7 Viking River Viking Emerald Cruise Reviews for First-Time Cruisers Cruises to Asia River

Our China trip started in Beijing and ended in Shanghai, touring the sites in Beijing from the Forbidden City, Tienanmen square, The Great Wall etc. was amazing. On to Xian to see the Terracotta Warriors a dream come true, something I had ... Read More
Our China trip started in Beijing and ended in Shanghai, touring the sites in Beijing from the Forbidden City, Tienanmen square, The Great Wall etc. was amazing. On to Xian to see the Terracotta Warriors a dream come true, something I had wanted to see since first reading about them. We boarded the cruise ship in Chongquing. Facilities on board were very comfortable, the personnel professional and friendly. Sites on route interesting and wonderful views especially in the Three Gorges area. The food was excellent, well prepared and plenty of variety of both Chinese and Western fare. Our guide throughout - Joshua - from meeting the 'plane in Beijing to seeing us through security in Shanghai was delightful. Very knowledgeable and fun. He helped us understand Chinese culture, and history and was always careful for our safety and well being. Kudos to him for a job excellently done. This trip was a gift to ourselves for our 50th wedding anniversary and was everything we had hoped for and more, however more 'physical' than anticipated. This should be made clear in your brochures. We may have come better prepared for all the walking etc. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
W thoroughly enjoyed our time on Viking Emerald. Everything was well organised from our embarkation to leaving at Chonquing. All the crew were very good although one or two of the waiting staff did not have enough english to get by. The ... Read More
W thoroughly enjoyed our time on Viking Emerald. Everything was well organised from our embarkation to leaving at Chonquing. All the crew were very good although one or two of the waiting staff did not have enough english to get by. The cabins were always kept in the best of order and very clean. We enjoyed this time to relax as the rest of the tour was rather hectic and a little too full. Walking with a stick I had some difficulty in keeping up with the tour guides, although Matthew our guide was very good and looked after me as best he could. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
First time with Viking & first river cruise well impressed. Hotels first class beds amazing in size. Ship was excellent house keeping food entertainment staff ever so friendly & helpful. Shore excursions well organized & ... Read More
First time with Viking & first river cruise well impressed. Hotels first class beds amazing in size. Ship was excellent house keeping food entertainment staff ever so friendly & helpful. Shore excursions well organized & informative tour guide Mathew was the best we have ever had humerous &funny but also very knowledgeable. Travel to embarkation & from disembarkation was pleasant & well organized. Food was first class & plentiful. Would travel with Viking again & recommend to friends & family 100% all round. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was our first Viking cruise and won't be our last. The organisation was superb with an escort for the whole time who flew with us on the internal flights as well as being on the ship. The ship was modern, the cabin a good ... Read More
This was our first Viking cruise and won't be our last. The organisation was superb with an escort for the whole time who flew with us on the internal flights as well as being on the ship. The ship was modern, the cabin a good size with plenty of ammenities. The service in the restaurant was good and all the staff on board were friendly. Tthe evening entertainment was performed by the crew and was both entertaining and interesting! We found the talks and introduction to our tours helpful. Our escort, Leo, was informative about the traditions and culture and gave some additional information and opinions of modern China. 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
Our first cruise on a Viking ship was all that was promised and more! Our Chinese Guide Bob spoke excellent English as he explained the Chinese culture both in today's world and many centuries in the past. As we traveled Bob took ... Read More
Our first cruise on a Viking ship was all that was promised and more! Our Chinese Guide Bob spoke excellent English as he explained the Chinese culture both in today's world and many centuries in the past. As we traveled Bob took care of all of our luggage. All we had to do was pack our bags, they would be picked up at a designated time and we would find them in our room at the next destination. On the shore excursions we visited all of the sights promised but along with that the bus rides afforded us the opportunity to see the neighborhoods, the buildings, the atmosphere of the Chinese people. So many wonderful sights. We always had a second guide from the area who graciously answered all of our questions. We learned so much about the Chinese culture from guides who thoroughly knew their subject and had pride and love for their country The ship was no beauty from the outside. But once you entered the doors you would never know it. The interior was sparkling clean the rooms were spacious and beautiful. The staff was very friendly and helpful. By the second day many of the staff knew me by name. The food onboard offered many choices. It was fun to select from some of the Chinese delicacies. Yet steak and chicken choices were always available. Be sure to try the homemade yoghurt that is offered with breakfast. I usually am not a fan of yoghurt I tried a different flavor each morning and loved them all. They come in a cute little jar too. As to the entertainment on board I can't say I was really I impressed. I did enjoy the cooking shows but the nighttime entertainment left a lot to be desired. We were part of a tour group of about 30 people with Bob as our guide. This made it very easy to meet people and everyone was very friendly. There was always somebody we recognized that we could join in one of the sitting areas or at dinner. We became special friend with 3 other couples who we are still in contact with. We loved our trip to China with Viking. I would and have recommended it to everyone. The Viking style of travel has spoiled me. My husband and I have booked a second trip this November on the Romantic Danube trip. Looking forward to seeing the Christmas markets and another great Viking experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
This was my first Viking River Cruise and it was outstanding. I took this trip alone with no expectations and was pleased to have the time of my life. I enjoyed every minute of the trip and especially meeting some very nice people. That ... Read More
This was my first Viking River Cruise and it was outstanding. I took this trip alone with no expectations and was pleased to have the time of my life. I enjoyed every minute of the trip and especially meeting some very nice people. That is part of traveling. I was pleased that the trip was very well planned by Viking. The hotel accommodations were perfect and our tour guide Kobe was excellent. He made the trip so much fun and I know we learned a lot about China from Beijing to Shanghai. Service on board the ship was very good and the young people who were serving us were very friendly and helpful as was my cabin attendant. All of the staff aboard the ship were very good and very helpful. The shore excursions were well planned and very enjoyable and quite a learning experience. The food was very good as was presentation. The choices were amazing. The entertainment was beyond good it was excellent. Seeing the young servers perform was very special and they did a great job. I was so pleased to attend the Peking Opera, The Tang Dynasty Dinner and Show (I bought a DVD of the Tang Dynasty performance so I can always enjoy this great show), the Shanghai Museum and Bell performance and the Acrobat Show. I could go on and on - I have recommended this trip to friends and family. I look forward to my upcoming Viking River Cruise on the Elbe in May 2016. Read Less
Sail Date April 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 4.5
Enrichment 5.0 4.3
Service 4.0 4.7
Value For Money 4.0 4.4
Rates 4.0 4.2

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