The Best Paris River Cruises
This posts reviews and compares the best Paris boat tours and Seine River cruises, including architecture cruises, sightseeing tours, speed boats, and water taxis.
- Sightseeing Cruises
- Lunch and Dinner Cruises
- Water Taxis
- Night/Firework Cruises
- Boat Tour Combos
- Deals and Discounts
Sightseeing Cruises along the Seine are all approximately 1 hour in duration and travel past several popular sites such as the Eiffel Tower, Invalides, Parliament, Musée d’Orsay, and Notre Dame Cathedral, amongst many others.
Each cruise features recorded audio commentary that is played on board the cruise and usually comes in several different languages.
All are relatively similar in price, reputation, and cruise itinerary. In fact, the biggest difference between them is their departure points.
Keep in mind that most of these tours run up until 21:00 or 22:00 (9 pm or 10 pm) at night, making them both daytime and nighttime sightseeing tours.
If you would prefer a nighttime dinner cruise, check out our Lunch & Dinner Cruises section.
Alternatively, if you are interested in taking a night cruise on a special occasion, see our Night/Firework Cruises section.
Bateaux Parisiens offers a standard 1-hour cruise with commentary, departing from the Eiffel Tower.
In addition to an individual audio guide that comes in 14 different languages, there is also an onboard hostess guide to answer any of your questions.
Featured sites include the Eiffel Tower, Invalides, the Parliament, Musée d’Orsay, Institut de France, Notre Dame Cathedral, City Hall, the Conciergerie, the Louvre, the Obelisk, the Grand Palais, and more.
If you want to combine this 1-hour sightseeing cruise with lunch at a nearby restaurant, you should check out our boat tour combination section.
Cruise with Commentary: 10:00 am – 22:00 (10 pm), departing every 30 minutes in the high season and every hour in the off-season.
(click here for the night version)
- Eiffel Tower Departure: Adults – €15; Children – €7
- More information and to book.
Before you pay full price, please note that this tour is free with several Paris tourist discount passes as well as bus tour combinations.
Bateaux Parisiens is one of the most popular cruise companies in Paris, as is made evident by their excellent rating (4.5 out of 5-stars) on TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide (read the reviews).
Most guests seem to comment on the incredible value of the experience as just €15 gets you a 1-hour sightseeing cruise down the Seine.
Though some were disappointed by the quality of the commentary, this can be easily improved by talking with the onboard hostess guides. And at just €15 per person, it’s hard to complain!
Vedettes de Paris offers a wide range of boat cruises that run both in the daytime and evenings.
Like most of the other companies listed, their sightseeing tour is approximately 1 hour and passes by major sites such as the Eiffel Tower, Invalides, Musée d’Orsay, and Notre Dame Cathedral, among many others.
Your ticket is valid for the entire day, so you can choose which time you would like to take the cruise as long as the boat isn’t completely full.
Availability: Multiple departure times each day. Changes by season. Check the website for the most up-to-date schedule.
- Daytime Sightseeing Cruise: Adults – €15; Children – €7 (more info)
- Daytime Sightseeing Cruise with a French crepe: Adults – €20; Children – €12 (more info)
Vedettes de Paris has an excellent reputation on TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide, averaging 4 out of 5 stars (read the reviews).
Bateaux Mouches is another very popular boat tour company that runs daily sightseeing cruises along the Seine. At just €14 per adult, this is the most affordable sightseeing cruise featured on this list.
As with the others, it is also approximately 1 hour and passes by all the major sites along the river.
There is both an open top-deck, as well as a glass bottom deck so that you can enjoy the beautiful views wherever you are.
Additionally, they also offer lunch and dinner cruises, among a few others, which are featured in the appropriate sections.
Availability: Multiple departure times each day. Changes by season. Check the website for the most up-to-date schedule.
Adults – €14; Children – €6 (more info and to book)
This company is also very popular with visitors, with an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor and Viator (read the reviews).
Paris City Vision (GrayLine) – Paris City Vision, which operates under GrayLine, specializes primarily in package deals that combine a boat cruise with other activities. They offer 1 daytime cruise that isn’t packaged with anything else, however that cruise is actually run by Bateaux Parisiens.
Vedettes du Pont Neuf – Another cruise company offering a range of day and evening sightseeing tours.
Green River Cruises – A smaller, but immensely popular cruise company in Paris. Free when purchased as part of the Paris Pass.
Lunch and dinner cruises are popular options for those interested in a more luxurious and leisurely experience. Both offer impressive views from the river, while allowing you to relax and enjoy a nice meal. As is always the case, lunch cruises are much less expensive than dinner cruises – making them an excellent alternative for the budget conscious traveler.
Of the tours listed below, Paris en Scene offers the most affordable dining experience. Vedettes de Paris is also very reasonably priced, though their dinner cruise is slightly more upscale (and completely worth the price!). Bateaux Parisians run the more expensive lunch and dinner cruises. However, the high quality of their food and service justifies the added cost.
Vedettes de Paris
Vedettes de Paris offer a few different options for those looking to enjoy a meal while cruising down the Seine. The first is their Snacking Cruise, which is their most budget friendly option and features a sandwich or hotdog in addition to their standard Sightseeing Cruise. Alternatively, you can opt for their sit-down 3-course lunch. This is a slightly more expensive option, but still relatively affordable, especially as it also includes a glass of wine, a beer, or a soft drink. Lastly, you can choose to have a luxurious dining experience aboard their Dinner Cruise, which lasts 2 hours and features authentic French cuisine.
- Snacking Cruise: Departs daily. Changes by season. Check website for most up-to-date schedule.
- Lunch Cruise: Departs daily. Changes by season. Check website for most up-to-date schedule.
- Dinner Cruise: Departs nightly at 9:15pm (21:15)
- Snacking Cruise: Adults – €21; Children – €13
- Lunch Cruise: Adults – €32; Children – €12
- Dinner Cruise: Adults – €90; Children – €35
Vedettes de Paris’s lunch and dinner cruise options are seemingly just as popular as their standard sightseeing cruises, with an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor. Most write that they found the food to be exceptional, especially for the price. However, those who didn’t enjoy the food as much suggest that guests bring their own pack lunches to eat on-board – a money saving tip that would be very easy to do! In general, though, guests compliment the experience for being very relaxing and enjoyable.
Bateaux Parisiens run both lunch and dinner cruises on the Seine, in addition to their sightseeing cruises. For lunch, you can choose between a 2 hour cruise with a 3-course bistro style lunch OR a 1 hour cruise that is then followed or preceded by a 1 hour lunch at Bistro Parisien on the quay near the Eiffel Tower. There is only a $10 price difference between the two so your decision should really just come down to personal preference. Similarly, there are a few different options for the dinner cruise as well. Once again, you can opt for either a 2.5 hour dinner cruise OR a 1 hour night cruise that is then followed or preceded by a dinner at Bistro Parisien on the quay near the Eiffel Tower. Like with the 2 hour a lunch cruise, a range of upgrades are also available with the 2.5 hour dinner cruise. See their website for specific details about what’s on offer.
Lunch Cruise – Departs daily at 12:15pm
- Lunch Cruise (Etoile Service): Adults – €59; Children – €34
- Lunch Cruise (Privilege Service): Adults – €77; Children – €34
- Lunch Cruise (Premier Service): Adults – €89; Children – €34
Dinner Cruise – Departs nightly at 6:15pm, 8:30pm, and 9:00pm
- Dinner Cruise (6:15 pm): Adults – €69; Children – €34
- Dinner Cruise (6:15 pm w/Window Table): Adults – €85; Children – €34
- Dinner Cruise (8:30 pm Etoile Service): Adults – €99; Children – €34
- Dinner Cruise (8:30 pm Decouverte Service) : Adults – €139; Children – €139
- Dinner Cruise (8:30 pm Privilege Service) : Adults – €168; Children – €168
- Dinner Cruise (8:30 pm Premier Service) : Adults – €205; Children – €205
- Dinner Cruise (9:00 pm) : Adults – €69; Children – €34
- Dinner Cruise (9:00 pm w/Window Table) : Adults – €85; Children – €34
Though their TripAdvisor rating is representative of all their cruises (both sightseeing and restaurant), Bateaux Parisiens’s restaurant lunch and dinner cruises are particularly highly rated. Guests describe it as “magical” and a “5 star experience.” One even writes that though they are not usually a fan of dinner cruises, this one was incredible. Of course, some people found the food to be overpriced. However, for a dining experience in such a premium location, you must expect premium prices. TripAdvisor Rating: 4 stars.
Paris en Scene
Paris en Scene specializes exclusively in brunch and dinner cruises along the Seine. Both start at only €39, making this one of the most affordable restaurant cruise options on this list. All are approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, and travel by all of the major sites and attractions in central Paris. Cruises depart from near the Eiffel Tower and then make their way down toward Notre Dame. If you’re looking for a more premium experience, easily upgrade by adding Champagne or getting exclusive seats.
- Brunch Cruises: Sundays at 12:30 pm & 2:45 pm
- Dinner Cruises: Daily at 6:00 pm, 7:45 pm, & 9:30 pm
- Dinner Cruise (3 courses): €39
- Wine Dinner Cruise (3 courses): €47
- Champagne Dinner Cruise (3 course): €49
- Brunch Cruise: €39
- Champagne Brunch Cruise: €49
Most reviewers seem really happy and impressed by the experience with Paris en Scene. The quality of the food receives high marks, as do the incredible views offered by the cruise. Some criticize the customer service, but just as many seem to praise it. A consistent complaint comes from guests who expected there to be recorded commentary playing throughout the trip. However, the company makes it clear that they are not a sightseeing tour and therefore choose not to disrupt the meal with a narrative tour. They do provide a small leaflet describing the various sites that the cruise goes past, though. TripAdvisor Rating: 3.5 stars.
Bateaux Mouches – This company also hosts lunch and dinner cruises, as well as special performance cruises. Prices are a bit higher, but they reflect the fine dining experience.
Paris City Vision (GrayLine) – Paris City Vision offers a wide variety of lunch and dinner cruise combos such as a City Tour of Paris with Lunch on the Seine or VIP Dinner Cruise with Hotel Pick-up/Drop-off.
Capitaine Fracasse – Offers a range of dinner cruise options, including a special children’s menu.
Most of the cruise companies in Paris (and all the companies listed above) offer cruises along the Seine at nighttime. Most sightseeing cruises operate until well into the early evening, and, of course, all the companies running dinner cruises will inevitably be doing so at night as well. However, some companies offer specialty night cruises on holidays such as Valentines and New Years Eve, which take advantage of the city’s celebrations and promise guests a beautiful fireworks display.
Vedettes de Paris is one of the only companies to include a full price list for these occasions on their website, though certainly many more also offer them. Unsurprisingly, prices are much, much higher on holidays. However, don’t worry if you can’t quite afford it or if you’re not in Paris on those days. There is an Eiffel Tower light show that happens for 5 minutes on every hour, which in itself is a pretty spectacular sight to see!
Vedettes de Paris
In addition to their regular sightseeing, brunch, lunch, and dinner cruises, Vedettes de Paris also offers cruises on special occasions. Keep in mind that seating is very limited and that it is best to make a reservation far in advance to guarantee a table during these popular times!
- New Year – Dinner Cruise and Party: €390.00
- Saint-Valentine – Prestige Dinner: €115.00
- Saint-Valentine – 6pm early bird Service: €90.00
- Valentine – Excellence Dinner: €170.00
- 14th July Dinner Cruise in Paris: €175.00
- Mother’s day lunchtime cruise: €75.00
- Christmas menu – December 25: €90.00
Reviews: Though there aren’t any reviews that specifically describe their experience with Vedettes de Paris on a holiday, most of the reviews in general are very positive. Guests compliment the experience for being very relaxing and enjoyable. Service also seems to get high marks, which really says something as this is a common complaint amongst other companies. TripAdvisor Rating: 4 stars.
