Our video team has been busy overseas interviewing Cruise Directors from our European River Cruises to post on our website. We thought you might like a sneak preview at a few that we’ll be posting soon.
“I grew up in Mainz, Germany,” says Jessica Csonka, “which is near where the Main and Moselle rivers meet the Rhine, so introducing Vantage travelers to Europe’s rivers is perfect for me.” If she could, she would introduce travelers to all of Europe, so that everyone could come to appreciate its many treasures, from the history and the food to the natural splendor and the many wonderful cities. One of her pleasures is pointing out the little treasures that many travelers never discover, such as beloved mouse and elephant figures in a stained-glass window in Mainz, and a delicious red peach liqueur found only along the Moselle. In addition to German and English, Jessica speaks French and Spanish, and currently lives in Spain. She loves to travel herself, and share her experiences with others. “I enjoy working with people, and always dedicate myself completely my travelers,” she says. “Obviously, travel is my destiny!”
“I feel like my guests have had a successful trip if they enjoy the cruise, but also take home a deeper understanding of the region they’ve visited,” says Tereza. Her passion is helping travelers look past the facts and figures to a true understanding of a destination, and how the history of a place impacts the people who live there today. Tereza comes from the Czech Republic, a corner of Europe that’s felt the pull of many of history’s tides, so she can speak from experience. Tereza’s languages include Czech, English, Italian, and German. She has a law degree from Charles University in Prague, but managed to work travel into her education, completing some of her law studies in Rome, and learning English in Sydney.
Susi was born in Würzburg, Germany, on the Main River, and has lived a good portion of her life in Regensburg, the Bavarian city on the Danube, so leading Vantage river cruises was a natural for her. “I started working as a local guide in Regensburg,” she says, “and that how I learned about river cruises. I found them fascinating right from the beginning.” Although Susi credits her parents for nurturing her love of history, the fact that she grew up in two deeply historic cities, both with UNESCO World Heritage Sites, no doubt played a part. “I love guiding tours on the Danube and consider it my favorite river,” she says, “probably because I grew up on its banks! I also love East Germany and the river Elbe, because it’s such a historically fascinating part of Germany.” In addition to her extensive European travels, Susi has checked Peru, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Vietnam off her bucket list.
Alexis’s French and Greek background makes him uniquely qualified to lead Vantage travelers on both European River Cruises and Mediterranean Small Ship Cruises. “I was born for this,” he says, “Since I was a teenager, I’ve always felt joy and happiness guiding my foreign friends in Paris and Athens.” Despite being at home in two of the world’s greatest cities, Alexis appreciates what it’s like for someone to visit for the first time. He describes a touching moment with a couple in a tour group on their first visit to Paris. “We arrived at one of the legs of the Eiffel Tower. They both reached out to touch it, with tears in their eyes. I asked if they were okay and they replied, ‘We have just realized the dream of a llifetime.’ This is when it really hits home that films, TV documentaries, and the Internet can never replace a real journey.” Alexis’s personal travels have taken him to the U.S., Brazil, Argentina, most of Europe, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Malaysia.
Watch your expert guides come to life in our new videos