Riverside Ravel Activities

Palm Court lounge on Riverside Ravel (Photo: Chris Gray Faust)
Loungers on the sundeck of Riverside Ravel (Photo: Chris Gray Faust)
Indoor swimming pool on Riverside Ravel (Photo: Chris Gray Faust)
Tomahawk steaks and prawns grilled on Riverside Ravel (Photo: Chris Gray Faust)
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Editor Rating
4.0
Very Good
Entertainment
Chris Gray Faust
Executive Editor, U.S.

Shore Excursions on Riverside Ravel

Riverside Ravel provides shore excursions in each port. For North Americans, these are included, but Europeans on a different fare plan can purchase excursions a la carte or as a package.

We found communication and in some cases execution of shore excursions on our sailing to have issues. Descriptions of the excursions were often incomplete or outright wrong. The quality of the excursions varied greatly.

Highlights included a truffle hunt demonstration and tasting at Domaine Bramarel and a winery lunch at Domaine de Panery outside Avignon. Lowlights were a weirdly rushed chocolate and wine pairing session at Valrhona and a walking tour of Aix-en-Provence that included a cheese tasting where the presenter couldn’t speak English and a passenger with a walker was unable to participate. We recommend asking the shore excursion concierges for guidance before booking.

Riverside Ravel does carry e-bikes on its ship, and there was at least one biking excursion (in Lyon). You can also choose to take them out on your own.

You can skip excursions and do your own thing, if you wish. This was easy in ports such as Arles, Lyon, Tain L’Hermitage and Viviers, where the ship was docked within walking distance of town. We were surprised that the ship did not dock in Avignon until the end, meaning that bus tours were required to get into town.

Excursions use QuietVox headsets. The ship also has umbrellas that you can borrow if the weather is iffy.

Lectures and Enrichment on Riverside Ravel

Unlike most river cruise lines, Riverside Ravel does not hold lectures or enrichment talks. There isn’t even a port talk before dinner. In this regard, the ship is more like a hotel than most river cruise lines. Passengers generally spent free mornings or afternoons walking into the towns on their own, relaxing or working, or booking a spa treatment.

Nightlife on Riverside Ravel

The lovely Palm Court lounge is the main area for after-dinner drinks, although some passengers did take their nightcap up on the top sun deck. The bartenders are personable, and small snacks such as popcorn and pretzels come out as the night goes on. A piano player keeps the music going; one night, a few women busted out some moves dancing.

Alcoholic drinks are included in the fare for North Americans. Riverside will be offering more a la carte packages to European and U.K. guests; drinks will not be included for those passengers. You can order a wide variety of wines and spirits in the included fare. The ship does not have an extensive collection of premium spirits, however.

Is Riverside Ravel Family Friendly?

Riverside Ravel does not list an age limit for its cruises. But save for the Owners Suite, the ship does not have rooms that are equipped for a third or fourth passenger, and the luxury vibe is not particularly child friendly.

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