A cruise on the Seine River in Paris. (Photo courtesy of Vedettes de Paris)
Take a sightseeing or dinner cruise on the Seine River in Paris
Is there anything more romantic than slipping down the current of one of the world's great rivers past 18th century palaces?
Well, perhaps killing the canned P.A. sightseeing commentary and getting rid of all the other camera-clicking tourists would help the romantic mood, but if it's mood you're after you can always do it as a more refined dinner cruise (described below).
Classic Seine River cruises
The classic hour-long float down the Seine with canned multilingual commentary is offered by several companies for about €10–€13:
- Bateaux-Mouches depart from the Pont de l'Alma on the right bank (tel. +33-(0)1-42-25-96-10; www.bateauxmouches.com; Métro: Alma Marceau).
- Bateaux Parisiens leave from pont d'Iena at the foot of the Eiffel Tower year-round, or from quai Montebello at Notre-Dame from late March to early November (tel. +33-(0)1-46-99-42-12; www.bateauxparisiens.com; Métro: Bir-Hakeim, RER: Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel).
- Les Vedettes de Paris also departs from the Port de Suffren at pont d'Iena near the Eiffel Tower (tel. +33-(0)1-44-18-19-50, www.vedettesdeparis.com; Métro: Bir-Hakeim, RER: Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel).
- Les Vedettes de Pont Neuf leave from—surprise!—the pont Neuf at the tip of Île de la Cité (tel.
+33-(0)1-46-33-98-38; www.vedettesdupontneuf.com; Métro: Pont Neuf, RER: Châtelet or St Michel).
Night cruises and dinner cruises on the Seine
After dark, the boats sweep both banks with mega-powered floodlights—illuminating everything very well, but sort of spoiling the romance.
These tend to be touristy too, unless you opt for a more refined and romantic lunch or dinner cruises, which are considerably more expensive—anywhere from €30 for somethgin simple to €140 for jacket-and-tie dinners—and the food is only so-so.
The setting, however, can't be beat.
A sunset cruise on the Seine River in Paris. (Photo courtesy of Bateaux Mouches)
The hop-on/hop-off Batobus
A less contrived alternative to a day-time cruise is the Batobus (tel. +33-(0)825-05-01-01 costs €0.15/min; www.batobus.com), a kind of water taxi with no piped-in commentary that stops every 15–25 minutes at eight major points of interest: Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysées, Musée d’Orsay, Louvre, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Notre-Dame, Hôtel de Ville, and Jardin des Plantes.
You get an unlimited pass (hop on and off as often as you like) for:
- 1 day: €15
- 2 days: €18
- 5 days: €21
Seine cruise tips
Planning your time
Most basic cruises last about an hour.
Dinner cruises can last anywhere from 90 minutes to 4 hours (most are 2-3 hours).
Free cruise with a sightseeing card
Get a free Seine River cruise on Bateaux Parisiens with the Paris Sightseeing Pass (note: this is one activity not covered by the Paris Museum Pass).
Book a Seine cruise
Take a tour
of TK with our partners at Viator.com
or Context Travel
- Reserve a Seine cruise ahead of time with our partners at Viator.com:
JUST A SEINE CRUISE
A SEINE CRUISE PLUS OTHER SIGHTSEEING
- Paris by Riverboat (a Seine-side walking tour followed by a Batobus trip with commentary from your private guide)
- Paris City Tour, Seine River Cruise and Eiffel Tower
- Paris in One Day Sightseeing Tour (includes 2 river cruises, Louvre, Eiffel Tower lunch, and Notre-Dame)
- Seine River Cruise, Paris Illuminations and Dinner on the Champs-Elysées
- Eiffel Tower Dinner and Seine River Cruise
- Eiffel Tower, Paris Moulin Rouge Show and Seine River Cruise
- Eiffel Tower Dinner, Seine River Cruise and Moulin Rouge Show by Minivan
- Paris Night Bike Tour and Seine Cruise
- Paris City Tour by Minivan, Louvre Museum and Seine River Lunch Cruise
- Paris City Tour with Seine River Cruise and Eiffel Tower Lunch
- Eiffel Tower, Seine River Cruise and Paris Illuminations Night Tour
- Seine River Cruise and Paris Illuminations Tour
- Paris in One Day Sightseeing Tour
- Versailles, Paris City Tour and Seine River Cruise Day Trip
- Paris City Tour by Minivan, Seine River Cruise and Lunch at the Eiffel Tower
- Paris City Tour and Seine River Cruise
- Dinner Cruise with "La Marina de Paris" and Moulin Rouge Show
- Eiffel Tower Dinner and Seine River Cruise by Minivan
- Dinner Cruise with "La Marina de Paris" on the Seine River
- Private Tour: Romantic Seine River Cruise, Dinner and Illuminations Tour
- Seine River Cruise and Paris Illuminations by Minivan
- Seine River Dinner Cruise and Lido Show