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Imperial Jewels of China with Viking River Cruises

Few places stir the spirit quite like China. From cosmopolitan Shanghai to Beijing’s Forbidden City, see the spectacular Terracotta Warriors, the beautiful Three Gorges, the Great Wall and so much more on this incredible journey. There is no more rewarding or relaxing way to see China than sailing the Yangtze. And there is no more comfortable way to cruise this legendary river than on board Viking Emerald; a gem of a ship – and a jewel of a holiday.

Viking Emerald Asia Cruise liner


From Shanghai airport, Viking takes you to your hotel, where you have time to relax or begin to explore this enormous city at the mouth of the Yangtze River.


Shanghai is the largest city in China and one of the world’s most important ports. Because of its strategic position, the city has long been ‘open’ with a freewheeling cosmopolitan character. Start the day with a tour of Old Shanghai and travel along the Bund – the city’s elegant waterfront promenade. After lunch in a local restaurant, visit a silk workshop to see a silk carpet being made, and tour the Shanghai Museum with its world-class collections of ceramics, bronzes and paintings. Enjoy a welcome dinner in a local restaurant and a dazzling performance from a Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe.

Included excursions: Old Shanghai/Bund tour, silk carpet workshop tour, Shanghai Museum.
Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.


After breakfast, we fl y you to Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province and an important site of the Republican Revolution. Once there, visit the Hubei Provincial Museum, with artifacts dating to the Warring States period. Hear the music of ancient bronze bells, then transfer to your ship, docked close to Wuhan’s historic waterfront.

Included excursion: Hubei Provincial Museum.
Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.


Enjoy an exclusive visit to an elementary school sponsored by Viking River Cruises. Meet the local children and gain an insight into education in rural China. The children will treat you to a charming performance. Return to your ship and sail the most scenic stretch of the Yangtze through the spectacular limestone ridges of the Three Gorges.

Included excursion: elementary school visit.
Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.


Continue cruising this scenic stretch through Xiling Gorge, the longest of the Three Gorges. After lunch, disembark for a tour of the remarkable Three Gorges Dam, the largest hydroelectric power station in the world. Learn what the dam means to the Chinese people, and the Yangtze. Return to your ship to sail through the five-stage locks of the Three Gorges Dam.

Included excursion: Three Gorges Dam tour.
Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.


Cruise through Wu (Witches) Gorge, renowned for its magnificent scenery with mist-shrouded mountains and the legendary Twelve Peaks, including the beautiful Shennu Feng (Goddess Peak) topped by a naturally sculpted rock resembling a maiden looking down at the river. Then board a smaller boat for an excursion through the Lesser Three Gorges that lie on the Daning River. Narrower than the great Three Gorges, these remarkable canyons are equally impressive. Sheer cliffs and steep mountains rise on either side and clear water flows between towering peaks covered with lush greenery. There are a number of historical sites, including the hanging coffins of the Ba people and the ancient plank road carved into the cliff side. The plank road consists of more than 6,000 holes, about two inches in circumference carved by hand into the sides of the cliffs. Wooden stakes inserted into the holes supported bamboo pipes to carry brine and planks that created a road stretching more than 60 miles along the river. Return aboard for lunch, and spend the afternoon sailing through Qutang Gorge, the shortest, narrowest and most spectacular of the Three Gorges.

Included excursion: Lesser Three Gorges.
Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.


Visit Shibaozhai Temple, a Qing Dynasty architectural masterpiece that was built in 1650. Translated as ‘Precious Stone Fortress’, the temple has been constructed without nails. Perched atop a sheer, 721-foot high cliff, the 12-storey red pavilion offers breathtaking views of the river below. The temple once stood alone and was inaccessible except by chain lift.

Included excursion: Shibaozhai Temple.
Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.


After breakfast, disembark and enjoy a brief tour of Chongqing, the largest city in western China. Visit Chongqing Zoo to see the giant pandas and other exotic species. After lunch, fl y to Xian, key city of the Tang Dynasty. From 618 to 907 AD, this dynasty presided over one of China’s most glorious cultural periods. Have dinner and relax at your hotel, or enjoy an optional Tang Dynasty Dinner and Show.

Included excursion: Chongqing Zoo.
Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.


Xian’s history stretches back more than 3,100 years and it was China’s capital city for 12 imperial dynasties. It reached its peak during the glorious period of Tang Dynasty rule. Once one of the world’s biggest and richest cities, Xian is the geographic beginning of China’s fabled Silk Road. The city is encircled by the most complete ancient city wall in China, and is home to what is possibly China’s greatest archaeological treasure, the Qin Mausoleum. Here, Emperor Qin Shi Huang was entombed 2,000 years ago, with thousands of life-sized terracotta warriors. He was just 13 years old (246 BC) when work began on this extraordinary mausoleum. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, each warrior and horse has its own distinctive features. Equally impressive is the size – the home of the Tang Dynasty covers more than 19 square miles. After lunch in Xian, fl y to Beijing, China’s imperial capital. Check in to your hotel and enjoy some free time.

Included excursion: Terracotta Warriors, Xian.
Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.


Travel to nearby Badaling Hills to see one of the most impressive and best-preserved sections of the Great Wall of China – a 4,000-mile-long series of sandstone and earthwork fortifications built between the 5th century BC and 16th century AD that is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore its winding pathways and enjoy panoramic views from its ramparts. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant before continuing on to the Sacred Way, an elegant tree-lined avenue leading to the Ming Dynasty tombs. This evening, dine and relax at your hotel, or join an optional Peking Duck Dinner and Peking Opera evening.

Included excursions: Great Wall and Sacred Way.
Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.


In China’s grand imperial capital of Beijing, visit Tiananmen Square, the world’s largest public square that can accommodate more than one million people. Its name means ‘Gate of Heavenly Peace,’ and it has been the center of Beijing for centuries. At the north end of the square is Tiananmen Tower, the formal entrance to the Forbidden City, during the Ming Dynasty. Tour this UNESCO World Heritage site that is the largest surviving palace complex, comprising of nearly 1,000 buildings. Explore its opulent palaces, pavilions, courtyards and gardens. After lunch in a local restaurant, see the Summer Palace, with its beautiful landscaped gardens, spanning 700 acres. Enjoy a farewell dinner in your hotel.

Included excursions: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Summer Palace.
Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.


After breakfast, Viking takes you to Beijing airport.

Included meal: breakfast.

Viking River Cruises Overview: Imperial Jewels of China

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