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28 Viking Emerald Reviews

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Expectation on Emerald Not Meet by Tiger69

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

All our hotel stays were exceptional. Shore excursions, except for Flying Tiger Museum, were inspirational. We signed up for the Pre and Post Additions and they were a great addition to our trip. The people we meet were all welcoming and went the extra mile to help us make many memories. My favorite places were Lijiang, Xian, Shanghai, and Beijing. Can not recommend the Emerald as a Luxury Ship.

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An Amazing Journey! by RebeccaA48

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

Definitely worth the extensive time required to fly to China. The history, the scenery, the customs, the Viking experience provided many long lasting memories!

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Great Trip to China by SCcruiser2011

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

The cruise on the Yangtze was a very nice cruise, although it wasn't until the third day on the ship that we actually started to see some fantastic views on the river. From there on in there were really pretty views from the river, including the Three Gorges and then the Goddess Stream. The tours during the cruising were all very interesting and when we weren't cruising through scenic areas, there were always great presentations on the ship by really knowledgeable staff to pique everyone's interest. This survey only asks about tours while on the ship but it's important to note that once the sailing portion of this trip was over we had several days where we stayed in some wonderful cities and in some beautiful hotels and did tours that were amazing (The Great Wall of China, The Terra Cotta Warriors, Tienanmen Square, The Forbidden City, etc). All of those things, combined with the cruise, made for a great trip.

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Great Trip to China by rcar11

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

The cruise on the Yangtze was a very nice cruise, although it wasn't until the third day on the ship that we actually started to see some fantastic views on the river. From there on in there were really pretty views from the river, including the Three Gorges and then the Goddess Stream. The tours during the cruising were all very interesting and when we weren't cruising through scenic areas, there were always great presentations on the ship by really knowledgeable staff to pique everyone's interest. This survey only asks about tours while on the ship but it's important to note that once the sailing portion of this trip was over we had several days where we stayed in some wonderful cities and in some beautiful hotels and did tours that were amazing (The Great Wall of China, The Terra Cotta Warriors, Tienanmen Square, The Forbidden City, etc). All of those things, combined with the cruise, made for a great trip.

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Unusual and Tiring by fgumbel24

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

American Airlines Vacations completed the package and positioned the sale as having upgrade seats in Business Class Available using miles for the upgrade with the inclusion of $1,400 in cash.  After checking with the airline to insure the Business Class Seats were available and could be upgraded as described we booked the cruise through American.  After waiting for a day for all the transaction parts o clear we called American to upgrade and the airline indicated no seats were available for upgrade even though none had been sold for either the outbound or return flights which were reserved and booked.....  they were the same flights we checked on the day before and received assurance from American the seats were upgradeable... can you say "BAIT AND SWITCH"!!!!

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12 night China cruise tour on Viking Emerald...Sept 12/16 by jweber18906380

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

Overall, we loved this tour! Viking did an amazing job...so well organized, friendly staff, great tour excursions and wonderful accommodations.

 

We started in Beijing. The hotel (the Kerry) was lovely. The 240+ guests were split into smaller groups and assigned an escort who travelled with us the entire trip. Our group was 32 people and our guide was Jack who really made our trip unfold seamlessly...can't say enough good things about him! It was nice to have a few days together with the small group before getting on the boat because it allowed us to form good friendships easily.

 

Beijing was fantastic...the architecture was mind boggling! The Geat Wall and Forbidden City tours were great...the days long and very active but rewarding. Next stop, Xi'an and the Terra Cotta warriors...again, outstanding tour not to be missed! After that we flew to Chongqing to board the ship. The itinerary gave lots of info about this huge city, what to do and see etc....we did not see any of it, ie, we got off the plane and were bussed directly to the ship to board and leave. Although we missed it, our friends saw the lights during the sail away and said it was so beautiful and should not be missed...VIking should emphasize it a little more. The cruise itself was quite good and we all needed a little down time after such a busy start. The tour excursions were interesting, especially the stop at the  school. Overall, I think the cruise is perhaps a day too long and wish there had been more time allotted to Shanghai. Our hotel, the Westin, in Shanghai was located very well and allowed us to walk to many sites. The Gardens we toured might have been one of the most beautiful things  we saw! The acrobat show was over the top. We stayed on an extra day because of our flight details which allowed us to take in more of the city, which is quite spectacular.

 

Perhaps my only complaint would be that the food became very boring and repetitive quite quickly. We got tired of the buffet meals, served on a lazy Susan or in the normal table layouts. The dinners on the ship were served at the table which was nice.

