I wish to pass on my congratulations for the holiday experience we have had on the Blue Danube MS William Wordsworth this week.
On arrival at our boarding point in Budapest we were delighted with the quality of the whole ship, rooms and public areas, but even more delighted with the welcome and service we received. The staff are truly wonderful and a credit to your organisation, always smiling, always attentive and so helpful, we have met so many and wish to pass on our thanks to them all. I must mention Sabi our cruise director for his tireless efforts to keep us informed and entertained, Alina the hotel manager- such a wonderful girl, Stefan the bar manager, the chefs and restaurant team, the housekeeping team and Asdar our cabin steward. But i would like to thank the Captain and whole team/ crew for making this a memorable break and all contributing to our experience.
Sadly we have to fly home this Friday and my wife has already threatened to chain herself to her cabin, but please be assured we will be back.
Well done Riviera, well done MS William Wordsworth team,
Many thanks for a wonderful holiday,
Nigel & Lesley Morrall
(newly converted river cruisers)
Review by: Nigel & Lesley Morrall on 19/04/2019
Hearty congratulations to Riviera Travel!
Our group of eight, fun loving, young at heart, 50+ somethings, have just returned from our first experience of a river boat cruise aboard the impressive 5 star ship, the MS Thomas Hardy. An immaculate ship run by a dedicated and professional crew, from the Captains, who sailed us effortlessly through the beautiful Blue Danube to the lovely, friendly Kristina, who worked with gusto and always a smile to keep our cabin spotless. We have never met a crew or company so sincere to ensuring you are having the best of a relaxing but exhilarating cruise, and making it feel like it is tailor made for you! The whole team looked after your every need as soon as you stepped off the plane to leaving you at security on departure. The balance between well organised tours to breathtaking cities, such as Salzburg and Vienna and to laying back on comfortable chairs and watching the world cruise leisurely by on the top deck was orchestrated by fine precision.
Dining was divine, food exceptional. Icing on the cake, was an evening of the Vienna quartet on board playing the Beautiful Blue Danube whilst we were afloat on the beautiful blue Danube!
Big shout out to our director Sarah, and our gorgeous guide Gabal, who as well as being knowledgeable and informative on tours, also cut some great shapes on the dance floor on Crew entertainment night. Last but not least, Mihai, for your infectious humour and those amazing cocktails!!
Outstanding, outstanding! We will be recommending Riviera to all!
My motley crew of 8 are already planning our next cruise with you for 2020 and many more in the future. Thank you the best holiday.
Review by: Sharon Cleverley on 08/04/2019
We have just returned home from the most amazing river cruise holiday on the Danube. The boat was the MS Thomas Hardy (built in 2017) and it was spotless throughout including our excellent cabin that came with air con, safe, large TV and a very comfortable king size bed. Every day there was an included excursion with expert guides and in the evenings there was some superb entertainment. For us, the highlight was the crew - they were simply fantastic, each and every one of them. Really lovely people who were determined to provide the best possible service at every opportunity - simply amazing. Then the food - it was just wonderful - breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner - all were great, not to mention the little extra touches such as canapés with your evening drinks. There is free (nesprezzo) coffee / tea facilities in the cabins and again near reception. The Riviera cruise director (Cassie) and the tour manager (Edward) were equally fantastic and very knowledgable of the countries and cities we visited. Throughout the holiday everything worked like clockwork making it the most memorable holiday, for all the right reasons, we have ever been on. Thank you Riviera and your wonderful team on the MS Thomas Hardy. We shall be back.
Review by: Clive Spiller on 28/10/2018
We booked last December and were becoming concerned as our cruise was showing at risk for low water. Nonetheless we arrived to be shown to our boat which was the first to depart for some days;
the organisation was first class, the room beautiful and the food was of the very highest quality, especially the cheese!!
Staff and crew could not be faulted the only problem we have is trying to ensure our next cruise matches this so I guess we will be booking Riviera again!
Review by: Mike Foote on 25/10/2018
It was our first river cruise as well as our first with Riviera Travel. From the time we landed in Budapest till we returned back to London the service was excellent.The food was of highest standard and the catering staff always welcome us with smiling face.The tour guide had a good knowledge about the places we visited.There use to be entertainment every evening on board.The Captain's Dinner was organized very well and it was an enjoyable evening.
Review by: Ather Khan on 08/04/2018
Our sixth trip with Riviera but our first river trip. As we have come to expect, all the arrangements were perfect & we loved all the destinations. The Robert Burns is just a beautiful ship with superb staff. Nothing was too much trouble and when there was a problem for a guest, whether medical or lost property (my husband left his rucksack behind in a cafe at Durnstein) the staff went out of their way to help. The rucksack was retrieved with the help of the lovely young lady on reception - thank you! This trip had the amazing Tim and Andras as Cruise Director and Tour Manager - Knowledgable, ever helpful and hilarious - please keep them as a duo. Highlight of the evening was Tim's musical quiz - he had the whole ship eating out of his hand &'we have never laughed so much.Thank you to everyone - we had a ball. Riviera we will be back - already planning the next trip.
Review by: Rosie Montague on 21/09/2018
The Blue Danube River Cruise MS Robert Burns
We were a party of four celebrating 50 years of friendship. From start to finish, things could not have gone any better.
Tour director Tim and his sidekick Andros were excellent. The ship is equally superb. The excursions were very interesting and manageable.
The experience was undoubtedly made by the ship’s company who were professional, jovial, enthusiastic and hard working. Their level of service and attention to detail was impressive.
The Riviera staff, in the UK, were equally friendly and informative when required.
What you see and read in advance is what you get. Life would be nice if more companies could deliver that level of customer service and with such honesty.
Well done Tim, Andros and the crew
Review by: A.S. MacDonald on 28/09/2018
Our very first AND NOT LAST river cruise.We were on The Robert Burns and had Peter and Barbara as excellent guides..I even managed to sing Ae Fond Kiss with pianist to celebrate Robert Burns.It was just amazing, the whole crew and team were so attentive and really worked hard to ensure everything went smoothly.I think reflecting on it is almost as enjoyable...it was a great way to see places albeit briefly but sure enabled us to think on returning to Vienna .I will be looking out the brochures again asap!Everything was so well organised and most relaxing...no need for us to really think much as it was all set out and plenty information given each day.....The ship was an excellent size ,brand new and plenty room for everyone.The live entertainment was first class and I was lucky to be made team captain on Peters first Music Quiz night!!The week went by so quickly...WELL DONE TO ALL ON BOARD...
Review by: Ronnie J Pollock on 14/09/2018
This was my first tour with Riveria, having used 3 other companies in the past 5 years. I was travelling with my partner and we both agreed that this was the best organised and conducted cruise we have been on. The crew were hard working, helpful and cheerful throughout the cruise, but special mention must be made of the Cruise Director Tim and Tour Manager Andras. They were excellent throughout with Tim's sense of humour maintaining morale and Andras's knowledge of all the destinations we visited outstanding. I would certainly go with Riveria if we had these 2 on the cruise!
Review by: Paul Nelson on 28/09/2018
Just returned to UK from Budapest. Fantastic cruise brilliant Riviera on board Staff. The ship's crew couldn't be faulted. The food served was to cordon bleu standard. This was our third river cruise with Riviera and we would highly recommend them to one and all.
Review by: Pat and Brian on 28/09/2018
The cruise was fantastic enhanced by Andras and Tim the Riviera Tour Managers. Entertaining and professional in all they did.
Review by: Ian Kilburn on 28/09/2018
We enjoyed a lovely cruise on the Robert Burns, a superb new ship. The staff and crew were so helpful and pleasant and had a really good rapport with the passengers. They also did a Crew Show one night and what a surprise!!! The whole thing was enjoyable but when Patric, one of the waiters, sang Italian opera it was brilliant and he was given a standing ovation. What a hidden talent!! The ship itself was very spacious and tastefully decorated and furnished. The food was excellent, although not an extensive choice of main courses, but all beautifully cooked and presented. The tours were very well organised and Andras and Tim were very knowledgeable leaders. I must say that Andras went beyond the call of duty organising a taxi and all-night dentist for one of the passengers and also accompanying the lady and her husband to her appointment late in the evening.
Altogether the river trip was yet again a superb Riviera holiday with visits to Salzburg and Vienna and other interesting towns and cities.
Review by: LINDA BECK on 21/09/2018
My friend Marion and I have just got home after a marvellous week on the MS Oscar Wilde. Everything about the cruise was excellent. The crew on board were friendly and efficient, and couldn't do more to make us feel at home. Our onboard Riviera Travel team, Leslie and Eszter, ensured we were fully entertained and educated and their local knowledge brought life to the areas we visited. On board entertainment was pitched to the right level - ranging from Leslie's pop music quiz to a splendid string quartet recital of local music. The food and drink met all expectations and the accommodation was very comfortable. Can't wait to go on another trip.
Review by: Anne Al-Jumaili on 20/09/2018
My sister and I have just returned from a cruise on the MS Robert Burns . This was the first time we had been on this type of holiday and we were both delighted with the experience. The quality of the staff was outstanding ,they were willing and very helpful at all times .The Cruise Director Barbara and Tour Manager Peter were excellent and always kept us well informed .Everything went like clockwork from beginning to end and we cannot thank everyone enough for such a wonderful holiday.Loved every minute . Thank you .
Review by: Elizabeth Mc Kenzie and Margery Anderson on 14/09/2018
The Robert Burns cruise exceeded expectation. The cruise/tour directors, Leslie and Peter were a superb combination who worked very well together, and looked after guests with great humor and efficiency. Their knowledge of the area was exceptional and their enthusiasm for the area very obvious. A great team - well worth keeping together.
The ship's crew from Captain to all staff were all very efficient, but friendly, and the catering extremely good. As always (this is our 5th Riviera cruise) embarkation and disembarkation were very efficient. We would happy recommend this holiday.
Review by: Susan Wright on 07/09/2018
My first ever river cruise on the Robert Burns was excellent, I could not fault any aspect of the itinerary, accommodation, catering, efficiency and friendliness of all the crew, the Hotel Manager particularly, was always around to help in anyway he could. Particular thanks and appreciation to Nikolay and Edward who worked together to ensure everything went smoothly and contributed so much to our understanding of the places we visited. They were a super team. The local guide who took us to the airport even stayed with us until she was sure the Ryanair check in desk was open, quite a long wait! I would recommend Riviera river cruises unreservedly.
A wonderful holiday.
Review by: Audrey on 31/08/2018
We have just returned from a cruise on the MS Oscar Wild it was fantastic. from the minute we stepped aboard we were looked after by the friendly crew for which nothing was to much trouble.
The overall tour was managed superbly by Cassie and Peter the Riviera team.
The food in the restaurant was fantastic and the friendly service second to none.
The on-board entertainment was great with the crew also putting on a superb show.
All in all the cruise was amazing and we will certainly be booking another one.
Review by: Stephen & Patricia Jones on 26/08/2018
Our holiday aboard the Thomas Hardy was amazing from start to end. Mike and Hanna our tour managers were very welcoming, approachable and knowledgeable about the area we were visiting.
The ship was breath-taking and the staff were so attentive to everything, especially Alina the Hotel Manager. The food was amazing with a good choice. Tours were very well planned and gave a good taster of each place visited. There was a good amount of spare time to relax in the sun on the sun deck. The family enjoyed the plunge pool.
On behalf of all the Avery family (aged from 18-84) we would like to say thank you for a most memorable holiday and we will certainly be using Riviera travel in the future.
Review by: Julie Avery on 29/07/2018
We found our Blue Danube cruise experience with Riviera Travel to be excellent in all respects. The quality of the facilities and service on the MS Thomas Hardy could not have been better. The Hotel Manager Alina did an excellent job in managing her team, who were all very friendly, efficient and helpful. The excursions and tour guides were all included and were of an excellent standard. Riviera’s representatives, Sylvia and Cassie, could not have done more to organise everything for us and to keep us informed and entertained. They did particularly well in dealing with the problem of low water levels and the coach alternatives.
Riviera Travel also did a fantastic job in dealing with the stressful situation, when, at the last minute, Jet2 cancelled the Budapest Sunday evening flight to Edinburgh. We were very impressed by Riviera Travel's quick response to the situation by finding coaches, taking us back to the boat for dinner and organising hotel rooms for such a large group of stranded passengers. The hotels were of a good standard and in our case, we needed to stay for two extra nights. We would have no hesitation in booking with Riviera again and plan to look at their other river cruise options.
Review by: Ken and Jane McDonald on 12/08/2018
A first River Cruise and most enjoyable.Made more so by the two ladies from Riviera Travel - Sylvia & Cassie. In a challenging trip of rapidly decreasing water levels resulting in a stop in Vienna on the way back, they kept everyone informed of all happenings promptly. Even a flight cancellation from Jet2 on the way home was solved efficiently by Sylvia (who was going home on holiday but stayed until we were all accommodated). The two extra days on the Oscar Wilde as a result, made a difficult situation very pleasant!!
We cannot praise these two ladies enough for their Customer Service and dedication.
We will be back on another river in another year.
Review by: Martin Sutherland on 12/08/2018
Fantastic! From start to end, the most expensive holiday I’ve ever been on but boy do you get the best! Every member of the crew were polite, welcomeing and more than eager to ensure our holiday was the best ever. Food excellent, excursions excellent, facilities excellent, cabins you guessed it EXCELLENT! And to top it off we met some lovely people.
Thoroughly recommend Riviera Travel if you are looking to be treat like you’re the most important person on the cruise.
Review by: David on 02/08/2018
Arrived home after a wonderful 8 day cruise on The Danube. This was the first river cruise I had done. The Thomas Hardy was excellent in everyway. The staff were amazing nothing was too much trouble. The food was excellent on board.Excursions were well organised. We encountered difficulties due to low water on certain stretches of the river but every effort was made to complete the itinerary which resulted in much planning and organising by the staff. It seems unfair to praise individual members of the the crew as all were fantanstic but Tour Managers Cassie and Sylvie were exceptional in the service they gave. This was my first experience of travel with Riveria but it won't be my last and would recommend this cruise.
Review by: Sue Hagues on 12/08/2018
What a fabulous week spent on the MS Oscar Wilde and the River Danube.
The ship is a real home from home and we were blessed with great weather so could enjoy the sundeck and plunge pool on several occasions as the ship sailed along the river. The dining room and bar area are both spacious and even when full for single sitting meals and evening entertainment never felt packed and we as a group of 8 could always find somewhere to sit together.
Tim and Veronika were marvellous - just the right side of cheeky and Tim's music quiz and dancing competition were a blast - 'my quiz, my rules' is a phrase I will not forget.....
The whole crew/team were so friendly and it was lovely getting to know them over the week, again the crew evening was another highlight. Nothing is too much trouble and everything is done with a smile.
The itinerary was great, I especially liked Bratislava and Vienna (where I spent an hour or so watching the Spanish Riding school horses and riders training...) The guides were very informative and lively - Pavol in Bratislava and Sylvie in Linz were excellent. The organisation of our trips worked well and although we did not spend long enough in the ports, it has added places to my wish list to return on another occasion.
Definitely a 5* trip and experience.
Review by: Lou Fisher on 02/08/2018
Just returned from the Danube cruise on the Oscar Wilde. The ship was just lovely. The bedrooms good enough size with the most comfortable beds and pillows. We had a cabin on lower deck with only a small window but we never felt it was a problem. Often we were moored next to other ships so your view is restricted anyway, and on deck you have 360 degree views. Free safe and fridge with water toped up daily and tea and coffee facilities also topped up whatever you used. There is a 24 hour tea coffee station also just off reception. The food was great and we had a 'drinks package' so no shortage of wine , beer, soft drinks at meal times. The waiting staff were always willing to fill your glass. Good organisation of trips but felt a little rushed in major places like Vienna and Budapest. Ideally it would have been good to spend 2 days at these places with organised tour one day and at leisure second day with optional trips. Staff were simply the best. All of them seem to 'muck in' and do a bit of everything and were such lovely characters.
Would we cruise with Riviera again, yes we would.
Review by: Heather Sutton on 12/08/2018
In the summer of 2018, my wife and I travelled on the MS Thomas Hardy from Budapest, up to Linz and back via Vienna (the Blue Danube cruise). We were looking for a relaxing holiday with some interesting destinations, and it was perfect, an excellent holiday! The new ship was amazing and we felt very welcome from the first moment on board. The holiday was made more special because of the staff on the ship. All were friendly and greeted us with "good morning", "good afternoon" etc. Outstanding service from the Riviera Cruise personnel of Mike Cole and Hanna Cole, and the hotel manager, Alina, was always smiling and helpful, plus she seemed to be always on duty to ensure all the meals were delicions and with healthy options.
Review by: John Staines and Monika Egyeki on 29/07/2018
What a fantastic holiday! We felt pampered and totally relaxed. The whole experience was perfect. We will definitely be booking for next year.
We had Tim and Veronika as our tour managers and they were extremely friendly and helpful.
Review by: Pam on 02/08/2018
The cruise was exceptional. Every element was well planned, organised and thoughtful. The Riviera team of Tim and Veronika were always on hand and organised all things in a superb way. The trips were well planned and just right for us.
Ahmed the Hotel Manager set a perfect example to his team in being involved at all times.
The Oscar Wilde is a wonderful boat, with lovely cabins and great dining areas and bar.
All the crew without exception were first class, friendly and professional.
Finally the food and wine was wonderful.
All in all a perfect first cruise for us. Thank you.
Review by: Peter Townsend on 02/08/2018
Excellent holiday. Oggy, Ahmed and Hardy were the stars. Would not hesitate to recommend
Review by: Brenda Colman on 02/08/2018
This was our 2nd River Cruise with Riviera and we took some friends with us, with fingers crossed it would be as good as our first cruise. I am extremely pleased to say it was EXCELLENT, the Thomas Hardy is a beautiful ship, the crew were all very friendly and helpful, the food was fabulous. The Riviera staff Lesley and Andras were fantastic ( they should always be together a great team) nothing was too much trouble for them and they ensured that our cruise went smoothly no hic ups. Best of all our friends loved it and want to go on another cruise. Well done everyone!
Review by: Celia Steventon on 22/07/2018
There is only one word to describe the experience I have just had on the Thomas Hardy and that is EXCELLENT!! Just ask Leslie who was our Tour Manager! His humour and personality made the trip so enjoyable. Seriously though this has been the most wonderful holiday. Never before have I received such amazing service and attention. Nothing was too much trouble and all done with a smile. The ship was perfect in everyway and the sightseeing tours organised all went like clockwork. A totally wonderful holiday all round. Can't wait to book my next river cruise for 2019. Thank you.
Review by: Penny Clayden on 15/07/2018
Superb Cruise to celebrate a 70th Birthday. Everything was so well organised by Riviera inc transportation to and from airport. The excursions were all well planned and we were kept informed at all times. The Crew of The William Shakespeare were friendly and attentive. The on-board food was excellent with evening meals all served to us, rather than buffet style. Vikky and Ezther, The Two Riviera Managers, were very capable, knowledgeable and enthusiastic. We would recommend this Cruise and the interesting places visited.
Review by: Judith Newton on 05/07/2018
A most enjoyable cruise on the Wm Shakespeare. The Riviera staff, Vicky and Sabi were helpful, knowledgeable and professional, the ship's crew were good humoured and extremely efficient, the ship was very comfortable, the food and entertainment were good and the travel itinerary was excellent. Every aspect of the week was proficiently organised.
The scenery from the ship was spectacular (aided by the warm, sunny weather) and the places we visited were interesting and frequently beautiful. I would be glad to book a future cruise.
Review by: Rod on 24/05/2018
This was our first River Cruise. We have done many big ship cruises and wondered if this cruise would be too soporific. It was not, it was quite superb. The ship's staff work hard to please, and the two cruise managers, Andras and Stewart were brilliant at what they did. The food was excellent throughout and sometimes was at Michelin standard. We had the drinks package which was good value and made life easier. It was a holiday at a leisurely pace.
Though the use of coaches was very good, it could be helpful if the coach drivers proved a step for people who have difficulty stepping down from a high step to the ground.
Review by: Ron Bryan on 29/05/2018
We have just returned from a week on the Robert Burns Boat cruising the Blue Danube. We had the most amazing time and very fortunately amazing weather. The Boat was fantastic as was the food and the crew were exceptional .Our tour/entertainment officers Leslie and Tim were brilliant, they made every effort to ensure everyone had all information needed, they were always on hand to answer any questions or solve any problem, nothing was too much trouble for them and they were very informative about the places we visited as well as making some fun evenings for everyone.
The guided tours in the places we visited were more than interesting with very knowlegeable guides.
Would highly recommend this river cruise to anyone looking for a little luxury mixed with a little intellect and history and a lot of fun.
Review by: Andy & Hilary Parsons on 18/05/2018
Our previous holidays with Riviera have been excellent and this cruise was no exeption. What a lovely holiday - the Thomas Hardy was certainly 5 star, with first class food and service. We enjoyed the company of some friendly people and were only sorry we couldn't say goodbye properly. We particularly enjoyed the scenic cruising along the Wachau valley, in fantastic weather. Thanks very much. We hope to be back!
Review by: Janet and David Byard on 15/04/2018
I write to you after a brilliant cruise on Thomas Hardy. Excellent food, wine, service. A special thanks to the tour manager Peter and his associate entertainment manager. Well done and keep this very high standard up.
Review by: John Hill on 08/04/2018
I just wanted to say thank you for the best holiday ever.
What wonderful memories I made with my mum. Staff, food, facilities were excellent.
Faultless, well done.
Review by: Helena Blessing on 24/04/2018
My husband Roy and I celebrated our 40th Anniversary with a week on the MS Thomas Hardy. What a fantastic week! The excursions were well organised and informative, at a comfortable pace for all. Our favourite was Durnstein - what a jewel on the Danube. (Melk Abbey was beautiful, however it was a bit rushed.) Our room was lovely, the food amazing, however the crew and all staff were second to none - absolutely phenomenal!! We were very touched by the gifts we found in our room by way of congratulations on our anniversary - totally unexpected, but very gratefully received. We would like to extend our gratitude to everyone on board who all contributed to make our holiday cruise so memorable. Thank you all very much indeed.
Review by: Julie Belson on 15/04/2018
"I miss the Emily Bronte" was what I said at breakfast on the first morning home after our cruise. We had a fantastic holiday. The weather was wonderful, arranged by the passengers, and the accommodation, food and service was first class. Our cruise Director and Manager, Eszter and Viktoria were excellent. The walking tours and coach tours at each stop were brilliantly organised and were just the right length in terms of walking, time and information. The ship was so comfortable and staff all so willing to make sure all our needs were met. I have to commend particularly Ester and Vikki for their endless patience and professionalism in dealing with all our questions, many many times having to repeat pieces of information for us more challenging guests without a hint of frustration.! The meals were fabulous, the entertainment was perfect and the ship glided along in 23degrees and constant sunshine. It was a dream holiday and I am very grateful to all the excellent crew and staff for making it so wonderful. We will definitely be back to Riviera for another cruise - I cannot wait. Thank you.
Review by: Patricia on 10/10/2017
My daughter and I have just returned from The Blue Danube River Cruise. It was my first cruise of any type and my daughter's first river cruise. It surpassed all my expectations. From the minute we were met at Budapest airport and escorted to The Thomas Hardy we were made to feel relaxed and welcome. I cannot praise the staff highly enough. The Riviera staff, Victoria and Andras were first class throughout. All the crew were friendly and efficient especially Alina, the Hotel Manger who always seemed to be "on duty" everywhere on the ship! Wonderful. The food was very good and the entertainment provided was most enjoyable. The day we ended out tour in Budapest we were the last group to leave (our flight was not until 8pm) but to the last minute we were looked after and allowed to leave hand luggage on board while we further explored the city and were also provided with lunch and afternoon tea. Very much appreciated. All in all I cannot recommend Riviera highly enough and cannot wait to book with them again.
Review by: Jackie Irving on 01/10/2017
We have just returned home from a river cruise on the Emily Bronte it was amazing the food, the cities we visited. but most of all the crew especially the waiters who were very friendly .Sophia the manager and Tim and Leslie who worked so hard to make the trips ashore so enjoyable.
Review by: terry n Joyce mercy on 26/09/2017
Went on 8 day river cruise up the danube on the Emily Bronte brand new ship which was exquisite. comfortable beds great food lovely dining room & lounge bar. Lovely sunbeds on upper deck if weather is nice. Great crew , tour manager & cruise director . Wonderful trips all organised.
Review by: Fuller on 26/09/2017
We returned yesterday from this cruise. It was so enjoyable. There wasn't anything that could be improved. The staff were all so helpful and friendly, the tours were very interesting and very well planned. Food was delicious and plentiful. A perfect holiday. We were very lucky to have sun every day - it makes such a difference. We will definitely book with Riviera again.
Review by: Liz on 26/09/2017
We have just returned from a wonderful week on the fabulous Emily Bronte. The ship lived up to its billing, the food and service were excellent. Can't praise the Cruise Director, Tim & Tour Manager Leslie enough. They were efficient, informative & had a great sense of humour. The music quiz was a riot! They & the crew were also on hand (with supper) when we arrived at the ship at 2.30am due to a delayed flight. The only down side was the late arrival from Bristol so maybe an earlier flight could be looked at.
Review by: H & P Williams on 19/09/2017
We have just returned from The Blue Danube River Cruise aboard the MS William Shakespeare. Our reps Sylvia and Esther were so helpful and knowledgeable, nothing was too much trouble all questions answered with a smile and professionalism. The crew were so attentive and friendly, it was my 60th birthday while away and made my day extra special. I can recommend this tour as the places visited were exceptional and Vienna and Salzburg a delight. Everything was organised and we had no worries, it was so nice even the rain didn't dampen our enthusiasm. Well done Riviera Travel, a truly 1st class company. Looking forward to traveling with you again in the future. Linda & David Hall
Review by: LINDA HALL on 14/09/2017
Just returned from a trip on the Thomas Hardy. Difficult to have anything but praise for the holiday. The ship was excellent, very good quality fixtures and fittings, very comfortable. The crew were fantastic, always very friendly, happy and willing to help in any way possible - excellent service from start to finish. The food was also of a very high standard. Whilst you obviously don't get time to fully explore most of the larger places visited you do get a "taster" to help decide if you would return. First class holiday, I would not hesitate to recommend Riviera as a company and for a river cruise. We will certainly use them again.
Review by: Keith Webber on 10/09/2017
My friend and I have just returned from this lovely cruise . The crew worked so hard, were friendly and very efficient. The food was marvellous. Views were stunning. Reps on board, Richard and Nora, helpful at all times. The Hotel Manager, Christian, was not only very efficient, but also helped with the crew entertainment night, and gave some very amusing speeches.
Review by: Sheila Jones on 07/09/2017
This was one of our very best holidays! Our first river cruise, and we can't imagine it could be bettered. Everyone, from our Cruise Directors Peter and Hanna, to Captain Christian and crew to Hotel Director Alina and all her staff, was completely first class. An excellent itinerary with fantastic local guides to enlighten us was matched with helpful talks on board and good documentation. The food on board was way too good for our waistlines - but we did our best! And we were entertained with great shows most evenings, whether the Crew Show, the Quiz, the string quartet or the Hungarian musicians and dancers. We thought it was good value for such 5-star quality. We're looking forward to planning our next Riviera cruise, too!
Review by: Ruth and Norman McChesney on 13/08/2017
We recently returned home to South Africa after what was a cruise experience of a lifetime. From the time we booked the cruise in mid 2016 to when we disembarked after the cruise, we had nothing but fantastic service from everyone at Riviera Travel. We travelled to & from Budapest on our own as the cruise was the centrepiece of a 5 week tour of Europe. All our email queries were promptly & well answered – well done Sandra!
We cruised on the new MS Thomas Hardy which is a magnificent floating 5 star hotel of which Riviera can be truly proud. The quality of the boat in every respect is outstanding. Our cabin with the French balcony gave us wonderful views of the river & scenery while cruising & while docked. The standard of food & the service from the crew was marvellous. The crew members, including those servicing the rooms, never failed to greet guests, were always helpful & cheerful.
Riviera’s attention to detail during the trip, really impressed us. The evening briefings for the following day’s visits, the fold out map & brochure of the river, the updated notice board, the excursion arrangements, & many other seemingly small things, all made for a great tour experience. From the moment we were greeted at quayside we felt cared for personally by the Riviera team led by Sarah & Rosie. They were knowledgeable, fun, energetic & had a great sense of humour.
We went on and enjoyed all the excursions. The flexibility between the guided tours & time to do our own thing was appreciated as it gave us the opportunity to explore for ourselves. The on board entertainment was thoroughly enjoyable – the crew variety show, the Viennese string quartet & the Hungarian dancers.
All in all we had an amazing time & are already planning our next trip with Riviera. The only area we would suggest that you give more focus is your marketing in South Africa. This cruise was by far the best value for money compared to all the other luxury cruises marketed by SA travel agencies.
Review by: Hilton Green & Pam McShane on 23/07/2017
My wife and I have recently returned from a Blue Danube River Cruise onboard the superb Thomas Hardy.After reading other reviews,we can confirm that it was an excellent trip.As this was our first river cruise we were not sure how things would be,well for us it was it was perfect.
The ship was beautifully fitted out with the highest quality fixtures and fittings in all areas.Our suite was really nice with full length French windows and well -appointed throughout.Daniel and Andras were the cruise directors who did everything to make sure things ran smoothly.Thomas Hardy is a happy ship and we felt in a huge way that this was due to Alina(hotel manager) who ran things so well.
The trips out were really good especially Saltzburg and Vienna,but please be prepared to do a fair bit of walking and you could get a bit tired.Now to mention the food on board from full breakfast,buffet lunch,afternoon tea,plus 5 course evening dinner(7 course last night) also 24 seater Bistro at rear of the ship.My wife and myself would like to express our thanks to all(and I mean all) on the Thomas Hardy and Riviera Travel Just sorting out our next trip. Barrie Reid
Review by: Barrie Reid on 06/08/2017
Just returned from an abolutely first class cruise on the new Thomas Hardy. This was our first experience of a river cruise and with Riveira Travel. So impressed !
The service and food was five star and exceeded our expectations.Particularly impressive was cruise director Sarah and the assiatnce she offered over our travel plans.
