Henry Lewis founded Vantage Deluxe World Travel in 1983 to provide a better choice for groups of adults looking for deluxe experiences and good value in a vacation. In 1996 the company offered European river cruises, and in 2011 their offerings expanded to include parts of Asia and people-to-people cultural tours in Cuba. Guests traveling with Vantage can now visit over 80 countries on all seven continents, and to this day Henry Lewis still oversees his family-owned travel business.
How Many Passengers: From 56 to 176 passengers.
Personality: The line’s deluxe river ships are specifically designed for the American guest, and have a modern, comfortable, and elegant feel. Some spaces have muted color palettes, and others feature rich tones that aren’t overpowering.
Fellow Passengers: Vantage markets their cruises to well-traveled, older guests ages 50+. Guests will also find a lot of solo fellow passengers, as the line features solo cabins which is unusual for a river cruise line. Most guests are American.
Cabins: Over 70 percent of the cabins on each ship feature a French balcony, and each ship includes solo cabins, too. Rooms are modern and elegant, and even the non-balcony cabins include an outside window. They feature flat-screen televisions, marble-covered bathrooms, and self-defogging mirrors.
Dining Experience: Meals are one sitting and open seating. The onboard chefs are European-trained, and offer American dishes as well as regionally-inspired choices. Lunch and dinner is served by the waitstaff, but those who prefer a light buffet can opt for the 3 meals/day buffet in the Captain’s Club area at the back of the ship. If the weather is nice, there also might be an evening barbecue on the rear deck.
Amenities: local musicians, singers, folk dancers, lecturers, craftsmen, and artists all come onboard at various times to entertain guests or give them information on local culture and customs. Ships also feature free wifi, an on-demand movie library, fitness room, access to US television channels, and panoramic lounges and sun decks.
Best For: Older couples, solo travelers, English-speaking guests.
Included Alcohol: wine and beer with dinner
Where They Go: the Rhône, Saône, Seine, Rhine, Danube, Main, and Moselle rivers with their own fleet, and other parts of the world with either their larger non-river ships and charters, or chartered riverboats.
Contributor: Sarah Bretz