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Seine River Cruises in Paris: How to Choose the Best Seine Cruise Boat Tour

Last updated: June 24, 2023 - Written by Jessica Norah 103 Comments

A Seine river cruise is a very popular way to see Paris, and one we always recommend to visitors to the city. These short river cruises allow you to take in many of the highlights of the city—the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Musée d’Orsay, Notre Dame Cathedral, etc.—as you float along the Seine River.

Many of Paris’s most famous and important buildings, bridges, and attractions can be seen from the river. The river viewpoint also allows you to gain some good insight into the city’s history, evolution, and architecture. In fact, the banks of the Seine in Paris were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.

However, deciding on the right cruise may be difficult as there are several companies that provide similar tours along the Seine River.

In this article, we’ll give you the details on the most popular sightseeing boat tours in the City of Light and help you decide which one might be best for you. We’ll also provide you with a list of Seine dinner cruises and companies offering private Seine river cruises for those looking for a special evening out. We’ll also let you know which ones we chose and why for our own Seine river cruise experiences.

Paris Seine river cruises boat

Table of Contents:

Seine River Cruises: Main Paris Sightseeing Boat Companies

There are a lot of similarities in many of the Seine river boat cruises that offer larger scale cruises along the Seine.

First, most Seine cruises last about an hour in duration and stop and end at the same point unless otherwise noted. They also all complete approximately the same circuit although you can check for the exact map for each by going to the companies’ websites. Most companies operate sightseeing river cruises in Paris year-round.

In addition to regular sightseeing cruises, the majority of these companies also operate dinner cruises on the Seine (as well as other meals and special event cruises) if you are looking for a meal on board.

While you can buy tickets for most cruises the same day in-person near the dock, you may be able to save money by purchasing in advance. Often tickets are valid for 3 months to 1 year following purchase allowing you to choose the time and date of your Seine cruise. If you purchase a ticket or voucher online, be sure to print it out and take it with you to claim your ticket at the dock.

Some of the companies offer cruises seasonally whereas others operate year-round. Those that operate year-round often offer less frequent cruises in the low season. High season is generally from April to September and low season is from October to March.

Below we summarize the departure points, type of commentary or narration provided, cost of tickets, how to buy the tickets, and other points of interest about each company that offers Seine cruises. This list is in alphabetical order: 

Seine cruise boat

1. Bateaux Mouches Seine Cruise

This is the oldest company operating cruise boats on the Seine River, starting service after World War II, and these boats have become somewhat of a symbol of Paris. Bateaux Mouches has some of the biggest boats which are easy to spot because they are big, double-decker open-top boats with orange seats.

The sightseeing cruises last approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Bateaux Mouches Seine cruise river Paris France

Departure Points(s)

Leaves from Pont de l’Alma (right bank) in the 8th arrondissement.

Pre-recorded narration is provided in several languages, including English, over the boat speaker system. They also provide printed handouts in 22 languages.

Pricing & Tickets

Current prices (as of June 2023): adults are 15 euros, children age 4 to 12 are 6 euros, and children under age 4 are free.

You can buy tickets online (use our link for a small discount) , by phone, or at the dock. If you purchase your ticket online, you can collect your ticket before boarding at the Pont de l’Alma at the Compagnie des Bateaux-Mouches kiosk. You will just need to present your transaction number and proof of booking.

Accessibility

Step-free access is available and the bottom floor of the boats is wheelchair accessible. The boat configurations vary, but there are approximately 10 stairs to access the second floor and it is not accessible to wheelchairs.

Access to toilets on board the boats requires navigating stairs, but there are wheelchair-accessible toilets available near the docking area. Priority access for disabled guests is available.

Other Points

  • Website: https://www.bateaux-mouches.fr
  • Also provide lunch, dinner, and special events cruises.

These boats are probably the most popular on the Seine as they are the biggest and you don’t usually need a reservation to get on them. However, this makes them very popular with tourist groups so be prepared to share the boat with hundreds of other visitors.

The open-top is great in good weather and provides unobstructed better views than some of the other boats operated by other companies without the extra deck. However, in bad weather you’ll be forced into the glassed-in bottom half of the boat.

Narration is provided but it can be difficult to hear if the boat is busy or the weather is bad. 

2. Bateaux Parisiens Seine Cruise

Bateaux Parisiens have a large fleet of medium-sized boats. Most of the boats they use for sightseeing cruises have lower enclosed decks and an upper uncovered deck. This is probably the second most popular company on the Seine.

The sightseeing cruises last approximately 1 hour.

Bateaux Parisiens Paris Seine river cruises boat

Leaves from the Port de la Bourdonnais (near the Eiffel Tower, on the left bank) in the 7th arrondissement -OR- from Quai de Montebello (near the Notre Dame) in the 5th arrondissement.

If you depart from near the Eiffel Tower , narration is provided through individual audio devices available in 14 languages on the lower part of the boat. A live guide is also available for questions.

If you sit on the upper part of the boat, the boat has recently started asking customers to download a free audioguide app on their smartphones rather than giving out individual audio devices. The app commentary is available in multiple languages, but you will need a smartphone and set of headphones or earbuds to listen.

If you depart from near Notre Dame then there is live commentary provided by a live guide in 3 languages (including French and English).

Current prices (as of June 2023) are 18 euros for adults, 9 euros for children age 4-13, and children under age 4 are free. 

Tickets can be purchased online , by phone, or at the ticket offices near the boats.

** DISCOUNT : If you plan to depart from the Eiffel Tower, you can save an extra 2 euros off your ticket price for any trips departing from the Eiffel Tower by booking your ticket online here .**

Note for PARIS PASS holders: Currently, a free Bateaux Parisiens Seine river cruise is included as part of the Paris Pass . Check the website or guidebook for most up-to-date info but Paris Pass holders can currently collect their free ticket by presenting their Paris Pass at the ticket window at Pier 3 at the Eiffel Tower departure port.

Read our review of the Paris Pass for more information, and take a look at our suggested 3 day Paris itinerary that includes this ride.

Step-free access via a ramp is available at the Eiffel Tower stop, and the bottom floor of the boats is wheelchair accessible. Access to toilets on board the boats requires going up and down stairs, but there are wheelchair-accessible toilets available at Le Bistro Parisien, the company’s restaurant near their Eiffel Tower dock.

  • Website: https://www.bateauxparisiens.com/
  • They offer lunch, dinner, and special events cruises. They also offer a special family-oriented cruise (offered in French only) that includes music and children’s activities.

If you choose Bateaux Parisiens and don’t have a strong preference regarding boarding location, I would choose the Eiffel Tower departure point as you’ll save with our discount , making this what we think are some of the best value Seine River cruises available.

If you plan to sit on top, be sure to download the cruise app onto your smartphone and bring your headphones or earbuds if you want to listen to the commentary.

3. Batobus Seine Cruise (well, sort of…)

These are hop-on/hop-off boats that make a circuit with 9 separate stops, all near major tourist destinations (e.g., Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, Louvre). The Batobus is not really intended for a sightseeing cruise but can still be a good economical choice if you also want to use the Batobus for transportation.

If you use the boat to do a sightseeing tour, the full circuit takes about 2 hours. It stops about every 15 minutes.

Batobus Seine Cruise

Departure Point(s)

Boats leave from 9 different stops near the following sites: St-Germain-des-Prés, Notre Dame, Jardin des Plantes, Hôtel de Ville, Louvre, Champs-Elysées, Eiffel Tower, Musée d’Orsay, and Beaugrenelle.

The boats stop at each stop every 20 to 25 minutes depending on the season.

There is no narration during these boat tours as they are designed as a boat taxi service rather than an actual cruise. Staff members are on board, however, and can answer questions in both English and French.

For a 1-day pass current prices (as of November 2022) for adult passes (age 16+) are 20 euros and child (age 3 to 15) passes are 10 euros. Children under age 3 ride for free. For a 2-day pass, adult passes are 22 euros and child passes are 11 euros.

Tickets can be purchased online , at any of the 9 Batobus stops, tourist information offices, or at the Paris L’Open Tour Boutique (3 rue Auber, 75009 Paris).

Step-free access via a ramp is available only at the Eiffel Tower stop, and the bottom floor of the boats is wheelchair accessible. However, many of the other stops require steps or have cobbled walkways. There are no toilets on board these boats. Wheelchair accessible toilets are available near their Eiffel Tower dock.

I would not recommend Batobus for those in a wheelchair unless you plan to stay on the boat for a round trip ride as only the Eiffel Tower stop is easy to access for wheelchair users. Since there is no guided commentary on board, you are probably better off choosing another boat company.

Other Notes

  • Website: https://www.batobus.com/
  • There are no toilets on board these boats.

While these boats are meant to function as water buses they can still be a good choice for some views of Paris from the river. For some people who don’t want to use the bus system or metro, these can be an especially great and economical option.

For instance, a 1 day pass allows for unlimited transportation for an entire day and you can use the Batobus as a bus during the day and then sit back and enjoy the full circuit at night. Just note that if crowded these boats can get quite hot in the summer heat, but can be nice and warm on cool days as they are heated.

Please note that depending on where you want to go, there may be some walking involved to get there from the port stop. For instance, the stop closest to the Eiffel Tower requires a 15-minute walk to get to the monument from the boat stop.

4. Canauxrama Seine Cruise 

Canauxrama is one of the top companies for providing canal tours around Paris , but they also provide scenic tours along the Seine River as well as a combined canal and river cruise. The Canuaxrama boats vary a bit but all have a closed bottom deck and an open-top deck.

The main Seine River sightseeing cruises are 2 hours long and combine a canal cruise with a Seine River cruise.

Seine boat cruise

There are a number of departure points depending on which cruise you take, so it is important to check which is right for the cruise you choose.

Some cruises, specifically the combined Seine River and Canal St. Martin cruises for example, departs from the intersection of Rue Jean Poulmarch and Quai de Valmy.

Specific Seine River cruises leave from Ile de la Cité near 19 Quai de l’horloge in the 1st arrondissement.

Canal cruises leave from the intersection of Rue Jean Poulmarch and Quai de Valmy .

Live narration on board by guide in French and English.

The 2 hour combined Seine River and Canal St. Martin cruise tickets are currently (as of June 2023) 22 euros for adults, 10 euros for children age 4-12, and free for children under 4. 

It is recommended that reservations should be made in advance for all cruises.

Tickets can be purchased online in advance , or at one of their two ticket offices at the Marina Arsenal or Bassin de la Villette.

Access to the Canauxarama boat boarding points require going up or down several steps and sometimes cobbled walkways. There are also steps (up to 6 steps) on some of the boats that passengers would need to be able to climb.

There are no ramps for wheelchair accessibility. However, some people with greater mobility who are in manual wheelchairs and have a person accompanying them to help them navigate the stairs and walkways, may be able to do these cruises. Mobility scooters are usually too heavy to be moved onto the boats.

There are no wheelchair-accessible toilets on board or near where the boats are docked.

  • Website: https://www.canauxrama.com/en/
  • The cruise described is generally only offered in the evening.
  • Snacks and drinks (including alcohol) are available for purchase at the onboard bar.
  • The company offers a wide variety of different types of cruises that include the Seine as well as a number of other waterways (mainly canals) in or near Paris, however, some of these cruises are not available year round.
  • If you are interested in learning more about taking a Paris canal tour, check out our experience taking a Canauxrama cruise on the Canal Saint-Martin .

Canauxrama is better known for its canal cruises than Seine cruises; however, the company was purchased by Vedettes du Pont Neuf in 2007 which operates Seine cruise boats. If you are looking for a longer cruise (1.5 hours and longer) that does not include dinner, this is a good price.

The cruises that combine the Seine River and Canal St. Martin includes the unique experience of learning a bit about locks as the boat passes through a lock as transitions between the canal and the Seine River. Many people also appreciate the option to purchase snacks or drinks during the cruise. 

However, if you are looking for just a 1-hour, less expensive tour of the Seine, try another company. The longer cruises may be too long for younger children.

Also be sure to note the departure points and arrival points for the cruises as some leave from central Paris near the Notre-Dame Cathedral whereas others leave from the 12th arrondissement. Some cruises also do not have the same start and finish points. The Port de Paris-Arsenal is a bit further from the center of Paris than most of the other companies, but this may end up being great for those staying closer to the 12th arrondissement.

Another option if you are interested in combining a Seine River cruise and Canal Saint-Martin cruise is this 2.5 hour cruise with Paris Canal that includes a 1-hour Seine River cruise and then 1.5 hour canal ride. It departs from near the Musée d’Orsay (ends at Parc de la Villette).

5. Vedettes de Paris Seine Cruise

Vedettes de Paris operates smaller sized boats along the Seine River. The boat configurations differ a bit but each holds approximately 250 people for the regular Seine cruises.

The regular sightseeing cruises are 1 hour in length. They also offer short 30 minute stopover cruises that go between the Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame Cathedral, as well as longer round-trip cruises that last approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

The company also offers a special family-friendly cruise that is geared specifically to children and families.

Seine cruise river boat

Boats for the 1 hour cruise leave from Port de Suffren (near Eiffel Tower) in the 7th arrondissement.

Most boats now include an audio guide that will play in several languages including Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. But some boats still have live narration on-board by guides in French and English on some cruises.

The 1-hour non-stop Discovery sightseeing cruise is currently (as of June 2023) 20 euros for adults, 9 euros for children age 4-11, and free for children under 4. 

There is also an evening aperitif cruise , including a choice of a glass of wine (€24.5) or glass of champagne (€29). It’s also available without a drink for €20.

There is also a 1-hour family cruise offered that is geared to children and families, with a live guide in both French and English.

Tickets can be booked in advance online here , or purchased at the Port de Suffren port office.

Access to the Vedettes de Paris boats are now wheelchair accessible since they got a new pontoon platform in 2020. Those in wheelchairs can now embark and disembark with step-free access. On board, passengers can sit in a regular seat or move around the boat in their own wheelchair.

Wheelchair-accessible toilets are available on board the boat and in the boarding area. There is a dedicated disabled parking space.

  • Website: https://www.vedettesdeparis.fr/
  • Paris de Vedettes offers dinner and themed cruise options with snacks. They also offer a special children’s cruise.
  • Snacks and drinks (including alcohol) are available for purchase onboard. You can also eat at the affiliated seasonal restaurant near the boat dock called Le Cafe des Vedettes. Sometimes there is a special deal if you combine a menu and a sightseeing cruise.
  • The boat configurations differs depending on the boat, but all appear to have some indoor and outdoor seating. You can see some photos of each boat on the website.

Paris de Vedettes offers pretty much the same standard 1-hour cruise of the Seine as most of the other companies; however their boats are smaller than many of the other companies.

Boats with top decks allow for better viewing and pictures, but during cold weather everyone will be forced into the covered spaces. Live narration can be difficult to hear, especially near the engine and on top deck if crowded.

6. Vedettes du Pont Neuf Seine Cruise

Les Vedettes du Pont Neuf operates a small fleet of small and medium sized boats and have been operating tourist cruises since the 1960’s. The company offers some of the least expensive Seine River cruises. 

The basic sightseeing cruises are 1 hour in length.

Paris Seine cruise boat

Boats leave from the Square du Vert Galant near the Pont Neuf on the tip of the Île de la Cité (within walking distance of Notre Dame)

Narration is provided by live guides who give commentary in both French and English. You can also download the company’s free app that provides commentary in French, English, Spanish, Italian, German and Portuguese.

The website says the tickets (as of June 2023) are regularly 15 euros for adults and 9 euros for children 4-12. However, they often have a discount if you purchase the tickets online from their website . 

Tickets can be purchased online or at the port in person before the cruise.

The Vedettes du Pont Neuf boats have a ramp for access and can accommodate step-free access and passengers with wheelchairs and mobility scooters. The access ramp is located a little further beyond the stairs and staff can help assist in finding the best place to board and exit.

However, it is advised that you call in advance before booking if you need the ramp to ensure access on your planned date of travel.

There are no wheelchair accessible toilets on board or near where the boats are docked.

  • Website: http://www.vedettesdupontneuf.com/
  • Two of the boats currently have two decks with an open upper deck, but all boats allow for open-air and inside covered seating.
  • Vedettes du Pont Neuf bought Canauxrama in 2007, so you may see boats with signage from both companies.
  • The company now offers lunch and dinner cruises as well

If you are looking for the cheapest Seine River tickets, Vedettes du Pont Neuf is probably the best choice if you take advantage of their online deals. They also offer a great central location if you are going to be near Notre Dame.

If you choose this company, take some time to explore the Square du Vert Galant before or after your cruise as it can be a peaceful little green patch on the tip of the island.

Live narration is provided by real guides; however, both sound quality and guide quality can vary. You also have the option to download the commentary in advance and listen to it during your trip with your own smartphone and headphones.

7. Bateaux de Paris Seine Cruise

Bateaux de Paris is the newest company to offer regular Seine River cruises. Although the company primarily does private events, one of its smaller boats is used for seasonal tourist sightseeing cruises. The boat is one of the smallest boats offering regular cruises and easy to spot with its bright orange color.

The company only operates cruises between April and September and does not offer them daily.

The sightseeing cruises are 1 hour and 15 minutes long. They also offer shorter one-way cruises and cruises that include stopovers at the Eiffel Tower.

Seine River boat cruises Bateaux de Paris Insolite boat

Leaves from near the Pont Saint-Michel (12 Quai des Orfèvres) in the 1st arrondissement in Paris.

No narration or commentary is offered on the basic cruise. However, you can add a handheld audioguide with commentary for 3 euros.

Current prices (as of June 2023): adults are 15 euros, children age 4 to 12 are 7 euros, and children under age 4 are free.

Tickets are also available for half cruises and cruises that do stopovers at the Eiffel Tower.

You can buy tickets online . Be sure to bring your booking confirmation to the cruise departure point.

Boat access requires being able to climb up and down a set of stairs so you need to be at least somewhat mobile to do the ride. There are approximately 30 steps from the dock to the boat. For those who can handle the steps, wheelchairs and walkers can be accommodated on the boat and there is a wheelchair-accessible toilet aboard the boat.

  • Website: https://www.bateauxdeparis.net/
  • Snacks and drinks are available for purchase on board the boat
  • Sightseeing cruises only operate between April and September

Bateaux de Paris is the newest company to begin operating regular sightseeing tourist cruises on the Seine. It currently has only one boat that offers these cruises and it only operates seasonally.

The boat is one of the smaller boats on the Seine and also one of the least known, so it can be a good one if you are looking for a cruise with fewer people. The prices, if you don’t want the optional commentary, are some of the lowest.

The boat is covered on top but open on the sides to allow for good viewing. Because the chairs are set up facing one direction, we’d definitely recommend taking the full cruise so you get a chance to fully see both sides of the river bank. You can also walk along the deck.

If you want commentary during the cruise, you can hire the optional audioguide. We recommend bringing along your own headphones or earphones so you can better listen to the commentary.

Seine River Dinner Cruises in Paris

If you are looking for a special way to experience Paris, you may want to consider a Seine River dinner cruise. Many visitors want to see Paris at night from the river while having dinner on a cruise.

These cruises typically take place on boats that have a special glass enclosed restaurant area, so you can watch the scenery but are protected from the wind and rain. Some of the cruises are only for those dining onboard and some also carry regular sightseeing guests as well.

In addition to dinner cruises, some cruise companies offer brunch, lunch, and special themed cruises that also serve food. During holidays (e.g., Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, Bastille Day), you’ll find a number of special cruises and menus being offered. The cost of a meal cruise generally ranges from about 50 € to 200 € per person. Lunch and brunch cruises are usually less expensive than dinner cruises and specialty themed cruises.

Some Seine River cruises packages are sold that include a Seine River cruise plus other attractions such as a visit to the Eiffel Tower , a private car tour, or the Moulin Rouge . These can be group experiences or, more commonly, private experiences. For example this evening tour (choice of dinner at Eiffel Tower or on the cruise) includes a Seine dinner cruise, Eiffel Tower visit, and Moulin Rouge show.

Note that almost all the cruises can accommodate vegetarians. But if you have a more specialized dietary preferences or allergies (e.g., gluten-free, vegan, etc.), you will want to check in advance to make sure it can be accommodated.

There are over a dozen companies offering Seine River cruises with dinner, but we’ll provide a list of some of the best-rated ones to help you narrow down your search. Be sure to read recent customer reviews to find the one that is the best cruise for you. We also have a complete guide to our favourite Seine River dinner cruises to help you choose one.

Seine River Lunch Cruises

If you’d rather have a meal in the daytime (better for sightseeing), there are several Seine lunch cruises to choose from, here are the ones we’d recommend checking out:

  • This 2 hour lunch cruise by Bateaux Parisiens offers 3-course à-la-carte meal (choice of dishes), live music, wine and coffee, and choice to upgrade food and drink options. Vegetarian option available. Cruise departs from Port de la Bourdonnais (near Eiffel Tower).
  • This 2 hour lunch cruise aboard La Marina de Paris offers a 3-course à-la-carte lunch  and coffee aboard boats with large panoramic windows for great views. Wine package (“drinks package) can be added for extra 10 euros per person. Vegetarian options available. Departs from Port Solferino (near the Musée d’Orsay).
  • This 1.5 hour Sunday champagne brunch cruise is provided on Captaine Fracasse which is a company that specializes in meal cruises on the Seine. Brunch includes a mix of sweet (e.g., croissant, pain au chocolat , apple turnover, crepes, fruit) and savory items (e.g., eggs Benedict) that are freshly made on board to eat while enjoying the scenery . A 1/2 bottle of Champagne plus fruit juice and hot drinks (coffee, tea, hot chocolate) are also included. Only available on Sundays. Departs from Ile aux Cygnes, just off Bir-Hakeim bridge (near Eiffel Tower).

Seine River Dinner Cruises

Dinner is the most popular time to eat on a Seine River cruise and there are a lot of options out there. Here are the ones we’d recommend checking out:

  • This dinner cruise by Bateaux Mouches is approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes long and provides a 4-course meal and live music. Two menu choices offered with 1 glass of champagne and 1/2 bottle of wine per person. Vegetarian option available. Smart dress code enforced. Wheelchair accessible. Tours depart from Port de la Conférence (5 minute walk from Pont de l’Alma).
  • The well-rated dinner cruises by Bateaux Parisiens offer different cruise lengths, seating options, and menus (choice of dishes) across different price points. There is an early evening cruise that is 1 hour and 15 minutes (least expensive option) and a longer evening cruise that is 2.5 hours long that includes live music. Vegetarian option available. Smart casual dress code. Cruise departs from Port de la Bourdonnais (near Eiffel Tower).
  • This 2 hour dinner cruise aboard La Marina de Paris offers a 3-course à-la-carte dinner with option to add a glass of champagne and 1/2 bottle of wine per person. Vegetarian options available. Departs from Port de Solferino, 1 rue de la Légion d’Honneur 75007 (near the Musée d’Orsay). We have done this dinner cruise and enjoyed it.
  • This 2 hour dinner cruise by Captaine Fricasse offers a 3-course meal that is freshly cooked onboard the boat. Plant based menu available on request. Upgrades are available to add Champagne and drinks to the reservation or can order from the beverage menu. Tours depart from Île aux Cygnes, middle of the Bir-Hakeim bridge in the 15th arrondissement. We really enjoyed this dinner cruise when we did it.
  • This 1 hour 45 minute dinner cruise by Paris en Scène serves a 3 course dinner (choice of main) in a casual bistro-like setting with all dinner chairs facing windows for a good view. Meals are freshly prepared on board. Champagne and wine options available. Vegetarian option available. Cruises  depart from Île aux Cygnes, middle of the Bir-Hakeim bridge in the 15th arrondissement.

Paris dinner cruise Seine river boat dinner cruise

Seine River Cruises: Private Boat Cruises

Most visitors to Paris want to join one of the regularly scheduled group Seine river boat cruises from one of the companies above. However, if you are looking for a special private or semi-private Seine cruise, this can also be arranged.

Most of the previously mentioned companies offer either a semi-private cruise option (e.g., a private area, restaurant, room, or terrace of a boat) or a fully private cruise option (an entire boat just for the exclusive use or you and your group).

