High Season (April - September)
Departures approximately every 30 mins between 10am and 10.30pm.
Low season (October to March)
Departures approximately every 40 mins between 11am and 9.20pm. Additional departure at 10.15am on weekends.
It's hard to imagine visiting Paris without going to the top of the Eiffel Tower, climbing the steps at Montmartre to the magnificence of the Sacré-Coeur, taking a sunny stroll up the Champs-Elysées for a photograph under the Arc de Triomphe or admiring the Pyramid at the Louvre. Equally, you shouldn't leave Paris without stepping aboard one of the city's renowned river boats - known as Bateaux-Mouches - just before dusk, or just after dark, to see the City of Light at its finest. These river boats are highly rated by visitors, often as their favourite Paris attraction.
The company that runs the Seine cruises, the long-established Compagnie des Bateaux-Mouches, has a fleet of large, comfortable and modern river boats and offers both classic cruises and dinner cruises, both available by night. For a birthday, honeymoon, wedding or any other celebration, your night cruise will be an ideal and highly original choice. There are two options:
1) Decide on a classic night cruise and the relaxing Seine will be your companion for over an hour. All your senses will be gently awakened as you experience Paris in an entirely new way: from the river wearing all her jewel-like illuminations. There's the delight of the Eiffel Tower all lit up, the beauty of Notre-Dame, the forbidding sight of the majestic Conciergerie and many other essential Paris sights to enjoy as you cruise by.
2) Choosing a dinner cruise is the perfect way to combine your enjoyment of the nighttime lights with delight for your palate. The comfort and stability of your river boat is the perfect setting to enjoy a meal prepared aboard, using fresh ingredients which are sourced locally every day. Your table will be perfectly situated to offer a panoramic view of nighttime Paris's most famous monuments and attractions, lit up for you. Just choose your menu from those offered, sit back and enjoy.
For your convenience there are two river boat departures each evening, the first at 6pm and the second at 8pm. Whether you select dinner or not, we guarantee that your nighttime journey on the Seine will be a romantic and unforgettable experience.
What's the best time to watch the sunset on the Seine? You might also ask: what's the best time to see the sun set in Paris on a nighttime river excursion, to enjoy the City of Light at its best? Here's a list of approximate sunset times in Paris, so that you can choose your ideal night cruise on the Seine.*
January 5:00 pm - 5:45 pm
February 5:45 pm - 6:30 pm
March 6:30 pm - 8:20 pm
April 8:20 pm - 9:00 pm
May 9:00 pm - 9:45 pm
June 9:45 pm - 10:00 pm
July 10:00 pm - 9:30 pm
August 9:30 pm - 8:30 pm
September 8:30 pm - 7:30 pm
October 7:30 pm - 5:30 pm
November 5:30 pm - 4:50 pm
December 4:50 pm - 5:00 pm
*The first list gives the sunset times for the first day of the month, while the second lists sunsets on the last day of the month. Note that these times are indicative only and may vary slightly, particularly on leap years.
Many people confuse the Eiffel Tower's illuminations and its hourly sparkle. Every night at dusk the Eiffel Tower lights up automatically, switched on by its sensors. But the real drama after dark is for five minutes each hour, on the hour, until 1am. Then you'll see the entire tower sparkle from top to bottom in an enchanting light show. In winter this means, in effect, that there's a light show from about 8pm, while in summer, we'd advise waiting until 9pm or even 10pm to enjoy this unique sight to the full.
Our top tip: if, by any chance, you miss the Eiffel Tower's hourly light performance during your cruise, don't worry! The Pont d'Alma bridge where you disembark is the perfect place to enjoy the spectacle. While you wait, why not enjoy a summer aperitif or a winter hot drink - and we heartily recommend the terrace of the Brasserie Chez Francis on the Place de l'Alma which has a perfect view of the Eiffel Tower.