Recently, on my 7 -day trip to Paris, France, I had the opportunity to take a dinner cruise along the Seine. This unique experience is one of the best ways to see some of the city’s exciting attractions. Paris at night is especially romantic as the lights of the city shine above you. From the comfort of the barge you can view many of Paris’s highlights, including the famous Eiffel Tower lights, which happen every hour.
Bateaux Mouches River Cruise
The company we went with is called Bateaux Mouches. They offer river cruises along the Seine multiple times each day, for both lunch and dinner cruises. We opted for the Excellence Dinner cruise, which departs every evening at 8:30pm and returns to the pier at 10:45pm.
Don’t forget to check this itinerary if you are staying in Paris for 3 days?
Cruising along the Seine
La Compagnie des Bateaux Mouches is located near the Pont de l’Alma, on the Right Bank, at the Pont de la Conference. It is in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. The cruise begins along the Right Bank, heading east toward the Ile de la Cite and the Notre Dame cathedral. Other attractions you will pass include the Louvre and the Town Hall.
The cruise turns around just past the Ile de la Cite near the Arab World Institute, or the Institut du Monde Arabe. This turn around affords all guests onboard a much closer view at the famous cathedral. The captain will then take the boat between the Ile and the Left Bank, and then cruise close to the Left Bank. Attractions on the Left Bank include the Musee d’Orsay, the Palais de Justice, the Palais Bourbon, the Invalides, and the Eiffel Tower.
At the Eiffel Tower, the captain will turn once more and begin the cruise back to the pier.
Dining aboard the Bateaux Mouches boats
Dinner onboard the Bateaux Mouches boats is a four course affair, not including the aperitifs! The chefs select only the finest foods to prepare onboard, and much of it is locally sourced from sustainable sources every morning before the cruises. Everything is cooked to order, as well. It is all French cuisine, with a slight modern twist at times. The wines are selected to match perfectly. Each course has five or six options to choose from, including a fish option and a vegetarian option. If you or someone else in your party has a food allergy, it’s best to let them know in advance. There is a children’s menu as well, which can be found on their website.
Our river cruise along the Seine
When we first arrived at the pier to embark the boat, we were greeted by staff with flutes of champagne. Musicians played lively tunes in the background as we were escorted to our tables. They also had a selection of appetisers for us to nibble on as the rest of the guests arrived. As we slipped away from the pier, snow began to fall. We were enclosed in the boat, but could see everything from the table.
We began with a starter course. Mine was the pumpkin cream soup, with chestnut shavings and croutons. It was delicious, and perfect for the chilly evening. For the main course, I selected the Filet of Beef, served with sweet potato royale and a pepper sauce. Our meal was paired with a bottle of French red wine. The third course was a cheese course, for which the chefs select a trio of seasonal cheeses. For this reason, they can vary depending on when you cruise.
After the cheese course, we had dessert. I chose the Black Forest cake, which was perfectly moist and chocolatey. Tea, coffee, and cognac followed. I enjoyed both a coffee and a cognac, a delicious VSOP Andre Petit.
Everything onboard was prepared to perfection, and I savoured every bite. The staff onboard was incredibly attentive to every need.
Bateaux Mouches cruises
Bateaux Mouches offers a variety of cruises, from brunch and lunch offerings to sole river cruises, dinner outings, and champagne cruises. You can combine the cruise with a bus tour or a show at the Crazy Horse as well, if you like. They also offer special events, like a New Years cruise and party which lasts until 2am, a Valentine’s Day romance cruise, a Bastille Day cruise, and a Mother’s Day luncheon.
If you plan to propose in Paris, they can arrange a private dinner on the bow during one of the dinner cruises. This option includes a limousine transfer to and from your hotel and champagne.
Our evening aboard the Bateaux Mouches was wonderful, and I highly recommend them as a unique and special way to see Paris.
For more information: http://www.bateaux-mouches.fr/