2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We wanted to visit Japan and we love Viking River cruises. This was our third one. My husband found this cruise and liked the idea of China and more importantly, the addition of Tibet, along with an extension in Tokyo. There were 4 ... Read More
We wanted to visit Japan and we love Viking River cruises. This was our third one. My husband found this cruise and liked the idea of China and more importantly, the addition of Tibet, along with an extension in Tokyo. There were 4 inter-city flights and the 7 night cruise on the Viking Emerald. We stayed at hotels in Beijing, Xi-an, Tibet and Shanghai. It was one of the most exhausting and exhilarating trips we've ever taken and I would do it again in a heartbeat. The hotels were all five star and the Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai, our last stop was fabulous. Xi-an's Shangra-La Hotel was a close second. But the Viking Emerald was a ship I'd take again without a second thought. The staff, the accommodations, the food on the ship, and the jewel-like shops especially were as nothing I've ever seen on any ship. We could have shopped only on the ship and had the most exquisite and high quality items that China could offer. Even the lovely souvenir shop was filled with stunning high quality pieces at very fair prices. The excursions were beyond our expectations and our guide Eric made the trip even more memorable. We could go and on in detail but I would give this cruise 10 stars, the best one yet. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We decided to satiate our desire for something totally different by taking the Viking Imperial jewels of China cruise. We chose June because it was part of a birthday celebration. We arrive in Beijing two days earlier to acclimate to the ... Read More
We decided to satiate our desire for something totally different by taking the Viking Imperial jewels of China cruise. We chose June because it was part of a birthday celebration. We arrive in Beijing two days earlier to acclimate to the time zone and to be able to see several things that we were wanting to see not included on the tour. We arranged a private tour guide for the first two days to take us to the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace. We also chose to go to another section of the great wall called Mutianyu which we were able to take a sky ride up and take a toboggan ride down afterwards. The views were glorious. How her first day on the Viking tour, we met our fabulous guide Larry. The first day he took us to the Forbidden city and Tiananmen Square. It was quite a warm day with lots of concrete. The next day we return to the great wall at Badaling for another great view of the snaking walls. This site was much more crowded than Mutianyu but still comfortable. We also walked along the road of the Ming tombs, which is basically beautiful statues. Both days in Beijing were quite long and busy, and well worth it. We stayed at the JW Marriott Beijing Central. The rooms were nice and comfortable and the buffet was adequate. Would've appreciated a little more local food for dinner. We saw the kung fu show one evening which was highly entertaining and worthwhile. We like to cram our day full of activity because we know we will only be there once. We took in the Beijing duck dinner in here as well. It was good and met my expectations. The day we left for Xian, we spent in the Hutongs in the morning. It was a great look at local Chinese life. The rickshaw ride was fun. We did a tea tasting at the Bell tower afterwards before our flight. Viking does a great job of arranging flights and luggage. The only discomfort is going through security- expect a personal "massage" every time. Larry did a great job explaining every site we went with history and culture as well. We were fortunate that Larry had very clear English skills. Of course the terra-cotta warriors in Xian were magnificent. That was a bucket list day as well. A trip to the terra cotta warrior store was interesting, and included lunch. The Tang Dynasty show in the evening was interesting and the food was OK. The Sheraton in Xian was my least favorite hotel and the food was not very good in the hotel. We took the time to walk around a little bit of the city to get some local culture. We flew to Chongqing where the Viking River cruise begins. We were fortunate to take the early flight so we could take a tour through a historic community in Chongqing from hundreds of years ago. This was One of my favorite parts of our trip, we have a local guide who was adorable. Everyone on the crew ship was warm and friendly. The walk down to the ship was a little torturous, which could be difficult for someone who is not steady on their feet. We enjoyed our first day stopping at Shibazao temple. It is a tall 10 story red temple very interesting and you must cross the drunken bridge to get to it. This is a great place to shop and buy trinkets to take home. We felt sorry for the locals and did not bargain as much as we could have. We had a short two hour sampan ride at the goddess stream on our third day. This gave you a lot of free time on the ship. The next day we toured the three gorges dam site. They never actually take you to the dam but only up a hill to see the locks what you went through the night before, apparently for security reasons by the Chinese government. We were somewhat disappointed by this stop, not being able to see much of the dam itself. There is a little more shopping there as well but not much free time. This was a 2 hour tour as well and it did start to feel like we were spending too much time on the ship. I did enjoy an acupressure massage on the ship and some of the lectures were interesting. Our last stop was in Wuhan. We went to a nice museum and also saw the Hubei bells. The concert was lovely though short. We had free time in the afternoon and we chose to walk through a shopping area and through the park alongside the river. There is also a museum you can choose to go to as well. The next morning in Wuhan we stopped at a pagoda of some type did not get the name. I wanted to see the yellow Crane tower but apparently that is not on our Itinerary. Our bus broke down here as we were on our way to the airport. Larry and the guide were extremely efficient at solving this issue and we arrived in plenty of time for our flight which happened to be delayed as well due to rain in Shanghai. The air along the Yangtze River is quite foggy and smoggy can't tell which, so photography was not optimal. Most of our food on the ship was excellent, and the chef often visited every table to make sure everything was tasty and to let us know what was in store the next day. We were not disappointed. Shanghai was quite foggy as well with some rain. We took an awesome river cruise at night to see lights along the Huangpo river. This was another amazing sight watching the lights move across the buildings and flash. Lots of photo fun. The last day we went to Yuyuan gardens which was very lovely and Interesting. You might have 45 minutes to shop here if you are interested. We ended up at the Shanghai museum which was large. The historical Chinese furniture display was interesting. We ate at a tapestry and rug store for lunch. Many of the meals out during the trip were Lazy Susan lunches, some good and some marginal. Breakfast were usually at the hotel. We enjoyed the acrobatic show in Shanghai immensely. We spent one more day in Shanghai on our own, taking in the lovely Jade Buddha Temple. Viking arranged a trip to the airport for us and walked us through the foreign language check in. Thank you Viking! We met many wonderful people on the Viking tour and enjoyed being with the group for fourteen days which is different from Europe. Everyone seemed to be compatible and we felt we had an amazing guide. We would highly recommend this tour. Doing the heavy touring at the beginning in Beijing was a smart choice. Temperatures were warm and humid, but very tolerable. If I had more vacation time, I would have liked to see the pandas in Chengdu but any more intra china flying would have been over the edge. This trip is not for people unable to walk distances or with low stamina. There is so much to see in China and not enough time. I thoroughly enjoyed watching people in a different culture, and appreciating our own freedom. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We had an excellent experience with this, our third Viking cruise. We had land-based stays in Shanghai, xian, and Beijing. The hotels, which Viking had arranged, were fabulous, especially the Wyndem Grande in Xian. The ship, the ... Read More
