|Seine River Cruises, Paris, France|
|One of our favorite ways to see Paris is from a Seine cruise boat, which provides views of many wonderful monuments—and lunch or dinner, if you wish.|
Paris from the water! For many years I thought these boat trips were corny tourist things. Then I took one and have been going back ever since.
The views are magnificent. We particularly like cruising at night, when the monuments are all lit up, and you can truly appreciate Paris as the City of Light.
Paris Overview...by Boat!
If you're new to Paris, it's a great way to get an overview of the city and its major monuments. Since you're on the water, you're not sitting in traffic, as you might be on a bus.
Cruises last about an hour and have live or recorded commentary in French and English (and other languages on request). Commentary provides brief historical information and anecdotes about the different buildings, bridges, and neighborhoods. Departures may be on the hour or half hour and vary by time of day and time of year. Most lines also offer lunch and dinner cruises.
On most boats, you can sit either inside or out, on an open deck. We prefer the deck for the panoramic views and dress for the weather so we can comfortably be outside.
Variety of Cruises
Possibilities for Seine cruises range from the river equivalent of a bus to a luxury lunch or dinner cruise. Here are the possibilities, with prices.
City Bus Tour + Seine Cruise
Discounted skip-the-line tickets that include both a Paris city tour and a cruise on the Seine are available here.
Best Cruise Boat Companies
Several different companies offer Seine cruises, The oldest and best known is Bateaux-Mouches. with departures from near the Pont de l'Alma.
Vedettes du Pont Neuf has convenient departures from the tip of the Île de la Cité, just under the Pont Neuf.
Other companies include Bateaux Parisiens, with large trimarans and smaller boats; and Vedettes de Paris, with small boats (and some vintage boats). Both of these leave from the Eiffel Tower area.
Batobus: Seine River Bus-Boat
Batobus offers a different approach to cruising the Seine, operating as a water shuttle, with eight stops in a circular route along the Seine. You can buy a ticket for 1, 2, or 5 days of unlimited stops. More...
Canal St-Martin Cruise
And if you'd like to see something more than the Seine, consider a cruise on the Canal St-Martin. You'll see some interesting old neighborhoods and experience travel through the locks.
A bit of trivia: The Kingston Trio popularized the Seine as a romantic spot in their 1959 song describing a lovers' encounter in Paris, with the chorus of "The Seine, the Seine, when will I again, meet her there, greet her there, on the moonlit banks of the Seine."