Vantage celebrates its 40th anniversary this year!
Come aboard Vantage Deluxe World Travel's 5-star Ocean Explorer for a multifaceted small ship cruise along the eastern coast of North America as you journey from Boston’s Revolutionary-era sites to the crystalline waters of The Bahamas.
Enjoy 17 included features and Cultural Discoveries throughout this enchanting small ship cruise. Discover the quirky charm of Provincetown on Cape Cod, experience the coveted seaside resort of Martha’s Vineyard, and see the opulent Gilded Age mansions of Newport. Plus, you’ll visit charming Charleston, voted the “world’s best city” by readers of Travel + Leisure for six years in a row.
All throughout your journey, you’ll be pampered by the attentive onboard service and luxury amenities found aboard the Ocean Explorer. This elegant small ship seamlessly blends luxury cruising and meaningful cultural experiences. While certain ports may require tendering to and from the ship, the small size of our vessel allows our guests access to exclusive ports, less queuing, and more time to spend ashore in each destination. During your ocean journey, you may be required to have the physical agility to maneuver on and off of tenders.
Depart home and arrive in Boston, Massachusetts
Welcome to Boston. If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a representative will meet you and arrange transfer to your centrally located hotel. Settle in and relax, or perhaps do some exploring on your own. Maybe you’ll venture across the river to Charlestown to see the historic Bunker Hill monument, or come aboard the USS Constitution or “Old Ironsides,” the world’s oldest commissioned naval vessel still afloat. You might browse Faneuil Hall (aka Quincy Market), a bustling pedestrian marketplace with colonial roots and a tempting food hall. Just make sure you leave some room for our Welcome Dinner tonight back at the hotel.
Enjoy Boston at your leisure
Following breakfast at your hotel, you’ll have a full day at leisure to explore Boston at your own pace.
Destination Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional excursion. Discover Lexington and Concord, the battleground where the “shot heard round the world” officially triggered the American Revolution. Learn more
Discover Lexington and Concord, the battleground where the “shot heard round the world” officially triggered the American Revolution. Concord is also famous for its literary history, and was the home of the American Transcendentalist movement spearheaded by Ralph Waldo Emerson. You will stand where the opening shots of the American Revolutionary War were fired and travel along the Battle Road Trail that Paul Revere followed during his famous midnight ride. Walk on the Old North Bridge, a replica of the wooden bridge where militiamen beat back the British forces, and view the outsides of the gracious, historic homes where Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, and others established one of America’s most formative, 19th-century intellectual circles.
Due to high call volume, we recommend you visit MyPortfolio to book this Destination Enhancement. Don’t wait — these optional experiences are limited to a select number of guests and are selling out fast!
Discover the best of Boston and embark the Ocean Explorer
The heart of Boston is quite compact, but it packs a big wallop in terms of its cultural, historic, and touristic attractions, even compared to much larger cities. Boston has been called a “city of neighborhoods,” and on your city tour today you’ll see some of its most charming locales.
Riding across town, you’ll pass Copley Square, ringed by architectural jewels like Trinity Church, the Boston Public Library, and the Old South Church. Continue riding through the Back Bay and see trendy Newbury Street, the Public Gardens, Boston Common, and Beacon Hill, crowned by the gold-domed, Bulfinch-designed Massachusetts State House. From here you’ll head to the Old North Church, where Paul Revere hung two lanterns in the steeple to signal that the British were coming. It sits in the middle of the North End, Boston’s historic Italian neighborhood. Take a little time to walk around and enjoy its sights, sounds, smells, and (of course) tastes. From here you’ll cross the Charles River and head across Cambridge to Harvard Square, where you’ll have time to walk around and see the campus and surrounding commercial center of America’s oldest and most prestigious university.
Your tour will conclude at the pier, where you will embark the Ocean Explorer and settle into your sumptuous stateroom. This evening, you’ll sit in on an informative port talk and savor a delicious Welcome Dinner.
Explore Cape Cod and ride the trolley around Provincetown
Provincetown (or “P-Town,” as locals call it) was the fertile fishing ground where the Pilgrims first dropped anchor before settling in Plymouth. Set at the curving tip of Cape Cod, it still is an important fishing community that over the years has been known for its spectacular beaches and tolerant, live-and-let-live vibe. For this reason, it has been a longtime resort, artists’ colony, and popular summer haven for the LGBTQ community. Famous residents have included Tennessee Williams, Norman Mailer, Eugene O’Neill, Kurt Vonnegut, Lee Krasner, Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Julie Harris, Anthony Bourdain, and many more. You’ll get acquainted during this morning’s tour.
A tender will transport you to shore for an old-fashioned trolley to ride around the town. You’ll see the impressive Town Library, which is housed in an old, Italianate-style church built in 1860 and which also includes the Heritage Museum. At the Pilgrim Monument, you can admire the country’s tallest granite building, a 252-foot-high tower that offers commanding sea views. The museum at its base commemorates the pilgrims’ five-week sojourn here, during which time they drew up the Mayflower Compact that codified the first laws of the new colony.
After lunch, you will have free time to explore on your own. Poke around the eclectic shops and art galleries, or perhaps enjoy the bustling harbor scene at MacMillan Pier.
See the legendary summer resort of Martha’s Vineyard
Beautiful Martha’s Vineyard is famous as an affluent summer resort, and you can certainly do some celebrity-watching here. But your eyes will also be drawn to the sweeping natural beauty, historic towns and charming architecture. If some of it looks familiar, perhaps that’s because the movie Jaws was filmed here.
You’ll arrive ashore via tender for today’s tour, which starts with historic Oak Bluffs, once a religious revival summer camp. Then, head along the coast to Edgartown, a quaint, white-clapboard village that was originally an important whaling center. Ride though the farmlands of West Tisbury, and the hills of Chilmark, where celebrities such as Ted Danson, Carly Simon, James Taylor, and Bill Murray have homes. Back in Oak Bluffs, you’ll have lunch and enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your leisure.
Please note: Transportation on the island is limited and today's tour will most likely operate using school buses. This is also a highly seasonal destination and some places may be closed during the time of our visit.
Perhaps you will explore Oak Bluffs on your own to get a feel for the laid-back charm that is synonymous with Martha’s Vineyard. You can see the colorful Flying Horses, the country’s oldest, continuously-operating platform carousel that was brought here from Coney Island in 1874. Nearby is Wesleyan Grove, better known as the Campground. Back in the mid-1800s, Methodist families would set up tents in this 34-acre site to enjoy revival meetings and summer Bible study groups. The tents eventually gave way to cottages that are painted lovely pastel hues and adorned with elaborate millwork. Today, these lovely gingerbread cottages are part of the National Historic Register. You can also learn about Oak Bluff’s history as one of the country’s first resorts for affluent African Americans.
Delve into history in Newport, Rhode Island
Newport is famous as the summer “watering hole” for America’s wealthiest families during the Gilded Age. It is also a yachting center that hosted the America’s Cup races 1930-83, and the first U.S. Open sites for tennis and golf. Less well-known is the town's colonial heritage, when it was an important whaling and trading port, notably as a center of the slave trade. Your tour points out the historic wharves, Touro Synagogue (the country’s oldest synagogue), the sweeping vistas of Ocean Drive, Hammersmith Farm (Jacqueline Bouvier’s childhood home, where she later held the reception for her wedding to John F. Kennedy), and more.
After breakfast onboard, you’ll be transferred to the port by tender for day of discovery. A highlight of the day will be your visit to the Breakers, the opulent Italian Renaissance-style mansion that was built as a summer residence by Cornelius Vanderbilt II. Set on elegant Bellevue Avenue, it has a vast back lawn overlooking the Cliff Walk and the sea, and is filled with lavish period furnishings and art. Your tour provides a fascinating, intimate glimpse into the lives of America’s wealthiest and most powerful families during the late 1800s through the turn of the century.
Discover the best of the Big Apple, New York City
Arrive in New York City today, then set out to explore. Your tour showcases some of the city’s most famous attractions and landmarks. See where world economies rise and fall on Wall Street, including the New York Stock Exchange building in the heart of the financial district. Nearby, you’ll pay your respects at the 9/11 Memorial, where the victims of the World Trade Center bombing are honored. Also nearby is St. Paul’s Chapel, the oldest surviving church in New York City, built in 1766. At Battery Park, you’ll catch glimpses of the Statue of Liberty.
