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The Can’t Miss Seine Dinner Cruise

Planning a trip to Paris? You know all about the famous landmarks and museums you have to visit, but have you booked a Seine dinner cruise yet?

On our most recent trip to Paris, this was the most difficult choice we had. We knew we wanted to do a Seine cruise, but we could not decide on the type or the company. We finally booked the Paris Dinner Cruise by Bateaux Mouches after doing exhaustive research, and we loved our experience and absolutely recommend you do the same.

Image shows shows a Bateaux Mouches boat on the river Seine in Paris.

Why Choose a Dinner Cruise?

You can book Seine River cruises from multiple companies. Some include meals and some simply go up and down the river for you to see everything along the banks.

One of the great reasons to book a dinner cruise is that this allows you to enjoy a relaxing meal while you see so many of the famous sights from a new vantage point. The cruises are typically timed so that you can see them both in daylight and past sunset with the City of Lights sparkling all around you.

Image shows Eiffel Tower lit up at night from the vantage of the Seine River.

The Bateaux Mouches cruises have been a Paris classic forever, and their dinner cruise offers a unique way to experience Paris. You’ll love the opportunity to combine sightseeing with a delicious meal.

The dinner cruise provides an additional activity to enjoy, and because you have assigned tables, they are often less crowded then the boats that are purely for sightseeing. The tables on this cruise range from tables for two to larger tables for a big group traveling together.

Sightseeing can be tiring. A dinner cruise allows you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenery while being whisked away on a gentle journey down the Seine. It’s a perfect way to unwind after a busy day of exploring the city.

Image shows a Family toasting while at a table on a boat.

And we know you’re going to be exploring. We had such a great time, and we cannot recommend the Louvre guided tour we took or the day at Versailles highly enough.

And if you’re a foodie, don’t forget all the great dining options. Our favorite meals were from a small local pizza place around the corner from our hotel and from the legendary L’Entrecote – that and our food and history tour in Monmartre, another one we suggest you look into!

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What Makes Bateaux Mouches Special?

Bateaux Mouches is a Parisian institution, offering Seine River cruises for over 60 years. Their elegant boats feature spacious windows for optimal sightseeing, ensuring every guest has a front-row seat to the beauty of Paris.

We specifically looked for a cruise where we could ensure a window view as we enjoyed our dinner. Some cruises offer this as an additional cost, but with Bateaux Mouches, all but about 10 tables in the center of the boat have a prime window location.

As seating is assigned when you board, make sure you arrive early, and you’ll have no issues with getting a perfect window seat to ensure you can see everything as you pass.

When you are not enjoying your meal, there is also an upstairs area with benches along the edges for you to get an even better view of the landmarks you pass. We never found it to be crowded and always had access to an easy spot to take the photos we wanted to remember the evening.

One of the more important factors for us was where the boats board. Many we looked at board near the Alexander III Bridge or further along the Seine. The boarding area for the Bateaux Mouches was one of the few we found that is conveniently located near the Eiffel Tower, making it easy to find and close to other popular attractions.

This cruise also includes live music with piano and violin. During the early part of the cruise, we could hear it quietly over the speakers, and I thought it was piped in. After dessert was served and more people were up on the upper deck, we could see and hear the live players, and it was a great addition to the ambiance.

Image shows Piano and violin players on a boat.

Note that there is an early bird dinner cruise at 6pm as well as the standard dinner cruise with two menu options that leaves at 8:30pm. This may be a great option if you have younger kids or have plans for later in the evening as it ends at 7:15pm.

Be sure to check the sunset time, as the early bird dinner cruise is less expensive but also would not have let us see the Eiffel Tower lit up at night, for example. The early bird cruise lasts for 1 hour 15 minutes verus the 2 hours 15 minutes for the later cruises.

How is the Food on the Bateaux Mouches Cruise?

The Bateaux Mouches dinner cruise offers two different menus, the Excellence and the Prestige. When you check in, you receive a color coded menu so that you and the wait staff know exactly what to expect.

The Excellence menu is the more expensive one and lets you choose between a bottle of wine or champagne to accompany your dinner, with one bottle per two people. It also has a slightly higher end menu when you choose your dishes.

The other big benefit is that the Excellence menu has priority for the window seating, so if you are set on the window, you may want to book this option. That said, it truly depends on how many people have booked what option as our sold our cruise still had us seated at the window though we booked the Prestige menu.

The dinner allows you to choose your appetizer, main course, and dessert. The options for both menus include vegetarian and vegan options, which my mom chose and really enjoyed.

