Bateaux-Mouches sightseeing boat cruises on the River Seine
If you want to experience the city of lights in a completely different way, then why not think about a cruise on the River Seine with the Beateau-Mouches company, that has been running for over sixty years and provides pleasure cruises along with dinner cruises for a more romantic experience.
And the Bateaux Mouches have become synonymous with cruises along the River Seine, even though there are many other companies that now also provide guided tours and dinner cruises, but this company still continues to thrive and enthral all who climb aboard one of their fleet of glass sided boats.
Bateaux-Mouches pleasure cruises
The Pleasure cruise trips are available every day of the year and in low season, which is from October through to March, there are guaranteed sailings at 11am, 2.30pm, 5.30pm and 8.30pm.
However there are often additional departures throughout the day depending upon demand, as a boat will not leave the dock unless it has at least 50 passengers, yet at this stage we would like to also point out that if there are severe or adverse weather conditions, then trips may not be possible.
But because there are actually nine pleasure cruise boats, from April through to September, there are far more cruises that take place and one runs approximately every 20 to 30 minutes from 10.15am through to 11pm at night and each of these trips will take just over an hour to complete.
And on your journey, there are audio guides, which are available in several different languages including French, English, Spanish, German, etc, and these provide commentary on the different monuments and landmarks in Paris that you will get to see, just like Les Invalides, the famous Musee du Louvre Museum and the impressive Notre Dame Cathedral.
Now Paris is known as the city of lights and one of the highlights of taking a trip on the Bateaux-Mouches Pleasure Cruise of an evening is when you get to see the monuments in Paris all lit up, just like the Eiffel Tower and its impressive illuminations. But even during the day, a cruise on the River Seine can be a great experience not to be missed, even for children and the departure point as well as drop off point is by the Pont de l’Alma in the 8th Arrondissement of Paris.
So as of 2013, the cost of a pleasure cruise trip with the Compagnie des Bateaux-Mouches is €12.50 for an adult, €5.50 for children under the age of 12 and children under the age of 4 a free of charge. And the payment must be made as you board, unless you are large group, then you do have to make a reservation in advance.
A lunch cruise on the Bateaux-Mouches
But for something a little more exciting, why not opt for a lunch cruise on one the Bateaux-Mouches boats that are floating restaurants in Paris, and there is even a vegetarian option available as well.
Known as the Douce France, a lunch cruise is a cost of €55 as of 2013, but it is only €29 for children under the age of 12, however, for the pleasure of all passengers on board, smart dress is required. We would also like to point out that these only run at weekends and on the French national holidays and the lunch cruises on the Bateaux-Mouches depart at 1pm and return at 2.45pm.
The menu utilises the freshest ingredients and you have a choice of starter, main course and dessert along with either tea or coffee and a half bottle of wine, and the menu does change according to what produce is available. But to give you some idea, for starters it could be Provencal smoked salmon and shallot scrambled eggs or smoked duck magret salad with cubes of Foie Gras.
Main courses could be delights such as honey and sesame seed pork tenderloin or an old fashioned veal blanquette with pilaf rice followed by a tempting dessert like seasonal cheeses, a chocolate rum baba or pear craquelin.
Dinner Cruises on the Bateaux-Mouches
Dinner cruises on one of the floating restaurants in Paris such as the Jean Bruen or the Jean-Sebastien Mouche boats, which you may have already read about, are a fabulous way of spending an evening with friends or your loved one and there are several different options available.
These particular cruises last for well over two hours and you will get a table by a window on the lower deck, which is either air conditioned or heated depending upon the time of year. But at least this means that you will be able to enjoy your meal in comfort, yet still get to see the fabulous sights such as the Musee d’Orsay Museum or the Conciergerie.
There is also a free car park located on the right bank of the River Seine by the dock that you can utilise while on the cruise, unless of course you go for the ultimate package with a limousine, but we will cover that a bit further on.
The dinner cruises are complemented by musicians playing traditional French and international classics on violins accompanied by a piano, and with all the monuments lit up, everyone in smart or even dinner dress, this is when the magic starts for an evening to remember.
