When you travel to a new city, after a while your feet are tired and you just want to see the sites in a more relaxing way. Cruising down the Seine River in Paris provides you with the perfect opportunity where you can see so many famous sites all at once. Half the city is on the north side of the river and the other half is on the south side.
There are numerous companies which provide boat excursions along the Seine. Some last a few hours and have recorded commentary and some provide lunch and dinner cruises. Some pick you up and return you to the same dock and others allow you to hop on and off. You can sit on the top deck (exposed to the elements) or inside. Your choice will obviously depend on the weather.
I have done a variety of boat tours in Paris and my suggestion for a first-timer would be to do the cruise in the daytime so you can really see all the sites, including Notre Dame, La Conciergerie, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Eiffel Tower. Some cruise lines include:
Sightseeing and Lunch/Dinner Cruises
The following three provide sightseeing cruises lasting about 1 hour (13.5-15 Euros) as well as lunchtime and dinnertime cruises lasting 1:45-2:30 hours in duration (41-205 Euros). Your choice of which company may depend on where you want to depart.
Bateaux Parisiens -leaves from Port de la Bordonnais (by the Eiffel Tower)
In 2019 I did the special Bastille Day dinner cruise. It was also my birthday on July 14 so it was an extra special event. There was a 6-course dinner with champagne and wine and we cruised up and down the Seine River, ending in front of the Eiffel tower in time for the fireworks. It was extremely well done and I highly recommend it. Your Guide To Celebrating Bastille Day In Paris.
Bateaux Mouches -leaves from Pont d’Alma
Vedettes du Pont Neuf -leaves from Square du Vert Galant on Ile de la Cité
Like A Bus….On Water
Batobus provides unlimited travelling on the boat for a specified period of time (ie. 1 day, 2 consecutive days, or unlimited use for a year). The cost ranges from 17-60 Euros and allows you to get on and off, much like the “hop on, hop off buses”. The Batobus stops at 9 locations along the Seine.
Biking And Cruising
One of my favourite things to do is take the 13 km (easy) night time bike tour with Fat Tire Bike Co because you ride through Paris so easily and then end off the night on a river cruise drinking wine. How good is that!?!
I’ve done the tour twice and highly recommend it to anyone visiting Paris. I felt entirely safe riding on the streets of Paris as there are dedicated bike lanes. I’ve also done the tour in Barcelona but I have to admit the Paris tour is the best!
Next week I’ll share 4 more boat excursions that you should consider when you in other parts of France: 4 Boat Tours To Experience Outside of Paris