We returned over a month ago now from a fantastic visit to China with Viking so, with apologies for the delay in doing so, here are some comments about it which I hope will be helpful to others.
We have been on three Viking river cruises before, all on European rivers and all extremely good but the China one is totally different because you stay in three different hotels and have three internal flights as well as six day days on Viking Emerald cruising down the Yangtse River. From start to finish, Viking’s service was exemplary. We flew into Beijing and were met at the airport by one of their representatives and transferred to the first of three high class hotels. There were 240 of us on this trip and we were split into 8 groups of 30 in which we stayed throughout, as far as transportation and guiding were concerned. All our guides were Chinese but were given English names (presumably for ease of pronunciation). We had Jack who was absolutely first class.
Wherever we went we were in our group and Jack took care of everything, including the checking in and collection of our luggage in the various airports. This. of course, simplified our travelling substantially and, with the average age probably being well over 60, was most welcome. Jack himself was a font of knowledge about the many interesting places we visited, most of which one only hears about or sees on television – the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, Terracotta Warriors and many more. There were several very good theatre visits and other performances throughout the trip and 6 excellent days cruising the Yangtse River where the crew on board Viking Emerald were outstanding and then finishing In Shanghai where our hotel was right on the Bund with its fascinating and amazing skyline. The entire visit was memorable in the extreme and very well managed by Viking. As someone who was really not looking forward to visiting China, I would now certainly recommend this trip but it would not have been anything like as easy and enjoyable without Viking’s excellent organisation which, in my opinion, is a prerequisite.