Jane Austen Entertainment & Activities
Riviera Travel itineraries tend to call at at least one port per day, sometimes two, which works well with the line's light enrichment program. There's a daily talk on each port, which is insightful and really worth sitting in on to learn about your next port of call. Occasionally, when the ship calls at the next port early, the talk will take place the evening before.
Shore excursions are included if a port is deemed big enough for a walking tour to take place. Tours involve stops at landmarks and attractions, such as churches, monuments of historical or cultural significance and museums, although entry into museums is not included. Tours are carried out by local guides and are informative, slow-paced and well worth attending to get a taste of what each port has to offer.
Every cabin is equipped with battery-powered vox boxes so passengers can listen to their tour guide with ease. Make sure you charge your vox box each night ready for the following day.
In smaller ports, such as Boppard in Germany, where tours aren't available, the team will helpfully guide passengers into the main area of the town.
Maps of each port, including tour highlights, are provided at the ship's Tour Desk. The ship offers no other shore excursions.
Daytime and Evening Entertainment
Onboard entertainment is minimal. There's an onboard pianist who plays nightly in the Lounge Bar and a once a week trivia quiz. Our tip is to be prepared: Pack a board game, deck of cards and enough books to keep you occupied if you prefer mental stimulation while traveling.
Aside from the talks on each port, there is no enrichment program available onboard.
Jane Austen Bars and Lounges
There's only one bar and lounge onboard Jane Austen, which is open from morning through night.
Lounge Bar (Diamond Deck): The ship's only lounge bar -- located at the front of the ship -- is spacious, offering panoramic river views, with a luxurious feel. The Lounge Bar features a rich Royal blue and cream color scheme and plush fittings. The central bar is surrounded by ample seating, including long sofas and individual tables and lounge chairs.
The atmosphere is relaxed and passengers flow in and out of the space throughout the day and into the evening. The Lounge Bar is at its busiest in the evening, particularly after dinner when passengers gather for aperitifs.
The drinks menu is comprehensive, although Champagne -- Moet & Chandon is the only option onboard -- is only served by the bottle. A sparkling wine is however available by the glass as is a selection of sparkling wine cocktails. There's an excellent nonalcoholic cocktail menu, too, which also make for tasty juices during the day. The ship tends to stick with offering local, not international, beer.
Jane Austen Outside Recreation
There are several outside spaces for passengers to sit and enjoy the views, including a Sun Deck, featuring sun loungers that are covered by a canopy in the winter months. There's seating and rattan-style outside furniture located at the front of the ship and further seating at the back of the ship, outside the Lido.
Though there isn't a walking or running track onboard, the ship's outside space feels open and offers space to take regular walks if you prefer to keep active while the ship is sailing.
There's a small splash pool and a four-hole putting green located next to each other toward the rear of the Sun Deck.
Jane Austen Services
The small stack of books in the lobby make for the ship's "library." The shelves are half full with an odd mix of fiction in German and English. Also in the lobby is the ship's shop, stocking a selection of premium European-brand accessories and leather goods, such as jewelry, scarves and handbags. The Tour Desk is also in the lobby where passengers can ask questions about port stops.
Self-serve laundry is not available onboard. A fee-based laundry service is available if you require items washed and/or ironed while onboard.
There's no internet cafe, but Wi-Fi is included. Guests have to take their device -- be it a smartphone, tablet or laptop -- to the reception desk to get connected. The basic Wi-Fi package is ideal for using social media platforms and browsing the web. Passengers can purchase a faster premium internet connection at a very reasonable 20 euro per cruise.