Step aboard the elegant Ocean Explorer and embark on an extraordinary small ship cruise sailing from Boston to The Bahamas. Seamlessly blending luxury small ship cruising and intimate cultural discovery, Vantage offers an authentic sailing experience as you chart the Atlantic coast of North America.
Starting in Boston, you’ll explore some of the nation’s most significant Revolutionary War landmarks on a historical tour, before embarking on the cruise portion of your small ship adventure. Make your way to the beautiful Bahamas, touring several of North America’s most scenic and well-preserved destinations — including Martha’s Vineyard, Charleston, and Amelia Island — along the way. This new itinerary also includes a Vantage first: three days on the exquisite island of Bermuda!
In addition to visiting enchanting islands and major cities, you’ll also have a few days at sea to enjoy every indulgent luxury amenity available to you aboard this elegant small ship cruise. From delicious gourmet dining and pampering spa services to engaging onboard lectures and sumptuous staterooms, you’ll travel in pure comfort aboard this magnificent vessel. Plus, you’ll have opportunities to enhance your shoreside discoveries with optional onboard experiences, such as wine and whiskey tastings, and exclusive Chef’s Table and wine-pairing dinners.
Depart for Boston, Massachusetts
Fly to Boston, New England’s sophisticated center of culture. Upon arrival, a Vantage representative will meet you at the airport to assist with transfers to your hotel. After check-in, you’ll have time to explore the city at your leisure.
Explore Boston at your leisure
You’ll have a full day at leisure to explore Boston on your own today. This is a city that has something for everyone. Shop on Newbury Street or at the high-end Copley Place mall. Pop over to Fenway Park for a tour of this historic ballpark, home to the Boston Red Sox since 1912. Visit one of the many local museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, or the Institute of Contemporary Art. And when hunger hits, you’ll find everything from classic New England fare to trendy hot spots to tempt your tastebuds.
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!
Uncover Boston’s historical layers and embark the Ocean Explorer
As the birthplace of the nation, Boston is steeped in American history. You’ll head out to see its major sites, including Back Bay, Trinity Church, the Boston Public Library, the Public Garden, Boston Common, and the brick-lined lanes of Beacon Hill. After time to browse the Italian North End and its renowned Old North Church, from where Paul Revere hung the tell-tale lanterns, you’ll cross the Charles River and head to Cambridge for a stroll through Harvard Yard.
Following your tour, you’ll head to Gloucester and embark the Ocean Explorer to begin your small ship ocean cruise. Relax in your sumptuous stateroom, or enjoy a drink on deck as you set off on your adventure.
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, it may be because the iconic 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 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, and James Taylor have homes. After lunch, you’ll have the rest of the afternoon at your leisure continue exploring on your own.
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.
Relax on board with two days at sea
You’ll have two additional days at sea to enjoy every amenity your luxurious small ship cruise has to offer. Take a relaxing soak in the hot tub, pamper yourself with a soothing massage at the spa, or simply sip a cocktail on the sundeck as you watch the scenery go by.
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
Explore the highlights of St. George’s, Bermuda
At only 21 square miles, Bermuda is a small island, but don’t let its small size fool you. This diminutive destination is packed with a blend of breathtaking natural wonders and unique cultures dating back several centuries. You will have the opportunity to discover UNESCO-listed St. George’s today with an included tour of the city’s highlights.
Your first stop will be Fort St. Catherine, situated on the northeastern tip of St. George’s. Constructed in 1614, the fort houses several exhibits and artefacts that showcase island life in the early17th century. Your tour will also include a photo stop at St. David’s Lighthouse, a 55-foot-tall lighthouse dating back to 1879, constructed entirely of Bermuda stone. Here you will be afforded beautiful panoramic views over the east end of the island and the South Shore. Continuing on, you’ll drive past the Carter House Museum. Constructed by a crew member from the Sea Venture, a ship that ran aground in Bermuda in 1609, this 17th-century farmhouse is believed to be the oldest dwelling in St. David's. Finally, you’ll stop at the Bermuda Perfumery, a 17th-century Heritage Trust home offering fragrances exclusively made onsite from local flowers since 1928. There will be several photo stops on this tour, so don't forget your camera!
Sunsets and leisure time in Hamilton
No cruise to Bermuda is complete without a visit to its worldly capital city of Hamilton. You’ll arrive late this afternoon, just in time to enjoy a beautiful golden sunset and an evening at your leisure.
