Crusing on the Seine
It’s a sunny day, you’ve been walking the streets, you’ve already done two museums, your feet are hurting and the kids are complaining. There’s only one thing to do: Just jump on board of one of the ships cruising on the Seine. It’s an absolute must, breathtaking beautiful and completely relaxing. And even real Parisians don’t hesitate to play the tourist for once.
For one hour you will glide on the water taking in the most important sights of Paris: Louvre, Eiffel tower, Notre-Dame de Paris. They are all there, to be seen from another, quite unusual persepctive. You will pass under quite a few of the 34 bridges of Paris, like for example the Concorde Bridge, built with the stones from the Bastille after the famous prison got demolished by the angry “peuple” during the Revolution.
But this is not the only thing you will learn: You pass in front of the Conciergerie where queen Marie-Antoinette spent two long months before being guillotined in October 1973 on Place de la Concorde. And, of course, you will see the very heart of Paris, the two islands, Ile-de-la-Cité and Ile-Saint-Louis, from another perspective, observing people having picnic on the Seine-banks, sunbathing, reading a book or kissing.
When you pass under Pont-Marie for the first time, you have to do the same, make a wish and kiss the person at you side. So beware who you sit next to.
But don't think you have to go on one of the famous dinner-cruises at night: It’s much more expensive, the food is generally not great and you see much less at night.
The hidden Square du Vert Galant
Several companies offer Seine cruises, but I for my part always go with “Les Vedettes du Pont-Neuf”. Why? Probably because their embarkation is on Square du Vert Galant, one of my favourite squares at the very top of “Ile de la Cité”, named after Henri IV who in spite of his age had quite a lot of mistresses. It’s a lovely place that tourists often miss, even if they cross the Pont Neuf, just because they do not imagine such a thing could be down there.
You do not need to reserve. Boats depart regularly, in summertime, after lunchtime, even every half an hour. (Every 45 minutes until midnight). Price is 12 Euros for adults, 6 for children. But if you reserve on Internet, you can benefit from a discount of a few euros on each ticket. Only disadvantage: You have to know at what exact time you want to go.Les Vedettes du Pont Neuf
1, Place Dauphine
Summertime from 10:30 am to 10:30 pm, winter until 10 pm.
The Pont Neuf, oldest bridge of Paris