10 Viking River Viking Emerald Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Asia River

A wonderful experience. Knowledgeable tour guides, personal attention and excellent hotels. We were placed in tours with our family grounof 6. Service was excellent. River cruise on Yangtze Rivervwas excellent. Staff was always courteous ... Read More
A wonderful experience. Knowledgeable tour guides, personal attention and excellent hotels. We were placed in tours with our family grounof 6. Service was excellent. River cruise on Yangtze Rivervwas excellent. Staff was always courteous and helpful. We were taken to excellent restaurants and food was outstanding.. Tour guide Johanna gave informative talks about the culture. We saw a great deal of highlights in many cities including the Great Wall, Tianeman Square, Terra Cota burial site and Forbidden city. We have great memories of this fabulous trip. On board entertainment was great and the excursions were very well organized. An unforgettable experience. Transfers were well organized. The food on board was outstanding and very delicious. Truly a very nice trip. Loved the planning and organizing. Staff was courteous and friendly. Air travel was more than adequate and timely. My husband and I were thoroughly satisfied with Viking and it’s staff. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to visit China. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
While we had twice been to Beijing on business, and had done some sightseeing while there, this was our first trip to China for the purposes of travel only. The entire program was under the direction of Viking Cruises and they more than ... Read More
While we had twice been to Beijing on business, and had done some sightseeing while there, this was our first trip to China for the purposes of travel only. The entire program was under the direction of Viking Cruises and they more than exceeded their reputation for excellence. There were several groups of travelers in the itinerary, none larger than 30 persons, each with a tour guide. Our guide, Richard, was above every expectation in all respects. The hotels were all excellent, and one, the Four Seasons in Shanghai, was one of the best in which we have ever stayed. The well thought out programs were somewhat strenuous, but we all managed to keep up. There were three nights in Beijing, two nights in Xian, which included a viewing to the Terracotta Warriors, three nights in Lhasa, and then, after a flight to Chongqing, five nights on the Viking Emerald with interesting tours at every port on the Yangtze river. Finally, we spent two nights in Shanghai. As an example of thoughtful planning on Richard's part, we were taken to the superb Shanghai museum on arrival in Shanghai rather than squeezing in a visit in an already crowded schedule the following day. This is not a cruise for the fainthearted, but if one is willing to make the effort and try the different foods, it is a great trip. incidentally, the ship is leased, not owned by Viking, and it is very good, but not as good as if they were to have built, owned and maintained the vessel. That is prohibited by the government because of the use of the Yangtze as a major commercial artery in China. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We wanted to see China and this trip was the perfect mix of land/water. The highlight for my husband was the Terracota Warriors and for me was sailing down the river looking at the scenery of the gorges. Just magnificent. All the ... Read More
We wanted to see China and this trip was the perfect mix of land/water. The highlight for my husband was the Terracota Warriors and for me was sailing down the river looking at the scenery of the gorges. Just magnificent. All the accomodations were top notch and we felt very well taken care of in every aspect of our journey. Our guide, Arnold, was just the best in terms of his knowledge and his leadership abilities. He made everyone feel welcome and that no question was too silly for him to answer. It was a plus that his photography skills are fantastic and we have some beautiful pictures from our trip that we will cherish. We met very interesting people and are looking forward to sailing with Viking on another trip in the future. Thank you for everything your company did to make our trip so successful. We will always remember my husband's 65th birthday. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We loved this trip from start to finish. When we arrived in Beijing we were met by the tour guide and quickly on our way to the hotel. They were with us all of the way to the last stop. All of the hotels were unbelievable and the check ... Read More
