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See the City from an Enchanting Vantage
As romantic life experiences go, taking a tour of Paris by boat is pretty much unparalleled. The city and many of its most breathtaking sights seem to be fanned out before you as you lazily drift down the Seine river.
By taking one of these popular tours, you can get a glimpse of some of the city's most mythical and celebrated spots, enjoy a romantic dinner amid the soft glow of light on the water, or just sit back and revel in the fresh air and delicious floating in a scenic setting. Several trusted booking agents also offer special packages allowing you to book a combined cruise/dinner/cabaret show if you so choose, or follow up your Seine-side tour with a visit to monuments such as the Eiffel Tower.
When is the best time of year to take a tour?
The best time is generally May through mid-September, when skies tend to be clearer and temperatures in Paris are generally warm. Fall and winter tours are still worthwhile, but... keep in mind that wind from off the water and frequent rain can make sitting on the open-air deck less than desirable.
Classic Boat Tours and Cruises of the Seine River:
Ah, the Seine. It's isn't exaggerating to claim that no other river in the world has been the subject of so much poetic fussing, frantic picture-taking, and all-around adulation.
Touring Paris via the Seine is a great way to get familiar with many of the city's most stunning monuments, historical buildings, and ornate bridges, including:
- Notre Dame Cathedral
- Eiffel Tower
- Musee du Louvre
- Musee d'Orsay
- Assemblée Nationale (The National Assembly building)
- Hotel des Invalides
- Pont Neuf (Paris' oldest bridge, dating to the 16th century)
- Pont Alexandre III (Art Nouveau bridge dating to 1896)
- Grand Palais (Belle Epoque building housing National Galleries)
Many other attractions and monuments are in your range of sight, too-- not to mention impressionistic scenes you won't soon forget: dapples of dusky light hitting the water, or the warm glow of leaves on autumn trees clustered around the Ile St. Louis.Continue to 2 of 2 below.
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Choosing a Boat Tour of the Seine: Which Companies Are the Best?
Several companies offer day and evening tours throughout the year; it is this writer's perspective that there are several very good operators to choose from. Before settling on a tour, decide whether you would prefer a narrated tour that focuses on Paris history and sights, have lunch or dinner, or even enjoy a show. Finding a tour that fits your budget shouldn't be a problem, either.
Bateaux Mouches is perhaps the city's most famous boat tour company and is easily recognizable by its enormous decks and bright orange seats. Bateaux Mouches has a fleet of nine boats, some of which offer lunch and dinner service. Read our full review here.
Bateaux Parisiens is another well-known Paris boat tour company offering narrated tours and fine dining. The dinner cruise might be a good idea for a relaxing, enchanted evening of soft lights, live music, and a three-course meal.
Other Trusted Tour Operators Include: