danube river

My Danube river cruise with Riviera Travel

I have been lucky enough to go on a few ocean cruises and an expedition cruise, but I have always been very eager to try a river cruise as I have heard nothing but great things!

I did the Blue Danube with Riviera Travel on MS Oscar Wilde. We stayed in a spacious French Balcony on the middle deck towards the aft of the boat. I would strongly recommend staying in a French Balcony cabin rather than a stateroom on the lower deck as you can enjoy the stunning scenery from the comfort and privacy of your own cabin. Many times I would lie down on the bed and look out at the ever-changing views.


With this being a new experience for me I didn’t quite know what to expect but from the moment I stepped on board MS Oscar Wilde I knew why people enjoyed river cruises and was excited to see what the week had in store for us.

Dining with Riviera Travel 

The typical day to day on a river cruise is very relaxing. We woke up each morning and went down to the main dining area for a buffet breakfast. The choices were endless, and everything was freshly prepared. There is also the option to order omelettes, eggs to your preferences and much more.

The main restaurant on board served breakfast and an a la carte lunch and dinner. There are many tables for four and six but only a few tables for two at breakfast. I think this is a great way to mix and socialise with other guests on board, and we made some great friends in our time away.


Another dining option on board was The Bistro. I have to say this was my favourite dining option out of the two. Here you will find burgers, pizzas, salads and other light bites at lunch and steak, swordfish, chicken dishes and sharing platters in the evening. At lunch no reservations are required, but in the evening you must make a reservation at reception as the venue only holds around 28 guests. We managed to get two reservations for dinner on our trip, but I would advise reserving an evening at the start of your cruise as it does get booked up quickly. All the food on board was delicious and they catered very well for any special dietary requirements.

Excursions with Riviera Travel

After breakfast you will then step off board and be taken out on a sightseeing excursion which usually lasts for a few hours. All the excursions on board only required light walking so guests with mobility issues did not struggle or miss out. A few of my favourite excursions would have to be Melk Abbey. The grounds were beautiful, the towns of Durnstein made me feel like I was in a fairy tale with all the cobbled street. Budapest by night was amazing seeing all the buildings lit up was amazing.

After our morning excursions we would be back on board for lunch and to set sail for the next destination. I spent most of my time on the Sun Deck soaking up the glorious sun with a cocktail in hand enjoying the views. The Riviera team would host different activities on the Sun Deck that guests could take part in if they wished. A golf tournament, ice cream parlour and happy hour were a few of the options whilst I was on board.


Whilst we were away, we did experience some issues with the water levels being too high which did cause some distress; not knowing if we would get to the places we had hoped. Rest assured, the cruise director and the rest of the team were incredible in getting us to each destination... just in a different order. This required a lot of last-minute organising of excursions and coaches, but they handled everything so calmly, which made everyone on board feel safe and happy.

Service on Riviera Travel

The staff on board Riviera go above and beyond with every guest, remembering your name after only meeting once, and catering to both dietary and mobility needs. Making sure every moment is memorable for the whole time you are with them. 

Whilst on board we did moor next to other ships which would require walking through to get off, so I would say you have to be relatively fit and be able to walk this distance for safety reasons if you were considering a river cruise for your next trip. 


As the days would come to an end there would be a daily briefing just before dinner where our cruise director would talk about the day we had and the plan for the following day. This would be hosted in the lounge which is where you can also enjoy pre/post dinner drinks listening to the resident singer. The entertainment on board our river cruise was very low key, however this was perfect as we were chatting and getting to know other guests on board.

My first river cruise was better than I had ever thought it would be and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Riviera. My favourite thing about river cruising compared to the cruises I have done before would have to be that you get to see the heart of the destinations you are visiting; you do not dock miles away from where everything is and feel like you have seen the most popular reasons for going to that destination.

If you want to explore the River Danube onboard Riviera Travel click here to find out more.

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