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60 Asia River Cruise Reviews

Thirteen nights, 7 land, 6 cruising. A little background. My husband and I have cruised on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and Oceania but never on a river cruise. We did do Galapagos but I don't count that as a river cruise. China was on ... Read More
Thirteen nights, 7 land, 6 cruising. A little background. My husband and I have cruised on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and Oceania but never on a river cruise. We did do Galapagos but I don't count that as a river cruise. China was on our bucket list. I was a little hesitant because I am hearing impaired. I can hear but conversation is tough in a noisy environment. Also, I can't use the earpiece/transmitter apparatus because it just sounds garbled. So I knew I had to rely on my husband to fill me in on what was being said. Now that you know that, you realize why my review may be a little skewed. We flew in a day early to try and adjust a little to the 12 hour time difference from the U.S. east coast to China time. Not easy. You can read my hotel reviews on tripadvisor. They were all 5 star hotels and each had its pluses and minuses. Please be forewarned. There is lots of walking. There are lots of stairs and ramps. If you have any mobility problems, I don't think this is for you. On the actual day 1, which is supposed to be arrival day, you check into your hotel. You are given information as to what you will do the next day and what time. The majority of the time, excursions started early, 7:30 or 8am. There were 3 groups staying at our hotel and 3 groups at another. There were also 2 groups who did Tibet and we did not see them until we boarded the ship. Our group had 34 people and everyone was very friendly. Our tour escort, Anthony, was terrific. I wish I could have understood everything he was saying but my husband filled me in on a lot of it. The remaining 2 days in Beijing were busy, Tianamen Square, Forbidden City, Great Wall, and more. You can read the itinerary on the Viking site. The tour bus was comfortable and the air conditioning worked well because it was hot outside. One big problem, kids were not in school yet so every site in Beijing was ridiculously crowded with locals pushing and shoving. Many women had umbrellas to shield the sun and they carried them low so you had to watch out to make sure you didn't get stuck in the eye. Had we known this about the kids, we would have gone a week or two later. After Beijing, we flew to Xian. Checked bags are put outside of your door the night before or early the morning of the flight and you don't see them again until they're in your hotel room or in your cabin. Carry on bags are put in the belly of the bus. We had 3 intra-China flights, Beijing to Xian, Xian to Chongqing, Wuhan to Shanghai. You will be patted down, just accept it. The first two flights I did not sit with my husband but no problem. The last flight we had to leave the hotel at 6am to catch an 8:20am flight (which was delayed). People were not happy about that. No one looked forward to spending time in the airports for the 1 1/2 hour flights. For two of the flights, there was no jetway. Everyone lines up at the gate to get on a bus to take you to the plane. Then, lugging your carry on, you climb the many steps to board the plane. The same thing happened on our trip home from Shanghai and we were on a big Delta 777. In Xian, we all marveled at the Terra Cotta Warriors. But, again, very crowded and hot. One more surprise, the toilets. Many toilets in restaurants, shops, and malls, are squat toilets. Nowhere to sit. At the airport, the stalls are marked as to which type of toilet is inside. From Xian, we flew to Chongqing to board our ship. Stairs, ramp, but once inside, it was really nice. There are 2 elevators but we only used them once. We were led to our cabin on deck 3 and it was fine. Actually better than expected. Comfy bed, Blackout drapes that actually closed all the way. Small bathroom but plenty of vanity and shelf space. Plenty of closet and storage space. Small balcony with 2 chairs. And it was quiet. The service was outstanding. Everyone smiled and made sure that you were happy. The food, buffet for breakfast and lunch, menu for dinner could rival some of the best restaurants. Please note that all of the tables are round tables for 8 people. You are always eating with others. I thought, with my hearing problem, that would bother me but it didn't. We met and talked with so many people from all over the world and made many new friends. Excursions every morning and then, usually, cruising in the afternoon. There were talks about ports or China life. I didn't attend so there were many times I was bored. Some shows in the evening put on by the staff and they were fun. After 6 nights, we flew to Shanghai. Since our flight was delayed and it was raining when we arrived, Anthony decided we should just go to the hotel. We were all very happy. Busy last day. Then, the next morning, we boarded our bus to airport. We were exhausted and we're now trying to get our internal time clock back to Eastern time. So, to summarize: Be prepared for the time difference. Think about when you want to go. Check school schedules and big events. If you have mobility issues, think twice about this trip. Make sure you're up for it because you will miss a lot if you can't climb the stairs or the ramps. In the bathrooms, look for the signs on the stalls as to what time of toilet is inside. Understand that you will always be eating at a table of 8. If you still decide to go, you will be rewarded. There is so much to see and everyone is there to make sure you are happy. The tour escorts are the best. The food and accommodations are top notch. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the school kids. They are charming and they all looked forward to meeting us. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was the trip of a lifetime for us. Viking staff made all of the difference in the success of this trip. We began in Beijing. We flew on United from Tampa via Washington Dulles. IAD to PEK was a whopping 14+ hours. Customs ... Read More