On the same note, if you do not drink, you have non-alcoholic beverage options to choose from if you prefer them. My friend and both our kids chose the non-alcoholic aperitif that had a strong anise flavor and reminded me somewhat of absinthe. They were also able to ask for juice or soda, which they enjoyed.

The meal started with a small amuse-bouche that was a delightful surprise. For us, it was a chilled soup and a perfect way to start our evening.

Image shows a Glass filled with a chilled soup on a table.

While the main courses on our cruise received mixed reviews as we felt some of them were slightly overcooked, the appetizers were a delightful start to the evening. We all really enjoyed each of the desserts we chose, and I refused to share my black currant ice cream mousse quenelle.

Image shows a Black currant ice cream with sugar candy atop.

While this wasn’t an overall five star meal, we walked away full and enjoyed much of the food. The remainder of the cruise from the service to the views to the music ensured that we had a fantastic experience and continue to recommend it.

How Much Does a Seine Dinner Cruise Cost?

Depending on the option you choose, the Bateaux Mouches Seine dinner cruise has a variety of price points. The early bird dinner is less expensive than the prime dinner hours, but you miss out on Paris lit up at night.

There is also a discounted price for children between four and 12 years of age. Children under four years of age are free of charge. That said, if you bring kids, make sure you know that they’ll enjoy the experience, especially if you book a later evening.

6pm Early Bird Service

  • Adults cost 90€ each
  • Children 4-12 years old cost 39€ each
  • Children under 4 years are free

Prestige Dinner Menu (8:30pm)

  • Adults cost 120€ each
  • Children 4-12 years old cost 39€ each
  • Children under 4 years are free

Excellence Dinner Menu (8:30pm)

  • Adults cost 165€ each
  • Children 4-12 years old cost 39€ each
  • Children under 4 years are free

Ready to book? I love using Viator, as you can cancel up to 24 hours before your cruise if needed. I would not want to have to cancel, but I appreciate the peace of mind.

Book your trip now here!

Important Things to Know Before Your Seine Dinner Cruise

Just like any new experience, it helps to have some inside tips before you go. There are signs to easily find the Bateaux Mouches boarding area, and recognize that they have multiple boats and cruises going out, so ask to ensure you head to the right area when you arrive.

These cruises do sell out, especially in the high season. The cruise we took had no remaining seats, so make sure that you book as early as you can. The good news is that if you book this Paris dinner cruise through Viator, you can cancel if needed up to 24 hours before your cruise with no cancellation fee.

Look for the distinctive purple flag to find the boarding area. Boarding starts 30 minutes before departure, but cruises depart promptly at the designated time. We arrived earlier to ensure that we found the boarding area and were aboard and seated well before 8pm.

Make sure that you dress appropriately. The Seine dinner cruise requires smart casual clothing, so if you show up with what they call sports wear, flip flops, bermuda shorts, and the like, you will not be able to board and will not receive a refund.

As I mentioned, you have the option for red or white wine – or champagne, depending on which package you purchase – but you also get a bottle of Evian for every two people. You can choose either still or sparkling, and you can also order additional drinks for an added cost.

The Bateaux Mouches experience prioritizes ambiance over narration. While I wished that I had the option to hear about the areas we were passing and their history, I was ok with taking photos and using Google Lens to figure it out.

Image shows the Pont Alexandre III in Paris.

A photographer will capture your table during the cruise, and at the end of the meal, the photographer returns to present you with copies of the photos that you can purchase if you choose. While these photos are a fun souvenir, be prepared for a €15 price tag per print with no discounts for buying multiples.

The cruise lasts exactly the promised time. We returned to the dock at exactly 10:45pm, and exiting the boat was a smooth and easy process. Paris is still alive and filled with people at this hour, and we felt perfectly safe walking back to our hotel after 11pm.

There is also no expectation from the wait staff for a tip. No one hinted at one, nor did the servers hover over the table. Obviously, if you have wonderful service, you are always welcome to leave a gratuity that they will appreciate.

Ready to book your Bateaux Mouches Seine dinner cruise?

Book here for a great price and 24 hour free cancellation!

A Bateaux Mouches dinner cruise offers an unforgettable way to experience the magic of Paris. With delicious food, breathtaking views, and a touch of Parisian flair, it’s the perfect addition to your trip to the City of Lights.

Image shows a Fancy fish dish with text enjoy the best dinner cruise in Paris.

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