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Vantage Deluxe World Travel is thrilled to present this exciting 40-night journey from Lima to Boston that will bring you to a total of 10 countries, with access to 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a momentous 53 included features and Cultural Discoveries! Please note that the nature of these journeys requires a certain level of physical fitness, and guests should be able to walk three miles unassisted over potentially-uneven terrain, be prepared to anchor at ports requiring the use of a tender and possess the physical agility to embark and disembark small crafts in unpredictable waters.
You’ll get into the heart of every destination you’ll visit, revealing the cultural heritage and fascinating history of each one. Guided by a 5- to 17-person Expedition Team of naturalists, ornithologists, wildlife experts, equipment masters, and more, you’ll enjoy enlightening lectures onboard and the intangible greetings of the wild onshore. Whether gliding through the Amazon by Zodiac boat in search of indigenous wildlife and savoring the culinary delights of South America or sipping on locally-produced rum during a distillery tour in the Caribbean and following in the footsteps of famed revolutionaries such as Paul Revere and John Adams, this itinerary is sure to delight and captivate all your senses.
At the center of it all is your luxurious home at sea, the 5-star Ocean Explorer built for expedition travel with ULSTEIN X-BOW® technology. Our intimately-sized ships are designed with a total of just 77 cabins and a maximum capacity of 130 passengers on expedition cruises, allowing us reach some of the world’s most remote areas and giving our travelers access to exclusive ports, less queuing, and more time to spend onshore in each destination. And fewer travelers onboard also mean more impactful and intimate interactions with locals, tour leaders, lecturers, and more. Not to mention the breadth of this ship’s luxury amenities, from an onboard spa, a top-deck infinity pool, and two hot tubs to multiple dining options, bars, and lounges.
But that’s not all — as our World Cruise guests, we are honored to provide you with world-class amenities exclusive to this journey, including free international airfare, discounted business class upgrades, unlimited laundry service, dinner with the captain, and more. Click here to see what awaits when you reserve. Join Vantage Travel’s club of elite World Cruise guests us in 2023 for glimpse of some of the world’s most fascinating destinations!
This itinerary is a combination of: Deep into the Amazon: Brazil, Colombia & Peru, Passage to the Amazon: Manaus to Nassau, and Charting the Eastern Seaboard: Colonial America and Cultural Capitals from Boston to Nassau.
Cap off your Amazonian adventure with a deep dive into Peru’s Sacred Valley, where you’ll discover South America’s richest heritage at Machu Picchu and in the citified Inca capital of Cusco. Under the shadow of the Andes, you’ll explore ancient, indigenous, and contemporary culture in the towns and archaeological sites of Ollantaytambo, Sacsayhuamán, Machu Picchu, and Cusco. You’ll also join a local family in their home for an unforgettable dining experience, explore a centuries-long weaving tradition in Chinchero, catch a mototaxi to a chichería, and ride the Vistadome train up to Machu Picchu for extraordinary views and a true bucket-list experience.
Fly overnight to Lima, Peru
Depart the U.S. and fly to Peru. Or, depart earlier for an exhilarating pre-trip extension to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley.
Arrive in Lima, and explore the Larco Museum
Today you’ll arrive in Lima. If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, you’ll be met at the airport by a Vantage representative who will assist you with your hotel transfer. After settling in, head to the wonderful Larco Museum. Housed in an 18th century royal building, you’ll discover over 5,000 years of pre-Columbian art here. Wander through its countless galleries, following the chronology of Peru’s history as well as a grand selection of erotic pottery. Tonight, enjoy a wonderful Welcome Dinner at the Huaca Pucllana restaurant, famous for its location inside ancient archaeological ruins.
Embark on a half-day walking tour of UNESCO-listed Lima
A half-day walking tour of Lima’s historic center — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — introduces the Plaza Mayor and the lively Miraflores district. Here, we’ll participate in a Peruvian cuisine cooking demonstration and sample a regional specialty — lucuma ice cream. Often likened to sweet potato or butterscotch, the lucuma fruit is indigenous to Peru and used in a variety of desserts. We'll have lunch at a local restaurant, then spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure. Join your fellow travelers for dinner at your hotel this evening.