Hamilton is packed with great dining and nightlife, so head out and grab a table with a water view to enjoy a casual dinner of wahoo tacos, fish sandwiches, and ginger beer. Or, head to a fine dining restaurant and enjoy course after course of exquisite cuisine and cocktails. This captivating destination also plays host to a vibrant art and theater scene, with everything from Shakespeare plays to calypso performances. Your onboard Destination Manager can offer suggestions and assist you with reservations and planning to make the most of your time on this welcoming island.
Uncover Hamilton’s history today
Today you’ll explore Hamilton by day on a guided tour of the town’s highlights. A friendly and knowledgeable local guide will accompany you throughout your tour, entertaining you with local lore and interesting anecdotes.
Your tour begins with a stop at Gibbs Hill Lighthouse. This towering structure was built in 1846, constructed entirely of cast iron, and is one of only two cast-iron lighthouses still in existence today. Overlooking both South Shore and Little Sound, a climb to the top of its 185-step spiral staircase offers panoramic views of the entire city, as well as the Royal Naval Dockyard. Your tour continues along the South Shore, where you’ll marvel at the pink sand beaches, sapphire blue waters, and the visible barrier reef that surround this island paradise before passing over Somerset Bridge, one of the smallest drawbridges ever constructed. Get closer to Bermuda’s rich maritime history as you make your way to the Royal Naval Dockyard, which served as a stronghold for the British Royal Navy during times of war. Today the dockyard serves as a cruise ship terminal, with shops, restaurants, and other attractions ready to welcome visitors. Explore the clothing and jewelry boutiques, sample traditional rum cakes, and meet local artisans at the Bermuda Arts Centre. On our return drive to the ship, you’ll enjoy incredible views of Hamilton Harbor and its stunning waterfront homes.
Enjoy two days of scenic sailing on board
Enjoy two days at sea aboard your elegant small ship. Visit the spa, relax in the well-stocked library, sip a cocktail as you take in the panoramic views from the sundeck, or head to the gym for a workout. At mealtime, dine on delectable culinary creations prepared by your skilled onboard chefs.
Soak up the color and culture in Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, one of the most beautiful and historic cities in the southern U.S., will enchant you with its stately homes, lovely gardens, magnificent public buildings, and majestic churches. You will get to experience this lovely city — which has been voted the “#1 best city in the world” by readers of Travel + Leisure several times over the past few years — for yourself on today’s included panoramic tour. You’ll see the College of Charleston, Harleston Village (one of the city’s earliest suburbs), the Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, and the elegant 18th- and 19th-century townhouses of the Battery. Your expert guide will delight you with interesting anecdotes about the history of some of Charleston’s prominent sites. A few of the landmarks you’ll pass are the Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon, one of the country’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, a Freemason architect who also designed the first Washington monument; and the Old City Market, a more than 200-year-old public market. The highlight of this tour is a visit to the early 19th-century Joseph Manigault House. Designed by the wealthy rice planter Gabriel Manigault, this house is considered one of the finest examples of Adamesque 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
Today, your ship drops anchor in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida’s northernmost barrier island. After breakfast, set off on a boat ride that takes you along salt marshes, wilderness beaches, and historic riverbanks; 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.
Enjoy a day at sea on your way to The Bahamas
You’ll have another full day to relax on board and enjoy the 5-star amenities of your exquisite small ship. Perhaps you’ll join a yoga class or enjoy a soothing massage. Visit the spa, get in a workout at the gym, relax with a great book on the sundeck, and enjoy the fabulous cuisine our chefs are cooking up.
Disembark the Ocean Explorer and explore historic Nassau
Following breakfast on board, you’ll disembark the Ocean Explorer and head to your hotel in Nassau. Along the way, you’ll enjoy a sightseeing tour expanding on the history and laid-back culture of the island.
In downtown Nassau, you’ll see Parliament Square, with its pink stucco Georgian neoclassical buildings that house the Supreme Court, Senate Chambers, and House of Assembly. You’ll also see the Government House and Graycliff, a stunning 18th-century mansion that has been converted to a chic hotel. You’ll also pass additional landmarks such as the College of the Bahamas, Sir Harry Oakes Monument, and the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre.
During your tour you’ll also stop at John Watling’s Distillery, housed in the historic 1789 Buena Vista Estate, where you will enjoy a self-guided tour and rum tasting. Following your distillery tour, you’ll visit Aradastra Gardens & Wildlife Conservation Center. Set among more than four acres of lush tropical gardens, this wildlife preserve — the only one of its kind in The Bahamas — is inhabited by a variety of animal species, including the Caribbean flamingo, the national bird of the Bahamas. After your tour, you'll check into your hotel and have the remainder of the day at your leisure. Dinner tonight is on your own.
Get into island time in Nassau
Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore Nassau as you like. 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 through fun, interactive exhibits, and performances. Lunch and dinner are on your own today.
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.