 

This was a very busy, active holiday and we totally enjoyed it and enjoyed our introduction to China...would absolutely recommend it to anyone as long as they are mobile enough to walk and enjoy the sights.

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Viking in China by maryelizabethhe

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Singles/Friends

First, I would like to begin by saying that in 2014 I took a Viking cruise in Europe, and decided that they would be the company to take me to China.

 

in Shanghai we were divided into groups, with a tour guide.  Throughout the trip, we remained I. The same group with the same tour guide.  On the ship, we were all together, of course, but out guide accompanied us oh all tours.  There was also s local guide on each tour.

 

This is an excellent system, as our guide managed and looked after many things, both on land and on the ship.

 

we found our cabin to be very spacious.  The people who worked o. The ship were fabulous, worked extremely hard to please us, and always had a smile on their faces.  They also provided many nights of entertainment for us.  Unlike Europe, they were not able to bring on local entertainers, so they did the entertaining themselves, and put their heart and souls into it.

 

We saw many interesting things on our tours, in an attempt to show us as much as possible of the cultural aspects of China.  I certainly feel that we hit most of the highlights.

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The Viking Emerald Cruise tour, Mar 8 - Mar 20, 2015 by adamspt

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

This tour was an excellent introduction to contemporary China.  The river cruise part was a very relaxing aspect, with great food, good company, fine accommodations, interesting stops and dedicated staff and guides.  China is fairly overwhelming and we do not think we could have attempted this kind of a trip on our own, which is the usual way we travel.   

 

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Terrific Vacation! by KarenS57378617

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

Great vacation! Tour guide was fabulous as were all of the Viking staff. Top quality service throughout. Nice itinerary, although we spent a bit more time on a bus than I had hoped. Highlights were climbing the Great Wall, Forbidden City, the Three Gorges cruise and the Terra Cotta warriors, among other things. While it wasn't possible to see everything, it was a nice introduction to China. The ship was nice, although not as much to do as in an ocean cruise. There is a spa and beauty salon and the best treatment by far was the shampoo and style which included a 30 minute scalp massage for just over $20. I wanted to have her wash my hair everyday! At night there was a duo in the mostly empty bar - not a party crowd. We enjoyed the evenings though with the small group of people in the bar having cocktails and dancing a bit. We upgraded to the Explorer Suite, which has probably spoiled me for all future vacations - so luxurious! The food on the ship was pretty good -- excellent breakfast and lunch and good to very good dinner. Staff was extraordinarily accomodating in handling food allergies and/or preferences. For the land portion of the trip we were taken to \"local\" restaurants. This became synonymous with stir-fried stuff with no flavor - all of the spice had been removed to accomodate \"western\" taste. We hated that part of the trip and found a few opportunities to break away from the group and try the local food. One caution - there are not western toilets in all of the areas visited. I suggest getting your squatting muscles in gear prior to the trip and never leave the ship without toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

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Great trip to China by JanetM17

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Family (older children)

The interior of the ship was very well kept and clean. The staff was amazing and very service orientated. All service personel worked very hard to learn your name and personally recognize anytime you crossed paths--from the dining staff to the bar staff. On board taylor was a plus. I had a custom made dress and oriental top made to my measurements. Beautiful. Our local Chinese group organizer's \"American\" name was Jimmy. Jimmy made the trip---on top of all transfers and followed up on all of our needs. Another note--there were NO luggage restrictions on the intra China flights. We were told by Vliking Cruise lines that there would be severe restrictions on luggage and we went out and spent several hundreds of dollars on new lightweight luggage. Viking had a status within the country and luggage was not ever an issue.

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A Celestial Journey to China by WendyK1

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

The Viking Emerald provides a first class river cruising experience. The ship is a new edition the the Viking River Cruise line, and is up to the highest standards for such a boat. We had a suite, and it was spacious, well-designed, attractively furnished and impeccably kept. The public areas of the ship were all tasteful, clean, and well-designed for their purposes. The boat lacks the many amenities of large cruise ships, such as casinos and swimming pools, but that is to be expected on a river cruise. There were many charming extras provided, such as a small daily gift at bedtime tied to the setting in China, free coffee and tea including specialty coffees available 24/7, and unlimited free house wine at every night. The staff were polite, helpful, and attentive.

