6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We had been wanting to take a river cruise, but several people on our African Safari had been to China and said it was a "Must See", so we decided to combine our interest in a river cruise with seeing all the things we had wanted ... Read More
We had been wanting to take a river cruise, but several people on our African Safari had been to China and said it was a "Must See", so we decided to combine our interest in a river cruise with seeing all the things we had wanted to see (but never thought we would) in China. Loved it. First, the guide was wonderful and very helpful. Besides seeing so many things we had wanted, like the Great Wall, Tiannamen Square, the Forbidden City, the Terra Cotta soldiers, we saw so much more. The Rickshaw ride through the Beijing Hutongs, the Sampan boat ride (with an espcially charming young women who told us the story of how the match maker knows which house has marriagable women and who eve sang to us) to the wonderful school excursion and all the perfomances we attended. It was amazing. The ship is a little old and was built in China by the Chinese, so, it was NOT a Viking long ship and probably was due for a little updating. However, we were more than comfortable in our room (and there was always so much to do, that we did not spend much time there.) Of course, being in China, there was a lot of Chinese food served, but different areas had different takes on the how the food was prepared. And while the ship had 2 Chinese food nights, Western food was always available and always really good. The staff was extremely friendly and helpful and went out of their way to learn our names and our habits (after a couple of times, I did not have to even ask for my diet coke with my meal and black tea with my dessert as they remembered). Being a small ship, the opportunities for large entertainment extravaganzas were limited, but they did provide scaled down performances by the staff (and many of them were extremely talented) and local artists (and I learned how to play mahjong). Each night there was music and dancing from 10PM to 11:30PM and we had took full advantage of that. All in all, a great trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
My husband & I have always wanted to go to China. What better way than on a Cruise. We saw do much in a short amount of time. The first night we stayed at the Ritz-Carlton. This was a bonus and our meals were included. The next ... Read More
My husband & I have always wanted to go to China. What better way than on a Cruise. We saw do much in a short amount of time. The first night we stayed at the Ritz-Carlton. This was a bonus and our meals were included. The next day we boarded the Ship. We were on the second floor which was excellent as the main desk was on this floor and also the Dinning room. We saw the Oriental Pearl Tower on the Bund River and from there went to a Mall and saw how they made Silk Oriental Carpets and also amazing pictures done by had in silk. From there we went to Old Shanghai to the Yu Yuan Garden. The weather turned bad and it rained very hard. It is hard to enjoy something when you are wet and cold. It was lovely though. We then went to a lovely Restaurant for a traditional Chinese meal. There are usually 8 to 10 people around a round table. From the Restaurant we then went to see an Acrobatic Troupe. They were simply amazing. All this took place in one day. We were very tired and went to bed so we would be ready for a full day coming up. We went to We did have 2 Tours cancelled as it was a weekend and they weren't available. This was disappointing, however, Viking made up for it and replaced them. I would say though that one replacement was a Science Museum and there was know one to explain what we were seeing. There was a local orchestra brought in in the evening and they played many different instruments that we have never heard. The next day we went to Jingzhou Ancient City. Very interesting and lots of stairs. The next morning we went to the Three Gorges and through the locks to the Three Gorges Dam. Believe it or not they have an outdoor Escalator to take you to the top. It was the largest dam we have ever seen. The next day we went to the Yangtze tributary and boarded a Sampan. This was really a nice way to see the Giver. We learned that many years ago people were buried on the side of the mountain and you could see one that is still in good shape. You have to be fast though to take a picture as you are in a moving boat. In Shibaozhai we went to a Temple. We had to climb 12 stories to get to this. You had better be fit for this trip as there were many stairs to climb on every excursion. We got off the ship one day and really had to climb a lot of stairs to get to the top of a large hill and there was a large market. Everyone is trying to sell you something. We disembarked in Chongging. I will say that the staff on the Ship were excellent and the Restaurant was lovely. The food was really good and the layout of the tables again was nice. At least 8 to a table. What a good way to get to meet people. As you can tell, there were lots of activities and you were glad when bedtime arrived. If you want to be on the go and see wonderful sights that you won't experience again this is the trip for you. Our fitness and recreation was not on board but every time we left the ship. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Pros: It is nice to only have 200 people on board the ship. The staff was lovely and accommodating. The food was fine. The hotels were excellent! The tour guide was good. The intra- country flights were well organized. The live ... Read More
