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“Century/Viking Emerald” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Yangtze River

Yangtze River
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Yangtze River Cruise and Private Chongqing Evening Tour
Ranked #214 of -32,304 things to do in China
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Welcome to the "wildest, wickedest river on earth". So said author Pearl Buck when referring to the river known to Chinese as the Changjiang and to western people as the Yangtze or Yangzi. It's the only inland river in the world which can be explored by luxury cruise ship all year around! When entering the three gorges in the day time you will cruise through steep, scenic gorges and view historical sites such as the 2000-year -old hanging coffins of the Ba people and an ancient plank walk way carved on the side of the cliff. Enjoy the biggest Dam project in the world and pass through the 5 steps ship lock at the Three Gorges Dam. After that, pass by the city of Jinzhou , an ancient city with a history of 3000 years, see the ancient city wall or a local museum where you even can see a 2000 years old mummy which is still well preserved. You will then arrive in the city of Wuhan , the biggest city in Central China, and also the capital city of Hubei province, visit Hubei 's provincial museum with its many historic artifacts including a collection of ancient bells. Upon arrival in Jingdezhen , you will have an opportunity to visit the Ceramic History Museum for a lesson on how ceramics were produced in ancient times; and explore the biggest ceramic market in China . Marvel at the tranquil beauty of Mt. Jiu Hua in the Guichi city one of the four sacred Buddhist mountains , you will have a great Buddhist temple tour today. After Guichi, the ship arrives in Nanjing , the capital city of Jiangsu province, this is a historical city that has a history of over 6000 years. Nanjing used to be one of the 6 most famous historical cities in China , and there you can see Dr. Sunyet-san's mausoleum as well as an ancient city wall. After Nanjing , you will pass by the city of Yangzhou , this is where the Grand Canal located in, and it's also an excellent Tourist City in China famous for its beautiful lakes, gardens, pavilions, willows as well as the delicious Huaiyang style food. After breakfast, you will arrive in Shanghai , China 's largest city and a modern metropolis, tour the old Shanghai and the bund, an elegant riverfront promenade, on an afternoon tour. You will also see many exhibits at the Shanghai museum. So relax, and let the Great River , the Long River , the Changjiang, sweep you into her fascinating world of timeless adventure in the heartland of the oldest continuous civilization on earth.
London, England
Level Contributor
97 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
“Century/Viking Emerald”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2013

This ship is owned by Century Cruises but I guess it's chartered occasionally by Viking River Cruises. I sailed on the cruise in December at a time when I don't believe any Viking Holiday passengers were onboard. I say this now because I travelled independently and wasn't on any kind of tour so I don't believe it was a normal Viking Cruise experience. I've travelled some 25 times on cruises all over the world usually on quite nice ships like the old QE2 and the huge Queen Mary2. I was very apprehensive about taking a cruise in China, I just didn't know what to expect, whether the hygyine would be up to standard and the cabins fit for habitation. I arrived full of trepidation. The whole experience was actually lovely. The cabins were much more luxurious than what I was expecting. If you've ever travelled Cunard ships then the cabins were at a Princess Grill level. Everything about the boat was lovely, the staff were so friendly and attentive. Lois in the bar is so sweet. Unfortunately I had to share a cabin as I would have otherwise paid more than double. I shared with some Chinese retired official who was as miserable as sin. I don't think the guy cracked a smile the whole time he was onboard. I didn't enjoy the food, most of the time it was cold and just really boring. There was a free tour of a cave, it was a nine hour round trip so I decided not to even bother. The other tours were quite fine. Basically the Yangtse river cruise is a very relaxing trip. It wasn't what I was expecting but at the same time I wasn't disappointed with the experience. I came away glad that I had done it but if you are short on time and wondering if you should squeeze this tour in then I'm sure you could do without it.

Visited December 2012
15 Thank Tajine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
192 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Viking Yangtze River Cruise - trip of a lifetime”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2013

Wow, what a wonderful trip filled with amazing sites and history.Viking truly put together a first class experience. We started our trip. In Shanghai and stayed at the very luxurious Shangri-la hotel. The hotel was our first tip that we were going to have a very comfortable trip. Our guide JoAnna stayed with us from start to finish and added great color commentary to all that we experienced along the way. The trip on the Yangtze was relaxing and our fellow passengers were delightful. We hit all the major sites along the way; Xian for the Terre Cotta Warriors, Giant Pandas at the zoo, Great Wall, Summer Palace, Tinnamen Square and Forbidden City. I really liked starting from Shanghai and ending in Beijing...this way the trip seemed to get better and better with the highlights being in Beijing. Like other reviewers I could do without the stops to the government owned shops...however, I did get a few treasures but I'm sure I overpaid. Viking makes it so relaxing to travel all the worries about logistics and language differences are gone. They give you so much history and background on China and its treasures this adds another layer to the trip you couldn't get on your own. One of the best things that sets Viking apart is the quality of their guides and the wireless earphones that allow you to break out and wander on your own while getting the benefit of hearing everything your guide is saying. We are already planning our next Viking cruise and we know it will be another wonderful adventure.

