Boat Trips on the Seine

 Boat Cruise

We had the opportunity to take a boat trip on the Seine, through Bateaux Parisiens, with some friends from Denmark during our stay in Paris.  Their nighttime dinner cruise, although expensive, has in the past been a wonderful way to see the nightlights of Paris, albeit a little touristy.

This time it was not to be.

This past April, the Seine has been running at unusually high levels.  it may still be true.  What that means for boat cruise operators, particularly Bateaux Parisiens, is that they cannot operate their boats when the water level is high, because they do not have the clearance to get under the many bridges in Paris. They did not bother to tell us that when we booked our cruise, so instead of seeing Notre Dame, the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay etc. in all their nighttime glory, the boat headed out of Paris towards Boulogne.  We actually had the opportunity to see where all of the industrial concrete plants and other waterside industrial facilities (the underbelly of Paris) are located.  Hmm.. that isnt exactly what we paid for.  Upon realizing that we were not going to see Paris, the boat supervisor on board said “You weren’t told when you boarded?  There is nothing I can do.  I hope you enjoyed your meal.”

Moral of the story:  Don’t plan a river cruise if the water levels are high in Paris that day, and absolutely verify that you are going to see what you paid good money to see.


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