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Our story


Vantage's exclusive Cultural Connections give you the most intimate views of local culture.

The joy of travel is enhanced when discoveries are shared, and it’s always been one of the bedrocks of Vantage Deluxe World Travel. Founded in 1983 by Henry Lewis to provide a better choice for groups of adult travelers looking for deluxe accommodations and great value, Vantage has since helped more than 1 million people traveling independently or in groups to create lasting memories.

With a 5-star river cruise ship fleet—including the MS River Voyager, launched in March 2016—Vantage has earned a loyal repeat customer base and owns approximately 5% of the European river cruise market. Each of our deluxe ships feature just 134-176 passengers, which makes for an intimate and enriching travel experience, as does our regional experts’ relationships with local vendors. The savings from our worldwide offices in Budapest, China, Croatia, South Africa, and South America are passed along to consumers for the best value. Plus, we have exclusive relationships with other deluxe operators to run our tours on the brand-new for 2017 126-person Duoro Serenity in Portugal, and the 78-traveler Frederic Chopin on the Elbe River in Germany. Vantage also offers a breadth of diverse experiences around the world, including Small Ship Cruise Tours in such destinations as Greece, Asia, and Antarctica; and an exciting new brand launched in 2016, Vantage Adventures. Featuring active, small-group adventures designed to bring you closer to nature and enjoy authentic cultural experiences, trips include African safaris, traveling via Zodiac boat in Antarctica, learning about art and music in Cuba, and much more.

Making travelers’ journeys all the more unforgettable is Vantage’s worldwide team of local, regional experts. Adventure Leaders and Cruise Directors guide your discoveries and show you the iconic sites of a destination while also introducing you to unexpected gems. With an incredible amount of pre- and post-trip extension choices, in addition to over 100 optional tours, Vantage offers travelers myriad options to enhance and customize their trips. So if you’re into just relaxing on the upper deck or want to get out and bike along a scenic river path in such destinations as Holland or France, Vantage has choices for you—all at the best value!


Through the Years: How We Became the Industry Leader

1983: We begin offering the best value in deluxe travel to affinity groups, including teachers' associations, alumni associations, and banks, with initial departures to Australia and New Zealand in the fall of 1983.

1984: Opening our office on Cypress Street in Brookline, we add departures to America's magnificent National Parks.

1985: Responding to popular demand, we offer tours and cruises to the general public.

1996: We partner with established European river cruise companies and begin sailing Europe's great waterways.

1999-2004: In the same year that we open our World Headquarters in Boston's historic Bulfinch Triangle, we launch our own Vantage European Deluxe river fleet with the ms River Navigator, creating an experience tailored for the American traveler. Over the next five years, we expand our fleet with the ms River Odyssey, ms River Explorer, and the first ms River Discovery.

2005: The Henry R. Lewis Foundation is established to support organizations that provide safe havens, skills training, and intervention for teens at risk, including the West End House.

2011: We expand our river cruise offerings to the Mekong River in Cambodia and Vietnam, and the Irrawaddy River in Burma, aboard small, privately chartered river vessels. Plus, in response to demand, Vantage opens Cuba to our travelers with exclusive people-to-people cultural tours.

Spring 2012-13: An all-new Vantage fleet sets a new standard for Deluxe European river cruising for the American traveler, with ms River Discovery II, ms Venture and ms Splendor.

2013: We launch our Vantage Heroes Cruises, special departures carrying Wounded Warriors, Iraq-Afghanistan war veterans, Gold Star military family members, victims and first responders of the Boston Marathon bombings, and families of fallen firefighters.

2014-2015: We extend our privately chartered Asian river cruise choices with our first Ganges River cruise. Soon after, we add the yachts Wild Kingdom, offered as private charter only, and La Perla, a 27-passenger luxury vessel cruising the Adriatic.

2014: Vantage Deluxe World Travel is named among top ten river cruise companies in Condé Nast Traveler 2014 Readers' Choice Awards and awarded the Silver Medal for Cruise/Overall/River Cruising in the prestigious Travel Weekly Magellan Awards.

2015: Martha's Bike Shop on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, becomes part of the Vantage family.

2015: Extending Vantage journeys to other English-speaking travelers, we form strategic partnerships with established travel agencies in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

Spring 2016: Our first six-star river vessel, the ms River Voyager, joins our four five-star vessels, including the newly refurbished ms River Navigator. We also begin offering cruises in the United States, starting with a 4-star journey on the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes.

After three decades of growth, we now send travelers to more than 80 countries on all seven continents on more than 60 Memorable Journeys overseen by offices all over the world. Travelers are immersed in the culture of their destinations via intimate experiences such as home-hosted meals, insightful lectures, and private performances. Every journey is led by a local Program Manager whose insider's knowledge enhances each trip immeasurably.

More than 450,000 travelers have discovered the savings made possible because we negotiate directly with hotels, airlines, and other travel partners and pass savings of as much as 20%–30% on to you. We invite you to become part of our story and take advantage of the best value in deluxe river & small ship cruises. When you do, you'll discover that we've found lots of ways for you to save including opportunities to refer a friend, lock in your price with Smart Pay, ensure your investment with Travel Protection, and share the value with Groups of Family & Friends.

More travelers than ever are discovering that deluxe travel at the best value is not a dream but a reality, the passion that drives us every single day.

Our most popular Vantage Memorable Journeys