While on Tour
The information below applies in general to Vantage Small Ship cruises. To learn more about our exclusive Vantage Chartered Ships, click here.
Although everything is planned well in advance of your departure, the day-by-day itinerary is subject to change depending on local conditions. If any significant changes occur in advance of your departure, Vantage will notify you by phone or by mail. If changes occur while on your trip, your Vantage Cruise Director or local representative will notify you.
At the beginning of your trip, a Vantage Cruise Director will conduct an informative briefing concerning the daily schedule, local customs, included features of your tour, and your ship (if applicable). Briefings will also be held at the beginning of any pre- or post-trip extension and prior to arrival at most ports. To get the most out of your tour, you should plan to attend each briefing.
Extending Your Trip
Vantage offers specially arranged pre- and post-extensions on many of our journeys. See specific trip for details.
Additionally, if you would like to do some exploring on your own, either before or after your cruise, Vantage can help arrange the details. In most cases, your flights can be adjusted for an earlier arrival date or a later return date. A non-refundable administrative fee will be assessed, plus any additional costs that may apply to the air ticket and hotel. Transfers to and from your hotel are not included when traveling independent of a Vantage group. Please ask a Vantage Sales Representative for additional details. Note also that some airline contracts may exclude changes to routing.
NOTE: Should you wish to make any changes to your plans to extend your trip, please do so no later than 60 days prior to your scheduled date of departure. Change and cancellation penalties apply to changes made after airline tickets have been issued.
Your Health & Comfort
Vantage wants you to have a safe, healthy, and happy journey. Our small ship cruisetours are planned to combine just the right amount of activity and leisure.
For personal medical attention while on your small ship cruisetour, your Cruise Director can refer you to reliable physicians in the cities on your tour.
Please note that Medicare and U.S health insurance are generally not accepted in foreign destinations. If you have an insurance claim, it should be made upon your return to the USA and filed through your health insurance provider or through the Vantage Travel Protection Plan if you have purchased it. Keep relevant receipts and doctors' reports for processing your claim.
Jet Lag Precautions
When you cross several time zones to reach your destination, you often lose many hours of regular sleep. Upon arrival your body must quickly adjust to new sleeping and eating patterns. The result is jet lag. Its symptoms may include fatigue, irritability, and vague disorientation. You cannot completely avoid jet lag but you can minimize it. Here's how:
- Try to sleep on overnight flights
- Avoid heavy eating and drinking caffeine or alcoholic beverages right before — and during — your flight
- Drink plenty of water and/or fruit juice while flying
- Try to stay awake your first day until after dinner
Your Personal Safety
Please keep in mind that in any tourist destination, you need to be aware of your surroundings. We recommend that you use a money protector that can be worn around your neck. Flashy jewelry should be left at home. Never place your camera or purse down, or hang it on the back of your chair. Although incidents of theft and pickpocketing while on tour are rare, it is important to be cautious and aware.
Click here to read important information about travelers with physical, emotional, or mental conditions that may require professional attention or the use of special equipment. "Medical Issues" information also appears in the "Tour Participation Agreement - Terms and Conditions" bound into Vantage catalogs and printed on the back of your Vantage invoice.
If your Vantage cruisetour includes a stay in a hotel, please note that Vantage makes every effort to reserve only hotels that offer well-appointed rooms and a convenient location. We remind you that quality of accommodations may vary from destination to destination. Vantage strives to provide the best hotels available that meet our standards of quality.
How We Rate Our Hotels
While some tour companies devise their own ratings systems (based on their particular standards), Vantage ranks hotels based on the industry-accepted classifications published by the Hotel & Travel Index - the travel industry standard.
Deluxe/Moderate Deluxe ***** Outstanding accommodations in every way, offering superior service, facilities, and location.
Superior First-Class ****+ Above average accommodations, with many special amenities, including more restaurants, shops, and usually a fitness center.
First-Class/Moderate First-Class **** Comfortable, well-equipped standard rooms with private bath and attractive public areas and amenities.
Please Note: In some areas where the hotels aren't rated, it's often due to the fact that the hotel may be too new, too remote, or too small. However, the hotel where you stay has been inspected and approved by Vantage personnel.
Although we do not offer religious services during our trips, services may be available in the cities and towns you visit during your small ship cruise. Your Vantage Cruise Director can advise you when religious services are available. Please keep in mind that not all religious denominations have a presence in every travel destination. We cannot guarantee the availability of religious services.
In general, always keep receipts and credit card copies. Shipping should always include insurance in the event of breakage. Some credit cards may include insurance protection for purchases, but it is best to check with your card issuer for any insurance that may be included before you go.
Sightseeing & Cultural Connections
Vantage offers a variety of included sightseeing tours and special cultural events to enrich your travel experience and bring you "closer to the world." Our tours are specially designed for Vantage travelers. They let you feel the atmosphere, gain a cultural understanding, and become a part of the area you are visiting. They include all transportation and the services of expert local guides.
Vantage makes every effort to provide the right balance of both included activities and time for exploring on your own. We've found, however, that many of our passengers prefer an additional guided activity in lieu of free time. For that reason, some of our journeys may include a limited number of optional tours and activities, which you may choose to take at a moderate fee. In no case do we replace an included sightseeing tour with an optional tour. Optional tours are strictly voluntary, providing you with the opportunity to visit an attraction that you may not see otherwise.
If you have purchased your flights from Vantage, roundtrip transfers between the airport and your hotel or your cruise ship’s pier are included. Vantage pre-arranges transfers either via a private transportation company and/or hotel airport shuttles.
If you have not purchased your airfare from Vantage, you may still purchase round-trip international airport transfers to and from your base tour ship or hotel for $100 per person. One-way transfers for pre- and post-trip extensions are also available. Call 1-888-982-6824 for details.
Otherwise, you will be responsible for arranging your own airport transfers. Bear in mind that hotel check-in times vary and, depending upon your flight arrival, your hotel may not be available for early check-in.
Each Vantage journey is planned with two criteria in mind: It must be an interesting destination and the tour must offer good quality at an exceptional value.
Although everything is planned well in advance of your departure, our ultimate goal is to ensure that each departure is enjoyable, interesting, and safe. Therefore, the day-by-day itinerary provided is subject to change depending upon local conditions. If any significant changes occur in advance of your departure, Vantage will notify you by phone or by mail. If changes occur while on tour, your Vantage Cruise Director or local representative will notify you.
Your Vantage Team
During your small ship cruise, you’ll be accompanied by an experienced English-speaking Vantage Cruise Director. He or she will manage the logistics of your trip, and provide the insider knowledge that can add so much to your experience. In most cases, your Cruise Director will lead your guided sightseeing tours, or be supported by English-speaking local guides.
Vantage Hospitality Desk
For your convenience, a Vantage Hospitality Desk will be available on board ship and at many of the hotels on your itinerary (staffed by an experienced local travel professional or by your Vantage Cruise Director). The desk hours vary, depending on your daily scheduling. Tour members will be advised of the desk hours during daily briefings.