New to river cruising - China question

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#1
New York
698 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
We are new to river cruising. Which cruise company should we choose to do a China river cruise?
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#2
372 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
I'd not recommend any: all China river cruises offered are highly overpriced. Try to look at China tours not a cruise. The price is usualy 3-4 times less with the same itinerary/hotels/intra-China flights and sometimes even includes 3-4 days cruise.
#3
Western New York
719 Posts
Joined May 2010
Originally posted by kaceyisme
We are new to river cruising. Which cruise company should we choose to do a China river cruise?
Hi
We are booked on Vantage land tour/cruise Oct 2014. We booked after hearing glowing reports from people on our Russian Vantage trip who had taken the Vantage China trip. I believe Viking also does a China trip. Two of our Russian group had been there in Oct. and said the fall colors were gorgeous.
Tom
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#4
New York
698 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
Originally posted by Tom47
Hi
We are booked on Vantage land tour/cruise Oct 2014. We booked after hearing glowing reports from people on our Russian Vantage trip who had taken the Vantage China trip. I believe Viking also does a China trip. Two of our Russian group had been there in Oct. and said the fall colors were gorgeous.
Tom
Thanks Tom - we are looking to go in theFall of 2014 too. I looked at Viking, but I don't want to pay in full for a vacation over a year and a half in advance. Does Vantage require that too?
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#5
Western New York
719 Posts
Joined May 2010
Originally posted by kaceyisme
Thanks Tom - we are looking to go in theFall of 2014 too. I looked at Viking, but I don't want to pay in full for a vacation over a year and a half in advance. Does Vantage require that too?
Hi
They require full payment 90 days in advance. They will give you a discount if you pay up to 1 yr in advance--sliding scale goes down as you get closer to deadline. They will also give you a discount if you have a referral#. LMK if you want mine. I will get the same discount. If you are already on their mailing list, they probably won't honor it.
There are China river cruise reviews on CC--Vantage by 4774Papa and Viking on 1st page.
Tom
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#6
New York
698 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
I'm not on their mailing list so I might just tAke you upon that! What date and tour are you taking?
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#7
9,668 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by kaceyisme
Thanks Tom - we are looking to go in theFall of 2014 too. I looked at Viking, but I don't want to pay in full for a vacation over a year and a half in advance. Does Vantage require that too?
I traveled to China with Viking in May 2011, having booked about a year earlier and paid in full. The trip was EXTRAORDINARY. Did I like paying in full that far out? No, but having done a ton of research, I concluded that Viking was going to provide an exceptional trip, and it did.

Since then, some others have reported that you can opt out of paying in full, but you "risk" losing the 2 for 1 "sale." But that "sale" is always going on, so it seems to be very little risk. You should ask Viking about options for not paying in full if that's a deal breaker for you. (And I agree, it's not the norm in this industry and they should stop doing it.)

As you can see from the active Viking China 2 thread on this board, and the closed Viking China 1 thread, there are a huge number of folks who have gone to China with Viking and come back feeling as I do. Viking has gone all out in China to make this a truly amazing journey.
#8
2,503 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
We also went with Viking---are not big Viking fans--think they run hot and cold. China is their jewel--a fantastic trip from start to finish---everything ran smoothly. When we booked DH balked at paying more than 18 monthes out, so we paid about 9 mos. out. We did the cultural delights and spent 11 days on the river--not everyones cup of tea. That was our 15th river cruise--we really love river cruising, so 5 days was not enough. Please do your research til you find the right trip for you. Pat
#9
Western New York
719 Posts
Joined May 2010
Originally posted by kaceyisme
I'm not on their mailing list so I might just tAke you upon that! What date and tour are you taking?
Hi
We are on Oct 18,2014 Extraordinary Wonders of China & Yangtze R. My Vantage# is 1438084.
My trip is 18 days. They also have a 21 day trip that includes Tibet. I am thinking of starting a 2013/14 China r. cruise call for all lines to trade info. There was 1 for Russia and it was helpful. You could ask questions from returnees.
vantagetravel.com

Tom
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#10
Western New York
719 Posts
Joined May 2010
Originally posted by Tom47
Hi
We are on Oct 18,2014 Extraordinary Wonders of China & Yangtze R. My Vantage# is 1438084.
My trip is 18 days. They also have a 21 day trip that includes Tibet. I am thinking of starting a 2013/14 China r. cruise call for all lines to trade info. There was 1 for Russia and it was helpful. You could ask questions from returnees.
vantagetravel.com

Tom
I should have said that you can ask returnees questions
Tom
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#11
Boston MA
6,097 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by Aragon
I'd not recommend any: all China river cruises offered are highly overpriced. Try to look at China tours not a cruise. The price is usualy 3-4 times less with the same itinerary/hotels/intra-China flights and sometimes even includes 3-4 days cruise.
Yes, I looked at some of them and you have to be careful when you compare prices because some of these stripped down packages will nickel and dime you until you end up spending just as much as you would have paid for one of the cruises that Aragon doesn't recommend.

River cruises on Viking, Vantage, Avalon include ALL meals, tours to all the highlights (Forbidden City, Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors) and all intra-China airfares where on some of these packages you only get breakfast, tours to Terracotta Warriors, Forbidden City, Great Wall are optional extras (and therefore squeezed into the free time after the tour to some out of the way place that is the included tour for the day) and intra-China flights are not included in the price.

Shop carefully. It is your money, your budget and your vacation--choose what works best for YOU.



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#12
Northants
12 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
My wife and I sailed on the Century Diamond from Chongquin to the 3 Gorges Dam last May.
200 guests with maybe thirty speaking English. We loved every minute of the three night experience. You'll never get a cabin on an ocean going boat as spacious for the same money.
A little chaotic at boarding when we had to walk through two other boats to get to ours.
There were some pretty rough looking boats travelling down river with us. Mostly with Chinese passengers by the looks of them.
#13
Maryland
208 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
in 2008 we were on the Yangzi Explorer. Terrific ship and I believe it is still really nice. We did the 3 day cruise on the Yangzi and did ourselves Beijing, X'ian, Shanghai. We got our own guides for each place (they were awesome) and used points for hotel stays.

Don't forget to visit the world's largest public bathroom in Chongqing.

PM me if you have any questions.
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lawrencehimelfarb (at) gee-mail (dot) com
#14
Atlanta, Georgia
372 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
We traveled with Uniworld in 2008--great experience with 4 or 5 flights in China itself and 3 or 4 nights on the Yangtze.

If possible, avoid traveling the first week in October because that week is the period of National Days in China and all the sightseeing places will be very crowded!

Our trip included the Li River (with the karsts) and Hong Kong.