Private Seine river cruises are great options for special celebrations, weddings, marriage proposals, large families, holiday parties, tour groups, or corporate travel events. Meals, drinks, and entertainment can also be arranged on most semi-private and private Seine cruises.

Costs for a fully private cruise generally start at about 200 € for an hour for 2 persons or a family and can go well above 2,000 € depending on the duration and type of cruise experience you want.

Here is a list of companies that offer semi-private or private boat tours along the Seine. First, here are those companies which specialize in private Seine cruises which are probably the best fit for those looking for a private experience as a couple, family, or small group.

  • Lakana Paris Cruise – This company offers a 2.5 hour private boat cruise on the Seine for up to 4 guests. It is small company run by Gaël and Raphaël. This is the private cruise company Laurence and I have personally used and can recommend. Note that the cruise departs from outside central Paris (easily accessible from central Paris by bus and metro).
  • Green River Cruises – This company offers boats that can accommodate 1 to 11 persons, and have set prices for cruises from 1 hour to 3 hours in duration. This is perfect for couples, families, and small groups. 
  • River Limousine – This company offers private boat rides in a custom-designed Venetian boat for small groups of 1 to 6 persons. Perfect for couples and families. 

The rest of the cruise companies (most of which also offer regular sightseeing cruises) specialize in renting for private hires for larger groups, weddings, and corporate events.

  • Bateaux Mouches – This famous Seine river boat company offers a variety of private hire options for up to 350 guests for personal or corporate events.
  • Bateaux de Paris – This company currently has 3 boats and rents 2 out for exclusive use and can accommodate up to 250 people.
  • Bateaux Parisiens   – Bateaux Parisiens offers semi-private experiences to smaller groups (2 to 50) as well as entire private boat hires for larger groups that can accommodate over 100 people.
  • Batobus – A Batobus boat can be hired for private use and can seat up to 180 persons. These hires are geared towards shorter corporate hires.
  • Canauxarama – This company offers boats for private use along both the Seine River as well as the Canal St Martin. Boats can accommodate between 50 to 200 guests.  
  • Vedettes de Paris – This company offers boats that can accommodate 30 to 250 persons for events, cocktail hours, and sit-down meals and can do a variety of semi-private (part of a boat or lounge) to private options. 
  • Vedettes du Pont Neuf – This company offers various options and can accommodate 30 to 200 people depending on the boat and type of event.
  • Yachts de Paris   – This company operates a fleet of yachts and barges for private use in Paris which range from small to large boats, which can arrange sailings for groups from 2 to 800 people!

Green River Cruises private Seine River boat cruises

How to Choose Your Seine Cruise

So there you have it, the details of seven different companies that operate Seine river cruises in Paris, plus a list of companies that offer dinner cruises and private Seine River cruises!

Summary of Seine River Cruise Factors to Consider 

So how can you use all the above information to decide which Seine cruise might be the best for you? This is a matter of deciding on what is most important to you regarding the cruise. Main factors you probably want to consider:

  • Location of port departure
  • Price of tickets
  • Narration type and languages
  • Accessibility (for those with physical mobility limitations)
  • Length of trip
  • Size of boat
  • Do you want to pay extra for a meal, themed cruise, or private cruise?
  • Do you plan to purchase a pass, such as the Paris Pass , that includes a Seine cruise?

If you are short on time in Paris and interested in seeing a lot of highlights in one day (and do a Seine River cruise), we recommend this full day walking tour . It includes a Louvre tour, visit to Eiffel Tower, Seine River cruise, view of Notre Dame, and visit to Montmartre.

Best Time of Year to Take a Seine River Cruise in Paris

Most companies operate Seine River cruises year round. The high season for the companies is generally April to September with these being the most popular times to take a river cruise in Paris. Most companies have more frequent departures and more boats operating during the summer months.

Obviously the cruises are more pleasant, especially if you want to sit or stand outside, during the warmer months. It can be too cold or windy to sit outside during the winter months. If you have a flexible schedule, I’d try to go on a day without rain forecast.

The boats can become crowded, especially in the summer months and around school holidays. The first and last cruises of the day are often less crowded. If you are in Paris during a busy time of year, we recommend making sure you go to the port well in advance of your desired cruise departure to get your ticket and be among the first in line to get aboard.

Note that the cruises cannot operate in severe weather so during storms they are often canceled. They also cannot operate if the river levels get too high or low. Between November to April in particular, the water levels can often get too high making it difficult or impossible for them to go under some of the bridges, causing cruises to either stop operating or modify their sailings.

Seine River Cruise Tips

Once you know the cruise you want to take and have booked your tickets, here are some things to remember:

  • We recommend booking your ticket in advance for any of the Seine cruises as the prices online may be discounted. However, for most of the general sightseeing cruises you can normally buy same day tickets in person at the dock. But for the meal cruises and any special event cruises, it is generally necessary to book in advance and have a reservation.
  • Many of the Seine River cruise companies have very similar names. Be sure you know the exact name of the company you book your ticket with so you don’t get confused when trying to find the departure point. Even if you book the ticket through a third-party seller like Viator, you’ll want to know the boat company’s name.
  • Make sure you know the location of the departure point and leave some time to find it. Many people have difficulty finding the cruise departure points since they are often not at an exact address. Most of the ticket kiosks are located along the riverside quays so you will need to be looking right along the river. You will often need to walk down a set of stairs to reach the riverside quays and find the boat docking location.
  • Most boat companies ask that you be at dock and get your ticket at least 30 minutes before your departure. But this varies by company and the type of cruise.
  • Many of the boat companies offer smartphone applications that you can download with the cruise commentary in various languages. If you wish to do this, be sure you bring your fully-charged smartphone and have headphones with you . You can download the app before your cruise or once you are there. In some cases, this is now the only option on some cruises for commentary.

Paris Seine cruise

Our Seine River Cruise Experiences in Paris

For my first Seine River boat tour in 2012 with then partner Ethan, we prioritized location, followed by price, and then narration. After researching the options ourselves, we personally chose Vedettes du Pont Neuf for an evening cruise along the Seine for a few reasons.

First, it was within a 5-minute walking distance of where we were staying in Paris. Second, it provided the best prices and we booked tickets in advance online for only 16 euros total for the two of us. These tickets also gave us a lot of flexibility regarding when we used them as they were good for one year following purchase.

Third, the live narration was preferred by us over pre-recorded narration although honestly it rained (unfortunately!) and it was difficult to hear the guide during parts of our cruise because of the rain. Finally, we were not interested in any sort of meal or specialty cruise and the no-frills cruises provided by this company was a good fit for us.

Overall, we were very satisfied with our choice as the only major problem was that it started to rain during our cruise. I would definitely recommend trying to do the cruise when you have good weather if you can.

Paris Seine cruise

Then in 2017 I decided to do another Seine river cruise with Laurence as he had never done one before. This time we chose the Bateaux Parisiens. Our decision was made simple on this visit as we were traveling with the Paris Pass and we were able to get free tickets with our pass for this cruise.

The main departure point for this cruise is next to the Eiffel Tower which is convenient if you are planning to do a cruise before or after a visit there. See our Eiffel Tower tips for making the most of your visit to the Tour Eiffel!

This time the weather cooperated and we were able to sit outside and enjoy the views. Towards the end we also moved inside and listed to the commentary. The Bateaux Parisiens boats are larger than those by the Vedettes du Pont Neuf and it was more crowded than my first experience but there was plenty of space to sit and move around. 

Paris Seine river boat cruises

Hope this guide was useful in helping you select the Seine cruise that was the best fit for you during your trip to Paris. Essentially no matter which Seine cruise you choose, you are going to see the same scenery!

If you are planning to travel to Paris in the future, you might want to save this article by pinning it to Pinterest to read again later:

A guide to finding the best Seine river cruises in Paris. The guide reviews all the top cruise companies, listing cost, duration, narration type, departure points, and other information. We also provide information for those wanting to book a dinner cruise or private Seine cruise. #Seinecruise #Paris #Seinerivercruise #Seine #river #cruise #France

Have you taken a Seine cruise during a trip to Paris? Let us know what company you chose and let us know your feedback and tips for other readers trying to decide on a boat tour.

Have a question about taking a Seine River cruise or another question about traveling in Paris? As always, all questions and comments are welcome.

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BabaWaga Post author

May 19, 2023 at 5:26 am

Hi Jessica and Laurence, just wanted to send a little message of thanks: randomly found your blog post whilst researching Seine cruises for an approaching visit to Paris and can honestly say I didn’t need to go any further, your wonderfully informative article covered it all. Thank you so much! We have opted for the Vedettes de Paris sightseeing tour with our children as nice & close to the Eiffel tour where we are booked in to visit later that same day (I ordered the onboard champagne as a surprise for my hubs!)

As we will have a bit of time between disembarking and the Eiffel visit we’re looking for somewhere to stop by for lunch? Is there anywhere you would recommend nearby – cafe’s, restaurants all considered. Many thanks and warmest regards.

Jessica & Laurence Norah Post author

May 21, 2023 at 9:46 am

Hi BabaWaga,

So happy to hear that our Seine River cruise post was helpful in choosing a cruise company and booking a cruise. I am sure you will have a good time.

Yes, the locations near the Eiffel Tower make it really convenient to visit the tower afterwards. The Champagne I am sure will be a nice surprise. On tip is that I would recommend being early to make sure you locate the correct boarding spot (a few cruise companies board near there so it can be a bit confusing) and to be near the front of the line for your booked or preferred cruise time so you have more choice of seating.

So to be honest, there is not a lot of places I would really recommend there. But one nice (and inexpensive & kid-friendly) experience if the weather is nice is to get sandwiches or buy ingredients for a picnic (or buy them before your cruise) and have a picnic lunch on the Champs de Mars with a grand view of the Eiffel Tower. There are some benches there as well as areas of the grass that you are allowed to sit on (parts were closed when we were last there a couple of weeks ago but there was still plenty of space open). Just be sure to bring something to sit on and something to pack away your rubbish until you find a bin. I did this with my own family a couple of weeks ago and it was really nice.

Hope that helps and wishing you and your family a lovely trip to Paris!

Best, Jessica

Okon Post author

November 9, 2022 at 7:06 am

Great information at one spot! My spouse and I are planning a first-time Paris tour in the Spring, 2023, the tour that will include a dinner cruise on the Seine. Some of the luxury tour boats we see in pictures look like cattle boats. We’d like a boat which is less cram and with a seat/table choice. What interests us most in your presentation is the mention that Bateaux Parisiens Dinner Cruise has seat/table choice options. I wonder if there are other companies with that offer. Any more information in this regard will be highly appreciated.

November 10, 2022 at 10:23 am

So glad that you and your spouse are vising Paris for the first time in the Spring. Such a wonderful city 😉

So yes, the Bateaux Parisiens dinner cruises on the Seine do offer you a seating/table choice. But so do most of the other dinner cruises. I would recommend trying to get a table for 2 persons only with a window view. Some boats only have window views, but many have a middle row of tables as well.

Captaine Fracasse is another company that focuses only on lunch and dinner cruises and is often rated as having some of the the best food on the Seine.

But if you are really wanting a true luxury cruise and want a more private experience, you’ll probably want to book a private cruise if you have that kind of budget. In all the cruises they do try to pack in tables to get in the most guests for the given floor space.

As all the main companies are serving 50-100 guests a 3-course meal in a 1.5 to 2.5 hour period on a boat. The food and service was good in our experience and we enjoyed the dinner cruises we’ve taken, but it is not necessarily a luxury experience. All the dinner cruises are fairly similar. So you’ll want to go in with realistic expectations I think to enjoy the cruise as you are paying for being able to enjoy dinner while floating on the Seine.

Hope that helps, and just let us know if you have any further questions as you plan your trip to Paris.

jeff cabine Post author

April 6, 2022 at 4:37 am

I found it interesting when you said the boat layouts vary, but there are around 10 stairs to the second story, which is not wheelchair accessible. I used to think differently and now it makes more sense my disabled friend should love this trip to have fun. What you said about seine tours was really interesting to me.

April 6, 2022 at 7:19 am

Yes, I think you are referring specifically to the Bateaux Mouches boats as their boats are wheelchair accessible to get onto and the ground floors are accessible. But as you note, many of their boat have a second story which requires going up a set of stairs so are not accessible for those in wheelchairs or mobility scooters.