Vienna and Budapest are fantastic cities to visit and we will be going back there without a doubt
River cruisng is such a relaxing way to travel and our experience was so good we have already booked for next year to take a Rhine cruise on the Charles Dickens in Aug 2018
Great time !
Review by: Ciaran Leaden on 24/07/2017
My husband and I have just returned from an 8 day river cruise - Blue Danube. From the moment we were welcomed onto The Thomas Hardy we felt relaxed and valued. The crew were marvellous and always so happy and friendly. This is a new ship and definitely deserves it's 5* rating. This is our first experience of a river cruise and we were a little apprehensive. We should not have worried. Every day was a joy, from the beautifully served breakfast to the magnificent sun deck where we spent our time watching the magnificent scenery and stunning views pass by. Lunch and afternoon tea were a delight and our evening dinner menu was fantastic. There were a number of excursions from the ship and these were meticulously planned with coaches meeting us for city tours and walking trips by excellent guides with great local knowledge, and interesting tips on where to visit in the free time that we had. Our holiday was exactly as promised in the videos and brochures and we shall definitely be travelling with Riviera again. Great to have a holiday that has all and more than promised.
Review by: Mrs Chris Beadell on 06/08/2017
This was our second Riviera River Cruise and was every bit as good as the first one. The "Thomas Hardy" was absolutely beautiful and surpassed all expectations. The crew could not have been more efficient or helpful and friendly. The Chef even offered a tour of the kitchens. I could not believe how he and his team produced such wonderful food in such a small space. It was, of course, immaculate and had a lovely team feeling emanating from those busy working there. The food throughout the holiday was wonderful. I cannot praise Riviera enough and indeed two friends have now booked cruises for next year on our recommendations! Well done!
Review by: Newbery on 16/07/2017
Our second cruise with Riviera, this time on the Danube, and again were very well looked after by the staff on the MS Charles Dickens. We found the ability to 'do our own thing' within the places visited very helpful as I struggled to keep up with the escorted tours. We thought the catering and restaurant service staff coped very well though I did wonder whether everyone arriving for their meal at one time put extra strain on the staff for the evening meal. We have already booked our Riviera cruise for next year choosing the Douro having already cruised on the Seine in 2016 with Riviera and the Rhine with another tour operator in 2015.
Review by: Anne Hayward on 26/07/2017
Just returned from Danube cruise on Charles Dickens fabulous from start to finish staff wonderful if I really had to pick out someone Georgia in the restaurant he was faultless as were they all , food excellent .Edward and Richard our tour managers were super efficient thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend
Review by: Jennifer John on 25/07/2017
I have just returned from a cruise on the Danube on the MS Thomas Hardy., a really beautiful ship with very comfortable cabins, lounge and sundeck, and a wonderful crew at every level. the resturant staff , service and menus were excellent. Alina, the hotel manager and the reception crew were so helpful and welcoming, Sarah our cruise director was full of energy organising the various beautiful city tours and us with great enthuasism . I hope to return again with Riviera Travel.
Review by: Patricia Leaden on 30/07/2017
My first ever cruise and after a wonderful week on the William Shakespeare I am hooked. The efficiency of the crew was superb and the attention to the minutest of details meant that everything went smoothly including the delicious and varied meals. Our tour guides, Hanna and Peter looked after us with humour and kindness even making sure that we kept drinking water in the heat. I look on this cruise as a taster and I hope to return to Budapest and the other places to find out even more of their fascinating history. Well done Riviera.
Review by: Sheila Grant on 20/07/2017
My husband and I have had a number of fabulous holidays with Riviera Travel but when we decided to book the Danube Cruise and 18 other friends decided to join us we really had our fingers crossed that this one would live up to our expectations. We need not have worried...it was wonderful! The ship was superb, the staff an absolute delight, the food delicious and our Tour Managers Rosie and Sarah organised, attentive and caring. The excursions were well organised and informative. In fact all 20 in our party, (some who were seasoned ocean line cruisers who had never ventured on a river boat) were just so impressed with the whole experience. So thank you to Riviera for not letting us down!
Just one further thank you to all the the charming people who dealt with our booking on the phone, you were a pleasure to deal with.
Review by: Susan Humphreis on 23/07/2017
I had a wonderful holiday travelling solo on the William Shakespeare- on the Blue Danube River Cruise.
This was my first river cruise with Riviera, I went down the Rhine last year with a different company.
I was lucky not to pay a single supplement for the exact room I had previously, and almost everything was identical with regard to food, service, excellent Riviera representatives, wonderful local guides and enjoyment of the week's holiday.
I would definitely love to travel with Riviera again, and would recommend this holiday.
Review by: Pam Young on 13/07/2017
Thank you for a wonderful holiday aboard the Jane Austen. It was my 60th birthday during the cruise and I really felt like a celebrity because everyone made such a fuss of me. The whole cruise was excellent. Cannot wait to book another one.
Review by: Fran Redman on 06/07/2017
This was our 3rd river cruise with Riviera and it certainly won't be our last. Everything about this cruise was excellent; the ship, MS Charles Dickens is only 2 years old and, in fact we were the first on board on a different cruise, on it's maiden voyage; it is an excellent ship. The food was superb, the ship's staff were all wonderful, hard working and charming and we were very lucky to have Victoria and Nora, the two Riviera staff, on this cruise who were absolutely fantastic, so knowledgable about the places we visited and extremely helpful in every respect.
Review by: Lin Ounsworth on 27/06/2017
Thoroughly enjoyable holiday with a special mention for the tour guides Edward and Richard who were quietly effective in dealing with groups or individuals to ensure the smooth running and a stress free week.
Review by: David D on 13/06/2017
My wife travelled from Australia to join 4 friends from England for our first ever cruise. I am pleased to say that it exceeded our expectations. The cabin, food and service from the staff was exceptional. The tours were well organised and in most part the guides were excellent. We had a memorable holiday and will ensure that our reports to our friends will be glowing. Thank you.
Review by: David Bonner on 20/06/2017
I have recently been on a river cruise on The Thomas Hardy from Budapest to Vienna/Salzburg returning May 21st. This is my fourth holiday with Riviera. Each time I have been delighted with the holiday, and certainly this last one was excellent in every respect. I organised it through Co-op Travel Great Missenden, who were very helpful, and I have fed back to them how much we enjoyed ourselves, and how impressed we were with the standard of accommodation and food, the friendly helpful and efficient crew and tour guides, and the user friendly information sent from your office, and provided on board.
I was particularly impressed with the weather you arranged too!
I look forward to further holidays with Riviera.
Review by: Lynn Wishlade on 14/05/2017
Just returned after a week on the Jane Austen ship .on the Blue Danube.we had a fantastic time staff and food amazing .trips were brilliant .plenty of free time .seen some amazing sights .some fantastic photos.what a chill out amazing holiday
Review by: Moira Arthur on 08/06/2017
We have just returned from a fabulous Blue Danube River Cruise with Riviera. This was our first river cruise and we hope it will not be our last. We shall be recommending to everybody how well we were looked after by both Riviera and the ship's crew. The food was very good and varied, the entertainment was particularly good on three nights with local artistes being brought in at Vienna and Budapest. The show put on by the crew was absolutely great and funny. Heaven knows where they found the time to rehearse.
Tour guides were of top quality, particularly in Bratislava, Vienna and Budapest and Sylvia was an excellent cruise director. It did not surprise us that you have won awards for the best river cruise company.
Thank you and Trailfinders for recommending you.
Review by: Yvonne & Robert Jones on 25/05/2017
I have just returned from my first river cruise with Riviera on the Jane Austen and would highly recommend it. The ship is great, the staff go out of their way to make you feel welcome and nothing is too much trouble, for example my mother ran out of her tablets and Astrid the Hotel manager contacted a Doctor and arranged for the tablets to be delivered to the ship. The food was good with a good range of choice and the waiting staff were excellent. Our tour manager Tim and Victoria were excellent as well, insuring the excursions were well run and interesting, they also provided some very entertaining evenings!! A great first experience and one I would recommend and return to enjoy again. My thanks to everyone involved.
Review by: Carole Vincent on 18/05/2017
We had an absolutely brilliant time! Everything was first class and we cannot praise the crew enough! They were superb. The cruise director Leslie and his assistant Peter went far beyond the call of duty and our admiration for their attention to everyone and everything cannot be overstated. Thanks to Thomas Hardy!
Review by: Norma & Alan Dickson on 14/05/2017
We have returned this weekend from the Danube tour.
The whole experience was excellent. The flight from Manchester onwards. Tim and Vicktoria our tour directors were great, helpful and knowledgeable. The Jane Austen ship is lovely, not too big. All crew were very attentive and friendly. Waking up to the city views was amazing. First morning seeing the view up to the Basilica at Estzergom was stunning. It is difficult to rate the highlights, as all the stops were equally magnificent and fascinating. The tour guides in the city tours were very good, and great fun. Food and entertainment on board ship is great. We look forward to another cruise with Riviera
Review by: jan turner on 11/05/2017
We have just returned from our cruise on The Blue Danube. This was our first river cruise although we have used Riviera Travel several times & believe they cannot be beaten! The cruise was no exception- everything was faultless! Tim & Victoria, our tour managers, were absolutely brilliant as were all the staff/crew on board MS Jane Austen both in their regular jobs and in the hilarious entertainment! The food also was superb. Nothing was too much trouble & the guests felt very well looked after. We are already looking forward to our next holiday.
Review by: Linda & Norman West on 11/05/2017
I just wanted to thank Riviera for giving us a perfect holiday. By perfect, I mean I truly cannot think how it could have been improved upon. We did a Rhine Cruise with you about 6 or 7 years ago, and were so impressed that we booked with you again to go to the Danube. And even though we thought the Rhine cruise was pretty much perfect, we noticed several improvements that were really appreciated. Namely: 1.The maps in our cabin - so useful and enriching to see where we were going on the fold-out river map, and the town maps allowed us to do some independent exploring, 2. The entertainment. Everyone on board absolutely loved the crew show with many of us (myself included) crying with laughter at the brilliant sketches. We also really enjoyed the Hungarian folk dancing and the quartet and of course the excellent pianist. 3. The fine dining experience for small groups - wonderful! 4. The different options offered on visits - for example, in Vienna, guests could choose from different timed busses, and had the option of returning for lunch if they wished. This created a lot more work for the crew, but gave much more choice to the guests. The ship itself and the crew members were as superb as we remembered from our previous trip. The crew really made us all feel special and cared for. We are not wealthy people, and a river cruise is a big deal for us and so it is lovely that the staff treat it as a big deal and make us feel like royalty! Well done Riviera - you thoroughly deserve that Which award.
Review by: Corinne Middlemiss on 11/05/2017
My wife and I have just returned from a River cruise on the Danube.
We had a fantastic cruise, fortunately with good weather.
The ship was like a floating hotel, with excellent accomodation.
The food was first class, and the service by the crew was excellent, nothing was too much trouble.
We must pay special tribute to Tim and Viktoria for the shore excursions, and general organisation of the whole experience.
We highly recommend Riviera Travel.
This was our second holiday with them.
Look forward to another occasion.
Review by: Dennis Voisin on 11/05/2017
Our first trip with Riviera on the Thomas Hardy and it was 5* all the way. All the staff made our cruise unforgettable and the food was amazing. The trips were well organised and Leslie and shore guides did a wonderful job. Looking forward to traveling with Riviera again
Review by: Brenda Duckworth on 07/05/2017
An excellent week on the new ship Thomas Hardy, The food was excellent, the service from all the crew was first class and catered for our every need. As first time river cruisers we highly commend everybody involved. Special mention to Alina and her hotel staff. The cruise director and tour manager, Leslie and Annette who worked tirelessly to provide a daily itinerary and onboard entertainment to suit everybody's needs. Highly Recommended.
Review by: Rodger Fuller on 07/05/2017
My first trip with Riviera Travel and it will not be my last. This river cruise was wonderful, the MS Thomas Hardy was beautiful, the crew and Riviera reps were excellent. As a single traveler the organisation made the trip very relaxing.
Review by: S Rose on 09/04/2017
Together with my sister and my 92 year old father, I have just returned from The Blue Danube River Cruise aboard the MS Thomas Hardy. What a magnificent ship; what a superb cruise; what fantastically helpful staff and tour managers! We couldn't find a single fault with this holiday. Thank you so much Riviera.