Fly to Iquitos, and embark the Ocean Explorer
This morning, we’ll put Iquitos in our sights when we fly from Lima to the adventurous “Capital of the Amazon,” nestled deep in the Peruvian rainforest. A 20th-century rubber boom launched Iquitos into jungle-shrouded modernity, and today the city is a fascinating study in contrasts — a place where handcrafted canoes sail alongside cruise ships, and open-air restaurants and glistening mansions share the streets with bustling markets and mud huts. After arrival, we’ll transfer by Zodiac craft to embark the Ocean Explorer. Tonight, enjoy the Captain’s Welcome Dinner.
Enter Peru’s Oldest Amazonian Pueblo: Pevas
Today we will disembark by Zodiac in Pevas, a palm-lined Amazonian village in Peru. In the 1930s, displaced indigenous groups from Colombia settled here. Largely composed of the Bora and Witoto tribes, they are known for practicing ages-old medicine of the rainforest, as well as traditional dancing and singing.
You will get the chance to interact with members of these tribes as we enter into their villages. Hear their folk legends, learn about their riverside way of life, and — if you wish — purchase some of their unique artesanías, or handicrafts. Depending on the water levels and changing conditions of the river, we may set out on a Zodiac outing to see endemic wildlife, we’ll have dinner onboard and make our way to Iquitos.
Discover Colombia’s Amazonian Center
Amid the borders of Brazil and Peru, Leticia is Colombia’s official gateway to the Amazon. This riverside village is the country’s southernmost city — not to mention a melting pot of nearby cultures. Upon arrival via Zodiac boat, we’ll meet with locals who will show us along the riverfront to the indigenous market. Here, you can savor Colombia’s renowned sancocho soup as well as Brazilian churrasco and Peruvian ceviche. Purchase medicinal herbs, sample exotic fruits, and admire a variety of recently caught fish from the Amazon River.
Your walking tour through this rural port will also include Santander Park, where you’re likely to witness a myriad of parakeets and parrots. You’ll learn about Leticia’s geography and ethnic tapestry with a visit to the Museo Etnográfico. Explore the city’s wealth of indigenous communities, as well as inseparable ties to its neighboring countries. We’ll end our walking tour with a visit to the vibrant boardwalk. Keep an eye out for mischievous monkeys!
Journey deep into the Amazon
Enjoy a wonderful next few days as your expedition into the Amazon begins. Your Captain and experienced Expedition Team will coordinate closely and choose from a bevy of fascinating sites along this particular stretch of the Amazon River to plot itineraries for Zodiac rides, treks, and visits with locals. While sailing the river, head to the deck and observation lounge to hear the Expedition Team pointing out wildlife and offering insight on the passing terrain. While other companies offer trips from Manaus or Iquitos, Vantage is the first to do both. We will also stop in remote villages for unforgettable interactions with Amazonian locals. Most importantly, our daily itinerary will be based on weather conditions. When conditions allow, we’ll explore key Amazonian sites. These destinations may include
Situated on the Badajós River, this floating village is scarcely populated and seldom visited. Known for its stilted houses, most of its residents sustain themselves by fishing. This is one of the Amazon’s optimal locations for viewing pink dolphins. You may also spot howler monkeys, anacondas, and several different bird species here.
Located in the northwestern region of Brazil’s Amazon, Cuxiu Muni is a small village, home to approximately 40 families. Explore its narrow creeks, observe village life, and learn how its inhabitants grow crops, tap rubber trees, and more. This rustic locale is also an excellent spot to see caimans, three-toed sloths, snakes, and frogs.
Known for its Brazilian Nut Forest, Uara is an immense body of black water just off the Amazon River. This is a very large black water lake accessed by a short half mile channel from the main river. While here, you’ll have the chance to take a trek into the jungle with locals, swim in the black lake, and bird-watch on your Zodiac.
