Thanks Shirley. That is really important information. I have looked online at some of the 2005 offerings of Viking on their China tours/cruises and am somewhat disappointed in the paucity of add-ons that they are offering for next year. I can only conclude that they were not sufficiently popular in 2004 to merit adding in 2005.
I am inclined to use another provider for the land portion to get exactly what I want and have them purchase the cruise portion through Viking. I am sure that won't be a problem. Many deals are available on trips to China with varying levels of accommodations and combinations of cities. It also seems that the dollar goes farther with the Yuan than it does with the Euro! Plus, it is actually cheaper to fly to China than to Europe! Go figure.
I have ordered the 2005 catalog and am anxiously looking forward to receiving it. I know that the preferred time of year for a China trip is in the Spring but do you know when the comfortable weather season returns in the Fall? How does early September sound to you? You sound quite knowledgable about Viking. Have you traveled to China with them or are you related in some way to the company?