This was the trip of a lifetime for us. Viking staff made all of the difference in the success of this trip. We began in Beijing. We flew on United from Tampa via Washington Dulles. IAD to PEK was a whopping 14+ hours. Customs clearance in Beijing was fairly painless. We were met by Viking guide Peter, who would be our guide for the next two days. We were taken to the Kerry hotel, where we spend 5 nights. Lovely hotel with small but well equipped room. The hotel has an outstanding health club and indoor pool. Their restaurants are all quite good. Kerry's Kitchen serves buffet for B,L & D. Nice array of Chinese and Western fare. Kerry's Pantry was sort of a take-out restaurant with some seating. Great salads, sandwiches and desserts. Centro is a 24 hour bar and restaurant. The bar was a good hiding place....with an excellent cheeseburger, btw!! We bought the Beijing extension, which gave us a tour of the Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace. Weather was a bit cool - 40's to 50's, but nice and sunny. We had our first lunch at a very large Chinese restaurant. It was pretty good. We had the second day free. We stayed close to the hotel, shopping in the two astonishing adjacent malls. Our actual tour then began. Our guide for the remainder of the journey was Roy. He made the trip for us. Expertly knowledgable and responded to every request and problem. We toured the Great Wall in perfect weather - 50's and piercing bright sun. Roy brought us to a location on the Wall which had almost no other people! Fabulous vantage points and lots of time to shoot photos and just marvel at this wonder of the world. The next day was Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Again perfect weather and great commentary from Roy. Next day we flew to Xi'an. Great flight on China Eastern Airlines. Comfortable seating and on-time flight. Getting through security in all of the Chinese airports is arduous....Full pat downs every time. We stayed at the Wyndham South. This was one of the nicest hotels we've stayed in. It is adjacent to a wonderful ourdoor mall with an engaging walk down to a pogoda. The Terra Cotta Warriors exceeded our expectations. Too much to try to describe here. Next, we flew to Chongqing on Hainan Airlines. It's the largest city in the world. We believed it when we rode through it. It was late in the day, so the building lights were coming on. Breathtaking! It was the first day of a holiday, so traffic was at a standstill. We finally got to the ship's boarding area at around 9pm. We had to descend a large, dangerous set of stairs which had no railing. Points off for Viking on this. We had a suite, # 508. It, along with every other aspect of the ship was just average. The ship is only 8 years old, but is quite worn. The service on the ship was excellent. The food was hit or miss. Everything needed salt, and I normally never salt my food. We had bought the Silver Spirits drink package and found that to be a waste, as we drank mostly the free-flow wine in the restaurant. The noise level in the restaurant was very high, probably due in part to the low ceiings on the ship. Very small fitness room with 2 treadmills, 2 bikes and 2 ellipticals....nothing else. The 6 day cruise was the most scenic cruise we've ever taken. Again, too much to try to describe here. Next, we flew on China Eastern to Shanghai. Exciting drive through this metropolis to the Westin Bund Center. Great hotel with good restaurants. Strange room setup, trying to be funky modern, but was rather dysfunctional. We toured the Yu Gardens and the Shanghai Museum. I'm not a museum person, but this one really appealed to me. It was very spacious and easy to get around.....and it was overwhelming! Finally we flew home on United, connecting in Chicago.....with less than two hours to clear customs and get to our connecting flight. Folks, don't let anyone do this to you. You need a minimum of 4 hours to do this. We barely made it, using the Mobile Passport app. In all, we highly recommend this trip, even though the actual ship is less than Viking's standards. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
What really interested me to go on the trip was that it included Tibet. The ship was older but updated and very nice. Ceilings were lower than I am used to and the slower was cramped, but China owns the boat so that is not something ... Read More
What really interested me to go on the trip was that it included Tibet. The ship was older but updated and very nice. Ceilings were lower than I am used to and the slower was cramped, but China owns the boat so that is not something Viking has control over. The room was immaculate and the bed was very comfortable, which is what matters most. Definitely an experience. China is just different. I am still not sure weather that is good or bad, but it was enlightening. The Yangtze gorges were beautiful, the smog on the river was miserable, The food was not western style, even when they tried. I like hot spices, but a lot of their food is beyond hot. They need a different chef. The experience was something not to be missed. Tibet was tremendous, Bejing was great, Shang Hai was beautiful. Definitelt glad I rook the trip Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was a wonderful trip. Rather than repeating everything I'll just say I agree with everything the main cruise critic review said. Terrific food. Comfortable cabin. Really interesting trips off the boat with very knowledgeable ... Read More
This was a wonderful trip. Rather than repeating everything I'll just say I agree with everything the main cruise critic review said. Terrific food. Comfortable cabin. Really interesting trips off the boat with very knowledgeable guides. The only reason I didn't give it the extra star is because of how hard it was to get any information from the cruise line. When you call their number you talk to someone who sounds like they are just reading the same information from the website that you are. We booked the cruise only. I asked where and when we would meet the boat. They told us to be at a hotel at 9:30am. We got there at 9:30 and sat around in the lobby for 2 hours waiting to leave. I called to see if they could arrange a flight to our next stop in Siem Reap. They said sure and sent me information about a package with hotel and tour. I asked again about just the flight and they said "No we don't arrange flights" Fine we'll get to Siem Reap on our own. Can you tell us where and when we dock in Phnom Penh? "No clue" They made a point about Visas. They said that although you could easily get a Cambodian visa when you got to Cambodia the one place you couldn't get an instant visa was at the river crossing from Vietnam to Cambodia. So we spent $250 on a visa agency since we had no Cambodian embassy here. Sure enough, every other person on the boat gave the cruise director $40 and got one. Once again, My only problems were communication with Avalon. Once we were aboard we couldn't have been happier. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My wife and I chose Viking - and, specifically, their "Imperial Jewels of China" itinerary, for our first trip to China. Overall, we are glad we did so. Though it was not without concerns and drawbacks. To be clear, the ... Read More