Pros: It is nice to only have 200 people on board the ship. The staff was lovely and accommodating. The food was fine. The hotels were excellent! The tour guide was good. The intra- country flights were well organized. The live performances were good. Embarkment and disembarkment went smoothly. The pandas, the Great Wall, The three gorge dam, the terra cotta warriors and Tiananmen square were the highlights. Cons: The Viking Emerald is a ship that needs to be updated. The cabins, rugs, and couches are old and worn. Three excursions were canceled and filled with mediocre activities. It was so disappointing not to go to the school, the Shanghai Museum and the Hubei Museum and bells performance. This trip is not an easy one. It requires three intra- country flights, climbing many stairs, packing and unpacking, three different hotels, and many shore excursions that require walking long distances. Be prepared! You need to be mobile for this trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We selected this cruise because we wanted to see the highlights of China. the itinerary which included a week on land and a week on the cruise took us to visit the major spots and gave us an overview of the country. Embarkation and ... Read More
We selected this cruise because we wanted to see the highlights of China. the itinerary which included a week on land and a week on the cruise took us to visit the major spots and gave us an overview of the country. Embarkation and disembarkation went well. Assistance getting luggage on board was helpful. Cabin was much nicer than expected. All meals were served nicely with a good variety of food. The entertainment on board was fun, mostly the crew performed and an outside orchestra and children's choir when in port. We found the overall service excellent. The shore excursions were very good but the groups were too big - our group was 34 people and that was a bit unwieldy. Our recommendation of no more than 20 per group. This was our first Viking River Cruise. We had previously taken a Viking Ocean Cruise and have signed up for another Ocean Cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
I have traveled a lot but had never been to China. This cruise stops in several different cities and is a combination of river and land. The cruise was well organized and the food and entertainment were quite good. The activities on board ... Read More
I have traveled a lot but had never been to China. This cruise stops in several different cities and is a combination of river and land. The cruise was well organized and the food and entertainment were quite good. The activities on board were interesting and different than other cruises. All were centered around the Chinese culture. The stops on the land portion were interesting but the food was the same each day - large tables of the same Chinese food and it became a bit boring. We paid extra to go to Peking Duck dinner which was excellent and worth the extra price. The groups on the land portion were too large (38 people) per bus which made it difficult to hear the guide when we disembarked. The hotels we stayed in were excellent - really nice 4-5 star hotels. The cruise overall was very well organized. There were several buses for land portion and some of the guides were better than others. Overall, I think this trip is great value for the cost. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
First, our neighbors took this cruise several years ago and recommended it to us...we were extremely happy they did! Our guide was most informative and stayed with us the entire trip. Several times there was a change in program for one ... Read More
First, our neighbors took this cruise several years ago and recommended it to us...we were extremely happy they did! Our guide was most informative and stayed with us the entire trip. Several times there was a change in program for one reason or another, (sometimes through no fault of Viking), but they always tried to substitute with equal value. The Sampan ride through the Lesser Three Gorges was breathtaking. For the region of China we toured, I don't think we missed much.. Three Gorges Dam; pandas in Chongqing; Terra Cotta soldiers in Xian; the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Hutong rickshaw ride and Kung Fu show in Beijing. Our state room was spacious with a balcony. Lots of river traffic on the Yangtze made for interesting scenery. The meals were delicious..not being an adventureous eater, I always found Western food on the ship. You could have had filet mignon every night! Staff was extremely friendly and helpful. Remembered your name and drink preferences. They like to try out there English.. On the land portion, the hotels were all five star accommodations. The food was, for the most part, Eastern, served buffet style at your table with a wide variety. All in all, a very enjoyable trip and look forward to our second river cruise in the future. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Viking has a great reputation and we expected a great cruise on a luxurious ship. it began with a compulsory stay in a business type hotel in Beijing nowhere near anything important. We wished to stay in another hotel but were told that, ... Read More