There are a few different Seine River cruises that are wheelchair accessible which is great. It is always a good idea to double check with any of the boat companies in advance of your visit as sometimes construction, docking, etc. issues can temporarily impact accessibility even if the boat itself is accessible.

Wishing you and your friends a great trip to Paris, Jessica

Jenn Post author

February 16, 2022 at 6:59 am

I just wanted to say thank you for including detailed accessibility information on your blog post. It is so helpful to me and almost no one includes actionable accessibility information. Thank you so much!!

February 16, 2022 at 7:05 am

You are very welcome, and I hope the information is helpful in choosing a Seine boat cruise company in Paris. The information was accurate pre-COVID so you may want to double check before booking with any company if the info is not noted when booking as I know some companies are running fewer boats now and have had to make some changes. But I think most of the information should still be valid.

Wishing you a great trip to Paris and just let us know if you have any questions!

SA NY Post author

November 11, 2021 at 12:22 am

Awesome info! Thanks for sharing this information on Paris cruises with us.

November 11, 2021 at 4:07 am

You’re welcome SA, and just let us know if you have any questions about choosing or booking a Seine cruise in Paris!

Jessica Post author

October 25, 2021 at 7:06 pm

Thank you for your helpful guidance! We will be in Paris for Bastille Day on July 14, 2022. Any suggestions for a Seine river boat cruise where we can watch the fireworks?

October 26, 2021 at 6:37 am

Hi Jessica,

Yes, Bastille Day is a great time to be in Paris if you enjoy celebrations and festivities. A couple of the cruise companies usually offer Bastille Day cruises in the evening, such as this particular dinner cruise which includes a special 6-course dinner with wine and Champagne.

I haven’t seen an announcement about the specific plans for Bastille Day in 2022, but the river is typically an excellent place from which to watch the illuminations and fireworks in central Paris. Normally the main fireworks are shot off from the Eiffel Tower and you get a wonderful view of the Eiffel Tower from the river. There will be both tourist cruises out as well as lots of small private boats to watch the fireworks.

Just note that for a holiday like this prices are going to be higher both for Seine cruises but also for dinner around that time period because of the holiday as many restaurants will be serving special menus. But it is a great time to be there. Just be sure to book well in advance for any cruises, activities, or dinners!

Mel Danbrook Post author

August 31, 2021 at 10:42 pm

Hello! We will be arriving in Paris on September 18/21. (arriving around 12:30pm) We only have that afternoon and evening to try and see a few sights (taking the train the following morning to Switzerland). Seeing the Eiffel Tower is on our list – the idea of a short Seine River cruise to try and see a little more of the city is intriguing! What would be a good river cruise option that leaves/returns close to the Eiffel Tower – probably one with a meal option as we would be looking to have dinner somewhere anyway. Any suggestions on options that will allow us to see a little more of the city in a short time frame would be wonderful! Cheers

September 1, 2021 at 11:56 am

Yes, it would be pretty easy to combine a visit to the Eiffel Tower and a Seine River cruise into one afternoon/evening. A few of the cruises leave near the Eiffel Tower. So one good option is the Bateaux Parisiens (listed above) which leaves from the Port de la Bourdonnais (a 5 minute walk or less from the Eiffel Tower). There is a discounted ticket for that one available here .

Another option might be take the Batobus hop-on hop-off boat cruise as that will allow you to get on and off the cruise as you wish. The Eiffel Tower is one of its stops. You can see more about it here .

But there are a few options. Most of the normal sightseeing cruises lasts about 1 hour. There are also dinner cruise options available as well which will be longer and in the evening. But since you are wanting to see the city, I’d probably recommend taking a sightseeing one in the daytime so you can more clearly see the landmarks along the river.

Hope that helps! Jessica

Tavish Post author

July 17, 2021 at 9:06 pm

Could you suggest the best option for a longer night time dinner cruise. My daughter just graduated and has never been to Europe, I had hoped to do this on our first evening, but the cost for a nice meal and a window seat seems to be in the 500$ range, and the reviews of the meals are awful, they say there is no customer service, and that many times the boats did not leave the dock without being offered a refund either. Time is not an issue, budget is, but mostly I want to start off her adventure with a really positive experience. The alternative idea was to try to get an earlier dinner at a really good restaurant (I dont know where), and then a nighttime cruise to see the lights and sites. I worry dinner would be too slow, and we would be pressured to get to the boat on time and it would ruin the meal. I would appreciate any guidance/suggestions. Thanks so much.

July 18, 2021 at 4:20 am

For the dinner cruises, you do need to get to the boat on time. You actually need to get there a bit early to make sure you have time to check-in and board. If you miss the boat, you simply miss it. Many people who leave poor reviews had trouble finding the boat, so I’d leave plenty of time for this as if you are not used to looking for addresses along the river, it can take awhile to find the correct spot.

Almost all the dinner cruises last about 2 hours and this was more than enough time for us to enjoy 3 courses. So I don’t think you’d feel rushed in terms of eating. But you do of course do some of the sightseeing while seated and eating your meal.

I am not sure how many people you are booking for but you should be able to easily find an option for $100 per person or less. You do have to pay more for extras like a guaranteed window spot, flowers, Champagne, etc. But for 2 persons on the cruise we did , seem to be currently ranging from $150 to $250 for 2 persons, depending on the extras.

Some of the dinner cruises and regular Seine river cruises are currently not running due to the pandemic so that is something to keep in mind as well as there are fewer choices at the moment than 2 years ago.

Captaine Fracasse is probably the cruise best known for having better food. But I would recommend not booking for the meal itself but for the overall experience, we had good food on our cruises but it was not amazing. Most of their evening cruises are 2-hour dinner cruises.

But if you are looking for the option to order what you want à la carte and the level of service that you can get at a nice restaurant on land, you may be better suited to do the dinner at a restaurant and then get a regular evening cruise to see the sights at night. If you go that route, I’d consider what cruises can work and then find a restaurant within walking distance, a short metro, or taxi ride away from the departure point. If doing a regular sightseeing cruise, your ticket is usually good all day so you have the flexibility of when you get to the boat, you just need to get there well before their final departure time.

Sarah Post author

November 26, 2020 at 5:29 am

Oh, you know, once l used the service of Bateaux Mouches Seine Cruise. Water and everything that connected to it is my passion, even in Amsterdam l was sailing on a boat 3 times during 1 week of stay. Enjoyable. Thank you, guys, for this article!

November 26, 2020 at 6:35 am

Glad you enjoyed your Bateaux Mouches cruise on the Seine while you were visiting Paris — sounds like you really enjoy river cruises!

Nancy Post author

February 15, 2020 at 2:53 pm

We will be in Paris June 8, 2020. We are coming in for the afternoon from Charles De Gaulle Airport. We would like to take the evening cruise at 21:00. Since we aren’t staying in Paris and need to get back to the airport after the cruise, what cruise line and departure point would you recommend? We would also like to sit on the top deck outside. Thank you so much for any information you can give us!

February 16, 2020 at 3:24 am

I think the best cruise probably depends on what else you plan to do in Paris and how you plan to return to the airport. So for instance if you plan to visit the Eiffel Tower (or something nearby), you could do that, and then walk from the tower to a boat departure point. Two of the main places where the Seine River cruises leave (and return) are near the Eiffel Tower and near Notre-Dame.

Most of the cruise companies will have a 21:00 (9:00pm) departure time in June as that is a very popular time of year for the cruises. Many of the cruise companies depart every 30 minutes. Most cruises are 1 hour in duration. You have many choices for cruises.

I would suggest maybe checking out Vedettes de Paris or Bateaux Parisiens as they both leave from near the Eiffel Tower and I think most (if not all) of their boats have top decks with outdoor seating. They normally have departures every 30 minutes in the summer. If you buy a voucher online, it is good for the full day and then you can exchange it at the company ticket booth for when you want to take the cruise.

Note that all of the boat companies have multiple boats and the boats can have different deck and seating configurations so you can’t guarantee a particular boat. It also might not be possible (or desirable) to sit outside if the weather is bad. If there is a type of seat you want, I’d get into line early to be among the first to board for your departure.

If you are planning to go directly to CDG airport after the cruise, you could then walk to the metro station, take Line 6 to RER B. RER B will take you directly to the airport. Or, of course, you could catch a taxi to the airport.

February 16, 2020 at 12:11 pm

Thank you so much! We will take your advise. You have a lot of good information on your web site! Nancy

Davina Cipriano Post author

January 3, 2020 at 5:47 pm

My daughter and I will be coming to Paris in March. When we purchase the ticket do we have to purchase for the exact date we plan on using it? We are going to be in Paris for a little over a week. Or do can we purchase the ticket and use it on the day that works best for us? I notice online it make you pick a day but then says its good for like 6 months.

January 3, 2020 at 6:57 pm

Hi Davina, Sounds like a great trip. For the Seine river cruises, it depends on the cruise company and which cruise you want to take. But yes some of the companies that have the regular daily sightseeing cruises allow you to buy a ticket and then use it for any date and time for a certain period of time (6 months, 1 year). So I am not sure which company you are referring to specifically, but if the ticket says it is valid for 6 months, then I am sure it is valid. Feel free to follow-up with the cruise company and I’m happy to double-check for you. Best, Jessica

Lauren Levy Post author

December 14, 2019 at 5:51 pm

HI! We’ll be in Paris in December and want to take a river cruise with teenagers. Thinking we’ll do an evening cruise sans the food. But we want to take a boat out and around the sister of the US Statue of Liberty. What cruise do you suggest? Is it pretty to see this at night or should we regroup and do this during the day instead? Thank you!!

December 15, 2019 at 10:33 am

Yes, unfortunately, many of the boats do turn around near the Pont d’Iéna after passing the Eiffel Tower, which is just before they get to the Liberty of Statue replica statue. For instance, the Bateaux Parisiens course map shows that its longer lunch, dinner, and festive cruises go past it but not the regular 1 hour sightseeing cruises.

The 1.5 hour Canauxarama sightseeing cruise does go there, probably because it is a bit longer, so that might be the best cruise for you if you don’t want a meal.

From the boat, you can see if just after you go under the bridge Pont de Grenelle, it is located just at the tip of the Île aux Cygnes (Island of the Swans). The statue is probably easiest to see and photograph during the day, but they do light it up at night so you can see it at night as well. When you view the front of it from the boat, you can also see the Eiffel Tower in the background.

You can also walk over by bridge to the Île aux Cygnes as well if you find yourself in that area and want to see the statue up close.

Celeste Post author

December 8, 2019 at 3:35 pm

My daughter and I will be in Paris in late December. Given that it will be cold and possibly rainy, do you have a recommendation? We simply want to see the sites (no meal necessary). Also, are the river cruises impacted by the current strikes? Thank you!

December 9, 2019 at 6:56 am

Hi Celeste,

Yes, I think all the regular Seine cruise boats have ample enclosed/covered as well as open-air space, so any of them should be OK in case of rain/cold. But definitely dress warmly as the air moving through the boats will make them feel a bit colder. We’ve personally used Bateaux Parisiens and Les Vedettes du Pont Neuf and I’ve sat inside on both (once during rain).

I’d recommend going during the day as it will be warmer and you can see more – at night you can see the lights and the Eiffel Tower lit up, but you can’t see the rest of the sites very well.

I don’t believe the Seine River cruises are being affected by the current strikes in Paris, but the strikes are having a huge impact on the metro, suburban trains, and traffic. Hopefully they will end before your trip, but if not, you’ll need to allow more time to get around.

Hope that helps, and just let me know if you have further questions.

Cindy Post author

October 16, 2019 at 3:06 pm

I’m so confused. 2 of us will be travelling to Paris in May 2020, which Seine River cruise would you recommend for us and which canal cruise would you recommend? Is a canal cruise worth doing? Thank you

October 17, 2019 at 10:47 am

It really depends on the type of cruise you are looking for and I review all the major companies that offer Seine cruises above. Do any sound better to you than the others?

If you are just wanting a sightseeing cruise (no meal) and don’t have a particular price point or concern for where it departs, I would say Bateaux Parisiens is a good one to consider. We’ve done it and it is a standard and popular sightseeing cruise that offers daytime and evening cruises. Cruises last about 1 hour. It has both covered and open seating and you can listen to narration on your phone (pre download app to phone) or in the bottom part of boat using wired in wands. You can read more and book ahead here .

If you are interested in also doing a canal cruise. I would consider combining a Seine River cruise and Canal Saint-Martin cruise, you might consider t his 2.5 hour cruise with Paris Canal that includes a 1 hour Seine River cruise and then 1.5 canal ride. It departs from near the Musée d’Orsay and ends at Parc de la Villette (it is NOT a round-trip cruise).

If you have limited time in Paris and are not overly interested in the canal, then I’d say to just do the Seine River cruise. I’ve done the canal cruise and enjoyed it but the canal section is much slower as it has to slowly go through each lock and there are no major attractions to see unlike the Seine River portion which goes past places like Notre Dame, Musee d’Orsay, and the Eiffel Tower.

BTW, if you plan to purchase the Paris Pass , then a Seine River cruise is included so don’t book separate tickets.

Hope that helps, Jessica

October 17, 2019 at 5:10 pm

Thank you for the great advice.

Cassim Degani Post author

May 25, 2019 at 8:23 am

Will like to take the Siene cruise on the historical boat on June 5th during midday

May 25, 2019 at 8:29 am

Hi Cassim, Which cruise company do you plan to take? You can book your ticket online in advance or just show up a little early and buy it at the dock. You can often save a few euros by booking in advance, depending on the cruise company, so that is generally what we recommend. Also in summer, although boats have large capacity they can sometimes book out in advance. Enjoy your Seine cruise. Best, Jessica

Patty Post author

May 10, 2019 at 1:10 pm

Thank you for this review. We will be in Paris in two weeks and wanted to take an anniversary dinner cruise. This will help me out a lot to make a final decision.

May 12, 2019 at 11:58 am

Hi Patty, Glad you found our article helpful, and I’d read over the reviews for the dinner cruises and pick one that sounds like a good fit. Wishing you a wonderful anniversary in Paris 😉 Best, Jessica

Bob Post author

February 25, 2019 at 7:24 pm

Excellent info, thank you so much for sharing a great article. We are in Paris for a week (first time, probably only time) and we having a hard time deciding between day and night. Do you think it would be worth it to take a day and evening Seine cruise? Thanks for any input.

February 26, 2019 at 6:49 am

Hi Bob, Yes, I think that if you want to see the views from the river both during the day and night, then taking two cruises may be a good choice for you since you have a full week in Paris. I would not recommend this if you had only a few days. You might consider doing one of the cruises as a meal cruise (lunch or dinner) and then one just as a sightseeing cruise to change it up a bit. Enjoy your time in Paris. Jessica

Peter Post author

February 20, 2019 at 6:52 am

Great advice. I’ve had the pleasure of staying at a hotel near this river where I could jog from Notre Dame to the Eifel Tower. It was a wonderful trip.

February 20, 2019 at 7:23 am

Hi Peter, Yes the area along the Seine River in central Paris is great and you are able to see a lot of the most notable attractions from a Seine River cruise which is nice! Best, Jessica

jdawg Post author

January 29, 2019 at 11:51 am

Thanks you for the comprehensive article.

Trying to narrow down and decide which to take. My wife and I will be traveling with out 7 & 9 year old kids.

Would you recommend an evening / nighttime cruise or daytime?

Also thinking that the 2 hour tour might be too long for the kids?

Thanks again!!

January 29, 2019 at 12:31 pm

Hi there, Yes, I agree that I would choose one of the 1 hour cruises as 2 hours may be too long for the kids (and perhaps some adults).

If looking for a cruise (not a hop on hop off) I’d skip Batobus. If cost is a factor Vedettes du Pont Neuf usually offers the lowest priced online tickets. But I’d also let location guide you if none stand out to you and a few of the companies leave from the Eiffel Tower and a couple from Notre Dame so that might help narrow down which might fit better into your itinerary.

Day or night is hard and we’ve done both. Both are enjoyable in different ways. The highlight of the evening cruises for most is seeing the illuminated monuments, particularly the Eiffel Tower sparkling but you can see a bit more in the day time. If traveling in winter, I’d definitely make sure you have a boat with indoor seating. I’d maybe ask your kids opinions and let them choose between night and day 😉

Enjoy your Seine cruise and time in Paris! Jessica

Marlene Post author

December 15, 2018 at 11:45 pm

I just wanted to let you know simply how much I appreciated the time you took to write this useful post on Paris cruises. It is so complete and helpful, and as my father travels with either a cane or wheelchair, the accessibility information was essential and something we did not find elsewhere. Thanks so much for your excellent travel blog!

December 16, 2018 at 5:23 am

Hi Marlene, Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and we are so happy to hear that you found our information helpful. We hope that it has helped you decide which Seine river boat cruise is best for you. Yes, it can be difficult to find a river cruise that is accessible but there are a few boat companies that make this possible for those using canes or wheelchairs. Wishing you a wonderful trip to Paris! Best, Jessica

Sharon Post author

October 22, 2018 at 11:05 pm

This article was very helpful! It really narrowed down the options. Thank you!

October 22, 2018 at 11:07 pm

Hi Sharon, Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, and we love to hear our post was helpful. Just let us know if you have any questions about Seine cruises in Paris! Best, Jessica

Ro Post author

October 21, 2018 at 3:30 am

Any offer vegan food on the dinner cruises?

October 21, 2018 at 8:34 am

Hi Ro, Most offer meat options as mains, but most also offer a vegetarian option. A few can do vegan options by request. I know Paris en Scene offers the option for a vegan menu on their Seine dinner cruises, but you need to make the request to the company after you make a dinner cruise reservation. Here is an example of one of their dinner cruises. Best, Jessica

Bill Post author

August 6, 2018 at 1:35 pm

Can you provide any information on wheelchair accessibility? There is a lot of very general information available on the cruise websites but very little specifics. My wife travels in a wheelchair buy is able to manage a few steps. Are there steps to board the boat? (and how many?) Is there a lift to the top deck? Are toilets available and are there steps involved? Thank you for any information you can provide.

August 6, 2018 at 2:13 pm

Yes, the cruise boat operators unfortunately do not share much info on accessibility (France is notoriously bad about this). I don’t know a lot about the accessibility of the boats but many do have stairs and I doubt any of them have lifts. The other issue is that most companies have several boats, and not all are of the same design.

I actually researched this a bit for another reader who emailed last week which Seine cruises were wheelchair accessible. It seems like the best chance is going to be from one of the cruises that leave from near the Eiffel Tower as these are the most popular and appear to have the most services and there is at least once access ramp here.

I would recommend calling the company you are most interested in to check specifically about accessibility and the specific needs you may have, but here is the info I found on the main Paris Seine River cruise company websites:

-Here is what the Bateaux Parisiens website says: “Bateaux Parisiens welcomes people with reduced mobility. For safety reasons, the number of seats may be limited depending on the configuration of the boat. Access to toilets on our boats is only by stairs. PMR toilets are available at Bistro Parisien, our restaurant dock, pontoon n ° 2.”

-Here is what Batobus website says: “Can disabled people in wheelchairs board the Batobus? Because of the many steps leading to the quays and/or the boats, only the Eiffel Tower stop has wheelchair access. NOTE: access to this stop is via a ramp that is also used by vehicles.”

-Here is what Canauxrama says: “The access to the boats is problematic for people with wheelchairs, especially at the Marina Arsenal since it is entirely paved. Plus there are stairs on some of our boats. Only the persons with manual wheelchairs can do the cruise on the Saint-Martin Canal if they are accompanied with people who can help them. It is the same problem for the cruise on the Marne River, because there are stairs at the landing stage in Joinville le Pont.”

-I could not find NO accessibility information on the Vedettes de Paris , Bateaux Mouches , or Vedettes du Pont Neuf websites.

I would love to know what you find out if you contact the companies about this and I would love to hear about your experiences to update this article and better help future readers. I will note that the other reader I was talking to said that the company he contacted did not respond to his email, so calling is probably the best way to get an answer from some of them.

Hope this helps! Jessica

Regina Post author

June 21, 2018 at 8:25 am

What is the temperature month of October ? What would be a nice romantic dinner an Eiffel dinner or Seinne river cruise ?

June 25, 2018 at 1:19 am

In October the weather in Paris is often cool but not cold, although it can be warm. Rain is definitely a possibility. I’d check the forecast closer to the time. I’d just check the forecast that morning and dress appropriately. You’ll be covered and warm at a Eiffel Tower restaurant or a Seine River dinner cruise (just make sure it offers indoor or covered dining area) so the weather should not matter too much. I think both would be nice. I have eaten in the Eiffel Tower and most tables have a nice view over the city (I’d request one when you make your booking). But on the boat you are on the water with the ever-changing scenery of Paris and you have the Eiffel Tower as a beautiful backdrops.

There are a few restaurants on the Eiffel Tower (e.g., 58 Tour Eiffel and Le Jules Verne) and the most well known is probably Le Jules Verne which offers fine dining. Note that the prices here are high as you are paying more for the location and view than the food here. It is a nice experience but expensive.

The Seine River dinner cruises are likely going to be less expensive than a dinner at the Eiffel Tower but may not offer as many options or be as nice as a restaurant. You can check out compare some of the dinner cruise options here .

If budget is a factor, I’d consider visiting the Eiffel Tower first and then doing a dinner boat cruise in Paris. Many of the cruises leave near the Eiffel Tower. That sounds like a very nice romantic evening that combines both the Tower and the cruise 😉 But either way, I am sure you’ll have a wonderful evening, just be sure to book in advance.

Hope this helps, and wishing you a romantic trip to Paris! Jessica

Mae Post author

June 5, 2018 at 9:29 am

Hello there. I’m so thankful I found your blog. This is very helpful. It’s my first time visiting Paris this July. I was wondering if you think it will be a good decision to do the cruise in the evening. I have a Paris Pass, btw. Will the ticket for the cruise that’s included in the Paris Pass allow me to do the Seine cruise in the evening? How long does the cruise take?

June 6, 2018 at 3:28 pm

Glad you found our articles helpful in planning your Paris trip 😉 A night cruise can be nice, we particularly like getting on the boat just before sunset. But we’ve also done them during the day and at night to see the lights – any time is nice really as long as the weather is good 😉

Currently, Paris Pass holders can claim a free ticket for a Seine River cruise with Bateaux Parisiens. The cruises take approximately 1 hour. The current schedule shows that these tours depart every 30 minutes between April-September from 10:00 to 22:30. So yes you can definitely do a night cruise if you wish.

But you can consult the Bateaux Parisiens website or this page for the Paris Pass information on the cruise for more details and the latest updates before your trip.

Hope this helps and wishing you a wonderful trip to Paris!

Laura Post author

April 15, 2018 at 6:36 pm

Very helpful article! Thank you! I think I would looking at Vedettes du Pont Neuf due to location. I leave in may, can’t wait!

April 17, 2018 at 10:49 pm

Hello Laura, Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and enjoy your trip to Paris and your Seine river cruise!! Best, Jessica

Michael Barnes Post author

April 15, 2018 at 12:09 pm

Hi – great blog, so thanks for the time you’ve taken to share what you’ve learned. Question, though – in this page about the river cruises, you mention that the Paris Museum Pass included a particular sightseeing boat tour, but your page about the Museum Pass says that no boat tours are included. Looking at the Museum Pass’ own website, it looks like there is no longer a boat tour included. Is that now correct?

April 15, 2018 at 12:12 pm

I think I just answered my own question – here you’re referring to the Paris Pass, not the Paris Museum Pass. Thanks.

April 17, 2018 at 10:47 pm

Hi Michael, Yes, the Paris Pass and Paris Museum pass are separate passes although the Paris Pass includes the Paris Museum Pass as well as several other attractions, including the Seine cruise. Best, Jessica

April 17, 2018 at 10:46 pm

Hi Michael, Glad you found the post helpful. Yes it is the Paris Pass (not the Paris Museum Pass) which includes a Seine River cruise and the information is still correct as of today. Enjoy your time in Paris! Best, Jessica

Norma Post author

March 23, 2018 at 5:54 am

Amazing post here, Thank you so much for taking the time to write about and compare all the Paris river trips. I think I am going to do a dinner cruise on the Seine!

