Around the World: The Ultimate Journey - 2017

USA • Indonesia • Singapore • Malaysia • Thailand • Dubai • South Africa • Argentina • Brazil • Peru
DATES & PRICES
Superior Luxury
Single Supplement: Call
Base prices are factored using double-occupancy rooms; supplemental fees may apply for those traveling independently.
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DAYS FROM $0
BEFORE YOU GO...
Packing suggestions, visa info, climate details & more— click here!
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SMALL GROUP SIZES!
Make more intimate discoveries in groups of just 24 travelers or less!
 

Before You Go

From money matters to packing tips, we’ve got all the information you need to prepare for your upcoming Vantage journey. Just click on an item below to read more about it.

Passports & Visas


Planning your trip

Tour trip will be here before you know it! Here's some information specific to the destinations you'll be visiting to help you prepare for your journey.

Travel Documentation

A passport is required for this trip. Your passport must be valid for at least six months after the scheduled return date of your vacation. Bring with you a photocopy of the pages of your passport that contain your personal information and extra passport photographs. These are useful in the event of loss.

Passport and Visa

The following information applies to U.S. citizens only. Those traveling on other than a U.S. passport must contact the embassies or consulates of the countries to be visited for further information and special requirements.
Country Passport Visa
United States N N
Indonesia Y N
Singapore Y N
Malaysia Y N
United Arab Emirates Y Y
Thailand Y N
South Africa Y N
Argentina Y N
Brazil Y Y
Peru Y N

IMPORTANT: A visa is required for entry into Brazil and the United Arab Emirates.

Please Note: Visa cost remains the same (whether they purchased at airport or in advance)—$20 per person

Indonesia: A visa is not required if you arrive in Indonesia via either the Jakarta Soekarno Hatta International or Bali Ngurah Rai International airport. However, you must possess a valid passport at least six months prior to the date of arrival in Indonesia and have a return boarding pass.

United Arab Emirates: Visa can be obtained upon arrival. Please ensure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months beyond your intended stay.

Brazil: A Brazilian visa is required prior to your arrival. Please refer to Generations Visa at www.genvisa.com/vantage for up-to-date requirements and application fees.

Non-U.S. Citizens or Passport Holders: It is your responsibility to contact the local embassies or consulates for requirements (or website), which may vary from above. Passport details need to be submitted to Vantage 120 days prior to departure so that train tickets may be issued.

Should the above requirements change, you will be notified in a mailing prior to departure. All visa, entry requirements, and fees are subject to change without advance notification by action of the government and port authorities. Vantage is not responsible for any additional charges resulting from such changes. For up-to-date information, please visit Generation Visa at www.genvisa.com/vantage

U.S. Customs Information

If you are traveling internationally, it is important to understand U.S. Customs regulations including required documents, rules for bringing back items, and duty-free exemption. Please click the link below to visit the U.S. Customs website and read their helpful booklet, "Know Before Yo Go." This publications is available online and as a printer-friendly "PDF" document.

View "Know Before You Go"
(Link opens new browser window.)


Gratuities

We realize that tipping can be confusing on a group tour, so we've included the following recommended guidelines for gratuities:

  • Included Meals: Gratuities are included
  • Outside Dining: Varies according to local customs; your Tour Director will advise
  • Local Guides: $2.00 - $3.00 per person per day for each
  • Local Drivers: $1.00 - $2.00 per person per day for each
  • Vantage Tour Director: $8.00 - $12.00 per person per day
  • Porterage: Included except in Customs areas

Vaccinations

At this time, vaccinations are not required for your tour; however, we advise that you check with your personal physician to verify your particular needs. For more information on health related issues while traveling overseas, contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by visiting http://www.cdc.gov/travel or calling toll free 1 (800) 232-4636. 

Climate/Time Zone


Climate

Use the chart below to get an overview of the average temperatures at your destination.


Average High/Low Temperature (Farenheit)

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Los Angeles H 65 66 68 70 73 76 82 82 81 77 73 68
L 48 49 50 53 56 58 62 63 61 58 53 50
Bali H 86 86 87 87 86 85 83 83 85 86 87 86
L 78 78 78 78 78 77 76 76 76 77 78 78
Singapore H 85 88 88 89 88 88 87 87 87 87 87 85
L 75 76 77 77 78 78 78 78 76 77 76 75
Bangkok H 89 90 92 94 92 91 90 90 89 89 88 87
L 71 75 78 80 80 80 78 78 77 77 74 70
Dubai H 73 75 81 90 99 100 104 106 100 95 88 79
L 57 59 63 68 75 79 84 86 81 73 66 61
Cape Town H 77 78 76 72 67 64 62 63 65 69 72 75
L 63 63 60 56 52 58 57 58 51 54 58 61
Kruger National Park H 82 82 80 78 77 73 73 75 78 78 80 82
L 64 64 62 57 48 42 42 46 51 57 60 62
Johannesburg H 77 75 74 69 66 60 61 65 71 73 74 76
L 60 59 58 53 48 42 42 46 51 54 56 59
Buenos Aires H 85 82 79 72 65 59 58 62 85 85 85 85
L 64 63 59 53 47 42 41 43 46 51 55 61
Iguassu Falls H 88 88 86 80 74 69 71 73 76 81 84 86
L 71 71 68 63 58 53 55 56 58 63 65 69
Lima H 79 80 80 76 72 69 67 66 67 69 72 76
L 68 69 69 66 63 61 60 60 59 61 63 66
Cuzco H 64 64 65 66 67 66 66 66 67 68 67 66
L 45 46 46 43 39 35 34 37 41 44 45 45

Time Differences

Country
Time Difference
Singapore +12 hours
Argentina +2 hours
Peru -1 hours
Thailand +11 hours
United Arab Emirates +8 hours
Malaysia +13 hours
Indonesia +16 hours
South Africa +6 hours
United States  
Note: The above times are based on Eastern Standard Time.

Money Matters


Country Unit of Currency  
Singapore Singapore dollar Get Exchange Rate
Argentina Argentine peso Get Exchange Rate
Peru nuevo sol Get Exchange Rate
Thailand baht Get Exchange Rate
Dubai dirham Get Exchange Rate
Malaysia ringgit Get Exchange Rate
Indonesia rupiah Get Exchange Rate
South Africa Rand Get Exchange Rate
United States USD Get Exchange Rate

An Argentinian entry fee of $160 per person for U.S. citizens has to be paid online before your arrival in Buenos Aires. Please visit https://reciprocidad.provincianet.com.ar and create an account. Once you have an account, pay the tax online with either a Mastercard, Amex, or Visa card. Be sure to print the receipt and carry it with your passport on your way to Argentina. A reminder to pay this reciprocal tax will be sent to you prior to your departure.

Travelers’ checks are not recommended, as they are difficult to exchange. Visa is the most widely accepted credit card, but credit cards attract an 8% commission unless you are using it for cash withdrawal (in Peruvian currency) from a bank. ATMs (Visa and Plus international debit systems are most widely recognized) and are the best way to extract money in Peru.We suggest you bring small bills. Be sure the bills are not torn or dirty; bills in poor condition won’t be accepted.

In Thailand credit cards are accepted at most hotels, big shops, and restaurants. We suggest to bring small USD cash to exchange to Thai baht for shopping at small vendors. Money can be changed at any exchange kiosk/bank/hotel cashier.

Basic Unit: Thai Baht (THB)
THB Notes: 10B (brown), 20B (green), 50B (blue), 100B (red), and 500B (purple)
THB Coins: There are 100 satang in 1 baht; coins include 25 satang and 50 satang pieces and baht in 1B, 5B, and 10B coins



Travelers checks are very difficult to exchange and US Dollars are not widely accepted, but can be exchanged. South African Rands are the most widely accepted currency. Banks and exchange offices are available in all cities, and you should save exchange receipts for when you convert back to U.S. dollars.

South Africa's Currency & Exchange Rate:

Travelers’ checks are very difficult to exchange and U.S. dollars are not widely accepted, but can be exchanged. South African rands are the most widely accepted currency. Banks and exchange offices are available in all cities, and you should save exchange receipts for when you convert back to U.S. dollars.

The unit of currency in South Africa is the rand, divided into 100 cents. Banknote and coin denominations are as follows:

  • Banknotes: 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 rand
  • Coins: 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents; 1, 2, and 5 rand

Thailand's Currency & Exchange Rate:

Credit cards are accepted at most hotels, big shops, and restaurants. We suggest you bring small USD cash to exchange into Thai baht for shopping at small vendors. Money can be changed at any exchange kiosk, bank, or hotel cashier.