My wife and I chose Viking - and, specifically, their "Imperial Jewels of China" itinerary, for our first trip to China. Overall, we are glad we did so. Though it was not without concerns and drawbacks. To be clear, the experience of visiting China for more than two weeks was fabulous. We have been fortunate to travel well. This was probably our most interesting, brain-stimulating adventure. The scope of change and the pace and magnitude of development are astounding. As are the many inherent contradictions. While both my wife and I wrote extensively about our travels and observations, let me limit this to our Viking experience. Much of this review will focus on the shortcomings and concerns. But let me be clear that our experience was very positive in many, many respects. We were perhaps more adventurous than many in our group; but not adventurous enough to tackle two weeks in so foreign a place as China entirely on our own. Viking provided the opportunity and the structure for us to have this experience. A few notes on the positive side of the ledger. - Our guide, Kobe, was first-rate in so many ways. Others in our group who have been on more guided trips remarked that he was the best guide they had had - anywhere. He was knowledgeable, personable, able to relate to many unique and different people, focused on the details when he had to be, and someone whom it was always a pleasure to be around. - Viking gets very high marks for meticulous and detailed organization. There were roughly 200 people (almost all Americans, Canadians or Brits) on this journey, divided into eight groups of about 25 people each. This is no small undertaking and everything seemed to work seamlessly from our perspective. - The hotels at which we stayed in Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai were all first-rate in all respects. - Through no fault of Viking, we had missed our day in Wuhan (called "the Chicago of the Orient") due to heavy fog on the Yangtze which forced all river traffic to hold in place for nearly 18 hours. Viking unexpectedly decided to make it up to everyone a day later by chartering a boat for a nighttime cruise of the Huangpu River through Shanghai. Seeing the Bund at night from the water was a real treat. Booking this for 200 people was a class move on Viking's part. I could go on with positives and compliments. But let me turn to the downsides which I hope will be more instructive for Viking. - Only six days of this 15-day trip involved the Yangtze cruise. Yet nearly all of the communications from Viking following our booking focused exclusively on the cruise. There was virtually no mention of the equally or more interesting land portion of the itinerary before and after. So much so that my wife and I checked into our Beijing hotel without really knowing where to meet or whom to contact. Viking would be advised to treat this as a unified, 15-day expedition instead of putting virtually all of the emphasis on the river piece. - We decided to fly into Beijing one day early to have 24 hours to explore on our own (as well as to sleep off a bit of jet lag). For this privilege, Viking charged us a $200 "deviation fee" ($100 per person). Yet Viking provided absolutely no services related to this "deviation". In fact, we had to book our own transport from the airport to the hotel at a price of roughly another $100. When I inquired of Viking's main office as to the rationale for the deviation charge, they really had no answer. - Of most annoyance to us and many others in our group, on four separate occasions Viking paired a buffet lunch (usually very average and nondescript) with some kind of factory showroom tour and controlled shopping opportunity. These were respectively for jade, tea, silk and terra cotta figurines. Clearly, this is a case of Viking getting reduced-cost or free lunches in return for bringing a captive audience to a showroom. From talking with others, Viking is apparently renown for this practice in many locales. That doesn't make it right or advisable or anything that I and others liked. - It would have been nice to have at least one or two unscheduled evenings and the chance to find dinner on our own. Especially in Beijing which is famous for its cuisine. On the whole, the food on this trip was decent and certainly plentiful but undistinguished. - The ship (the Emerald) was quite adequate, but past its prime and not up to Viking standards elsewhere. The dining room is ill-placed on the second level instead of up top with a view. The ceiling in the dining room is quite low which makes it very noisy and hot (with somewhat variable air conditioning). Our cabin was fine, but nothing more than that. Corridors are narrow and floors are somewhat uneven. There is really only one outside deck. A number of nooks and crannies which could make for nice sitting areas are instead given over to onboard merchants selling the usual Chinese fare at vastly inflated prices. I understand that much of this is a function of Viking being required to use Chinese ships. And that a new ship is under construction. Nonetheless... - I am familiar with the usual tipping procedure on cruises whether with Viking or other lines. But the process here was needlessly confusing. We try to be generous tippers, but the number that they added to our onboard bill was exorbitant. Also, there was an ambiguity as to whether this sum also included our guide for the full 15 days. We opted to reduce what we did for the ship's crew and to deal separately and privately with our excellent guide. - Lastly, this is a tricky one, but it needs to be said that our group (and seemingly each group) included people of widely varying physical abilities. Three of the 25 people in our group used wheelchairs or walkers. In no way am I suggesting that folks with such disabilities shouldn't be included in such trips. In fact, I admire their courage and tenacity in continuing such adventurous travel. (And I come with three joint replacements of my own.) But Viking should be more transparent with prospective guests as to the limitations this will cause for others. Why not attempt some selective grouping so that those who are more fit and adventurous can undertake and explore a bit more? That's more than enough. Again, let me make clear that the positive far outweighed the negative with respect to Viking and this trip. Despite the number of words I gave to each in this review. But there are plenty of each. Final word of advice: If you haven't been to China, go. Whether with Viking or some other group or on your own. It is a fascinating place and much of the future is taking shape there. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I would like to express in this short note how impressed we were with the Content ,structure and execution of the whole event . As you would expect from 5 star operation , the ship and support vehicles were top notch , all clean tidy ... Read More
