Get up to $10,000 Credit from Every Cruise Booking You Make With Us!
Book cruises with CDV and get credit toward any CDV Land Vacation. No gimmicks, and credit can be combined or even gifted. 

About CDV Cruises

CDV Cruises is a division of Culture Discovery Vacations, simply known by most as “CDV.”  CDV was founded in 2006 as a tour company based in The United States, but operating tours in Italy.  To use the word “tour” is almost misleading, because CDV started specifically to do tours entirely different than virtually all tour companies.

Explora Journeys Travel Agent

Noting that normal tour operators do little more than check off boxes for sightseeing and essentially treat their paying customers like cattle, CDV was founded to give people an entirely different experience.  Something real, something life-changing.  

Simply put, the idea was to truly treat guests like family.  The formula was simple.   We simply needed to answer a basic question.  If dear friends from across the world were coming to visit us for a week, what would that week look like?  It certainly would not look like a traditional tour.  We may visit some of the more popular sites, but in a more casual way.  But we would also share our favorite places most tourists don’t know about, and we would take them to our favorite restaurants… you know, that place the locals rave about.  We would introduce them to our friends, and we would cook together and have family dinners.  It would be entirely an experience of friends visiting friends, and it would be fully immersive.

Most of all, the words “client” and “customer” do not exist in our company culture.  When you are with us, you are a guest.  We mean that literally.  So much so, that we make our tours all-inclusive, because a host would never ask a guest to pick up a tab.  When we are together, there are no tourist traps, no options, and no exchange of money whatsoever. 

Ponant Luxury Cruises

We answered that simple proposition in the form of an itinerary that we could repeat over and over, and it was an overnight success.  So much so, that after a few years we decided to expand the concept into new areas.  This required us to think out of the box, because if we were going to a new area, we actually had to spend years to build the friendships that allowed our model to work.  Yet over the years, we have been able to successfully expand into 9 regions of Italy, plus Portugal.  To top it off, we are actively cultivating new locations in Spain, Croatia, Israel, India and Uruguay!

We Call It “Next Level Luxury”

Let’s face it.  You can stay in a 5-Star resort, take an ultra-luxury cruise, and have a private chauffeur take you around while a guide tells you the history of what you are looking at.  That may be luxurious, but after a while, many of us yearn for something more.  Something real. A deep connection with the soul of the places we travel.  You just cannot get that with that luxury cruise line or tour operator (and many of them have tried to copy our model without success).  But for us, we started out with that goal, so it is deep in our DNA.

And Then Came CDV Cruises & CDV Extensions

scenic river sapphireOver the years we developed a very large family of guests.  Naturally when they would take our tours, they very often combined their time with us with a cruise or other travel.  We found ourselves helping them with the planning of that other travel quite often, and spent more time than we can add up fixing travel plans others had made.  Simply put, if we are treating our guests like friends and family on the trip they are doing with us, that rapport begins long before the trip.  We wanted the entirety of our guests trips to be the best it can be.  Moreover, we had built such incredible infrastructure, that we were not only more than willing, but very well suited to help.  We just needed to formalize some things to put ourselves in a better position to help guests.

A Tour Operator Becomes a Travel Agency?

In the world of travel, there is a hierarchy of sorts.  Most people that get into the business start as travel agents. If they are extremely successful, they may open a travel agency.  If their agency is enormously successful,   they may be fortunate enough to have enough of a following and the right connections to successfully organize private tours.  Those that are wildly successful by that point, may begin investing in setting up overseas offices and start what is called a Destination Management Company.  And for those that really make it, they may invest in infrastructure and staff to become a full-fledged Direct Tour Operators.

viking ocean ship

We started as a tour operator and built our infrastructure along the way. So for us to also operate as a travel agency was just a matter of setting up some accounts and talking to the right people.  In other words, while someone trying to make it as a travel agent slowly build credibility and a relationship with that major cruise line, we simply call up the cruise line, explain we are CDV,  and before we know it we are speaking with C Level executives who generally just set us up to be able to book their product and usually start asking if we would be willing to do shore excursions for them as well.

The benefit is that when a guest does one of our trips, now we can manage the entirety of their trip and make sure everything lines up.  The additional benefit is that our main thing remains our main thing.  Our guests are important to us!  So unlike a traditional travel agency that lives or dies on the commission a cruise line may pay them, it is such a minor part of the big picture for us, that we offer to give away a huge chunk of it in the form of up to $5,000 in credit toward our tours for every cruise we book.

Cruises and Other Travel Extended Far Beyond Our Tours

While we initially focused specifically on helping book travel that revolved around our tours, this very quickly expanded into much more.  Our guests began to ask us to help them with travel that had nothing to do with our tours.  That cruise to the Antarctic, that River cruise in Egypt, That safari in Africa, and so on.  Before we knew it, we were doing it all, especially in the luxury market as most of our guests fit it so well.  Naturally, we could not treat a guest like family while they are on a Seabourn or Sliversea cruise.  That is up to Seabourn and Silversea.  But we sure can before and after!

woman greece

Before we knew it, people started finding us specifically for cruises, and not our tours.  Often they end up on one of our tours at some point anyway, but some things have absolutely never changed.  Friends and family.  If we are booking for our brother or sister, how careful would we be to make sure everything goes well?  How available would we be when they have a question?  And perhaps an amusing side-effect is that even if you only book a cruise with us, we refer to you as a guest, not a client or customer.  Of course, in those cases we do not own or operate that cruise, so you are technically not our guest in that situation, but that thought process is so ingrained in our DNA that we cannot (and will not) shake it.   


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Why Always Book with CDV:

Book cruises with CDV and you can get a credit of up to $10,000 for each cruise to use toward any CDV land vacation!  Click here for more info.

In addition to the CDV Tour credit, we have special offers you cannot get directly from the cruise lines on thousands of sailings every year. When you search for a cruise on our website, look for these badges next to a sailing : sig2   and sig– These indicate a special group offer that can provide you with free onboard credit, free excursions, or included gratuities.

The special and exclusive CDV offers can almost always be combined all with current qualifying national promotions offered by the cruise line, as well as full credit toward cruise line status.

We believe in the concept of Luxury of experience.  This means that our guests are not just looking for bucket list places, but life-changing experiences.  Our passion is making that happen, and to do so, we need to think of each person we deal with as friends and family.  We are not just planning a trip or event or you, but rather a life experience you will talk about long into the future.

Our secret sauce is a mixture of people that truly care about you above the “product,” leading-edge technology, and our carefully cultivated relationships with vendors that have become dear friends.  For us, it is always personal.  Click here to learn more about us and why we are in no way a typical travel agency.

Culture Discovery Reviews:

Rated 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 stars (based on 39 reviews)

CDV Culinary Tours
We directly operate the highest-rated culinary, cooking, wine, and experiential small-group tours in Europe! And any cruise booking you do with us gives you credit toward our tours.

Get up to $10,000 credit or more when you book with CDV

Book cruises with CDV and you can get credit of up to $10,000 for each cruise to use toward any CDV land vacation!

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