Paris River Cruise Guide – What is the Best Seine River Cruise in Paris?

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, book a Seine River 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 ConciergerieNotre Dame, and more.

There are many Seine River cruises in Paris. Some of these Paris River cruises are only for sightseeing, while others come with dinner and music for an all-included magical experience. You can even craft your own River Seine cruise by chartering a boat for you and your crew! Go on reading for the best Seine River cruises Paris has to offer, with our best tips to help you decide.

Best Seine River Cruises Overview

Day River Seine Cruises

70 min
Pre-recorded commentary
60 min
Individual audio devices
1 hr 30 min
Pre-recorded commentary
Drinks, snacks
1 or 2 days
1 hr 45 min
1 hr 30 min
Macarons, bottle of champagne to take away
2.5 hrs
2 hrs
Different menus

Private Seine River Tours

2.5 hrs
NO (but you can bring food & drinks)
NO (but you can bring food & drinks)

Seine River Dinner Cruises

2 hrs 30 min
8.30 pm
1 hr 45 min
7,15 pm; 9.45 pm
2 hr 15 min
8.30 pm
2 hrs
6.00 pm; 9.00 pm
2 hrs
6.00 pm; 9.30 pm

Seine Sunset Cruises

75 min
Food & Drinks
60 min
Pre-recorded commentary

Seine River Cruises for Families

60 min
Pre-recorded commentary
60 min

Table of Contents:

  • Paris River Cruise How it Works
  • Seine River Cruises in Paris Itinerary & Map
  • Best Seine River Cruise Paris (Sightseeing Only)
  • Best Private Seine River Cruise
  • Best Seine River Dinner Cruise
  • Best Seine Sunset Cruise (Seine River Night Cruise Without Dinner)
  • Best Seine River Cruise for Families
  • Seine Boat Tour Best Tips

A Seine River cruise is one of the top attractions in the city. We recommend taking a Paris River cruise in the following Paris itineraries:

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 River 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, other drinks, and snacks as an option.

A Seine night cruise can be with or without dinner. A Seine River dinner cruise usually lasts from 1hr 15 min to 3 hours, and it comes with or without music. Most of these River Seine cruises with dinner offer different menus with vegetarian and vegan dishes, and this is something that you need to specify during the booking process.

Seine River Cruises in Paris Itinerary & Map

With few exceptions, the itinerary is very similar to all the Seine River cruises in Paris, covering the part of the Seine 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.

The map below shows the point of departure of the best Seine cruises, Paris.

Points of Departure of the Seine River Cruises – Map made with Google My Maps

Click here to view this Seine River Cruises Map on Google

  • Yellow: Bateaux Mouches
  • Red: Bateaux Parisiens
  • Green: Vedettes de Paris
  • Purple: Batobus Paris
  • Black: Paris en Scène
  • Light Green: Paris Duck Tour (tour on an amphibious bus)
  • Blue: Paris Canal (Seine River + Canal Saint-Martin)
  • Brown: Trattoria On Seine (Italian meal + panoramic rooftop)

Best Seine River Cruise Paris (Sightseeing Only)

Best Combo Tickets with a Paris Seine Cruise (Sightseeing Only)

Save money with a Paris combo ticket! Combo tickets usually include 2 or 3 top attractions in Paris at a discounted price (usually 10-15% off).

Seine Boat Tour + Disneyland Paris
Arc de Triomphe + Seine River Tour
Hop-On – Hop-Off Bus + Paris River Cruise
Paris Seine Cruise + Louvre Museum
Seine Cruise Paris + Eiffel Tower

1. Bâteaux Mouches

Bateaux Mouches Paris

The company Bateaux Mouches has been operating on the Seine River since 1949! The iconic Bâteaux 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 Bâteaux Mouches can transport up to 600 passengers. They are the big double-decker boats with orange seats sailing on the River.

With this Seine River cruise, Paris’ top landmarks won’t have more secrets for you as the cruise is complemented by a pre-recorded narration in multiple languages. There’s also the option to book a glass of champagne.

  • 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, and no steps on board. No adapted toilets on board.

