Van Gogh Entertainment & Activities
The first evening of the cruise, there is a welcome drink served in the lounge and the entire crew is introduced. Depending on the cruise, a lecture on the river (or rivers) is usually offered, as well as an evening with local musicians and a crew show, where staff might perform anything from dances to magic tricks. Each evening, the entertainment director also plays DJ for those who might want to cut a rug.
All excursions are included and CroisiEurope offers two options: the "Classic" or the "Discovery" package. You choose which type you prefer when booking and there is some overlap. Classic excursions are described as being based on culture, architecture and history. The Discovery excursions are billed as original tours on foot, visits to out-of-the-way sites, local tastings, bike tours and the like. For example, in Avignon, the Classic tour is a guided tour of Avignon and the Papal Palace, while the Discovery tour is a hike along the Pont du Gard and a visit to the museum.
All the tours include a guide and transportation, if necessary. Some city tours are on foot, leaving right from the port where the ship is docked. Depending upon the excursion, food or beverages may be included. Most tours are generally a half-day, but sometimes morning and afternoon tours are offered, which can make for a long day.
Daytime and Evening Entertainment
Offerings vary by cruise, but passengers can count on at least one trivia game and perhaps a lecture on local wines or the history of the river. There also might be a dance contest for passengers. The crew show pulls in passengers as participants to everyone's general amusement. With many of the excursions lasting several hours, there isn't a lot of time for other entertainment and passengers seem happy to enjoy their down time with a drink and conversation.
This depends on the cruise. Most of the enrichment comes from the excursions.
Van Gogh Bars and Lounges
There is just one bar and lounge area, which is tastefully decorated in a taupe and blue color scheme. Couches and tables ring the room, with a dance floor in the middle. There are a few seats at the bar as well. High-tech touches include drop-down screens in the lounge, utilized when there are special lectures offered about the rivers and other topics, such as wine regions.
A new addition in the lounge is a self-service coffee and tea area, open 24 hours a day. This is quite popular with guests who are early risers. The three meals served onboard daily are at set times and room service is not offered, so being able to enjoy coffee or tea when you want it is nice. Large bottles of still and sparkling water are also set out here for guests to take. The other main common area is the sun deck, which sports lounge chairs and tables. When the weather is warm, this is where many passengers congregate.
Van Gogh Outside Recreation
The sun deck features both lounge chairs and regular chairs and tables for guests to relax and watch the river go by.
Van Gogh Services
The front desk is always manned with helpful staff and, in the lobby area, there is a small gift shop display with local souvenirs, stamps and postcards. Local maps are put out each day with information about the port the ship is visiting. Passengers can borrow a few different board games and cards if they want some diversion. One table in the lounge is decorated as a chessboard and the crew can give you the pieces to use to play. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship.