Visit of Paris by boat : stroll & cruise on the Seine

4 minutes of reading
article published on 25/04/2023

Are you going to Paris or are you a Parisian who would like to enjoy a unique experience via a trip on the Seine? We have put together a list of the 5 best boat cruises available in the French capital for a romantic, unusual and fascinating moment. 

The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre-Dame de Paris, the Conciergerie, the Musée d’Orsay… You will have the opportunity to admire all these monuments that make the beauty of the City of Light during your boat trip. During your guided tour of Paris, you can add the Sunset Cruise or the Relaxing Cruise on the Seine to benefit from an exclusive rate that combines two atypical activities. 

The Bateaux-Mouches

As a veritable institution since 1949, the Bateaux-Mouches company welcomes millions of tourists on board its boats every year. A registered trademark, it initially designated the boats that transported goods. In 1867, during the Universal Exhibition, these same boats began to take passengers on board. Today, the fleet has 15 modern boats that run throughout Paris all year round, both during the day and in the evening. 

With a capacity of up to 1,000 people, the glass-covered boats offer a breathtaking view from the Seine of the various emblematic monuments: the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame de Paris, the Conciergerie, the Louvre, etc. Throughout the cruise, loudspeakers broadcast commentaries in several languages to help you learn more about the must-see places in Paris. If you wish to follow the commentary tour attentively, place yourself as close as possible to the speakers. 

Les Bateaux-Mouches also offers lunch and dinner cruises during which you can enjoy refined French gastronomy delicately prepared by the Chef and his brigade.

Boarding point: at the Alma bridge on the right bank (Port de la Conférence – 75008 Paris)

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The Bateaux Parisiens

With a fleet of 13 panoramic boats (8 for guided tours and 5 for lunch and dinner cruises), the Bateaux Parisiens allow millions of visitors to discover Paris from an original angle from the Seine. Aboard glass trimarans, you will enjoy a sumptuous panorama of the capital’s most beautiful monuments. During the hour-long cruise, you will listen to commentaries in 14 languages provided by an individual audio guide who is only accessible inside the boat. If you wish to enjoy a better view from the upper deck to capture the moment, you will not be able to listen to the commentary.

Boarding point: at the foot of the Eiffel Tower (Bourdonnais port – 75007 Paris) or from Notre-Dame (quai de Montebello – 75005 Paris)

Hours :

Due to the exceptional health situation, the cruise schedules may be modified until further notice. Please check the official Bateaux Parisiens website to be informed. 

Prices :

The Vedettes du Pont-Neuf

Created in 1959 by Emile Azam, the Vedettes du Pont-Neuf comprises 12 boats of all sizes and capacities, which ply the Seine in search of authentic and exotic experiences. What sets this company apart from others: the commentaries on the monuments! Indeed, they are not pre-recorded, but are done live (in English and French) by a tourist guide on board. Passengers can therefore benefit from real interaction and ask questions about the Parisian monuments they are seeing. In 2022, the Rocca II, the first 100% electric promenade boat in Paris, was launched to meet the latest environmental and safety standards. The aim is to convert the entire fleet by 2024 to soft propulsion and zero non-recyclable waste. 

In addition to the classic discovery cruise, the company offers other types of water rides (cruise on the Canal Saint-Martin, snack on the Seine, “happy hour”, musical cruise, night-time champagne…) as well as the traditional lunch and dinner cruises. 

Boarding point: from the Ile de la Cité, next to the Pont-Neuf (1 square du Vert Galant – 75001 Paris)

Hours :

Due to the current health crisis, cruise schedules are subject to change. Please consult the official website of the Vedettes du Pont-Neuf to be kept informed. 

Price :

The Vedettes de Paris

Departing from the Eiffel Tower, the Vedettes de Paris company enjoys an exceptional location for its boat trips. Present since 1976, it is distinguished by a fleet of smaller and more traditional boats than its competitors. With a maximum capacity of 250 passengers on board, the company’s human-sized boats are all equipped with a fully glazed covered main deck, an open top deck and a bar where you can enjoy a glass of champagne or a sweet crepe (extra charge). A bilingual guide (French/English) accompanies each cruise to learn more about the Parisian monuments. A mobile application and multilingual documentation are available for people who speak neither French nor English. 

Boarding point: a few metres from the Eiffel Tower (Port de Suffren – 75007 Paris)

Hours :

Currently, due to the health crisis, only 9 departures per day are scheduled between 11a.m. and 8:30p.m. For real-time schedules, please refer to the official Vedettes de Paris website. 

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Created in 1983, Canauxrama is the first Parisian cruise operator to offer atypical cruises on the Ourcq Canal, the Saint-Martin Canal, the Marne (land of guinguettes) and the Seine. Associated with the Vedettes du Pont-Neuf, the company also offers private cruises in Paris for weddings, birthdays, seminars, cocktail parties, etc. Various cruises are offered, the most famous being the “Old Paris” cruise on the Saint-Martin canal. You will enjoy a romantic and unusual walk in the heart of Paris. You will have the opportunity to pass by old popular districts of the city, boutiques and bistros at the cutting edge of new trends. You will also see four locks, two swing bridges and pass under an underground vault. During 2h30, you will discover Paris in a somewhat incongruous way thanks to the comments of an attentive and warm guide. 

Boarding point: from the Arsenal port (opposite n°50 boulevard de la Bastille – 75012 Paris), the Ile de la Cité (opposite n°19 quai de l’Horloge – 75001 Paris) or the Bassin de La Villette (13 quai de la Loire – 75019 Paris)

Schedules: daily morning and afternoon cruises (see the company’s official website)

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