Viking has a great reputation and we expected a great cruise on a luxurious ship. it began with a compulsory stay in a business type hotel in Beijing nowhere near anything important. We wished to stay in another hotel but were told that, if we did not turn up and stay in the selected hotel, we would be considered as no shows. in fact, the pre-cruise experience dealing with the US office was horrible. for no apparent reason, tours organised in Beijing had to commence at ridiculously early hours. We declined them all. On board: my wife's request for vegetarian food was not transmitted to the ship. in spite of that, the dining room staff tried very hard to please her. But the only award that could be given for the dining experience was for the fastest plate snatching i have ever come across. The dining staff were generally very poorly trained. The "gym" was very worn and rather.grubby with a view onto the back of the lit ship's name both filthy and frighteningly wired, some of the wires quire bare. China tea is spectacular but, in the dining room, only cheap tea bags were available. The TV remote control had been replaced with a very limited controller which had no ability to change the format: watching TV was an absurd occupation with everything distorted. Cleaning of our cabin was poor. Empty cups were not removed and the wc got grubbier each day.. The captain's uniform summed up the ship's standards. it looked like his non seamstress mother or wife had made it. our visit to the bridge was like visiting a large, stale ashtray. Viking should stop selling this cruise. Carnival Cruises has more style and quality at far lower prices. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
This is the worst of Viking experience I can imagine, since we sailed with Viking Ocean before and think that their China Yangtze River cruise should also honor that tradition. On the contrary, this is the worst cruise/tour we have had in ... Read More
This is the worst of Viking experience I can imagine, since we sailed with Viking Ocean before and think that their China Yangtze River cruise should also honor that tradition. On the contrary, this is the worst cruise/tour we have had in the past 25 years. 1. Viking had chartered a low-graded local Chinese river cruise ship (called Century Emerald) and only hang up Viking signage during the journey. It is NOT a Viking ship at all. 2. The ship is old, ill-equipped and lack of proper maintenance. The state room is very small with 6 inches-depth closet space and old and smelly bathroom. Most of the common area has been occupied by vendors for souvenirs...etc. , similar to any popular attractions in China. 3. Food quality on shore is way way below standard, similar to low-fared Chinese local tour group or even worse. We know what good Chinese food is like, and what Viking has contracted is cheap local Chinese restaurants with questionable sanitary standards, as many ended up with upset stomachs, vomiting and diarrhea. 4. Land tour excursions are too limited. For example, there are many attractions in Xi'an and yet Viking only had the group visiting Terra Cotta Warriors, plus an optional dancing performance. That is all for a 2-night stay in Xi'an. The group did not even have a chance to visit the ancient city of Xi'an and its well-known historical attractions near-by. Same situation in Shanghai and Beijing. 5. The pricing is very unjust for people who booked early, since Viking has put the tour on sale 2-3 months before the sailing date. There is no price guarantee, so, it ended up with people who might pay more than double the price of the others in the same group. 6. Local tour escorts need more professional training Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
As a solo traveller i had to book this 12 months in advance to only pay 50% single supplement. This 14 night holiday holiday started with 2 nights in a fantastic hotel in Shanghai, a trip around Shanghai then the cruise followed by 1 ... Read More
As a solo traveller i had to book this 12 months in advance to only pay 50% single supplement. This 14 night holiday holiday started with 2 nights in a fantastic hotel in Shanghai, a trip around Shanghai then the cruise followed by 1 night in Xian and 3 nights ( again in excellent hotels) in Beijing. It involved 3 internal flights but we were escorted by Viking tour guides throughout the airport stress. It was a fantastic holiday and I got to see all the places one would want to see:- Shanghai, Three Gorges, Goddess stream, Chonqing zoo (including pandas), Terra Cotta warriors, rickshaw excursion, the Great Wall, Tiananmen square and the Forbidden City. The hotels were all fantastic, the ship was good but not as quite as good as the hotels. The food on board ship and at hotels (choice of western and Chinese) was excellent but the "local restaurants " we went to when on excursions were not of such a high standard (e.g airport buffet) and the food was quite bland and lacked variety e.g we would be served the same food at lunch and at dinner if at restaurants! It was full on with lots of walking, steps and steep places and there was very little time to rest, relax and recover with only 2 hours maximum on return from excursions before dinner, bed and early starts in the morning. When disembarking from the ship in bad weather there were not enough people to help with hand luggage or safety when crossing bridges from the ship. I would highly recommend but you need to be fit and you will get fitter! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
We celebrated our 50th with Viking and they took care of us royally. We liked it so much we may take that same cruise again for our 55th. We are impressed with Viking and will travel again with them. We've done one of the European ... Read More
