Vantage Deluxe World Travel

Vantage Deluxe World Travel

Boston

 3.6/5 (388 ratings)
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About Vantage Deluxe World Travel

Vantage Deluxe World Travel provides European river cruises and travel adventures in more than 80 countries across all seven continents. The company offers solo and group trips that take travelers to a variety of worldwide destinations. It also handles meals, itineraries and airline and hotel bookings.

Overall Satisfaction Rating

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Pros

  • Operates all over the world
  • Solo and group adventures available
  • Website offers ways to save money

Cons

  • Can be expensive
  • Reports of long waits for refunds

Bottom Line

Vantage Deluxe is a tour operator that hosts vacations and adventures all over the world. It offers river and ocean cruises, land tours, safaris and more for solo travelers and groups. It also handles airline and hotel bookings.

Top Vantage Deluxe World Travel Reviews

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Rated with 5 stars
Verified

After a disastrous river cruise with Viking just 6 months ago, we were a little nervous about what we could expect on our long-planned Douro River cruise with Vantage in April. Th...

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Rated with 5 stars
Verified

We loved this river cruise. Our tour director, George, was fantastic... always around, very helpful, funny, and very knowledgeable! Food was great, tour guides at each port were e...

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What is Vantage Deluxe?

Vantage Deluxe is a group tour operator. The company, which has been in business since 1983, offers both cruise and land tours worldwide, as well as an around-the-world cruise option. Its adventures include safaris and historical, culinary and art tours, and it takes travelers to some uncommon destinations like Antarctica. You can also book a solo journey or join a group tour and request a roommate match.

How does Vantage Deluxe work?

Vantage Deluxe handles nearly every aspect of its trips for you. Most tours include:

  • Roundtrip airfare
  • Centrally located hotels with private facilities
  • Baggage handling
  • Comprehensive tours with experienced tour directors
  • Most meals, including daily breakfast
  • Cultural connections, including lectures, visits with locals and other interactive activities

The Vantage Deluxe website provides a day-by-day breakdown of each trip it offers, including meals and likely hotels. Once you book your tour, you can access all pertinent information (like whether or not you need a visa or vaccinations) on the Vantage Deluxe website.

Vantage Deluxe costs

Vantage Deluxe’s prices depend on your destination and the length of your trip. Typically, its vacation prices are:

  • Under 20 days: $3,500 to $13,000
  • 20 to 40 days: $7,200 to $23,600
  • 40 to 90 days: $20,000 to $47,000
  • 90 to 112 days: $48,000 to $63,200

Vantage Travel also provides several money-saving opportunities, including last-minute deals, airfare sales and rewards programs.

Vantage Deluxe FAQ

Does Vantage Deluxe charge for cancellations?
Yes, Vantage Deluxe charges for cancellations, though you can buy travel protection that offers reimbursement or company vouchers. Otherwise, cancellation fees depend on when you cancel:
  • 121+ days prior to departure: $300 per person
  • 120 to 91 days prior to departure: 40% of selling price per person
  • 90 to 61 days prior to departure: 65% of selling price per person
  • 60 to 0 days prior to departure (including no-shows): 100% of selling price per person
Where does Vantage Deluxe go?
Vantage Deluxe travels worldwide, including within the U.S., Canada, Europe, Africa, Antarctica and more. It also offers a single trip that takes you around the world.
Does Vantage Deluxe arrange flights?
Yes, but you can customize flight reservations, including for discounted upgrades.
Does Vantage Deluxe offer vacations for solo travelers?
Yes, Vantage Deluxe offers several solo journeys; you can also join a group and request free roommate matching.

Is Vantage Deluxe worth it?

Vantage Deluxe’s adventures vary greatly in cost, and they’re not affordable for everyone. If you can afford it and want a guided educational or adventurous travel experience, this company might be the right fit. Like other travel companies, Vantage Deluxe is taking extra precautions, including booking journeys as far ahead as 2023, to encourage safety for participants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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How do I know I can trust these reviews about Vantage Deluxe World Travel?
How do I know I can trust these reviews about Vantage Deluxe World Travel?
  • 4,007,608 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
  • We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
  • We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
  • Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.