We had an excellent experience with this, our third Viking cruise. We had land-based stays in Shanghai, xian, and Beijing. The hotels, which Viking had arranged, were fabulous, especially the Wyndem Grande in Xian. The ship, the Emerald, is not owned byViking, but it was quite nice. The bed was not the most comfortable, but there were a lot of nice amenities on board. The food, in general, was good, although we're got tired of the endless buffets. We appreciated the few times we could order more standard meals from a menu. The very best part of the cruise (and there were many, many great things to see on the excursions!) was Viking' practice of assigning a specific guide to a group of about 30 cruisers. Our group had only 28 people not, and our guide, Jack, was just wonderful! We were with him the entire trip, so we really got to know him, and he told us so many interesting things about China, and even a lot about himself and his family. No other guide has ever done that, in our experience. He really made China come alive for us. Ben, the cruise director(?), was also excellent and gave some extremely thorough and interesting talks and slideshows. Viking had arranged the air travel for us, as we also spent a few days on our own in Japan and South Korea, before and after the China portion of the trip. There were a few glitches, but all in all, everything worked out very well. I would recommend Viking cruises to anyone who likes to travel! We have cruised on many different ships, including Holland-American, Regent,, Oceania, Princess and Celebrity. We consider Viking River Cruises one of the best, because of its interesting itineraries. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We had an excellent experience with this, our third Viking cruise. We had land-based stays in Shanghai, xian, and Beijing. The hotels, which Viking had arranged, were fabulous, especially the Wyndem Grande in Xian. The ship, the ... Read More
We had an excellent experience with this, our third Viking cruise. We had land-based stays in Shanghai, xian, and Beijing. The hotels, which Viking had arranged, were fabulous, especially the Wyndem Grande in Xian. The ship, the Emerald, is not owned byViking, but it was quite nice. The bed was not the most comfortable, but there were a lot of nice amenities on board. The food, in general, was good, although we're got tired of the endless buffets. We appreciated the few times we could order more standard meals from a menu. The very best part of the cruise (and there were many, many great things to see on the excursions!) was Viking' practice of assigning a specific guide to a group of about 30 cruisers. Our group had only 28 people not, and our guide, Jack, was just wonderful! We were with him the entire trip, so we really got to know him, and he told us so many interesting things about China, and even a lot about himself and his family. No other guide has ever done that, in our experience. He really made China come alive for us. Ben, the cruise director(?), was also excellent and gave some extremely thorough and interesting talks and slideshows. we enjoyed all the stops on this cruise/land, but especially Shanghai, the Three Gorges area on the Yangtze River, Xian, and Beijing. Viking had arranged the air travel for us, as we also spent a few days on our own in Japan and South Korea, before and after the China portion of the trip. There were a few glitches, but all in all, everything worked out very well. I would recommend Viking cruises to anyone who likes to travel! We have cruised on many different ships, including Holland-American, Regent,, Oceania, Princess and Celebrity. We consider Viking River Cruises one of the best, because of its interesting itineraries. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This was a lifetime opportunity for my wife and I to personally visit some many wonderful places which are so different than any where else in the world , that had so much significance. Every day was filled with new and exciting ... Read More
This was a lifetime opportunity for my wife and I to personally visit some many wonderful places which are so different than any where else in the world , that had so much significance. Every day was filled with new and exciting experiences. This trip was first class in every way, from the pre cruise documentation, to the greeting at the airport to the wonderful English speaking tour guide. Transportation in luxury coaches everywhere on land, to a really well equipped ship, excellent well planned daily events, great service everywhere. The visits to World Heritage Sites such as the Forbidden city, Tiananmen Square, the Terra Cotta Warriors, the Three Gorges on the Yangste River, and the Three Gorges Dam were highlights among so many activities. Onboard dining was excellent, with a variety of wonderful food always provided, and beverages such as wine or beer available for the meals. All meals were provided daily and were terrific wherever we travelled. Hotels and in-China flights were excellent . We thoroughly enjoyed this cruise seeing wonderful, famous places, meeting great people from all over the world, and yes, we highly recommend Viking River Cruises to all interested in travelling to China. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Following in a friend's footsteps we chose Viking Emerald to China because all the reviews looked so great and the trip came highly recommended. Could barely fault anything for the whole two weeks. Logistics were superb, our luggage ... Read More
Following in a friend's footsteps we chose Viking Emerald to China because all the reviews looked so great and the trip came highly recommended. Could barely fault anything for the whole two weeks. Logistics were superb, our luggage simply appeared outside our room and was collected everywhere we went. 7 flights in 2 weeks and hardly a delay anywhere. From day 1 we were looked after by the amazing Jimmy, not a single thing escaped his notice and he was an absolute mine of information. The small groups we were divided up into had their own guide and a local guide where needed on the excursions . Westin Bund hotel in Shanghai excellent hotel to start the trip followed by six luxurious nights on the ship. My wife is a vegetarian and the m'aitre d came to our breakfast every morning to discuss what she wanted to eat for lunch and dinner, when out at restaurants Jimmy made sure the staff new her dietary requirements. Any of the group needing a wheelchair got one complete with pusher, even on the Great Wall! Crew on the boat superbly trained and very talented providing the evening entertainment, every where we went there was a smiling cheerful helpful face. Excursions off the boat were great and some very informative talks on the ship along with a variety of activities, early morning tai chi puts you in good stead for the early starts once you leave the ship. The trip is very busy once you disembark Xian hotel was better than Shanghai, the city is a real eye opener. Terracotta warriors were fantastic, one of several highlights. Kerry Hotel in Bejing was the best yet, biggest beds in the world! Brilliant base for 3 hectic days, everything in the hotel or the adjoining mall ( supermarket is the last shop in the basement but sells cold beers, chocolate and pringles if you need a break from th usual fare!) Great Wall and all the main tourist places covered by excellent guides and all done in small groups from your own coach. Only downside is that some of the excursions are a bit tacky and more of a sales pitch. We skipped the Peking Duck evening and scored a hit by choosing the meal in the local restaurant. Do not buy anything from traders in Bejing until you have checked out the guy who appears magically at every Viking venue with his little yellow rickshaw truck, highlight of the holiday (nearly) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
The objective of this trip (both cruise and land portion) was to experience the highlights of China. We organized this particular trip in conjunction with a trip to Hong Kong and Japan. The trip was excellent. The organization was ... Read More
The objective of this trip (both cruise and land portion) was to experience the highlights of China. We organized this particular trip in conjunction with a trip to Hong Kong and Japan. The trip was excellent. The organization was phenominal. There were 4-5 flights within China, hotel accomodations, plus the river portion. Each portion of the trip went without a hitch, which in my opinion was amazing (if you have ever flown in China, you will understand). The days were action packed. Not a day went by without either one or two tours, and that included days we flew between cities. The highlights of the tour included all of the iconic China sites, plus a very interesting tour to a local school. We were very satisfied with this tour and especially satisfied with our tour guide Tom (sorry, I do not know his Chinese name). Without someone to organize all of the various tours, flights, hotels, etc. the trip would be almost impossible to do on your own. If you do take this tour, rest up ahead of time. By the end of the trip you will be very exhausted, but in a very good and satisfying way. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Our cruise from Shanghai up the Yangtze River was a relaxing experience in a new part of the world for us...providing educational and cultural experiences. The ship, room, food, entertainment and lectures were all excellent. My husband ... Read More
Our cruise from Shanghai up the Yangtze River was a relaxing experience in a new part of the world for us...providing educational and cultural experiences. The ship, room, food, entertainment and lectures were all excellent. My husband did visit the on-board doctor of Chinese medicine to see about a condition that Western medicine doesn't treat...capsules of herbs were prepared for him...does help the condition. Seeing the temples and cruising the gorges with the mists playing on the mountaintops was magical. My husband is an engineer...so seeing the Three Gorges Dam was exciting...although only seen from a visitor's viewpoint...not a tour of the turbines. Plus the trips to Xian and Beijing (Great Wall/ Imperial City) were excursions much treasured. Our wonderful guide, "Larry" was both friendly and informative...knew English well and was very understandable...giving us history, stories, and details. The ancient "bells" were awesome...and the two performances that we saw in Xian and Beijing were beautifully enacted glimpses into China's past. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Wonderful experience from start to finish a fully escorted tour we couldn't have done this tour on our own our tour guide Leo was excellent in all aspects couldn't fault him in any way perfect English knowledgeable and good sense ... Read More
Wonderful experience from start to finish a fully escorted tour we couldn't have done this tour on our own our tour guide Leo was excellent in all aspects couldn't fault him in any way perfect English knowledgeable and good sense of humour.the hotels were all 5* and brilliant all. Excursions we well organised and informative.the cruise portion of our trip was also great the service in the restaurant was excellent the variety of food was good .the internal flights were all scheduled by top Chinese airlines and ran like clockwork some of our airlines could learn a thing or two.the only negative was the food every where without exception could have been hotter it was Luke warm at best .i wouldn't hesitate to recommend Viking river cruises to anyone I would certainly use them again next time we travel it gives you peace of mind .and security of big company Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Wonderful way to tour a foreign country. Always felt safe and cared for. Our guide was generous with his time and knowledge. He gave us a new understanding of China. The crew kept us happy, we'll fed and entertained. The ship ... Read More
Wonderful way to tour a foreign country. Always felt safe and cared for. Our guide was generous with his time and knowledge. He gave us a new understanding of China. The crew kept us happy, we'll fed and entertained. The ship was always clean and tidy. Hotels were excellent. We started our trip with a pre extension in Korea. We were the only couple on that part of our trip and had the guide to ourselves. We ended with a post extension in Shanghai. So glad we did both. We particularly like how Viking guides meet you at the airports on arrival and get you check in on departure. I have a nut allergy. Our guide always ensured our meals were nut free. He wrote me a note in Chinese characters saying I was allergic to show at restaurants when we ventured out for a meal on our own. Viking employees did so many things, small and large to make our trip one to remember. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Our trip included visiting Hong Kong for 2 weeks on our own, then flew to Beijing to start our tour with Viking: 3 days in Beijing, 7 days Yangtze River Cruise on board of Viking Emerald, then 2 days in Shanghai. In Beijing, Viking had us ... Read More
