During my last week in Paris in July 2014 I took a four night river cruise on the Seine with CroisiEurope. The cruise went from Paris to Les Andelys, Honfleur and Rouen in Normandy before returning to Paris. I could rattle on about my little cruise forever, it was just so good. Heck it was way better than good, in fact it couldn't have been improved upon at all.
The ship was the "Botticelli" and it carried a maximum of 154 passengers in good sized, well appointed cabins which were fully air conditioned, had flat screen TV and a very good sized bathroom. The big attraction for a single traveller like me is that on many of the vessels there are a number of single cabins available with no hefty single supplement to pay. Fares are all inclusive of all meals, all drinks (and not just at meal times but from about 9am to midnight).
Shore excursions are completely optional and I chose to do two bus tours but not the walking tours that were on offer which I'm told were excellent as well.
The food is fantastic with a hot and cold buffet breakfast, a three course lunch and a four course dinner included every day. I paid $US1,300.00 (2014) for four nights and three full days.
I would go back for another cruise in a heartbeat. This was one of the all time highlights of all my European Trips. Can't recommend highly enough.
There are a lot of different boat trips on the Seine and on the canals in Paris. You will surely find one to suit your budget. I've listed several below. They all have slightly different offerings and wildly different budgets. Check them all to find one to suit your needs.
When you get to the web site, if it's not in your language, search for the flag of your country and click on it. If you want English, click on the British flag.
Here are the web sites:
Vedettes du Pont Neuf
Vedettes de Paris (click on the British flag for English)
Canauxrama Canal Tours
We haven't been on any of these although we've seen them cruising the river as we walked by. The one we love is the Batobus. It is a bus on the river. There is no commentary and it's not a cruise. It is a boat trip on the Seine and they do announce the stops so you know what you are seeing. We get a pass and use it for transportation for the day (or two days) just for fun. If you want a budget cruise, Batobus is lots of fun and a substitute for the Metro for a lot of Paris sightseeing. Here is the web site: Batobus Web Site
I have a separate Tip on the Batobus at: There Is a Boat Bus in Paris by Beausoleil
We love the Batobus. It's a boat bus that plies the river Seine. It stops at eight different Paris tourist sites and gives access to many more. When we stay near the Eiffel Tower, we get our passes there. If we're in the Latin Quarter or St. Germain, we usually get the passes at the Notre Dame stop.
The Batobus stops at The Eiffel Tower, St. Germain des Pres, the Jardin des Plantes, the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay, Notre Dame, the Hotel de Ville and the Champs-Elysées. You can hop on and hop off or just take the tour. If you are just going to zip around once, like a boat tour, buy a single ride ticket. If you want the hop-on hop-off capability, get a pass for a day or two. Look for sales as they have them often.
Prices updated January 20, 2014
A one-day pass is 15 euros, 7 euros for children under age 16
A two-day pass is 18 euros, 9 euros for children under age 16
(The five-day pass seems to have been discontinued.)
A full year pass is 60 euros, 38 euros for children under age 16
Students, seniors and other pass holders may take a small discount. If you have another pass, ask if you can get a discount on the Batobus. It never hurts to ask. Also, there are occasional sales and you might get lucky. We have a couple times. Enjoy!
This just started in 2013 and is being billed as the cheapest cruise on the Seine. It starts at 10 euros and is 5 euros for children under the age of 12. This is an electric boat so quiet except for the background music and lapping of the Seine.
You take a 45-minute cruise around the Ile de la Cité and the Ile St. Louis with no commentary. There is background music and the trip is billed as travel through time between Paris now and Paris in the Middle Ages. There is a bar, terrace and lounge area on the boat if you want something a bit more romantic. At night it would be wonderful.
You board in the 4th arrondissement at the foot of the Pont Marie (middle of Ile St. Louis) across from the Pont Marie Metro station (line 7).
Check their web site and sign up for their free newsletter if you're planning a trip any time soon.
I've been looking up the website for the 'Batobus' wich plies it's trade up and down the Seine, stopping off at eight points between the Eiffel tower and the Jardin de Plantes.
At 15 euro for a hop on-hop , hop-off service it seens to be reasonable value - certainly in comparison to the 'normal' cruise services. There are also discounts for holding SNCF/RATP tickets, although they don't say which ones.
It's only a few euro's more to make it a 2-day of 5 day ticket.
It appears the main downsides are a) the late start in the morning (from 10am) b) the sometimes lengthy wait between boats and c) The lack of a view where the river banks are quite high.
This one I am putting in transportation but it could be a thing to do, as the rides over the Seine and the sights you see are wonderfully paris,and you can hop on and off at all stations
one pass 8 stations along the Seine river, Tour eiffel, musée d'Orsay, Saint-Germain-en-laye, Notre Dame, Jardin des plantes, hôtel de ville, Louvre,and champs-Elysées.
you can use the pass for one day, 2,5, in one year period. Prices are 15€ one day,18€ 2 dyas, and 21€ five consecutive days, or an annual pass for 60€ (you can always come back to Paris::)
Main station is off the foot of the tour Eiffel river Seine, Port de la Bourdonnais 75007 Paris
You can buy tickets at these locations, Billetterie Batobus at each station, Aéroports de Paris CDG 1, CDG 2, main Paris tourist office at Pyramides, and other auxiliary stations such as Gare de Lyon, Gare du Nord, Gare de l'Est, and Anvers; also, tourist kiosk at Disneyland Paris, and the Boutique l'OpenTour bus rides
The Batobus describes itself as “a shuttle service on the Seine”. I haven’t tried the Batobus yet, but it sounds like a good idea for people who want to see some of the major sights along the Seine and be able to relax on the boat in between. It beats taking the Métro, in any case.
