Behind every VIA article there's an intrepid reporter risking sunburn on an exotic Tahitian cruise, indigestion on San Francisco's best food tours, and over-exfoliation in the West Coast's most relaxing spas. These are the men and women who lived to tell the tale.
Craig Neff has journeyed to 31 countries on assignment for Sports Illustrated. He added Panama to the list when he reported "Panama Canal: Bon Voyage" for VIA. Prone to seasickness, Craig had been on a ship only once before—when he boarded the Saga Fjord, docked in San Pedro, Calif., for dinner during the 1984 Olympics. Craig lives in New York City—not far from Canal Street—with his wife, Pamelia, and their cats, Hedda and Hopper. Craig was eager to board another ship, when he heard VIA needed a writer for a cruise to Three Gorges Dam. But, as travelers know, some trips become memorable for their mishaps. Craig battled customs, missed a tour of the Great Wall, and was struck with food poisoning. Despite his travails, he laughs and says, "It was a great trip."