We loved this trip from start to finish. When we arrived in Beijing we were met by the tour guide and quickly on our way to the hotel. They were with us all of the way to the last stop. All of the hotels were unbelievable and the check in was so easy. It was nice to not have to worry about luggage etc. and always quickly get to our room. Our tour guide (Geo) was very knowledgeable about where we were and what we were doing. He was willing to share history of the area and answer questions (even if they were already asked before). The flights in country were also easily accessed. The trip to the Great Wall was awesome. It was such a beautiful view from the wall and so astounding that it was built so long ago. In Xian the terracotta solders were breathtaking and so amazing. When we got to the ship it was so easy again to board. The cabin was great and the view from the ship was spectacular. All of the staff on board were helpful and very friendly. When going through the gorges it was so beautiful. The food on the ship was outstanding. Always something new to try, but plenty of things you were use to as well. There was always something to do if you wanted on the ship. The stops on the way were great. In Shanghai the trip to the museum was very informational. During the trip all of the planned port and shore excursions were well planned and very enjoyable. The food was great and always something new to try in the hotels, cities and on the ship. I would definitely go again but would make sure I got to see the pandas and some of the large Budda. That was the only disappointment on the trip other than it ending and having to come back home. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We enjoyed the whole trip, The tour guide was excellent. He did an outstanding job. Very knowledgeable, accommodating to your needs, nice and pleasant to be with. The places that we visited were all wonderful to see. Very educational ... Read More
We enjoyed the whole trip, The tour guide was excellent. He did an outstanding job. Very knowledgeable, accommodating to your needs, nice and pleasant to be with. The places that we visited were all wonderful to see. Very educational and lots of history that one can do a second visit and learn more about the culture and people. All the hotels we stayed in were first class. Food and service were excellent. The land tours were also awesome. The Three Gorges was a beautiful sight to see and see how the village people who were relocated high in the mountains live. They walk for miles on the rugged mountain slopes to get to their destinations. This is a daily life for them. I thought their way of life is so incredible. Note: When you are a first time booker, I recommend that the travel person who helps you set up your tour should guide you of what to expect in the tour package. Because I booked the tour 9 months in advance, when it came closer to the cruise date, I didn't look at the email as often as I should and missed a lot of valuable information about what you should do (example- you have to do your own set up of the land tours of which one that you want to attend - it was not automatic). The travel person you initial helped you should follow up and help you and guide you on these land tours. Each time I called, I got a different person to help me. Most of them were curious and nice but I truly think the original person who helped with the initial booking should be your guide. David you was the initial person was never there when I called. When I left messages, he sometimes called back in the beginning of the initial booking but after that when I left a message, he never called back. I talked to several people that help me set up the land portion of the cruise. I was very grateful that one person, forgot name was the best who helped me do an automatic checking on the website about the cruise. That is my only complaint I have about the initial travel booker that book our cruise. Other than that I would recommend Viking to everyone. In fact, I called several people to make sure to use Viking on their next cruise. I would recommend everyone to choose Viking for their travel. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Actually the cruise is from Chongqing,China to Wuhan but because I lost my passport at our transfer port of Hong Kong from San Francisco, we never got to Beijing.Instead we were on our own in Hong Kong.We are eternally grateful for Viking ... Read More
Actually the cruise is from Chongqing,China to Wuhan but because I lost my passport at our transfer port of Hong Kong from San Francisco, we never got to Beijing.Instead we were on our own in Hong Kong.We are eternally grateful for Viking in helping us go through the bureaucratic tangle of getting out of Hong Kong,Viking moved mountains to help us and Cathay Airline,our carrier, also helped us tremendously.The US Embassy really did a great job but because we arrived on Friday,we couldn't leave Hong Kong till Monday.We enjoyed Hong Kong and met up with the Viking Tour at Xian.There we toured the Terra Cotta Museum with Paul, the local guide.His knowledge of Xian was most impressive.Our main tour guide for Viking was Bob for the remainder of the trip and he was extraordinary. The ship was great and the staff provided great service,was hardworking and very polite.Wilhelm,the ship's hotel manager was a kick and Ben,the program director, was most informative.My son and wife participated in some of the ship's activities.i was more introspective and just enjoyed the scenery,marveled at the resiliency of the common person,and concerned about the people's over dependence on the 3 gorges dam in controlling the flooding at Wuhan,We were impressed by all the buildings when we got to Shanghai and I marveled at how far China has advanced materially for a nation that was formed in 1949.The land tours had to be some what rushed because there was a lot to see and there were crowds of people but Bob didn't lose anybody.Would I go back?Yes but I would go to fewer places and walk more with the people even though I don't speak Mandarin.Cruises are meant more as an introduction.Now that we are back in the states, we have to do battle with the insurance company to get reimbursed for our expenses in Hong Kong so if you go on this trip,DON'T LOSE YOUR PASSPORT and if you go on this tour,do not put in long hours of work prior to departure cause it's a long plane ride which may leave after midnight. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