Home to about 15,000 people, Jutaí is a small town recognized for its floating shops and handcrafted hammocks. While we will only be visiting the entrance of Rio Jutaí, you’ll be able to spot the white water streaming in amidst the black river water, as well as inundated treetops.
This small group excursion is one you won’t soon forget! Explore the immensely biodiverse environment of the Amazon on a kayaking adventure! Led by knowledgeable and experienced Expedition Leaders, you will go to places that Zodiac boats can’t reach. These unique excursions let you experience the flora and fauna of the Amazon in a responsible way. Tours take place with only two individuals per kayak, making your discoveries even more intimate. This optional tour is perfect for adventurous adults. Participants must possess the appropriate fitness level and previous kayaking experience is a plus. You must read the Kayaking Preparation Notes and the Kayaking Terms and Conditions, and complete the Kayaking Participation Statement in order to confirm your spot on the tour. Download the Kayaking Participation Statement form here.
A medical declaration for this journey must be completed and submitted to the ship’s doctor upon embarkation. Download the Medical Form here.
*Optional kayak excursions are offered in place of regular excursions. The number of available excursions will depend on itinerary and weather conditions.
Please note: This optional tour is available for pre-booking only. All guests must complete a medical declaration and submit it to the ship's doctor upon embarkation. Reservations will close 30 days prior to departure. All prices are per person and subject to change. All optional tours are offered by Vantage Deluxe World Travel. Descriptions and scheduling are subject to change. Minimum tour participation is required to operate optional tours. Optional tours cancelled by passengers within 48 hours of the excursion are non-refundable.
Visit to the Mercado Municipal Adolpho Lisboa market
Enjoy breakfast on board before heading out for a guided visit to Mercado Municipal Adolpho Lisboa, located on the bank of the Rio Negro. Modeled after the 19th century Les Halles market hall in Paris this grand iron-and-glass municipal market is one of Manaus’ top-rated attractions. The bustling market offers a glimpse into provincial life with an assortment of stalls selling everything from fresh-caught fish and tropical fruits to souvenirs and items handcrafted by local artisans. You’ll have opportunities to interact with vendors and do some shopping before stopping at a local restaurant for a delicious lunch of regional cuisine. After lunch, you’ll head back to the Ocean Explorer for an afternoon of leisure, followed by dinner onboard.
Get to Know Parintins and Boca dos Botos
Continue taking in the Amazon’s splendor as we visit Parintins. Located just west of Santarém, this town is renowned for its Brazilian folkloric festival, the Festival de Parintins or Parintins Folklore Festival, second only to Carnival. Today, you’ll explore this municipality, which is known for its rich biodiversity. Due to its central location in the Amazonas, during low tide you’ll discover its riverside beaches along the Uaicurapá River and the Amazon.
Starting outside the port, you’ll get to know this incredible province, including Caprichoso Boi, Liberty Square, and Bumbódromo — where the annual festival is held. With the possibility of riding locally-decorated tricycles, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with locals. After visiting the cathedral and cruising along the shore, you’ll get to see Boca dos Botos, weather permitting. Hop on a Zodiac boat for an afternoon cruise, where you'll see more local flora and fauna.
Piranha fishing and nature cruise out of Santarém
This morning, you’ll arrive at the confluence of the Amazon and Tapajós Rivers, where the city of Santarém rises on the banks. The people of this small market town rely on boats to get around; the 60 miles of white-sand beaches on the river have earned it the nickname “the Amazonian Caribbean.”
During your stay, you’ll view a rare natural phenomenon along the river and learn how the locals fish for the famous piranha. You head downriver on a small local boat to witness the Meeting of the Waters, where the Amazon and the Tapajós converge. Each waterway has its own distinct color and they run side by side, one deep blue and one milky brown, for several miles. Soon, you arrive at Lake Maica, a natural outlet of the Amazon and home to abundant wildlife and birdlife. Your captain will cut the motor here so you can cast a line into the water in hopes of catching and releasing piranha fish. Or, just sit back and take in the lush flora and plentiful fauna of the Amazon.
Ply Atlantic waters, cross the equator, and cruise up the Amazon
Enjoy these two days treating yourself to the indulgences on board the Ocean Explorer as the outside world fades away. Lounge by the infinity pool, lose yourself in a book from our library, enjoy a calming treatment at the spa, and savor refined cuisine from breakfast to dinner. As you cruise, the observation lounge offers incredible views.
You’ll achieve a travel milestone on Day 15 as you cross the equator. Our staff and crew will help you mark the occasion with a fun ceremony, honoring a tradition with ties to naval and maritime trade ships. Later, head up to the top deck as you approach the mouth of the Amazon River. By some accounts, the Amazon estuary stretches some 200 miles along Brazil’s coast. The waters you’ll cruise along this breathtaking and iconic waterway have coursed their way from as far away as Peru and Bolivia. Setting a course upriver into this realm of mystery, you’ll get your first glimpse of the rainforest’s wild beauty.
Explore the Devil’s Island, French Guiana
Home to one of history’s most feared penal colonies, Île du Diable, or Devil’s Island, today is one of coastal South America’s most enthralling sites. This was where France sent its most notorious criminals; the prison was long considered inescapable until the two convicts broke out against all odds — depicted in the novel by Henri Charrière and its film adaptation Papillon. You have time on your own here to explore the prison’s buildings and grounds — made all the more atmospheric by resident monkeys cavorting in the canopy and distant bird calls echoing through the forest.
After a fascinating morning, set sail along the French Guiana and Brazilian coasts. Attend another onboard lecture to learn about this lush and biodiverse region.
Enjoy two days of bliss and relaxation at sea
You have two days to indulge in the amenities of the Ocean Explorer. Relax by the swimming pool, visit the spa for a soothing treatment, or perhaps get a workout in the gym. At mealtime, savor incredible culinary creations thoughtfully prepared by your onboard chefs. In the evening, head up to the Observation Deck for some of the most magnificent stargazing you’re ever likely to experience.
On Day 19, enjoy the Captain’s Drink and Dinner Gala onboard.
Barbados: brimming with British charm
Few places other than Barbados blend calypso music and cricket so seamlessly, thanks to its rich British heritage. This is one of the Caribbean’s most stunning islands, as you’ll have ample time to discover during a stay here. Your explorations begin in the island’s northern reaches at Animal Flower Cave, the only accessible sea cave on the island. After admiring its beauty, stop in Tent Bay at the Atlantis Historic Inn. You might spot faraway fishing boats hauling in their catch as you relax in the warm sun over a refreshing drink. At St. John’s Parish Church, perched 800 feet above the sea, enjoy stunning views of the ocean and the town of St. John. One of the island’s most fascinating residents was a descendant of the Byzantine Imperial family, today buried in the cemetery here after his 1678 death. Conclude your tour with lunch at Sunbury House, dating to 1650. This grand manse is brimming with antiques and echoes of plantation life, including the Caribbean’s largest collection of carriages and some of the first optical machinery in the West Indies. You’ll anchor overnight in Bridgetown which, together with its Garrison, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The rest of the afternoon and evening is yours to enjoy — check with our Concierge for suggestions on what to see and do in Barbados. Perhaps you’ll lounge on one of its warm white-sand beaches, or explore Bridgetown’s history on a stroll around the Careenage, the city’s original harbour around the Constitution River. This evening, we’ve invited some talented performers on board to regale you with lively entertainment.
Experience the magnificence of Harrison’s Cave
Head out this morning to visit what many call the Caribbean’s most spectacular natural sight — Harrison’s Cave. What makes this cavernous chamber so spellbinding is the crystallized limestone from which it was formed over millennia. An electric tram takes you down into its depths, a stunning canvas of stalagmites, stalactites, gurgling streams, and waterfalls plunging into emerald pools.
Your onboard lecturer provides more insight and illumination about the natural and cultural wonders of the Caribbean. You cruise out of Barbados before the dinner hour.
