Last night was of of the most spectacular river cruises I have experienced in my life – a Seine river cruise in Paris with a three course meal (booked with Viator). In all honesty, I have been struggling to travel for the last 12 months with my severe endometriosis (see my plea to Eurostar to recognise unseen disabilities and my article on travelling with endometriosis). An evening river cruise where we could sit back, relax and take in the sights was the PERFECT way to see the city.
Seine River Cruise Times – When to go
We boarded the boat near Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in Paris (ile de la Cite). We didn’t start boarding until around 8.05pm (we were supposed to set out at 8pm!) but OMG it was worth the wait! 8pm is the best time to go on this cruise – we felt that the 10pm one was too long to wait to eat, and the 6pm one is not as beautiful because the sun has not set and the city lights will not yet be on.
Tip: Arrive 15 mins before departure ready to board.
Book your Seine river cruise with Viator here.
Boarding the Seine River Dinner Cruise with Viator
It was exciting to board and the mini tables were set up (with wine, cutlery and bread) so that you could sit side by side overlooking the banks of the Seine. We were seated and the starter (French pate) arrived even before we set off. The atmosphere was electric with everyone popping their champaign and wine open!
The first part of the cruise goes around Ile de la Cite (The Island in the City) where you can see Notre Dame. The city is stunningly beautful at night with most main buildings lit up.
The Food on the Seine River Dinner Cruise!
Now, I’m usually quite good at Instagramming my food, and this time, I didn’t do so well on that one! Reason being the cruise was so beautiful that I was in a world of my own, and the food so delicious that I wanted to go ahead and eat it straight away!
The main course is a choice between salmon or chicken, served with rice (risotto). I went for the salmon which came in a lovely creamy bechemel sauce. Sadly, there didn’t seem to be any vegetarian options.
The desert (pair of deserts) was a lemon cheesecake and a chocolate posset.
Tip: I highly recommend upgrading to include wine or champagne, I would have been gutted if there was no alcohol on our table, and everyone else was popping open bottles!
Sights of Paris during the Seine River Dinner Cruise
You will pass some of Paris’ main attractions on the cruise, including the Louvre Museum, Musée d’Orsay, Place de la Concorde, Notre Dame Cathedral and the iconic Eiffel Tower. To see the Eiffel Tower all lit up and sparkling is a much better way to see the landmark. This beats queueing up in the cold with hundreds of tourists any day!
The cruise does not offer commentary on the sites, but you are given a handout so that you can identify them. I totally recommend this Seine boat trip – one of my favourite things to do in Paris!