Click here to Book this Seine River Cruise

2. Bâteaux Parisiens

Bateaux Parisiens

The Bateaux Parisiens propose similar boat tours to the Bâteaux 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, and there’s the option to book it with a glass of champagne.

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Departure /arrival point: Port de la Conférence, Paris 7 Left Bank
  • 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.

Click here to Book this Seine River Cruise

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!

3. Vedettes de Paris

Vedettes de Paris

The Vedettes de Paris are elegant and smaller boats that transport fewer people. During the 1-hour Seine River tour, learn about the history of Paris and the sights along the cruise with audio commentary.

This is the best Seine River cruise Paris has to offer 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

Click here to Book this Seine River Cruise

4. Batobus Paris (Seine River Cruise Hop-On Hop-Off)

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 the classic Paris hop-on hop-off bus because it avoids the traffic jams on the streets of Paris.

This is the best Paris River cruise for a more local experience. It is possible to get on the Batobus Paris 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.
  • Only the Eiffel Tower and Louvre stops are accessible to those in wheelchairs. The other stops have too many steps for wheelchairs.

Click here to Book this Seine River Cruise

5. Paris Duck Tour (Tour on an Amphibious Bus)

The Paris Duck Tour is the latest addition to this list of Seine River cruises in Paris. This small bus, for only 35 people, can also navigate along the Seine River, so you have a bus tour and a Seine boat tour for the price of one! Actually, the splash!, when the bus enters the water is one of the highlights of this unique Seine boat tour.

The itinerary is also different from the other Seine cruises. On the bus, you will pass by iconic sites like the Eiffel Tower, the Invalides, the Alexandre III Bridge, the Petit Palais and Grand Palais, the Champs-Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe, and more.

The splash! takes place on the outskirts of Paris, where you can discover the Seine Musicale, the Parc de Saint-Cloud, and the Bois de Boulogne. Count on sailing about 20 minutes of the 1 hr 45 min that lasts the full tour.

Another (big) difference is the guide, who was hand-picked for his humor and passion to make this tour fun and memorable.

  • Duration: 1 hr 45 min
  • Departure /arrival point: Place Vauvan, in Paris 7 (see our Google map)
  • Options: sightseeing cruise only (no food or drinks)
  • No toilets onboard

This is a new and unique tour much coveted by tourists and locals (yep, we also like trying new experiences!). Because of the small capacity of the bus, the Paris Duck Tours sold out very fast, so it is usually necessary to book many weeks in advance. If you don’t find this Seine River tour available for your dates, consider this Seine River + Canal Saint-Martin Duck Tour or this Paris to Versailles Duck Tour also with their unique amphibious bus.

Click here to book this Seine River Cruise

6. River Cruise Paris with Champagne Tastings (Maxim’s + Ô Château)

Seine River in Paris

This 1.5-hour Cruise with Champagne Tastings with a Professional Sommelier is the perfect combo for a unique afternoon in Paris. Board Maxim’s Bâteau Ivre, decorated in the Art Nouveau style, and enjoy the tastings of three champagnes carefully selected by the chef sommelier of Ô Château.

This is a more intimate and fun Paris Seine cruise, and it is set in a Belle Epoque atmosphere. Your sommelier will also share stories about the monuments you see along the cruise while you enjoy the breathtaking view of Paris from the water’s edge.

  • Duration: 1 hr 30 min
  • Departure /arrival point: Le Bon Port, at the foot of Notre Dame, in Paris 4 (see our Google Map)

Click here to Book this Seine River Cruise with Champagne Tastings

7. Canal Saint-Martin + Seine Cruise

This Paris River cruise navigates the waters of the Seine River and Canal Saint-Martin. Admire classics of Paris, like the Orsay Museum, the Louvre, and Notre Dame, before heading to the tunnels and locks of Paris’ most picturesque Canal.

This is a one-way cruise, which starts at the Orsay Museum (Paris 7) and ends at Parc de la Villette in Paris 19. Then, you can take the opportunity to explore this less-touristy district of Paris, with interesting sights like the Parc de la Villette, Parc Buttes-Chaumont, and the banks of the Bassin de la Villette. If you prefer, you can sail from La Villette to the Orsay Museum in central Paris by booking this tour.

