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Table of Contents
- Glide by the Famous Sights of Paris on a Seine River Cruise
- Top Reasons Why You Should Take a Seine River Cruise
- Seine River Cruises – How it Works
- Seine River Cruises in Paris – Itinerary & Map
- Best Seine River Cruises in Paris (Only Sightseeing)
- Best Seine River Dinner Cruises
- Seine River Cruises in Paris – Best Tips
Glide by the Famous Sights of Paris on a Seine River Cruise
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. The river is the origin of the city and its development is uniquely tied to the river.
If you are visiting 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 lit up along the waterway: 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 Seine River Cruises are only for sightseeing, with a glass of champagne and some snacks as an option. Other River Seine Cruises instead, come with dinner and music for an all-included magical experience.
With so much cruise offer and several companies providing similar tours, what is the best Seine River Cruise for you?
Below, we share the details on the best Seine River cruises in Paris together with our best insider tips to help you decide.
Heads Up! We are working hard to be accurate but these are unusual times so please always check before heading out.
Top Reasons Why You Should Take a Seine River Cruise
» Admire Paris and its main sights from another point of view.
» It is a comfortable way to take in many top Paris sights in a short space of time.
» A Seine River Dinner Cruise is an original way to celebrate a birthday or a special event in Paris.
» A Seine River Dinner Cruise is a good opportunity to get a taste of French cuisine.
» Seine River Cruises run all year round, sun or rain or full moon.
» There are multi-lingual audio guides available.
» A Seine River Day Cruise is a great activity for families and it’s free for children under 3 or 4 years (depending on the tour).
The Seine River Cruise is one of the top attractions in Paris. We recommend doing a Seine River Cruise in the following Paris itineraries:
- 1 day in Paris itinerary
- 2 days in Paris itinerary
- 3 days in Paris itinerary
- 4 days in Paris itinerary
- 5 days in Paris itinerary
Seine River Cruises – How it Works
The best Seine River Cruises in Paris fall into two categories: sightseeing river cruises and sightseeing + dinner cruises.
There are many boat companies working on the River Seine, and they all cover more or less the same itinerary. The difference between them remains in the starting point, the options, and of course the experience onboard.
All the boats are adapted to disabled visitors (wheelchair accessible).
A river cruise on the Seine for only sightseeing usually lasts from 60 minutes to 90 minutes and they are available every day of the week. Some of these cruises propose a glass of champagne and snacks as an option.
The Seine River Dinner Cruises usually last from 1,15 hours to 3 hours and they are proposed with or without music. Most of these cruises propose vegetarian and vegan options and this is something that you need to mention during the booking process.
A Seine River Cruise may be canceled if the water level is too high to operate. In this case, you will be given a couple of options including a full refund.
Seine River Cruises in Paris – Itinerary & Map
The itinerary of these Seine River 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 Paris 4.
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, and usually with the Seine River Dinner Cruises, the boats sail further to the Statue of Liberty.
- Yellow: Bateaux Mouches
- Red: Bateaux Parisiens
- Green: Vedettes de Paris
- Purple: Batobus Paris
- Black: Paris en Scène
Best Seine River Cruises in Paris (Only Sightseeing)
|Bateaux Mouches||70 min||Pre-recorded commentary||NO||View|
|Bateaux Parisiens||60 min||Individual audio devices||NO||View|
|Vedettes de Paris||60 min||Pre-recorded commentary||Food & Drinks||View|
|Seine River Hop-On Hop-Off||1 or 2 days||NO||NO||View|
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 Georges Pompidou Centre.
The Bateaux Mouches can transport up to 600 passengers. They are the big double-decker boats with orange seats sailing on the river. Their Seine River Cruises are complemented with a pre-recorded narration in multiple languages and they come 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 (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.
The Bateaux Parisiens propose similar boat tours than 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, visitors get an individual audio guide which 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 (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.
The Vedettes de Paris are elegant and smaller boats, transporting fewer people. During the 1-hour tour, learn about the history of Paris and the sights you pass with audio commentary.
The onboard bar 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 available on the Seine River, without audio commentary.
Batobus Paris is designed as an alternative to the Parisian Metro and it is 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 Seine River Cruise that we know best because years ago it was included in the monthly Navigo Pass Metro ticket and 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 (see our Google map)
- 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
Best Seine River Dinner Cruises
A Seine River Dinner Cruise can be the perfect way to finish your day in Paris in style. As the sun sets and the city lights up, step on board and get ready for an awesome night out in Paris with music, French food, good French wines, and amazing views.
|Bateaux Parisiens||1,15 hr||NO||6 pm||View|
|Bateaux Parisiens||2,30 hr||YES||8.30 pm||View|
|Paris en Scène||1,15 hr||NO||6,15 pm||View|
|Bateaux Mouches||1,15 hr||NO||6 pm||View|
|Bateaux Mouches||3 hr||YES||8.30 pm||View|
Usually, 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 is 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 hour of the cruise, especially during the summer:
- 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.
The dress code for a Seine River 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 Seine River Dinner Cruises for a great night out in Paris.
Bateaux Parisiens propose two Seine River Dinner Cruises starting at 6 pm and 8.30 pm.
In general, both Seine River Cruises get good reviews for their food, drinks, and kind staff. The all-inclusive menus come with 4 different options of starter, main dish, and dessert, and both proposals include a glass of champagne. There is also a vegetarian menu available.
6 pm Service. The dinner consists of an all-inclusive à la carte menu with everything prepared on-site by the chef: starter, main course, dessert, wines, mineral water, and coffee. The duration of this Seine River Dinner Cruise is 70 minutes.
8.30 pm Service. This Seine River Dinner Cruise comes with live music and it is longer, with a duration of 2.30 hours. The itinerary is also longer, up to the Statue of Liberty on Ile du Cygne.
Compared to the previous service, the à la carte menu is more sophisticated and it includes French cheese and a wider selection of French wines. There is also a vegetarian option available.
This Seine River Dinner Cruise comes with different prices, depending on the chosen menu and the placement of your table (see all the options here).
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 is perhaps the lesser-known boat company proposing Seine River Dinner Cruises in Paris. However, their proposal is very attractive, flexible, and definitely one of the best Seine River Cruises in Paris.
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 Seine River 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.
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 propose two Seine River Dinner Cruises starting at 6 pm and 8.30 pm.
In general, both Seine River 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 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 and 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.
Seine River Cruises in Paris – Best Tips
» While you can buy tickets for most of the 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.
» On Seine River night cruises, it is well worth paying a little extra to be seated along the windows and enjoy a better view.
So there you have it, our selection of the best Seine River Cruises in Paris. Which Seine River Cruise would you like to take right now?
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