Is A Seine River Cruise the Best Way to See, And Experience, Paris?

Is A Seine River Cruise the Best Way to See, And Experience, Paris?

I worked in Paris, the City of Lights and Love, for four and a half years. During that time, a constant stream of friends, family and work colleagues came to visit the city. They would, of course, turn to me for advice on how to appreciate, explore and enjoy this gorgeous and busy metropolis. During my time there, I came to increasingly appreciate the powerful allure that Paris casts across the world. It is an irresistible and essential magnet for travellers wanting to see the best and most precious jewels that Europe has to offer.

At first, I found it stressful, as I was expected to provide insightful and memorable tips for visitors. Something they would see as deserving of a remarkable city. My problem was solved after I discovered a sightseeing experience that did this city justice. It is one that I still suggest, and even indulge in myself when returning to Paris. It is Marina de Paris’ Seine river cruise .

The Seine

The Seine River is a vast 777-kilomtere waterway that originates near to Dijon in North Eastern France. It flows through Paris on its way to the English Channel, where it enters at the cruise and freight port city of Le Havre. Paris emerged and developed along the banks of the Seine, spreading deeper inland. As its importance and history evolved, magnificent and significant buildings were constructed along or close to the banks. This is what makes a river cruise the most glorious way to see and appreciate the grandeur and glory of Paris.

Cruising along the Seine transports you effortlessly through the beauty of Paris. The hustle and noise of the city evaporates as you glide peacefully along the flowing waters of the Seine. Drifting along you sail past some of the key treasures of Paris like Notre Dame Cathedral, the Musée d’Orsay and the Eiffel Tower. Your cruise offers glimpses of many important buildings and places including The National Assembly, Institut de France, Cité de la Mode, City Hall, the Louvre, Place de la Concorde and its obelisk, the Grand Palais and Trocadéro.


The company offers a wide range of options that should suit any traveller’s time and interests. These range from one-hour river sightseeing cruises with multi-lingual audio guide commentary to packages combining a river cruise with land-based sightseeing, such as going up the Eiffel Tower or visiting the Louvre, or entry into iconic shows like the Moulin Rouge.

By night or day

My favourite way, and time of day, to do one of these Seine river cruises is at night. The City of Light emerges as dark falls. Paris by night is magical. The grand buildings along the banks are dramatically lit, accentuating and highlighting features and intricate details. The Eiffel Tower becomes a dancing light show. Lights sparkle and glimmer across its entire length, transforming the familiar structure into a dazzling enormous spectacle. Seeing it from the river is, in my view, the best way to see this nightly event.

If you are travelling with someone special, you can combine evening sightseeing with a multi-course gourmet meal on their “Romantic Seine River Dinner Cruise”. It departs from close to the Musée d’Orsay at 6pm or 9pm. You can sit by one of the windows and enjoy high quality French cuisine, French wines and enjoy the sights.

If you prefer to cruise during the day with a meal, they do offer a Lunch Cruise. This has a choice of a menu with or without drinks. It is ideal for families as they offer a children’s menu on these.

Final thought….

Cruising on the Seine is, in my view, something every visitor to Paris should do. Even if on a repeat visit. Make a plan to do it before you explore the city. It will reveal the grandeur of the city, give you a magnificent introduction and overview. It will also help you to get a sense of the layout of the city. And if you want it to be even more special, do try an evening dinner cruise. You will thank me for that suggestion afterwards. I promise!

Gary Bembridge

I grew up in Zimbabwe, but I have been based in London since 1987. My travel life spans more than three decades and that includes more than 95 cruises. In 2005, I launched Tips for Travellers to make it easy and fun for people to discover, plan and enjoy incredible cruise vacations. And the rest, as they say, is history. I have the largest cruise vlogger channel currently on YouTube, with more than 3 million video views per month.

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