The name is rather clever, because when you say it aloud it sounds like the French words bateau meaning boat and bus meaning bus. So it is a boat-bus.
These boat-buses travel around in a circle, stopping at five places on the left bank, namely the Eiffel Tower, the Orsay Museum, Saint-Germain-des-Près, Notre Dame and the Jardin des Plantes. Then they turn around and go back downstream along the right bank, stopping at Hôtel de Ville (City Hall), the Louvre and the Champs-Elysées. Actually the stop called Champs-Elysées is by the bridge Alexandre III, near the Petit Palais and the Grand Palais.
You don’t pay for individual trips, but get a Batobus Pass which is valid for 1 day (at 15 Euros), or two consecutive days (18 Euros) or five consecutive days (21 Euros) or an entire year (60 Euros). With a pass you can get take as many trips as you wish and get on or off whenever you please (“hop on, hop off”, they insist on saying). The prices are as of 2013.
Sometimes when the water level gets too high, mainly in the winter and spring, they have to reduce their service. In a high-water phase in February 2013, for example, the boats could only serve four of the eight stations, namely the Eiffel Tower, the Orsay Museum, the Louvre and Champs-Elysées. In this situation the Batobus website is updated daily to show exactly which stations are being served on that day.
From April 6 to September 2 the Batobus runs every twenty minutes from 10 am to 9:30 pm. The rest of the year they run every twenty-five minutes from 10 am to 7 pm.
It seems to me I once saw some long lines at the Batobus stops during the summer, which rather put me off, but since the boats are heated they might be a good option if you are in Paris during one of the cooler and less crowded times of the year.
Next review from June 2012: Les Bouquinistes
Many attractions are close to the river, and for those with displacing problems, short time, or the need of a different angle, there are several boat trips along the river, easy to deal and book locally.
You just have to choose your program.
Batobus is one of the best way to see and take pics of the monuments that are close to the Seine. You can buy tickets for 1 day, 2 or 5 days, yearly (60€) or family (1day 2 adults 2 kids 35€) It's a hop on hiop off service, and what's good for me, it has no guide, no bad English translation, just like a regular bus. And no traffic congestion :-) We used it in November, and they have heating, which was necessary ! I recommend it !
This hop on/hop off boat runs up and down the Seine making 8 stops: Eiffel Tower, Musee D'Orsay, St Germain-Des-Pres, Notre Dame, Jardin Des Plantes, Hotel De Ville, Louvre, and Champs Elysees.
You buy a one day, two day, five day, or annual pass but it is soooo slow that I would not plan on using it to get on and off for sightseeing. It's just a nice ride along the Seine.
One day Pass:
€14 for adults
€7 for children under 16
Check website for operating hours and to order advance tickets.
A little cruise on the Seine?
The tours of the Bateaux - Mouches offer a relaxing view on their scenic route along monuments such as the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame, the Musée d'Orsay etc.
The tours take about one hour.
A night-time cruise (with or without dining) is even more stunning: the boats are equipped with huge footlights illuminating the riverside monuments with big halogen lights.
Nice for the tourists, but a lot less pleasant for the Parisians living along the route of these boats.
Thats why they call them "Les Bateaux -MOCHES" ;-) Maybe you can find out somewhere what this means...
At first blush one might think that the Bateaux Mouche tour might go in the "tourist trap" catagory but this experience is anything BUT a tourist trap. For a mere 7 euro (children under 4 are free and 4-12 are 4 euro) you can sit on top of the boat and watch the most amazing sites of the City of Light pass by.
We have taken a ride on these boats on every one of our trips to Paris and it still hasn't gotten stale. The trip is different at every time of day and in every season. Catch the tour near sunset to see the roof of the Petit Palace glow. Take a night tour to see the floodlights flash on the Louvre and the beautiful buildings on the Isle de Paris. Once we went on a stormy day and actually got sea sick! Always the view of the Eiffel Tower lit up as you sail past is magnifique!
For information: Bateaux Mouches
Important tip: Don't go on one of the expensive dinner tours. The food is said to be not that good. Instead, bring along a bottle of wine or champagne and sit atop at sunset for a poor man's cruise. You won't be sorry!
Final note: There are other operators who have very similar tours. Bateaux Parisiens is one that I've taken and enjoyed.
Seine boat trips are leaving from down at the Effel Tower, Pont Neuf and the Notre Dame.
Prices from € 9.00
Summer: 10AM - 11PM
Winter: 11AM - 9PM
Special dinner cruises from € 85.00; departure time ~6PM (formal clothing!)
Bateaux Parisians has a Bato Bus that will cruise you around to specific places on La Seine that you can get off and then get back on after visiting your place of interest. It cost 10 Euro to ride the whole day, but unfortunately it is not listed on their site. It is a good way to get around though and we probably would have used it more had we knew that they had something like this. We did not know about it until our departure day as our plan that day was to take a Seine cruise. It truly is a wonderful way to enjoy Paris and gives you a chance to relax between attractions!
We didn't do these either but they're fairly popular with tourists. BatoBus is a river shuttle that operates like a HoHo bus but with fewer stops. From Jardin des Plantes area on the east to the Eiffel on the west, there are 8 docking points and you can get on and off as many times a day as the hours the boats run.
This can be a fun way to see Paris from the water but again, a one-day ticket is more than the cost of a metro carnet of 10, and hours are somewhat limited - especially in winter - so choose it for the experience or to assist with certain mobility issues and not as a cost-effective way to sightsee. Unlike the Hoho buses, the boats do not offer narration on the landmarks. If interested in that option, evening, or dinner cruises (no stops) see these services: