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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, 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 Seine River cruise to experience the city from a different perspective and spot some of Paris’ top attractions along the waterway. This is especially beautiful at night when the historical monuments are lit up: the Eiffel Tower, the Musée d’Orsay, the Conciergerie, Notre Dame, and more.
There are many river Seine cruises so you will be spoilt for choice. Some of these Seine 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, what is the best Seine River cruise Paris has to offer? Here’s a quick guide to the best Seine River cruises in Paris with our best tips to help you decide.
Paris River Cruise Overview
Sightseeing Seine River Cruises
Individual audio devices
1 hr 30 min
1 or 2 days
Food & Drinks
Seine River Dinner Cruises
Seine River Cruises – 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.
All the boats are adapted to disabled visitors (wheelchair accessible).
A river 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 River cruises might 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.
The Seine River Cruise is one of the top attractions in Paris. We recommend doing a Seine River Cruise in the following Paris itineraries:
Seine River Cruises in Paris – Itinerary & Map
The itinerary of these River Seine cruises is very similar, 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.
- Yellow: Bateaux Mouches
- Red: Bateaux Parisiens
- Green: Vedettes de Paris
- Purple: Batobus Paris
- Black: Paris en Scène
Best River Seine Cruises (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 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.
This Seine boat cruise is complemented with 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, 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, this cruise on Seine River comes with 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
- 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 Seine boat cruise, learn about the history of Paris and the sights you pass with audio commentary.
The onboard bar offers 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.
TIP: this Seine river cruise is included in The Paris Pass, city card. 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 Seine 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.
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 boat 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 for 4 people maximum with a personal skipper. Enjoy the beauty of Paris’ main sights and the River Seine while sipping a glass of wine.
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 boat 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 tour with the maximum of privacy, this is it.
- Duration: 2 hrs 30 min
- Departure /arrival point: 100 Quai du Président Roosevelt, Issy-les-Moulineaux (accessible by the Paris metro)
- Options: a bottle of champagne, extra wine.
Best Seine River Dinner Cruises
A Seine 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. 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 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 River night 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 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 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 starters, main dishes, and dessert options, 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 hrs 30 min. 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.
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!
First of all, the boats are imagined like a theater where the Seine River 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 cruises in Paris. The meals are Parisian bistro-style, all cooked on-site, and with fresh and seasonal produce. 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, and 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.
8.30 pm Service. Bateaux Mouches propose a romantic dinner cruise lulled by the sound of the piano and violin. Visitors can choose between two 4-course all-inclusive menus, Prestige and Excellence. Apart from the culinary proposals, we are unsure 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.
Paris 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.
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