I would like to express in this short note how impressed we were with the Content ,structure and execution of the whole event . As you would expect from 5 star operation , the ship and support vehicles were top notch , all clean tidy and operated by competent drivers and crew . Your staff made the event look and feel flawless from start to finish ,and I appreciate how much hard work goes into achieving that alone . As all good companies and employers understand , they are only as good as the staff they employ ,and in this respect you have achieved a gold star standard . From our well groomed Captain who navigated the busy Mekong river ,to the cleaning and laundry staff who worked tirelessly to ensure all was well at all times. ( do they ever sleep ) a great crew ,expertly managed These men and women were and are a real credit to your Empire . Finally but not least of all ,our Scenic guides , of which our principle guide in Group 2 was Duc Duc a handsome and rugged individual (some would say ) lead our small group in and out of various location in an efficient and purposeful manner , feeding us with relevant information and passing on the History of the local area as we progressed through the various locations . He managed to keep us safe , focussed feed and watered ,a real professional . Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The collection from the airport was not great. We waited for another couple to arrive on a different flight and share the taxi with us for over an hour. Having made a fuss the decision was made for us to continue by ourselves. This should ... Read More
The collection from the airport was not great. We waited for another couple to arrive on a different flight and share the taxi with us for over an hour. Having made a fuss the decision was made for us to continue by ourselves. This should have been dealt with much quicker. We travelled from Guwahati to Jorhat. We had a suite (101) which was comfortable and kept very clean. The additional cost over the standard balcony room was not worth it. We did have dinner in the room on two occasions but the first was a bit of a trial and not very well organised. The staff were delightful and very helpful. We enjoyed most of the excursions off the boat. The tenders used were excellent. There is not much to see whilst cruising but we enjoyed relaxing, both on the top deck and the room's small balcony. Food was very good - we had the non-veg Indian selection for all dinners. What I really did not like was the inability to seat as a twosome for most meals. The first night we were all split up to sit with random guests - I hated being next to two gun-toting far-right Americans who I avoided thereafter. Apart from breakfast we always had to sit with others. I would have preferred having the choice to sit by ourselves sometimes but the dining room had only one sitting with insufficient room for tables for two. Drinks were absurdly expensive which was somewhat money-grabbing considering the overall cost of the week. The naturalist's lectures were delivered in boring monotone. Overall we enjoyed it and I am pleased we did the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Friends recommended. This was our first Scenic Cruise. The cruise was excellent overall and the service, food, drinks were particularly noteworthy. Everything was very nicely and efficiently organized and there were no hick ups. It was ... Read More
Friends recommended. This was our first Scenic Cruise. The cruise was excellent overall and the service, food, drinks were particularly noteworthy. Everything was very nicely and efficiently organized and there were no hick ups. It was always nice to see the face of Joyce who was the person in charge of hospitality, every time we came back from a land-tour or went to the dining room. Similarly many of the staff will always welcome us back with a cold towels and a drinks as we returned to the ship. They were always smiling and were ready to serve as as best as possible to increase our comfort. We also enjoyed most if not all Tour Directors and Tour Guides. Only thing we were disappointed with was the optional and sometime the Enrich land tours. Some of them really didn't have any cultural, educational or historical significance - just a simple and almost irrelevant walk-about. Bicycling tour in Champasak (Pakse) was awful,dangerous and boring. The roads were in poor shape and bicycles were also in bad shape. There was a lack of cultural and entertaining tours which would have given us insight of the country's/town's music, dance, traditions or history. Also we found during the dinner time that most people stayed with their country's people like the Australians will sit with Australians and the British will sit with their fiends from UK. So, there were not must opportunities to mix and socialize during the dinner. Scenic should try to encourage cross-socialization. However we met lots of nice people during land tours. The Gala dinner at the Angkor Temple was excellent, very special and well organized. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Mekong river cruise, Dec 2018. We chose this cruise because we know and trust Viking, and had not seen much of Asia (this was my wife’s first trip to Asia). This cruise certainly met our expectations: The food was great, the staff ... Read More
Mekong river cruise, Dec 2018. We chose this cruise because we know and trust Viking, and had not seen much of Asia (this was my wife’s first trip to Asia). This cruise certainly met our expectations: The food was great, the staff was friendly, and the ship’s cleanliness was impeccable. We had ground tours before and after the river cruise which were fantastic. A suggestion about the pre-tour: Stick some tissue in your pocket when you leave your hotel. A number of the rest stops do not provide toilet paper. Speaking of the hotels, they are indeed the best in town. The Reverie in Saigon is by far the best hotel we have ever stayed in. Our guide for the pre-tour survived the Cambodian holocaust and told us at length of the horrors of trying to survive under Pol Pot. We visited one of the killing fields, which is not for the faint of heart, since there is a large reliquary filled with skulls. Our guide stressed that if we don’t remember, these things will happen again. We missed the first day because of passport problems. The Viking staff smoothly found us very late at the Hanoi airport and joined us up with the tour. There were a couple of negatives about the river cruise. The shower had a serious ‘flush shock’ problem. If anyone on the same deck flushed, the shower temperature would jump. If someone in the cabin behind ours flushed, the water became dangerously hot. Unfortunately this is a design problem, and it would take a complete re-fit to fix. The second issue happened at dinner when the staff served KFC... Khmer Fried Critters. The plate of crickets and grasshoppers did not bother me at all, my wife has eaten them before and I might try them sometime. However, when a platter of fried tarantulas was placed in front of me, an arachnophobe, without any warning, it was too much. I grabbed my wine and bolted. The staff could have showed some sensitivity in this case. Overall, this was a wonderful experience, and I recommend it to any adventurous traveler. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I completed this cruise a week or so ago. The cruise itself in very nice and relaxing. The stops along the river are interesting but this is so very different from one of the European sailings. You really can't explore on your own. ... Read More
