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FAQs

About Our Journeys

What kind of journeys does Vantage offer?

Vantage offer four different ways for our guests to travel spanning all seven continents — expedition cruises, small ship ocean cruises, river cruises, and land adventures. While these all fall under the umbrella of Vantage Journeys, they have distinct difference in the special interests they appeal to, pacing, activity level, formatting, and more. See below for more information on each type of Vantage journey.

What destinations do Vantage journeys visit?
Our range of destinations is broad – extending from the U.S. and Canada to Europe, Africa, South and Central America, the Far East, Australia and New Zealand, and Antarctica. In short, the Vantage "reach" is all around the world. We even offer an Around-the-World journey that literally circumnavigates the globe.

What is an expedition cruise?
Expedition cruises are our more active itineraries which often touch rugged, bucket-list destinations teeming with natural beauty. They visit destinations in Antarctica, the Arctic, Northern Europe, and South America. Expeditions take place aboard our 5-star ocean fleet and are classified by the presence of an 8-17-member expedition team of naturalists, ornithologists, wildlife experts, equipment masters, and more who host enlightening lectures onboard and guide your zodiac excursions, wet landing, hikes, and more onshore. Expeditions have a maximum capacity of 130 travelers, and travelers embarking on an expedition must submit a health declaration and should be prepared for a more rigorous journey
What is a small ship ocean cruise?

We’re excited to invite travelers aboard our brand-new, 5-star Ocean Explorer and Ocean Odyssey for small ship ocean cruises — defined by the ultimate luxury experience onboard combined with unforgettable cultural connections onshore. While onboard, relax at the top-deck infinity pool, indulge in a relaxing massage at the spa, or try hot-rock cooking at the onboard restaurant. Then, disembark for an eye-opening tours and visits to some of the world’s most iconic cities and hidden gems alike. While certain ports may require tendering to and from the ship, the small size of our vessels gives our travelers access to exclusive ports, less queuing, and more time to spend onshore in each destination.

What is a river cruise?

River cruises offer indulgent amenities while easing guests through serene and picturesque waterways. Sail along the Danube as you take in the charms of Bavaria, discover the greatest mysteries of Egypt along the Nile, or revel in the sprawling landscapes that dot the shoreline of Portugal’s Douro Valley. Whatever the destination, our hand-picked highlights and cultural connections allow you greater access and engaging encounters with locals, while guided by regional experts.

What is a land adventure?

Land adventures are designed for small groups of no more than 24 travelers, giving you greater access to people and places, for a more rewarding experience. Land adventures visit a variety of destinations including Northern and Southern Africa, North America, Australia, and Asia.

Which journeys can I use my Travel Credits toward?

You can combine all your travel and referral credits from any Vantage journey and apply them toward a future journey.

Do I receive the same traveler rewards with all Vantage Journeys?

Yes, the structure of traveler rewards is the same across both brands.

How are Vantage Journeys rated for activity level and pacing?

Both activity level and pacing for each journey are rated as Easy, Moderately Easy, Moderate, Moderately Strenuous, or Strenuous. To make sure you fully enjoy your adventure, and make sure the fellow travelers in your group do as well, we recommend you are in good physical health, with the ability to walk at least 2 miles a day unassisted. For specifics on each Vantage Journey, please reference What to Expect on the Full Itinerary tab at the top of our website. If you have any questions about which Vantage Journeys are right for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-800-322-6677.

What do most Vantage Tours include?
  • FREE and Reduced Single Supplements — with FREE Single Supplements on ALL expedition cruises and small ship ocean cruises
  • 5-star ship accommodations and exceptional, centrally located hotels
  • Round-trip transfers to and from hotels when you purchase Vantage’s air package
  • Baggage handling
  • Services of an experienced Cruise Director or Program Manager
  • Most meals (many with local flavor!) — including full breakfasts daily
  • All port charges in the destinations you visit
  • Exciting included features and Cultural Discoveries — lectures, city tours, visits with the locals, and onboard entertainment to enrich your experience
  • Pre-trip electronic mailings to keep you informed before you depart on your tour
  • Exclusive SmartPay Discount Plan offering significant savings
  • Option to purchase additional low-cost 100% Travel Protection

Things to Know Before You Reserve

How Can I Reserve a Vantage Trip?