The unit of currency in Thailand is the baht, divided into 100 satang. Banknote and coin denominations are as follows:

  • Banknotes: 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1,000 baht
  • Coins: 25 and 50 satang; 1, 2, 5, and 10 baht


Argentina's Currency & Exchange Rate:

The unit of currency in Argentina is the peso, divided into 100 centavos. Banknote and coin denominations are as follows:

  • Banknotes: 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 pesos
  • Coins: 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 centavos, 1 peso


Peru's Currency & Exchange Rate:

The unit of currency in Peru is the nuevo sol, divided into 100 centimos. Banknote and coin denominations are as follows:

  • Banknotes: 10, 20, 50 and 100
  • Coins: 1, 2 and 5 nuevos soles; 10, 20, and 50 centimos

Dubai Currency & Exchange Rate

The unit of currency in Dubai is the dirham, divided into 100 fil. Banknote and coin denominations are as follows:

  • Banknotes: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 dirham
  • Coins: 5, 10, 25, and 50 fil; 1 dirham

Packing Guidelines


What to Pack

You may find the packing information below helpful as you begin to prepare for your upcoming journey.

Electronic devices

Bring your iPad, Kindles, and/or smart phones. This way you will have access to city guides, post trip survey and trip information while on tour. This will also allow you to take pictures and communicate with friends and family easier.

Luggage Restrictions [top]

To help make your travel experience as smooth and simple as possible, Vantage recommends you limit your luggage to one large suitcase and one small carry-on bag per person. Most airlines now charge a fee for more than one suitcase. Domestic and international carriers currently restrict weight limitations to 50 pounds.

Travel Light [top]

Most travelers pack much more than they really need. We recommend that you start packing a few days before your trip, so you have time to remember everything that you need — and to decide what is essential and what is not. And don't forget to leave room for souvenirs and gifts you may purchase during your trip.
Besides the basic necessities and the items covered below, you'll want to pack sunglasses, a hat or visor, and sunscreen for daytime use. You might also want to bring a small alarm clock, pocket tissues, travel pack of soap powder, needle, thread, safety pins, and personal face cloth. In many countries, your washcloth is considered to be of intimate usage and is not provided by hotels.
Depending on your destination, you may also want to bring insect repellent (we recommend repellent with a high "deet" content). Binoculars are also handy when traveling to areas where flora and fauna may be observed.

Casual Dress [top]

Dress on tour is generally casual and smart casual. Gentlemen may wish to bring a sport jacket. Formal clothing is not necessary, unless you are traveling on an ocean cruise that has formal nights, or on one of our popular President's trips. If you are traveling on an ocean cruise please refer to the attire information for your particular cruise line. Your travel wardrobe should be planned according to the climate of the areas you will be visiting and the length of your stay. Average high and low temperatures for the destinations visited on each Vantage Tour are listed under "Climate". A HELPFUL HINT — plan to avail yourself of the laundry and valet services available at an additional fee.

Warm Clothes [top]

Weather is never predictable so be sure to be prepared for just about anything. You'll want to take along a sweater or jacket for cool evenings. It's a good idea to dress in layers, which will allow you to adjust to changes in temperature.

Rain Gear [top]

We suggest a practical raincoat or waterproof shell with a hood, and/or a fold-up umbrella. The shell could also be worn with other layers in lower temperatures.

Good Walking Shoes [top]

One of the most important items you'll need for any vacation is, of course, comfortable walking shoes for touring. We suggest you refrain from purchasing new walking shoes just prior to departure — it's best to wear a broken-in pair that you know are comfortable.

Pool and Sauna Apparel [top]

On many programs, some accommodations will feature pools. So if you plan to use them, bring along a swimsuit and pool slippers.

Cameras and Film [top]

Be sure to test the working order of your camera before you leave home, and to insure your equipment against loss and damage. It is also important to take along an ample supply of film. Film can be expensive and specific kinds of film may not be available in certain areas. Some airport x-ray equipment may harm valuable film. For utmost protection, film should be packed separately in hand luggage. Also, be sure to bring at least one extra battery for your camera.
If you are using a digital camera, check on how many images you can take on your memory card at the resolution you are using. You may wish to bring along an extra memory card so you will not run out of memory half way through the trip. Bring along the battery charger, but remember you may need a voltage converter. The alternative is to carry a spare charged battery with you.