Bateaux Parisiens offer a Paris Illuminations Cruise, which is the same as their sightseeing tour listed above — but at night! You will enjoy a 1 hour cruise along the Seine, learning about the various historic landmarks dotting the river bank, all while enjoying the beautiful Paris skyline. In addition to guided commentary, there is also music that is played as your pass by various illuminated bridges.
- Nightly, until 10:30pm (22:30)
- $16 per adult
Bateaux Parisiens are a very popular company company with excellent reviews. Boasting 4 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor, the company offers a peaceful though affordable way to appreciate the City of Lights from the water. Though some found the guided commentary to be lacking, most who opted to take this tour at night seem more than satisfied with the beautiful views and serene atmosphere. Plus, at less €20 per person, it’s hard to complain!
In addition to the several companies leading sightseeing and restaurant cruises on the Seine, there is also a water taxi called Batobus that operates as a hop-on, hop-off transportation service. Batobus is, unsurprisingly, much cheaper than any of the other cruises. However, it is also much more basic and does not feature any guided commentary or the opportunity to buy food/drink. Nevertheless, the incredible views are the same, and, at a fraction of the price, Batobus is a great way to see Paris!
Batobus departs from 9 different stations in the heart of Paris including, the Eiffel Tower, Musée d’Orsay, St-Germain-des-Prés, Notre-Dame, the Louvre, Champs-Élysées and several others. You have the option to either purchase their 1-Day Valid Pass for €17 or a 2-Day Consecutive Pass for €19. Both will allow you to use the Batobus as often as you like from any of the water taxi stations. There is also an annual pass available for €60, though that probably won’t interest most visitors. On the weekends, Batobus runs until 7pm, giving you the opportunity to experience Paris from the water at night time if you’re visiting during the colder season.
- From Monday to Thursday 10am to 5pm / Boats every 40 min
- From Friday to Sunday 10am to 7pm / Boats every 40 min
- 1-Day Valid Pass: €17
- 2-Day Consecutive Pass: €19
- Annual Pass: €60
- More information and to book online.
A majority of reviewers seem to give the Batobus a solid 4 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor for their experience. As a water taxi, it is obviously not going to be a luxurious outing on the water. However, most really praise Batobus for giving guests the chance to enjoy beautiful views of Paris from the water, without having to dole out the cash required to go on a sightseeing or restaurant cruise. Some guests report that the Batobus was late to their particular station. However, delays of these kind are to be expected for such an affordable trip. Several forum posts seem to warn against using Batobs as a substitute for bus and metro transportation, as the latter are more efficient and faster.
Several boat cruises have partnered up with other attractions and tour companies in Paris. By purchasing 2 or more activities as part of a package, you can really cut costs and simplify your travel planning.
Vedettes de Paris (Bus & Boat Tour)
Vedettes de Paris has partnered with Foxity Bus to offer a packaged deal that combines their 1 Hour Sightseeing Cruise alone the Seine with Foxity’s 1 Day Pass City Tour. The latter takes you all around Paris, stopping at 4 different hop-on, hop-off locations along the way. You have the option of traveling with either company at daytime or night, as the ticket for either is good all day. Vedettes de Paris has also partnered with several other attractions such as Disneyland Paris and the Palace of Versailles. However, though Vedettes de Paris sells discounted tickets on their behalf, they do not offer combo package deals with them.
Availability: Both are available for the entire day. Timetable for Foxity bus (departure Eiffel Tower): 11:30am, 12:00pm, 12:30pm, 1:00pm, 1:30pm, 2:00pm, 2:30pm, 3:00pm, 3:30pm, 4:00pm
- Adult : €29
- Children under 12: €10 per paying adult
- Additional children: €29
Rating: Though there aren’t any reviews written specifically about this package deal, Vedettes de Paris generally receives very good reviews for their boat cruises. Foxity Bus is also fairly well rated, with many praising the ease by which their tours allowed guests to see Paris. There are some complaints about buses being delayed. However, this is to be expected in a city with lots of traffic. TripAdvisor Rating: 4 stars.
