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Thomas Hardy Review

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Thomas Hardy
-- / 5.0
5 reviews

Stylish and elegant ship with balcony cabins and friendly crew
Drinks and gratuities not included, limited onboard entertainment
Bottom Line
All-suite new-built ship offered entirely to the British market




Passenger to Crew


Shore Excursions
Sails To
Sails From
Riviera Travel Cruise Deals
Kerry Spencer
Cruise Critic Contributor

Thomas Hardy Overview

The 169-passenger Thomas Hardy entered service with Riviera Travel in April 2017, joining sister ships Emily Bronte and Oscar Wilde as part of the line's expanding river fleet.

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Riviera Travel's three brand-new ships feature a first for the line: balcony cabins. Containing 86 all-suite cabins, Thomas Hardy features three cabin types, including Suites, Superior Suites and Deluxe Balcony Suites.

Suites measure 183 square feet, Superior Suites are 210 square feet while the Deluxe Balcony Suites are 274 square feet. Aside from size, the difference between cabin types comes down to the varying levels of natural light and window space, with Suites offering a small window or large floor-to-ceiling French balcony; Superior Suites contain French balconies and all Deluxe Balcony Suites contain a balcony with a table and two chairs.

All cabins are equipped with large flat-screen TVs, a table and two chairs, safe, mini-bar, ample storage space, hair dryer, twin beds pushed together to make a double bed, telephone, and tea and coffee making facilities.

Bathrooms have a luxurious feel, with marble finishes, Crabtree & Evelyn toiletries and rain showers. Deluxe Balcony Suites also feature bathrobes and slippers, which are available to passengers booked into other cabin types when requested at reception.

Thomas Hardy has two dining options: The Bistro and the Restaurant. The Bistro offers light lunches and a reservation-only specialty dinner service. The Restaurant serves a buffet breakfast and lunch and a set menu at dinner. While all meals are included, plus tea, coffee and juices with breakfast, other beverages are not included. 24-hour complimentary tea and coffee is available, however, in The Bistro.

The Panorama Bar is the ship's only lounge bar, which opens from morning until late at night, serving hot and cold soft drinks and alcoholic beverages throughout the day.

The ship also features a small fitness studio, a hair salon and nail bar, a boutique shop and guest service desk in the lobby, a small splash pool, a mini-putting green, sun loungers and plenty of space to sit out on deck.

The ship's entertainment program includes a nightly pianist in the lounge bar, while enrichment is kept to a daily talk on the destination ahead.

As with all Riviera Travel river cruises, return train fare from London St Pancras railway station or other regional stations, coach transfers, all meals onboard, walking tour shore excursions and Wi-Fi onboard is included. Flights are available as an alternative to trains, however a supplement should be expected. Drinks and gratuities are not included.

Walking tours are offered in ports where the cruise line deems the port big enough to offer an excursion. All tours are carried out in English by a local guide and to make listening easier, Quietvox headsets are provided (stored in cabins) for passengers to tune into during the tours.

For passengers looking for a more active option in port, Thomas Hardy provides eight bikes with helmets for passengers to use free of charge.

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More about Thomas Hardy

Where does Thomas Hardy sail from?

Thomas Hardy departs from

Where does Thomas Hardy sail to?

Thomas Hardy cruises to Vienna, Durnstein (Krems), Passau, Regensburg and Linz (Salzburg)

How much does it cost to go on Thomas Hardy?

Cruises on Thomas Hardy start from null per person.

Awards and Recognition

Thomas Hardy Member Reviews

Thomas Hardy
Sail Date: Dec 2018
Cruise number 52 Riviera Cruises - MS Thomas Hardy 6th December - 11th December 2018 Cabin number : 218.- midship , Deck 2 - Balcony Cabin Total pax : 169 , Crew : 44: Decks :5 Cruise for... Read More
Thomas Hardy
Sail Date: Sep 2019
Travelled previously with riviera and been impressed with their reliability and service. Ship was spotless loved our cabin on Diamond deck which had a fully retracting sliding window so you can watch the scenery... Read More
Thomas Hardy
Sail Date: Jun 2017
The Thomas Hardy is in a different class). The ship is excellent, and the cabins ("suites"), whilst small, are brilliantly designed.... Read More
Thomas Hardy
Sail Date: Oct 2017
First time river cruisers, noticed advert innnewspaper so started to do a bit of investigating. 5* rating good online reviews and prices that were substantially less than other brands hmmmm what’s the catch.... Read More

Riviera Travel Fleet

William Shakespeare
11 reviews

The 140-passenger William Shakespeare, which operates cruises on the Rhine River, features contemporary decor with sustainably sourced tropical hardwoods and brass and wrought-iron fittings.

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Jane Austen
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

The 140-passenger Jane Austen offers an intimate, premium feel with British touches; it sails Danube and Rhine River cruises as part of Riviera Travel's program of escorted tours.

Charles Dickens

The 140-passenger Charles Dickens offers river cruises through the heart of Europe and features contemporary decor that includes sustainably sourced hardwoods and brass and wrought-iron fittings.

Emily Bronte

Emily Bronte continues Riviera Travel's tradition of naming its ships after famous authors. Sailings on Emily Bronte are available exclusively to the U.K.

Thomas Hardy

The 169-passenger Thomas Hardy entered service with Riviera Travel in April 2017, joining sister ships Emily Bronte and Oscar Wilde as part of the line's expanding river fleet.

Oscar Wilde

Riviera Travel welcomed the 169-passenger Oscar Wilde to its growing fleet of river ships in May 2017. The Swiss-built ship is exclusive to the British market.

Douro Elegance

Built in 2017 and chartered to Rivera Travel, Douro Elegance has splash pool, open seating at meals and a la carte drinks.

Lord Byron

With 140 passengers, Lord Byron has a high crew-to-passenger ratio on weekly Burgundy, Rhone and Provence itineraries.

Robert Burns
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Coming in 2018 from U.K.'s Riviera Travel, Robert Burns will sail the Rhine, Main and Danube on river cruises that are open to Americans, Brits and Australians.

Swiss Corona

This 144-passenger vessel, twin to Swiss Tiara, has a sauna, splash pool and putting green; all drinks are extra.

Douro Splendour

Aimed at British tastes, this well-equipped ship has excellent facilities and is particularly good for solo travelers. 

Geoffrey Chaucer

Coming in 2020, Riviera River Cruises' 176-passenger Geoffrey Chaucer has a few new touches, including a small splash pool and a second restaurant.

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