The Blue Danube aboard the MS Thomas Hardy

The final time I went on a river cruise I loved the straightforward, slinky passage throughout the calm waters and the peacefulness. This time I used to be becoming a member of a Danube River cruise on board MS Thomas Hardy crusing from Budapest and searching ahead to an entire chill-out.

The late afternoon was heat after I arrived within the lovely Hungarian capital metropolis of Budapest to hitch the Danube River cruise the next day. I checked into plaza lodge because the lodge has a first-rate location overlooking the water. From my room I had a view of the Gothic Hungarian Parliament that lords it over the Danube and additional alongside I may see our supposed river cruise ship, the five-star, shiny white, MS Thomas Hardy, moored on the river financial institution in an assemblage of cruise ships.

As we have been crusing the following day we had dinner that night time at Leo, the rooftop restaurant famed for its far-reaching view of the town. That is the place to be after sunset, because the home windows are lengthy making it straightforward to eye up the cityscape now all aglow with golden tones throwing a romance of shimmering ribbons into the waters.

What’s it like aboard MS Thomas Hardy

MS Thomas Hardy is undoubtedly a chic ship. Visitors step straight into the brilliant ornate foyer space with a hanging chandelier overhead, a marbled-floor foyer with lashes of daylight. There are accents of darkish wooden, and the staircase is lined with bronze banisters and complex ironwork including accents of stateliness.

The totally air-conditioned MS Thomas Hardy, in-built 2017, can host 169 visitors and 44 crew members, and with a size of 135m and 4 decks, a spa, and a wellness centre, the ship by no means appears busy.

The 88 cabins are spacious, with loads of storage, a flat-screen TV, a kettle, and a minibar. The toilet is trendy with Elemis toiletries.

There’s loads of storage too and all decked out in muted calming colors. Flooring-to-ceiling home windows imply a superb view of the passing surroundings whereas crusing though there is a handful of smaller rooms with much less window house.

A number of of the cabins have balconies. Although mine did not it was regardless of as in the course of the day I used to be out and about on a tour of the port or on the highest deck sunning myself on one of many sunbeds.

Some took to the highest deck whirlpool and a pitch and putt space however I most popular to sip a cocktail, natter with others, and generally learn a ebook.

It is all very stress-free and to achieve peak calm, I took a therapeutic massage within the spa space, speeding previous the small gymnasium to get to the comfy therapy room.

MS Thomas Hardy balcony suite

Meals & Drink

Day by day I took a buffet breakfast and lunch and a la carte dinner in the principle deck restaurant. That is an interesting spacious and vivid room with its personal lounge and bar and a resident pianist. The meals was nice and the wine and cocktail listing is intensive.

The bar is totally stocked and each cabin has its personal day by day drinks voucher, plus there’s some free champagne swigging at any time when there’s a meet-up to speak concerning the subsequent day’s port stopover.

The primary restaurant on MS Thomas Hardy

On the different finish of the ship, on the stern, is a small Bistro with an open kitchen, giant panoramic home windows, and al fresco seating with bistro-style meals. Reserving is required to dine right here.

In between these meals, you will get a free tea and cake as much as 4.30 pm or assist your self on the 24hr self-service station for complimentary tea, espresso, and cookies.


There are day by day guided excursions and these take up the majority of the day. There is a smidgeon of stay leisure on board within the form of a pianist who plies the environment with easy-listening tunes. Procuring will not be a giant deal however there’s a quaint boutique reward store and you’ll take a dip into the whirlpool, have a whirlwind pitch and putt, go to the gymnasium, or get a therapeutic massage

There’s rather a lot to be mentioned for simply chilling out, catching up on studying and buddies, and maybe nabbing a board recreation equivalent to Backgammon or Monopoly.


A visit on MS Thomas Hardy is as far-off from raucous as might be. Genteel is an efficient phrase to explain the clientele, who’re principally over 50 years previous, it is all concerning the pots, the surroundings, and day trip on board a beautiful cruise ship.

The Itinerary

The Blue Danube aboard the MS Thomas Hardy is a seven-night cruise that begins at Budapest, and stops at Eszterom, Bratislava (the quaint capital of Slovakia), Dürnstein (the place Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned) and Melk, Salzburg or Linz, Vienna (dwelling of Beethoven and Mozart) and again to Budapest. All of the guided excursions are included.

The final night time’s dinner closes with a Hungarian folklore present.

NEXT SAILING: The Blue Danube aboard the MS Thomas Hardy – departing April 18, 2024. Customary decrease deck cabin from £1,779pp

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