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Avoid Viking in China! by ScottT1

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

The ship itself and the staff are surprisingly good. The on board food was all over the board: good on occasion but often disappointing. But the real problem was how tightly regimented Viking had scheduled things pre- and post-cruise (in Beijing, Xian, and Shanghai): almost everyone we spoke with said it felt like a forced march punctuated by very long hours of sitting on a bus -- with way too much time eating mediocre, greasy, heavy food at the three silk and jade factory tourist traps. As a result, we didn't have nearly enough time to visit Beijing at night, our time at Yu Yuan Garden in Shanghai was way too short, and they picked a hotel in Xian (Kempinski) which was located so far out of town that we literally wasted an extra three hours just getting there and back.

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3.9

5-star trip, 4-star ship, however by AmosCat

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

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 knowledgeable 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.

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5.0

One of best ever by tabennett44

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Singles/Friends

"John" was the best guide ever, knows all about China, never missed a beat, had everything well organized, made us feel safe at all times, no one could have done a better job, thanks John

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4.5

Very interesting and a great way to see parts of China you would not otherwise visit by Sbf

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

We visited places we had seen before and many places we have never been or even heard about. We were not disappointed. Highly recommend this trip for those with a desire of adventure and willingness to travel by boat and plane.

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5.0

Viking Emerald in China by NCVikingnewbie

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

While I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience, and I've been telling everyone about how wonderful it was and how I'd recommend Viking cruises to anyone interested in this kind of experience, it's been really hard to single out the single best thing.  I loved visiting all the fabulous sites, of course, but I think what's been settling in with me is how much I learned about the people and the history to really give me a sense of place.  I think the single most significant part of that, honestly, was our guide Bob Kong, who just brought all the pieces together with his unbelievable knowledge along with a warmth and sense of humor.

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5.0

The right way to tour China by ExpTraveler

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

Viking Tours does an excellent job with their 12 Night Jewels of China tour.  Our tour stated in Shangai with a stay at the Portman Ritz Carlton Hotel.  The Hotel is showing signs of its age and the service by their staff is not up to the standards that I have experienced at other Ritz Carlton hotels.  One particular recommendation is for Viking to incorporate an evening Bund experience instead of taking its guests to an over hyped variety show (the type of show that can be found in some of the off strip hotels in Las Vegas). Other than that criticism there are a lot of positives.  Our tour guide Eric was absolutely sensational throughout the 12 day tour and the food and service on the 5 day cruise portion of the tour was 5 star.  The ship the Century Emerald is okay and the suite stateroom is smaller than all of the suites I have ever experienced on other ships.  The bathroom in the suite was 2 star and the veranda deck was more for show than functional.    

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5.0

Everything I Wanted to See in China and More by Fheagle

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

This trip fulfilled a life long dream of going to China and seeing the Great Wall! The surprising thing is that this included so much more. The Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an were amazing! Seeing photos or videos does not do either the Great Wall or the Warriors justice. There was Tiananmen Square adjacent to the huge Forbidden City! Taking a Rickshaw ride through the Hutongs, seeing the real neighborhoods of Beijing. Being transported to the cruise ship in Chongqing to witness the spectacular Three Gorges. There was the visit to the 12 story Shibaozhai Temple which we climbed to the top. Visiting took us to an elementary school in Jingzhou, the children were so cute. Visiting the museum of ancient artifacts in Wuhan and culminating in the modern city of Shanghai.

Viking did it right! The service and kindness displayed by the Viking employees on board as well as the personal tour guides assigned to each group were first rate!  Our guide was Jane who made our group feel as though she was our friend and there was nothing else that she cared about more than us! The accommodations at the hotels and on board were 5 star in every way. Food was Chinese in most places but, was supplemented by western food on board the ship portion of the tour!

I would recommend Viking and this tour to my family and friends and anyone who wants a geat trip!

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5.0

Eye - Opening View of China from Yesterday to Today by SacramentoJan

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

Viking River cruises delivered a superb experience in every way. From booking/planning and arrival, each step was shephearded by my United Cruises 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.

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5.0

China on Viking by Thoman

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

We just completed the Viking trip to China that started in Shanghai and ended in Beijing.    It included the terra cottas in Xian as well as the 3 gorges dam on the Yangtze.   It was an excellent trip and really well done by Viking.    We had not been on a Viking tour before, but it was definitely a great experience.   We plan on going on more in the future.   We were able to see all of the important things in China with this tour, which was well organized, great tour guides, and the weather cooperated for us as well.   The fellow travelers we had on the trip were also great, and we thoroughly enjoyed their company.   I would highly recommend this trip for anyone who wants to see all the highlights in China with a great tour group.    All of the hotels were 5 star, and excellent.    The in country flights that we took were also convenient and top notch.   We loved it.    

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