Volcanic splendors of St. Lucia
By Zodiac craft, you’ll arrive in Soufriére, the scenic and pastel-hued capital of St. Lucia tucked into a natural amphitheater. A scenic drive showcases its beautiful colonial architecture. Continue to Sulphur Springs Park, the Caribbean’s only drive-in volcano where pools of bubbling hot springs create an otherworldly landscape. Then, stop to admire the vivid, exotic hues and melodious birdsong at the Diamond Botanical Garden and Waterfall. Later, visit the island’s Old Sugar Mill. Its waterwheel, built in 1765, once crushed sugarcane and limes and even generated the island’s first electricity. During your visit, jive to the rhythms of a local band over a refreshing drink and snacks.
Following your lunch on board, the afternoon is at your leisure. Perhaps explore more of St. Lucia with a tour set up by your onboard Concierge or stroll the streets of Soufrière in search of a handcrafted souvenir. As you leave St. Lucia behind, you will cruise past the island’s most famous landmark — the twin volcanic spires of the Pitons, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Discover Martinique, the "Island of Flowers" and birthplace of an empress
The French island of Martinique boasts a fascinating culture born of its Carib and French colonial heritage. We anchor offshore today and tender to shore for a drive to Les Trois-Îlets and Pagerie Museum: birthplace and childhood home of the future Empress Josephine, who became the first wife of Napoleon in 1804. We’ll also visit the Clement plantation, where the presidents of France and the United States met in 1991, before admiring the vibrant tropical blooms of the 16-acre Botanical Garden. At an old distillery, you’ll find the insight about the island’s rum production, domestic plantation life, and Creole architecture to be downright intoxicating. Peek into one of its aging cellars, fragrant with wood and alcohol, and enjoy a rum tasting before returning to the ship.
After lunch onboard, venture out to discover Martinique at your leisure — your onboard Concierge will be able to provide recommendations on where to go! This evening, get into the rhythm of the islands when local performers bring their talent to the onboard lounge.
Ride the rails to a historic fortress on St. Kitts
Dock this morning in Basseterre, the capital of the sovereign nation of St. Kitts and Nevis. These lush islands were first colonized by France and Britain in the 1620s and became independent in 1983. Today, you’ll venture to Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Erected by the British, this was the largest fortification ever built in the Western Caribbean. You’ll arrive at the fort via a splendid two-hour rail trip aboard the open-air carriages of the St. Kitts Scenic Railway, a thrilling experience through lush countryside and past sweeping vistas awash in the Caribbean’s azure waters and distant emerald-hued islands. After visiting the fort, you’ll have the afternoon at your leisure to explore St. Kitts on your own. Today’s onboard lecture illuminates more of the islands’ rich culture and heritage.
Relax on board with a day at sea
Enjoy a day at sea as the Ocean Explorer plies the historic waters of the Caribbean. Visit the spa, get in a workout at the gym, lounge in the swimming pool, relax on the sun deck catching up with a great book, and enjoy the fabulous cuisine our chefs are cooking up. It will be a beautiful day at sea; take the time to be outside, breathe in the fresh air of the Caribbean, and enjoy the delightful breezes.
Indulge in the natural riches of the Dominican Republic in Samaná
Immerse yourself in the history and culture of D.R. today during an enlightening tour that reveals the island’s flavors, bucolic way of life, and remarkable past. The Explorer will anchor in Samaná, and a Zodiac craft will usher our guests ashore this morning. Samaná is a lush, laid-back slice of this island, and you'll get to see its beaches and natural glory on a tour today, as well as meet with some locals. During your exploration you’ll visit a whale exhibit, a cigar museum, and even have time for shopping.
Back on board, relax by the infinity pool in the late afternoon sun.
Relax on board the Ocean Explorer
Treat yourself to your ship’s amenities as you cruise into the legendary Caribbean Sea. Take advantage of this time to read a book from our library or enjoy a soothing massage at the spa. The time is yours! This afternoon, attend the first in our series of onboard lectures by experts in their fields. Learn about local culture, Caribbean history, and the breathtaking natural world. In the elegant dining room this evening, enjoy another exquisite meal.
