So wrote British writer Kenneth Grahame in his classic children’s book The Wind in the Willows.
For the better part of two decades, Steve Faber has been living Grahame’s creed, writing about nautical journeys for a wide variety of publications and connecting clients with boating adventures across the world as a specialist for CruiseOne.
Based in San Rafael after living in Mill Valley for many years, Faber specializes in unique and exotic sailing trips: adventures, expedition, river cruises, travel on freighters and cargo ships, European barge trips and yacht charters, as well as traditional cruises.
“If it floats, we can make it happen,” Faber says.
Born and raised in Chicago, Faber moved to Los Angeles for college, attending Occidental College before moving over to the then-fledgling UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, a program that produced the likes of Francis Ford Coppola. After a few years in the film industry, Faber began copywriting for the direct marketing industry, plying his craft for nearly 20 years.
Faber says he’s had the travel bug since early childhood as his parents were intrepid travelers. But it was on a cruise with his wife in 1996 that the seed was planted for a career change. He met a woman who was on assignment Life magazine and was also a regular contributor to National Geographic magazine. He was fascinated by the idea of travel writing as a profession and knew he could make the transition.
“It’s all about painting word pictures,” he says.
Faber did just that, writing for publications like MSNBC, Miami Herald, Cruise Travel Magazine, a number of guidebooks and CruiseCritic, where nearly 200 of his stories and reviews continue to live on.
During this time, Faber decided to “take my travel advocacy to the next level, actually booking people on vacations I like,” and joining up with CruiseOne. He quickly found his niche.
“People might not even be aware of the types of trips that are out there,” Faber says, pointing to yacht charters, small ship cruises, naturalist-led expedition cruises, barge trips and coastal cargo vessels that serve another function – combination passenger and cargo ships, for example. Some of those trip options are completely different than the traditional one port per day cruise trips, an option which often appeals to people looking to cover more ground on their trips.
“These working ships sometimes do 30-40 ports in a week,” says Faber, a self-described foodie whose wife “hasn’t had to cook a meal in 40 years” and a collector of Haitian art. “Those are the kind of niche trips we love to do.”
On his personal adventures with his wife, Faber is partial to the Caribbean, having owned a sailboat in the British Virgin Isles for many years.
“It’s a home away from home for me,” he says. “There is still nothing like going to a place where you have a network of friends whose homes are open to you on the ground at the destination. You get involved in day to day life and you meet real people.”