March 23, 2018 at 7:00 am

Hi Norma, Great, glad you found it helpful and wishing you a lovely dinner river cruise in Paris 😉 Best, Jessica

Philippe Post author

March 7, 2018 at 2:53 am

Your article was very helpful! Thank you so much! 🙂

March 7, 2018 at 7:45 am

Hi Philippe, You’re very welcome 😉 Enjoy your trip to Paris. Best, Jessica

hind idris Post author

March 4, 2018 at 1:24 am

thank you for the kind info on seine river boats really thank u

March 4, 2018 at 6:03 am

Hi Hind, You are very welcome 😉 Hope you have a fantastic time in Paris. Best, Jessica

Chartres Post author

January 17, 2018 at 11:29 pm

Thanks for this amazing blog about boat cruises in Paris. Very helpful!

January 18, 2018 at 6:31 am

Glad you found it helpful, wishing you a wonderful trip to Paris!

Andrew Drogby Post author

December 1, 2017 at 4:55 am

Hi thanks for this article about the river cruises in Paris . I tried Bateaux Parisiens after reading your article. My experience was great. And I wanted to share it with you… If you go in Paris in winter especially I advise you the illumination cruise. It s cold during the winter but you will be able to feel all the romanticism of Paris city. After 5 pm the darkness come over the city and the buildings around the Seine river are illuminated. This emphasizes the character of the city . Be sure to bundle up otherwise you will be a Mr Freeze!

December 2, 2017 at 12:37 pm

Hi Andrew, Glad that this article helped you choose a Seine river cruise, and glad you had a great time with Bateaux Parisiens. Yes, warm layers are definitely a must on river cruises, especially in the winter, when it can get pretty cold outside in Paris!! Stay warm and enjoy the rest of your winter trip to Paris! Best, Jessica

Sacha Post author

June 22, 2017 at 1:25 am

Good & helpful information on Seine river boats!!!

June 22, 2017 at 10:19 am

Hi Sacha, Glad you found our Paris article on Seine river cruises helpful, and thanks so much for taking the time to leave us a comment 😉

John Post author

June 14, 2017 at 8:38 am

I have a few safety tips for the Seine river boat cruises. Watch out for your stuff at all times. Check whether all your bags are present throughout the entire trip. Be extra vigilant when changing locations and boats to avoid loss or theft. While these tips are important, there’s nothing like experience to help ensure a safe voyage.

June 15, 2017 at 10:19 am

Hi John, Thanks so much for sharing these safety tips for the Seine Cruise boat tours in Paris! Best, Jessica

Nicolleen Post author

May 5, 2017 at 6:40 am

I really thank you for your amazing write- up. It really did helped in making my mind up with regards to the Seine river boat company that I needed, You should write more since you are doing such an impressive job!!! Thank you once again

May 5, 2017 at 12:55 pm

Hi Nicolleen, Thanks for taking the time to comment and glad that our article helped you choose the Seine cruise tour that was a best suited for you! Enjoy your trip to Paris. Best, Jessica

alicia Post author

May 2, 2017 at 8:32 pm

FYI all the children’s cruises are in French

May 4, 2017 at 1:50 pm

Hi Alicia, Thanks for this information!

Note: She is referring to the fact that Vedettes de Paris have recently introduced special children’s boat cruises on the Seine for children (mostly for school groups, reservation required) and they are currently only available in French as of May 2017.

sai kapoor Post author

February 1, 2017 at 8:21 am

We are planning for a short trip to paris, your article was very helpful in planning our trip. Thank you

February 2, 2017 at 4:25 am

Hi Sai, Glad to hear this and thanks for taking the time to comment. I hope you found the perfect Seine Cruise boat for you and that you have a lovely trip to Paris! Best, Jessica

Mohammed Post author

July 19, 2016 at 8:51 pm

I really thank you for your amazing write- up. It really did helped in making my mind up with regards to the Seine river boat company that ! needed, You should write more since you are doing such an impressive job!!! Thank you once again

travelcats Post author

July 21, 2016 at 4:49 am

Hi Mohammed, glad the post was useful to you and thanks for taking the time to leave us a comment. Enjoy your trip to Paris! ~ Jessica

Gulzar Post author

June 25, 2016 at 5:49 am

Thank you for the write up. This really made it easier choosing the Seine cruise for my upcoming trip to Paris.

June 25, 2016 at 8:02 am

Hi Gulzar, Great, glad this was information was helpful in helping your choose the best Seine river cruise for you. Have a great trip to Paris! ~ Jessica

Shannon Post author

May 27, 2016 at 3:58 pm

Wow, I am planning our 21 day European vacation and know that I want to do a cruise on the Siene River. I have been overwhelmed at the choices and trying to figure out which company to go with. Thanks for writing this article! It includes all of the major companies that have come up during my research. Since we are staying near the Eiffel Tower, I will take location into consideration, however I do like the idea of a live guide.

May 27, 2016 at 6:43 pm

Hi Shannon, Thanks for taking the time to write a comment, we greatly appreciate it and it makes our day to know we are providing useful and helpful travel info! I hope you have a great European vacation and best of luck on choosing a Seine river cruise; I am sure you’ll enjoy any cruise on the Seine. Paris is a wonderful city! Happy travels, Jessica

Ginn Post author

January 21, 2016 at 5:26 am

Very good info, im glad that i found your blogpost here. I was trying to google which boat offer an open deck

January 21, 2016 at 6:13 am

Hi Ginn, Glad you found the post on Seine river cruises helpful. As you can probably see by looking at the photos, almost all of the boats have some open deck seating. I would just avoid the Batobus as it is not very open and is not really designed for sightseeing (it is a hop-on/hop-off boat). I think you should be fine with any of the other companies, and just try to get in line early to make sure you get the type of seat on the boat you want. Enjoy your time in Paris! ~ Jessica

Devon Post author

November 7, 2015 at 10:55 am

This is a great post. I’ve been writing similar one during my trip around the world and I’m happy to use yours. I’ll be on the Seine tomorrow!

November 8, 2015 at 3:35 am

Hi Devon, glad you liked the post and hope it helped you choose a Seine cruise in Paris that is right for you. You are happy to link to our post in your own post about the Seine. Enjoy Paris, I look forward to visiting again next month! ~ Jessica

Mike Post author

October 15, 2015 at 7:03 am

Hey, yes cruising in the Seine river certainly one of the best thing to do in Paris. I have tested many of them. I think the best one certianly the cruise between Normandy and Paris. (the impressionist road by the river). I also like dinner cruises in Paris, it’s a good way the visit the French capital. We I have some visit (familly or friends) I generally book a simple cruise with bateau. For originality ,you can also try the canauxama in the Canal St Martin.

October 24, 2015 at 7:08 am

Hi Mike, yes, I also really enjoyed the cruise on the Canal Saint Martin which is a nice thing to do if you have already done a Seine river cruise in Paris. You can read about our experience on the canal cruise here:

https://independenttravelcats.com/2014/02/16/canal-cruises-paris-boat-ride-canal-saint-martin/

Meghan Post author

October 16, 2013 at 12:10 pm

I wish I could remember with which company I went on a boat cruise when I was in Paris. But I do remember it was a great way to rest our feet after tromping around the city and up the Eiffel Tower!

October 16, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Yes, it is definitely great to get an hour or two off your feet after a lot of walking!

MOl S Post author

October 16, 2013 at 4:28 am

Excellent! I’ll definitely take a cruise on the Seine the next time I’m in Paris

October 16, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Yes, hope you enjoy it!

Missy Homemaker Post author

October 12, 2013 at 9:44 am

I am just loving reading about your travels! I’ve nominated you for a Sunshine Award. You can read about it on my post today 🙂

Vanessa Morgan Post author

October 7, 2013 at 3:45 am

Beautiful photos of Paris and great information.

October 7, 2013 at 8:44 am

Thanks Vanessa!

Kate Post author

October 6, 2013 at 11:59 pm

I never took advantage of a boat tour on the Seine because I used to walk past it so frequently and saw a lot of parts of it in my time living in Paris. I had some friends that did and said they enjoyed it. But I think it’s different when you are just visiting I guess, less time to see things.

October 7, 2013 at 8:43 am

Yes, what I think is interesting about the cruises is they give you a different perspective of the buildings and scenery from the water than from the banks.

Miwa Post author

October 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm

New follower! Your blog is amazing! Such great photos and detailed info. I will definitely keep this post bookmarked for the next time I’m in Paris. (Not sure when that’ll be but hopefully soon!)

October 6, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Thanks for stopping by, glad you enjoyed the post. Paris is a special place for us as it was my first international trip when I was 16 and about 10 years later the first place Ethan and I visited together as a couple. Look forward to checking out your blog as well.

Suzanne Lucas Post author

October 5, 2013 at 8:02 am

Although I’m sure the rain wasn’t the greatest for your cruise, I must say the picture of the Eiffel tower through the rainy window is stunning. Paris is definitely on my must-see list. Thanks for the insight.

Stopping in from the Happy Kids Blog Hop.

October 6, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Yes, between the rain and having to keep the windows closed during about half the cruise, it did put a bit of a damper on the cruise but we came prepared with a travel blanket, jackets, and rain ponchos and made the best of the trip. We’d love to do it again with the rain!

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Cruises on the Seine in Paris since 1959

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1 HOUR SIGHTSEEING CRUISE ON THE SEINE BY DAY OR NIGHT

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A unique experience: Sail along the most beautiful avenue in Paris...and perhaps even in the world, rediscovering its monuments and bridges from an angle only possible from the Seine, all illuminated in the evening. From the Louvre Museum to Notre-Dame Cathedral, passing by the Eiffel Tower, your one-hour cruise starts and ends at the Pont-Neuf, on the Ile de la Cité, in the heart of historic Paris.

Live commentary in French and English: Our guide will make you discover a little-known Paris through numerous historical or more unusual anecdotes in a relaxed and totally exotic atmosphere.

Our Free Mobile App also gives you access to these commentaries in real time in Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese and other languages.

Download and print the tour route with comments in one of the following languages (PDF) :

The glittering Eiffel Tower: As night falls you can enjoy the spectacle of the glittering Eiffel Tower - all our evening timetables are designed so that we sail in front of the Tower as it is lit up and glittering (once per hour, timetables depend on season).

Our boats: All our boats have an open top deck to enjoy the first rays of sunshine whatever the season. A covered and heated interior space remains available in most of our boats to face the harshest of elements in the cosy comfort of our panoramic lower decks.

Easy access by metro and RER: RER: Châtelet or St-Michel, Metro: Pont Neuf (M°7), Louvre (M°1) or Cité (M°4)

Vedettes du Pont Neuf offers exceptional promotions on tickets purchased online* as well as discounts with our partners . Reduce paper consumption and avoid queuing at the cash desk by booking your ticket online*, guaranteed seat on board.

Fill in the form Fill in the form by choosing your preferred option, the date, the departure time if relevant and the desired number of passengers.

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Keep or print Keep the ticket sent by email on your smartphone or tablet, or print the Internet ticket containing your order number and your QR Code.

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Our boat and its bar welcome you during this unique 1 hour cruise in Paris; the soft musical atmosphere on board will plunge you into the magical atmosphere of Paris at the end of the day; the first drink (champagne, wine, beer or soft drinks) is included.

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A romantic and unusual walk of about 2H30 on the Canal Saint Martin, to discover the incredible underground tunnel only accessible by boat, the functioning of the locks and the swing bridges: the "Paris of the Parisians", passing in front of Arletty's Hôtel du Nord, "atmosphere, atmosphere!

Cruise on the Canal Saint Martin and the Seine

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Discover Paris differently! Let yourself be surprised by this unique and atypical cruise which combines the charms of the Canal Saint-Martin, the heart of Paris for Parisians, and the Seine of historic Paris.

Champagne and macarons cruise on the Seine with Vedettes du Pont Neuf

From our exclusive embarkation points, the Ile de la Cité or the Port de l'Arsenal at the foot of the Place de la Bastille, sail off to discover a magical Paris. Enjoy a glass of champagne and a trio of macarons from the sun deck with its panoramic view, or in the covered dining room of our human-sized boat. You can enhance your cruise with an optional charcuterie and cheese board (+13€).

