- 8 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE A CRUISE ON THE RIVER SEINE
- EXPLORE PARIS DIFFERENTLY WITH A SEINE BOAT TOUR
- FIND THE BEST SIGHTSEEING CRUISE ON SEINE RIVER
- HOW TO BOOK YOUR SEINE RIVER CRUISE
- HOW TO BUY YOUR SEINE RIVER NIGHT CRUISE
- FIND THE BEST SEINE RIVER CRUISES IN PARIS
- ENJOY PARIS AT NIGHT WITH A SEINE RIVER DINNER CRUISE
- FIND THE BEST DINNER CRUISE IN PARIS
- BEST TIPS FOR YOUR CRUISE ON THE RIVER SEINE
The Seine River (La Seine in French) winds its way through the heart of Paris, crossing it from west to east and cutting the city into two. It is the origin of the city and its development is uniquely tied to the river.
Walking along the city’s most beautiful avenue on a sunny day is a wonder and you will never be bored: majestic historical buildings reflected on its waters, the typical Parisian “mansards”, the bridges of the Seine, each one with a unique style . . . But also the iconic bouquinistes, improvised picnics by locals dangling their feet over the water and even a crazy beach area in the summer!
If you are traveling to Paris for the first time we recommend booking a Seine River Cruise to experience the city from a different point of view and spot some of Paris’ top attractions along the waterway. This is especially beautiful at night, when the historical monuments are dotted along the waterway: the Eiffel Tower, the Musée d’Orsay, the Conciergerie, Notre Dame and more.
With some of the River Seine cruises, you only get views of Paris’ best tourist sights while with other Seine boat tours, there are included lunch, dinner or a glass of champagne.
With so much cruise offer and several companies providing similar tours, what is the best cruise on the River Seine for you? In this article, we’ll give you the details on the best Seine River cruises in Paris to help you decide which one might be the best Seine River tour for you.
8 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE A CRUISE ON THE RIVER SEINE
» You can get a different look at the city and explore Paris by water
» Cruise during the daytime to soak up Paris’ energetic bustle, or select an evening cruise to see Paris at night.
» It takes in many top Paris sights in a short space of time
» It brings you back to the departure point
» There are multi-lingual audio guides available
» It is a good opportunity to get a taste of French cuisine
» It runs all year round, sun or rain or full moon
» It’s free children under 3 or 4 years (depending on the tour)
Our favorite Seine River Cruises in Paris fall into two categories: sightseeing Seine River cruises and Seine River dinner cruises.
EXPLORE PARIS DIFFERENTLY WITH A SEINE BOAT TOUR
Hope on board and explore Paris from a different viewpoint, from the Seine River! There are many boat companies working on the River Seine, all covering more or less the same itinerary, so it will be hard to choose. The difference between them remains in the starting point, the options and of course the experience onboard. The good news is that all the boats are adapted to disabled visitors (wheelchair accessible).
Seine Cruise Itinerary
The itinerary of these Paris Cruises is very similar, covering the part of the river which goes through the central Arrondissements of Paris, from the Eiffel Tower in Paris 7 to Ile de Saint Louis in the 4th Paris Arrondissement. Boats go downstream following the Seine’s Left Bank and 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, the cruise route goes further to the Statue of Liberty with the dinner cruises.
A river cruise on Seine without any meal usually lasts from 70 minutes to 90 minutes and they are available every day of the week. Find below the boats’ departure /arrival points
- Yellow: Bateaux Mouches
- Red: Bateaux Parisiens
- Green: Vedettes de Paris
- Purple: Batobus Paris
- Blue: Paris en Scène
FIND THE BEST SIGHTSEEING CRUISE ON SEINE RIVER
|Bateaux Mouches||70 min||Pre-recorded commentary||Champagne||View|
|Bateaux Parisiens||60 min||Individual audio devices /live commentary||NO||View|
|Vedettes de Paris||60 min||Pre-recorded commentary||Food & Drinks||View|
|Batobus Paris||1 or 2 days||NO||NO||View|
HOW TO BOOK YOUR SEINE RIVER CRUISE
The booking process is the same for all the tour companies. Once you have chosen the company for your Seine cruise, introduce your preferred date, the number of travelers and click on the Check Availability button.
The second step is to choose the kind of Seine cruise. If the company proposes different options to choose, e.g. day cruise + a glass of champagne, they will all appear during this step. Add the option of your choice to cart and proceed to payment (secured payment with no additional taxes & fees).
Tickets have a date but they do not have a specific time slot. With many departures throughout the day, you can choose a time that fits better into your Paris schedule and then arrive at the dock before any of the daily scheduled departures.
HOW TO BUY YOUR SEINE RIVER NIGHT CRUISE
The booking process for Seine River night cruises is the same than for the day Seine River cruises. There are no specific Seine River cruise night tickets. Because the tickets don’t have assigned a specific time slot, just go to the latest boat departures to enjoy a Paris night cruise.
OUR TIP: please note that during summertime sunset can be around 10 pm, which means illuminations will come only after this hour. This means that to enjoy a Paris night cruise during the summer you need to hop on the last or pre-last Seine night cruise.
FIND THE BEST SEINE RIVER CRUISES IN PARIS
Bateaux Mouches Paris
The company Bateaux Mouches is operating on the Seine River since 1949! Iconic Bateaux Mouches is today the 4th most visited paying attraction in Paris, only after the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum and the Georges Pompidou Centre.
Bateaux Mouches boats can transport up to 600 passengers! They are the big double-decker boats with orange seats sailing on the river. Their tours are complemented with a pre-recorded narration in multiple languages and they come with an optional champagne glass.
