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The Best Seine River Cruises

Discover Paris By Boat
Paris river cruise on the Seine.
Last updated May 1, 2024
If you’re dreaming of floating past the Eiffel Tower at sunset with a glass of champagne in hand, you’ve come to the right place! This guide to choosing the best Seine cruise will help you get the most out of your time in Paris.

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While strolling along the banks of the Seine and wandering through picturesque streets are quintessential Parisian experiences, a river cruise offers a unique perspective that showcases the city’s charm from a different angle.

Here, we delve into our favorite river cruises to take in Paris and offer a few tips to ensure an unforgettable experience.

Bateaux Parisiens

Renowned for their elegance and high-quality service, Bateaux Parisiens cruises offer a luxurious experience with panoramic views of Parisian landmarks. You can choose between a sightseeing boat or a restaurant boat.

Boat taking passengers on a Paris cruise of the Seine

The latter offers a dinner menu of fresh, seasonal fare prepared on board by a chef trained in traditional French cuisine. While this isn’t a budget experience, it’s sure to leave you with a lasting impression of your Parisian holiday.

Prices vary between 75€ for a lunch cruise and 149€ for a premier dinner with drinks included.

In contrast, sightseeing cruises are very affordable – a single adult ticket will set you back just 16€. These cruises depart from Pier 3 at Port de la Bourdonnais next to the Eiffel Tower and from Pont au Double, across from the Notre Dame Cathedral. 

Les Vedettes du Pont Neuf

One of the oldest companies to offer Seine cruises, the 1959-founded Vedettes du Pont Neuf offers a variety of experiences.

There’s a basic one-hour long cruise that takes you from Square du Vert Galant to the Eiffel Tower and back, a fancy champagne and macarons option, a combo cruise that includes a two-hour city tour through the most recognizable landscapes of the city, as well as lunch and dinner cruises.

Daytime Paris Seine river cruise with the Eiffel Tower in the background

Les Vedettes also offers a two-and-a-half-hour off-the-beaten-path Paris river cruise taking you from the Port de l’Arsenal near Bastille, into the little-known Bastille vault, through the river locks, and down the Canal Saint Martin to the Bassin de la Villette.

Ticket prices range from 14€ for a basic 1-hour cruise to 85€ for a romantic dinner cruise that includes a gourmet menu.

Daily cruises start at 10:45am. 

Bateaux-Mouches

Another company that has been around for decades, Bateaux-Mouches offers several Seine river cruises. Choose from sightseeing, brunch, lunch, dinner, champagne, and lunch box cruises or a joint boat cruise and bus tour option in conjunction with OpenTour’s double-decker buses.

You can also combine your ticket with a show at the famous Crazy Horse cabaret.

Tickets start at 8€ for a simple sightseeing cruise.

Batobus

Ideal for exploring Paris at your own pace, Batobus offers a hop-on, hop-off boat service along the Seine. As the name implies, it is just like boarding a bus and getting off at the desired destination, be it the next stop, or the end of the line. The convenience of water transport makes this a versatile choice for travelers.

There are nine stops along the way, including landmarks such as Notre Dame, Hôtel de Ville, the Louvre and Orsay Museums, the Alexandre III Bridge, and, of course, the Eiffel Tower.

Seine river cruise
Photo by Renata Haidle

Tickets are 23€ for a 24-hour pass, 27€ for a 48-hour pass, and 73€ for an annual pass. Children benefit from a significant discount, like everywhere else in Paris.

In spring and summer, cruises start as early as 10am with the last boarding at 7pm.

Ducasse Sur Seine

World-renowned Chef Alain Ducasse lends his instantly recognizable name to this exceptional Seine river cruise, which offers a gastronomic experience aboard an entirely electric boat. While you won’t get Chef Ducasse to cook for you, the incredibly talented Chef Jean-Philippe Berens and his team of 36 cooks will make sure you enjoy refined, seasonal, and contemporary Parisian haute cuisine prepared on the spot. 

Tickets range from 105€ for a three-course lunch to 500€ for an unforgettable six-course dinner, complete with a glass of champagne, wine pairing, and a surprise gift to bring home as a souvenir.

Before Reserving Your Seine River Cruise

There are a few key considerations to keep in mind when selecting the best Seine river cruise for your trip.

1. Timing is Everything

Choose the timing of your river cruise wisely to witness Paris in different lights. Daytime cruises offer panoramic views and photo opportunities, while evening cruises immerse you in the city’s illuminated charm.

    Night cruise of the Seine River in Paris

    2. Weather Watch

    Paris weather can be moody, so check forecasts before your cruise. A clear day will give you better visibility and offer great photo opportunities, while a gentle rain can add a romantic touch to the experience.

    3. Book in Advance

    To secure your preferred cruise and seating options, especially during peak tourist seasons, it’s best to book in advance. This ensures you have a hassle-free experience and can avoid last-minute disappointments.

    4. Dress Comfortably but Stylishly

    Opt for comfortable yet stylish attire suitable for the weather and the cruise’s ambiance. Casual chic is often appropriate for most river cruises in Paris, while some dinner cruises have a formal dress code.

    Whichever Paris river cruise you choose, we’re sure you’ll love floating by the best sights in the City of Light.


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