Vantage currently sails a handful of custom-designed river ships in addition to several exclusively chartered vessels built to its specifications, all with outside cabins. A new riverboat will debut in 2016.
The newest member of the Vantage fleet, River Voyager will join the line's four other river ships, River Splendor, River Venture, River Discovery II and River Navigator. The 360- to 442-foot-long ships offer airy public spaces, a rear-facing Captain's lounge with retractable roof (in all but River Navigator), flat-screen TVs in cabins and free wireless Internet access throughout the ship.
Vantage also charters the 120-passenger Douro Spirit for Portugal's Douro River.
In Asia, Vantage charters the 398-passenger Century Legend, which sails China's Yangtze River, the all-suite Mekong Navigator on the Mekong River in Cambodia and Vietnam, and the all-suite Irrawaddy Explorer on the Irrawaddy River in Burma.
Ocean-going ships that Vantage charters from other cruise lines include the 86-passenger Skorpios III in the Chilean fjords and Variety Cruises' Harmony G for the Mediterranean. Vantage also charters Hurtigruten's 276-passenger ms Fram for Antarctic cruises, and the 44-passenger riverboat Amazon Discovery, sailing in South America.
In 2015, Vantage launched La Perla, a luxury yacht sailing the Mediterranean. The 130-foot ship sails coastal Adriatic itineraries from Dubrovnik to Venice and has room for 26 passengers.
Discover top cruise destinations on one of 9 Vantage ships.
Vantage Deluxe World Travel, a family owned business, was founded in 1983 by Henry Lewis, who still oversees the company.
Ultimately, Vantage promises a comfortable, non-rushed pace and a program of "cultural connections" that emphasizes soft enrichment programs. As a result, passengers can take these trips to relax and get away -- while also experiencing educational shore explorations.
Vantage does not use travel agents to book their trips; you can book directly with its customer service team. The company boasts a newly expanded focus on customer service, providing weekend hours for reservations, a revamped training program for customer service representatives, and an effort to reduce response time.
Vantage specializes in worldwide river cruises, land tours, and small-ship voyages for travelers 55 and over. The company owns and operates its own fleet of European river ships sailing the Seine, Rhone, Saone, Rhine, Main, Danube, and Moselle rivers, and also operates exclusive charters on the Elbe and Douro. Its small-ship voyages feature chartered vessels (most are exclusive charters) operated by companies such as Haimark and Variety Cruises. These range from boutique-style luxury yachts to expedition vessels.
On Vantage's riverboats, the line maintains a 4:1 guest-to-staff ratio. Most cruises offer free shipwide Wi-Fi, sightseeing tours, meals, beer and wine with dinner and onboard entertainment included in the price of the cruise. Meals onboard are one sitting with open seating. All ships have panoramic lounges and sun decks, and are nonsmoking throughout the interior, with a designated smoking area at the rear of each vessel on the open-air deck.
Vantage owns five riverboats, each with solo accommodations, French balconies in 78 percent of the cabins and a luxurious 250- to 330-square-foot Owner's Suite with a well-stocked minibar and separate bedroom area. Standard and Deluxe cabins are furnished with twin beds that convert to double size (queen for the Owner's Suite). All cabins provide outside views and are equipped with TV, safe and hair dryer. They also come with entertainment-on-demand systems offering movies as well as access to many U.S. television channels such as MSNBC, CNN, Discovery, The Weather Channel and more. The features include real-time GPS tracking of the ship's journey.
The line's Cultural Connections programs promise in-depth experiences in each country visited through lectures, special meals, home visits, receptions, performances and participation in local activities. A special feature on excursions is the free use of headphones for each passenger to ensure they can hear the instructions and lectures clearly.