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Page 1 Reviews 0 - 10
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 13, 2022

On April 19, 2021, when my wife and I, along with six additional alumni friends, booked rooms/suites on the Vantage Deluxe World Travel "Ocean Odyssey" for the "Pearls of Greece and the Dalmation Coast" 16-day cruise from Athens, Greece to Zagreb, Croatia scheduled to depart on October 18-31, 2022, we had no way of knowing that the "M/S Ocean Odyssey" HAD NOT BEEN BUILT YET.

The builder of the vessel, Sunstone Ships, of Miami, Florida was in dire financial trouble. In the summer of 2021, Mr. Niels-Erik Lund, Chairman of Sunstone stated, "2020 became the worst financial year in the combined Sunstone/ISP's 31-year history..." Mr. Lund further remarked, "We expect that 2021 will be as bad as 2020..." Yes, Vantage Travel "charters" its expeditionary ships (M/S Ocean Explorer & M/S Ocean Odyssey) from Sunstone Ships.

In order to get the best price on the expected voyage, on April 15, 2021, my wife and I paid Vantage $17,398.00 for the October 2022 cruise. That was a HUGE mistake. The Ocean Odyssey was being built for Sunstone Ships by China Merchants Heavy Industry of Jiangsu, China. On May 12, 2022, China Merchants Heavy Industry "walked out of the contract" to build the Ocean Odyssey according to Mr. Lund. Calls and emails to Sunstone Ships regarding the status of the Ocean Odyssey are referred to Vantage Travel.

On September 7, 2022, a senior representative for the designers of the Ocean Odyssey in Norway stated that the ship was not yet completed, but that the "latest rumors from China is that the ship will be delivered by end of September." If the "rumor" is true, that would leave 16 days for the ship to transit the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean, transit the Suez Canal, reach Athens, undergo "sea trials," staff, and provision the vessel before departure on October 18th. THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE. Yet, we hear NOTHING from Vantage. Vantage Travel knew or should have known that the ship would NEVER make its scheduled cruises in August and October of 2022.

We have learned that on August 18, 2022, THE DAY OF DEPARTURE for the scheduled August cruise on the Ocean Odyssey, Vantage Deluxe World Travel announced to its customers without prior warning that, "Despite our very best efforts, the m/s Ocean Odyssey will need more time to come into service" and the cruise was cancelled while people were driving to the airport! Vantage went on to say, "Passengers affected by this delay will be automatically moved to the next available itinerary. Please visit "My Portfolio" for the latest trip updates."

This is a sham! If you go to the Vantage website, you will see that all the cruises for the Ocean Odyssey are "SOLD OUT" through 2024! For those of us scheduled to depart on the October 16, 2022, "Pearls of Greece..." cruise, the lack of communications from Vantage is staggering. No one answers the phone. When you finally reach someone, they indicate they will "send a message to management" and you never hear another word. Vantage is not refunding fairs as promised (read other Consumer Affairs reviews), but they are still pushing "room upgrades" for a cruise they KNOW isn't going to occur.

FINAL STRAW: On Monday, September 12, 2022, all of my travel companions who booked airfare through Vantage were notified by the airlines that their bookings had been cancelled by VANTAGE, and the funds were returned to VANTAGE, yet, still no word from Vantage Travel itself. FYI, as of the date of this review, 13 SEP 2022, the ship's AIS "Automated Identification System" still shows the vessel parked dockside at the builder's yard in China. It is reasonable to presume that Vantage collects close to $1,440,000 per sailing in cruise charges and airfare. Where is the money going? When the trips are cancelled, it's not going back to the travelers. This is a fraud.

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Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 9, 2022

Before Covid, I had made full payment of $7389 on a trip to Portugal and Spain. $1799 was voucher from a previous trip I had to cancel, to be used within one year. Travel protection was $899. They refunded $415 with no explanation. I believe it was the optional tours in Madeira. I have tried from the time of Covid cancellation to get a refund. They refuse. They rebooked same trip for Oct 2021 (one year later) and gave me vouchers. Sept 2021 came and I had not heard from them with air schedule or anything. I checked with the Travel, State, Gov. Website and they advised against travel to Portugal and Spain because of unrest and a level 4 for Covid in both countries. I called Vantage and they told me they still planned to operate the trip as planned. It did not appear that they cared about their customers' safety.