I completed this cruise a week or so ago. The cruise itself in very nice and relaxing. The stops along the river are interesting but this is so very different from one of the European sailings. You really can't explore on your own. You are assigned group color and a guide for Vietnam and a different one for Cambodia. Our guide in Vietnam, Sonny, was not good. It was almost impossible to understand him and he yelled all the time. Our guide for Cambodia, Peter, was excellent. AMA Waterways needs to vet the guides a bit better since you are stuck with the same one for several days. Get a bad one and it affects the whole experience. Huong, our Cruise Manager was fantastic. Always there to help. Very nice and genuinely wanted everyone to have a great experience. The ship itself is nice, but very different from the European ships. There are less areas to mingle and the lounge was always set up as a lecture hall rather than a place to talk to fellow guests. The food was very good and they were excellent at managing dietary restrictions. Maria, the Restaurant Manager, was really fantastic. She was always there with a smile and a good word. She also knows the dining room and menus inside and out, so any questions were answered swiftly and accurately. The food at the Chef's Table was okay, but both the meals and service were better in the main dining room. The cabin sizes are similar to the European ships but with less storage. Entertainment was a bit lacking. WiFi is terrible and is something AMA really needs to address. In addition to the cruise, I also booked the pre cruise package in Ho Chi Minh City and the post cruise packages in both Siem Reap and Hanoi. I recommend the post cruise package in Siem Reap (with Angkor Wat) wholeheartedly. It was amazing and Peter, our guide, was teriffic. The pre cruise package in Ho Chi Minh City is not worth it. You can easily see the city on our own in two days. The post cruise package for Hanoi is similarly not worth it, nor is the Ha Long Bay Cruise. I would recommend booking this privately as you will see more. Try to find a Ha Long Bay cruise that does not follow all of the other 700 boats to all the same locations. AMA Waterways continues to be an excellent company to travel with and this cruise would easily be 5 stars with some minor changes. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Interested in going to Vietnam and Cambodia to experience the culture, history, people and the food. While I knew it would be hot, I was not prepared for the humidity. The humidity permeated everything, even the air conditioned rooms. ... Read More
Interested in going to Vietnam and Cambodia to experience the culture, history, people and the food. While I knew it would be hot, I was not prepared for the humidity. The humidity permeated everything, even the air conditioned rooms. We chose Viking because we have cruised with them 6 previous times This was a combination land and river cruise. All of the hotels were Outstanding! The ship was a disappointment. The crew, food, and service was excellent but the ship was too small. Dining was cramped and our cabin was the largest on the ship but small compared to other Viking river boats. Our tour director, Tony, who was with us the entire trip was the best we have ever had. He made the trip! He I would recommend the trip because of the destinations and shore excursions ( especially Hanoi, Angkor Wat, Phnom Penh, Saigon). However, I would not do it again unlike other trips (Egypt, China, Russia etc) that I would do again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Expect the days to be HOT and humid at each port you visit. If you can stand the heat and like to sweat, then you'll have a great time. I enjoyed the food offered on the ship, the chefs had nightly special, that gave you a chance to ... Read More
Expect the days to be HOT and humid at each port you visit. If you can stand the heat and like to sweat, then you'll have a great time. I enjoyed the food offered on the ship, the chefs had nightly special, that gave you a chance to try foods that you wouldn't have a chance to enjoy otherwise. The crew couldn't have been more helpful, from keeping the room clean, deck dry, and even cleaning your shoes after coming back from shore excursions. The entertainment on board the ship was limited, except they showed several movies about the area, which help you gained a better understand of their culture and customs. Enjoyed visiting villages, palaces, temples, and homes while on the cruse. Took the pre-excursion to Bangkok, Thailand and was glade that I did. Bangkok is truly a colorful city to visit and their temples have the WOW factor that you just can't miss if you want an enjoyable vacation in Asia. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We had never been to Asia, and the price for this cruise was very good. The hotels we stayed at were absolutely beautiful and top notch. The excursions were great, but there was a lot of down time flying from city to city. Overall, we ... Read More
We had never been to Asia, and the price for this cruise was very good. The hotels we stayed at were absolutely beautiful and top notch. The excursions were great, but there was a lot of down time flying from city to city. Overall, we felt it was a wonderful trip, but having been on Viking River Cruises before in Europe, and we have taken a Viking Ocean Cruise, we were disappointed in the ship. It was an old ship. The air conditioning did not work properly. Everything felt damp to the touch. The food and service onboard was outstanding, but I would never take another cruise on Viking to Asia unless I knew it was a Viking Ship that we would be on. The excursions were great, but when eating food off the ship, we were not impressed with the lazy susan style of lunches. At all locations, the food was the same. We weren't overly impressed with the Peking Duck dinner that we paid extra for either. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We (wife and I) chose this Viking Emerald cruise because it has the major destinations (cities), river cruising, and the dates we wanted. The tour was for 14 days. We booked a couple days before and after the tour/cruise dates to get ... Read More