Explore Nassau on a guided tour
After breakfast on board, you'll head out on a guided tour of Nassau, the Bahamas. Begin your island tour at the Rawson and Parliament squares, lined with colorful stucco Georgian neoclassical buildings. The Supreme Court, Senate Chambers, and House of Assembly are here. Leaving here, you’ll pass the Queen’s Staircase, 66 limestone steps that connect Fort Fincastle to the lower town. It was carved out of the sheer rock by slaves in 1793. You’ll also see the Government House and Graycliff, a stunning mansion built in 1740 that is now a famous hotel. After a photo stop at historic Fort Charlotte, you’ll pass other landmarks such as the College of the Bahamas, Sir Harry Oakes Monument and Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre. You’ll also pass colorful Arawak Cay, a jumble of multicolored shacks and cafés that are collectively known as “Fish Fry.” Be sure to come back during your free time 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, and other native species. Dinner this evening will be served on board.
Enjoy the weather as you cruise north
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 by the pool. You could get 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!
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 you’ll set out on a tour of the island, which draws visitors with its dramatic history as the only United States location to have had eight flags flown over it. Today’s tour happens on a relaxing and scenic river cruise, and you’ll cruise by Fernandina’s shrimping boats, the historic Old Towne, and Fort Clinch, all while enjoying live commentary. At Cumberland Island, we’ll be on the lookout for wild horses that frequent the area.
Soak up the color and culture in Charleston, South Carolina
For the past six years in a row, Charleston was voted the “#1, best city in the world” by readers of Travel + Leisure. Once you experience its stunning waterfront setting, exquisite Georgian architecture in every color of the rainbow, historic attractions, fine beaches and of course, some of the best cuisine in all North America, you will agree that the title is well-deserved. After an approximate 15-minute tender ride, you’ll begin exploring with a panoramic city tour of some of Charleston’s most important attractions. You’ll see the Battery, the Citadel, Old City Market, and Hampton Park, and enjoy spectacular views of Fort Sumter, Castle Pinckney, and the Sullivan Island Lighthouse.
From downtown Charleston you’ll proceed to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, named one of “America’s Most Beautiful Gardens” by Travel + Leisure magazine. The house was built in 1676, and the garden is the oldest in the country, created in 1680. You’ll explore the manor house, filled with priceless antiques; and also see the Conservatory, where many plants native to Barbados are cultivated. There is also a petting zoo, wildlife observation tower, a Biblical garden, Audubon Swamp Garden, and a horticultural maze. A highlight will be your 45-minute “nature train” tour, which takes you by tram through the plantation's wetlands, lakes, forests, and marshes. Naturalist guides will help you spot alligators, turtles, egrets, and herons, and provide the backstories of the slaves and indigenous people who once lived in the cabins and woodlands surrounding the main house. We'll have lunch at the Pavilion at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens — look forward to a delicious and indulgent Southern meal!
Back in Charleston, spend the remainder of the afternoon exploring at your leisure. You might visit the Old Slave Market, a moving museum depicting the city’s notorious role in African-American history. Or, browse the shops along King Street to find Charleston souvenirs like a Brackish bowtie made entirely of feathers or a handcrafted Gullah sweetgrass basket. Along the way, get a taste of Charleston's famed shrimp and grits or Low Country bouillabaisse!
Revisit 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.
Today, you will be able to choose from one of two guided tours in Wilmington. If you are interested in beautifully preserved architecture, a tour of Wilmington's National Register Historic district will spotlight many of the city's historic mansion houses. Wilmington is also home to the largest full-service filming studio outside of Hollywood, and you'll learn about the many movies and television shows filmed in the area. Optionally, you can choose to visit the World War II battleship, USS North Carolina. This was the first battleship of its type built for the U.S. Navy, and was put into service following the December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. The ship was decommissioned in 1947 and put into reserve, before being saved from a breaker's yard in 1960. The ship was brought to Wilmington in 1962 - where it was opened as a museum - and was named a National Historic Landmark in 1982.
After your tour you’ll have free time to enjoy this pretty city on your own. Take a stroll along the Riverwalk, a waterfront promenade lined with parks, shops and cafés. If you are a craft beer enthusiast, Wilmington boasts many well-regarded microbreweries. It also boasts many fine nearby beaches such as Carolina Beach, known for its colorful boardwalk. You can also visit the Railroad Museum, or perhaps borrow one of the kayaks on board your ship to explore the Cape Fear area.
Enjoy a day at sea on your way to Norfolk
You’ll have a full day to relax and enjoy the 5-star amenities of your Deluxe ship. Perhaps you’ll swim in the infinity pool, join a yoga class, or enjoy a soothing massage. We'll arrive in Norfolk this evening, and we’ll have some onboard entertainment tonight.
Choose from 3 tours: Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, or Highlights of Norfolk
Strategically set at the core of the historic Hampton Roads region, Norfolk is surrounded on three sides by water and is home to the world’s largest naval base, as well as one of NATO’s two Strategic Command headquarters.
Today, you'll have your pick of three tours, each of which will inform you of the rich history of this region. You may embark on a Colonial Williamsburg tour and discover what was the capital of the first colony, Virginia. Today, the city is a living history museum, with 80% of its original layout! Or, perhaps you'll discover the Jamestown settlement and tour the recreated village. Your final option is taking a Highlights of Norfolk tour, where you'll visit the largest Naval installation in the world with a member of the Navy as your guide. Whichever way you roam, enjoy the remainder of your afternoon and evening at leisure.
Discover the best of the Big Apple, New York City
Enjoy lunch as we arrive in New York City this early afternoon, 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 dinner and a scintillating port talk. Your evening is free; ask your Concierge in advance to help with tickets for a Broadway show, musical performances, gallery shows and more.
Discover the best of the Big Apple, in New York City
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 Vantage Concierge, who can help you plan your time. We'll sail on to our next destination in the early evening.
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 from 1930–1983, 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.
The afternoon is free for you to explore Newport at your leisure. Your onboard Concierge will be able to provide recommendations based on your interests!
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.
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.
After your time in Oak Bluffs, you'll head back to the Ocean Explorer to enjoy lunch on board. The rest of the afternoon is yours to spend at leisure.
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.
The Cape Cod National Seashore boasts some of the country’s most stupendous seascapes, and at the Salt Pond Visitor’s Center you will enjoy wonderful views of them, as well as exhibits on local flora and fauna.
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.
Discover the best of Boston and Cambridge and disembark 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.
This morning after disembarking the Ocean Explorer, 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, Public Garden, 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. The church 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.
The balance of the afternoon and evening is free for you to explore, relax, and enjoy dinner on your own. Perhaps you’ll walk along sections of the Freedom Trail, passing the site of the Boston Massacre of 1770, Boston Common, the Old Granary Burying Grounds (where many illustrious Bostonians are buried), and more. Heading toward the renovated Seaport district, you can see a replica of the Boston Tea Party ship, where colonists protested a British tax by dumping tea into the harbor in 1773. Boston has a brisk dining, music, and theater scene, so don’t forget to ask your Vantage Concierge to help you plan your time.
Visit Lexington and Concord
After breakfast, check out of your hotel and head west to 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.
Arriving at Lexington’s Battle Green, you will stand where the opening shots of the American Revolutionary War were fired. Your route to Concord takes you along the Battle Road Trail that Paul Revere followed during his famous midnight ride. Here you will 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 the rest of her illustrious family) and others established one of America’s most formative, 19th-century intellectual circles. You'll stop for lunch on your own as we return to the city proper. Tonight, we'll convene again for a special Farewell Dinner.
After breakfast you’ll transfer to the airport for your return flight home, or begin your extension to Cape Ann, Salem and Boston.
Soak up more of New England’s beauty and colonial heritage. Two extra nights in Boston give you a chance to enjoy the city’s lively cultural scene. Then, enjoy a full-day excursion to the North Shore region, visiting seafaring Salem, and colorful Gloucester, a hard-working fishing village and artists' colony that typifies the Yankee spirit. Plus, an additional free day in Boston lets you delve more deeply into its sophisticated culture. Beautiful scenery, harvest fare, and fresh seafood. Come see what makes Massachusetts so special!
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.