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we took the China land/river cruise by viking

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Nov 7th, 2012, 08:28 AM
  #1
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we took the China land/river cruise by viking

Too lazy for a trip report, but will answer any questions. Went Oct 8-20.
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Nov 7th, 2012, 10:09 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Could you post an itinerary?
Shanghainese is offline  
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Nov 7th, 2012, 10:14 AM
  #3
 
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What were the highs and lows?
What met your expectations?
Any disappointments?
Accommodations? Good? Comfortable? Exceptional? So-so?
Size of group?
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Nov 8th, 2012, 11:22 AM
  #4
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We did the Imperial Jewels tour with the start in Shanghai. I can give you the link for all the stops in another post. It basically went from Shanghai to the Yangtze to Xian to Beijing. There were a total of 16 side tours. Three intra-China flights. Some of those were orchestrated "factory" exhibitions and overpriced shopping. We did not care for that at all. Nice hotels, nice boat. Good service all-around. Good-sized regular rooms on boat. Food good, but nothing stands out as over the top. With the exception of Shanghai I feel like we saw most everything important. I would have liked to have spent another day in Shanghai.

We overall liked it. Mainly because the travelers in our smaller group and our guide were all so personable. I would not call Viking a great value because we did not book the year ahead when you can get 2 for 1. If you can do that, do it! We had never been on a ship nor on a tour, so we had some reservations right off. It is difficult to give up control when you are used to calling your own shots. The upside is that we never had to wait in line for any sights.

Lows- 1. We used Viking for our flights and they were NOT good. Back tracking, too many stops, etc. They also charged us on the west coast the same as the East coasters for our flights. For them- a good deal. For us- I feel I could have done as well on my own.
2. The Yangtze is an industrial river covered in haze. yes, you have a balcony but we never sat out there to stare at factories! The Three Gorges Dam is massive. But not picturesque. If you are into engineering I guess it is a must, but frankly I was not that interested.
3. If you addicted to coffee like me, start getting used to sanka...
Just the powdered stuff on the boat.
5
4. Going the shanghai to Beijing route is exhausting because you are so busy at the end. I suggest doing the Beijing to Shanghai route if possible.

Highs- 1. One day on the river we took smaller boats through the Daning River and the Lesser Three Gorges. Gorgeous. That was my best day by far.
2. We also Loved the Great Wall day where we also visited the Ming Tombs. Beautiful fall day.
3. Visit to Chongqin Zoo was good.
4. The acrobats in Shanghai were exceptional.

Group size was one thing I was surprised about. For some reason I had been told we were in groups of about a dozen. Not so. We were in groups of about 30 with a designated tour guide. then local guides for local sites. As I said before we had a great group with no problems whatsoever, but you are rolling the dice when you get that many people together!

Hope this is of some use to you. And I will put up a the link or the exact stops tomorrow.
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Nov 8th, 2012, 11:33 AM
  #5
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Forgot another amazing site. The terra cotta warriors in Xian. Very well-done.
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Nov 9th, 2012, 08:22 AM
  #6
 
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Thanks for the info, glad you had a good time.
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