» Duration: 1 hour 10 mins
» Departure /arrival point: Pont de l’Alma Rive Droite – Port de la Conférence, Paris 8 Right Bank (see our Google map)
» Adapted toilets on the pier, removable ramp for access from the pier to the boat, no steps on board, no adapted toilets on board.
Les Bateaux Parisiens propose similar Paris boat tours than 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, visitors get an individual audio guide (13 languages available) which is complemented by the comments of a guide in the lower part of the boat. The cruise lasts approximately 1 hour.
» Duration: 1 hour
» Departure /arrival point: Port de la Conférence, Paris 7 Left Bank (see our Google map)
» 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.
Vedettes de Paris
Vedettes de Paris are elegant and smaller boats (up to 250 people), with lesser crowds. During the 1-hour tour, learn about the history of Paris and the sights you pass with audio commentary. The bar onboard proposes interesting French-inspired aperitifs 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.
» 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 Seine River cruise hop on, hop off is the less touristy option on the Seine River, without audio commentary. Batobus Paris is designed as an alternative to the Parisian Metro and it possible to get on the Batobus as many times as you want over a specified period of time without buying new tickets.
Batobus is the Paris river cruise that we know best because once upon a time it was included in the Navigo Paris Metro ticket and it was fun to sail the River Seine to one point to another one on the opposite bank 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 (see our Google map)
» Options: 1-day pass, 2 days pass
» Only the Eiffel Tower and Louvre stops are accessible to those in wheelchairs. The other stops have too many steps for wheelchairs
ENJOY PARIS AT NIGHT WITH A SEINE RIVER DINNER CRUISE
A Seine River dinner cruise can be the perfect way to finish your day in Paris. As the sun sets and the city lights up, step on board and get ready for an awesome night out on the river. So sit down, relax and let the boat take you on a journey through Paris with music, great French food and wine, and amazing views.
Usually, boat companies propose two dinner cruises a day, the first starting at 6 pm and the second starting at 8.30 pm. The first dinner cruise is usually less expensive. This is because the menu is more limited and the cruise shorter (around 70 minutes) while the second dinner cruise is fancier, and usually with live music and a singer instead of background 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 hour of the cruise, especially during the summertime:
» A 6 pm dinner cruise on the River Seine which finishes around 7.10 pm means that you will be sailing with daylight.
» With the 8 pm dinner cruise you can be sure you will enjoy the Paris illuminations during the tour, at least for the last part of the Seine cruise.
Find below the best Seine River dinner cruises, in our opinion, for a great night out in Paris.
FIND THE BEST DINNER CRUISE IN PARIS
Bateaux Parisiens Dinner Cruise
Bateaux Parisiens propose two dinner cruises starting at 6 pm and 8.30 pm. In general, both cruises get good reviews for its food, drinks and kind staff. The all-inclusive menus come with 4 different options of starter, main dish and dessert, and the 2 proposals come with a welcome glass of champagne. There is also a vegetarian menu available.
6 pm Service. Bateaux Parisiens propose a fantastic French dinner with original musical atmosphere and one of the best views of Paris out of the window. The dinner consists of an all-inclusive à la carte menu with everything prepared on site by their chef: starter, main course, dessert, wines, mineral water, and coffee. The duration of this tour is 70 minutes.
8.30 pm Service. Bateaux Parisiens have another interesting dinner proposal starting at 8.30 pm. In regards to the previous service, the à la carte menu is more sophisticated and includes French cheese and a wider selection of French wines. There is also a vegetarian option available. This dinner cruise comes with different prices, depending on the chosen menu and the placement of your table (see all the proposed services here) and it is animated by a singer with an orchestra. The 8.30 dinner cruise is longer, with a duration of 2.30 hours, and with a longer itinerary is also longer, up to the Statue of Liberty on Ile du Cygne.
MAKE IT SPECIAL: we suggest paying a little extra to be seated along the windows (Service Privilege) or at the front of the boat (Service Premier) it is well worth it!
Paris en Scène Dinner Cruise
Paris en Scène is perhaps the lesser known boat company proposing Seine River dinner cruises in Paris. However, their proposal is very attractive, flexible, and definitely our favorite one.
First of all, the boats are imagined like a theater where the Seine is the main stage. All the seats are arranged in front of the view to admire the 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 42€, 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 products. Enjoy a 3-course menu starter, main and dessert at your window-facing table and upgrade it with wine or champagne.
Paris en Scène proposes every night 3 cruises starting at 6 pm, 8 pm, and 10.15 pm so they can suit on any kind of schedule. Cruises last between 75 minutes to 90 minutes.
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 Dinner Cruise
Bateaux Mouches propose two dinner cruises starting at 6 pm and 8.30 pm. In general, both cruises get good reviews for food, wine, and entertainment. The all-inclusive menus come 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.
6 pm Service. This Bateaux Mouches Seine river dinner cruise lasts 70 minutes and it is accompanied by a 3-course all-inclusive menu: starter, main, cheese or dessert, and beverages, all accompanied by background music.
8 pm Service. Bateaux Mouches propose a romantic dinner cruise lulled by the sound of the piano and violin, starting at 8 pm. Visitors can choose between two 4-course all-inclusive menus, Prestige an Excellence. Apart from the culinary proposals, we are not sure if the Excellence menu means a better placement of your table. Enjoy good food and good live music with your best company in the City of Lights.
BEST TIPS FOR YOUR CRUISE ON THE RIVER SEINE
» While you can buy tickets for most cruises the same day in 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.
» On Seine River night cruises, it is well worth paying a little extra to be seated along the windows and enjoy a better view.
» Paris Night Pass includes a priority access to a Seine River cruise night. If you are planning to enjoy Paris at night, don’t miss this fantastic Paris tourist card. Find more information on Paris Night Pass here.
Are you considering a cruise on Seine River? What is the best Seine River cruise in Paris?
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