We celebrated our 50th with Viking and they took care of us royally. We liked it so much we may take that same cruise again for our 55th. We are impressed with Viking and will travel again with them. We've done one of the European cruises with them and that was also very much a delight. Thank you Viking! Our guide was awesome, I had some medical issues just before we were to leave and he took such good care of the group and made sure that the issues that almost kept us from taking this trip were taken care of in the most discreet ways that no one else knew that I even had any problems. I don't know how that could have been done even if I were home in the US. A special thanks to IOWA.Our accommodations were so nice and those that tended our room were helpful and so professional. The Dining both on board and on our excursions were just above anything we could have hoped for. The food choices, wine pairing and the wait staff( well I wanted to take some them home with us). The excursions were so unbelievable, that one of our traveling companions took notes and could actually write a book. Educational, enlightening, and awe-inspiring. We were just saying today we may take the same cruise again. In all of the areas that are one would give the highest of ranking or stars there was only one that I felt could be added to, the Fitness area. But that is my thing, trying to keep off extra weight when the food is so..so great. Ray and I recommend Viking and their River Cruises highly and we hope to take an ocean cruise with them next year. We have taken other ocean cruises and they were good, but we feel certain that Viking will surpass. Much Aloha, Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
Always wanted to visit China and found the Viking trip highlighted everything we wanted to see without having to make our own arrangements to get to the different places. Everything was very well organized and the staff were excellent, ... Read More
Always wanted to visit China and found the Viking trip highlighted everything we wanted to see without having to make our own arrangements to get to the different places. Everything was very well organized and the staff were excellent, our tour guide was fabulous and gave really interesting information about the places we visited. It was a remarkable experience! The trip began in Bejing with visits to Tiananmen Square, the forbidden city and the Great Wall. Transportation to and from these places was very well coordinated. Air transfer to Xian was very easy. The terra cotta warriors, enamel factory and Tang Dynasty dinner and show were included in that transfer. All were great! From there we took a plane to Chongquin to embark on the river cruise part of the trip. There was plenty to see and do, once on board, and the ship was beautiful. The staff were very attentive and nice, the food was great and the educational offerings were very interesting. If you wanted down time there was space for that and also areas to Socialize. There were several interesting stops in places near the river. The river cruise ended in Wuhan and continued to Shanghai. Both of those places were beautiful and all of our accommodations were top rate. A trio of a life time. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
Friends told us but ours was different no zoo tour air food and lodging were bad we were sick the whole time and sick for 6 weeks upon return air born virus I broke 2 teeth eating at the restaurant inbejing first night and the insurance ... Read More
Friends told us but ours was different no zoo tour air food and lodging were bad we were sick the whole time and sick for 6 weeks upon return air born virus I broke 2 teeth eating at the restaurant inbejing first night and the insurance refused to pay Viking also refused any liability Way below Viking cruise standards we have done other Viking cruises this will be our last We had to repeatedly tell room service to clean the bathroom we and many passengers were sick from the food tubs were dirty the tour guide did not have sufficient bathroom stops they would have heavy breakfast at hotel and have us ride without bathroom stops for hours I learned quickly to put my breakfast in a napkin and not eat it till we arrived near a bathroom and not drink anything please understand cruisers are old people and must make bathroom stops Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
The cruise itinerary offered the most sites within the time frame. There was not ONE thing on this cruise that was not top notch. The trip met or exceeded all expectations. I have been on many ocean cruises and was hesitant to try a ... Read More
The cruise itinerary offered the most sites within the time frame. There was not ONE thing on this cruise that was not top notch. The trip met or exceeded all expectations. I have been on many ocean cruises and was hesitant to try a smaller ship, but I have nothing but praise for the professionals who work for Viking. Every employee I encountered was helpful, informative and made sure my inquiries were answered. Even the ship doctor offered his assistance with internet connectivity! I think your tour guides are contracted, but I was fortunate to be assigned to Kobe who was not only knowledgeable, but kind, compassionate and went out of his way to accommodate even the most difficult customer. I was able to see every place I had on my list and then some. I was especially glad to experience the dining options. Although not an adventurous diner, your chef and staff offered a wide variety so that sampling could be done as well as offerings that were more to my taste. Excellent! My next river cruise is Nov, 2018 and I am looking forward to another great experience. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
