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.
All I remember is we got the last 2 cabins at the tail end of the boat and the young man that took care of us really was conscientious.We really felt sorry for him.
We were lucky just to be on the Emerald.
Our port of call for the cruise was not Beijing so I can't rate it.As a matter of fact I never saw Beijing.