Our trip included visiting Hong Kong for 2 weeks on our own, then flew to Beijing to start our tour with Viking: 3 days in Beijing, 7 days Yangtze River Cruise on board of Viking Emerald, then 2 days in Shanghai. In Beijing, Viking had us divided into 5 groups, each group had about 26 people. Lots of seats to choose from in the tour bus. We were assigned JW Marriott Hotel, with one optional BOGO buffet dinner included in our arrival night. Breakfast, lunch (sandwich kind) and dinner were included rest of our stay in Beijing. Our JW Marriott stay was not pleasant. It was hot and stuffy inside our room with no air-conditioning. Everyone has the same problem. Apparently, it was the country's policy not to turn on A/C before certain time of the year. There was a small window at the corner of our room that could be opened but that didn't do much good. Their buffet breakfast and dinner were quite good. Beijing's tours were awesome. We visited Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Badaling Hills of the Great Wall, Ming Dynasty tombs and Hutongs via Rickshaw. All were enjoyable except Ming Dynasty Tombs. We didn't see any tomb or burial chamber. We only walked through the Sacred Way, backward as in from back to front. I didn't think it was meant to walk backward, but I guess it gave the bus driver the most convenient route. This was the most disappointing tour but weather was great that day. Xian's Mausoleum of Qin Shi- huang and his Terra Cotta Warriors were also awesome. Shibaozhai was a challenging walk, not too bad to walk to the temple but very trying and uneven steps up the temple. The view from the top was quite nice but not worth the climb for people with hips and knees problem. Be prepared for the early morning rise to tour the Three Gorges. The hills were impressive but we got rained on and it was quite cool in March. I loved the little boat ride though and our tour guide was very entertaining. Jingzhou and Wuhan were so so. Interesting but not like you have to visit once in your life time. Shanghai was nice. Don't skip the optional night tour when the Bund is alive with lights. In Chongqing, we have to go down long flight of steps to reach the ship. If I were to do it all over again, I would hire the porter. There were tons of them waiting when we got off the bus. They were nice and honest people, eager to carry the luggage for you for a mere CNY$30-50 (US$4-5), depending on how many pieces. It would be worth it because those steps and floating planks were hard to manoeuvre. It was quite a walk for people with bad ankles and knees. I wished we had done that. I saw how grateful and happy they were when they were paid, and they carried the luggage all the way to port side of the ship. Now about the ship: embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly with very little wait time. Some Chinese music were playing while we lined up for our shipcards. We stayed in a suite which has a good size balcony and big floor to ceiling sliding door. Local cuisine was featured everyday, with one American night, and one Chinese Banquet style dinner. What we loved was the fact that we've been travelling with the same group of people through our touring in China. So once we were on the ship, we could always find someone we knew to sit with and chat with. We learned how to play Mahjong together. Not a lot of shops on board but who needs them? There were educational lectures most nights to prepare you for the next port. We were never bored. They also have cultural dances, performed by their own staff. Also folk music performed by local musicians, tea ceremony, and Free WiFi. We thoroughly enjoyed all those performances. Staff were friendly. There wasn't anyone we met who wouldn't bend over backwards for us to get what we needed. They have a Chinese doctor on board who was awesome, taught Tai Chi in the morning for those early risers. Servers in the Dining Room need further training. However, their attitude made up for what they didn't understand (some language barrier here). One young lady in particular kept forgetting our order, night after night. I would also wish that they have coffee cream (10% or 18%) available, or even coffee mate. But they didn't even know what they were. Finally they brought us thick heavy cream used for cooking! One note: Cocktail in Cocktail Hour are not free but drinks ordered during meals are. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Viking did a great job of organizing a truly memorable trip. We arranged our own travel because we used our AA miles and flew business class for the 14 1/2 hour non-stop flight. We also made our own taxi arrangements to the Kerry Hotel ... Read More
Viking did a great job of organizing a truly memorable trip. We arranged our own travel because we used our AA miles and flew business class for the 14 1/2 hour non-stop flight. We also made our own taxi arrangements to the Kerry Hotel in Beijing and from Westin in Shanghai. Viking charged about $240 for transfers. I simply looked up the Hotel address and did a copy paste of it in Chinese into Word doc so I could give it to the taxi driver. Cost was about $20USD in Beijing and $70USD in Shanghai There were Ambassadors at the airport to give you an approximate cost and direct you toward licensed Taxis. We felt very safe and saved a lot of Money rather than Viking Transfers. Taxis are very small. We only had 2 pieces of luggage and it barely fit. When we checked into the Kerry Hotel, we had a letter from our Viking Tour Escort, Duan, with instructions for breakfast and the exact time and location to meet the next morning for our first tour in Beijing. Everything was very organized. Food at the Kerry was very good, served buffet style. Viking divided us into groups of 30-35 and assigned a guide to remain with us the entire trip. He was fantastic. We wore name tags daily with our name, his name in Chinese and his cell phone number on the back of our badge just in case we got separated from the group. We also were given Voice box devices so that we could hear him while on tours. We always boarded tour buses with Duan's name on it. Putting us in small groups allowed us to get to know people from all over. It was comforting to familiarize our group and recognize them throughout the tours. In Beijing, we toured the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, Sacred Way of the Ming Tomb, and a rickshaw ride in Old Beijing's hutongs. There were two optional tours, a Kung Fu dinner/show ($22USD each) which everyone said was very good. We were to tired to attend. The other optional tour was a Peking Duck Dinner ($50 USD each) which we did attend. Duck was prepared at your table and other food choices were served on a lazy Susan. That evening, our tour escort collected our passports and made arrangements for our flight to Xian. Next morning we boarded buses to the airport where our guide took care of luggage transfers, getting our tickets and boarding passes. Boarding passes and passports were returned so we could go through security. When we arrived in Xian, we only had to identify our luggage and it was transferred to the Hilton Xian for us. Next day, after breakfast on our own in the hotel, we traveled to the site of the Terra Cotta Army. This was an amazing display and continual archeological discoveries. Lunch was at a local restaurant. That evening there was an optional Tang Dynasty Dinner and show for $70USD. Next morning, our luggage and passports were collected again by our escort and returned with boarding passes for our next airline flight to Chongquin where we embarked our ship. We had an early flight so when we landed; we went straight to the Zoo in perfect timing to watch the Pandas eat lunch. Baby panda put on quite a show. I was worried about the long walk down a narrow over the water bridge to board the ship but it was not as bad as reviews I had read. Every 6-8 feet was a Viking employee smiling, greeting us as we walked to the ship. Our veranda cabin was about 250 sq. ft. with a shower in the bathroom. Water was replenished daily. We were told to only drink bottled water while in China and even to brush out teeth with bottled water. There were only 250 passengers on the ship. Meals were served open seating. You could order off the menu at night or local fare served on the Lazy Susan. Soft Drinks, water, beer or wine were served frequently throughout the lunch and dinner meals. The next 5 days were on the Viking Emerald as we floated down the Yangtze River. Along the way, we toured the Shibaozhai Pagoda, the Gorges, tour of the world's largest hydroelectric power plant. On board, there was a calligraphy demonstration, a dumpling making demonstration, entertainment by the ship’s crew, and a tour of the bridge. Our next flight was from Wuhan, where we left the ship, to Shanghai. Intra flights were on China Eastern and Xiamen Airlines. Our flights were not long; and lunch was served in coach. In Shanghai, we stayed at the Westin Bund. We were within walking distance to the Bund. The Yu Garden tour was our only rainy day. After the beautiful tour, we had free shopping time in the local markets. Final night included a dinner at a local restaurant followed by the Shanghai Acrobat Show. Viking did a fantastic job on this fully escorted tour. The local hotels, the ship employees, and the local people provided wonderful service. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
