1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2016
Viking went over and above board to ensure we saw as much as possible in the time that we had. All my bucket list items were covered and I managed to bring back all the souvenirs on my list! Our tour escort was knowledgeable, courteous ... Read More
Viking went over and above board to ensure we saw as much as possible in the time that we had. All my bucket list items were covered and I managed to bring back all the souvenirs on my list! Our tour escort was knowledgeable, courteous and available to solve any problem. I left my keys in Xi'an (we had a very early flight) and they were waiting for me in Shanghai! In Chongqing we received an extra (secret) shore excursion for the inconvenience of the early flight. The Land Portion at both end of the cruise was just as awesome as the cruise on the Yangtze River (which was spectacular!) The entertainment (by the onboard crew) and on board activities were excellent. We participated in the not-included excursions - Beijing Opera, Peking Duck Dinner, Tang Dynasty Dinner and Show. The hotels were excellent and the food was plentiful; and varied between local and American style. I even tried pigs ears and chicken feet! Would highly recommend this trip to anyone. A word of caution. The "easy" part of the Great Wall is doable but taxing. Take your time and enjoy the experience. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
The cruise and the subsequent mainland tour covered most of the China tourist highlights (Yangtse Gorges, Dam, Panda Sanctuary, Terracotta Warriors, Great Wall, Forbidden City). Arrived in Shanghai, but did not really get sufficient time ... Read More
The cruise and the subsequent mainland tour covered most of the China tourist highlights (Yangtse Gorges, Dam, Panda Sanctuary, Terracotta Warriors, Great Wall, Forbidden City). Arrived in Shanghai, but did not really get sufficient time to explore and acquaint ourselves with the city. A trip on the high speed Maglev train would have been appreciated. Transfer to the ship at Wuhan was well organized. We had booked one of the two luxury suites - excellent in all respects, but perhaps more expensive than it deserved. Food was excellent; wine perfectly drinkable and generous. Entertainment minimal, although several talks were very informative and the quality of the entertainment by the crew was very good. Service could not be faulted either in the restaurant, the cabin or anywhere else on the ship. The trip to the local school was an eye-opener in terms of the class sizes and facilities, whilst the children and teachers were most welcoming. Trips involving the gorges were interesting, although the visit to the dam was rather less exciting since it was the wrong time of year to witness its operation and power. We were very unlucky with the weather - damp, misty or simply very wet - which perhaps coloured our impressions unfairly. Our major warning would be that we chose to do the cruise first and the mainland tour later, since this was the only way to visit the pandas. However, due to flight schedules we only had 90 minutes at most in the Sanctuary, which was almost hardly worth it, since no-one in their right mind would do the trip this way round, as the subsequent mainland tours were quite strenuous in terms of frequency and timings. To be fair, I would advise the Beijing to Shanghai itinerary rather than the Shanghai to Beijing route, since you would then have time to recover on the cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was a 12 day cruise tour that began in Shanghai and ended in Beijing, with a 5 night cruise on the Yangtze in the middle. The arrangements were very smooth, including intra-China flights. The ship appeared to be old but refurbished. ... Read More
This was a 12 day cruise tour that began in Shanghai and ended in Beijing, with a 5 night cruise on the Yangtze in the middle. The arrangements were very smooth, including intra-China flights. The ship appeared to be old but refurbished. The service was very friendly and very attentive. The food on board was excellent, with a mix of Western and Chinese foods. There were several informative lectures about the sights we'd be visiting and about China itself. The entertainment was China-themed, performed by the crew who had other jobs on board. The public areas were beautiful. The cabins were small size, compered to an ocean liner, but all the cabins had verandas, which was great for viewing the 3 Gorges and the locks of the dam. There was often a lot of walking involved to get from the ship to either the bus or the sight itself. In fact this whole trip involved a lot of walking, sometimes up very long staircases. The whole experience was let down by the return flight by Air China, has a frequent flyer (20 flights this year ) It was like going back 30 years. Why did we leave from T3 and arrive back in T2? I tried to change it but Viking didn't wont to know! I wont be going with viking again. Virgin say they are an equal partner there not. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
this was a Yangtze River cruise. We had time in Shanghai before leaving--great museum, would have liked a bit more time to explore city sights. Transition to ship was smooth--all Viking staff were terrific--extremely professional and ... Read More
this was a Yangtze River cruise. We had time in Shanghai before leaving--great museum, would have liked a bit more time to explore city sights. Transition to ship was smooth--all Viking staff were terrific--extremely professional and attentive to our needs. The ship staterooms were a bit tight, though comfortable enough. I liked the view from the ship and the various field trips. The workout room was a bit tight but the Tai Chi instructor was great--challenging and excellent workout each morning helped counteract the tight quarters and lots of food. Meals were enjoyable and the Officers and dining staff were incredibly responsive to requests, going out of their way to exceed all of our expectations. The on-ship programs were interesting and entertaining as well The river cruise was only a third of our trip, however. As a whole, this was definitely a 5-star tour, from our engaging and deeply knowledgeable guide, Patrick, to the outstanding hotel accommodations, to the inclusive tours and events and the few optional engagements--everything provided a thoughtful, insightful view of China and broad exposure to a fascinating country. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
I was in a group of eight people who took the Viking Imperial Jewels of China cruise and land tour from Shanghai to Beijing. The tour included a 5 day cruise on the Yangtze River as well as time in Shanghai, Xian, and Beijing. The ... Read More
I was in a group of eight people who took the Viking Imperial Jewels of China cruise and land tour from Shanghai to Beijing. The tour included a 5 day cruise on the Yangtze River as well as time in Shanghai, Xian, and Beijing. The Viking Emerald was a comfortable ship with a first rate crew who catered to our every need. The dining room offered both the standard European menu available on Viking cruises plus numerous Chinese dishes. The service was excellent. The activities offered were primarily educational in nature although one evening we did have a crew talent show and another evening we had a performance that included Chinese costumes. The tour escorts were excellent and knowledgeable and the hotel accommodations in Shanghai, Xian, and Beijing were five star. The domestic flights on the Chinese airlines were comfortable and, except for weather delays moving between Shanghai and Wuhan, on time. The activities in the major cities included the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, Tienanmen Square, a hutong, and the Ming Tombs in Beijing (and more things not so famous); the terra cotta warriors in Xian; and beautiful gardens, a great museum, and some lovely shopping in Shanghai. There were three additional evening activities that were extra, but well worth the additional money. Viking managed everything beautifully and efficiently. The tour is quite active with the cruise portion and moving among three major cities during the land portion so, if one is considering this tour, one should be ready and willing to move from place to place. The embarkation and the disembarkation were handled very well by Viking both by the tour escorts and by the army of people that work for Viking at the major airports. I definitely recommend this cruise and land tour in China. It was an interesting cultural and educational experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We did the Rooftops of the World with an extension to Hong Kong. The tour started in Beijing and ended in Hong Kong. We spent 3 days in Beijing before we moved on to the next city. We traveled both by air and ship since covering China ... Read More
We did the Rooftops of the World with an extension to Hong Kong. The tour started in Beijing and ended in Hong Kong. We spent 3 days in Beijing before we moved on to the next city. We traveled both by air and ship since covering China and Tibet is a huge distance. Most intra-country flights were under 2 hours. It is always so nice to have the representatives/guides from Viking meeting us at the airport and taking us back to make sure we leave smoothly, especially in a country where language can be an issue. On all our land flights, the Viking guides were with us in case there were any issues with either the checked bags or carry-on bags. Because of that degree of attention, all our transitions were smooth and easy. Our cabin on the ship was well appointed and clean. The ship was lovely and decorated well. We enjoyed all the shops on board - the master tailor, the pearl shop, the tea shop, the souvenir shop, the shop with the carved chops and the shop with the hand painted items. It was comfortable buying on board ship, I trusted the reliability of the shops, the quality was very good and the prices were competitive. The dining was diverse, you could dine on local dishes or keep with more Western fare. We enjoyed some of the more exotic offerings as well as some of the standard fare. Service was outstanding. The entertainment was fun - we particularly enjoyed the crew shows. Alice, who coordinated the shows is a real jem. We were so lucky as she also was taking care of us in the dining room. The singer in lounge was very good and we enjoyed her music as well. The lectures were helpful and the demonstrations were great! We learned more about Chinese history, pearls, painting and cooking! The ports we stopped at were outstanding and we really enjoyed the shore excursions. The local guides added their own knowledge which was helpful and educational. The sheer scale of some of the stops is amazing, but good walking shoes and the ability to walk is a must. Tours that are 4 hours means 3 hours of walking for the most part. Tibet was wonderful and key to our decision for this particular tour. The altitude did affect most of the group, breathing at 12,000 feet takes some adjustment. One of the things I liked was the local family stops - both in Beijing and Tibet. Overall, the guides were above and beyond amazing. Our guide, Matthew, was helpful, education and fun, he made the trip so enjoyable. I did not hear anyone complain about their guides, although we all felt lucky to be in Matthew's group. All the guides spoke very good English, including the local guides. I would definitely go again - wish there was a China - part 2 excursion. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2016
If you have never been on a Viking Cruise then you don't know what leaving up to the cruise organizers to do all the hard work is. From the time you get off the plane to when you head home, everything, and I mean everything is just ... Read More
If you have never been on a Viking Cruise then you don't know what leaving up to the cruise organizers to do all the hard work is. From the time you get off the plane to when you head home, everything, and I mean everything is just about perfectly planned to make the trip easy and more Importantly we could focus on just enjoying all the tours and, food, and the company we traveled with. If there was a glitch the staff would attend to it right away. This was our second Viking cruise and we have more planned and we wouldn't think of going with anyone else but Viking. We got to se all the places we had on our "wish List" and at what I felt at a great value for the services we received. The ship Emerald was not up to the full luxury standards that Viking usually demands, since the Chinese government had a lot to do with how it could and would be built, but the mostly Staff ( they have to hire so many locals, to meet the government demands.) made up for it in so many ways. The main tour guide was fantastic, and we became friends by the end of the tour. About 40% of the off ship, on site, tour guides had somewhat of a language barrier, again local hiring demands, and they were not too up on doing their jobs, and going through the motions, but it made for some interesting conversations. Food on board was fantastic, at some of the restaurants fare, but then again it was in China, and we got a good flavor of the local menus, the local beers were of great value and tasted very good. Our cabin was always well kept ,modern and very clean. We only slept there so who cares. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2016
This was the Roof of the World Tour so the river cruise was just a portion of the total trip. The tour guide for our 18-person group, Jamie, was amazing - knowledgable, compassionate, communicative. She helped us know what was coming and ... Read More
This was the Roof of the World Tour so the river cruise was just a portion of the total trip. The tour guide for our 18-person group, Jamie, was amazing - knowledgable, compassionate, communicative. She helped us know what was coming and how to be most comfortable, safe and in the moment for each experience. Our entire experience was first class. The accommodations and food were fabulous. My major suggestion is that Viking be more upfront about the possibility that altitude in Lhasa could affect a large proportion of travelers so that people were not panicked that their symptoms might have been unrelated to altitude. Fully half of our group required doctor care and we learned that that percentage was not atypical. This was despite following advice prior to travel including altitude medication, hydration and rest. Nonetheless, for my son and me, Lhasa may have been the most precious of our destinations. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We traveled with Viking River Cruises on the Imperial Jewels of China trip (April, 2016) in the direction from Beijing to Shanghai. The trip was wonderful and a fantastic experience. A very safe and convenient way to see parts of China. ... Read More
We traveled with Viking River Cruises on the Imperial Jewels of China trip (April, 2016) in the direction from Beijing to Shanghai. The trip was wonderful and a fantastic experience. A very safe and convenient way to see parts of China. Good tour guide who spoke excellent English (although we had to call him by a made up western name!) Why? Hotels were excellent - Kerry in Beijing, Hilton in Xi'an and Westin Bund in Shanghai. Kerry was the best by far, although it's dining experience was affected by a lot of new staff still very much "in training" mode. Summer Palace - we went there ourselves and enjoyed. Tiananmen Square and Forbidden city - both hugely interesting and full of such intrigue and history. Great Wall - -the best trip of the holiday. Some stiff walking, steep steps and hills but just an amazing site and incredible that a Wall can be built on top of a mountain/hills! Xi'an - Terra Cotta warriors - we loved and were amazed at the story behind finding them in 1974/1976 and how well so much of it has been preserved. Yangtze river cruise started in Chongqing. Bit of a shambles getting to and onto the boat (Viking Emerald) but a great welcome from the staff when arriving at the boat's reception. First stop - Shibaozhai pagoda - fascinating but a lot of hassle from traders getting there and back. Enjoy the "Drunken Bridge". 3 Gorges and dam were stunning - even though it was misty most of the time. Added to the eerie atmosphere. Cabin was good, bed and pillows fine, excellent shower and great and helpful staff. Food was good and two or three Captain/Welcome-back receptions which were nice. Good evening entertainment, especially the show put on by the boat's staff. Fantastic, especially the magician. Shanghai was a very modern and westernised city (and very busy). would recommend this tri to those who would like to visit China and see a number of top sites and relax for 5 days on a river cruise. Areas of disappointment - - information suggested that all evening meals were included in the hotels were were staying in. No. Two meals were outwith the hotel and one was part of an optional trip to the theatre, which we weren't doing. So we had to buy two meals ourselves as we were tired and didn't want to leave the hotel. - 3 internals flights (main luggage all taken care of, which was wonderful) - fine but we were only told the flight times on the day (or evening before) and that they would be about 30 to 90 mins. Each was over 2 hours. - information on the trips was only fully provided the day before, not allowing we thought, adequate time to plan whether to go on an excursion or not. - took ill on the second last day on the boat (as a number of fellow passengers did) Chinese doctor was $120 and I came away with 8 boxes of medicine. Got home, saw doctor, diagnosed pneumonia changed the medicines. This clouded my experience of the last 4 to 5 days of the trip I am afraid. Especially as I had got in touch with some of the wonderful people we had met on the trip and discovered that a number of other people had also taken ill with similar symptoms to mine. - recommendations on tips seemed high - but that seemed to be the way of things these days. - three lunches were at places where you had to listen to a 20 minute presentation (you weren't told this until you arrived) - jade, terra cotta warriors and something else I have forgotten and then shop and then get your lunch. Not what I had expected from Viking. Overall we enjoyed the trip, but not as much as the Danube river cruise we had done with Viking the year before.Viking staff reallay look after you well and nothing is too much trouble to them. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We chose this cruise because we really enjoyed our Viking cruise in France, and the excursions covered a lot of sights we wanted to see. Unfortunately, this one didn't go as well as our French cruise. There were many problems on the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we really enjoyed our Viking cruise in France, and the excursions covered a lot of sights we wanted to see. Unfortunately, this one didn't go as well as our French cruise. There were many problems on the Emerald: Moldy smell in many areas: rooms/hallways. Had to change rooms to the second alternative room, because the first alternative room also smelled moldy. Room attendant, Marvin: We ran out of toiletries, including toilet paper. He didn't replenish them. Had to call desk for more. His cart was outside our room everyday. One day I took a soap because we were low, and the cart contents never changed. Every day, everything was neatly arranged and full, except for the hole left by the one soap I took. I don' think anybody got new toiletries. He never cleaned the rug. It was filthy by the end. I put a dirty bathroom glass in the center of counter to exchange for a clean one. He just put the dirty one on an old coaster and put it behind the faucet as if it were a clean glass. I left my robe on the couch one day. He just wadded it up and put a pillow over it to cover it. Basically all he did was make the bed every day. He didn't understand anything we tried to say to him. Fiona was an excellent server, as was Alice. The main emcee gentleman was pretty impossible to understand. Also, the Shangri-La hotel in Guilin was not a good choice. It was overrun with children, and if you didn't like seafood, the food choices were just vegetables. I had tomatoes, olives and bread for dinner. It's a good thing I decided against the chicken, because a fellow passenger told me the next day that it had made him sick. Also, towels and toiletries were on the skimpy side. All other hotels were wonderful. Ray, our guide, was outstanding, and totally saved this trip! He made all the shore excursions fun. (Unfortunately, nobody could make the Chinese Acrobat show fun. It was not terribly acrobatic, or interesting.) Other shows were good. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We left Alaska early to arrive in Beijing on Sunday,a day early before our scheduled tour. We and a second couple, also arriving early, were met at the airport by our Tour Guide (James) and were transported to our hotel where James made ... Read More
We left Alaska early to arrive in Beijing on Sunday,a day early before our scheduled tour. We and a second couple, also arriving early, were met at the airport by our Tour Guide (James) and were transported to our hotel where James made sure that all of our accommodations were taken care of and up to Viking standards. He made sure that we were fully informed about our upcoming tour agenda and travel connections, that included our tour extension to Hong Kong. Since this tour was a combined air and ship tour the hotel provisions were all five star and the individual hotel dining buffet accommodations were excusive. The ship accommodations and staff equaled the hotel provisions as were the dining opportunities. The combination of buffet and menu dining offered an amassing dining opportunity for even the most discriminating traveler. The onboard entertainment provided unique insight into local lore and talent of the ships staff who performed double duty to not only meet the daily needs of the traveler but showcased their talent as entertainers and ambassadors. About half way through our air tour portion a traveler became ill and required emergency medial treatment. James acted professionally in assuring that the traveler was immediately tended to and received the aid he required. James accompanied him to the hospital and stayed with him so he could translate for the traveler. So that none of the rest of us travelers were left in a lurch James made sure that our local Tour Guide got us back to our hotel. The traveler stayed with the tour and did not miss out on any of the tour. All of our City, Port and Shore excursions were well planed and executed. James and the various Local Tour Guides were all informative and very attentive to all of our individual travel needs and limitations. Their mastery of the English language was beyond reproach and assured that this tour will be remembered for ever. The afternoon before those of us who chose to take the Hong Kong tour extension were advised that do to a scheduling conflict our agenda had to be modified. To assure that none of our planed Viking activities in Guilin, enroot to Hong Kong, would be disrupted James and the Viking China home office coordinated with the airlines to assure that our tour continued to be seamless and smooth. They also contacted the local river cruise provider in Guilin and scheduled an upgrade, at no additional cost to our small tour group, making sure that we all received a full and complete experience that meet Viking standards. This same attention to detail carried throughout the entire tour. All services and amenities far exceeded anything we could have imagined and are looking forward to future journeys the VIKING WAY.. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Our group of 7 (family and friends) started the Imperial Jewels of China trip in Beijing at the Kerry Hotel. The next twelve days were a whirlwind of activity as we went on great excursions to the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, The ... Read More
Our group of 7 (family and friends) started the Imperial Jewels of China trip in Beijing at the Kerry Hotel. The next twelve days were a whirlwind of activity as we went on great excursions to the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, The Summer Palace and the Hudongs and that was just the first 3 days. It only got better as we traveled by air to Xian and then to Chongquing to board the Viking Emerald and sail down the Yangtze through the Gorges with multiple stops at cities along the way and past the dam to Wuhan. After a tour of the city we flew to Shanghai for the final days of our trip. We had so much fun exploring each of the cities that we stayed in. This was one of the best and most enjoyable cruise/tours that we have been on, I cannot truly express the joy we had and the education we received along the way. Our "Chinese" guide James was with us the whole way and he became like one of our group, he was so full of information and tidbits about every location we visited. I highly recommend this trip to everyone I talk to. I particularly liked starting in Beijing rather than Shanghai, because we had more time to explore the city and especially the extra time in Shanghai which is a fabulous city. River cruising is very relaxing and Viking does and excellent job in removing all the stresses of traveling. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
The Viking Emerald is not the usual Scandinavian design, it is definitely Chinese. Beautifully decorated with shops where you can have silk clothing MADE on board, watch a very good artist paint, and more. The staff is polite and ... Read More
