Entertainment onboard is simple and low-key. Typically, days are spent ashore exploring, and an onboard musician provides evening entertainment in the lounge bar on the Navigator Deck on Deck 3.
A couple times per sailing, the line will bring onboard musicians and lecturers from the local area to entertain and inform. Musical acts tend to be retro ensembles from jazzy eras, like the 1920s, while lecturers provide enrichment and context for upcoming excursions.
Although most shore excursions are included in the price of the cruise, Vantage offers a few optional half-day tours and pre- and post-cruise trips (extensions) arranged by the company's land tour arm. All tours are priced in dollars and range in cost from $85 to $200 per person for optional shore excursions up to $900 per person for the cruise extensions. The three-hour guided visit to the Louvre Museum costs $85 per person, while a four-day post-cruise trip to the Loire Valley costs $900 per person.
For the most part, the onboard entertainment takes place in the lounge bar.
As is the case on most riverboats, River Venture has only a few public rooms, so it doesn't take long to get to know the ship -- or your fellow passengers.
Your first stop inside the ship will be in the main atrium, which is set just forward of midship on the Explorer Deck. This is where you'll find the reception desk and concierge desk. The small, oval-shaped atrium is open to the third deck, above, which is also considered part of the reception area.
Forward from the reception area on the Explorer Deck is the ship's main dining room, the Compass Rose, which is reviewed in the dining section. The public spaces on the Odyssey Deck (Deck 1) – the salon and the fitness room – are reviewed in the spa and fitness section. The ship's Navigator Deck, houses the bar and lounge area known as the Latitude 52° Lounge and the Captain's Club lounge.
The Latitude 52° Lounge is the ship's central meeting point. The majority of information sessions and lectures occur there, as well as evening entertainment. Part of the lounge is divided and labeled as the library, but its proximity to the bar and lack of any real differentiation from the rest of the space means it's more of a concessionary nod than an actual reading room. The lounge is, as the rest of the ship, decorated in neutral tones and wood accents. Tub style dining chairs and loveseats are arranged around bar tables and line the windowed walls of the room. Forward from the bar and its swivel stools is a more informal seating area where larger groups tend to land, right behind the very small dance floor. The onboard musician sets up at the front of the room, where doors on either side lead out to a small deck with tables and seating for about 10.
The Solaris Deck is a large top-deck space nearly equal in size to the ship's full footprint. Facilities are minimal, given the height restrictions imposed by the bridges that span the Seine, but there are chairs and loungers set on synthetic turf carpeting. Drinks are served on the top deck when the weather is nice and the itinerary permits. The top deck is reachable via staircases leading from either side of the central atrium on the Navigator Deck, as well as outdoor decks forward and aft. A chair lift is provided on the port side staircase for handicapped accessibility.
The ship doesn't have a pool or hot tub, but it features both a salon and small fitness center situated directly opposite from each other on the lower deck.
The salon, which offers hair and nail treatments costing between 10 and 50 euros, is located behind the central staircase on the ship's starboard side. It's a small room with both a nail and hair station. Available hair treatments include haircuts, styling and coloring for men and women as well as head massages. Manicures, pedicures and eyebrow and eyelash coloring and sculpting round out the list at the salon.
Consisting of a treadmill, a stationary bike, an elliptical machine and dumbbell weights, the fitness center is small but offers enough equipment for the creative exerciser to get in a workout. It's located on the port side of the ship just off the central staircase and includes a flat-screen television in case you want to be entertained while burning off the carbs from the previous evening's dinner.
The ship also offers three foldable bicycles for use by passengers who want to explore sights further afield when in port. However, as on most river cruises, passengers generally opt to get their exercise via walking tours. A marked walking track (54 laps = 1 mile) at the aft of the top deck is more of a token amenity than a realistic option for a workout.
River Venture is very much geared toward adults, and there are no dedicated facilities for children.