Steve Kaffen

Europe was slowly transitioning from the worst effects of COVID-19 in spring 2022. The Mediterranean region is stunning in spring, and author Steve Kaffen felt that by exercising reasonable precautions, he could create and execute a memorable trip.

“Courageous!” was the reaction of family and friends. The better word was probably “escape,” critical rejuvenation after spending much of the prior two years indoors and glued to the never-ending stream of COVID news. The travel and the timing turned out to be ideal, with uncrowded trains and buses, immediate seating in restaurants, hotel upgades upon request, and half-full cruise ships with unusually personalized service. Join the author on two unique cruises in “the Med,” visit its ports and islands, and engage with other “courageous” travelers. As with many of his books, the author uses a combination of extensive photos plus narrative and explanations, to present the story of grand travel in one of Europe’s most beautiful regions during an upbeat time of energy and optimism.

Steve Kaffen (Russia (1994-96) principal travels include a four-year, country-by-country journey across Asia, Africa, and the Americas; an overland adventure through the Middle East; excursions by bus and rail in Europe and Australia; ships across the Atlantic and Pacific; and Amtrak train travel in the United States.

Steve earned an MBA and CPA, and held management positions with Deloitte and Ernst & Young, Levi’s and Pathe Films, the Peace Corps, USAID, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Growing up New York City, and having lived in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Paris, he lives now in Washington, D.C.


Cruising the Mediterranean During Covid
by Steve Kaffen (Russia 1994-96)
Independently published
September 2022
Amazon is offering free downloads of the book September 9-11, 2022.
$3.99 (Kindle)



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  • I’m new to the site. I know Steve for more than 20 years. I worked under his leadership, he was my supervisor as assistant inspector general – Peace Corps. Steve and I travelled together to many Peace Corps’ posts all over the world. Steve is my mentor. He is talented writer and photographer. I remember he used photography during his post visits in order to explain his points in HQ. The book’s photos from the beautiful islands Majorca and Corsica were my favorites, and the discussion of travel in Europe during Covid was very interesting. Congratulations,

  • I’m always astounded by Steve’s books, the combination of extensive photos, knowledgeable commentary about the places he travels through, as well as his intoxicating love of travel. It’s why I bought this particular book. I thought if he had something good to say about cruises, I could trust him. He does have tantalizing images of people, cities, food, and even the ship, nearly empty because of COVID. It was the closest I’ll ever come to going on a cruise as it’s not my choice to travel on a moving city, since I live in a city, but anyone who’d like to know what a cruise can offer, it’s worth the vicarious sail, having Steve as your adventurous guide.

    • Marnie, I’m always flattered when you take the time to read my book and provide comments. Regarding the nearly empty ship, I wish I had taken a picture of two waiters together filling my water glass. It took me back to an experience in Chengdu, China in the early 1980s when five waiters and the restaurant manager stood around my table as I ate dinner, providing what they envisioned to be attentive Western-style service.

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