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372 Asia River Cruise Reviews

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
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
Sail Date November 2016
We wanted to see Myanmar before it is changed forever by mass tourism. This itinerary allowed us to visit not only the major centres of Yangon and Mandalay but also small remote villages only accessible easily by river. We thoroughly ... Read More
We wanted to see Myanmar before it is changed forever by mass tourism. This itinerary allowed us to visit not only the major centres of Yangon and Mandalay but also small remote villages only accessible easily by river. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting some of the local people, especially the children who were so eager to practice their language skills on us. Visiting local markets was very interesting and colourful, as were the gold leaf factory and lacquerware workshop. The addition of a stopover at Inle Lake with a visit to the silk weaving workshop was very special. The ship was wonderful - lovely teak decor and a spacious sundeck. The crew were superb, always ready to assist us, even to the extent of cleaning our shoes whenever we came back onboard. We are so glad we went but disappointed to learn that Viking has withdrawn from Myanmar and this trip is no longer available. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Having Travelled around India alone using local transport since the early seventies I am addicted. However my wife had never been despite several attempts to persuade her to try. We have cruised regularly, so when I saw this cruise ... Read More
Having Travelled around India alone using local transport since the early seventies I am addicted. However my wife had never been despite several attempts to persuade her to try. We have cruised regularly, so when I saw this cruise advertised I felt this to be a great opportunity to get her on board. Well Calcutta I knew would be chancy for her because of the crowds and the obvious poverty, but once on the boat and in comfort I was sure things would fine although in an alien area. Fortunately it proved to be the case. The on land travel was all in comfortable 4X4 type vehicles with careful drivers for all trips, The boat was really comfortable, clean and fit for purpose. Cabins were excellent as were the other facilities. The top of the boat was perfect for observing what was happening on the banks. The food was very good and varied, although the one attempt at European food was mixed. Stick to what you know would be my suggestion. The crew were all terrific and helpful. A special mention must be made for our resident guide, a magic ornithologist who also had a wealth of knowledge about all the other trips to architectural sights, on safaris and village life. He runs early morning bird walks before breakfast which were terrific. Strangely only two people took advantage of these. Don't miss them even if your not a real birdie. They were brilliant. The two safaris in the Kazaringa were fabulous. Indeed all of the trips collectively gave a wonderful insight into life in Assam. On a different note, the massages were something else, When have you had eight or ten hands working on you at the same time. But totally safe and not intrusive. Even my wife indulged. Coming back to my wife she loved it all, bar Calcutta. Even to the point of going shortly afterwards to Sri Lanka. Some success. My only moan was that the prices stated for drinks and other purchases were not as they seemed as they added all sorts of taxes when the bill was printed. Sharp practice. They did say that they would rectify the situation. I hope so because it's sad to finish an absolutely brilliant trip on a potentially sour note. But don't let that stop you going. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Sailing up the mighty Brahmaputra River in North India with Pandaw River Cruises was a truly amazing adventure. I had always dreamed of seeing the real India and when we saw this opportunity to explore the Assam region by boat we ... Read More
Sailing up the mighty Brahmaputra River in North India with Pandaw River Cruises was a truly amazing adventure. I had always dreamed of seeing the real India and when we saw this opportunity to explore the Assam region by boat we couldn’t resist. The ship itself was wonderful - a real floating hotel. The cabins were beautifully appointed and spotless (I’d recommend a balcony birth so you can watch the ever changing scenery slip by and enjoy an evening cocktail as the sun set) the crew were superb and really looked after us. The food was delicious with a great range of both western and Indian delicacies. Dinner was a very social affair we made some great friends and had many laughs with our fellow passengers. What really set this trip apart was the sense of discovery. Every morning we woke up to watch the majestic river reveal new landscapes. Our itinerary was jammed packed with the most amazing experiences. Everyday we had excursions to temples, local villages and tea plantations. I have to make a special of Venkatesh, our resident naturalist, historian and all round lovely guy. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of the animals, birds and plant life and was always fascinating to talk with. When we visited temples he could describe in detail the symbolism, spiritualism and beliefs. Every evening we were treated to talks on the wildlife and could watch the amazing sunsets from the 360- degree sundeck One evening we disembarked to a deserted island to enjoy a bonfire barbeque and cocktails under the starlight sky. The highlights of the trip had to be the two safaris to Kaziranga National Park. The first was by jeep which allowed us to cover a lot of ground and see as much of the abundant wildlife, culminating at sunset with a stunning view of the animals gathered at a watering hole. Our second was on elephant back which allowed us to get really close to the wildlife. At one point we were within feet of a basking Rhino, a truly amazing sight. Sailing with Pandaw is more than just a holiday it’s a truly unique and immersive experience, a trip of a lifetime. If you’re interested in getting off the beaten track and seeing slices of life that the regular tourism would miss out on then this is the trip for you. It was an unforgettable journey and I can’t recommend it enough. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We have travelled with Scenic for 10 years and have completed 5 river cruises with them in addition to many land tours. We love the fact that everything is included, itineraries are varied and staff are so well-trained. The Scenic spirit ... Read More
We have travelled with Scenic for 10 years and have completed 5 river cruises with them in addition to many land tours. We love the fact that everything is included, itineraries are varied and staff are so well-trained. The Scenic spirit is a truly luxurious ship and we were fortunate to be upgraded to one of the Royal Panorama Suites. Luxuriating in our own jacuzzi with a glass of wine at the end of each day's shore excursion was sheer bliss. I also highly recommend Shretty's massages in the Wellness centre. Twenty-four of the 60 passengers had already travelled together from Hanoi for 12 days on a land tour and had formed a tight knit "Sticky Rice" group with our fabulous Vietnamese tour director, Nghia. This meant we were together for most of the shore excursions with him and Dara, a local Cambodian tour guide. One afternoon Dara gave us a lesson on how to tie the Khmer (Cambodian scarf) which had us laughing for days. Paula, Joyce and Eric run the cruise smoothly, like a well-oiled machine. Everything happened exactly as they said and their staff are super organised, friendly and capable.The Captain and his crew had to dock in some 'interesting' places and were very creative in making sure we were able to step ashore safely for our excursions. Ario and his team never let us go hungry and introduced us to lots of local delicacies and the friendly, happy waiters were a bonus. Our gorgeous Cambodian butler, Sithat, anticipated our every need and brought us fruit after lunch and chocolates after dinner. Thanks to her we were able to have several pre-dinner drinks and canape evenings with some of our new friends in our cabin. An added bonus with our cabin allocation was being able to send bags of laundry to be done every day. With the high humidity we certainly took advantage of this. All shore excursions were interesting and educational, some such as tasting snake wine and holding a python more challenging than others and the Killing Fields were really confronting. Scenic are to be congratulated for their support of local communities and children's charities. It was such a wonderful week we were all sad to have to leave the ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We chose Myanmar because we thought it was an exciting destination and we were not disappointed. The service provided by Scenic was excellent. However some of the Ports and shore excursions need more thought to provide more active ... Read More
We chose Myanmar because we thought it was an exciting destination and we were not disappointed. The service provided by Scenic was excellent. However some of the Ports and shore excursions need more thought to provide more active alternatives.The cabin was spacious and very comfortable and the service outstanding but the bar/lounge area was an odd shape and didn't really work as a social meeting point. The pool area was great as was the top deck but needed more shade.The crew were especially helpful when disembaking as there wasn't always a pier. The bar staff and waiters were excellent. The wine varieties were more limited than other Scenic cruises we have been on, but all transported from abroad as Burmese local wines weren't up to Scenic high standards. The meals were of a very high standard.The evening entertainment was limited. Not really a family holiday. The only critisism was the very long drive at the end of the cruise to Yangon. I would strongly recommend this trip. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Myanmar (Burma) had been on my bucket list for almost 40 years. This was a great way to explore the country, by land and river, as we saw the bigger towns and the small villages. Nothing (other than the shower pressure/temperature) ... Read More