  • Duration: 2 hrs 30 min
  • Departure /arrival point: Port de Solferino, in Paris 7 Left Bank /La Villette or vice-versa (see our Google map)
  • Options: sightseeing cruise only

Click here to book this Seine River + Canal Saint-Martin Cruise

Best Private Seine River Cruise

Seine Cruise - Emily in Paris

Craft your own experience and book a private cruise on the Seine River. Admire Paris’ most beautiful avenue while sipping a glass of wine or enjoying a picnic onboard.

There’s no best private Seine River cruise; it depends on what you are looking for! You can book this private Seine boat tour which follows a similar itinerary to the other Seine boat tours, or choose another boat more adapted for you and your cruise (the map on this page shows where the boats are moored).

Most of the boats for rent in Paris come with a skipper, so let him do the hard work while you sit back, relax, and have fun with your partner, family, or group.

With this kind of river cruise, Paris will delight you. You can bring your own food and wine for a picnic or a French apéritif. Sometimes, you can purchase them as an add-on during the booking process.

Click here to book a Private Seine Boat Tour

Best Seine River Dinner Cruise

Seine River at Night

A Paris night cruise with dinner is one of the best 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 around 6 pm and the second starting at 8.30 pm or later.

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. If you want to do this Seine cruise at night, check out the Paris sunset times and plan your Seine night cruise accordingly:

  • 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 the best dinner cruise in Paris for you from the options below.

1. Bateaux Parisiens Dinner Cruise

Bateaux Parisiens offers a Seine River cruise, a 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 meal comes with different starters, main dishes, and dessert options, and all the proposals include a glass of champagne. There is also a vegetarian option 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! 

Click here to Book this Seine River Dinner Cruise

2. 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 one of the best Paris River cruises with dinner.

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 59€, this is definitely the least 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.

Click here to Book this Seine River Dinner Cruise

3. Bateaux Mouches Dinner Cruise

Bateaux Mouches offers a River Seine 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.

Bâteaux Mouches offers a romantic dinner cruise lulled by the sound of the piano and violin. Enjoy a three-course menu designed to bring you the best of French cuisine and good live music with your best company in the City of Light.

Click here to Book this Seine River Dinner Cruise

Best Seine Sunset Cruise (Seine River Night Cruise Without Dinner)

For those who wish to cruise along the Seine River at sunset – at night, admiring Paris illuminated, without having dinner, there are a few options competing for the best Seine River night cruise without dinner.

An important thing to consider for a Paris night cruise is the sunset time, as the sunset in Paris in summer is quite late. If you want to take a Seine sunset cruise – night cruise, check out the Paris sunset times and book accordingly.

Both the Happy Hour Evening Cruise on the Seine and the Apéritif Cruise on the Seine are mid-size boats that come with music and a bar onboard. The difference between these two Seine cruises is the duration of the cruise, with a longer itinerary for the Happy Hour Evening Cruise. This Happy Hour Evening Cruise also has the option to buy some food.

TIP: Save money with the Paris Seine Pass, a combo ticket that includes the Apéritif Cruise on the Seine mentioned above, access to the Sainte-Chapelle and the Orsay Museum, and a 10% discount on other Paris attractions.

Best Seine River Cruise for Families

What is the best Seine River cruise in Paris for families? There are a couple of Paris River cruises especially designed for families with children. They both last 1 hour, and the commentaries are more adapted for the little ones.

The Paris Cruise for Kids (with Quiz) comes with a booklet – a Paris quiz for children, but it is in French.

The best Seine River cruise for families is, in our opinion, the Family Cruise on the Seine. This Seine River tour comes with a funny guide (English & French) specialized in capturing the imagination of the little ones.

Seine Boat Tour Best Tips

Conicergerie - View from the Seine River

» 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 the confirmation email 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.

» 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.

So there you have it, our selection of the best Seine River cruises in Paris, so you can find the best River Seine cruise for you and your crew. Which Paris Seine cruise would you like to take right now?

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Best Seine River Cruises in Paris, Best Cruises on the River Seine, Sightseeing Seine Cruises in Paris, Seine River Dinner Cruises, Seine Night Cruises
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