Your tour continues as you make your way towards Midtown, passing through Chinatown, Greenwich Village, SoHo, and more. Ride past the elegant New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue, and then see Rockefeller Center, Times Square, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Central Park and Grand Central Station. You’ll be back on board in time for lunch and a free afternoon, with a scintillating port talk and dinner back on board.
Explore New York as you like it
The morning is yours to delve deeper into the best of New York. There is so much to choose from, you’ll be grateful for the guiding hand of your Destination Manager, who can help you plan your time. We'll sail on to our next destination in the early afternoon.
Enjoy the highlights of Norfolk
You’ll learn about Norfolk’s colorful, 300-year-old history as you ride through the city’s lovely historic district and restored areas, with your tour guide pointing out areas of interest along the way. View the stately homes located along the Hague, old St. Paul’s Church, the Moses Myers House, MacArthur Memorial, the historic Freemason District, Nauticus maritime center, the Battleship Wisconsin, and the restored waterfront area. Having undergone a complete transformation over the last decade, downtown Norfolk features the beautifully renovated Town Point Park, the Armed Forces memorial, and unique specialty shops and boutiques. You’ll also have an opportunity to visit the Chrysler Museum, hailed by the Wall Street Journal as one of the country’s top 20 art museums. Here, you’ll browse a collection of paintings, photographs, glass, sculpture, and decorative arts spanning almost 5,000 years. Following your Chrysler Museum visit you’ll enjoy a stop at Doumar’s, home of the world’s first ice cream cone machine, created by Abe Doumar for the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. Ice cream cones were such a hit that he later designed a four-iron waffle machine that he launched during the 1907 Jamestown Exposition. Today, this family-owned business still bakes their cones using the original machinery. While at Doumar’s, you’ll learn the history of this iconic treat and enjoy a freshly baked waffle cone with the ice cream of your choice.
Cruise Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic coast
A full day to relax and enjoy the 5-star amenities of your Deluxe ship. Perhaps you’ll take a soak in the hot tubs, join a yoga class, or enjoy a soothing massage. During an onboard lecture, you can learn about the rise and fall of plantation life — a wonderful preparation for your upcoming discoveries in Wilmington and Charleston.
Uncover antebellum life in Wilmington, North Carolina
If you’re up on deck this morning, take in the beautiful coastal scenery as your ship makes its way up the wide Cape Fear River to Wilmington. This historic port city boasts a beautifully restored waterfront, and exquisite architecture which you’ll see on today’s tour.
This morning’s tour spotlights Wilmington’s National Register Historic district, some 230 blocks worth of beautifully preserved architecture from many different eras. You’ll also learn about the many movies and television shows filmed around here. In fact, Wilmington has the country’s largest full-service filming studio outside of Hollywood. A highlight will be your visit to Historic homes in Wilmington. You'll visit either of these three: Bellamy Mansion, Burgwin-Wright House or the Latimer House. Afterwards, you’ll revisit a different era when you step aboard the Word War II battleship USS North Carolina, which is permanently docked in Wilmington.
If time allows following your tour, you may want to enjoy more of this lovely city on your own. Perhaps you can take a stroll along the Riverwalk, pop into one of the many well-regarded microbreweries, or visit the Railroad Museum.
PLEASE NOTE: Some of the houses in historic Wilmington may not be available to tour as they are frequently used for filming, and have closed sets.
Soak up the color and culture in Charleston, South Carolina
Today you will enjoy a tour of Charleston, one of the most beautiful and historic cities in the American south. Filled with stately homes, lovely gardens, magnificent public buildings, and majestic churches, you’re sure to be enchanted by Charleston. On this guided tour you will see the College of Charleston, Harleston Village (one of the city’s earliest suburbs), the Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, and the famous Battery with its elegant townhomes built by 18th and 19th-century planters and merchants. Your knowledgeable guide will delight you with interesting historical facts and lively stories about some of the city’s most prominent sites. A few of the landmarks you will see are the Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon, one of the nation’s most important Revolutionary-era buildings; St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, whose bells have crossed the Atlantic seven times; the Fireproof Building designed by Robert Mills, the same architect who designed the Washington Monument found in the nation’s capital; and the Old City Market, a 200-year-old public market. The highlight of this tour will be a visit to the Joseph Manigault House. This early 19th-century home, designed by wealthy rice planter Gabriel Manigault for his brother Joseph, is considered one of the finest examples of Adam-style architecture in the country. The house also boasts a magnificent collection of period furniture and art, with quite a few Charleston pieces.
