Your Ultimate Cruise Guide

River Venture Review

River Venture
River Venture - Walking Tracks River Venture - Fitness Equipment River Venture - Dining River Venture - Cabin
56% of cruisers loved it
9 reviews | Write a Review
  • Good value for money in river cruising
  • Relaxed onboard atmosphere
  • Itineraries provide an intro to iconic French sites

River Venture Overview

By Jamey Bergman, U.K. Production Editor
Editor Rating
River Venture, which runs 10-night cruises from Paris north into Normandy, spent the first season after its 2013 launch cruising on the Rhine River. Vantage moved the ship in its fleet to the Seine in 2014 specifically because of its size and ability to dock in Normandy at the port of Honfleur, where the Seine empties into the rough waters of the English Channel.

At 360 feet, the ship is over 80 feet shorter than many of its former competitors on the Rhine, but it also carries as many as 65 fewer passengers. And odds are the 134 passengers the ship does carry will be American on most cruises; over 95 percent of River Venture passengers hail from the U.S.

Onboard River Venture, there's a focus on function over form. Decorations are neutral and largely monochromatic, with browns and beiges and wood accents throughout the ship. The furnishings are simple. The ship's exterior isn't beautiful, and its interior decoration is closer to that of an airport hotel and conference center than a luxury hotel.

But in-cabin conveniences, like a wonderfully spacious bathroom and top-notch entertainment options, make the onboard experience pleasurable. Ultimately, Vantage has thoughtfully and strategically combined a few high-end perks with a mid-grade product to bring the overall experience to a higher standard.

One other positive about our cruise on River Venture was that the line was trialling a "quiet ship" concept, meaning there were very few announcements over the PA system. A spokesperson for Vantage said the trial was a recognition that its clientele doesn't necessarily need to be told what to do "every minute of the day." The move also seems to indicate that Vantage has the ability and the willingness to adapt to its customers' needs.

River Venture Fellow Passengers

The general age for river cruise passengers is 60 and older, which is the typical demographic onboard River Venture. In effect, Vantage's demographic is entirely American, and the line's offerings are catered exclusively to American tastes. Some passengers will be visiting Europe for the first time, though with Vantage's broad portfolio of package tours and high number of repeat customers, many passengers will be quite well traveled. Most are retired and relatively well-off. The language onboard is English, including all announcements.

River Venture Dress Code

River Venture specifies "casual" as the mode of dress onboard. The definition is fairly loose during the day, with many passengers wearing jeans when it's cool out or shorts on warm days. However, jeans and shorts are not permitted attire for evening meals in the Compass Rose restaurant. For the Captain's Dinner, generally celebrated on the second night of the cruise, Vantage suggests a sports jacket or suit for men and dress or pantsuit for ladies.

If you're planning on touring -- either with the ship's added-fee shore excursions or on your own – don't forget a comfortable pair of shoes. Because the ship sails in France, with its lovely and historic landscapes, tours frequently involve walking on cobblestones and other uneven surfaces.

River Venture Gratuity

Tips are not included in the cruise fare. The line suggests tipping nine to 11 euros per person per day to be shared among the cabin and dining room staff. A "suggested amount" of five euros per person per day is automatically added to your onboard account. You can alter this amount, at your discretion, upon checkout. Cash or cards are accepted for payment of gratuities, with card transactions charged in euros. The onboard currency is the euro, though dollars are also accepted for cash tips. An envelope is placed in each cabin prior to the end of the sailing for those wishing to tip in cash. This envelope should be deposited in the box marked "gratuities" at the reception desk.
Next: River Venture Cabins
Print this section

River Venture Member Reviews

Mixed Review woebegone
Three of us were flying from Charlotte, N.C. to Paris. I always check in with the airline 24 hours in advance of the flight. Our names were there but the word, in an attractive shade of red, next to our names was: Cancelled. I immediately called ... Read more
Five previous wonderful trips with Vantage. This was very disappointing. First, after a very long wait at the airport to be taken to the ship, we had a terrible two hour bus trip to Vernon. Told that "stuff happens" and the ship was too ... Read more
This review is the first of my two Back-to-Back River Cruises through France with Vantage Deluxe World Tours. The 10-day cruise was the start of a 20-day The Treasures of France: A grand River Journey from Normandy to Provence Cruise. The ... Read more
1 - 3 of 9 Reviews

River Venture Ratings

Editor Rating 4.0 Member Rating
Public Rooms
Spa & Fitness
Family & Children
Shore Excursions

Explore This Ship

Ship Stats
360 feet
CDC Score:
Not Yet Inspected

Thank You For Signing Up!

Please Note: To ensure delivery of your free e-letters, please add to your address book.
We're committed to protecting your privacy and will not rent or sell your e-mail address. By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.