Visited September 2012
14 Thank Floydova
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
142 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 145 helpful votes
“Viking - Imperial Jewels of China cruise”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2013

We took this cruise/land trip in November to celebrate a wedding anniversary. It was hectic, exhillarating, exhausting and hugely enjoyable. In twelve days we took 7 flights, stayed in 3 hotels, had a 6 day cruise and were off and on so many coaches I could not count! We cannot rate Viking cruises highly enough. We met our tour guide on day one and he was with us for the entire trip. He took care of everything 24/7. The organisation was immpeccable. Where ever we went we seemed to be first in line, no waiting & no queuing for tickets. We were even waved through Security at all the Attractions, only because we were travelling with Viking! All our Hotels were first class. Every local restaurant used was a delight, with the food plentiful and delicious. We loved the boat. Our room, with balcony was spacious and very comfortable. The meals on board were exceptional. Chinese, Western and vegetarian options were always available. The staff were amazing. Friendly, efficient and nothing too much trouble.Within hours of boarding they knew everyones name. Whenever we left the boat a red carpet was laid and all the staff would line up to wish us 'Bon voyage' or Welcome back'. Always smiling and happy to see us they were a joy. The staff also provided our evening entertainment. Nothing spectacular but always great fun. We made many friends and enjoyed a few late evenings dancing and enjoying the delicious cocktails. As we like fine wines we decided to buy the 'drinks package' which also gave us unlimited cocktails and my husbands favourite malt whisky and felt it was very good value. We took the Shanghai to Bejing route which meant we got to visit the pandas. As well as all the main attracttions Viking pack in lots of other extras, concerts, shopping, walks. Some days we had very early starts (5am alarm call!) to fit everything in. You need to be fairly fit and active to last the pace. Words cannot describe places like the Great Wall or the Forbidden City but we found that the Viking cruise trip was a relaxed and comfortable way to see it all.

Visited November 2012
52 Thank OrkneygalPenicuik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camberley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“River cruise of a life time”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 14, 2012

After the hustle and bustle of Beijing we arrived at Chongqing where our Viking River Cruises ship awaited us to convey us through the wonderful Chinese countryside via the Yangtze river. The staff were wonderfully attentive but not in your face all the time. Our experiences were wonderful as we glided from village and town to town stopping to enjoy the local culture and architecture along the way.

This was the perfect way to relax and enjoy a touring holiday. The cruise was over all too soon but the excitement of arriving at the next stage of our journey in Shang Hai awaited us.

Visited September 2012
17 Thank Paul1333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
93 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“3 Day Yangtze River Cruise on Century Diamond - Highlight of our trip to China”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 24, 2012

We just returned from traveling in China. Our 3 day cruise from Chongqing to Yichang was probably the favorite part of our trip. While this is not luxury-style cruising, the accomodations were more than comfortable. We booked into a standard size cabin, and resisted the efforts to upgrade us upon check in (our travel agent, Judy Chen of Chongqing Dahua Travel, had advised us that this was a standard practice so we were prepared). The cabin more than sufficient in size for 2 people -- including closets and shelving where we could place clothes for the duration of the trip, and space under the beds where we slid our suitcases. The room was spotless, with 2 firm twin beds, and a small seating area with loveseat, as well as a balcony with 2 chairs. 4 complementary bottles (2 per person) of water were provided each day, with more available for purchase (we never needed any extras).

The mix of passengers was about 60% Chinese nationals, a group of about 40 Germans traveling as a group, with the balance a variety of passengers classed as "English-speaking" although this included a variety of Western Europeans for whom English was a second language. We were the only Americans on board, which was fine with us; we were assigned to a table in the dining room with 4 very convivial Australian couples.

Food was fine, but certainly not gourmet. With the exception of a "banquet style" dinner our last night, all food was served buffet style.

The staff on the cruise was professional and accomodating. On board narration was provided as we passed through each of the 3 gorges in Chinese and English by a single guide, Gary, with another guide providing German-language narrative on another deck to the German group. Gary was also available to assist with logistical questions, throughout the trip.

We had one problem that the staff solved immediately: Contrary to cruise regulations, which restrict smoking to outdoors spaces (including individual balconies), it was apparent to us that our next door neighbors were smoking in their cabin. We advised the front desk, and they evidently admonished our neighbors, as the problem never recurred.

Bottom line: We really enjoyed the pace of relaxling along the river, watching the Chinese countryside roll by, especially after several days rushing around crowded (and air-polluted) cities. Sure, the accomodations and food at each of the 5-start hotels that we stayed in the various Chinese cities exceeded the accomodations on the Century Diamond but if the goal were to just stay in nice hotels, we could have checked into the Peninsula in Chicago and saved ourselves the bother of traveling to China. This was a great opportunity to see a different face of China, and it was by no means "roughing it."

Visited November 2012
26 Thank MBA60302
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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