The cruise went to excellent ports, the tours were very informative and Arnold our tour guide throughout the cruise was excellent. He was very knowledgeable The junior suite was a good size. The food was good and the people that worked ... Read More
The cruise went to excellent ports, the tours were very informative and Arnold our tour guide throughout the cruise was excellent. He was very knowledgeable The junior suite was a good size. The food was good and the people that worked on the ship were very attentive. Everything was well organized and I would recommend this cruise to everyone including the extension to Hong Kong, China is a spectacular country and if I could I would return but I would rather explore other countries. The weather in March was neither cold nor hot just perfect. It was a wonderful experience. The entertainment on ship and the bartenders were great, The people in China are very friendly and respectful. We are going to take another Viking cruise in March. I also recommend the Prague to Budapest Viking cruise it was spectacular. Overal, The cruise met all our expectations and we had a wonderful time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This trip was well worth the money and effort. Having in mind before we left that China would be a whole new and different experience from that we had done before our expectations were met. The Hotel accommodation in Shanghai was excellent ... Read More
This trip was well worth the money and effort. Having in mind before we left that China would be a whole new and different experience from that we had done before our expectations were met. The Hotel accommodation in Shanghai was excellent as were the Xi'an and Beijing Hotels. The river cruise took a while to get started. The first two days were slow but the excursion to the school was excellent. The children are an absolute pleasure and as it was school holidays full marks to them for turning out and entertaining us. The trips through the gorges lived up to expectations as did the visit to see the Pandas and what was the crowning glory of the hoilday for me, the Terracotta Warriers. Then we arrived in Beijing to visit the Wall and the Forbidden City. Timing at these venues was bad. The Wall visit in my mind was not at all enjoyable because of the huge crowds. This wasn't at the advertised site where we were told there was a walk of about a mile, but at a Cable Car site where everybody chose to go including thousands of Chinese tourists. It was estimated that some 200,000 would visit during the day. Our time on the wall was spent clinging for dear life to the hand rails as the wall was so steep and crowded. It was impossible to soak up the moment. The visit to the Forbidden City also was extremely crowded but that is expected and we managed a reasonable visit. One of my complaints to Viking is the lack of knowledge regarding Chinese internal flights, baggage regulations. I am an amateur photographer and this trip for me was to be a photographic extraganzer. On enquiring to Viking before we left we asked about the internal flight baggage rules. We were told that check-in was 20kgs and carry-on was 5kg ONE ITEM ONLY, which would have to include any cameras or handbags etc. This resulted in me only taking one camera with no backup. Yes you guessed it, my camera failed two days in!! On enquiring in China regarding the carry-on rules I was told that you could take on what you like within reason which meant I could have taken my full camera kit. The Chinese lady simply said next time ask a Chinese Viking person. In conclusion its full on, with six flights, three hotels plus the boat and early starts but it was still a good holiday and one I would recommend but Viking need to do their homework on some very obviouse needs of the trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
As mentioned in other reviews, the on board staff couldn't have been more pleasant and efficient. The ship itself appeared to be in decent condition, and was never too loud when running. If your idea of a great vacation is ... Read More
