Vedettes de Paris sightseeing tours and cruises on the River Seine
The Vedettes de Paris are one of the companies that operate sightseeing tours in Paris along with different cruises on the River Seine, and catering from everyone on a budget, to those that want a dinner cruise of an evening where the monuments are lit up, this is an ideal way of discovering the City of Lights from a completely different perspective.
About Vedettes de Paris and their Boats
The Vedettes de Paris company was founded back in 1976, and they wanted to start providing a fuller experience to tourists on holiday in Paris, by providing smaller and more intimate boats, yet with a chic design that would contribute to the whole cruise and visitor experience.
So the Vedettes de Paris started off with smaller boats than any of the other companies that provide River Seine sightseeing tours, and even by 1999 when they introduced the two twin boats called the Paris Montmartre and the Paris Montparnasse for sightseeing cruises, they are still on an average half the size of some others from different companies, which at only a capacity of 247 people, makes this a more friendly and relaxed experience.
There are also an additional two boats called the Paris Iena and the Paris Trocadero that have a sleek and modern design, which have been in service since 2007, and also have the same capacity as the two above for sightseeing tours on the River Seine. Yet with state of the art technology, even if you are on the lower deck in the main salon of their boats, you can still enjoy the whole experience of seeing the different monuments, as this is shown on a wide screen TV.
The Paris Etoile is the newest boat in the fleet of the Vedettes de Paris that was delivered in 2010 and combines tradition, yet with modern touches and up to date state of the art technology, which means it can be configured for sightseeing tours on the River Seine or for dinners and even cocktail parties, that is slightly larger than the others, but still provides an intimate experience.
You can now also enjoy a bar onboard all of the boats to enhance your cruise even further, and whether it be a glass of wine, champagne, a cold fizzy drink or squash through to a cup of coffee, the choice is yours.
But if you are feeling peckish, you can also opt for a quick snack such as one of the French delicacies of cuisine line Crepes, or a Croque Monsieur, which is basically a grilled ham and cheese sandwich.
Eating at Vedettes de Paris
As we mentioned above, you can opt for some quick snacks while onboard the Vedettes de Paris on a sightseeing tour on the River Seine, which lasts one hour, however, there is also a takeaway kiosk open all year round.
So, whether it before or after your cruise you can grab a bite to eat like sandwiches, hotdogs, salads and much more including sweets and chocolates that are available within the Vedettes de Paris snack bar, and these can be taken on board, eaten at the quay, or of course taken away and this is called Le Cafe des Vedettes.
Now when it comes to properly dining with the Vedettes de Paris you have the Restaurant Francette that has a unique atmosphere located on the floating dock at the foot of the Eiffel Tower with an entirely glazed space for fabulous views of the Tour Eiffel and the Trocadero with three different styles of experience offered.
From the interior room with a glass roof, this is known as Le Penthouse de Francette, which offers sharing plates during the warmer months and cocottes during the winter. There is also a rooftop next to it for perfect views, then there is another level that has a street food vibe open day and through to the night. Yet the next level is the gourmet French restaurant called Francette with local French cuisine, where you can enjoy a gourmet 3 course meal, not forgetting there is also an oyster bar for something completely different.
The lower level of this floating restaurant now contains a surprising concept of Le Cave de Francette where the many wines and so forth are stored, and below the water line, this is used for private small groups, as it only has a table for up to 10 people, or 10 covers as they call it in a restaurant, and this space has to be booked in advance.
But you also have La Terrasse des Vedettes, also known as Le Cafe des Vedettes, that is located on the quay in front of the boarding deck, and this has also had a makeover to offer local and seasonal snacks along with various hot and cold non-alcoholic and alcohol drinks, which are available all times of day.
Yet there are also specific cruises on the River Seine with the Vedettes de Paris and these vary in cost depending upon what you choose, so you can opt for a full blown Vedettes de Paris dinner cruise, a lunch cruise, a sightseeing tour, and others which we will cover separately on our River Seine Cruises by Vedettes de Paris article.
Visiting Vedettes de Paris River Seine Cruises
If you have your own means of transport then there are carparks nearby, such as one by the Musee Branly, just a few minutes walk from their dock.
However, if you are utilising the public transport system in Paris, then the nearest Metro stations are the Bir-Hakeim stop via metro line 6 or on the opposite side of the River Seine you have the Trocadero stop via lines 6 and 9. Whereas, if you are utilising the RER trains, then you would need the Champ de Mars - Tour Eiffel stop on train line C.
When it comes to Paris buses, the numbers 30, 42, 82 and 86 stop at the Champ de Mars plus the bus numbers 22, 30, 32, 63 and 72 stop at the Trocadero, or alternatively you have the Batobus water bus that has a stop right by the Eiffel Tower. Then the pedestrian access is via the Pont d’Iena bridge on the left bank to get down to the quay, and you will be pleased to know that there is disabled access to this quay if needed, rather than having to negotiate the numerous steps.
As for the location of the Vedettes de Paris, well this is located at the foot of the Eiffel Tower on the left bank in the 7th Arrondissement, and their dock is situated at the Port de Suffren, which is to the left of the Pont d’Iena bridge as you are looking across the River Seine towards the Palais de Chaillot.