And you can board the Bateaux-Mouches restaurant boat from 7.30pm up until 8.15pm and it departs for the dinner cruise at 8.30pm, returning to the same point at approximately 10.45pm, and these are available by reservation online at their website or via telephone on +33 (0) 1 42 25 96 10.
Now there are actually two main a la carte menus for gourmet French cuisine while dining on these Bateaux-Mouches floating restaurants, which are called the Menu Prestige at a cost of €99 and the Menu Excellence at a cost of €140 as of 2013.
As we mentioned earlier, the menu does change depending upon what produce is available, but we would also like to point out that everything is purchased in limited quantities, so certain dishes may not always be available unless you have pre-ordered a minimum of 72 hours in advance. Also, groups of 15 people are more have a fixed menu that is arranged in advance.
But to give you an idea, both the Prestige and Excellence Menus start with an aperitif and have a cheese course as well as dessert along with tea or coffee, mineral water and 1 bottle of wine to be shared between two people.
On the Prestige Menu it could be starters such as tempura prawn duo and tangy sauce or a slice of smoked salmon with dill and poppy blinis followed by a main course of fillet of roasted guinea fowl, Foie Gras stuffing and seasonal vegetables or a lightly seared sea bream fillet with beurre blanc sauce and pilaf rice.
The Excellence Menu on the Compagnie des Bateaux Mouches could offer you delights such as pan-fired slice of Foie Gras, raosted pears and a licorice sauce or a tender crab cake, dill and red onions followed by John Dory fish fillet with celery cake of pan-seared thick-cut beef with truffled mashed potatoes. And after dessert you also get a cognac to accompany your tea or coffee.
Extra special cruises for that special occasion
Only a stones throw from the famous Avenue des Champs Elysees and with the Eiffel Tower in the Background, the Bateaux-Mouches will welcome you on board for a private event such as a reception, cocktail party etc and you can find out more by telephoning the events team on +33 (0) 11 40 76 99 33.
However, how about combining a shopping trip with a dinner cruise, or perhaps opting for a romantic meal where you can propose to your loved one, well, this company has those options available to you.
Dinner Cruise and VIP Shopping Trip
To start with, you can opt for a Dinner Cruise and VIP Shopping, where you get picked up from your hotel in Paris and taken to La Vallee Village for five hours of shopping, and you are also provided a VIP card that gives you a 10 percent reduction in six different boutiques of your choice.
Then you are taken back to the Bateaux-Mouches floating restaurant for a Menu excellence dinner, and afterwards you are taken back to your hotel. And this ranges in cost from €315 per person as of 2013.
Choose Paris So That She Will Say Yes!
Now we mentioned earlier that there is an ultimate package and this is actually called Choose Paris so that she will say Yes! And with this, you can discover many of the different landmarks in Paris while you declare your love to each other in a very romantic setting.
A chauffeur driven car will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the boat where you will be welcomed on board as privileged guests, by the Captain who will then lead you to the Admiral table. There will be a bouquet of roses along with champagne waiting for you, plus the violins and piano with accompany you throughout this truly romantic cruise.
Of course, you will get to experience the gourmet French cuisine, but you also receive a scroll and two souvenir photographs for an even longer lasting memory of the special occasion, then you are returned to your hotel by chauffeur driven limo after the cruise has finished.
The cost of this is €650 for two people as of 2013, but as you can no doubt appreciate, eservations do have to be made in advance by telephone on+33 (0) 1 42 25 96 10 and these are subject to availability, yet departures are available each evening.
Access to Bateaux-Mouches Cruises on the River Seine
Boarding and disembarking takes place at the Port de la Conference - Pont de l’Alma on the Rive Droite, or right bank of the River Seine in the 8th Arrondissement of Paris close to the Champs Elysees and the Grand Palais.
There is a free car park for those on a dinner cruise, however if you are arriving via the public transport in Paris, then you would need either the Metro stop called Alma-Marceau on line 9, the Franklin D Roosevelt stop line 1 or Champs-Elysees - Clemenceau stop that serves line 1 and 13.
Alternatively, the bus numbers 28, 42, 63, 72, 80, 83, 92 and 93 will provide you access as will the Pont de l’Alma station if you are travelling on the RER and for this you would need line C.