I cancelled. They sent me vouchers for $3777.to be used within 15 months from the date the trip was cancelled. This amount does not include insurance or my voucher from the previous cancelled trip. I am 83 years old and travel is more difficult than it was two years ago. I cannot use the vouchers so am out $7389. I would even be happy with a portion of this amount but Vantage doesn't seem to care. I was booked during that time with two other travel companies and was refunded promptly. If anyone does decide to travel with Vantage, my advice to them would be to never pay the full amount until the last day. They are not very nice people in the customer care department and have long holds, and cut offs when you attempt to call them. There are more reputable Travel Companies. Try them first.

10 people found this review helpful

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    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Aug. 1, 2022

    In May 2021, I booked and paid for a luxury Mediterranean cruise with Vantage. In April 2022, they said the ship would not be ready in time, and I asked that my money be refunded. They owe me a lot of money! Numerous phone calls, chats, etc. and they keep telling me it's "in process".

    9 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: June 30, 2022

    We've been traveling the world, with numerous companies, for 50 years. This is the worst trip we have ever gone on. Other than the land portions in Boston & Montreal and some decent food and wait staff, the trip was a disaster! The Program Manager and Cruise Director were the worst we have ever encountered, even with "bargain" trips. They had never been to the most ports and knew almost nothing about them. We knew more, simply from reading articles on the Internet!

    Several advertised (and included) land excursions were canceled. For example, in Gaspe, we didn’t drive along the coast, see the GeoPark, enjoy the multimedia adventure, or explore Percé. We didn’t go to the Havre St. Pancrace lookout, Glacier Center, or Glacier Garden. Others weren't canceled, but they were closed. So, we were told to "look through the windows!" One venue had been closed for two years! Two days we had land tours in school buses, because they forgot to book the tour buses in time. The heater in our school bus couldn't operate at the same time as microphone, so the windows fogged over! While Vantage materials advertised that there would be 226 or fewer people on any tour, every tour we took had 35 or more people on it. Plus, while there were QuietVox receivers in our cabin, the tours never used them. So, we could seldom hear the guides.

    One port stop (Halifax) was shortened by more than an hour because they couldn't get the disembarkation stairs lined up. Another (Lunenberg) was shortened by 2 hours when they ordered the wrong size tender boats. Another stop (Pictou) was eliminated entirely. The trip advertised the pool, but it was empty. The hot tubs were usually closed and sometimes stone cold. (Someone forgot to turn on the heater.) Internet was understandably spotty, but there was also no TV reception, and no daily news.

    The single entertainer was mediocre, at best. The one local group was good…but the tour director announced the wrong time, and most passengers were still in port during the entertainment. All in all, we spent more than $14,000 on a trip that was a total disaster. When asked about the best part of the trip, we both said, “when it was over!” We wrote Vantage a detailed 5-page letter explaining all the issues and asking for a partial refund. After seven weeks, we got the following email:

    “Thank you for taking the time to write to us regarding your recent Canada’s Spring Awakening Journey. We appreciate the time you spent to share your thoughts and feedback with us. It is feedback such as yours that provides the building blocks towards successful tour programs and exceptional customer experiences.

    We sincerely apologize for the aspects of your tour that did not meet your expectations. Vantage prides ourselves on providing an excellent customer touring experience. We appreciate you providing your detailed feedback which has been shared with our Operations Team so that we may improve these areas that fell below your level of expectation. Again, thank you for contacting Vantage Deluxe World Travel.” Don't book this trip through Vantage!

    9 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: May 20, 2022

    It was almost THREE years before we got a refund for a trip cancelled by Vantage. It was nothing less than a nightmare but we are glad to be awake and done with the experience. In regards to communications with Vantage, we made multiple attempts in all forms and to all levels of management. They always agreed that we were owed the money but their response of when the monies would be paid kept changing as the months/ years went on. It was not until we got the Attorney General’s office involved that a resolution finally came. The treatment by this company is not acceptable and we have yet gotten any acceptable apology or reason for such behavior. Our experience was not the first but I do hope that this review can prevent others from a similar nightmare!

