The Best Things to Do on A Seine River Cruise - Travelerette
Travelerette

The Best Things to Do on A Seine River Cruise

In Which I Coin a New Motto

You Must Ride a Boat on the Seine

Riding one of the boats along the Seine is absolutely the most touristic thing you can do in Paris. You still have to do it. I want to make it clear that I in no way think that saying something is touristy is a criticism. As a New Yorker, I can assure you that acting like a tourist in the Big Apple will ensure that you will have a much better time than you would if you acted like a native.

A typical weekend day for me in NYC generally involves faffing about and pretending to clean my apartment and/or get work done, eating “brunch” at Starbucks, walking around Washington Square Park and then going grocery shopping, going to see a movie, and meeting a friend for dinner at a cheap Thai place in my neighborhood. If you want to have an authentic New York experience, feel free to visit the city and follow my itinerary but you’ll have a much better time living like a tourist. In fact, I plan on making Live Like A Tourist my new motto in life.

You Should Get Your Tickets Online

This is almost always a good rule if your attraction sells tickets online. It saves time, and the lines in Paris in the summer are especially hideous. There’s more than one Seine river cruise, but I took one of the Bateaux Vedettes de Pont Neuf. Since it’s the only one I’ve taken, and the young Parisienne who led the tour was adorable, I’m going to go ahead and pretend that I know for sure it’s the best.

It’s one euro more expensive if you buy a ticket for an afternoon or evening cruise, but I think it’s worth it to go later in the day. You’ll want to get more active things done earlier when you have more energy.

The tour was conducted in English and French, so I got to hear everything two times. This pleases me because I can now share with you…

Three Fun Facts I Learned On the Vedette de Pont Neuf

1. Video May Have Killed the Radio Star But Radio Saved the Eiffel Tower
I knew that not all Parisians liked Gustav Eiffel’s staggering feat of engineering when it was built in 1889 for the World’s Fair. What I didn’t know was that the landmark would have been torn down shortly after the Fair, except that Paris needed a building tall enough to function as a radio satellite, and La Tour Eiffel fit the bill the best. Looking at the Tower, it’s not surprising to me that many people thought it was ugly when it was first built. After all, it doesn’t look anything like the other buildings in Paris and it sticks out like a sore thumb in the Parisian skyline. Of course, to the modern eye, it is a wonder. How can anything so heavy look so delicate?
2. Parisians Like Romance


OK, I didn’t need the boat tour to tell me that because I already learned it from Gigi. But this bridge, the Pont des Arts, was the famous Locks of Love bridge where a lot of people, I imagine mostly tourists would go with their amour. They would place a lock on the bridge with their initials carved in to prove their eternal love or something before breaking up dramatically six months later on Facebook. Unfortunately, the locks were hurting the historic bridge, so they were removed this past summer. If you didn’t get to see the celebrated locks yourself, you can always console yourself with this photo. And if you once put a lock on this bridge with your boyfriend, but he later dumped you, I believe you can console yourself with a photo of Ryan Gosling.
3. The Pont Neuf Is An Ironic Name
The Pont Neuf  means The New Bridge in French. This is ironic because it is the oldest bridge in Paris. As you can imagine, the Pont Neuf got that misnomer because it was the newest bridge in Paris when it was built. This is much like the extremely large adult man I once met who was named “Little Sugar” because he was named for his daddy, “Big Sugar”.

You Should Eat Afterwards at La Fourmi Ailee

La Fourmi Ailee
Address: 8 Rue du Fouarre, 75005 Paris, France
Hours: 12 PM-12 AM Every Day

La Fourmi Ailee means The Winged Ant. I personally would not name any place where I am going to serve food after an insect, but perhaps this is one of the many reasons why I am not French. It is a fine choice for dining after a Seine cruise because it is so close by.

La Fourmi Ailee is designed to look like a library, with many bookshelves on the walls. This library-restaurant hybrid thing is definitely my favorite hipster restaurant decor trend. I was seated at a cute little table by myself and ordered a nice glass of Bordeaux. I accompanied this with the dish of the day, which was three big pieces of roast pork served with mashed potatoes and roasted apples. It was all very homey and delicious. I highly recommend going here for dinner. Next time I go, I am going to order a dessert too because their pastries are supposed to be very good.

The only thing that marred the perfection of my dinner was that I was seated next to an older American gentleman who kept making phlegmy noises with his throat. Even worse than that, he was wearing tiny neon green bike shorts. I apologize to the staff of La Fourmi Ailee because this is really beyond the pale, even for a single American man. However, I sincerely doubt he will be eating at this restaurant when you go, so don’t let that stop you.

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Travelerette

Who is the Travelerette? I am a native New Yorker who doesn't know how to drive or ride a bicycle. I speak French very well and Japanese very badly. In five years I have traveled in six continents, 26 countries, and 86 cities. My next travel goal is to visit all 50 states (and DC) in five years.

I am here to provide perfect travel itineraries with 24 hours, 3 fun facts, and 1,000,000 laughs! I hope that I can motivate you to get out there, see the world, learn something, and have a sense of humor about it all.
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4 thoughts on “The Best Things to Do on A Seine River Cruise

  1. Sabine

    Funny about that name of the bridge. While it’s now the oldest. Yes French people love romance and I think a lot of romance happens when in France hahahah 🙂 I love Paris so much, as well for the fashion. Amazing city and great language too!
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