Tour Amelia Island on a river cruise
This morning your ship drops anchor in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida’s northernmost barrier island. After breakfast, we set off on an inspiring boat ride that takes you along salt marshes, wilderness beaches, and historic river banks; and learn about the fascinating history of Amelia Island and Cumberland Island. You'll also learn about the Port of Fernandina, why Amelia Island is called the Isle of Eight Flags, and the history of Fort Clinch before heading north into Georgia waters. You'll cruise the shores of Cumberland Island, hearing stories about the Carnegie, Rockefeller, and Kennedy families, as well as how the wild horses of Cumberland Island came to be. Your cruise back to Fernandina Beach will help you gain some working knowledge of the Kings Bay Nuclear Submarine Base and the local coast guard.
Cruise to the Caribbean
Relax with a day at sea: refresh, renew, and relish in your ship’s Deluxe amenities. Perhaps you’ll join a morning workout class, or lounge on the sun deck. You could enjoy a facial at the spa, meet friends in the lounge for a game of bridge, attend a lecture on the history of the Bahamas, or simply soak in the hot tub with the cocktail of the day — the choice is yours!
Onboard Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional onboard experience. Enhance your time on board with one of our Vantage-exclusive activities, including wine and whiskey tastings, a multicourse Chef’s Table Dinner, or an exclusive wine-pairing dinner. Learn more
Disembark the Ocean Explorer and get into island time in Nassau, the Bahamas
You’ll know you’re in the Bahamas as the water gets bluer and brighter. In fact, the Bahamas lays claim to the clearest water on Earth. Enjoy the views as you approach Nassau, the capital of this beautiful archipelago. After breakfast you’ll disembark ship and then enjoy a sightseeing tour that acquaints you with the history and laid-back culture of the island, which is called New Providence.
In downtown Nassau, you’ll see Rawson and then Parliament Square, with its pink stucco Georgian neo-classical buildings that house the Supreme Court, Senate Chambers, and House of Assembly. You’ll also see the Government House and Graycliff, a stunning mansion built in 1740 that is now a famous hotel. You’ll pass other landmarks such as the College of the Bahamas, Sir Harry Oakes Monument and Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre, and others. You’ll also pass colorful Arawak Cay, a jumble of multicolored shacks and cafés that are collectively known as “Fish Fry.” You'll have some time at your leisure before heading to your hotel, with lunch on your own — perhaps you'll come back to enjoy the famous conch fritters, fried chicken, and tropical conch salad, and to hear a local storyteller share some Bahamian lore.
During your tour you’ll stop at the historic 1789 Buena Vista Estate, home of the John Watlings Distillery where you will enjoy a self-guided tour and rum tasting. Upon departing the distillery you’ll visit Aradastra Gardens, a lush tropical setting where you’ll be introduced to some local denizens such as monkeys, flamingos, snakes, lorikeets, flamingoes, and other native species. The rest of your day is free. Unwind and sample the little luxuries of your Deluxe hotel, the only one in Nassau to boast its own private sandy beach.
Explore more of Nassau on your own
A full day of leisure to explore and relax as you like. Your hotel is within walking distance of downtown Nassau, so everything is within easy reach. Perhaps you’ll visit the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, or shop for handicrafts at the Straw Market. If you’re feeling adventurous, there are spectacular dive sites, and plenty of opportunities to swim with dolphins, feed sharks, or enjoy water sports, from kayaking to jet skiing and more. At the Pirates of Nassau museum, you can learn about infamous privateers like the notorious Blackbeard through fun, interactive exhibits and performances.
Be back in time for this evening’s Farewell Dinner at your hotel, where you will join your travel mates to toast your discoveries.
After breakfast you’ll transfer to the airport for your return flight home.
Please Note: Ocean cruising is not the same experience as river cruising; as such, you may experience fluctuating tides and weather patterns that may involve some rocking of your vessel. Itineraries will include all activities as planned except in extreme cases that can’t be controlled by your shipboard crew. Day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Cruise Director or regional expert.