Each trip requires a deposit of $500 per person and $1,000 per person for combination tours. Ocean Explorer deposits are $500 per person; $1,500 per person for combination tours comprised of three or more base itineraries; and 10% of the base price per person on Legends of Asia, the Holy Land & Europe: A 106-Day Exploration from Hong Kong to London and Vantage Wonders of the World Cruise: A 126-Day Voyage Across Cultures from Hong Kong to Stockholm. If you are able to pay in full for your trip at the time of booking, you can take advantage of our SmartPay savings. So we recommend you have your bank's routing number and account number available when you call. If you received a special promotion in your mail or by email regarding your destination please have the promotional code handy. For international itineraries, you must provide passport information at the time of booking, so it is helpful if you have your passports available when you call.

If I’m traveling alone, will Vantage find a roommate for me?
Although we can't promise a match, Vantage will make every effort to pair you with a compatible person of the same gender and smoking preference – so you won't have to pay a single supplement. Vantage offers two ways to connect you with other single travelers:

  • On most escorted land tours and many small ship cruises, you can request to be matched with a roommate and you'll pay just 50% of your trip's Single Supplement. If you find a roommate, we will refund you 50% for reservations in double occupancy cabins. If we are unable to find you a roommate, you'll have your own room anyway and pay just half the Single Supplement for your trip.
  • On select departures of most European river cruises and escorted land tours, you'll find designated Guaranteed Share Dates. Reserve one of these dates and you'll avoid the Single Supplement entirely, whether we match you with a roommate or not.
What are the Age Restrictions?
Vantage requires all travelers to be above 8 years of age
Are Your Tours Wheelchair Accessible?
Unfortunately, we can only accommodate wheelchairs on our North America land programs, as countries outside the United States and Canada do not have same requirements and laws in place for handicapped accessibility. While our small ship and expedition cruising vessels are wheelchair accessible, we don’t recommend these journeys to guests in wheelchairs. Due to the size of our ship, we only have one elevator available that does not visit all decks. These journeys also require the use of tenders and Zodiac crafts to get to and from the ship in many of the destination ports that we visit, which involves boarding small vessels on potentially unpredictable waters.
Are Vantage Tours Conducted in English?
Yes, all Vantage Cruise & Tour Directors are English-speaking – and they know our American travelers quite well. What's more, tours led by local guides are always conducted in English.
Do All the Hotels Have Private Baths?
Yes, all hotels have private facilities in the room or adjacent — with shower or shower/tub combination.
If I’m traveling on a U.S. based cruise, am I permitted to disembark my journey at a port of my choice?

All U.S. based itineraries operate under the jurisdiction of Jones Act. The Jones Act prohibits all ships of Non-U.S. registry from embarking and disembarking guests at two different U.S. ports. This means that guests are not permitted to permanently disembark this journey at a secondary U.S. port of their choice, as this would be a violation of the law. Any guest who insists on disembarking the ship in a port which violates the Jones Act will be responsible for any resulting penalties. For more information on the Jones act, click here.

Vantage Air Arrangements

What are the different air programs offered, and how many personalization options are available to me?

 

Cruise Only

Included Air

Flight Choice

Overview

Since your total trip cost doesn’t include domestic airfare (US), international airfare, or transfers, you are required to make your own arrangements.

Both domestic (U.S.) and international airfare is included in your trip price, based on the routing and airline Vantage chooses.

 

Included in your total trip price are international and domestic air options on any airline you choose. These include:

  • Business class/premium economy tickets
  • Custom air requests such as early departures, stopovers, and breakaways
  • Contracted Vantage special rates
  • Published Air— flights you purchase with specials advertised through Vantage

Benefit

This option lets you use points or miles for your international airfare.

 

This offers you the most flexibility and the best value should you need to cancel or change your trip.

This option offers you the most choice and give you an ability to apply your personal preferences to your trip.

Fee/costs

No fee

No fee

$100 per person – this is included for our esteemed President’s Club Members. Keep in mind, depending on the flights you select, you may incur additional costs as determined by the airline(s).

