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Glide by the Famous Sights of Paris on a River Seine Cruise
The Seine River (La Seine in French) winds its way through the heart of Paris, bisecting the city from east to west. The Seine River is the origin of Paris, and its development is uniquely tied to the river.
If you visit Paris for the first time, we recommend booking a River Seine cruise to experience the city from a different perspective and spot some of the most famous landmarks in Paris along the waterway. This is especially beautiful on a Seine River night cruise when the historical monuments are lit up: the Eiffel Tower, the Musée d’Orsay, the Conciergerie, Notre Dame, and more.
There are many Seine River cruises, so you will be spoilt for choice. Some of these Paris river cruises are only for sightseeing, while others come with dinner and music for an all-included magical experience.
With such a big offer and several companies providing similar tours, which Seine River cruise is the best? Here’s a quick guide to the best Seine River cruises Paris has to offer with our best tips to help you decide.
Best Seine River Cruises Overview
Day Seine River Cruises
Individual audio devices
1 hr 30 min
1 or 2 days
Seine River Dinner Cruises
Paris River Cruise – How it Works
Many boat companies are working on the River Seine, and they all cover the same itinerary, more or less. The difference between them remains in the starting point, the options, and of course, the experience onboard.
Seine River cruise times are more or less the same for all companies, from 10 am to 10.30 pm.
All the boats are adapted to disabled visitors (wheelchair accessible).
A Paris Seine cruise (only sightseeing) usually lasts from 60 minutes to 90 minutes, and they are available every day of the week. Some of these cruises offer a glass of champagne and snacks as an option.
A Seine River dinner cruise usually lasts from 1,15 hours to 3 hours, and it comes with or without music. Most of these cruises offer vegetarian and vegan dishes, and this is something that you need to mention during the booking process.
Seine cruises might be canceled if the water level is too high or too low to operate. In this case, you will be given a couple of options, including a full refund.
A Seine boat tour is one of the top attractions in Paris. We recommend taking a Paris river cruise in the following Paris itineraries:
River Seine Cruises – Itinerary & Map
The itinerary of these Seine cruises is very similar for all River Seine cruises, covering the part of the river that goes through the central Arrondissements of Paris, from the Eiffel Tower in Paris 7 to Ile de Saint Louis in Paris 4.
Boats go downstream following the Seine’s Left Bank, and they turn after Ile de Saint Louis to go upstream following the Seine’s Right Bank.
Along the way, visitors can admire the following top sights: the Eiffel Tower, Assemblée Nationale, Musée d’Orsay, Institut de France, Cité de la Mode, Hôtel de Ville, Notre Dame, Conciergerie, Concorde, Grand Palais, and Palais Chaillot.
With some companies, and usually with the Seine River dinner cruises, the boats sail further to the Statue of Liberty, on the Ile-aux-Cygnes.
- Yellow: Bateaux Mouches
- Red: Bateaux Parisiens
- Green: Vedettes de Paris
- Purple: Batobus Paris
- Black: Paris en Scène
Best River Seine Cruise, Paris – Only sightseeing
The company Bateaux Mouches is operating on the Seine River since 1949! The iconic Bateaux Mouches is today the 4th most visited paid attraction in Paris, only after the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, and the Centre Georges Pompidou.
The Bateaux Mouches can transport up to 600 passengers. They are the big double-decker boats with orange seats sailing on the river.
This Paris river cruise is complemented by a pre-recorded narration in multiple languages, and it comes with an optional champagne glass.
- Duration: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Departure /arrival point: Pont de l’Alma Rive Droite – Port de la Conférence, Paris 8 Right Bank
- Adapted toilets on the pier, a removable ramp for access from the pier to the boat, no steps on board, no adapted toilets on board.
The Bateaux Parisiens propose similar boat tours to the Bateaux Mouches. The fleet consists of fully glazed boats for an amazing panoramic view, and they can transport up to 250 passengers. Visitors can also stay outdoors on the deck, but space is limited.
Starting from the Eiffel Tower, this Paris Seine River cruise comes with an individual audio guide that is available in 13 languages. The cruise lasts approximately 1 hour.
- Duration: 1 hour
- Departure /arrival point: Port de la Conférence, Paris 7 Left Bank
- Options: sightseeing cruise, sightseeing cruise + glass of champagne
- Adapted toilets on the pier. Some boats have wheelchair access on the main deck and inside, while others can be accessed through a temporary wheelchair ramp. For adapted toilets also onboard, ask for Juliette Greco or Brigitte Bardot boats.
TIP: This Seine cruise is included in the Paris City Card. If you are considering buying this fantastic card, this is an extra reason to get it now!
The Vedettes de Paris are elegant and smaller boats, which transport fewer people. During the 1-hour Seine River tour, learn about the history of Paris and the sights you pass with audio commentary.
This is the best Seine river cruise Paris has to offer if you prefer to avoid crowds. The onboard bar offers interesting French-inspired apéritifs and snacks. If you already know that you will fall into the temptation of trying some, we recommend booking them online with your ticket: usually, they are more expensive if paid onboard.
TIP: This Seine boat tour is included in the Paris Seine Pass. If you are considering buying this fantastic card, this is an extra reason to get it now!
- Duration: 1 hour
- Departure /arrival point: Port de Suffren, Paris 7 Left Bank (see our Google map)
- Options: sightseeing cruise, sightseeing cruise + glass of champagne, sightseeing cruise + drink and /or snack
- Passengers with wheelchairs can be accommodated with the help of a staff member if passengers are able to climb the 3 steps. There are adapted toilets at the embarkation point and on the boats Paris Etoile, Paris Iéna, and Paris Trocadéro
This Paris river cruise hop-on, hop-off is the less touristy option available on the Seine River, without audio commentary. It is a great alternative to classic Paris hop-on hop-off because it avoids Paris’ traffic jams.
This is the best Seine River cruise for a more local experience. Batobus Paris is designed as an alternative to the Parisian Metro. It is possible to get on the Batobus as often as you want over a specified period of time without buying new tickets.
Batobus is the Seine River tour that we know best because years ago, it was included in the monthly Navigo Pass Metro ticket. It was fun to sail the River Seine from time to time!
- Duration: 1 day or 2 days, with unlimited trips
- Departure /arrival point: passengers can hop on and hop off the boat from any of its 9 different stops: Eiffel Tower, Invalides/Pont Alexandre III, Musée d’Orsay, St Germain des Prés, Notre-Dame, Jardin des Plantes /Cité de la Mode, Hôtel de Ville, Louvre, Champs-Elysées.
- Options: 1-day pass, 2-day pass
- Only the Eiffel Tower and Louvre stops are accessible to those in wheelchairs. The other stops have too many steps for wheelchairs.
Craft your own Seine River experience and book this private Seine boat tour with a personal skipper. Enjoy the beauty of Paris’ main sights and the River Seine while sipping a glass of wine.
With this river cruise, Paris will delight you. You can bring your own food and wine for a picnic or a French apéritif, or you can purchase them as an add-on during the booking process.
The itinerary of this Seine River cruise is longer as it starts in the west of Paris. This allows you to view Ile-Saint-Germain and Ile-aux-Cygnes with the Statue of Liberty. If you are looking for a Paris river cruise without crowds or with maximum privacy, this is your cruise.
- Duration: 2 hrs 30 min
- Departure /arrival point: 6 Quai Marcel Dassault, Saint-Cloud
- Options: a bottle of champagne, extra wine.
Best Seine River Cruise – Night Option with Dinner
A Paris night cruise with dinner is one of the top things to do in Paris at night. Enjoy the views and some of the famous foods in Paris while sailing through the city’s most beautiful avenue. Some boat companies propose two Seine River dinner cruises a day, the first starting at 6 pm and the second starting at 8.30 pm.
The first Seine River dinner cruise is usually less expensive. This is because the menu options are more limited, and the cruise is shorter. The second dinner cruise is fancier, and it usually comes with live music.
For some people, 70 minutes is long enough to have their meal while enjoying some of the most beautiful sights of Paris. Other people, instead, will find that 70 minutes is a bit rushed.
Another important thing to consider is the time of the cruise, especially during the summer:
- The 6 pm Seine River night cruise finishes around 7.10 pm. This means that during the summer, you will be sailing in daylight.
- With the 8 pm Seine night cruise you can be sure to enjoy the Paris illuminations during the tour, at least for the last part of the cruise.
The dress code for a dinner cruise in Paris is usually smart casual (check what to wear in Paris here), but nobody will complain if you wear your best dress or suit!
Find below all the details about the best Paris river cruises with dinner for a great night out in Paris.
Bateaux Parisiens offers a Seine River cruise, night option with dinner, starting at 8.30 pm.
In general, this Seine River dinner cruise gets good reviews for its food, drinks, and kind staff. The 3-course dinner cruise comes with 4 different starters, main dishes, and dessert options, and all the proposals include a glass of champagne. There is also a vegetarian menu available.
This Seine River dinner cruise comes with live music and lasts 2 hrs 30 min. There are different prices, depending on the chosen menu and the placement of your table.
MAKE IT SPECIAL: we suggest paying a little extra to be seated along the windows (Service Privilege) or at the bows of the boat (Service Premier). It is well worth it!
First of all, the boats are imagined like a theatre where the Seine River is the main stage. All the seats are arranged in front of the view to admire the Seine River and all the monuments illuminated along the way. The passengers are comfortably seated in large club chairs, and they dine side by side on tables specially designed to enjoy both the view and the meal. Boats also have a bar and a huge open sky terrace so visitors can get the most out of the Seine River during the cruise.
With prices starting at 54€, this is definitely the less expensive dinner cruise in Paris. The meals are Parisian bistro-style, all cooked on-site, and with fresh and seasonal produce. Enjoy a 2-course menu starter, main, and dessert at your window-facing table, and upgrade it with wine or champagne.
Summer boarding (1st of May to 31st of October) takes place from Saint Michel bridge in Paris 1 while winter boarding (1st of November to 30th of April) takes place from île aux Cygnes, in Paris 15.
Bateaux Mouches offers a Seine River cruise with dinner starting at 8.30 pm. In general, this river cruise gets good reviews for food, wine, and entertainment.
The all-inclusive menu comes with 3-5 different options (depending on the chosen menu) of starter, main dish, and cheese or dessert, and there’s always at least one vegetarian option for each course. Beverages and coffee or tea are included.
Seine River Cruises – Best Tips
» While you can buy tickets for most of the sightseeing cruises the same day at the dock, you may be able to save money by purchasing it online in advance. Be sure to print it out and take it with you to claim your ticket at the dock.
» First arrived first served! Tickets for sightseeing cruises do not have a seat assigned so try to arrive well in advance to find a good seat to admire the Seine River.
» On a Seine night cruise with dinner, it is worth paying a little extra to be seated by the window and enjoy a better view.
» The Paris City Card << tourist card includes a Seine River cruise. If you are considering buying this fantastic card, this is an extra reason to get it now! Find all the Paris City Card benefits here.
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