A cruise in Paris? 5 experiences on the River Seine
The cruise, a mythical, if not obligatory, experience when you embark on a visit to Paris. To get to know the city better, it is necessary to delve into its past. Or rather, to navigate it. Along the Seine, the most famous monuments pass before your eyes. You can see that the river is much more than a river. It is the founding element of Paris. It’s impossible not to take your visit a step further. The number of boats on the Seine reflects the diversity of the cruises available. Cultural tour, thematic cruise, lunch or dinner cruise… Make your choice and prepare for immediate boarding.
1. The Batobus: getting around Paris differently
Get out of the tunnels and sail! While the metro is the transport par excellence for Parisians, there is a nicer alternative for getting around the city: boats.
The Batobus cruises connect Paris from east to west (and vice versa). Their fleet consists of six trimarans whose modern design does not go unnoticed on the Seine. The deck of each boat is fully covered and offers a panoramic view of the river, its banks and the monuments along its course. The crew will be sure to share information about historical features encountered along the way, such as Swan Island and its famous replica of the Statue of Liberty.
The network is made up of nine stations, located at the foot of the capital’s most famous monuments: the Eiffel Tower, the Musée d’Orsay, the Champs-Élysées, the Louvre Museum, the Town Hall, Notre-Dame de Paris, Beaugrenelle, the Cité de la Mode and Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Hop on, hop off: The ticket is valid for one day or two consecutive days and allows you to get on and off as many times as you like. And to continue your visit while avoiding the crowded corridors of the metro, you can even board with your bikes.
2. Les Bateaux Parisiens, an enriching culinary cruise
A cultural walk or a culinary one? With Bateaux Parisiens, the choice is yours. If you’re in the mood to wander, hop on one of the eight ships for a one-hour visit along the banks of the Seine. An individual audioguide adds to the experience by explaining the monuments you pass: the Grand Palais, the Place de la Concorde, the Louvre Museum, Notre-Dame de Paris… Do you have children with you? Try the special family cruise “The Seine and its secrets”. The classic tour is complemented by a 36 question and answer quiz from Les Incollables®.
If you’re a gourmet, Bateaux Parisiens offer lunch and dinner cruises. On the menu, traditional, refined French cuisine. The chef and his team focus on simplicity to bring out the flavour of carefully selected products. Meals are prepared on board.
Not much of a sea farer? Bateaux Parisiens also have a bistro in their fleet. Located at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, it remains docked to welcome visitors on board all day and evening. Lunch, dinner or brunch, it’s up to you!
3. Les Bateaux-Mouches: the legendary Parisian cruise
They are no longer presented. The Bateaux-Mouches de Paris are, like the river on which they sail, emblematic figures of our capital. A mandatory experience when visiting the City of Light.
In 1949, the first Bateaux-Mouches began their parade on the Seine. Since that day, more than 150 million visitors have taken to the water to discover the Parisian monuments scattered along the river: the Conciergerie, Notre-Dame de Paris, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum and more.
At the beginning, Bateaux Mouches only offered guided cruises, but today the offers are more diverse. Long for a romantic dinner? Come aboard one of the company’s restaurant boats for a musical ride. For lunch, the ships look like guinguettes, similar to taverns of that type that once lined the Seine and the Marne.
4. Les Vedettes de Paris, a new look at the monuments of Paris
Meet at the foot of the Eiffel Tower for immediate boarding. On the programme, a one-hour guided cruise on the most beautiful river in France. In the wake of the Vedettes de Paris, you will pass Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Alexandre III Bridge, the Musée d’Orsay and the Arab World Institute.
To enjoy the cruise in any weather, the deck of the boats is glassed in and heated. When the weather is good, the open terrace on the upper deck offers a panoramic view of the entire Seine. For those who are a bit chilly, blankets are available during the winter period.
The Vedettes de Paris are equipped with a bar. Sweet and savoury snacks are available to satisfy your cravings during the cruise. To celebrate this special moment, you can also treat yourself to a glass of champagne.
Visiting Paris with your family? Vedettes de Paris offers cruises adapted to children from 6 to 12 years old. Led by a specialized guide, the visit becomes a fun, educational walk, where young and old alike dive into the history of Paris, its monuments and its culture.
5. Vedettes du Pont Neuf, a breathtaking view of the banks of the Seine
Since 1959, many visitors have embarked on the Vedettes du Pont Neuf to visit Paris along the Seine as it meanders. And for good reason! The view of the city’s various monuments is particularly beautiful: the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, the Musée d’Orsay, among others. During the cruise, all the great classics are on offer. Les Vedettes du Pont Neuf offers different formats: a snapshot cruise to discover the highlights of Paris in one hour, a dinner cruise for a romantic moment on the water, or a family cruise to explore the banks of the Seine, classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Is the weather acting up? Don’t worry, all six boats in the fleet are fully glass enclosed. Enjoy the scenery under cover or take advantage of the open deck when the weather is more summery.
Do you want to mark Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day or 14 July? Les Vedettes organises special cruises to turn these events into unique, unforgettable moments.
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- Copyright image: Alexandre Nestora