Paris City Vision – GrayLine (Seine Cruise & Moulin Rouge)
Paris City Vision offers a huge variety of tours around Paris. In addition to their several walking and bus tours, they also lead day and evening cruises on the Seine. If you’re interested in seeing Moulin Rouge, consider purchasing those tickets as part of a package with Paris City Vision’s sightseeing cruise. There are a wide variety of add-ons also available, such as hotel pick-up and dinner at the Eiffel Tower.
Availability: Packages available daily.
- Dinner at the Eiffel Tower, Seine Cruise, Moulin Rouge Show: €255
- Seine Cruise and Moulin Rouge Show: €145
- Dinner Cruise, Moulin Rouge Show, Hotel Pick-up/Drop-off: €280
Rating: Paris City Vision offer a huge range of tours, each of which receives a different ratings from guests. Generally, people seem fairly pleased with their experience, especially their time on the Seine Cruise. Guests should note that tours that conclude with the boat cruise do not bring guests back to the original start location, but rather ends at the dock where the cruise finishes so it is worth figuring out your transportation ahead of time. TripAdvisor Rating: 4 stars.
Blue Fox Travel – Blue Fox Travel is a bike tour company that offers packages that combine a bike tour with a sightseeing cruise.
Gogo Tours Paris – Similarly, Gogo Tours Paris is a Segway tour company that offers packages that combine a Segway tour with a boat cruise.
There are several different tourist passes that include a Seine sightseeing or lunch/dinner cruise as part of their package deal. Tourist passes are a great way to save money on different activities and attractions for first time visitors to the city.
The Paris Pass is one of the most popular tourist passes available in the City of Light. If your aim is to see and do as many things as possible, then the Paris Pass might be your best option. In addition to saving you money, the Paris Pass also promises to save you a lot of time by allowing you to skip the line at many major attractions. Another perk of the Paris Pass is free unlimited travel on the local metro and buses.
Top Attractions Included in the Paris Pass:
- Bateaux Parisiens River Cruise (Normal gate price EUR 14.00)
- Musée du Louvre (Normal gate price EUR 12.00)
- Musee d’Orsay (Normal gate price EUR 11.00)
- Centre Pompidou, National Museum of Modern Art (Normal gate price EUR 14.00)
- Espace Dali (Normal gate price EUR 11.50)
- Big Bus – Hop-on Hop-off bus tour (Normal gate price EUR 30.00)
- Wine Tasting – O Chateau (Normal gate price EUR 30.00)
- 2-Day Passes – 135 € /Adults, 82 € /Teens, 46 €/Children
- 3-Day Passes – 169 €/Adults, 99 €/Teens, 52 €/Children
- 4-Day Passes – 199 €/Adults, 109 €/Teens, 58 €/Children
- 6-Day Passes – 239 €/Adults, 129 €/Teens, 75 €/Children Get 10% off
- More information or to book online.
Reviews of the Paris Pas
Visitors generally seem to find the Paris Pass to be extremely useful and a huge money saver. The ability to skip the line at key attractions such as the Louvre is also hugely beneficial, as guests don’t need to stress about the inevitable crowds. This pass seems especially recommended for first-time visitors who want to take full advantage of everything Paris has to offer. GYG Rating: 4 stars.
Turbo Pass Paris
The Turbo Pass Paris is very similar to the Paris Pass, but is cheaper and features a few less attractions than the latter. This is a great pass to choose if you have already been to Paris and do not want to visit quite as many sites as the first-time visitor. Though some might be disappointed that the Turbo Pass Paris isn’t as extensive as its competitors, their succinct list of attractions will likely make you feel slightly less overwhelmed by all there is to do!
