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Coming this December: Free Vantage Heroes Cruise for survivors of Yarnell Hill Fire
Vantage Deluxe World Travel — March 25, 2014

For the third time this year Vantage Deluxe World Travel will be offering a free deluxe river cruise to local heroes whose stories of courage and character have inspired thousands of people around the world. This time, the 26 honored guests will be surviving family members of the elite firefighting team known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots. Nineteen of the 20 Hotshots perished last June combatting the massive Yarnell Hill wildfires near Prescott, Arizona. It was one of the deadliest blazes in U.S. firefighting history. The deluxe 9-day Danube River Holiday Cruise aboard the ms River Splendor includes round-trip international airfare from the U.S., accommodations in a deluxe stateroom, all meals, ten sightseeing tours (including visits to 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites), and the free services of a dedicated Vantage Cruise Director and onboard Concierge. "We chose this holiday cruise to help our Yarnell families through what might be a difficult time of year," said Vantage spokesperson Patricia Lewis, "It's our hope that seeing some new sights, enjoying the beauty of the Old World holiday traditions, and sharing some "away time" with fellow Yarnell survivors will give them some much-deserved pleasure and relaxation." Among the ports visited are Regensburg, Passau, Salzburg, Vienna, Budapest, and more, with plenty of opportunities to celebrate the season both onboard ship and at the region's famous Christmas markets. The cruise departs the U.S. on December 10, 2014.

Marathon Survivors Connect In South Of France
Radio Boston - February 12, 2014

Since the Boston Marathon bombing 10 months ago, many of the survivors have kept in touch, creating a strong support network so they can lean on each other and talk about things almost no one else would understand. Two months ago, 114 survivors, first responders and family members boarded a cruise ship in the south of France, on an all-expenses paid trip, giving them a chance to unwind and connect. Listen to Story

The Way Back - An extraordinary journey down a river in France
Esquire Magazine - January 29, 2014

On a mid-sized cruising vessel, at dusk along the Rhône River in the south of France, two men sit facing each other, speaking slowly through an interpreter. One is Carlos Arredondo, a hero of the Boston Marathon bombings last April. He's the man in the photo—the photo—the one in which Arredondo, wearing a cowboy hat, helps rush victim Jeff Bauman, whose legs were blown away at the knees, away from the scene. The other is Lu Jun, a quiet man whose daughter, Lingzi, a Boston University graduate student, was one of the three people killed that day. Read More

Boston bombing victim engaged to nurse: Tragedy brought me 'love of my life'

Today Show — December 20, 2013

Boston Marathon bombing victim James Costello believes the worst moment of his life was a blessing in disguise. Being injured in the April 15 attack led Costello, 31, to meet his future bride, Krista D'Agostino, while she was working a six-week temporary stint as a traveling nurse at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital… After they met, Costello asked D'Agostino to accompany him to a benefit for the bombing victims, and the couple became inseparable over the ensuing eight months. Costello then proposed to D'Agostino earlier this week during a 10-day trip to France, part of an all-expenses-paid "Heroes Cruise"with a total of 114 first responders, their families, and victims of the bombing, courtesy of Boston-based Vantage Deluxe World Travel. Read More

Boston Marathon Bombing Survivors Get Free Trip To France

WBZ-TV — December 11, 2013

More than a hundred survivors of the Boston Marathon bombings, along with family members and first responders, left Boston's Logan airport Wednesday night on an all-expenses-paid vacation to the south of France. The gift was the idea of Vantage Deluxe World Travel, a Boston agency that organized the 10-day French river cruise for those intimately connected to April's events. "It's going to be amazing," said bombing survivor Jeff Bauman after he checked in for his flight at Terminal E. Bauman says he was thrilled to get the invitation to take the vacation, as if fits right into his optimistic attitude. "You gotta keep on trucking, keep on going and can't let anything slow you down," he explains. "You only have one life, right? So keep on going." Read More

Vantage prepares to send off marathon victims on free cruise

WCVB ABC Boston — December 10, 2013

Vantage Deluxe World Travel and Boston Marathon bombing survivors share thoughts about the upcoming "Boston Heroes" French Waterways cruise aboard the ms River Discovery II, which Vantage has donated to some 114 survivors and their guests. The cruise is valued at well over $7,000 per couple, and includes international airfare and daily sightseeing (including 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.) Watch the report from Jorge Quiroga at Newscenter 5 at 11, WCVB ABC Boston. Watch Video

Bolton's Boston Marathon hero receives a cruise trip

Bolton News — November 18, 2013

First responders and victims, all heroes of the tragic Boston Marathon bombings gathered together Friday night, Nov. 8, for a celebratory countdown to a free all-inclusive 11-day cruise through the south of France sponsored by Vantage Deluxe World Travel. Vantage has partnered with the One Fund to provide the river cruise through the south of France aboard the deluxe ms River Discovery II starting on Dec. 11, in an effort to thank Boston's heroes for their inspiration, courage and kindness. Read More

Boston Marathon Victims and First Responders Offered Free 7-day European River Cruise

Boston Business Journal — July 29, 2013

Boston (MA) - Vantage Travel announces that approximately 144 Boston Marathon victims, first responders, and guests will depart Boston on November 18, 2013 for a free 7-day Rhone River Cruise aboard the ms River Discovery II. Inspired by displays of courage and kindness after the Boston Marathon bombings, Vantage Deluxe World Travel CEO Henry R. Lewis worked in conjunction with the One Fund to give something unique back to these heroes as an expression of gratitude. Each hero is invited to bring along one guest as a companion. Read More

Vantage Deluxe World Travel Christens ms River Splendor

Vantage Deluxe World Travel – March 18, 2013

Boston, MA (March 14, 2013) — Vantage Deluxe World Travel, a world renowned tour operator celebrating 30 years of success in 2013, christened the ms River Splendor today in Antwerp as the newest addition to its growing European river cruising fleet. Miss Belgium Noémie Happart led the official naming ceremony as the ships godmother alongside Vantage COO Kevin Wallace; Roger Spoor, Captain, of the ms River Splendor and Patrick Janssens, CEO of Shipyard DeHoop, the Netherlands-based shipyard responsible for designing and building the new ms River Splendor. The new ship will make its inaugural voyage on March 17th from Amsterdam.

Vantage Says Thanks To Veterans With Free River Cruise

Travel With Value – November 7, 2012

Vantage Deluxe World Travel is giving thanks to military members this Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving by offering a 14-day European river cruise to select U.S. veterans and families of fallen U.S. Armed Forces. On November 16, 2012, veterans (and a guest) from various U.S. cities will be flown to Budapest to embark on a "Vantage for Veterans" Eastern European river cruise Learn More.

Vantage to launch two more ships in 2013

Travel Weekly – October 18, 2012

Vantage Deluxe World Travel is launching two new 176-passenger river cruise ships in Europe in March. The River Splendor and River Venture, which will both depart on dual inaugural voyages from Antwerp to Amsterdam on March 13, are part of a $120 million fleet investment program, which will double Vantage's river cruising fleet by 2014. Vantage said that it is building the new ships in response to a 50% increase in customers over the past five years. Learn More.

ms River Splendor water tested!

Vantage Deluxe World Travel – May 29, 2012

The newest member of the Vantage fleet is afloat! The ms River Splendor, a 442-foot vessel conceived and designed with the American traveler in mind, has launched from its slipway at the shipyard. Over the next few months, it will be fitted out with the best in river cruise furnishings and amenities for its official launch on March 17, 2013. Like its sister ship ms River Discovery II, the new ms River Splendor is made for intimate cruising, with no more than 176 passengers on board. And with 45 crewmembers, the ship has the best passenger-to staff ratio anywhere—better than 4-to-1! Learn More about the ms River Splendor

Photo tour: Vantage Deluxe cruise ship River Discovery II

USA Today – April 18, 2012

One of the newest river cruise ships in Europe, the River Discovery II, is operated by Boston-based Vantage Deluxe World Travel. What's it like to sail on the 176-passenger vessel? Click HERE to see our new comprehensive photo tour of the River Discovery II, which was christened in late March in Amsterdam and is operating on the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers. Read More

Vantage's River Discovery II aims to meet growing demand for solo cabins

Travel Weekly – April 2, 2012

Vantage Deluxe World Travel named the 176-passenger River Discovery II here in mid-March, a river vessel that caters to solo travelers with single cabins, an option absent from most of the newer river cruise ships. Read More

Riverboating in Europe is becoming the new trend on waterways.

YNN, Albany – April 2, 2012

River cruises accommodate an intimate number of passengers, usually under 200, and always stay in sight of land, a plus in the safety department. Those are just two reasons why frequent cruiser June Spargo has sailed 62 times with Vantage. "The main reason is you get the opportunity to stop at small towns, villages that you would never see on a bus tour," says Spargo. Read More

Riverboating Helps Aging Boomers Make The Most Of The European Trips – March 26, 2012

Sailing as a media guest on the newly named River Discovery II, Vantage's chief operating officer, Bret Gordon, told me Europe is the place to be for their target market, baby boomers aged between 68 and 72."We recognize this type of traveler wants to see the world, but wants to do it in a style that is comfortable, not stressful," says Gordon. Read More

Hub Travel Operator Cruises Ahead

Boston Herald – March 25, 2012

Vantage Deluxe World Travel's upcoming 30th anniversary may prove a watershed moment. The international tour operator, with corporate headquarters in the Hub, is investing $120 million toward expanding its fleet of ships overseas, including building and launching a 442-foot cruise vessel that made its maiden voyage from Amsterdam on Friday. Read More

Dutch Shipbuilder Builds River Cruisers

Maritime Journal – March 21, 2012

Dutch shipbuilder Shipyard De Hoop has built a first generation river cruise vessel – the first in four for US tour operator Vantage Deluxe World Travel. The newly built 135m long River Discovery II has since made its way to Amsterdam where it was christened at the end of last week. Read More

Vantage finds success in direct-to-consumer business

Travel Weekly – March 20, 2012

It's not that Vantage Deluxe World Travel doesn't want agent business, but the company is doing well without it, said COO Bret Gordon onboard the company's new river cruise ship, River Discovery II. The Boston-based company is becoming a significant player in the river cruise market, and it is doing so with a largely direct-to-consumer model. Read More

River cruise operator Vantage christens new ship

USA Today – March 18, 2012

AMSTERDAM (March 18, 2012) -- Boston-based Vantage Deluxe World Travel today christened its first new river cruise ship in five years, the River Discovery II, in a dockside ceremony along Amsterdam's waterfront. One of the tour operator's most loyal customers, June Spargo, 85, served as godmother of the 176-passenger vessel, presiding over the breaking of a champagne bottle against the ship's hull. Spargo has taken 63 trips with the company. Read More

Vantage river ship has solo travelers in mind

Travel Weekly – March 19, 2012

AMSTERDAM — Boston-based Vantage Deluxe World Travel christened the 176-passenger River Discovery II here on Sunday. The vessel caters to solo travelers with single cabins, an option absent from most of the new river cruise ships being built today. Read More

Next stop for TV Diner: Holland

NECN - March 10, 2012

(TV Diner) - TV Diner has taken you to Italy twice, Peru, and Bermuda. Now we're going to take you to the rivers of Holland in a special cruise that's a grown part of the travel business. Read More