We (wife and I) chose this Viking Emerald cruise because it has the major destinations (cities), river cruising, and the dates we wanted. The tour was for 14 days. We booked a couple days before and after the tour/cruise dates to get acclimated to the time zone change (from USA/AZ to CN/Beijing) and do some extra site seeing in Beijing and Shanghai. We had a ride booked from the Beijing airport to our hotel and use a cab to ride from Shanghai to the airport. Taxi cab prices were very reasonable. We made sure to get the hotel's address/map, and have the hotel's front desk write down the destination in Chinese for the cab drivers. It was an initial challenge 'flagging down' a return taxi ride until we saw how other people were positioning themselves on the streets. We were on the Viking Emerald river boat for seven days from Chongqing to Wuhan. It was easy to navigate the various levels and find the rooms. The ship levels were all very clean and well furnished. The staff was very accommodating, knowledgeable, and friendly. The cabin was very comfortable, quiet and there was enough storage for our stuff. The dining was good. My wife and I are vegetarian and the selection was spare for lunch and dinner. We asked for some more 'interesting' dishes and the chef was able to accommodate our wants a couple nights. It was enjoyable to sit at different tables to meet new people from various locations. There were approximately 250 people on the boat. The entertainment by the staff was interesting and fun. The informational talks were very good. The staff entertainment with local dress and dance was very good. The M/C was very good, fun jokes, explained local customs and culture. and coordinate the entertainment in the evenings (with guest participation). We did a lot of walking at the cities, ports and excursions. Typical days we walked 2-5 miles -- so make sure you wear good shoes. Smog was an issue for me by the end of tour even though I wore a breathing mask (still dealing with respiratory issues over a month later). My highlight was X'ian and the Terra-Cotta army exhibit. But, all destination were fascinating: Beijing's Tienanmen Square, Forbidden City, Buddhist temple, Confucius temple, neighborhoods, Great Wall, etc. Xian's city square and the Terra-Cotta army exhibit, museum, plus capital for 13 dynasties, etc. Chongqing's embark onto river boat Yangstze River's cruise, Shibaozhai temple, Three gorges wall views, locks, 3G dam, Jingzhou elementary school visit, etc. Wuhan's disembark from river boat for plane ride to Changhai. Shanghai's historical architecture, new buildings, art district, etc. The tour manager/guide was very knowledgeable, courteous, and fun to be with. I took approximately 2,400 pictures and am editing them for viewing. Lots to see and remember the trip via computer screen saver slide show. One trip to China satisfies our interest. We traveled to Southeast Asia and will probably go back there as the food is more accommodating. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
It was a great experience, the guided tours to see Great Wall, Terra Cotta Warriors and Yangtze River 3 Gorges Dam were wonderful. The food and service onboard was very good. The hotels in different cities were 5 stars but eating food off ... Read More
It was a great experience, the guided tours to see Great Wall, Terra Cotta Warriors and Yangtze River 3 Gorges Dam were wonderful. The food and service onboard was very good. The hotels in different cities were 5 stars but eating food off the ship were not impressed at all. The food was the same family style at all cities/locations, for the price we paid for the tour, the offshore food quality is definitely below the Viking standard. The cabin is okay, when we onboard on the first day the room was so damp and with an unpleasant smell. My husband turned on the AC unit and it was fine when we retuned from outside. The transfers were included in our Viking tour price. When we arrived at the Shanghai airport, we were picked up by a seven passengers van with two other couples from other US cities. There was not enough room in the trunk to put all the luggage and they have to placed couple luggage in front of the sit, we felt very cramped and uncomfortable on our way to the hotel. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We selected this cruise because we wanted to see the highlights of China. the itinerary which included a week on land and a week on the cruise took us to visit the major spots and gave us an overview of the country. Embarkation and ... Read More
We selected this cruise because we wanted to see the highlights of China. the itinerary which included a week on land and a week on the cruise took us to visit the major spots and gave us an overview of the country. Embarkation and disembarkation went well. Assistance getting luggage on board was helpful. Cabin was much nicer than expected. All meals were served nicely with a good variety of food. The entertainment on board was fun, mostly the crew performed and an outside orchestra and children's choir when in port. We found the overall service excellent. The shore excursions were very good but the groups were too big - our group was 34 people and that was a bit unwieldy. Our recommendation of no more than 20 per group. This was our first Viking River Cruise. We had previously taken a Viking Ocean Cruise and have signed up for another Ocean Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I have traveled a lot but had never been to China. This cruise stops in several different cities and is a combination of river and land. The cruise was well organized and the food and entertainment were quite good. The activities on board ... Read More
I have traveled a lot but had never been to China. This cruise stops in several different cities and is a combination of river and land. The cruise was well organized and the food and entertainment were quite good. The activities on board were interesting and different than other cruises. All were centered around the Chinese culture. The stops on the land portion were interesting but the food was the same each day - large tables of the same Chinese food and it became a bit boring. We paid extra to go to Peking Duck dinner which was excellent and worth the extra price. The groups on the land portion were too large (38 people) per bus which made it difficult to hear the guide when we disembarked. The hotels we stayed in were excellent - really nice 4-5 star hotels. The cruise overall was very well organized. There were several buses for land portion and some of the guides were better than others. Overall, I think this trip is great value for the cost. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Included as part of our 19 day Vietnam & Cambodia Explorer, we went on a 7 day Mekong River cruise put together by Emerald Waterways. We were on the M/V Mekong Navigator while on the Mekong River. The Mekong Navigator has 4 levels ... Read More