This was our first time to China and we're very happy we went with Viking to show us this area of the world. The guides were very nice and helpful at every turn. They always make sure you have a great experience and are safe at ... Read More
This was our first time to China and we're very happy we went with Viking to show us this area of the world. The guides were very nice and helpful at every turn. They always make sure you have a great experience and are safe at all times. Our Viking experience was a bit different from going to Europe as we had a land portion that had to be done in order to see the sights of China that we wanted to see. Such as Beijing, Xian and Shanghai. This meant that we had to fly from a few cities. The flights were short and fine, and Viking made sure that all of our baggage was handled from departing our hotel room to our new hotel room. The included tours were very informative and well thought out. Some were very early in the morning, but that helped us to avoid some large crowds. We are looking forward to many more Viking experiences. Read Less
31 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
This was our first river cruise. We are avid ocean cruisers and have done 55 cruises to date. We have been many times to Shanghai and a couple of times to Beijing over the years. We wanted to see more of China, as it is a vast country that ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. We are avid ocean cruisers and have done 55 cruises to date. We have been many times to Shanghai and a couple of times to Beijing over the years. We wanted to see more of China, as it is a vast country that can only be seen by visiting inland. We decided on Viking Cruises because it is a brand that we had heard a lot about. The Viking customer service we received in the UK was professional and responsive. The booking process was very easy. All the details regarding the cruise and obtaining the Chinese visa was sent on time. However, the information we received before booking the cruise was ambiguous and unclear. >> After we received our booklet with the summary itinerary, we realised that Viking do not provide any meals on the first day of the package >> As we had international baggage allowances, I enquired before we left about the lower luggage weights on the Chinese internal flights but Viking did not advise us that it would not be a problem with the weights because of group check in. As a result we took limited warm clothes. The weather was very cold in Beijing. >> We did not realise that the ship we would be cruising on was not a Viking ship. Viking use a Chinese ship that changed it's name back to the Chinese name 'Century...' on our disembarkation day. There was a sister ship in one of the ports. >> Viking do not explain that the only almost 4* experience that we would receive for the entire 12 nights related to the 5 days whilst we were onboard the ship and not to the land portion of our holiday. I have described the ship as 'almost' 4* because the ship is possibly only a 3* ship. When we boarded the ship in Wuhan, after 2 nights in Shanghai, we were greeted with a warm welcome stating that this was the start of our holiday and when we left after 5 days cruising, we were waved good bye with a message that this was the end of our holiday Viking Century Emerald - The Good & The Bad >> We had to change our cabin at 1:30 am because there was a rattling sound from the balcony and the water discharge plug was moving up and down making a din. >> The staterooms and the entire ship are faded and need complete renovation. It is brown and old. >> The food was alright but nothing to shout about. >> Beer wine and soft drinks are only offered at lunch and dinner >> The Chinese cultural entertainment by the crew was very good, considering that they are not professional. >> The management staff were always willing to listen and were helpful. >> Our cabin steward was non existent and we had to request amenities to be replenished. >> The ship's air conditioner did not work. It was cold at the bottom and stifelingly hot on the upper floors. It was like a sauna in the gym and internet room. >> The internet, although free was unavailable during most of the cruise. Pre and Post Cruise Hotels - Mixed Quality Pre cruise, we stayed in The Westin Bund Center, Shanghai for 2 days. The room we were allocated was on the 5th Floor and needed refurbishment. >> The carpet and chair needed to be changed. >> The air conditioner did not work both days and there was a problem with the automatic night lights behind a glass panel that kept going on and off every now and again during the first night. An engineer disabled the lights >> The breakfast in the main dining room was probably the best that we had on our entire trip. There was a fantastic variety of Chinese and Western food in the buffet. >> Viking had arranged 1 night's dinner in the hotel and it was described as an Italian buffet dinner. This was very poor. There were a couple of hot dishes with soup and pizza, pasta and sandwiches. Post cruise, we stayed in The Hilton, Xi'an and The Ritz Carlton Financial Street, Beijing >> The Hilton room was probably the best one that we stayed in on this trip. >> At the Ritz Carlton, we had to move out of the room we were allotted on the 3rd Floor because the carpet was badly stained and looked dirty. The management were extremely helpful and we were moved immediately to the 10th Floor Throughout our stay we were treated with courtesy and made to feel very welcome. The last day, Viking arranged for us to have dinner in the main restaurant and this was good. Tour Guide - Excellent Our Tour Guide, Bob was very knowledgeable and dedicated to us. He knew his job inside and out and took care of every detail of our trip. Everything flowed seamlessly and we had great admiration for his enthusiasm, stamina and how he managed the group. Tours - All tours were well organised and coaches turned up on time to take us to places of interest. Local guides spoke good English and were knowledgeable. The optional tour in Xian (Tang Dynasty Performance + Dinner) which we paid for additionally was good. Food & Drinks - Very Poor Viking had arranged lunch and dinner in local restaurants or in factories in Shanghai, Xi'an and Beijing. The food was always the same either Chinese types offered on individual tables with 'lazy susans' in local restaurants or in buffets in the jade or carpet factories. The food was monotonous and usually lukewarm at best. We stopped going for the group meals in Beijing. We were only allowed 1 drink in a glass : a beer, water or soft drink, no wine. I don't drink beer or soft carbonated drinks, so I had water throughout the land portion in local restaurants. Internal Flights - Very Disruptive Only 1 of our 3 flights was on time. We had delays on 2 flights - from Shanghai to Wuhan where we missed a tour because we arrived too late and had to go straight to join the ship; and from Xi'an to Beijing, when the flight was cancelled and our guide had to get later flights. We were delayed by 4 hours and had a dreadful Chinese lunch at the airport in a set aside area. Conclusion China is a very complex and fascinating country. We learnt a lot about China's history, culture and people but we found the whole itinerary disjointed. We felt that we wasted 2 of our 12 days holiday sitting in airports. Although it is described as a Viking Cruise it really is a land tour with a small cruise thrown in the middle. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Viking 13 Day China trip with 5-6 Yangtze River cruise. We went from Beijing to Shanghai. Basically North to South. A better route in that the first 5 days before getting to the boat, Beijing and Xian, you do a lot of touring and night ... Read More
