Thanks to a focus on itinerary and ports of call, entertainment on board river cruise ships is far lower key than that found on board ocean cruise ships. After a busy day spent exploring a destination, or in some cases two, time back on board is set aside for relaxing on Sun Deck, tucking into Afternoon Tea in the main lounge, getting cosy with a movie in your stateroom or soaking your shoulders in the swimming pool or hot tub. Libraries are often found on board, fitting in perfectly with the relaxed lifestyle that comes with a river cruise, and it is here that you will often find computers that can be used for surfing the internet or catching up with people at home.
In many cases, the ship’s lounge serves as the ‘beating heart’ of the vessel, becoming a gathering place where guests meet for coffee and enjoy the passing scenery during the day, before indulging with a tipple or two from the bar come evening. Live performances are given by the ship’s resident musicians each evening, with a classical focus coming via pianists and string quartets. Many cruise lines also welcome guest performers on board, with entertainment reflecting the destinations of your itinerary. Newer river cruise ships, including some from the likes of Crystal River Cruises and Viking River Cruises, have begun to incorporate multiple lounges and bars within their design, giving guests more choice in the evening.
Other entertainment facilities often found on board river cruise ships include spa and salon services, cookery demonstrations, fitness centres, walking tracks and even swim up bars on some vessels.
Most river cruise lines offer comprehensive information and entertainment facilities in staterooms, with some guests choosing to simply relax with on-demand movies between ports. Flat screen TV’s are found on board all modern day river vessels, with a selection of TV and music channels available, along with high-speed – and often inclusive – internet access via the room’s infotainment system.