Included as part of our 19 day Vietnam & Cambodia Explorer, we went on a 7 day Mekong River cruise put together by Emerald Waterways. We were on the M/V Mekong Navigator while on the Mekong River. The Mekong Navigator has 4 levels & a maximum capacity for about 69 passengers. The 1st or bottom deck has the crew & passenger cabins with portholes, from around mid-ship towards the stern & bow respectively. The 2nd deck has the passenger cabins with balconies, from around mid-ship towards the bow, while the dining room is from around mid-ship towards the stern. The 3rd deck has a small boutique shop & pursers’ office sandwich between passenger cabins which are located from mid-ship towards the bow & stern respectively. The lounge is located on the 4th deck stern area, while the spa/gym, library/computer room is located in the bow area. The bridge is also located on the 4th deck bow. In the mid-ship area of the 4th deck is a sitting/sunning area. There is air condition, but only in the enclosed pubic areas (restaurant, lounge, etc.) & cabins, not in the hallways. Wi-fi, although sporadic, is only available in the public areas. There are no elevators on this boat. We elected for a cabin with a porthole on the 1st deck. Our room was larger than that of the Avalon boats with porthole or French balcony, which we have had before. I believe it was even larger than the cabins with balconies we’ve had on ocean going ships. Our cabin was furnished with among other things, a king size bed, 2 night tables, a small table with 2 chairs, a writing desk with chair, a flat screen TV, mini-bar, small cabinet & a closet with 2 large drawers & safe. You can stow your suitcases under the bed. There are ample sockets for your electrical items. Our marbled bathroom was also roomy with a glass shower stall. We found our cabin very clean, comfortable & quiet, especially that the boat is anchored at night. The breakfast & lunch buffets had a good selection fresh fruit, cold cuts, bread & hot food. There is an egg & hot noodle area at the back of the buffet station. At night we had table service for dinner. When on excursions, we were split up in 3 small groups, each with a local tour guide & our own transportation. They even cleaned our shoes when coming back from our village visits. They also constantly reminded us to hydrate ourselves & provided water to do so. Overall, we found all the on-board staff to be very caring, friendly & courteous and the food served & service received to be very good. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Vietnam and Cambodia were a Fantastic experience. Embarkations and disembarkation went very smoothly, no problems whatsoever. Everything was extremely well organized. Our tour guide, Hoan, was top notch. We learned so much from him and ... Read More
Vietnam and Cambodia were a Fantastic experience. Embarkations and disembarkation went very smoothly, no problems whatsoever. Everything was extremely well organized. Our tour guide, Hoan, was top notch. We learned so much from him and Dara. The excursions were fantastic. Hotels were 5 star. We felt safe and looked after at all times. Our fellow travellers were great. Service on board was just ok. Butler service (we were in deluxe junior suite) was non existent. My travelling companion was too ill one day to go out on excursion. So she stayed behind on the boat. She tried 3 times to order tea and nobody answered the phone. Don’t care about tea but if she had required immediate assistance there would have been no one to help her. DO NOT MISS VESPA FOODIE TOUR IN SAIGON. It was fantastic ! Watch out crossing the roads in both Saigon and Hanoi. Crazy Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Relaxed way to travel,with not living out of a suitcase. Scenery was spectacular and seeing how the people live on the river was amazing. Staff on the Scenic Spirit were very warm and welcoming, they attended to my dietary needs with ... Read More
Relaxed way to travel,with not living out of a suitcase. Scenery was spectacular and seeing how the people live on the river was amazing. Staff on the Scenic Spirit were very warm and welcoming, they attended to my dietary needs with utmost importance and nothing was a bother to them. Our tour director Thuy was amazing in her kindness and knowledge about the country, she always greeted us with an everlasting smile and had enormous patience with everyone, she is what made our trip exceptional. Extensive shore excursions included up close to the local markets, historical sites, conversations with locals and interacting with the locals and experiencing their culture and food. Days were well paced and free time to ourselves was very welcomed. Relaxing by the pool with a cocktail after shore excursions was very enjoyable. We have done several cruises with Scenic and by far the staff on Scenic Spirit are the best, they all remembered your name even when we had forgot to wear our name badge, they were exceptional. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
To visit Vietnam and Cambodia. Saw only a limited area of each country. Cruise was great. Guides were fantastic. Got to understand more about each country. Visits to war memorials were very informative. Felt very safe. Cambodians so ... Read More
To visit Vietnam and Cambodia. Saw only a limited area of each country. Cruise was great. Guides were fantastic. Got to understand more about each country. Visits to war memorials were very informative. Felt very safe. Cambodians so friendly. Traffic is chaotic. Learning how to cross a road was a big education - not to hesitate when a motorbike is heading straight to you is a big mindset change! As usual Scenic surpassed all levels of service, experiences, and safety. Having everything included before leaving home makes for a stress free holiday. Deciding what to eat and drink are the only decisions to be made. This trip did disappoint in just one way. No pianist or musician. Essential for evenings as most days back to the boat early. Had some out of character early nights. River level of the Mekong for this time of the year meant some 'interesting' disembarkations. Too difficult for some passengers. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This cruise was a 4 day part of a 22 day scenic tour of china so not exactly sure what part of the total tour cost this was. WE were fortunate that we were upgraded to a suite (see below) though weren't entitled to the benefits ... Read More
This cruise was a 4 day part of a 22 day scenic tour of china so not exactly sure what part of the total tour cost this was. WE were fortunate that we were upgraded to a suite (see below) though weren't entitled to the benefits that came with it..ie laundry as one of our fellow tour members found out. Ship: was a large "best available" vessel on the Yangtze river decorated in true Chinese style with an adequate theatre ,gym, well appointed lounge looking out onto a front deck area. This area had movable seating though wasn't under cover but was an excellent viewing area when going through the three gorges area which had towering cliffs on both sides of the boat. Activities: early morning ti chi ,several Chinese medical lectures, painting and off boat tour briefing added a lot to the trip. We chose to visit an under ground never completed nuke facility "site 816" ,a food market where we were ( 20 or so Aussies westerners) the topic of conversation.The locals stopped their shopping/trading to look at us /interact...not many of our kind seen around these parts id say We also were treated to a small boat cruise paddled , pulled & sang too by traditional Hubei boat people ( no longer naked- google it u will see) Food: this is an area I traditionally struggle with.Breakfast my favourite time as I can partake of the things I like.Both western & Chinese fare was available & this theme continued into lunch.I was able to satisfy