Viking 13 Day China trip with 5-6 Yangtze River cruise. We went from Beijing to Shanghai. Basically North to South. A better route in that the first 5 days before getting to the boat, Beijing and Xian, you do a lot of touring and night time events. The boat gives you a chance to unwind and relax before going on to Shanghai. An exciting journey that I highly recommend. Viking does an excellent job of taking care of all 250 guests. We were 2 couples 62+ and we had a great time. About the hotels Viking had us stay- Beijing, J.W. Marriott Central; Xian the Crown Plaza; Shanghai the Four Seasons. All hotels were 5 stars with excellent room accommodations. The Crown Plaza turns off the A/C Nov.1 st. This created a problem for many guests as it was very warm in Xian at that time and rooms were as warm as 80 deg. F!! Some tips on the Beijing airport Arrival/Departure. Arriving at the Beijing airport-arrivals must take a shuttle train to area T3-C to exit and baggage pick up. Return from Shanghai to Beijing, on arrival at Beijing, a bus took us to the terminal building where you have to pick up the shuttle train to area T3-C for Departure. At Beijing airport, the security inspection of carry-on luggage may be over zealous and all your items spilled out onto the counter for examination. You must then reassemble all of the items back into your carry-on bags trying not to forget items such as your cell phone, wallet or keys that may have been spilled out. At the Shanghai airport inspection was more “relaxed” and courteous. Some of the dining experiences- Viking uses local restaurants as we tour between places. The lunch time dining is at "banquet halls" associated tourist places selling stuff. 1. Beijing-Jade/jewelry, 2. Xian-Terra Cotta warrior items. 3. Shanghai-Art works. That is-Beijing (lazy Susan), Xian (was a buffet with long lines), Shanghai (lazy Susan). These banquet hall restaurants have no ambience and can use some cleaning up and a spruce up. The bathrooms are really (1) low low, low on a scale of 1 to 5. You should be aware that the toilets (Happy Houses) are easier for the men but a little less accommodating for the women. Not all the stalls are sit-down western style. Toilet paper is bring you own while out touring. The restaurant in Shanghai had us sitting on at least one chair that was totally broken. Those restaurants serving lazy Susan buffet style do not provide serving utensils that permit more than a single morsel to be picked up. It was obvious that they wanted small portions to be eaten to cut the down on the expense of serving a more sufficient quantity to the guests. At one restaurant the serving utensils were small Chinese soup spoons. Everyone laughed. In the end you still have enough to eat. Think each item as a small plate and you’re just doing a tasting menu. Remember, this is China where big servings of meats, pork, fish, etc. is not the tradition. A personal bias - Living in NYC, and having the largest variety of Chinese and pan Asian restaurants to dine at, gives a biased view of the Lazy Susan/buffet foods served at the local restaurants. I was not impressed or excited by the items served. For example, Xian is famous for wide noodle dishes. None were served at our local lunch place. Yes, they served a small local tasty Xian burger, try it. Most Viking guests may not care or have the same experiences with the food for comparisons. In the end you won’t go hungry. On the other hand, the breakfast and dinner buffets at the 3 hotels had more expansive menus to meet the needs of the Asian and non –Asian guests. This was a great treat & very enjoyable. Obviously 4-5 star hotels do not cut costs with ingredients & small serving utensils. The Viking Emerald cruise ship provided a very good variety of dishes at all meals. Again the menu has to cater to majority of guests with non- Asian palates. The menu always had something Asian available. That was fun, even at breakfast. Don’t let the “on the road” dining dissuade you from this trip. It was well put together and unforgettable!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
First river cruise and first time with Viking. Trip was great. Be prepared to move along quickly; lots of walking. Staff on ship were wonderful; cruise through the Three Gorges area was awesome. Had a great tour guide that stayed with us ... Read More
First river cruise and first time with Viking. Trip was great. Be prepared to move along quickly; lots of walking. Staff on ship were wonderful; cruise through the Three Gorges area was awesome. Had a great tour guide that stayed with us the entire trip. His knowledge and willingness to talk about the culture and history added to much to the whole experience. Would love to go to China again. Food both on ship and during land portion was excellent . Added treat when we were able to unexpectedly visit a zoo prior to boarding the ship; saw many Pandas including 2 babies. Downside is the air and water pollution which is pretty much everywhere. Problems with air conditioning in one hotel which were beyond control of tour guides. Rooms in hotels were well appointed and in areas where you could walk. Ended up purchasing a extra suitcase in Shanghai to bring home purchases. Enjoyed the extension in Shanghai. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
First time with Viking and wanted to be fully escorted on our first trip to China. Heard great things about Viking in China and it did not disappoint. Viking took care of us from the moment we landed in Beijing until we flew home from ... Read More
First time with Viking and wanted to be fully escorted on our first trip to China. Heard great things about Viking in China and it did not disappoint. Viking took care of us from the moment we landed in Beijing until we flew home from Shanghai. Ship did not have a lot of entertainment but we were tired each day from our tours so it did not matter. Staff on the ship remembered our names and what we like to eat and drink which made going into the dining room or bar area more welcoming. I had the tailor make me a lined jacket as well as a silk robe which is very nice to have as a memory. Massages are available on board and they are all very reasonable considering it is a cruise ship and usually those are very expensive. I would recommend a Viking Cruise if you want to visit China! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Both my wife and I had been to Beijing, Shanghai and Xi'an before, so our main interest is the Three Gorges and the Panda base in Chengdu. One caution, Viking told us luggage allowance is very limited, so I dropped extra lenses for ... Read More