Myanmar (Burma) had been on my bucket list for almost 40 years. This was a great way to explore the country, by land and river, as we saw the bigger towns and the small villages. Nothing (other than the shower pressure/temperature) could have been better. Tragic that Viking has discontinued this destination as the crew, guides, villagers and others very much benefited from the cruises. Nyo and Moomoo were the best guides ever - so sweet, personable, knowledgeable and open to discussion. Dominique was so hospitable and friendly. The chef was great and friendly. The captain and his whole crew did everything they could to keep us happy and safe. Myanmar was fascinating - we could have used a day more in Inle Lake and Bagan and probably Rangoon. The bedrooms needed more light - especially over the desks but the small cabins were very efficiently arranged. The other passengers and the people of Myanmar themselves, of course, were the highlight of this fascinating trip. Wish Viking went to our other bucket list destinations of the Amazon and Galapagos. Read Less
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
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
Sail Date November 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
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
Sail Date October 2016
If you think you've seen it all on your many travels around the world, you clearly haven't experienced the luxury, professionalism, high-end service and tourist savvyness of Amawaterways' AmaPura river cruise along ... Read More
If you think you've seen it all on your many travels around the world, you clearly haven't experienced the luxury, professionalism, high-end service and tourist savvyness of Amawaterways' AmaPura river cruise along Myanmar's sleepy Irawaddy. Just like our seasoned fellow travellers, including geography professors, we were profoundly impressed by the unique combination of must-see tourist sites, such as Yangon's Shwedagon Pagoda or Mandalay, and visits to forlorn villages visibly frozen in time along the river banks. It was this carefully selected juxtapposition of visits to tourism hotspots on one day and strolls through breathtaking colonial villages or fishing hamlets along the river on the next day, which made this trip so unique. Amawaterways clearly knows about the unparalled advantage it can offer its passengers compared to land travellers: it can anchor anywhere along the river banks, quickly hew a few steps into the pristine slope, and within no less than 20 minutes passengers young and old can disembark to riverbank places no backpacker can reach for lack of land infrastructure. Add to this charming suite-size rooms with great bed and shower, an attentive and tirelessly friendly crew, and, most of all, unparalleled, de-luxe gourmet meals three times a day, plus in between, and you will not want to ever leave this small boutique cruise ship, which soon feels like your own private home. Chapeau, Amawaterways, you teach widely travelled folks like me that there are still adventures out there definitely worth discovering. And you make responsible and wise use of ever dollar you charge. Read Less
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
Sail Date October 2016
We did a 7 day trip from Mandalay to Bagan. Cabins: small but with quite generous storage. Beds were very comfortable. The bathroom was bigger than expected with a huge storage cupboard, and a large shower. Due to the room opening onto ... Read More
We did a 7 day trip from Mandalay to Bagan. Cabins: small but with quite generous storage. Beds were very comfortable. The bathroom was bigger than expected with a huge storage cupboard, and a large shower. Due to the room opening onto a promenade deck , curtains needed to be drawn for privacy, so could have been dark, but the lighting was very good. Food: This was exceptional. At breakfast fruit, cereals, bread and pastries were on the buffet, and then you ordered your hot breakfast. Lunch and dinner had a choice of usually 3 options for the main course, ordered at the previous meal sitting. Some courses at lunch were buffet. It was all freshly cooked and nicely presented. Drinks: Tea, coffee, beer, water, local spirits and a small selection of soft drinks were free flowing and included. Each day there was a cocktail hour with cocktail of the day. Excursions: these were included and ranged from walks through villages, coach rides amongst the temples and local transport experiences. All high quality. Staff and Crew: Amazing! All went out of their way to help you. So friendly. Some of our group had food allergies which were catered for exceptionally well. We will always remember Party Night, when everyone danced round the deck with the Captains Hat passing from person to person. Maintenance: we had a big issue as the air con was not working on the first night, by midday the following day a new unit had been installed - very impressive . Laundry: we did not use this facility, as we did not know it would be available. It was very cheap (e.g. a T-shirt $2 and trouser $ 2.75) and from what we heard it was very efficient. It could have saved us some luggage. In summary we had a great time and would recommend Pandaw to anyone, in fact we plan to use them again in other countries. Read Less
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
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
Sail Date October 2016
After a week onboard, all six of us agreed that sailing from Siem Reap down the Mekong on the Jayavarman was a great decision. The cabins were much larger than we expected and particularly comfortable with a spacious ensuite. The ... Read More
After a week onboard, all six of us agreed that sailing from Siem Reap down the Mekong on the Jayavarman was a great decision. The cabins were much larger than we expected and particularly comfortable with a spacious ensuite. The diningroom and lounge areas were similarly spacious and well appointed. Couldn't fault the food, it was delicious, varied (every day) and more than enough (buffet breakfasts and lunch). The staff were wonderful and were almost the highlight of the trip. Maybe it was because we were an outgoing group of 3 couples but the staff were great fun, remembered names from Day 1 and were great fun. There were numerous opportunities for offshore experiences and things to do onboard. It was a lazy way to travel. We sailed in October, we gathered a quiet time because there were about 32 passengers onboard, a bit more than half. That was enough for us. A full cruise wouldn't have been as pleasant we believe. But all in all, a fabulous trip. Read Less
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
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
Sail Date September 2016
food was fantastic, almost felt like being fattened up for Christmas,so too bad if diet conscience, The river itself didn't do much for me, but it still was interesting & there was various opportunities to get off & look ... Read More
food was fantastic, almost felt like being fattened up for Christmas,so too bad if diet conscience, The river itself didn't do much for me, but it still was interesting & there was various opportunities to get off & look around. Phenom Penh had plenty to do. Royal Palace, National & Genocide Museums, The guides gave plenty of information regarding the history of Vietnam & Cambodia, the killing fields, Silk making loom set up in Cambodia was very interesting as was the village silversmith all tour guides had very clear English so language was never a problem. It can be any type of cruise you want, relaxing, cultural, historical be continually pampered or just read a book. The rooms were very well appointed, the staff were genuinely pleasant & so helpful a real pleasure to meet. I don't think it matters which floor one takes, but a stair case is the only way to get up & down. River crossing entry into Cambodia Do not do visa for Cambodia on line as it will not be accepted. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I can't say enough good about this cruise. First, the ship was a throwback to the old British colonial days with teakwood and shuttered doors. We felt like we were reliving history as we along the Mekong. Our room was compact but ... Read More
I can't say enough good about this cruise. First, the ship was a throwback to the old British colonial days with teakwood and shuttered doors. We felt like we were reliving history as we along the Mekong. Our room was compact but comfortable. The foods prepared by our chef was exceptional. He prepared special foods daily for those, like myself, with food allergies. The staff from captain to Enrico the Hotel Director to our cabin steward dedicated themselves to passengers having an enjoyable experience. Travelers on this cruise were genuinely nice and everyone seemed to enjoy each other's company. Our tour director Sinh made sure each of us had a great trip. Our local guides were very knowledgeable and informative. They were very candid about life in Vietnam and Cambodia. I couldn't have asked for a better itinerary. This is our third Viking cruise and it won't be our last. Although we've done more than 50 cruises, this was truly a totally wonderful trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This cruise was the first of the season. Although it was still during the monsoon season, we were lucky in that we only had a half hour delay on one land tour because of rain. It was however very hot and humid throughout the cruise. The ... Read More
This cruise was the first of the season. Although it was still during the monsoon season, we were lucky in that we only had a half hour delay on one land tour because of rain. It was however very hot and humid throughout the cruise. The service and the food was beyond exceptional. I have never had better service or food especially on a river boat. The capacity was 56 passengers, but because this was the first of the season, we only had 9 passengers with 32 crew members. All passengers were solo travelers, and some of the single supplements were waived. The country is still quite unspoiled, and the people were very friendly. They really need tourism in the country. It's only been since about 2012 that tourism has started to take off. We only saw one other international level river boat during the entire cruise. What you will see is many many pagodas. However the highlight for me was when we visited a local school in the village of Pha Hto. The children had very little, but when the passengers distributed school supplies to them, they were very happy. There were two issues, one major and one not so much. The major issue for me was that I found out when I tried to fly from Kunming to Mandalay that my visa was not valid. Myanmar has a policy of electronic visas. Unfortunately the on-line company that I chose was a fraud. Their website was meant to look official, but it was not. I was delayed in China for two days while applying for a new visa. During that time, the AMA Waterways staff in Mandalay failed to answer the emergency contact numbers. I was left on my own, but eventually I was able to connect with the cruise at a location I found on my own by reviewing the detailed itinerary. The second issue was the evening before we were to visit Mount Popa, one of the tour highlights in Bagan, we were told that there would be an extremely large gathering of 80,000 pilgrims. We were not going to be allowed to visit. The following day was a bust, as almost the entire itinerary was cancelled. Because of river conditions the boat ties up every night. When traveling downstream from Mandalay to Pyay, I suggest booking odd numbered cabins. Most nights the odd numbered cabins face towards the river. There is some river traffic at night, but it is less noisy than the local riverbank intrusions and the views are worth it. I encourage everyone to visit this country soon, before the country changes too much. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We did the Viking Emerald cruise starting in Shanghai and ending in Beijing. The Westin hotel on Shanghai was very comfortable and the service was good. From there we flew to Wuhan to pick up the Viking Emerald for our 5 day cruise down ... Read More
We did the Viking Emerald cruise starting in Shanghai and ending in Beijing. The Westin hotel on Shanghai was very comfortable and the service was good. From there we flew to Wuhan to pick up the Viking Emerald for our 5 day cruise down the Yangtze. We had a cabin on the 5th deck and it was very spacious and very clean. A bottle of sparkling wine awaited us and fresh fruit which was replaced every day. All toiletries were replaced when used and the hairdryer was a nice small size which could be plugged in anywhere in the cabin. English electrical goods needed an adapter. The food was exceptionally good with western and Chinese options at each meal. The dining room consisted of tables of ten people and you could sit where you liked. The entertainment was very good and consisted mainly of Chinese culture which meant the crew taking part at all times. The person describing the main man (Wilhelm) who did a lot of the introducing obviously had no sense of humour. Wilhelm is an Austrian and had a wonderful sense of humour that kept the whole ship laughing as we didn't know what he would come out with next. A very nice, humble man too, I thought. Our Tour guide was Iowa and he looked after us from start to finish. Even when my husband and another friend became ill he went to the pharmacy and brought back medicine for them both. His knowledge and passion for China shone through. He spoke English perfectly and he too had a wonderful sense of (English) humour which made the whole trip a joy to be on. He worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure everything worked smoothly. From Chongqing where we disembarked we flew to Xian to see the Terracotta warriors and to visit the zoo to see the Pandas. We were lucky to see all five on the day. The Tang Dynasty show and dinner went very well too. The food was a regular Chinese meal with rice wine which flowed freely. The show had beautiful effects and colourful costumes and the story was told on a screen up on the left hand side of the stage. Well worth seeing. From there we flew to Beijing where we walked the Great Wall, saw the Forbidden City and Tianamen Square with Mao's Mausoleum. A rickshaw ride and a visit to a jade warehouse completed the trip. From when reached our first hotel until we landed at home, we never touched our suitcases except to pack and leave them outside our doors for collection. Disabled people travelling with us had access to wheelchairs and willing people to push them for a small fee. Also I think it prudent to mention that most public toilets have no loo paper, so be warned! All in all not a cheap trip but well worth the money as it was so well organised. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
You begin your trip with an overnight stay at the Shangra-la Hotel Yangon. A very well kept hotel with a restaurant, bar, bakery and more. The hotel employees are very helpful at all times. Centrally located downtown and convenient for the ... Read More
You begin your trip with an overnight stay at the Shangra-la Hotel Yangon. A very well kept hotel with a restaurant, bar, bakery and more. The hotel employees are very helpful at all times. Centrally located downtown and convenient for the tours provided. To start your South bound cruise you fly to Bhamo and sail south (cruises can go either North or South bound) on the Irrawaddy River stopping at 10-12 villages along the way to Bagan where your river trip ends. As you explore each site along the way you take off your shoes and socks to view the Pagodas, walking trips to a farmers home, shops and more. Since the River Ship docks along the banks of the river and you take your shoes off when re-entering the boat and are given slip-ons to wear or your shoes that you left behind on the ship. The crew is excellent and most helpful such as Aye in the dining room, where Western and Asian food is served and Sai in the lounge/bar, where the addictive sesame seed snacks are provided. All the crew is very helpful and do not forget to use the Spa. With 18 cabins you will only have a maximum of 36 passengers Mark is an excellent and informative cruise director and Myo is his most capable assistant and is from Myanmar. Excellent movies are shown about the history of Myanmar that will enhance your trip. An adventuresome trip not to miss while the country is open to tourism. Our Excellent ratings are given as the value exceeded are expectations. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016

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