Can I make changes later?

Subject to the airline. You must work directly with the airline.

Yes, within Vantage Travels Terms & Conditions 

Maybe. Certain options will allow limited changes for additional fees. New flights or new requests are also subject to airline availability. Published Air options cannot be changed and are nonrefundable.

Other points to know

Airport transfers are not included, but may be purchased separately from us.

Your preliminary air itinerary may change more than once prior to your departure.

Your itinerary is still subject to change based on airline schedule changes and adjustments.

My name is misspelled on my invoice/air itinerary. Will this affect my airline tickets?

Yes — you need to request a change more than 90 days prior to your departure date. It’s very important that you double check the spelling of your name when making your reservation, providing us your name as it appears on your passport (minus your middle name), and checking the spelling shortly after you receive your invoice and air itinerary. If there are misspellings that aren’t corrected, your airline tickets won’t be usable. To avoid having to reissue tickets or buying completely new tickets, be proactive. And remember: You will not be able to request changes within 90 days of departure.

Please note: You will be responsible for any applicable charges imposed by our vendors. Name changes are considered traveler substitutions, which are subject to cancellation charges.

What should I do if my flight is delayed or cancelled?

Work with your airline to rebook your flight, then call us right away. Vantage Travel is available 24 hours a day to assist you with your travel needs, including those caused by flight delays or cancellations. After you rebook your flight with your airline, call us with your updated flight information.

Please note: Vantage Travel is not responsible for flights delayed or cancelled, portions of trips missed due to such issues, or additional expenses incurred prior to joining your trip.

Do you have any tips to help ensure a smooth check-in?

Plan for the unexpected — just in case. We want and hope for you to enjoy smooth travel throughout your journey, but it’s always best to be prepared for surprises.

Arrive early: Giving yourself plenty of time for traffic, check-in, security, and other unanticipated delays will help keep you feeling less stressed. Also note that many airports now have websites that provide real-time information on airport security delays.

Check your check-in times: Whether you contact your airline by telephone or visit its website, it’s always a good idea to make sure you have the latest information.

Know your “Operating Carrier”: You may be traveling on an airline other than the one listed on your ticket. If your itinerary identifies an Operating Carrier, be sure to check in with that airline for your flight.

I want to take multiple trips in a row without flying home. Will you arrange my air travel between the two trips?
Yes. If you purchase Vantage Travel Flight Choice airfare for both trips, we will arrange your air travel between the two trips. You will be responsible for any additional costs, if applicable, for the flights connecting your trips. In addition, you will be responsible for transfers, accommodations, and any other expenses incurred during the period between your two trips.
How many pieces of luggage can I bring?
Luggage restrictions vary from trip to trip, so we suggest checking with your airline carrier for specifics. However, standard luggage specifications include: One piece of checked luggage, weighing up to 50 pounds and not exceeding 62 inches in total of height + width + depth. And one smaller carry-on bag of up to 15 pounds, not exceeding 45 inches in total of height + width + depth.
Will I receive a complimentary meal on my flight? If so, will the airline accommodate special dietary requests?
Most flights within the U.S. and to destinations in North America or Central America no longer provide complimentary meals. However, meals may be available for purchase on board. Complimentary meals continue to be provided on most international flights. Please inform us when you make your reservation with any special meal requirements (salt-free, low-calorie, kosher, etc.).
Can I bring an oxygen canister with me on my flights?
Please contact your airline regarding oxygen canister restrictions. Most airlines require advance documentation from your doctor and will not allow passengers to carry their own oxygen on board.
Do I need to reconfirm my flights before I depart?
We recommend that you call your scheduled airline or visit their website within 24 hours of departure to reconfirm that your flight times have not changed.
How can I get in touch with my airline?