    21 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: May 11, 2022

    We booked a cruise 4-13-21 and canceled 1-22-22, received two letters. One 1-22-22 stating we would receive a refund for 14,510. On 4-22-22 we received another letter stating we would receive a refund for 14,510, it is now May and all I get is the run around that I am in the Queue.

    14 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: April 12, 2022

    Two big problems with Vantage. First, I canceled a trip that was paid for, 6 weeks later no refund. They can not tell me when the refund will be made. Second, they rescheduled a tour for 2021, to 2022, and then again to 2023. Since they did not cancel, just rescheduled, no refund. Because of the above, I think they may be going out of business. Poor way to run a business. Stay away from this company.

    19 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: April 12, 2022

    We booked a cruise in January 2021 and paid in cash upfront. The cruise was for May, 2022. Unfortunately we had to cancel due to family matters, and we did so well within the guidelines of our contract. Now, six months after cancellation, they refuse to refund that large sum of money, although they have acknowledged in writing that they owe it to us. Further, they refuse to tell us when they will pay us back. A shoddy organization with no intention of living up to their promises.

    14 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: April 7, 2022

    RE: Heart of Brazil. Having written to you, and called multiple times, with no response to my letters and calls, I am writing one last time, and hopefully this letter will gain a response. As you are aware, the trip Heart of Brazil was cancelled totally. It was NOT postponed, and to date, no reason was given. Today, I received a new Vantage Travel book (159 pages) with a full listing of all of your trips. Nowhere is Heart of Brazil listed. In reading carefully the Tour Participation Agreement, on the last page, under Alterations and Modifications, top of third paragraph, it states ”If the tour is canceled by Vantage for any reason, Vantage shall have no liability beyond the prompt REFUND of all tour participants’ payments received.”

    On 12/05/21, I paid you in full for my tour, by giving you access to my account for a direct withdrawal. Big mistake! In addition, I did pay for Travel Protection…. Which reads ”with the Vantage 100%Travel Protection Plan, you can cancel your trip for any reason right up until you depart and still retain full value. After you pay, you receive this notice, Travel Protection fees are not refundable.” I have not seen one review which was above 1 star. I personally would give them less.

    18 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Dec. 7, 2021

    I don't know how this company would average more than one star....although it would be zero stars if I could post that. This company needs to be shut down. IT IS A PONZI SCHEME. They have used deceptive practices to bring in large sums of money without being able to fulfill the terms they have advertised. And they refuse to refund customers' payments. My friends and I booked a "Last Minute Deal" South American cruise (Sao Paulo to Buenos Aires) with Vantage for Dec 3, 2021. The cost was $11,786. The tour was cancelled three weeks later because the countries' ports-of-call were closed, and had been closed for quite some time, due to Covid. Vantage response to our demand for a refund was: "We had to modify your tour due to government restrictions on travel. We made every effort to continue operating as scheduled; however, due to circumstances outside Vantage's control, we are unable to operate as originally scheduled."

    This material fact was not disclosed to us at the time of booking. The company has declared the trip "postponed" and under their terms and conditions, they do not issue refunds for "postponements". (There seems to be some discussion on the www that denying refunds under these circumstances is not legal in Massachusetts, their home state.)

    Regardless, this failure to disclose is fraud in the inducement as we booked the tour at the last minute deal based the price and time frame. The company cannot hide behind the terms of their "contract" when they knew at the time of the booking that they could not fulfill their terms of the bargain. We never had a legal, binding agreement. I pointed out the fallacy of their ways, but their staff cling to the notion that our money is now their money. This is a corrupt business and should be put out of business. Others will continue to be defrauded out of millions of dollars until they are stopped. I have written complaints to the Massachusetts attorney general's office and my home state's. I hope they do something sooner rather than later.

    37 people found this review helpful
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    Vantage Deluxe World Travel Company Information

    Company Name:
    Vantage Deluxe World Travel
    Year Founded:
    1983
    Address:
    90 Canal Street #100
    City:
    Boston
    State/Province:
    MA
    Postal Code:
    02114
    Country:
    United States
    Website:
    www.vantagetravel.com