taking Prague to Paris with the grandaughters. Its was wonderful. After reading the reviews, I was concerned about the physical aspects of the trip & reviewers discussing the difficulty of the terrain & lack of access to those with disabilities. Keep in mind my mother walks at least a mile a day, rides an exercise bike regularly. She’s pretty salty for 90. To be safe, I contacted the travel agent 2x- who reassured me that this trip would not be a problem. Wrong, Wrong. So wrong. While this trip provided an excellent array of excursions to showcase China’s history, art, museum exhibits - that doesn’t help you if you can’t get there to see them. Our group’s guide James, who was a wealth of information- did his best to make arrangements for mom at the disembarkment spots but it was still too much. The stairs at every port were unbelievable- usually at least 90- so double that for the return trip. Add to that the heat & humidity in late June - brutal. All the Viking staff on shore & the ship were fabulous- courteous, knowledgeable, friendly- but apparently our travel agent dropped the ball. My mom was unable to enjoy several excursions( the ones she really wanted to see- the Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors, the Temple) due to exhaustion and knee & hip pain. There were other much younger cruisers who were grumbling about “boot camp” throughout the tour. Just make sure you are in decent shape and stay hydrated. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this cruise because we had never been to China and having cruised with Viking before it was a no brainer. Doubtful that we would ever consider any other Cruise Line. The food and service on board the Viking Emerald was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had never been to China and having cruised with Viking before it was a no brainer. Doubtful that we would ever consider any other Cruise Line. The food and service on board the Viking Emerald was excellent, as were the on shore excursions. Our favorite shore excursion was the school visit, a surprise because neither of us are what you would call children people. Our tour began in Shanghai and ended in Hong Kong. The weather cooperated wonderfully, light sprinkles in Shanghai And a 15 minute down pour on Victoria peak in Hong Kong which the local guide told us would happen. Of the cities we visited Guilin was our favorite, we thought it was quite beautiful.. The cruise on the River Li was spectacular. The only complaint would be we were tired of Chinese buffets, but we were in China. Our tour guide Tom was with us from Shanghai and said good bye in Hong Kong. He was excellent. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Viking did their typical great job of organizing and running a three week Roof of the World visit to China. Can't really complain about anything. The food was great. The guide we had (for the entire duration of the trip) was excellent ... Read More
Viking did their typical great job of organizing and running a three week Roof of the World visit to China. Can't really complain about anything. The food was great. The guide we had (for the entire duration of the trip) was excellent and really worked at getting all the guests to talk to each other. The food on board was very good. You had the choice of Chinese or non-Chinese food which helped alot. Food on the land portion was also very good. The hotels were all 4 or 5 star and mostly had buffets which allowed you to choose again from local foods or more standard European/American offerings. The cabin on board was ok but not stellar. Internet while supplied was virtually useless. The guide offered a mild apology in that Viking does not own the ship. They will be bringing their own boat online in a year or two. As a side note, weather was very hot. Consider a cruise a month or so earlier. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We had never been to Asia, and the price for this cruise was very good. The hotels we stayed at were absolutely beautiful and top notch. The excursions were great, but there was a lot of down time flying from city to city. Overall, we ... Read More
We had never been to Asia, and the price for this cruise was very good. The hotels we stayed at were absolutely beautiful and top notch. The excursions were great, but there was a lot of down time flying from city to city. Overall, we felt it was a wonderful trip, but having been on Viking River Cruises before in Europe, and we have taken a Viking Ocean Cruise, we were disappointed in the ship. It was an old ship. The air conditioning did not work properly. Everything felt damp to the touch. The food and service onboard was outstanding, but I would never take another cruise on Viking to Asia unless I knew it was a Viking Ship that we would be on. The excursions were great, but when eating food off the ship, we were not impressed with the lazy susan style of lunches. At all locations, the food was the same. We weren't overly impressed with the Peking Duck dinner that we paid extra for either. Read Less
Viking Emerald Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family N/A 0.0
Shore Excursion 5.0 0.0
Enrichment 5.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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