The Viking Emerald is not the usual Scandinavian design, it is definitely Chinese. Beautifully decorated with shops where you can have silk clothing MADE on board, watch a very good artist paint, and more. The staff is polite and attentive. The meals, really special. We did tour to Xian. I was blown away by the warriors , and the Great Wall really impress. For me this was not a vacation. It was a lot of walking every day. I came home tired but very happy we went. The population in China is shoulder to shoulder. The traffic was hair raising. Our driver was good and our tour director was outstanding. He had an answer for almost all question the 29 of us could ask and his patience was unending. This was a wonderful trip and I encourage you to go. Take good walking shoes, rain jacket and sunglasses. Happy travels Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We traveled with Viking River Cruises on the Imperial Jewels of China trip (April, 2016) in the direction from Beijing to Shanghai. The trip was absolutely wonderful! The Viking staff took care of everything for us; we felt so pampered. ... Read More
We traveled with Viking River Cruises on the Imperial Jewels of China trip (April, 2016) in the direction from Beijing to Shanghai. The trip was absolutely wonderful! The Viking staff took care of everything for us; we felt so pampered. Airfare: We used the AirPlus program with Viking so we could choose our airline and flights. The price was "ok," but about a month prior to the trip (and after our tickets had already been issued and no refund possible from Viking), the airline dropped the price on the same exact flights about $200 each. (the price went higher after a few days, however, so you have to catch it at the "right time") So, I'm not sure whether I would do that again or not. However, it WAS nice to be able to choose our flights which, for us, were non-stop flights. I heard that some folks who did not make that choice had more convoluted routes to China. Our tour escort, Bob,was amazing. Our group consisted of 22 folks from various parts of the U.S. and the U.K. The earpieces that are provided by Viking helped us be able to keep track of what the guide was saying. Bob was so very careful to make sure everyone was with him at all times! He was also willing to make additional arrangements for some of us (like we decided to go to the Summer Palace on a free afternoon in Beijing), and he gave the taxi drivers Chinese written directions and negotiated the prices for us. Luggage: Before each flight, we were told what time to have our checked baggage in the hallway (they gave us tags for the luggage), and we didn't have to do anything with the bags until we arrived at the next airport. After each flight, we only had to identify our bags at the baggage area to make sure they were not damaged during the flight, then the staff took them to our hotel and to our rooms for us. We did not have to worry about overweight bags (within reason). We were also allowed more than 1 carry-on bag on the intra-China flights, and the size and weight of those bags were never questioned. Make sure you have locks for your luggage because there are several times that your luggage is out of your sight. Also, you should lock your bags when they are on the intra-China flights; that's not restricted like it is in the U.S. Obviously, do not leave valuables in your checked luggage, even with locks. Hotels: We stayed at the Kerry Hotel (Beijing), Hilton Hotel (Xi'an), and the Westin Bund (Shanghai). Of the three, the Kerry was the best overall. The food in its buffet was excellent. We were disappointed in the food at the Westin. The evening buffet ran out of food before the end of serving hours, and the breakfast buffet just wasn't as good as the other 2 hotels (it was even hard to get a refill on coffee each morning). The last meal of the trip which was provided by the Westin was hardly edible. Water: There was always plenty of bottled water available on the buses as well as the ship so we never had to worry about whether we were drinking safe water or not. The water on the ship was purified so it was always safe. Electricity: I was always charging several batteries: phones, cameras, tablets. All the chargers for those devices are multi-voltage (accept 110 & 220 v) but have US plugs. There was never a problem finding enough plugs that accepted US plugs for charging at the hotels or on the ship. If you are concerned, you might take 1 or 2 plug adapters. I wish I hadn't taken all I took; I never used them. Food: We took several bags of snacks in case we got hungry between meals. We never did really need those. The food was quite good most of the time. When the trip description says that lunch will be at a "local restaurant," most of those on our trip were at shops where the staff was very pushy to get you to buy something at the shop either before or after your meal (jade shop, terra cotta soldier shop). We skipped the dumpling demonstration which meant we (and others who also skipped it) ate in a different dining area that evening. That was actually our best meal of the trip! Ship: We loved our time on the Viking Emerald! It was very relaxing, but there was always something floating by on the river that was interesting and/or unique. If you enjoy experiencing engineering wonders, stay awake while the ship is going through the locks at the 3 Gorges Dam. This happened after dinner on our trip and it was dark. It was truly amazing to see how they squeezed 4 ships into 1 lock at a time and then lowered the water level. The sun deck was an amazing (an usually almost deserted) place to watch the river. Our cabin was adequate in size; having the veranda made it feel so much more comfortable. We asked for a dehumidifier upon arrival which made the room more comfortable (we emptied over a gallon of water from it every day!). Sometimes the air conditioner didn't cool the room that well. When arriving onto the ship, there were MANY greeters..so many, in fact, that I was distracted and tripped over the 6-inch high threshold at the main door. They should have some one outside the door (they were all inside the door) to make sure guests see the tall threshold. The carpet in our cabin needed to be stretched..it had some wrinkles in it. Nothing to stumble over, but a mild nuisance. Excursions along the river: For us, the Shibaozhai Pagoda was just OK. The vendors along the way to/from the pagoda were very pushy and rude. One even hit at my wife's arm because we wouldn't buy anything! We also could have skipped the school in Jingzhou; I felt badly that the students had to come to school on a Sunday for their performances. The Lesser Gorges excursion was excellent..enjoyed seeing the smaller gorge areas. Money: We took about 