As mentioned in other reviews, the on board staff couldn't have been more pleasant and efficient. The ship itself appeared to be in decent condition, and was never too loud when running. If your idea of a great vacation is spending 5 days of with very little physical activity, this might be the cruise for you. I am not a cruise fan, so maybe all cruises are like this. Told my wife I would NEVER go on a cruise, but this is what she wanted to do for her 50th birthday. Check and mate. For the people whose dream vacation consists of spending all but a few minutes a day sitting and eating, sitting and drinking or sitting and reading or sitting and playing board games or sitting and listening to a lecture (Basic Mandarin phrases, playing Mah Jongg or fun facts about the Yangtze River,) or laying in bed watching one of 5 television channels, this is the dream vacation for you. The other few minutes a day are spent going up or down the stairs to one of the aforementioned events. We were able to get off the boat on 3 of the 5 days: once to walk through the edge of a small city towards a temple while dodging a 4 block long gauntlet of aggressive local merchants who see American tourists as walking dollar bills, once to walk a few hundred feet to another tour boat where you sit for another hour and a half going through scenery, and the last time to finally do a little walking (after still more sitting on a bus ride) on the way up to the 3 Gorges Dam. The web page for this crew mentions a 'gym.' I called Viking to verify that the boat had a 'gym' before we left for the cruise. Only a few of us actually used those facilities, so for most people taking this cruise, the quality and condition of those facilities won't matter. The 'gym' had an erg that hadn't been lubricated since Nixon was president, a treadmill, an elliptical machine on which the display screen was non-functional and had a squeak so loud that it could be heard throughout the boat, and a small set of dumbbells, most of which were not marked with a weight. Nevertheless, the 'gym' provided virtually the only activity that didn't involve more sitting. The fore and aft outside decks provided sufficient chairs for yet more sitting and scenery consumption, but when you travel over 1,000 miles on any road or river, there are many extended periods of monotonous doldrums. This trip is certainly no exception. I would recommend taking the cruise during July or August, when you can enjoy the scenery when daytime temps are mostly in the upper 90's (mid-30's C,) the humidity is stratospheric and the air quality truly indescribable. At night, the temps MAY drop down under 80 (about 26C,) but then the humidity will be near 100%. You can't be that for a comfortable night's sleep!! I witnessed several American cities in the 60's before anti-pollution laws were enacted, but I have never seen air quality like we experienced in most of China. I thought the atrocious air quality might last for a day or so due to some unusual atmospheric condition, but the air quality only deteriorated the farther inland we went. Several of us developed sore throats and random coughing fits. A week after getting back home, I was still coughing up remnants of Chinese air from my lungs. Truly something one needs to experience first hand. The food on board was plentiful, but there are no snack bars & no in-between-meal offerings other than alcohol. The cooking staff was from China, and they did an admiral job preparing Western food. Unfortunately, they have mastered the art of making the food 'look' pretty long before they mastered taste. As there were cruisers from several parts of the U.S. and the world, it would be extremely difficult to please everyone with the small kitchen available on the river cruise its ship. My wife and nephew are Chinese, and they tell me that the crew did a respectable job with some Chinese breakfast items. For the most part, the food was acceptable, but that's about as far as one could stretch the description. You''ll get your steak they way they cook it, so don't bother with asking for RARE or MEDIUM WELL or WELL DONE. On the whole, the cruise staff made up for some of the cruise's shortcomings, so thank God for that. If you won't go completely stir crazy spending 95% of your day sitting on what amounts to a 'prison' ship, you'll love this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
I might mention that the air part of the trip was terrible (and scheduled by Viking) . Not booked directly to Shanghai (where tour began) but through Beijing. And not enought time to make connection. Missed flight, etc. The breakfast ... Read More
I might mention that the air part of the trip was terrible (and scheduled by Viking) . Not booked directly to Shanghai (where tour began) but through Beijing. And not enought time to make connection. Missed flight, etc. The breakfast buffets on the ship were outstanding (as were those in the hotels). The lunches and dinners were fine, but nothing outstanding. I think the ship was ok for what it was. However, there wasn't a lot to see and the scenery got a little boring since they had damned up the river. I actually enjoyed Shanghai, Xian, and Beijing and I am recommending that one skip the cruise. I would have enjoyed seeing more of the sights in Beijing, but there wasn't enough time scheduled since we spent 5 days on the Yangtze. The tours were very well organized and provided safe food and we felt comfortable where we went. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Viking Emerald Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.4
Entertainment 4.0 4.1
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.5
Family N/A 3.5
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.6
Enrichment 5.0 4.4
Service 4.0 4.7
Value For Money 4.0 4.5
Rates 4.0 4.2

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