Lunch Cruise on the Seine: Tourists Get to Have all the Fun!


Dinner at Le Dôme, shopping at Galeries Lafayette, riding around the gardens of Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte in a golf cart - sometimes it seems that tourists get to have all of the fun. Fortunately, my father-in-law's visit gave Stephane and me a very good reason to momentarily forget about the long list of things that we still need to do before we travel to the U.K. on Thursday and savor the beauty of Paris.













If you haven't already done a Bateaux Parisian lunch or dinner cruise on the Seine, I hope that this photo report will give you a good idea of what to expect: panoramic views of many of the most important monuments, live musical entertainment and a better-than-expected meal. The black line on the above map indicates the route that we traveled during the two hour "Paris Irrésistible" cruise. 

My four-course lunch included Nicoise salad Paris fashion, lamb stew made with shoulder of French lamb, a selection of cheeses, strawberries in red fruit juice, rhubarb compote and almond slice, a glass of champagne, white wine, red wine and mineral water. If you're extremely observant, you'll notice that I forgot to take a photo of the cheese course and that someone already took a couple of bites of the almond slice. Lack of restraint is one of the many reasons that I'm not a food blogger!



To keep distracting public announcements to a minimum, all of the guests are given maps with brief descriptions of the monuments. Thanks to my father-in-law's impressive knowledge of the city, we didn't even need the bilingual instructions to look starboard to see la Conciergerie or port to see Notre Dame because he could easily identify the buildings lining the river. Not only has Werner been making regular trips to Paris since 1948, but he also knows about the latest exhibitions, trendy restaurants and current events. This always comes as a surprise until I remember that France is one of the major sources of news and entertainment for the French speaking part of Switzerland.

A sentimental man, Werner became nostalgic while listening to the live performance  of La Vie en Rose. With a far away look in his eyes, he told Stephane and me that we should make the most of our time together. Cruising along the river, that's exactly what we were doing!


Cheers! While admiring the cityscape, we appreciated the friendly gestures of the people relaxing on the banks of the Seine.


Bateaux Parisians two-hour lunch cruises start at €55. We decided to go with the €80 premier option so that we would have a prime position in the bow of the boat. While a lunch cruise is the perfect way for someone with limited mobility to enjoy the sights of the city, I would not recommend it for a serious photographer who wants to take pictures of the monuments because there is a lot of glare from the panoramic windows during the day. In any case, it's better to relax, appreciate your meal and watch the sights of the city unfold in front of you.  

When the entertainer started singing "New York, New York" rather than songs about Paris, I was momentarily confused until the boat turned around and revealed Lady Liberty in all of her glory.


Comments

  1. Nicoise salade and lamb stew? So much food.

    I've done a boat cruise but not a lunch or dinner one. It's also a great way to see the city while it rains, a light drizzle I'd say.

    And good for your father-in-law being so prepared--that's always a bonus in a guest.

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    1. Thanks to the cruise, I went from being Malaysian to Egyptian on the Global Fat Scale in a couple of hours! ;) Or, perhaps it wasn't only the cruise. There were also the dinners on Friday and Saturday nights. Paris is hard on the waistline!

      It not so much that my f-i-l was prepared, it's just that he knows a lot more about Paris and the French than I do. I really shouldn't be surprised because the Swiss French look towards France for much of their news an entertainment.

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  2. Ah thank you for reminding me of a very special time...I did the Bateaux Mouches dinner cruise last year and it is one of my fondest memories. A lovely French couple, celebrating the wife's birthday, decided they had to show me "their Paris" after the cruise and wisked me away to Sacre Coeur...what an unexpected, special Saturday it was.

    So, off to London are you? What Olympic events will you see?
    dekage

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    1. What a wonderful memory of Paris! I've often thought that it's not so much the things that we see but rather the people that we meet along the way that makes us remember a place.

      We're going to Buxton and the Peak District, although London is proving to be a strong temptation.

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  3. I swore off boat trips after a particularly dire one in Prague some years ago with my sister. Your one looked nice though! Not announcing all the landmarks on the loudspeaker is a good call, the Prague trip had all the monuments in 5 or so languages, often lasting long after you'd cruised past whatever it was!

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    1. The announcements in 5 languages gets to be a bit tiresome, doesn't it? I was really pleased with how it was handled on the lunch cruise. Plus, we got to keep the map with the photos and descriptions of the monuments as a handy souvenir.

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  4. Wise words from Werner Mary Kay, and your posts do indicate that you are making the most and best of "the now"!

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    1. I'm trying - although I wish that I coud savor each moment a bit longer. Remember how long the days felt when you were young? Why does time seem to speed up as we age? I'm sure that Werner feels it even more profoundly than me.

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  5. Sounds like it was brilliant, Mary. That's a great photo of the Eiffel Tower and the imitation Statue of Liberty. I hope to go to Paris again sometime to do more sightseeing, but for the next few years at least I'll be heading south rather than north to visit our Caiti in Bordeaux, and to drop food and clean socks in for Benj in Limoges!

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    1. Sorry to hear that you won't be traveling to Paris in the future but I'm really pleased for Caiti. Bordeaux seems as if it's the perfect place for her, plus it's a great region of France for you to explore when you visit on the weekend.

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  6. My favourite is Le Caliphe. It's only a small boat so it much more intimate. We went at night and saw the Eiffel Tower lit up. Friends tried it recently and enjoyed it too. I'd been on a bigger boat quite a few years ago (but took the standard fare which was obviously a mistake) and didn't enjoy it very much. I was squashed in next to other people and the food wasn't very good. You experience is much more positive!

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    1. Le Caliphe looks lovely! Thanks for telling me about it because I wasn't familiar with it. The price of their dinner cruise is considerably less that of Bateaux Parisians so it's a really good alternative to know about.

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  7. I laughed when I saw the almond slice... A Parisian mouse, peut-etre?

    You were certainly fortunate in receiving "friendly gestures" from the people relaxing along the Seine.

    In my experience on evening trips, the "gestures" are likely to be of the lewd variety, and delivered, very explicitly, by the locals for the "benefit" of the tourists!

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    1. Although I didn't check its passport, I'm fairly sure that la petite souris was Parisian, definitely not American. How did you know? ;)

      Lewd gestures? Perhaps it's better to go on a cruise in July or August when most of the Parisians have left the city!

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  8. I took one of these boats rides when I first got to town and I have to say, it was such a lovely experience! I ate well and got a great education on all of the city's bridges. Perfect for an newcomer to Par-ee!

    Your photos are inspiring me to take another one of these when I get back. They're also making me hungry. It's lunch in America.

    Have fun in the UK!

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    1. Bon Appétit, Mlle Ella. I hope that you had a good lunch!

      You're going to have a lot to do when you get back to Paris, including getting everything ready for "le PACS". Maybe Seb and you can go on a romantic dinner cruise for your one year anniversary. :)

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  9. What a lovely cruise. I took a cruise with Vedettes Pont Neuf and it was one of the highlights of my trip. It didn't go as far as the Statue of Liberty, though. I would have liked to have seen that. Anyway, nice to see NY got a shout-out on the cruise!

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    1. Even though it was completely unexpected by me, the NYC shout-out added a lot to the cruise. I was happy that they stopped the boat and turned around so that we could take photos of the Statue of Liberty. None of the regular cruises go that far down the Seine, only some of the lunch and dinner cruises.

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