The magic of river cruising isn’t just limited to the waterways of Europe. For those looking for something with a decidedly exotic flair, Viking River Cruises has the perfect thing: three distinct itineraries that ply Asia’s magnificent Yangtze River, all of which are available onboard the line’s new, state-of-the-art Viking Emerald.
Launched this past spring, the 361-foot Viking Emerald carries just 258 guests in the kind of spacious comfort that rivals some of the newest European-based river cruise ships. For example, the smallest staterooms aboard Viking Emerald measure 269 square feet and include full balconies. At the other end of the scale are two Presidential suites measuring 840 square feet and offering separate living and sleeping quarters.
All staterooms offer hotel-style beds and bedding, private bathroom with shower, and full air conditioning.
The Viking Emerald also sports some features uncommon to many river cruise ships, such as a sparkling, multi-story atrium located at the heart of the ship. Expansive windows throughout ensure that the natural beauty of the Yangtze is never far from sight. A full restaurant, spacious observation lounge and a dedicated bar located high atop the Sun Deck come together to create a ship that is a unique blend between a deep-ocean cruise ship and a sleek river cruise vessel.
But if the Viking Emerald is impressive, so too are the itineraries and ports she calls on. Operating the line’s Imperial Jewels of China, Roof of the World and China’s Cultural Delights itineraries, these 12-to-17-day cruisetours offer guests the best of both worlds: a six-day river cruise along the famed Yangtze coupled with a land-based tour of some of Asia’s most impressive destinations and attractions.
While aboard the Viking Emerald, guests will be able to experience the breathtaking engineering marvel that is the Three Gorges dam, where you’ll transit the locks and be taken on an informative tour of the facilities.
Guests will also be able to visit the school in Jingzhou, China that was set up expressly by Viking themselves as a way to give back to the beautiful country they sail through. Enjoy a performance by the schoolchildren before returning to your ship and continuing your Yangtze adventure. This is a special occasion for passengers and kids alike, and one you won’t want to miss!
Other treasures of China are also explored on these unique cruisetours, including a visit to the legendary Terra Cotta Army, a night market in Xian, a monastery tour in Lhasa, Shanghai’s famous Bund, and of course, visits to the Great Wall of China and Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
Each of these cruisetours visit between four and six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and the cruise itself, as well as all hotel stays, inter-China flights, and meals are included in the overall price. The Viking Emerald’s hotel operations are managed by a fully English-speaking staff trained by Vikings Swiss-trained management team.
With select departure dates still left this year, and a full lineup available in 2012, where will your Asian river cruise adventure take you?
For more information on Viking River Cruises and their Asian-based Viking Emerald, be sure to check out our detailed line overview and ship profiles right here on River Cruise Advisor.