EXPERTS TO SERVE YOU, SHIP TO SHORE
During your cruise you’ll be well taken care of, including with daily briefings about upcoming ports conducted by your Cruise Director. Your Cruise Director is also the point person for coordinating social and cultural activities on the ship, and the person who will ensure that your experience is the best it can be. Lectures on your journey will be conducted by handpicked Resident Lecturers. To lead your included shore excursions, we’ve selected the best regional guides. If your program includes a land stay (or if you’ve chosen an optional extension), you’ll also enjoy the service of a Program Manager to steward your journey to its very end.
CRUISE DIRECTORS MAKE YOUR TRIP "SMOOTH SAILING"
Your Vantage trip will be led by a seasoned Cruise Director who will ensure 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.
It was by happenstance that British-born Gail landed in travel. While working in a small French hotel barge, the resident tour leader fell ill, so Gail stepped in at the last minute. “Even though it was really nerve-wracking that first time, I loved it,” she said. “Although I’ve done other jobs in travel, this is always my preferred position.” She now boasts more than 20 years in travel, including planning and development, but Gail loves leading Vantage travelers around the UK the most. “There’s something special about sharing the country of your birth with travelers,” she said. “I love introducing the varied cultures of the British Isles. For such a small place, it’s incredible just how different people are in each place we visit! Even if the distance between them is less than 100 miles, the customs, accents, and even the language can be nothing alike!”
Darko was born and currently lives in Zagreb, Croatia. He speaks three languages (Croatian, English, and Italian) and spent some time in Venice. He began to feel naturally drawn toward becoming a guide when she was studying art history in Zagreb, and has since visited 163 countries and lead tours in 70 of them! Of all of those destinations, the Mediterranean holds a special place in his heart. His goal for his travelers is that they get the full picture of each destination, including the culture, customs, gastronomy, language, nature, and local people. When he’s not leading tours, he spends his time fulfilling his own travel aspirations.
FROM START TO FINISH, PROGRAM MANAGERS ARE THERE
To ensure your fullest satisfaction, you’ll also enjoy the services of a dedicated Program Manager to coordinate shore activities, organize entertainment programs, and oversee operations, including embarkation and disembarkation. When you’re traveling on a pre- or post-trip extension, your Program Manager will also join you to make sure your experience is top-notch from start to finish.
Dino grew up during the conflict in former Yugoslavia (now Bosnia) and left the country for the first time in 1998, when he visited Budapest. It was there that he met a local guide who made such an impression that Dino fell in love with travel, storytelling, history, and the intersection of the three. “That experience made me think how I would love to make people feel the way I felt during that tour,” he recalled. A nationally recognized tour director, Dino holds a bachelor’s degree in history and is pursuing a master’s degree in tourism. “If you embrace life and enjoy it so much that you appreciate the sun on your skin, the raindrops on your forehead, the sharp wind on your cheekbones, the noise of towns, the sound of waves, the spray of waterfalls… It sounds poetic, I know, however this is what makes a traveler,” said Dino.
Before becoming a licensed guide, Fillippo was fascinated and inspired by guides for their knowledge and for being the true cultural ambassadors of their cities and countries. Fillippo is a certified tour guide in Norway and a certified tour manager and guide in Italy. Some of his favorite places to visit include Norway, Portugal, Morocco, and his native Italy. “I want people to know how is feel to be a local by showing them what local people do,” he said. Though today you can buy anything online, Filippo says magnets are always a great travel souvenir, and when Vantage travelers join him in Italy, he encourages them to buy handmade glass candies made on Murano island in Venice.
Getting paid to travel is the best gig — and Peter knows. “Sharing the wonders of a beautiful country is what made me become a guide. Being with people who are on their vacation is a wonderful job to do,” he said. After 9 years on a cruise ship, Peter visited 152 countries, including all of Europe, Antarctica, and Tahiti. But he longs to return to Norway the most. In fact, he lived there for a spell, guiding Northern Lights tours and falling in love with the “natural beauty of the country and the diversity of nature from south to north, as well as the Norwegian lifestyle and the importance of nature in harmony with humans.”
NEW! ENHANCED COMPLIMENTARY WORLDWIDE CONCIERGE SERVICE
Before your cruise, our worldwide Concierge is here to assist. If you have a special request or personal interest you’d like to pursue during your journey, let our worldwide Concierge work for you — and best of all, it’s complimentary for all travelers. If your cruise is still months away but you’d like to plan a party, track down a bit of your family’s heritage in one of your destinations, secure restaurant reservations, and beyond, we’ll get to planning early. Or, if you’re onboard and want to visit the spa, make hotel reservations, organize a pub crawl for family and friends, your onboard Destination Manager can make your travel dreams come true.
To request Concierge service prior to 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.
Originally from Bulgaria, Svetlyo has worked as a Vantage Destination Manager for years and loves helping travelers customize their experience in any port. Thanks to years of sailing Europe's rivers, Svetlyo possesses a deep regional knowledge of dozens of ports of call — and he loves leading bicycle tours and assisting guests with everything from finding the perfect gift in town to making suggestions on local street foods that can't be missed. A huge photography buff, Svetlyo is never shy about offering photography tips — or snapping the perfect photo for Vantage guests.
We’ve handpicked these regional experts to join you on your journey and oversee your historical and cultural enrichment specific to your destinations. Through them, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of major chapters in world history and other, in-depth subjects relevant to your travels.
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, English-speaking regional experts to lead your included excursions on shore. Their deep command of regional history will certainly enrich your viewing of important attractions. But these “insiders” go a step beyond, sharing insights on behind-the-scenes aspects of local culture that ordinary tours overlook. How do families in this area get by? What are some of the local legends? What do the decorations on a particular house mean? Your regional experts are eager to bring it all alive for you.