This was our first trip with Viking and we've already scheduled another. From arrival to departure we felt safe, relaxed and in good hands. The shore excursions were great and most got our cardio going. We felt they covered an ... Read More
This was our first trip with Viking and we've already scheduled another. From arrival to departure we felt safe, relaxed and in good hands. The shore excursions were great and most got our cardio going. We felt they covered an excellent blend of culture, history, dining and entertainment. Walking the Great Wall checked off a bucket list item and it was awesome. Shipboard meals were delicious and varied. All the wait staff went out of their way to ensure we enjoyed ourselves.Their blend of warmth and personality was second to none. We truly enjoyed the crew shows. Their pride was so evident and preserving the culture was first and foremost. Our guide, Tom, managed our group extremely well, and filled us with many points of history as we rode to and from our excursions. We learned so much and gained a whole new perspective. His patience was endless as he rounded up our stragglers. Thank you Viking. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We were talked into this cruise by friends who felt it was a good price to see a country none of us had been to and Viking had served us well on a European cruise. We in turn brought a third couple and we were all thrilled with the tour. ... Read More
We were talked into this cruise by friends who felt it was a good price to see a country none of us had been to and Viking had served us well on a European cruise. We in turn brought a third couple and we were all thrilled with the tour. It was a land and river tour and Viking used first class hotels. The ship was very comfortable. While some of us were nervous about the food, cuisine was always well prepared and was a good balance of American and Chinese dishes. Nobody ever left the table hungry. Each group of 30 had a guide who stayed with the group for the entire trip. Our guide, Richard, was wonderful. He was fluent in English, knowledgeable, friendly, attentive, detail-minded. He made sure that everything went as smoothly as possible. The activities and tours were set up to show us modern and historical China. We saw museums and historic sights, shows, indoor and outdoor activities. We saw pandas, climbed the Great Wall, sailed the Yangtze, walked among the Terra Cotta army, crossed Tian'anmen Square, and went through the Forbidden City. It was a wonderful time. We went in November and packed to dress in layers. We encountered temperatures from about 80 to below freezing (Great Wall), but we were prepared and comfortable. The smog we had head about was barely discernable and not a problem with the cooler weather. The river was foggy, very foggy at times below the dams, and we missed our school visit. By the time we were in the scenic area of the Three Gorges, visibility was much improved. Everyone was helpful and gracious on the ship , in the hotels, at the tour sites, in the restaurants, the buses, the airports. Viking lined up excellent service and enjoyable experiences throughout the entire trip. We learned a lot; we enjoyed ourselves a lot, it was a great time. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this Cruise because I wanted to see areas of China I had not seen in my previous visit. My partner had never been to China it seemed like a very good way for him to see a lot of the country and the culture. We thoroughly ... Read More
We chose this Cruise because I wanted to see areas of China I had not seen in my previous visit. My partner had never been to China it seemed like a very good way for him to see a lot of the country and the culture. We thoroughly enjoyed the onboard activities and the shore excursions were wonderful. The guide was a joy to have and full of wonderful information that made each Excursion come alive. The cabin and the amenities on board were very comfortable. The staff was courteous very thoughtful and helpful. Dining provided us with both Western food and local Chinese Fair all of it was delicious and beautifully presented. We had a wonderful time sailing between Beijing and Shanghai and would take another Viking Cruise sometime in the future probably somewhere in Europe. A cruise through Europe on a Viking ship is definitely on my bucket list. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Active Adventure! China and Tibet were very new cultural, historical, societal, political and religious experiences for us. Very eye opening. It is best be understanding and flexible. The land based portion had beautiful 5 star hotels, ... Read More
Active Adventure! China and Tibet were very new cultural, historical, societal, political and religious experiences for us. Very eye opening. It is best be understanding and flexible. The land based portion had beautiful 5 star hotels, especially the Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai, The Regency in Beijing, and The Shangri la in Tibet Ship on Yangtze River was not the typical Viking Long Ship, but still very comfortable. The chef was wonderful .... The best beef tenderloin ever! The ship was a welcomed respite from the intra country travel hotels, planes, and busses. Words of Wisdom: Pack light, be in good health and take altitude meds for Tibet, bring your own TP/travel tissues and hand sanitizer for sightseeing excursions. Highlights were the Forbidden City in Beijing, The Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an, all of Tibet, and the Three Gorges Dam. This was a once in a life time trip. Would recommend starting in Beijing direction of travel. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Interesting but exhausting trip. 17 days is a long time which included 3 internal flights which were tiresome. A Highlight of the trip was our tour guide Ray. His amazing communication skills and A+ personality made the trip. Tibet was ... Read More