Both my wife and I had been to Beijing, Shanghai and Xi'an before, so our main interest is the Three Gorges and the Panda base in Chengdu. One caution, Viking told us luggage allowance is very limited, so I dropped extra lenses for my camera, removed warm layers for cold weather. Once we got there, first thing our tour escort told us was that we do not have to worry about luggage weight as we were doing group check-in, we do not even have to worry about hand-carry weight as we will never see the counter. Due to Viking's warning, I missed a lot of good shots because I removed my ultra wide lens from my luggage. Also, we had to buy extra clothes at a very expense mall (can you say Gucci or LV?) next to the hotel due to the cold weather in Beijing. We even had to buy an extra suitcase, though very cheap one, so we can bring our stuff home, I would not have to do that if I had used my slightly heavier international carry-on instead of a tote bag for the sake of saving weight. The good: The Three Gorges is beautiful, though it would have been much nicer if all the destroyed/flooded ancient structures were still around to be seen. Most hotels for the land tour are nice, with Westin in Chongqing and St. Regis in Chengdu being exceptional. However, food at pretty much all the hotels are not that good, we had better food in similar 5 star hotels in Vietnam and Cambodia. Domestic flights, everything was arranged, we never even saw the check-in counter. We just had to collect our passports and boarding passes and head for security check, very nice. For all 5 domestic flights, we only had to collect our own luggages twice, the rest of the time we just need to ID our luggages that were collected by the ground crew. The bad: Room is okay with the least closet space we've seen on cruise ships including the old one Viking uses for Vietnam. The food on the ship is okay but nothing to write home about. The food on the land cruise is terrible, we are Chinese and know the difference between good and bad Chinese food, authentic and American Chinese food. Viking picked below average American Chinese food in most places we stayed, for that matter, it was pretty much the same dishes everywhere we went. I guess it is for economic reason. I wish they would just let us pay our own bill on land, just take us to a place where we can make our own choice. Private transfer to/from airport. When we landed in Shanghai, the Viking guide was nowhere in sight at the arrival area. We walked around looking for someone with a Viking sign for at least 30 minutes and were about to take a cab. As a last resort, I walked up to a Four Seasons person and asked about transportation to the hotel, after 5 minutes of explaining, a girl ran up to us after she heard me mentioned Viking. She claimed to have been there for an hour but we sure did not see any Viking sign the whole time. When we were leaving for the airport, our tour escort sent 2 other passengers on our ride for free, though we paid 240.00 for that single transfer. I understand that there was extra room, but it is not fair to us as we had to pay. So arrange for your own limo ride. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I selected this cruise to see mainland China with additional tours of Guilin and Hong Kong. Some of the high points of the tour were the Three Gorges Dam, the Tera-cotta Warriors, the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. Highly ... Read More
I selected this cruise to see mainland China with additional tours of Guilin and Hong Kong. Some of the high points of the tour were the Three Gorges Dam, the Tera-cotta Warriors, the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. Highly recommended. The ship and the staff were all very attentive and service was excellent. The menu was excellent, with dishes from various parts of China. It was interesting to have vendors on each of the decks selling souvenirs and other items. There was one vendor selling different verities of Tea, and with the tea the seller explained the history and the serving procedures. I found this very interesting since I was not aware that the serving of tea affected the taste At several of the ports, the ship personnel would do a short presentation (i.e. 1 hour) on what the Shore excursion would be. All the tour guides were friendly and knowledgable about the sites we visited, and they spoke near perfect English. All the hotel accommodations were five stars and the restaurants were excellent. I would not go on this tour again (not a fault of Viking), but my own personal choice. I want to see/visit other places in the world and would definitely select Viking Tours to travel with. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
It combined visits to several key Chinese cities and tourist attractions with six days on the Yangtze River. A great combination. We were well cared for from start to finish. Hotels were excellent and food was great with lots of choice ... Read More
It combined visits to several key Chinese cities and tourist attractions with six days on the Yangtze River. A great combination. We were well cared for from start to finish. Hotels were excellent and food was great with lots of choice including western and Chinese dishes. The sight seeing hit the high lights from the Imperial City and the Great Wall to the terra-cotta warriors to the Three Gorges and the Bund in Shanghai. The guides were excellent, really knew their material and had a fine command of English. The support staff did a fine job of taking care of getting tickets and getting bags fro one spot to another. Although the overall group was over 230 people, the fact we were divided into 8 small groups made for an enjoyable and friendly experience. After busy days on shore it was good to settle in on the Emerald for some more relaxing days. We enjoyed all the excursions off the boat with the school visit especially fine. A footy day meant we did not see too much of the Three Gorges Dam, but the weather could not be helped. We had a fine time and would certainly do another Viking Cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This Viking trip -- Imperial Jewels of China -- got great review from friends and our travel agent which is why we took it. This was a 3 part cruise: 2 parts land with a 5 day river cruise on the Yangtze River between the 2 land ... Read More
This Viking trip -- Imperial Jewels of China -- got great review from friends and our travel agent which is why we took it. This was a 3 part cruise: 2 parts land with a 5 day river cruise on the Yangtze River between the 2 land segments. Embarkation at Chongqing and debarkation at Wuhan were smooth as silk. Our ship, the Viking Emerald, was immaculate and our cabin was spacious, clean, and very comfortable. Dining was superb with great variety and the wait staff couldn't have been more attentive. The wait staff quickly learned our names, our drinks preferences, and our general likes in terms of food offered. We were sad to leave the wait staff when we disembarked in Wuhan. Onboard entertainment was very enjoyable and informative while our shore excursions were truly spectacular, especially the Shibaozhai Temple and the Goddess Stream. I would recommend this cruise to anyone who wants a trip-of-a-lifetime experience in China. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Visiting China had always been my dream, since I read about the Forbidden City many years ago. We chose Viking, because they offered several days of cruising, along with land visits to Shanghai, Beijing and Xian. I had priced out doing ... Read More