Aer Lingus 800-223-6537
Aeroflot 888-340-6400
Air Canada 800-247-2262
Air China 800-882-8122
Air France 800-237-2747
Air India 800-223-7776
Air New Zealand 800-262-1234
Alaska Airlines 800-426-0333
Alitalia 800-223-5730
American Airlines 800-433-7300
Austrian Airlines 800-843-0002
Avianca 800-284-2622
British Airways 800-247-9297
Cathay Pacific Airways 800-233-2742
China Airlines 800-227-5118
Copa Airlines 800-359-2672
Delta Airlines 800-221-1212
Emirates 800-777-3999
Finnair 800-950-5000
Iberia Airlines 800-772-4642
Icelandair 800-223-5500
Japan Airlines 800-525-3663
JetBlue 800-538-2583
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines 800-225-2525
Korean Airlines 800-438-5000
LAN 866-435 9526
Lufthansa German Airlines 800-645-3880
Qantas Airways 800-227-4500
South African Airways 800-722-9675
Swiss Air 877-359-7947
Taca International Airlines 800-400-TACA
TAP-Air Portugal 800-221-7370
Thai Airways 800-426-5204
Turkish Airlines 800-874-8875
United Airlines 800-241-6522
US Airway 800-428-4322
Virgin Atlantic 800-862-8621

What should I keep in mind if Vantage Travel makes my air arrangements?

We will create your preliminary air itinerary approximately 15-30 days after you make your reservation and send it to you via both mail and email. You can also view your itinerary within My Portfolio. Please note that this itinerary is subject to change. You’ll need to contact us immediately if your first and last names do not appear exactly as they do on your passport.

Based on our routing guidelines, we’ll offer you non-stop flights whenever possible, as well as acceptable connection times of no less than two hours and no greater than four hours. If you are dissatisfied with your preliminary air itinerary for any reason, please contact us at 1-888-782-6824 to speak to a Flight Choice Agent. We’ll give you additional options around your routing and airlines, and work with you to create an itinerary that suits your needs.

In general, we strive to offer you the best value possible, and we negotiate special airline contracts — which may contain certain restrictions that affect availability, choice of seats, flights, routes, and/or specific arrival times. While we charge no administration fee to customize your air itinerary, you may be subject to increases in airline costs.

You will receive a final documents package that includes your final air itinerary approximately 15 days prior to your departure date.

Can I request seats in advance?

Yes, but note that the airline will not always give you a seat assignment in advance. Vantage Travel will forward to the airline your request for preferred seating, and you can check for confirmation of your seat requests on the Air Itinerary page within your personalized My Portfolio. It is important to note that you DO have a confirmed reservation, even if you don’t see a seat assignment on your air itinerary.

If the airline is able to pre-assign seats, your seat will be indicated on your final air itinerary

If the airline does not pre-assign seats, we recommend that you check in early at the airport and request your preferred seat.

Please note: Bulkhead seating and emergency exit seating cannot be pre-assigned, as airlines need to qualify passengers for those seats at check-in. If you prefer these seats, we strongly recommend that you check in early.

Can I upgrade to Business Class, Premium Economy, or Economy Plus?

Yes, on participating airlines. Business Class upgrades are available on most Vantage Travel journeys, at a significant discount from airlines’ retail fares. Premium Economy and Economy Plus are offered by select airlines on a more limited basis, but we’ll submit your request when available.

If you haven’t yet made your reservation, you may purchase a seating upgrade when you reserve.

If you have already reserved your trip, you can request an upgrade by calling Flight Choice Toll-free at 1-888-782-6824.

Please note: Seating upgrades are subject to availability.

Can Vantage Travel arrange my flights to accommodate independent travel either before or after my scheduled trip?

Yes. We encourage travelers to make their most of their international airfare and maximize their discoveries. Subject to flight availability, you’ll have the Flight Choice option to arrange deviations at the beginning or end of your adventure—giving you the chance to travel on your own to wherever you choose.

It is important to note that you are responsible for confirming your flights, arranging your hotels and airport transports, and arriving at the proper airports for your flights. Additional air charges may also apply. You must request to deviate no later than 90 days prior to departure. Requests inside 90 days may incur a service fee.