Interesting but exhausting trip. 17 days is a long time which included 3 internal flights which were tiresome. A Highlight of the trip was our tour guide Ray. His amazing communication skills and A+ personality made the trip. Tibet was another highlight. We arrived during a holy time so got to see the Buddhist pilgrims from the countryside. 6 of the 30 people on our tour to Tibet got altitude sickness and had to go to the in hotel clinic to get oxygen and medicine. They looked miserable and many missed a day in Tibet, so if your going you might want to consider getting the altitude pre medication available in the states before leaving home. The cruise portion down the Yangtze was pretty but there was lots of smog/pollution the first few days. Almost everywhere we went in China was very industrialized. It was interesting to see the huge buildings and people but the lack of any wildlife anywhere was a major bummer. Culturally a very rich trip, glad to have seen the Terra Cotta warriors and the Great Wall in person. The Hotels we stayed at for the land portion were luxurious, the Viking Emerald was nice, but did have an awful lot of gift shops on every floor, which made the atmosphere less than perfect. The food was good and as a vegetarian I always had choices. Read Less
37 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose Viking for our China visit as we knew they'd take good care of us in a country where we don't speak the language and can't read the signs - and they did. From the time we stepped off the plane to the time we ... Read More
We chose Viking for our China visit as we knew they'd take good care of us in a country where we don't speak the language and can't read the signs - and they did. From the time we stepped off the plane to the time we checked back in for the trip home, we were very well cared-for. Viking assigns you to a group of about 30 who stays together with one guide the entire trip, so you get to know this group very well and still have the fun of meeting others. All of the guides are terrific, not only telling you about everything you see but also candidly sharing a lot about their personal lives and what everyday life is like in China - fascinating! FAQs: - Toilet paper: bring some small travel rolls as you will run into the 'squatty potties' (a flushing ceramic hole in the floor) in airports and outside the big cities and frequently there is none available. There are usually 1 or 2 western toilets available out of 5 or 6 stalls, but with long lines. - Food: you will always have western-style options for breakfast, but lunch and dinner while you are travelling are usually Chinese. Food on the ship is very good; always a buffet with both western and local options, with additional western items you can order from the menu, plus some food stations with food cooked to order. Food in hotels (breakfasts and dinners) were usually very large buffets with many western options. Most people had no problem with the ubiquitous lazy-Susan (family-style) Chinese lunches we got while travelling, but a few had backup granola bars or crackers with them. If you're a picky eater, be prepared. - Go south to north or vice versa? we went north to south (Beijing to Shanghai) because we knew we'd appreciate the restful afternoons and the western food options onboard ship after a week of all-Chinese food while travelling, and were glad we did. The tradeoff: north to south options get a rickshaw ride into the hutangs in Beijing, visiting one local family; if you go south to north, you usually see the pandas in Chongching instead. No trip offers both. We figured we could catch pandas on our next visit to DC! - Excursions: all were terrific, and all were included in the price except 3 (which makes this trip a great value). The optional ones: recommend the Kung Fu performance (great entertainment even if you are like me and don't care for martial arts), Tang Dynasty (excellent). We did not do the optional Peking Duck dinner as we knew we would see plenty of Peking duck throughout the trip and we did. Those who went said it was ok. - What to pack: (1) layers. We went in October, and hit temps from the high 40s to the high 70s. A lighter rainproof jacket you can put a layer underneath works best; you'll find yourself layering up or down throughout the day. Coldest part of trip: windy Great Wall in the 50s; warmest part: Wuhan to Beijing (low 70s). (2) Always pack a medical kit: Aleve/aspirtin, Imodium, an antibiotic like Cipro from your doctor; you'll need at least one of them. Pack and USE antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer; lots on our trip were coming down with something by the end. - Tips onboard ship: (1) ask for a dehumidifier. You're on a river in a humid area, it will make a great deal of difference in how comfortable your cabin is. We had to empty ours daily. (2) We looked at a wine list and promptly bought the beverage package. House wine and beer are included at meals, but if you like your wine you'll probably want the beverage package not only to upgrade the quality, but also give you the option to get a cocktail outside of meals. When we realized that we'd have to pay separately for a glass of wine at 5 pm and another during the evening