When we came to Budapest 3 years ago with our older kids we did not go on a river cruise. Why? I just don’t think we honestly thought of it. We walked across the bridge to the Buda side to go visit Buda Castle and took lots of photos and such from both sides and from the bridge so I think we just thought – what else is there to see along the water.
We are now super experienced travelers and realized that this go round we’d like to learn a bit about all these beautiful bridges and buildings that line the Danube. I mean, we’ve always done walking tours in each city we visited but not really cruises.
I contacted Legenda cruises. They offer Sightseeing and Dinner Cruises on the Danube all year round in Budapest. Several other companies were actually closed in February and said they didn’t open back up until March. Their loss!
Anywho, We didn’t really know what to expect other than it being a 70 minute day cruise with a stop on Margaret Island. We booked the Duna Bella day cruise.
Traveling with a Toddler, we don’t ever want any trip or meal to be longer than 2 hours otherwise, we will stop enjoying ourselves – all of us.
We chose an 11am departure time and arrived 15 minutes early to Dock 7 just across from the Marriott. It was easy to walk to from the Jewish district, where we were staying, just a 23 minute walk away. It was a cold, windy and overcast day but had some sun breaks.
We picked up our tickets from Will Call at the ticket booth and boarded. Easy peasy. Everyone also spoke English so that made it very simple for us. Also, save your ticket in case you want to book another trip with them as there is a discount coupon on the back.
Shawn brought his camera to take all kinds of shots as he is a budding photographer and was excited to see what he could capture. In a stroke of good fortune, Sebastian fell asleep 5 minutes before we made it to the dock. While we were sad that he wouldn’t get to enjoy being on a boat, I must say we were happy that he slept through the entire trip and we got to enjoy the cruise. It felt like we were on a date.
Once on board, we picked an area to sit in that looked like it had a great view for Shawn to take lots of photos and to have Sebastian blocked in should he wake up and want to touch everything. Most of the boat was empty so we could move around as well if we wanted.
The boat was big, heated, clean and we were happy that it wasn’t crowded. We do happen to love traveling in off season everywhere we go so we can avoid crowds and lines. We very much dislike lines.
The bathrooms were clean, modern and plentiful. We were served a hot mulled cider tea upon leaving the dock (I really liked it) and halfway through we were offered beer, wine, champagne and soda as a free beverage. We declined as we usually just drink Water but other passengers were living their extra drinks.
Our review and summary
Here are my takeaways as I don’t like to tell you every detail about a tour so you can be surprised yourself:
- The windows reflected glare and had streaks on them so most of Shawn’s photos weren’t really great. This cruise is much better to just sit, listen, see and enjoy the sights than for memorializing the trip in photos which, when you think about it, is the best way to see the city.
- Headsets came in every language you could think of and had really interesting information about all the sights. A good history lesson as well as entertaining.
- There was no stop on Margaret Island for some reason. No explanation was given but perhaps it was the time of year or something. Make sure to double-check if it’s a place you were hoping to get off on and explore.
- Smooth sailing even in choppy waters.
- Friendly service
- Relaxing and chill time.
- Good price point. All-together it was only about $15 USD per person.
- We enjoyed the day cruise and would go again on a night cruise for sure as everything is prettier here at night.
Do you usually go on sight seeing cruises or tours when you visit new places? What are your favorite types if you do? Ours are walking tours but we have found them difficult with a toddler as his patience doesn’t last too long and we have to usually leave early.