Viking Emerald Cruise Review to Other (Asia/Africa/Middle East)

Contributor Level: Purser

Experience
4-6 cruises

Review
1

Helpful Votes
5

5 out of 5

Eye - Opening View of China from Yesterday to Today

Sail Date: July 16, 2015

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

Viking River cruises delivered a superb experience in every way. From booking/planning and arrival, each step was shephearded by my consultant and I couldn't have asked for a better experience. Our United flights were excellent, the Tour was completely escorted, including all baggage handling, all meals for 12 days, 3 internal flights within China and some included and optional evening entertainment. The initial touring around Beijing included major sites and descriptive insights by our tour escort/tour guide. Xian was the high-point featuring the Terra Cotta Warriors and then free time to explore the local Pagoda. The 4 night cruise was a wonderful way to get to know passengers from other buses and see the beauty of the river and the 3 Gorges. I was pleasantly surprised to find the ship had a tailor on board making custom silk clothing, an artist producing paintings in front of our eyes and pearl jewelers who make pearl jewelry per your own design all overnight at a very reasonable price. There was even a tea ceremony section where the tea expert spent considerable time educating and delighting all of the passengers . The evening entertainment featured our ship staff performing ethnic Chinese song and dance. This was so distinctive and different from large cruises.  Our fellow guests were a wonderful mix of academics (teachers/professors) and other professionals. Sharing our interests and views of the trip as we experienced together made the journey even more special. Viking attracts a very educated clientele, including young couples, families with teenagers and young adults as well as middle age and slightly older crowd.  This trip was definitely a bit strenuous for the guests in their mid-late 70's.  We were very pleased with this trip in every way from cost to experience.

Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Entertainment
Onboard Activities
Destinations and Excursions
Ship Quality
Embarkation and Disembarkation
Cabin / Stateroom
We were in the least expensive section of the ship. The room was basic and comfortable. I found the decor dull and dated, although the ship is only 5 years old. the beds were hard but everything was clean and comfortable otherwise. Excellent care by staff.
Beijing (Peking), China
Chongqing, China
Shibaozhai, China
Excellent but strenuous climb to top of Pagoda. Beutiful, special place. plan to do some shopping when returning from pogoda (good prices)
Cruise Yangtze River
plan to spend time getting to know other passengers. Not a lot of activities on ship so bring a book or exercise in the gym to work off the great food.
Cruise Three Gorges
Wuhan, China enjoyed the museum with ancient bells.

Tip

I was happy that we had the Beijing to Shanghai route rather than the opposite. It was great to see the exciting things right away, then rest on the cruise and have a relaxed time before Shanghai. If possible, arrive a day or two early to adjust to time zone. It is crazy hot/humid/rainy in summer.



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