performances, the beverage package became a great option. They had pretty good Australian and New Zealand wines and the beverage package isn't limited by bottles - it's basically all you want to drink. - Tips on the road: do NOT drink the water. Close your mouth when showering; brush your teeth with bottled water. Not even the locals drink tap water. I brought makeup remover towelettes for my face, put a bottle of water by the tap so I wouldn't forget to use it, and had no problems. Others on our trip had problems and it is miserable to have to fly to another city when you have diarrhea. - Tips for travelling: airport security is very tight: put all your batteries and battery-powered items in your carry-on luggage and your liquids in your packed luggage and you'll have no problems. At least once on the trip you'll need to put your luggage out the night before (Viking gets your luggage to the various airports for you), so keep your morning makeup in containers of less than 150 ml. so they can go with you the next morning in your carry-on. Do yourself a favor and don't take any battery power packs (the backup power packs you use to recharge items): they caused problems at every airport security. - Tips for buying: you'll see lots of the same souvenirs (silk jewelry cases, silk embroidery, kids silk pajamas, tee shirts) throughout your trip: they are the cheapest in the bazaars along the Yangtze River. Offer vendors 20% of their initial ask and you'll usually settle for about 30%-40% of it. Carry some US $1 bills as you'll run into lots of "one dollah" offers which are usually slightly better than what you'll pay in yuans. Don't buy anything you will need to ship home yourself as it's expensive; several on our trip bought an extra suitcase and paid the airline fee for it rather than pay $500 to ship home a small box. If you are looking at a large item, ask if the vendor will ship it for you and include it in the price. FABulous trip! We really enjoyed the cultural experience, the great care Viking took of us, and I'd recommend it. It's the first trip I've taken where just about everything was included in the price, and I think it was very good value for the money. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Viking's Undiscovered China only goes from Shanghai to Beijing and we also did the Hong Kong extension. The entire trip was wonderful and our escort, Francis, couldn't do enough for his 38 passengers. As other reviews have said, ... Read More
Viking's Undiscovered China only goes from Shanghai to Beijing and we also did the Hong Kong extension. The entire trip was wonderful and our escort, Francis, couldn't do enough for his 38 passengers. As other reviews have said, the escort is with you the entire trip (a different part-time escort was in Hong Kong). The escort is your main guide (some local guides are also used) and a great help with any trouble shooting that you need. We are generally independent travelers and even when we do a cruise we will go off on our own, but not in China. The ship did have some dehumidifiers running in the halls but we didn't have any problems with the humidity. The weather was generally cloudy and we did have some periods of drizzle or rain; but it didn't interfere with planned activities. All of the hotels were 5 star and the food was very good. On the ship the breakfast and lunch buffets had plenty of options and for dinner you could order from a menu. Wine and beer were included with lunch and dinner. On the land portion of the trip, lunches were always Chinese food served on a Lazy Susan and some of the dinners were buffets. The buffets were better because they generally had some Western food and more variety. We paid the extra money to pick our own flights. As soon as Viking booked these flights we were able to log onto the airline web site and pick our own seats. The airline tickets also included transfers to and from the airports which was a great benefit because the airports were at least 45 minutes from the hotels. In Chengdu we were taken to the Panda Breeding Center. It's a huge zoo for just Giant and Red Pandas. The group all agreed that is was a hi-light of the trip. There are about 200 Giant Pandas (from 3 months to 20+ years old) and 60+ Red Pandas. The pandas are roaming in large areas and many of them were playing and interacting with each other. Also in this city we went to a Sichuan Opera. Don't let the word opera scare you away. This show can be described as more of a variety show consisting of various short performances. This hi-light of the show is the costume and face changing act. Our stay in Beijing included that rickshaw ride through the Hutong Area and a visit to a home where we had a very nice conversation with the owner and her niece. And yes, you need to bring toilet paper or tissues with you because even in a Western toilet outside the hotel you will not find toilet paper. You were also encouraged not to drink any of the water. The hotels and ship provide you with plenty of bottled water. I believe the water was safe to drink but they were afraid you would come down with Traveler's Diarrhea. Finally--this trip was a once in a life time experience and even with the long international flights and the number of inter-China flights that were involved it was well worth it. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We enjoyed out first Viking River cruise ,The Grand European Tour . We wanted to go to China and Viking had the places and cities we wanted to see. Beijing- The Great Wall,Tiananmen Square & Forbidden City along with the Kung Fu ... Read More
