Your Vantage Team
Experts to serve you, ship to shore
During your Irrawaddy River cruise adventure, you'll be well taken care of. Your Adventure Leader will provide briefings about upcoming ports, coordinate social and cultural activities on board ship, and generally make sure that your experience is the best it can be. And to guide your included shore excursions, we've selected the best Regional Experts. If your program includes a land stay (or if you have chosen an optional extension), you will also enjoy the services of a City Host at your hotel, who can help you plan your exploration.
Adventure Leaders make your trip “smooth sailing”
Your Vantage river cruise will be led by a seasoned Adventure Leader who will see to your comfort and satisfaction. Think of him or her as your onboard "host," the person to turn to with questions about your itinerary, updates on the day's activities, reservations for optional tours, and so much more.
Meet U Soe Hlaing Tun
Soe Hlaing Tun (the U stands for Mr. in Myanmar) hopes visitors to his newly "unlocked" country will not only learn more about its history, ethnic groups, natural resources, and religions, but perhaps also, by example, learn how to be self-content. "I like this job very much," he says, "because it allows me to present my wonderful country internationally, and tourism brings direct support to our people."
This may sound high-minded, but Robin — the nickname his mother gave him as he grew up in a British colonial hill station (Maymyo) near Mandalay — is not without a sense of humor about Myanmar's "unspoiled" culture, which is one reason he is so popular with his beloved passengers. His favorite story is about a bus journey he planned as a student. "I left quite early in the morning for the bus terminal, but when I got there the tickets were sold out. I asked the ticket seller whether I should come back another day, but he assured me he could get me an upper class seat on the bus. Finally the bus arrived, packed with passengers and even goats, while I sat on a bench waiting for my upper class seat. The ticket seller suddenly came out waving his arms and pointing at the bus roof. 'This is our upper class, with air-conditioning and a great view!' he said. 'We also have sitting, standing, and hanging classes, but you've got the best. Now get on!' So if you get offered upper class in Myanmar," says Robin, "think twice!"
Regional Experts in Each Port
No one knows a destination better than an insider, so in addition to your Adventure Leader, you'll enjoy the services of experienced, English-speaking Regional Experts in select locations during your included excursions. Their deep command of regional history will certainly enrich your viewing of important attractions. But our "insiders" go a step beyond, sharing insights on behind-the-scenes aspects of local culture that ordinary tours usually overlook. How do families in this area get by? What are some of the local legends? What do the decorations on a particular house mean? Your Regional Expert is eager to bring it all alive for you.