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Night Cruise Seine River

Experience an evening to remember with a night cruise on the seine.

Looking for a fresh, new way to spend an evening? To appease your adventurous nightlife side, consider taking a lovely night cruise on the Seine River with Vedettes de Paris! After a busy day at work or as a way to punctuate a peaceful weekend, we’re here to help you unwind on the water with a glass of wine and breathtaking scenery! Perhaps you’ll even play tourist and soak up the attractions whether you’re a visitor or a local—shh, we won’t tell!

Experience a night to remember with our Seine River dinner cruise. Enjoy a romantic dinner cruise with gourmet meals, live music, and spectacular sunset views of Paris, including attractions like Notre Dame, the Orsay Museum, and the Arc de Triomphe. Book your Seine River dinner cruise for a memorable night in the City of Lights. Enjoy the best Seine River cruise in Paris and see the city come alive with our special services, including sightseeing cruises and New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day dinner cruises. Make the most of your stay in Paris and discover the city’s beauty from the Seine River.

Cruise Under the Stars

Each one of Vedettes de Paris’ vessels is equipped to accommodate you on a night cruise of the Seine River. From panoramic terraces to VIP spaces, you and your significant other, friends, or work associates can enjoy the light-strewn sights, including monuments and breathtaking architecture in style and comfort.

Some of the notable landmarks you’ll pass by during your night cruise on the Seine are the Eiffel Tower—where you board the vessel—the Obelisque de la Concorde, the Musee d’Orsay, the Musee du Louvre, the Academie Francaise, and the Notre-Dame de Paris. As you pass by, go ahead and give a wave to Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and Hugo’s Quasimodo. Left and right, on both sides of the Seine, you’ll be entranced by the sweeping structures and the history imbibed in them. Plus, a night cruise on the Seine is the perfect excuse to see monuments through different lenses too, because everything looks different at night! You may even notice something you’ve never seen before.

While traversing the history-laden Parisian waterway, you can also partake in a light supper of sandwiches and drinks, or perhaps dessert and coffee as a way to end your evening. Or, if it happens to be a special occasion, toast with flutes of champagne! The riverboat is your oyster, and we’re here to celebrate with you!

For each night cruise on the Seine, you can expect a trip lasting a couple of hours, so kick back and lounge on the main deck, terrace, or river-level deck, or grab a table and chairs to sit upright and attentively with a drink in hand as you observe the city sights drift by as the night whiles away. And don’t worry–Vedettes de Paris will get you back long before the strike of midnight. After all, it’s a night cruise of Paris, not an all-night cruise!

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Seine River Guided Cruise with Kids by Vedettes de Paris

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  • 2 Port de Suffren, 75007 Paris, France Let's meet at Vedettes de Paris, at 2 Port de Suffren, on the docks, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 200 travelers
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
  • Musée d'Orsay
  • Eiffel Tower
  • Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
  • Louvre Museum
  • Grand Palais

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vedettes de paris seine river cruise

  • You'll start at 2 Port de Suffren 2 Port de Suffren, 75007 Paris, France Let's meet at Vedettes de Paris, at 2 Port de Suffren, on the docks, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. See address & details
  • Pass by Eiffel Tower Musee d'Orsay Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris Louvre Museum Grand Palais
  • You'll return to the starting point

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CRUISE ON THE SEINE

The ultimate guide to seine river cruises in paris, book your seine river cruise tickets.

  • Multiple Cruises Options
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Choose Your Cruise

Discover the soul of Paris with one of this best-sellers cruises:

Seine River Cruise - The Best Way to See Paris!

A Seine River Cruise in Paris is one of the best ways to explore and see the city’s highlights in a relaxing and fun way. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions for travelers in Paris with more than 4 million people taking cruises each year.

By taking a Cruise on the Seine River, you could see up close Paris’ top attractions like the Eiffel Tower , the Louvre Museum , Notre-Dame Cathedral , the Musée d’Orsay and many more and explore the historic heart of Paris from a new perspective.

Unique Views

A river cruise allows you to see iconic Paris landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Louvre Museum, and more from unique vantage points along the Seine that you can’t get walking around the city. The river offers beautiful new perspectives of Paris’ architecture and scenery.

Relaxing Way to Tour

A boat cruise is a relaxed, calm way to take in the sights of Paris compared to a rushed walking tour or hectic metro trips. You can sit back with a glass of wine and watch the city unfold along the banks of the river. It’s an easy way to see a lot without wearing yourself out.

Intimate Experience

A small riverboat cruise offers a quaint, intimate feel that gets you closer to landmarks compared to packed tourist buses or boats. With fewer passengers and open decks, you have space to Admire views and snap great photos as you gently float by each attraction. It feels like a VIP tour around the City of Light.

Seine cruise

Seine Cruise Types

Select from sightseeing, dining, leisurely riverboat or multi-attraction packages to match your Paris travel budget, timeline and interests:

Sightseeing Cruise

The most popular type, sightseeing cruises typically last 1-2 hours and journey along the Seine passing by the top landmarks of Paris like the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Louvre Museum, Orsay Museum and more. Most boats have open-air upper decks and some have interior lounge areas. Audio guides in multiple languages are usually available.

  • Best Suited For : First-time visitors. Great way to see all the major sites along the Seine in 1 or 2 hour journey.
  • Duration : Usually 1-2 hours in length. Many options for morning, afternoon, twilight or night tour times.
  • Price Range : Starts from approximately 15€ for 1-hour cruise. Around 25-30€ standard rate for daytime cruise with audio guide.

Dinner Cruise

If you want to make the cruise more interesting, you can choose the Dinner Cruise which is more expensive cruise and include dinner, drinks, or even sometimes a live music show. These cruises will cost you more than the Sightseeing Cruises, but they take longer (around 2 hours) and do offer some more value to your trip. That is why many travelers choose this option. 

  • Best Suited For: Couples celebrating anniversaries, honeymooners, those seeking a luxurious romantic dinner with sights.
  • Duration : 3-4 hours, with boarding, multi-course meal, and cruise along the Seine
  • Price Range : 60-120€ per person multi-course gourmet meal menus along with unlimited premium drinks.

Lunch Cruise

The Lunch Cruise allow you enjoy a gourmet multi-course French meal while floating past Parisian monuments. Meal options range from buffets to set menus paired with quality French wines. Many boats have live musical entertainment, some with dancing. 

  • Best For : Families, couples, groups looking for a relaxed Seine sightseeing experience. Good daytime activity option.
  • Duration : Usually 1.5-2 hours
  • Price Range : 50-100€ per person. 

Cruise Packages

Many cruise companies offer discounted multi-ride packages like a 1-day Big Bus pass with a 1-hour Vedettes du Pont Neuf cruise, making it easy to tour around different Paris neighborhoods.

  • Best For : Maximum convenience and affordability. Combine top Paris attractions.
  • Duration : Depends on the paired activities, but cruise portion 1-2 hours typically.
  • Price Range : Packages with bus, museum tickets etc can be 60€+ per person but offer good value.

Hop On Hop Off Cruise

The Hop on Hop Off cruise allows you to effortlessly visit popular locations such as the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, Musée d’Orsay, Hôtel de Ville, Jardin des Plantes and more. It offers great flexibility to create your own DIY sightseeing itinerary and transportation around Paris’ most famous attractions.

  • Best For : Visitors who want flexibility to see multiple Paris landmarks at their own pace.
  • Duration : Ticket valid for 1-2 days so you choose how long to sightsee.
  • Price Range : 30-35€ for 1 day pass, 35-40€ for 2 day pass.

Guided Cruise

Guided cruise provide history and cultural insight into Paris and its famous monuments. They can be customized to focus on different topics from art, architecture, WWII history, love stories and more based on passengers’ interests. Private tours for families or groups are also bookable.

  • Best For : Travelers who want a tour guide to provide commentary, history and context at major sights along the river.
  • Duration : Typically 1-2 hours.
  • Price Range : Small group guided tours: €15-25 per person. Private 2-hour cruise: €200-300 total.

Top Sights You Will See

Gliding along the River Seine, a Paris river cruise offers views of the city’s most celebrated landmarks – the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Louvre Museum, and Musée d’Orsay glow against the horizon. 

Neoclassical buildings grace the banks from the Alexander III Bridge to Les Invalides. In under an hour, iconic Parisian history and architecture comes alive on the water. 

Here are the top sights you will see a long the cruise:

Seine Cruise Route Map

SIENE CRUISES - MEETING POINT AND ITINERARY

Top Seine Cruise Providers

Bateaux parisiens.

Bateaux Parisiens is one of the largest and most popular Seine cruise companies in Paris. It offers sightseeing cruises along the Seine past top attractions like the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral. Bateaux Parisiens also provides lunch, dinner, and entertainment cruises on board their fleet of glass-topped boats. The company is a family-owned business founded in 1958.

Bateaux Mouches

The oldest and largest river cruise operator in Paris is Bateaux Mouches which was founded in 1949. Bateaux Mouches operates a large fleet of glass-roofed boats departing frequently from Pont de l’Alma. They offer daytime and evening sightseeing cruises with audio guides in 18 languages. The company is especially known for their romantic evening dinner and dance cruises with live music.

Vedettes de Paris

Vedettes de Paris provides smaller, more intimate boat tours on the Seine. They are a top-rated company for their personal service, smaller groups, and ability to dock closer to sights. Vedettes de Paris also offers themed cruises like Paris historians and jazz cruises. Their boats have indoor salons and open-air upper decks. It is a family-owned company established in 1945.

Pariscityvision

Pariscityvision is a large company providing a wide variety of sightseeing tours in Paris, including Seine cruises. They usually market more towards tourists and large groups. Pariscityvision’s boats are completely glazed for better views, and also have interior salons. The company is a great budget option for basic daytime or evening sightseeing boat tours.

Paris Canal

Paris Canal specializes exclusively in 2-hour Paris canal boat tours versus Seine tours. Their small electric boats go through charming lesser-known waterways and locks providing a unique perspective of Paris gardens, bridges, and houseboats compared to major monuments.

Vedettes de la Seine

Vedettes de la Seine – Fracasse is a smaller boutique cruise company with just 2 to 3 boats. They offer specialized themed musical or Parisian gourmet dining cruises in an intimate setting with attentive service and unique French cuisine onboard.

  • Plan Your Trip

When taking a Seine cruise in Paris, keeping the weather in mind is important for having an enjoyable experience:

Sunny Day If sunny, an open-top upper deck on the boat would be ideal. You can take in full views of landmarks like Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower while staying protected from the sun in the shade. Sunscreen and hats are still a good idea.

Rainy/Overcast Day Many boats have both enclosed and open areas. If rain is forecasted, opting for a boat with indoor seating or retractable glass covers can allow you to stay dry. Bring lightweight raincoats or umbrellas as a backup. Check the wind direction so you don’t get stuck in the rain when boarding or disembarking.

Cold Weather If cruising in fall or winter months when it’s chilly, dress warmly in layers. Coats, scarves and gloves are recommended. Some boats may have climate controls or provide blankets so check ahead. Sipping hot chocolate or coffee can help keep you warm too!

Windy Conditions Higher winds on the river may impact the boat’s stability. If very windy, consider rescheduling since you likely won’t be able to enjoy upper deck seating.

No matter the forecast, confirming if your specific cruise will run as scheduled is advised. Checking for potential cancellations due to weather can help avoid disappointments. Being prepared for diverse Parisian weather will enable soaking in the magic of the Seine!

Most major boats and tour companies offer cruises throughout the day, typically starting as early as 10am and running as late as 9:30pm in the summer. Schedules vary by company and season with hours being more limited in the off-season between November-March. Lunch cruises are very common, lasting 1-2 hours in the early-mid afternoon. Dinner/evening cruises typically have boarding around 8pm and run for 1.5-2 hours.

Some companies offer flexible boarding times for independent, hop-on hop-off style cruises during the day which allow you to sightsee at your own pace. Smaller tour boats and private river yacht charters may have more flexibility for custom departure times. Cruise frequency ranges from boats departing every 30 minutes up to every 1-2 hours depending on the season, with more time in between departures earlier/later in the day.

