Viking River Cruises is launching a real jewel in China on the Yangtze River next month and her name is befitting: Viking Emerald. If you’re still under the impression that the accommodations on river cruise ships are small and cramped, please take note that the smallest stateroom you will find on the Viking Emerald is 269 square feet and all 128 of the staterooms and suites have balconies; the largest are the two Presidential Suites with 840 square feet and a wraparound balcony. These accommodations are more spacious than those on Seabourn’s smaller ships, the Pride, Spirit and Legend.
In comparing the Viking Emerald with the new and refurbished river cruise ships that are being launched in 2011 by AMA Waterways, Avalon Waterways, Uniworld and Viking River Cruises in Europe and Russia, the Viking Emerald has all of the amenities of these ships plus an onboard tailor.
Chinese River Cruise Itineraries
Unlike the European and Russian itineraries, the Chinese itineraries include much more time in hotels. The three itineraries which include a cruise on the Yangtze River are:
- 11 day Imperial Jewels of China; Beijing to Shanghai; includes a 5-day cruise on the Viking Emerald
- 15 day Roof of the World; Beijing to Shanghai, plus Tibet; includes a 5-day cruise on the Viking Emerald
- 16 day China’s Cultural Delights; Shanghai to Beijing; includes a 10-day cruise on the Viking Emerald
All of the itineraries include a visit to Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an, scenic cruising through the Three Gorges, Three Gorges Dam lock transit and facility tour and an excursion through the Lesser Three Gorges. When you’re not cruising along the Yangtze in your floating luxury hotel, you will be accommodated in style at five-star hotels like The Regent Beijing, Shangri-La Hotel Xi’an, and Portman Ritz-Carlton in Shanghai.
Even though more time is spent in hotels on the China itineraries, all meals are included whether you’re on the Viking Emerald or at one of the five-star properties. This is important to note since all meals are generally not included on land tours.
River Cruise Price Comparisons
Compared to pricing on the new and refurbished river cruise ships being launched in 2011 in Europe and Russia, the Viking Emerald is a fantastic value. I understand it is difficult to make these comparisons given that each region has its low and high season but here are some comparable figures for sailings in May 2011 on new river cruise ships:
|Ship||Itinerary||Stateroom||Per Person Daily Rate|
|Viking Emerald||Beijing to Shanghai||Category F; 269 sq ft with balcony||$281.09|
|Avalon Panorama||Amsterdam to Budapest||Category B; 200 sq ft with open-air French balcony*||$450.21|
|AMAKaterina||Moscow to St. Petersburg||Category C; 238 sq ft with balcony||$453.18|
|River Antoinette||Basel to Amsterdam||Category 1; 196 sq ft with balcony||$576.57|
*A large glass door that opens to a railing rather than a platform
Yes – you will have to do more packing and unpacking on the China itineraries than on the Europe and Russia itineraries but if you really want to see many of China’s most stunning sites, a cruisetour on the Viking Emerald is a great way to go.
For more details on the Viking Emerald, Click orange to view my free report: “Viking Emerald: New River Cruise Ship in China- 2011.”
Read Colleen’s popular post New River Cruise Ships 2011. When you are ready to start checking availability on River Cruises take advantage of Colleen’s expertise to help you plan the perfect vacation. If you have questions about China River Cruising please leave them in the comments or email CTurner [at] CruiseHolidays.com.