After You Reserve

Will I Receive a Confirmation?
Yes. Once you reserve you will receive a confirmation email. This email is not only to thank you for reserving with us but will also supply you with destination information and access to "My Portfolio" so that all your trip details will be at your fingertips merely by logging into to your personal Vantage account. As your departure approaches, Vantage will continue to send you correspondence via email to help you prepare for your trip.
When Will I Receive My Invoice?
An invoice package will be emailed to you once you reserve. This package includes a detailed invoice, our Tour Participation Agreement and details about our Travel Protection Plan. While you wait for this information to arrive by mail, you will also have access to your trip information on MyPortfolio.

If you make changes to your reservation, please allow 24-48 business hours for processing. Once the changes have been applied, your invoice will be updated on your MyPortfolio account.
What is MyPortfolio?
MyPortfolio is an easy and convenient way to keep up to date on all the details of your upcoming trip and to manage your travel preferences. When you create your very own, secure account on www.vantagetravel.com, all of your trip details will be at your fingertips, including trip preparation tips, invoice details, air itineraries and more. Plus, you can plan your next Vantage trip using the Travel Planner on MyPortfolio, update your travel preferences so that we can keep you informed about upcoming itineraries that appeal to you, keep track of your earned travel rewards and refer other travelers to Vantage. All in one central place that you can access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you don't have a MyPortfolio account, you can register for yours here.
When Is My Final Payment Due?

Final payment is due 120 days prior to departure for most Vantage trips. Final payment for Ocean Explorer and Ocean Odyssey combination tours is due 180 days prior to departure. Please our see Terms and Conditions for full details.

Does Vantage mail Final Documents?
Vantage will send out a Final Document package including luggage tags and name badges 10-14 days prior to your departure date to the address on file. Any changes to your address need to be received no later than 30 days prior to your departure date to ensure receipt. Additionally, you can access and print all relevant information pertaining to your departure from your MyPortfolio account at www.vantagetravel.com/myportfolio.
How Long Does My Passport Need To Be Valid?
This depends on the country to which you are traveling and the country which issued your passport. Most US passports must be valid up to 6 months upon return from your trip (again, based on your destination). Please visit www.state.gov for details about your specific destination.
Do I Need A Visa?
This depends on your Passport country of issue and the country to which you are traveling. U.S. passport carries can refer to the KNOW BEFORE YOU GO section, which appears both in their MyPortfolio account and on the "Full Itinerary" page of your trip at www.vantagetravel.com.

Will Vantage Arrange for My Visa if I Need One?
Vantage has a visa service that will process your request for a modest fee. However, only certain nations require a visa — among them: Australia, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Russia and the Baltic States, Nepal, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar and Vietnam. Vantage will advise you about requirements well in advance of your departure date.
Are Vaccinations Required?
All travelers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at least 14 days prior to departure. Bring your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card, which should display your name, vaccine type, and the dates each dose was administered. We also recommend keeping a picture of it on your phone if it is lost or damaged. Travelers who arrive at their destination without proof of vaccination will be required to return home at their own expense. We do not require vaccinations against illnesses other than COVID-19 at this time.
Can I Rate Your Service?

Yes. Prior to your departure you will be asked to complete a pre-trip survey. Survey results are reviewed each week by the management team. We encourage you to let us know how we are doing so we can improve our service to you. In addition, after each phone call to our sales and Customer Concierge Staff
team, you will be transferred to a post-call survey. This allows us to monitor agents' individual service levels. We thank you in advance for your feedback

After Returning from a Trip

How Can I Provide Feedback About My Trip?
A few days prior to your departure you will receive online access to a Post-Trip Survey on your MyPortfolio account. We encourage you to complete this survey during your on tour while your experience is fresh in your mind. We use your surveys to modify and change all aspects of our tours. We invite you to complete the survey candidly and thoroughly.
How Can I Write a Review of My Trip?
After you have returned, you will be able to let everyone know what you enjoyed most about your Vantage experience. You can go to your MyPortfolio account and fill out a trip review. Your reviews will be posted on the Trip Details page of Vantage's website.
Do You Offer Benefits to Past Travelers?
Absolutely! The more you travel with Vantage, the more benefits you'll enjoy. We invite you to visit our President's Club page to learn more.
Other Questions: How Do I Get Them Answered?
Simply send Vantage an e-mail with your question or request for more information – or call Vantage directly, toll free, 1-888-982-6824.
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