We enjoyed out first Viking River cruise ,The Grand European Tour . We wanted to go to China and Viking had the places and cities we wanted to see. Beijing- The Great Wall,Tiananmen Square & Forbidden City along with the Kung Fu performance.We did the optional Peking duck dinner and the skin of the duck was soggy not crisp.We enjoyed the rickshaw ride and visit to the Hutongs tour. We loved the Terra Cotta army and the Tang Dynasty dinner show.Hiked up the Shibaozhai Temple along side the Yangtze River.Sailed thru the three gorges and the huge three gorge Dam. Our tour director(Michael) was excellent and answered any and all questions.Alll three of the Hotels we stayed at were excellent.The food at the hotels and on the boat was very good and had a variety.The cabin on the boat was damp and musty other than that the ship was okay.All the service personnel seemed to enjoyed there job.We have three more trips planned on Viking. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Our trip included a land portion and time on the river. The land portion was excellent!! Walking the Great Wall, seeing Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City is seared in our travel memory bank! Sailing on the Viking Emerald on the ... Read More
Our trip included a land portion and time on the river. The land portion was excellent!! Walking the Great Wall, seeing Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City is seared in our travel memory bank! Sailing on the Viking Emerald on the Yangzee River was unbelievably wonderful! Our cabin was great - I loved having a balcony to sit outside and watch the world go by!! The dining room service was exceptional! The food was fantastic! Within one day they knew our names and drink preferences!! Smiles never end!! The ship staff were very friendly, spoke impeccable English, willing and able to answer every question! Having shore excursions included with a big plus!! John, our tour guide, along with the other local guides were very informative! The excursions gave us an excellent taste of China, the people and the history! We will certainly travel with Viking again (and again, and again)!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I had taken the Viking River cruise through Russia and thoroughly enjoyed it and thought that it would be a great way to see the highlights of China. The village of Lijiang was simply charming. I can understand why they call this place ... Read More
I had taken the Viking River cruise through Russia and thoroughly enjoyed it and thought that it would be a great way to see the highlights of China. The village of Lijiang was simply charming. I can understand why they call this place the reason for the trip being called Undiscovered China. The panda reserve was also another favorite stop. Getting to see little baby pandas out for the first time since they were born was fascinating. I also enjoyed climbing The Great Wall in Beijing. The ship and all of the crew were great and made sure that we were well taken care of. I do wish our time on board ship had been a little longer, but we we did have was excellent. Our tour guide Kobi was the best. Not only did he tell us about the history of different places, but he also talked about his own personal experiences, not only with the locations, but about himself. The only thing that I was disappointed in on this trip was one of the extra excursions that was not included in the regular excursions. It was the Peking Duck Dinner. When you advertise for this, you expect that you will get a Peking Duck Dinner. There was some Peking Duck, but there was not a lot of it. We were told that we could get more, but somewhere during the course of the dinner, the wait staff disappeared and we could not get anyone to bring us some more of it. They had a lot of other dishes besides the duck, but we had paid for a Peking Duck Dinner, not a dinner that included the Peking Duck. I would recommend that you use a different restaurant if you are going to continue to offer this as an additional excursion. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Outstanding service throughout the entire land and cruise. We had 7 days on land and then the 6 day cruise. The land accommodations were excellent at all premium hotels. The river cruise was fabulous. The ships are different and locally ... Read More
Outstanding service throughout the entire land and cruise. We had 7 days on land and then the 6 day cruise. The land accommodations were excellent at all premium hotels. The river cruise was fabulous. The ships are different and locally owned in China, but they were very nicely equipped. The food was excellent throughout - some authentic local and enough Western to satisfy most people. I felt that we packed more into this trip in a small timeframe over a huge Country than I imagined possible. This is not a relaxing cruise but more of a intensive exploration of the Country. Lot's a walking and long days make for a very rewarding experience. Viking staff and local staff were amazing. We had no language issues and really appreciated the local expertise. Entertainment is local or ship board crew and it was fun. Don't expect a Broadway show. I would highly recommend this tour and Viking to anybody interested in a full scale China visit. Read Less
Viking Emerald Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.4
Entertainment 4.0 4.1
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.5
Family N/A 3.5
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.6
Enrichment 5.0 4.4
Service 4.0 4.7
Value For Money 4.0 4.5
Rates 4.0 4.2

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