300 USD worth of yuan with us (ordered it from our local bank) which was helpful because we had local currency that we could use upon arrival. Later in the trip we withdrew more yuan from an atm later which also worked fine for us. We bought most of our smaller souvenirs and purchases using yuan, and we used credit cards (credit cards that don't charge foreign exchange fees) to charge our more expensive souvenirs. We charged the tips for the ship staff to a credit card. We used yuan for tips to the city tour guides and the bus drivers. We never saw the porters, etc so we didn't give tips for them. For the "big" tip for the trip escort (must be cash), we used a mix of USD and yuan (so we wouldn't bring much yuan back to the U.S.). Haggling: Haggle for everything at the smaller shops and street purchases. I enjoy Coca-Cola and didn't want to pay the ship's prices, so I bought some bottles on the street. I discovered that even those can be bought for less than the asking price. Safety: We NEVER felt unsafe at anytime during our trip. I was amazed at how many people are everywhere (we live in a large U.S. city so we are accustomed to crowds--but not anything like the crowds in China!). Be prepared to push through some crowds at many of the sites...especially in the women's restrooms. You don't have to be rude..just calmly insistent, otherwise you can easily get separated from your group. Mobility: Walking on the Great Wall: we are quite mobile, but decided to take our collapsible walking sticks with us. We are so glad we did. The steps on the Wall are quite irregularly shaped and some are very steep (going down is harder than going up), so the walking sticks helped us maintain our balance and safety. This was an excellent trip that we will never forget...so if you are even mildly interested--DO IT! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
My sister and I chose this cruise because it was her first visit to China and when we booked it, she was having some health issues. I knew from a previous cruise with Viking, that they take good care of their guests, including seeing to ... Read More
My sister and I chose this cruise because it was her first visit to China and when we booked it, she was having some health issues. I knew from a previous cruise with Viking, that they take good care of their guests, including seeing to health issues that my arise. On this trip, a doctor was on board. Also, we wanted to cover more than one or two locations in China and travelling independently without knowing Mandarin did not seem feasible for us. This trip was very different than the Danube River cruise which I loved, but I think the side trips were well planned to provide a breadth of cultural and must-see places along the Yangtze. The one aspect of some of the guided tours that we did not care for was that the meals were provided at establishments that were trying to sell products to us - silk embroidery, silk carpets, jade, replicas of the terra cotta warriors, and so on. The restaurant, the service, and the overall condition of the ship were excellent. Our tour guide was wonderful. The tours in Shanghai, Wuhan, Chongquin Zoo, Xian and Beijing were well planned and used our limited time to the fullest. As a final note, the hotels were great! I would highly recommend this tour. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2016
Actually the cruise is from Chongqing,China to Wuhan but because I lost my passport at our transfer port of Hong Kong from San Francisco, we never got to Beijing.Instead we were on our own in Hong Kong.We are eternally grateful for Viking ... Read More
Actually the cruise is from Chongqing,China to Wuhan but because I lost my passport at our transfer port of Hong Kong from San Francisco, we never got to Beijing.Instead we were on our own in Hong Kong.We are eternally grateful for Viking in helping us go through the bureaucratic tangle of getting out of Hong Kong,Viking moved mountains to help us and Cathay Airline,our carrier, also helped us tremendously.The US Embassy really did a great job but because we arrived on Friday,we couldn't leave Hong Kong till Monday.We enjoyed Hong Kong and met up with the Viking Tour at Xian.There we toured the Terra Cotta Museum with Paul, the local guide.His knowledge of Xian was most impressive.Our main tour guide for Viking was Bob for the remainder of the trip and he was extraordinary. The ship was great and the staff provided great service,was hardworking and very polite.Wilhelm,the ship's hotel manager was a kick and Ben,the program director, was most informative.My son and wife participated in some of the ship's activities.i was more introspective and just enjoyed the scenery,marveled at the resiliency of the common person,and concerned about the people's over dependence on the 3 gorges dam in controlling the flooding at Wuhan,We were impressed by all the buildings when we got to Shanghai and I marveled at how far China has advanced materially for a nation that was formed in 1949.The land tours had to be some what rushed because there was a lot to see and there were crowds of people but Bob didn't lose anybody.Would I go back?Yes but I would go to fewer places and walk more with the people even though I don't speak Mandarin.Cruises are meant more as an introduction.Now that we are back in the states, we have to do battle with the insurance company to get reimbursed for our expenses in Hong Kong so if you go on this trip,DON'T LOSE YOUR PASSPORT and if you go on this tour,do not put in long hours of work prior to departure cause it's a long plane ride which may leave after midnight. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We took the cruise to find out more about China and the people. It turned out to be a really great journey. Our escort was fantastic and had a lot of patience with the group. He spoke really good English and was detailed in his ... Read More
We took the cruise to find out more about China and the people. It turned out to be a really great journey. Our escort was fantastic and had a lot of patience with the group. He spoke really good English and was detailed in his explanations of our tour. The crew of the ship and people we had contact with were all very friendly and helpful. We were treated very well during the whole trip. Our fellow passengers were delightful and new friends were made. We really got to know each other and got along very well. The entertainment on the ship was very good and interesting. The food was also very good and had a great variety of things to choose from for your eating pleasure. The stall in the restaurant was top grade. I have been telling my friends about this trip and strongly recommend they take it. We saw things and experienced things we would have never done on our own. The trip is a bargain for all you get to do and see. One last thing. The beds and rooms on the ship were really great and the service we received for our cabin was second to none. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
This was a 13 day land and river cruise package from Beijing to Shanghai in April of 2016 The air connections were very good. The hotels were top notch A1, the guides were excellent, the food was very good and the service all the way ... Read More
This was a 13 day land and river cruise package from Beijing to Shanghai in April of 2016 The air connections were very good. The hotels were top notch A1, the guides were excellent, the food was very good and the service all the way through was excellent. Our cabin on the 5 day cruise was very comfortable. All tours and guides were arranged and did an excellent job. We could not have seen that much if we had tried to do this on our own. We met wonderful people and ended with a group of 14. We had 2 people with restrictive diets and the guides watched everything they were served, going over each menu to make sure they stayed healthy. This is something I hadn't seen before with other tours. We would recommend Viking to everyone. It was a fabulous trip. We are now looking into another Viking trip. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
This was a great way to see China. Viking took care of everything. The hotels were very good and in excellent locations. The luggage was always handled by Viking arranged porters. Breakfasts were provided in the hotels for convenience ... Read More
This was a great way to see China. Viking took care of everything. The hotels were very good and in excellent locations. The luggage was always handled by Viking arranged porters. Breakfasts were provided in the hotels for convenience and the dinners were in local restaurants to get a taste of the local cuisine and culture. They were always clean and we had no concern for our health. The best part of the trip was the excellent guide (Jamie) that made China come alive through her growing-up experiences. She had excellent English, great stories from her background, good humor that was easily understood, and developed a great friendship with the guests. Viking picked the best locations and experiences in China for the first time visitor and scheduled many of the tours to minimize the crowds. The ship was very clean with several usable locations for viewing the river. All rooms seemed about equal as they all had small balconies and the ship small enough that even rooms on the ends were very close to the atrium. The small shops had good quality Chinese souvenirs that were reasonably priced. My wife had a Chinese jacket hand made and ready the next day. She ordered it the first day and got use out of it onboard a couple of times. She was very happy with the quality and price and her satisfacion led to several others being purchased. The meals gave the option for local cuisine or more standard fare. Even though it was nearly all buffet style, there were table waiters that gave suggestions, got drinks and kept water glasses filled. The entertainment was only so so but the river narratives were very interesting. This trip exceeded our expectations and I would recommend it heartily....especially if you get Jamie. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Several friends had taken European cruises and lived them, so since I wanted to do China decided on the Viking trip. It hit the must sees like the Great Wall and Terracotta Soldiers and included lots of other sites. I also like that the ... Read More
Several friends had taken European cruises and lived them, so since I wanted to do China decided on the Viking trip. It hit the must sees like the Great Wall and Terracotta Soldiers and included lots of other sites. I also like that the cruise was only for 5 days, so you got to see city life, rural life and river life. Because I did not speak Chinese nor do I read it, thought a fully escorted trip was the only way to go. The staff on the ship were very friendly and helpful. One of the best things was my tour escort Michael. His English was excellent and his knowledge of everything was amazing. As with any trip there were some parts that were a miss, like the Three a Gorges Dam tour (a total waste), but other points of interest made up for those misses. A few of the meals were just ok. Like the box lunch days and the Dumpling dinner. But others were fantastic, so one can excuse the just ok ones. None were just awful. The ship could use a little sprucing up. It was a little tired. Also the initial dock, especially the steps, were a little treacherous. But we all made it on board. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2016
Choose Viking based on recommendation of prior Viking guest. Planning to take another viking tour. Chose Viking China-Tibet-Hong Kong tour to fill in places we had not traveled to before. Viking Tour guides truly cared about providing ... Read More
Choose Viking based on recommendation of prior Viking guest. Planning to take another viking tour. Chose Viking China-Tibet-Hong Kong tour to fill in places we had not traveled to before. Viking Tour guides truly cared about providing guests a rewarding experience. Viking tour guides worked together to coordinate activities for the benefit of all. As a frequent international business traveler the preplanning of travel and tour logistics was well manged and appreciated. The hotel accommodations were excellent. Each hotel provided a large selection of western and local regional food. No one went wanting. At each regional tour location we met up with a local English speaking guide to compliment our main Viking guide. This gave us an insight to local history and culture which included discussions, questions/answers including museums, cultural shows and musical entertainment. Trip highlights were many. Tienanmen Square, Great Wall, Terra Cotta Soldiers, Rickshaw Ride, Potala Palace, Three Gorges Dam, Custom made Chinese jacket made on board etc etc. Booking process and paperwork provided was detailed and complete. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Choose Viking based on itinerary and positive recommendation of previous tour participant. Our China tour was a combination of land, river and air. All went smoothly. Viking pays attention to detail in addition to our dedicated tour guide ... Read More
Choose Viking based on itinerary and positive recommendation of previous tour participant. Our China tour was a combination of land, river and air. All went smoothly. Viking pays attention to detail in addition to our dedicated tour guide with us throughout the trip they had local English speaking representatives and tour guides to provide local flavor, knowledge and information. Our dedicated tour guide was knowledgeable, attentive and personable. A lot of previous planning and logistic's by Viking went into this trip to allow smooth touring. The hotel accommodations were top notch. Food selection was great. Accommodations aboard ship were good. Dining was open seating, food selection and the overall staff and level of service throughout the river cruise was excellent. River sights were spectacular.You definitely see and learn more traveling by river. Tours were excellent and very cultural, informative and historic in nature. We took many pictures to remember our China Viking tour experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2016
WE chose this cruise for the Terra Cotta Army and the 3 Gorges Dam. the hotels we stayed in prior to and after the crusie were magnificient. the cruise was great and up to Viking Standards. the Guide, Terry, was the best we've had ... Read More
WE chose this cruise for the Terra Cotta Army and the 3 Gorges Dam. the hotels we stayed in prior to and after the crusie were magnificient. the cruise was great and up to Viking Standards. the Guide, Terry, was the best we've had in all our 20 years of traveling. our time in Beijing was well spent, and to be able to stand in the very spot of the protest on the Tianimin Square and to visit the Forbidden City was captivating. we truly enjoyed our time on the Great Wall and we totally impressed with the amount of physical effort it must have taken. china is a growing country and the time we were in Beijing and the rest of the tour/cruise, the smog was bearable and in most instances almost not noticeable. the food aboard ship was as always with Viking, excellent with great size portions. the Chinese staff, not Viking employees, had limited English however, this was not a deterent. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
My mom and I chose to travel with Viking to China because we had heard great things about Viking tours, and wanted to travel with a reputable company. When we looked at the available cruises we chose the 'cruise' from Beijing to ... Read More
My mom and I chose to travel with Viking to China because we had heard great things about Viking tours, and wanted to travel with a reputable company. When we looked at the available cruises we chose the 'cruise' from Beijing to Shanghai. One thing that appealed to us "virgin" cruisers was that there were hotel stays prior to and after the cruise portion. We had a few days in Beijing and Xian before the cruise and got to explore The Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, The Terra Cotta Warriors, and other fantastic places, all while staying in five-star accommodation. Then we boarded the Viking Emerald, we enter into a beautiful atrium and our taken to our stateroom-spacious and has a great veranda. The Yangtze River provided a beautiful backdrop as we cruised, and it was wonderful to enjoy sitting on our veranda. The food onboard was delicious, and I loved that at every meal there was a local cuisine option. The crew was amazing, and talented! The entertainment on board surpassed my expectations. The shore excursions were well thought out and gave a view of China that we couldn't get in the larger cities- I particularly loved the lesser gorges tour because our guide had lived there her entire life and she described the culture. Even when we couldn't go on one of the excursions (due to a weather/lock schedule issue), the staff on the boat went out of their way to plan some last minute entertainment, including a free alcoholic beverage, so that we would still get a great experience, even if it wasn't the one we had planned. It has been over six months since we traveled, and my mom and I still are talking about all of the wonderful experiences we had in China. I am normally an independent traveler, but I am so glad I traveled with Viking because I know I would not have seen a quarter of what I saw with them, or with the ease that everything was handled. I have recommended this trip to everyone I know, and I would gladly go on this trip again! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was our 3rd cruise with Viking River Cruise . They have all be been great -- everything about them. We are planning to do another one with Viking. Both the included and optional tours were excellent with excellent local guides and ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise with Viking River Cruise . They have all be been great -- everything about them. We are planning to do another one with Viking. Both the included and optional tours were excellent with excellent local guides and ample free time. The on board food was excellent. The staff was very nice, efficient and responsive. I like the pace of river the cruise -- it is much less hectic than ocean cruises. It was a wonderful experience -- relaxing and informative. I also appreciate the efficiency of the transfers to and from the airports. We were originally supposed to change planes in Brussels. The day before the departure the terrorists attacked the airport. We learned that the Brussels A/P would be closed for at least 2 days -- including the day of our arrival. We called Viking. They answered right away and had already re-routed us through another A/P. They called us later to make sure we knew that our departure time had also changed. It was as seamless as could be imagined. Although our connection was not as good as the original flight plan it was still good. Fortunately this was the only glitch on the trip. The Viking staff in Prague was great. On the day of our arrival they provided a short orientation meeting and a short optional walking tour of the city. The hotel was conveniently located to the old town. It was an easy safe walk from the hotel. The orientation allowed us to better enjoy Prague while we were there -- it's a great city and well worth a dedicated trip. 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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