History of the Bateaux-Mouches and about their boats
The Bateaux Mouches have become synonymous with sightseeing cruises along the River Seine, and although there are many tourist boats now operating, the ultimate for a dinner cruise has got to be the Bateaux-Mouches company that has been running for over 60 years, still providing the same excellent service.
The River Seine before pleasure cruises
Many of you will know that the River Seine has always been at the heart of Paris, as a hub for transporting goods and was utilised by the first Parisian fishing tribes, and then in the Roman empire it became a major trading route, as it linked with the River Loire, the River Rhine and the River Rhone through canals.
And it was through the commercial vehicles that regularly travelled up and down the River Seine that Paris flourished and continued to expand over years, which also meant that it was a strategic place for invasion.
But this is one of the reasons why there are so many fabulous monuments in Paris that you can see from the banks of the river, and even through World War II the River Seine was still being used to transport goods and people to different parts of the city, the Ile de France region and further into France.
Start of the Bateaux-Mouches
It was at the end of World War II that a gentleman by the name of Jean Bruel wanted to let people enjoy themselves again, and with his love of Paris, he knew that the River Seine provided a fabulous viewpoint of many monuments and landmarks that portray the history of Paris.
And so, he decided to look at creating leisure cruises along the river and first of all purchased one of the last steam boats that was a relic from the 1900 Universal Exhibition in Paris.
Jean Bruel had made up a fictional name of Jean-Sebastien Mouche for launching a communications operation and this was meant to be the founder of the Bateaux-Mouches, however, it was actually Jean Bruel who launched the Compagnie des Bateaux-Mouches in 1949.
He then designed and had built some really modern avant-garde boats with the aim of letting people enjoy the city of lights in different ways, from a standard cruise through to having dedicated boats with restaurants on board for the ultimate romantic experience.
Over the years, the Bateaux-Mouches became synonymous with River Seine cruises and the name was trade marked, even though there are many other cruise companies in operation on the river that are generally known by the same name, Jean Bruel continued this success story right through to 2003, when eventually his daughter, Charlotte Bruel Matovic took over the helm.
About the Bateaux-Mouches cruise boats
At present there are a total of fifteen boats in the fleet and all of the boats have been fitted out with the latest equipment such as GPS and multi-directional propulsion systems, and there are in fact nine please cruise boats and six restaurant boats.
Now as we mentioned above, the boats were all designed by Jean Bruel himself in such a way as to provide the client with the very best possible views of the monuments and famous landmarks in Paris both on the Right Bank or Rive Droite, and the Left Bank or Rive Gauche.
So with this in mind, they are constructed with two decks and one is enclosed with glass sides that has heating and air conditioning for added comfort, whereas the upper deck is open for 360 degree views to places such as the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral to name a couple of the landmarks you will witness.
Also, the restaurant boats all have their own kitchen and each meal is prepared and cooked to order with the fresh ingredients obtained that day by the very capable team. Yet four of these floating restaurants in Paris are also able to accommodate private events such as cocktail parties and buffet suppers that combine a cruise, entertainment and virtually anything you desire for your reception.
There is also commentary available in several languages for the pleasure cruises and also a route plan in no less than 25 different languages and the approximate duration of a pleasure cruise is just over an hour, however, opting for a dinner cruise is well over two hours.
And the actual flagship of the Beateaux-Mouches is called the Jean-Sebastien Mouche, which was originally built at Le Havre in 1955, then renovated in 1978 and completely refitted in 2004. Providing an exceptional location for a romantic dinner or prestigious dinner cruise while you admire the sites and listen to music from the piano and violins, every table overlooks the banks of the River Seine, so you will not miss a thing. The décor is with red and gold, romantic candelabras and Baroque artwork, plus there are some semi-private areas to the rear of the boat able to accommodate groups of between 12 and 50 people dining.
But, as recently as the November of 2010, a new boat named the Jean Bruel was launched in memory of the founder of the Compagnie des Bateaux-Mouches, and this state of the art addition is 60 metres long, has around 400 tonnes of glass and wood and can accommodate up to 400 people for dinners. In addition to this, the Jean Bruel boat carries the green label, which is a certification provided by the Veritas office and is the first ever boat on the River Seine to obtain this.