Viking is offering a tour/cruise package called Top of the World that includes a trip to the mysterious land of Tibet. This land portion requires additional time and substantial additional expense. I would be most interested in hearing from anyone who has taken this trip, to include Tibet, and your comments on whether or not it was worth the additional time and expense. The new ships certainly look like an improvement but I am not sure that 7 days on the river is ideal. Any comments on that? Clarence
I returned two weeks ago from a trip to China which included a short stay in Tibet (it wasn't the Viking tour nor did I go on a Yangtze cruise - I just happened to check the Viking message board and saw your post). I found Tibet absolutely fascinating and certainly worth the time and effort to visit. I'm just not sure it's worth what Viking charges which is substantially more than what it would cost to make your own arrangements. Tibet is relatively inexpensive to visit once you're in China. We flew from Chengdu to Lhasa, spent 3 nights in Lhasa, and then flew out from Lhasa to Chongqing . We visited the Potala and Norbulingka palaces, Jokhang temple, Drepung monastery, the Tibet museum and the Barkhor. I posted some of my pictures on ofoto if you'd like to see them:
We thoroughly enjoyed the Viking Top of the World Tour and Cruise. We returned Sept 5, 2004.
Lhasa is well worth the extra days. You should take it very easy the first day In Tibet to adjust to the thinner atmosphere. If you don't over do on the first day you will be ready for all the exciting things that follow. The Viking staff will tell you this over and over and encourage drinking plenty of bottled water while you are there. Follow their good advice.
From the Great Wall through the Potala Palace to some of the longer climbs from the docks on the river up to the buses waiting in the cities...it can be a strenuous tour. Wear good walking shoes. China is an amazing awesome country experiencing rapid building and economic growth. We would recommend the tour highly. The staff on the river cruise were outstandingly friendly and helpful. Our Viking escort, David, was great. Say hello to Pim in Lhasa from Don and Jo Ann if he is your guide. Do take the Tai Chi lessons offered each morning on your cruise. Jo Ann
Well, with all of the good recommendations received, we took the plunge and book the Viking tour to Tibet and the Three Gorges for next September! Had plenty of help from Shirley B on this board who handled our booking most skillfully.
Since our departure date next year is the same as yours was this year, Jo Ann, it would be helpful to get some info about the type of weather we might expect to encounter. I guess that we should start working on our aerobics well in advance to prepare for all of the climbing that we will encounter.
Upon reflection, if you think of anything that you feel would be helpful please email or post your recommendations.