Valuables [top]

Please remember that it is not wise to bring valuables with you when you travel. If you decide to do so, please carry them on your person when flying. Make sure to use hotel or ship safe deposit boxes or safes to ensure the safety of possessions that you may want to have with you.

What to Leave Behind [top]

Do not pack aerosol cans; they tend to leak during air travel. Also avoid packing glass bottles; use plastic containers instead. Leave at home any credit cards and checkbooks that you don't anticipate using on your trip; valuable jewelry; brand-new shoes (instead pack your most comfortable walking shoes); and, in general, anything that you would hate to lose.

Electric Current [top]

If you wish to take along an electric iron, razor, or hair dryer, be sure they are adaptable to different currents, volts, and cycles. Most appliances will require an adapter plug and/or an electrical converter/transformer which are available for purchase at most department stores or luggage shops. These kits are available for electrical settings in countries outside the United States. Electric irons are not allowed on Vantage riverboats.

Flight Information


Flight Information

When planning your flights, Vantage considers each airline's reputation for quality, service, and routing options to the destination. Vantage selects flights that both serve our groups' needs and ensure the best balance of quality and cost. Our flight team members will do their utmost to select flights that will get you to your destination as quickly and easily as possible.

First and Business Class Airfare Upgrades
Many of our programs offer first and/or Business Class upgrades, for more information, please visit our FlightChoice page.

Vantage encourages you to check current airport security regulations well in advance of travel, as rules may have changed since your last trip. For the latest information on airline security guidelines and boarding procedures, please visit the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) web site.

While on Tour


While on Tour

The information below applies in general to Vantage escorted land tours. To learn more about our full line of escorted land tours, click here.

Briefing sessions

At the beginning of your tour, a Vantage Tour Director will conduct an informative briefing concerning the daily schedule, local customs, and the included features of your tour. It is strongly advised that you attend this briefing.

Your Health & Comfort

Vantage wants you to have a safe, healthy, and happy journey. Our tours are planned to combine just the right amount of activity and leisure. For personal medical attention while on tour, your Vantage Tour 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

Pace of the Tour

Vantage Tours are planned to provide a well-balanced mix of activities and free time. Certain tours, however, may prove to be more challenging than others, particularly for passengers with physical limitations.

Passengers with physical difficulties or concerns about the pace of the tour should contact their Vantage Customer Relations Representative for tips on which tours best suit their individual needs and abilities. See also Medical Issues, below.

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.

Medical Issues

Click here to read important information about travelers with a physical, emotional, or mental condition 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 invoice.

Hotels

Vantage makes every effort to reserve only hotels that offer well-appointed rooms and a central 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. You can check descriptions of the hotels for your chosen trip under Accommodations on the website for that trip.

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 theHotel & 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, 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.

Religious Services

At Vantage, we count individuals from all walks of life and all religious denominations among our customers. Although we do not offer religious services on our travel programs, services may be available in the cities and towns you visit while on tour. Your Vantage Tour 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.

Shopping

Shopping for local merchandise is always a part of the travel experience. We are aware that local guides do recommend shops on their tours. Always keep in mind that a purchase is between the buyer and the seller. Always keep receipts and credit card copies. Shipping should always include insurance in the event of breakage. Iit is best to check with your credit card issuer for any insurance that may be included when you use your card.

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.

Optional Excursions

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 tours 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.

Taxes

All hotel taxes and hotel service charges are included in the tour price. If airport arrival and departure taxes apply, they are payable in cash at the airports and are not included.

Transfers

All transfers between airport and hotel/pier are included in conjunction with Vantage air and tour packages and will be via private transportation. Travelers purchasing their own airline tickets will be responsible for their own transfers to and from the airport/hotel/pier based on the itinerary.

Travel Itinerary

Each Vantage Escorted Land Tour is planned with two criteria in mind: It must be to 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 for each travel destination 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 Tour Director or local representative will notify you.

Your Vantage Tour Director/Local Representative

During your tour you'll be accompanied on tour by an experienced Vantage Tour Director. You will also benefit from the insights of expert Local Representatives and tour guides. Both your Tour Director and Local Representative can provide suggestions on the best restaurants, shops, and local sights; will help coordinate optional tours and excursions; and assist in any manner possible.

Vantage Hospitality Desk

For your convenience, a Vantage Hospitality Desk will be available daily during scheduled hours at many of the hotels on your itinerary (staffed by an experienced team of local travel professionals or by your Vantage Tour Director). The desk hours vary, depending on your daily scheduling. Tour members will be advised of the desk hours during the briefing held upon arrival at most hotels.

