Why We Loved Seeing Paris By Boat On A Seine Private Sunset River Cruise

This post may contain affiliate links and we may earn compensation when you click on the links at no additional cost to you.

After our Danube River Cruise vacation a couple of summers ago, we realized how much we loved cruising down the rivers in Europe.

We saw a completely different side of the areas we were visiting because the view from a boat gives such a unique vantage point. 

The most common ways to cruise the Seine in Paris is on large ships that take hundreds of guests at a time for either a sightseeing ride, as transportation between places or during a dinner cruise.

Or, you can do what we did and book a  smaller pontoon boat with a private captain.

I am so happy that we opted as usual for a more intimate, private experience. I'm especially grateful after seeing people lining up way before their departures for these large cruises while we were able to walk right onto our river cruise experience.

I knew right then and there that we made the right choice.

There are daytime and sunset cruises available.

We chose an evening sunset cruise so that we could see the city during the daylight time and also once it was dark and all lit up! We were looking forward to sailing by many tourist hot spots too! Since the boat could fit more than the five of us on board, there was room to stretch out and we had clear views from every which way. We could have even arranged for drinks and snacks, but since our cruise was only about an hour-long right after dinner, we skipped those formalities.

We cruised past Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral and under bridges. We just sat back, enjoyed some music and took in all the sights like kids in a candy shop!

This was Emmy's favorite moment… seeing Le Tour Eiffel!

She had waited patiently since we arrived to see it in all of its glory! As we were sailing back we could see it start to sparkle once the lights were lit! It was spectacular!

After the sunset, the riverbank came to life with dancing, families strolling and everyone having a great time!


Some tips when booking your own private Seine river cruise. 

  • There were multiple companies offering this. We went with the one that boarded the closest to where we were staying. They all seemed to have good reviews, so that was the deciding factor.
  • We didn't need champagne and we don't eat caviar, so that also helped narrow down the options as some only had packages that included this.
  • Our captain was pleasant enough, but she wasn't really invested in us having a really exceptional experience. We had a good time, but we did the same type of experience in Budapest on the Danube and it was more in line with a luxury experience and that company went all out. I think like many things in Paris, they are a bit spoiled with the number of visitors and do just the minimum because they know that there is normally a steady flow of customers. We would for sure book this again, but we would temper our expectations.

This is something that you for sure should do with your family when you are in Paris. The other option is a larger boat experience, but you will end up wasting precious time so a private Seine boat ride in Paris is the way to go!

Also, be sure to watch part 2 of our video above!

the authorHeather
Heather Delaney Reese is a Lifestyle and Family Travel Writer currently on the road with her family 150 days a year, sharing exceptional family memory making moments and life's everyday fun times. She is a big proponent of encouraging others to join her journey and become a professional blogger so that they too can make money at home and spend more time with their families.