Top Attractions Included in the Turbo Paris Pass:
- Boat cruise on the River Seine: EUR 15
- Louvre: EUR 12
- Palace of Versailles: EUR 18
- Centre Pompidou: EUR 13.50
- Notre-Dame tower and viewing platform: EUR 8.50
- Musée d’Orsay: EUR 9
- Arc de Triomphe viewing platform: EUR 9.50
- Panthéon: EUR 8.50
- Sainte-Chapelle: EUR 8.50
- Musée de l’Armée: EUR 9.50
- 2-Day Passes – $98.22/Adults, $43.59/Teens, $21.75/Children
- 4-Day Passes- $163.77/Adults, $61.07/Teens, $32.67/Children
- 6-Day Passes – $218.39/Adults, $76.36/Teens, $43.59/Children
- More information or to book.
The Turbo Pass Paris is just as highly rated as the Paris Pass, averaging 4 out of 5 stars on Get Your Guide. Most reviewers praise the pass for streamlining their trip to Paris and making the whole experience much more affordable. The staff at Turbo Pass Paris also come highly rated for being very helpful and informative.
The Paris Passlib’ is a 1-day, 2-day, 3-day, and 5-day pass that gives you access to a handful of attractions. Compared to the other Paris tourist passes, this is by far the most affordable, but most limited. However, if you know what you want to see and do, then this could be the pass for you!
Top Attractions Included in the Paris Passlib’:
- 1-hour cruise/boat tour on the Seine with the Bateaux Parisiens
- A 24-hour ticket on the L’Open tour sightseeing buses
- The Paris Visite Travel Card – use either the metro, bus, tram or RER to get around Paris
- The Paris Museum Pass – Access to over 50 popular museums in and around Paris
- Optional 2nd Floor Eiffel Tower Ticket for 15 € extra
- Free Paris Passlib’ Booklet with useful information
- Free Map of the inner city to help you get around
- 1-Day Pass — 40 €/Adults, 35 €/Teens, 26 €/Children
- 2-Day Pass – 109 €/Adults, 65 €/Teens, 35 €/Children
- 3-Day Pass – 129 €/Adults, 70 €/Teens, 39 €/Children
- 5-Day Pass – 155 €/Adults, 90 €/Teens, 47 €/Children
- More information and to book.
The Paris Passlib’ is a much smaller company and so has much fewer reviews, however guests who have used the pass seem very pleased with it. GYG Rating: 4 stars.
Big Bus Tours Packages
If you’re planning on taking a hop-on, hop-off bus tour as well as a boat tour on the Seine, then you should look into purchasing one of Big Bus Tour’s combo packages. There are several options including the choice between a 1 or 2 day tour, and a day or night tour.
- 1-Day Bus Tour and Cruise – 37,80 €/Adults, 19,80 €/Children
- 2-Day Bus Tour and Cruise – 41,40 €/Adults, 19,80 €/Children
- 1-Day Bus Tour, Cruise, and Night Tour – 54 €/Adults, 29,70 €/Children
- 2-Day Bus Tour, Cruise, and Night Tour – 57,60 €/Adults, 29,70 €/Children
- More information and to book.
As one of the most popular bus tour companies in Paris, Big Bus Tours maintains a 3.5 out of 5 stars rating on TripAdvisor. Though not all of their reviews are entirely positive, most people ultimately seem happy with their decision as it allowed them to visit many sites that they might have otherwise missed.
L’Open Tours Packages
L’Open Tour has partnered with Bateaux Mouches to offer a handful of bus and river cruise packages for visitors. This option is very similar in both price and itinerary to Big Bus Tours, which is listed above. Some of the tourist passes also feature the option of a Seine cruise and a hop-on, hop-off bus, but those tend to offer just a 1-day pass rather than the 2-day pass that is included with L’Open Tours. If you don’t want to fill rushed, then this might be the best deal for you!
- 39 € – Adult 1-Day Ticket
- 43 € – Adult 2-Day Ticket
- 20 € – Child 1-Day Ticket
- More information and to book.
With a 3.5 out of 5 stars rating on TripAdvisor, L’Open Tour is very comparable to Big Bus Tours. Some guests write that they were disappointed with the commentary, though all seem quite pleased to have been able to see so many different sites and attractions with a hop-on, hop-off tour.