Tipping

We include tipping for all meals that are included in your package and all porterage. Tips are not included for your Vantage Program Manager, local guides and drivers, or any maids or other personnel in hotels, ships or trains.


Payment Information


What does my Reservation Deposit Guarantee?

Payment of your initial deposit holds your spot on your journey. However, it does not guarantee the price of your trip. Participation in our Smart Pay Discount Plan can save you up to 10% on your Vantage trip AND it ensures that the land, cruise, and international airfare portions of your trip will not increase. This includes 100% guaranteed protection against most additional taxes (does not include entry fees or arrival taxes), fuel surcharges, and currency fluctuations, from the moment you pay in full under the terms of Vantage's SmartPay Discount Plan. If you do not participate in our SmartPay Discount Plan, all prices are subject to change.

When is my Final Payment due?

Final payments are due 90-120 days prior to departure, depending upon the program.

Can I extend my final payment due date?

Unfortunately, we are unable to extend any final payment due dates because of our vendor contractual obligations.

What is an E-Check?

ECheck is a commonly used term to refer to an online payment method via electronic check from your bank account.

What are the benefits of paying via E-Check?

Paying by E-Check is fast, easy and 100% secure – and there is no fee involved. Plus, paying by E-Check with our SmartPay Discount Program, you can realize hundreds of dollars in savings right away. When you compare those savings to the frequent flyer miles you might earn when you pay by credit card, you come out on top for two reasons: first, you enjoy your savings right away, whereas frequent flyer miles need to be accumulated over time before you cash them in; second, frequent flyer miles have restrictions of usage.

How do I make payments via an E-Check?

It's easy to set up E-Checking on My Account. Have your checkbook handy and simply go to the Make a Payment screen and follow the instructions provided. Please note that E-Check payments appear on your invoice immediately but take 2-3 business days for your bank to process.

What is the SmartPay Discount Plan?

The SmartPay Discount PlanSM allows our travelers to receive a discount by paying for their trip in full before their final payment due date. The further in advance of the final payment date you pay, the greater the discount. Just as important, you’ll guarantee your price against price increases resulting from currency fluctuations, fuel costs, and other unanticipated occurrences.

How can I take advantage of your SmartPay Discount Plan?

You can only take advantage of our SmartPay Discount PlanSM when paying by E-Check. Paying by E-Check is fast, easy and 100% secure – and there is no fee involved. All you need is your checking account number and bank routing number, both of which are printed on your checks. 50% of your trip’s total cost must be paid by check. Payments made inside of 60 days prior to departure will not qualify.

Can I pay by credit card and still take advantage of your SmartPay Discount Plan?

While we do accept credit card payments, you can only take advantage of our SmartPay Discount PlanSM when paying by E-Check, unless part of your payment is made by credit card and at least 50% of your total payment is paid by E-Check.

How do I redeem my Vantage Credit Voucher?

Vantage credit vouchers should be mailed once you receive your first invoice. Any overpayment that results from the credit voucher will be refunded to you, if applicable.

How do I cancel my trip and how long will it take for me to receive a refund?

If you must cancel your trip, you should contact our Customer Service department. Refund requests must be made in writing – indicating the reason for cancellation – and received by the respective final payment due date to avoid additional cancellation charges.

Vantage realizes that most people who cancel their reservations do so out of real necessity. Nevertheless, there is a non-refundable administrative fee of $300 per person for each program you cancel. This low fee covers only our costs of reservation maintenance or cancellation.

Payments made to your credit card will be refunded as a credit to that card. Payments made by check will be refunded by check. Payments paid by electronic check will be refunded electronically. Please allow 35 days for refunds to be manually verified and processed by our accounting department. Please refer to the Tour Participation Agreement for your program's cancellation fee schedule.

Why does it take just one day to charge my credit card at the time of booking but 30 days to refund it in the event of cancellation?

After you book a trip with us, we process charges within 24 hours in order to hold and confirm your reservation quickly for you. Because refunds are processed manually by our accounting department, we require a 30-day processing period to assure utmost accuracy.

I was just reviewing my invoice online and noticed a discrepancy. What should I do?

Please contact us and we will attempt to resolve the situation as soon as possible. To help expedite matters, you should print out your invoice and have it handy when you contact us.

Contact Vantage

CALL 1-800-848-5773

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