my particular pallet though dinner was a choice of two items per entrée/main/dessert and I struggled. Whilst I don't drink alcohol my tour partners indicated the list was acceptable but not extensive.All has to be imported so while included wasn't free flowing....... Now just be aware that that getting off the boat to get to shore excursions or disembarking is not for the faint hearted.At times 100 or so steps straight up with only embarkation having a lift.The poor guys carrying our cases 2 at a time on a pole across their shoulders was a sight. The other issue was that we thought we would go through the 3 G Dam via a new ship elevator.Promotional information from our tour company indicated this but we started on the wrong side of the dam wall and headed up river. All said it was another good & different river cruise our 6th in a row. chris Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We have looking forward this cruise for a long time, it was advertised to us as being one of the finest in luxury on the ayeyarwaddy river. So we thought it would be a nice and tranquil journey. But too many kids running around and so ... Read More
We have looking forward this cruise for a long time, it was advertised to us as being one of the finest in luxury on the ayeyarwaddy river. So we thought it would be a nice and tranquil journey. But too many kids running around and so noisy (we cannot blame them, they are full of life), We have been surprised to see so many "locales" onboard, it shows that the country has some very wealthy people. We enjoyed our time there, but, the tranquility was not there , around the pool so noisy... The excursions was nice but the French magician (he did a trick or 2 to us during the trip) was so rude and so careless on "local" guests, culture and about the country. We were so disappointing about such negativity towards this country... Even our guide has been told off by this person (I think the name was Bilu, but not sure)... My husband did not feel well, but the Indian cruise manager and the French F&B manager looked after him and me well. We wanted to watch the formula 1 grand prix, and they did manage to have it on tv for us.... It was challenging as there was bad connection, but we saw it !!! The service in spa, reception, restaurant and housekeeping was top notch, no time to wait that whatever you asked them, it was done promptly and at times no need to ask, they are bringing it to you. For breakfast, no need to ask for coffee that your waiter (Kel doo too) knew our order before we even asked him... That is service! So overall we enjoyed it it very much, but too many kids (noise, running,...) and a bit more consideration for local people would have made our trip being of the best. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We travelled from Bangkok to Rangon (domestic air) and then longtail boat to Kawthaun, Myannmar. The transfer from Thailand to Myannmar was an adventure in itself! Our cruise director was waiting for us at the Kawthaun pier to helpus pass ... Read More
We travelled from Bangkok to Rangon (domestic air) and then longtail boat to Kawthaun, Myannmar. The transfer from Thailand to Myannmar was an adventure in itself! Our cruise director was waiting for us at the Kawthaun pier to helpus pass immigration and then took us, by tender to The Andaman Explorer. The ship was built, in approx 1960, as a Norwegian ice breaker ( but actually looks a little like a naval ship) There are 10 very large cabins. Whilst the cabins vary in shape and location on the ship, they are all priced the same. First in , first choice. Daily cleaning service, fresh towels and nightly turn down. The ship sails among the pristine waters of the Andaman Sea. Every day the ship tender takes passengers to beautiful white sandy beaches for snorkeling in crystal clear waters, We saw colorful corals, sea anenomes, and sea life that helped the imagination think of being in a aquarium. On board kayaks were towed by tender, and we were taken through mangroves, beach paddling and into caves. There are virtually no other tourists in the area. The itinerary is fantastic with plenty of opportunity to jump into the warm crystal clear waters. We visited about 4 small villages to see the life of Sea Gypsies and were often accompanied by local children, wanting to practice their English. As with previous Pandaw cruises that we have travelled on, the service is pretty close to excellent. The crew are warm and friendly and each one makes you feel like a very special guest. Their attention is genuinely sincere. They go above and beyond to ensure that our trip was as comfortable as could be. The chef is a fire cracker. He was young, enthusiastic and danced down the hallways. He has unstoppable energy. The menus are adjusted each trip to accommodate what ever fresh produce is available.Following one village stop, 8 live lobsters were brought on board which was entree the following day. There were only 14 passengers on our trip and the menu was varied extensively each day. Breakfast is a la carte with help yourself to cereals, fruit, and toast to help yourself. After breakfast, a menu is given so that each guest can choose their lunch and dinner. Soups, entrees and appetisers are standard with 3- 4 options for main course. The food was one of the major highlights of the cruise, and their were many highlights. There is no night time entertainment, however after the days activities, most guests were happy to relax and chill out. On our last night we had a party on the upper deck, where crew and a few guests were up dancing.There were no children on board . We would take this adventure again, as we had a wonderful time Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This is a wonderful ship with an excellent staff. Classic wooden boat. There were only 30 passengers on our cruise. Cabins were very large and comfortable, although the beds may be too firm for some. Large luxurious bathrooms. Common rooms ... Read More
This is a wonderful ship with an excellent staff. Classic wooden boat. There were only 30 passengers on our cruise. Cabins were very large and comfortable, although the beds may be too firm for some. Large luxurious bathrooms. Common rooms were very comfortable. Lounging on the upper deck was wonderful. There are lots of steep stairs so you must not have mobility problems. There was a nice mix of ages, from families with teens to retirees. There were no young kids. Dining was only so,so. Tour director was only so,so. His English and communication skills were marginal. Shore excursions were very interesting, and gave a taste of rural Vietnam. Entertainment was minimal, although we boarded on New Years Eve, so a western style band substituted for the usual traditional local entertainment. we were glad we went and would definitely recommend this cruise to anyone without mobility problems interested in adventure. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017

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