Most cruises run for 1-2 hours in duration, many including boarding time and allowing time for commentary. Some full meal cruises can last 2+ hours. In summary – typical Seine cruise hours range from morning through evening, with greatest flexibility and frequencies through midday and early evening. But exploring your specific cruise company’s schedule is the best way to confirm details. Let me know if you have any other cruise operation questions!

When taking a Seine River cruise in Paris, you’ll have options for different durations to suit your schedule and interests:

The most common cruise duration is 1-1.5 hours. This allows you to cruise along the Seine at a comfortable pace while seeing top attractions like the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Louvre Museum, and ornate bridges from unique vantage points. Cruises of this length will have running commentary to point out photo spots and give history.

Two hour lunch or dinner cruises are also very popular. These allow more relaxed dining and take in wider views between the Paris landmarks, heading both downstream and back upstream. Meals are served on board these cruises.

Some companies offer half-hour to 45 minute compact mini-cruises. These offer a quick glimpse at the Seine highlights if you’re short on time. The pace and route is more direct.

At the longer end, some full-day and multi-hour cruises are available for those really wanting an immersive experience. These may include multiple stops or activities like museum visits in addition to the Seine sightseeing.

River yacht charters can potentially customize cruise durations, but usually run in the 1-3 hour range. Private boats allow you to fully control the timing.

So in summary, first-timers may want to opt for a classic 1-1.5 hour river cruise, while return visitors could consider a longer or meal-inclusive option. Checking different company offerings for duration and scheduling will ensure the best Seine cruise fit.

The departure point for your Seine River cruise is an important piece of planning, as major cruise companies use various docks along the river. Most boats leave from ports near the Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame Cathedral given their convenient locations.

Common Eiffel Tower embarkation docks include Port de la Bourdonnais, just east of the landmark, and Port de Suffren to the west. Using these ports, your boat can head straight under the Eiffel Tower shortly after departure for great views. Another top departure point is Port Saint Paul by Notre Dame in the heart of Paris near lively shops and cafes. Cruise companies like Vedettes du Pont Neuf and Bateaux Parisiens use Port Saint Paul.

Depending on your specific cruise’s route, you may also embark at locations like Musée d’Orsay, the Louvre, Jardin des Plantes, or further east at Bercy Village. Check your tour information carefully for the meeting location. Third party sellers may use docks across from the islands in the Seine like Ile de la Cité. Arriving early is wise to account for walking time to your departure dock.

Maps of the Seine will display the various port names to confirm where your cruise embarks once you’ve booked. Central meeting spots like the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame make getting on and off boats convenient as nearby transit options abound. But no matter which dock you start from, gorgeous river views await!

seine cruise

Seine Cruise Insider Tips

Here are some of the best insider tips for taking a cruise on the Seine River in Paris:

  • Avoid the large, crowded Bateaux Mouches tourist boats if you want a more intimate experience. Look for small boat cruises or private boat rentals instead.
  • Cruises in the morning or late afternoon tend to be less crowded than midday. Evening cruises can be romantic as you’ll see the monuments lit up.
  • Sit on the right side of the boat if possible when heading downstream from the Eiffel Tower towards the Notre Dame Cathedral. This side offers the best views.
  • Many boats have open air tops, so dress appropriately for the weather. Layers are a good idea.
  • Bring a good camera! The views of the Parisian monuments from a unique vantage point on the Seine are ideal photo opportunities.
  • You can bring your own snacks and drinks for a picnic-style experience on most boat cruises. Some smaller cruises may provide refreshments.
  • Check when bridges go up to allow boat traffic to pass underneath. Times vary, but this lets larger boats continue down or up the Seine.
  • Look into combo deals that pair a Seine cruise with activities like a city bus tour or museum visits for good value.

What is the best time of day to take a cruise?  

Early morning and sunset cruises are peaceful with smaller crowds. Afternoon offers the most frequent departures. Illuminations cruises at night showcase lit-up monuments.

What is the average length of a cruise?  

Most cruises are 1-1.5 hours. Two hour lunch/dinner cruises are also popular. Some are just 30 minutes while full-day options are available too.

Which side of the boat is best for views?  

If possible, sit on the right side heading downstream from the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame for iconic landmark views.

Can you bring food and drinks on board?  

Yes, on most cruises you can BYO snacks and non-alcoholic drinks. Some boats have food/drink for purchase.

Is there inside seating?  

Many boats have both indoor and outdoor seating options. Open air top decks provide the best views.

Do boats have restrooms?  

Yes, Seine cruise ships are equipped with clean restrooms.

Is narration/commentary provided?  

Most standard sightseeing cruises include engaging audio commentary to point out photo spots and discuss sites along the route.

What language(s) are tours offered in?  

English and French commentary is typical. Some also offer Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese or Chinese narration.

Is the cruise wheelchair and stroller accessible?  

Many boats have wheelchair ramps and space for strollers. Confirm accessibility needs when booking.

Can you bring a dog?  

No, pets are not allowed onboard cruises. Service animals may be accommodated.

Is the cruise child-friendly?  

Yes! Seine cruises can be great for families and kids with commentary to entertain and windows to see sites.

Will the boat make stops along the river? Most standard sightseeing cruises do not stop, allowing you to stay aboard. A few may disembark at sites like the Eiffel Tower.

How big/crowded are the boats?  

Boat sizes and capacity ranges from small yachts to multi-level ships holding hundreds. Cruise at less crowded times or pick smaller ships.

Should I make reservations?  

Yes, it’s strongly recommend to book tickets in advance online for your preferred date/time. Walk-ups may have long waits or sell out.

Can I choose my departure dock?  

Tickets are generally tied to specific departure docks. But getting to the dock is fairly quick from central Paris locations.

Is tipping customary?  

Tips are not required but you can tip 10-15% for exceptional service. Some meal cruises may include gratuity.

What should I wear/bring?  

Dress for weather. Layers, hats, sunscreen, jacket and comfortable shoes are good. Umbrella if rain is forecasted.

Is there an onboard bathroom?  

Yes, fully equipped and clean restrooms are available on all standard public sightseeing cruise ships.

Do boats run year-round?  

Many operators sail all year, but services are reduced November-March. Some small boats pause cruises in winter months or harsh weather.

Can cruises be cancelled due to weather?

High water levels or storms may rarely cancel. Reach out directly regarding weather concerns over your booking date.

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Story of the Seine: Paris exhibition explores history of the river through found objects

The painting "Panoramic view of Paris in 1588, from the Louvre's roof, with Pont-Neuf under construction" by Théodore-Josef-Herbert.

Beneath the tourist-packed plaza of Notre Dame Cathedral, an archaeological site tells the story of Paris and its River Seine through objects excavated from its bed and banks. Discover the exhibition “Dans La Seine”.

With Paris preparing to host the summer Olympics this year, the Seine has found its way back into the spotlight, as city officials scramble to get it clean enough for swimming before the competition begins.

But it’s not the first time the river has attracted this kind of attention. The major artery running through the City of Lights has forever been the star of the show, the very reason the city exists at all.

A new exhibition at the archaeological crypt underneath Notre Dame Cathedral explores the importance of the Seine to the people living near it, through objects that were excavated from its riverbed and banks.

The collection of 150 trinkets tells the story of how humans have interacted with the famous river, from prehistoric times to now. In doing so, it also tells the story of how Paris became Paris.

The archaeological crypt on Île de la Cité features remains from the 4th century, when Paris was a mid-sized Gallo-Roman city called Lutetia.

A hidden archaeological gem in the heart of Paris

If you want to visit the exhibition “Dans La Seine,” you first need to find it.

Located underneath the plaza outside Notre Dame Cathedral, the Crypte Archéologique de l'Île de la Cité (archaeological crypt of Île de la Cité) was first discovered in the 1960s during the construction of an underground car park.

The archeological crypt of Ile de la Cité was excavated from 1965 to 1972, after its discovery during the construction of a car park.

Today, it’s the only archaeological site open to the public in the entire city, but even many locals have no idea it exists. The understated entrance is just a stone’s throw away from the retractable seating packed with tourists looking at the cathedral – which is still undergoing renovation work after the 2019 fire.

Once you’ve found the entrance, climb down the stairs and you’ll find a sprawling excavation site spanning 1,800 square metres and packed with extraordinarily preserved archaeological remains.

The site includes vestiges of a Gallo-Roman public bath, part of an old city wall and the docking port of the Gallo-Roman city of Lutetia, which is now present-day Paris.

The space is impressive on its own, but the temporary exhibition space presents a different way of looking at the history of Paris – a story told through the items found at the bottom of the River Seine. 

vedettes de paris seine river cruise

Under the Seine

As the main waterway snaking its way across the French capital, the Seine has seen more than its fair share of human paraphernalia hit its waters. Since the dawn of time, people have been dumping things into the river – both accidentally and on purpose.

These days, you’re likely to find electric scooters and rental bikes. But back before Paris was even an abstract concept, Neanderthals left flint tools on the Seine’s banks, evidence that they weren’t as primitive as scientists once thought.

Later, when the city on the Seine was known by the name Lutetia, residents of the Gallo-Roman outpost sometimes made offerings to the river in exchange for good fortune.

Figurines of deities Apollo and Mercury on display in the exhibition

Once adorning altars in private homes in Lutetia, metal figurines of deities like Apollo and Mercury were found underneath layers of silt on the riverbed. There are several hypotheses for how they ended up there – they could have been stolen, dropped accidentally or made as an offering.

Mysticism around the Seine was prevalent for the Gallo-Romans – also on display at the exhibition are sculptures believed to be ex-votos, or votive offerings to the deity of the Seine, Sequana. Some 1,500 of these ex-votos were found near the river's source in Burgundy, where a temple was built to Sequana.

This Gallo-Roman-era limestone head is believed to be an ex-voto, or a votive offering to Seine goddess Sequana.

Made from stone, metal and wood, they depict animals, heads of men, women and children, full-length figures, swaddled babies and even body parts instructing the Goddess on where exactly she should apply her healing powers.

Artefacts from everyday life on the riverbanks

The cleaning and dredging of the Seine became routine maintenance for the city starting in the mid-19th century, a way of maintaining the river's depth so it would be easier to navigate. Objects were often discovered and removed when the sand and silt were extracted from the riverbed.

Objects found in the Seine from the Bronze Age and Middle Ages, after the fall of the Roman empire, include a huge collection of weapons – over 100 of them.

Some of these weapons – mostly battle axes and swords – are believed to have been thrown in the river on purpose, as part of a ritual at the end of battle.

Weapons from the Bronze Age and Middle Ages on display at the exhibition

Starting in the mid-19th century, small artefacts made from lead were found in their thousands in the Seine, becoming known as the “plombs de la Seine”.

They include tokens used for entries to towns and places of worship, religious figurines and even what are believed to be the first tin soldier children’s toys.

Two of the

The small statuettes became a collectors’ item, making it into the private collections of artists like Alberto Giacometti and André Breton. The artists considered them to be magical, possessing powers that were either good or evil.

Experts believe they’re more likely modern ex-votos from the 15th to 16th century, thrown into the river as an offering.

Modern discoveries

There are currently no active archaeological digs in Paris along the Seine, although just last year an ancient necropolis was found in southern Paris during construction of a new metro exit.

Discoveries are still being made in the Seine, however, thanks to the city's Seine River Brigade, a branch of the municipal police who are tasked with maintaining order on, around and in the river.

The brigade's divers have recovered objects including artwork, decorative elements from Paris bridges and technical equipment from ships.

Modern discoveries by the Seine River Brigade divers include this

In 2014, they found a sculpture at the base of Pont Neuf that was identified as a mascaron, a stone molding in the shape of a mask that can often be seen on Paris buildings and monuments.

So what about us? What will our era leave behind in the Seine for future explorers to find? 

Between the scooters, bicycles and motorbikes that have already been dredged up from the river and the debris that's sure to wash up during the Olympics, it doesn't look good.

But that's the nature of city rivers – they tell the story of the people who live around them, the good, the bad and the ugly.

The poster for the exhibition

The exhibition "Dans La Seine" is currently open to the public at the Archaeological crypt of Île de la Cité in Paris.

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