Visiting China had always been my dream, since I read about the Forbidden City many years ago. We chose Viking, because they offered several days of cruising, along with land visits to Shanghai, Beijing and Xian. I had priced out doing this sort of trip on our own, but when I cost-compared, the Viking trip was a bargain with all its detailed amenities. When we landed in Shanghai, we were met by a Viking rep. who took us to our bus. Tired from the flight and time difference, it was great to just get to our hotel and sleep! All the hotels (3) we visited during the tour were wonderful - very clean and most employees spoke some English. Our guide (Jane)was with us the entire vacation, and she made our trip fabulous! Always patient, detailed and up-beat, Jane kept us informed about every step we took. I loved the "Vox" head-sets we were given for the trip!! With these ear-buds, we never missed any of Jane's instructions or explanations! I've been on tours where I've missed half of what the guide says ...... but NOT on this trip :) The ship, including our cabin, was lovely. The food on board was excellent, with a great choice of entrees at dinner and lunch. I really appreciated the "American" food available at breakfast. The shows that Viking offered were optional, and did cost a bit more than we had planned. But they were worth very penny! The martial arts play was a complete program with enchanting music, costumes, light and sound effects. I was dazzled, and I would love to see it again! My husband and I loved the visits to the terra cotta warriers, the pandas, and the sampan/gorge trip. I've read that some travelers didn't like going to the shops that Viking arranged for jade carving and silk-strand embroidery. I loved these visits! I never felt pressured to buy -- but I was grateful to buy at reputable shops. After reading other reviews, I was prepared to eat truly Chinese food, and to only drink bottled water. We found the food interesting and usually delicious. Since most meals were served "family style," we never went hungry and always found two or three things we loved at each restaurant. It was a fabulous trip, and one we will never, ever forget! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was our second Viking River Cruise. The hotels for our pre and post cruise were excellent, the activities were well managed and our guide was better than we could have ever expected. The Viking Emerald was a very comfortable boat, ... Read More
This was our second Viking River Cruise. The hotels for our pre and post cruise were excellent, the activities were well managed and our guide was better than we could have ever expected. The Viking Emerald was a very comfortable boat, the cabins were good and comfortable., the food was delicious, well served by an attentive staff. The hotel staff was very efficient and saw to all our needs. Even the entertainment show put on by the boat's crew members was truly enjoyable and memorable. The shore excursions were interesting, informative and enjoyable. The use of the listening devices added much to the enjoyment of the shore excursions. We experienced a different culture and met some very interesting people both on the boat and on the land. In particular, the school visit was quite entertaining and enjoyable. The embarkation and dis embarkation went very smoothly, which we knew would go as planned. Our prior experience with Viking showed that when mother nature doesn't cooperate, Viking's experience overcomes the problem and things go smoothly. Since that voyage, we signed up for 3 additional Viking River Cruises, the next one starting in 12 days. After this on we go on another in November. This is a great company. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
My wife and I started in Shanghai ,staying at the Ritz Carlton Portman, an excellent hotel. We had a tour of Shanghai prior to flying to Wuhan where we picked up the river cruise on the Viking Emerald. Dining on board was excellent ... Read More
My wife and I started in Shanghai ,staying at the Ritz Carlton Portman, an excellent hotel. We had a tour of Shanghai prior to flying to Wuhan where we picked up the river cruise on the Viking Emerald. Dining on board was excellent as was the service. Our first stop on the second day was in Yueyang where we visited a school sponsored by Viking, it was a lovely visit and the students put on a very nice welcoming show for us. They were very appreciative of our visit. The next day we visited the Three Gorges Dam, a massive and very impressive project, after which we sailed through a series of very impressively huge locks.The following day we visited the Lesser Three Gorges, here we had to disembark and cruise on smaller boats, a wonderful experience. The next day we visited the Shibaozhai Temple, a fascinating 12 storey temple. The final day of the cruise we disembarked in Chongqing to initially visit the zoo where we saw the Panda bears, our guides were very good in making sure we were there at feeding time. What impressed me more though were the magnificent White Tigers. From there we went for lunch at a local dining restaurant. After lunch we flew to Xian, staying at the Sheraton North City, another excellent hotel. The next day we visited the Terra Cotta Warriors, a truly awesome experience. From Xian we flew to Beijing for the remainder of our China experience. Here we stayed at the Regent Beijing. Our room was on the 19th and top floor, we had a wonderful view of Beijing. Our tour guide, whose tour name is Jamie and was with us from Shanghai to Beijing including seeing us off to the airport after we had extended our stay in Beijing. We cannot praise her enough, ,constantly keeping her group together,she was marvellous This is our second Viking river cruise/tour we have taken and have been very impressed with the excellent service. We definitely plan on going with Viking in the future. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
China seemed like a daunting destination to do on our own, so we decided to sample it with a reputable company, Viking. The trip was beyond our expectations! The entire time we felt like we were very special VIPs. Viking thought of ... Read More
China seemed like a daunting destination to do on our own, so we decided to sample it with a reputable company, Viking. The trip was beyond our expectations! The entire time we felt like we were very special VIPs. Viking thought of everything. It was a relief to just let go and enjoy the experience of such a different culture. The hotel accommodations were 5 star luxury, the food was excellent, the river cruse portion was pampering, the staff was very attentive to every need, the excursions was informative and wonderful. I would recommend this to anyone without hesitation. Go see China with Viking! The tour group is broken in several smaller groups. The tour guide you are assigned stays with your small group of 20 the entire trip. You feel like you become this little family. Our tour guide, Jamie, was the best. She told us many storied and explained Chinese culture to us in a fun way. Even when we flew, the airport experience of easy. Jamie got the tickets, we breezed through security, off to the gate, waited 15 minutes to get on the plane and off we went. Wow, wish we could do that in the US! I would recommend this tour for anyone from the mid-20's on. 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

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise