EXPERTS TO SERVE YOU, SHIP TO SHORE
During your cruise you’ll be well taken of. Your Cruise Director will provide briefings about upcoming ports, coordinate social and cultural activities on board ship, and generally make sure that your experience is the best it can be. Your onboard Concierge can provide expert advice and assist with special requests, be it on-shore restaurant reservations to spa appointments to event tickets and more. And to guide your included shore excursions, we’ve selected the best regional experts. If your program includes a land stay (or if you have chosen an optional extension), you will also enjoy the services of a City Host at your hotel, who can help you plan your exploration.
CRUISE DIRECTORS MAKE YOUR TRIP "SMOOTH SAILING"
Your Vantage river cruise will be led by a seasoned Cruise Director whose job it is to see to your comfort and satisfaction. Think of him or her as your onboard “host,” the person to turn to with questions about your itinerary, updates on the day’s activities, reservations for optional tours, and so much more.
Renata, born in Novi Sad, Serbia, says that becoming a Cruise Director is one of the most rewarding and exhilarating ways to see the world and learn about a country’s history while sharing your love of travel with people just like you. She stresses that you can’t do this job if you don’t like people: “You have to love and care about people, enjoy their company, and get on with everyone. That is the nature of the job.” In her free time, Renata likes to read and learn more about the places she visits. For her, “work” means being part of someone’s happiest holiday memories, and she works hard to provide her travelers with a memorable journey.
NEW! ENHANCED COMPLIMENTARY WORLDWIDE CONCIERGE SERVICE
If you have a special request or personal interest you’d like to pursue during your journey, your Vantage Concierge is here to help. Even better, this new and complimentary service is available to all travelers — no matter what cabin category or flight class you’ve reserved (making us the best among other deluxe travel companies!).
Whether you want to plan an anniversary party, track down a bit of your family’s heritage in China, secure restaurant reservations in Paris, or organize an intimate pub crawl for your multigenerational group of family and friends in Ireland, our Concierge service can make your travel dreams come true.
Plus, Concierge service is available before or during your journey. Simply log in to MyPortfolio, submit a pre-trip request to Concierge@vantagetravel.com, or call 1-888-982-6824 and you'll have your answer from our Concierge within two business days. Travelers on our European river ships can also stop by the Concierge Desk (located in your ship’s lobby) to make a request during your journey; for land adventures and small ship cruises, your Adventure Leader or Cruise Director doubles as your onboard Concierge.
GET THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM LOCAL LECTURERS
"Musical Vienna" with Professor Edward Kudlak
Welcome to the city of Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Mahler, Bruckner, Schonberg, and so many others! More than any other city on Earth, Vienna boasts a vast classical music heritage, and Professor Edward Kudlak is the ideal host to enhance your appreciation of it. Born in Montreal, he studied at both McGill University and the Vienna Academy of Music before becoming concertmaster for the Academy Orchestra, Haydn Orchestra, and Vienna Baroque Ensemble. He was first violin for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, then joined the Vienna State Opera Orchestra and Vienna Philharmonic. Professor Kudlak is widely recorded, has founded several chamber groups, and has received many awards, among them the Mozart Interpretation Prize, and the Distinguished Service Medal from both the city of Salzburg and the Republic of Austria.
MEET THE CAPTAINS
The Wachau Valley is known for much more than its rolling hills, fortresses, and charming vineyards — the picturesque banks of the Danube inspired Captain Peter Schmidt from a very early age growing up in Austria. After finishing secondary school, he began an apprenticeship as a sailor at one of the country’s largest docks in Vienna, and then worked as a sailor on several ships and routes along the Danube.
Capt. Schmidt has been navigating the waters of Europe as a certified captain since 2009. “I’m fascinated by the water and wonderful landscapes along the rivers,” he says. “On Vantage cruises, I appreciate the family atmosphere on board and the contact I have with every passenger. At the end of a journey guests often become friends — I can’t image life without these special connections!”
When he’s not navigating, Capt. Schmidt enjoys exploring the cities where he’s sailing, and learning about new cultures, he says.
Chef Stefan Vasile Florin
If you ask Stefan Vasile Florin to sum up his love of cooking, one theme runs through his every word: passion. Stefan has been cooking with passion since 1999 when he began his culinary training. He brought his skills in traditional and international styles of cooking to a 5-star hotel in Bucharest, where he expanded his knowledge and refined his craft. “My every intention is to cook with passion and make the guest want to come back for more,” he says. “For that, you need a strong team that works together seamlessly and shares the same commitment.” One experience that tapped into that passion occurred in a Bucharest fine dining establishment specializing in Asian cuisine. Diners were able to choose their own fresh fish from an aquarium and watch as he procured the “locally sourced” food and prepared their meal. It provided a lesson in the importance of fresh ingredients that he carries with him as chef on the River Splendor. “I love having the opportunity to turn fresh quality products into creative, innovative, and delicious dishes,” he says.
View our sample dinner menu
REGIONAL EXPERTS IN EACH PORT
No one knows a destination better than an insider, so in addition to your Cruise Director, you’ll enjoy the services of experienced regional experts in select ports during your included tours. Their deep command of regional history will certainly enrich your viewing of important attractions. But our “insiders” go a step beyond, sharing insights on behind-the-scenes aspects of local culture that ordinary tours usually overlook. How do families on this island get by? Why are local fishing boats painted a certain color? What is the most popular local dish? Your regional expert is eager to bring it all alive for you — in fluent English.