Review by: P Jane Reas on 09/04/2017
We have just returned from the river cruise on the MS Thomas Hardy. Our travel guides Leslie and Daniel were very knowledgeable about each of our stops, giving us information to enjoy them to the full. All the staff from the bar, restaurant , reception and housekeeping made our holiday experience amazing and we will be looking to travel with Riveria again.
Review by: Mr & Mrs Cheeseman on 02/04/2017
We have just returned from holiday on the Charles Dickens and felt that congratulations were in order. Everything was great - the ship, the food, the crew, the cabin, the itinerary (which was why we chose the cruise not having been to any of the locations), the organisation (well done to Gill and Edward), the office staff we dealt when originally booking and the odd query.
Everything was great and the crew really seemed to enjoy what they were doing from the captain down, we were made to feel very welcome, not always the case with service industries.
Review by: Sue & Doug Grellier on 21/09/2016
We have just returned from a cruise on the above ship sailing from Budapest.
We had a lovely holiday, extremely well organised, special thanks to Gill and Edward.
We will definitely travel with you again and recommend Riviera to our friends.
Review by: Jean and Philip Jackson on 21/09/2016
With regard to the unexpected lock closure our two Riviera representatives, Victoria and Edward, could not have been more supportive and organised extremely efficiently the necessary changes of plan.
The unplanned happens!
We enjoyed our cruise.
Review by: Meg and Bill Kitching on 28/09/2016
We have just returned from a lovely well organised cruise on the Danube, this was our first river cruise and we are very impressed with the MS Charles Dickens, Captain and Crew alike for most efficient service on a well maintained ship.
The menus were very extensive with a lot of detail and expertise going into every meal - the Fine Dining and Captain’s Dinners were particularly impressive. The friendliness and caring by the international crew was excellent.
Full marks to Edward and Victoria for their caring manor and relating information for the day ahead. Shore trips were well organised and lead by experiences Guides.
We were all made most welcome onboard, weather was perfect and all guests were of an age to have plenty of common interests and hence loads to talk about.
Finally, the re arrangements that had to be made quickly by Edward and Victoria, following the Lock closure on our return to Budapest turned out well, which must have given them some concern working late into the night, meaning although a long coach trips, we were well cared for and had two guided coach tours of Budapest!
Credit too, to Tracey at Four Oaks Travel for helping us through the booking formalities and seeing our best interests were maintained.
Review by: Jill and Maurice Powers on 28/09/2016
Our Danube holiday was simply superb, and we have nothing but praise for Riviera! Of course the fantastic weather helped, but really it was down to a good ship, very nice cabin, truly excellent food, in fact amazing, and great staff who just couldn’t have been better.
We loved the venues en route, the organisation was excellent, thanks to Victoria and Edward. There were so many little touches that made the difference, the bedroom was always immaculate, tidied it seemed 3 times a day, the dining room and food second to none, the evening entertainment, this was indeed a 5 star experience!
A minor gripe, which I almost hesitate to mention, was the lack of usable WiFi, but this was forgivable when compared with the whole package, and in any case WiFi hotspots were available during the excursions.
Thank you, Riviera Travel!!
Review by: Simon P on 28/09/2016
I cannot praise Victoria and Edward our guides on board enough, they were able to arrange things very quick without anybody aboard ship knowing. Until the Captain announced the problem.
Coach tours throughout were arranged to various places, it’s not an easy job trying to get everyone organised to be back on Coaches/Ship Both my Wife and I have absolutely no complaints whatsoever.
We thoroughly enjoyed our River Cruise, weather was just perfect. Only hope the tour after ours enjoyed it as much as we did.
The Ship/staff were simply wonderful, food was excellent and beautifully presented. Cleanliness of the Cabin/Ship first class.
Would have no hesitation in recommending Riviera Cruise ( Charles Dickens )
Thank you, appreciate your concern.
Review by: Brian W. Tosh on 05/10/2016
My wife and I recently went on river cruise on MV William Shakespeare from Dublin via Budapest to include Bratislava, Salzburg, Vienna Budapest, Dublin early September.
We greatly enjoyed the whole experience and found the ship very comfortable,the food was very good and the service excellent. The crew and the waiting staff were second to none.
The tour director Leslie was first class and the whole programme was excellent. We felt we were very well treated from start to finish and will have no hesitation in recommending your company to others. We also hope to travel on your cruises again in the future.
Review by: Patrick & Kathleen Barrett on 07/10/2016
Belatedly, my wife and I would like to give very high praise to Victoria and Angie, our tour director and manager respectively on out cruise down the Danube. Not only did they have major problems to start the tour but they managed to ensure that all of our itinerary was achieved with a couple of extra bonuses of seeing Budapest at night and extra time to tour the cities during the day.
At the same time they managed to ensure that everybody was able to enjoy themselves and get along with each other which, I`m sure, on other occasions would not necessarily be the case.
We were lucky to have them on our tour and Riviera Travel is lucky to have such fine ambassadors for your company.
Review by: Roger Hammond on 11/10/2016
We have just returned from the Blue Danube cruise on the MS Lord Byron.
Both my wife and myself fell compelled to highly commend your ship’s crew (at all levels - from the normally non mentioned - room carers to deck and bar/reception staff and the members of crew who worked in the kitchens and laundry service and of course the Riviera Tour company on the amazing holiday experience!
Which was so much enhanced by the exemplary added value service of your dedicated tour manager “Cassie” who provided us all with reassurance, organisation and enthusiasm which culminated in a great holiday experience!
All this inspiring us to book next year’s holiday with your company!
Many thanks you Riviera Travel and please extend these sentiments/comments to all the relevant people
Review by: Mary & Paul Bannier on 11/10/2016
We have just returned from this lovely river cruise. Our guides were Jane and Mandy, who worked so hard to make our holiday one to remember. The staff on board the boat are incredible, hard working and very friendly. The food on board was second to none. Trips were excellent. We have traveled with Riviera several years in a row, this being our first river cruise, but this has made us want to do another river cruise to another area, it was so relaxing. Weather is chilly this time of year, but luckily did not rain much, and sitting on deck all wrapped up watching the world go by is wonderful.
Review by: Teresa Broderick on 25/10/2016