Friday, November 9, 2012

Seine River Boat Tour | Paris Travel

Boat tour on the Seine, from les vedettes du Pont Neuf, approaching pont Royal.

Our Silver Paris

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where I share our experiences of our special journey to Paris.
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After our late (very late!) morning jaunt to the promenade Plantée and canal St. Martin and its gardens, we were ready to sit.  But who wants to sit in an appartement, no matter how beautiful, for an afternoon?  Paris afforded a solution, however, and we jumped on it.

We chose one of the boat tour companies, Vedettes du Pont Neuf, which moors its boats at--you guessed it--pont Neuf.  :)

View of the Seine River, from pont NeufPont des Arts is the prominent bridge.

In the above image, you can see the boat moored--look way on the left, just above my watermark.  That's the boat we rode on.  We purchased tickets and boarded, and I took a picture of pont Neuf for reference.  Plus, it's a beautiful bridge.  :)

Pont Neuf.

After a short wait (tours start every half-hour most days), we were off.  The vedette turned around and headed west, down the Seine (it flows west through Paris and eventually empties into the English Channel) toward the Eiffel Tower.  Here are some scenes from our vedette.

About to cross under pont des Arts, a pedestrian-only bridge.

Sunny day along the Seine River, featuring musée d'Orsay in shadow.

Musée de la Découverte.

Silhouette of the Eiffel Tower.

The steeple from the American Church in Paris rises above the trees of the city.

Beyond the steeple above, we rounded the curve, and voilà--la tour Eiffel!  Here is a picture I took as we passed by:

Besides our first visit to la tour Eiffel, I promise I'll have another Eiffel Tower post with even more images.  For now, that's it.  Sorry.  :)

Just past la tour Eiffel, we turned around again and headed east, upriver back toward the two islands.

Below, we passed by pont Alexandre III and its gold-topped columns.  (Follow it left a hundred yards or so and you'll be standing between le Grand Palais and le Petit Palais.)

Columns at pont Alexandre III.

Below, we passed by the Louvre on the Rive Droite (Right Bank).

Part of le musée du Louvre.

Then, we passed by le musée d'Orsay on the Rive Gauche (Left Bank).

More sights along the Seine River...

The dome of l'Institut de France.

Our vedette passed between Ile de la Cité and the Rive Gauche, and soon Notre Dame came into view.

Detail of pont au Double, now a cast-iron bridge.

Beautiful greenery along the banks of the Seine on Ile de la Cité.

Then, we passed alongside Notre Dame.  It really is a massive structure!

Side view of Notre Dame.

Arches of pont Archèveché; its railings are decorated with lovers' locks.

Underneath pont de Sully.

Our vedette made one last turn to head back west around Ile St. Louis toward pont Neuf to moor.  When it turned, we got a beautiful view of Notre Dame.

Beautiful buildings on Ile St. Louis.

At this, the very end of our boat tour, I experimented with sunstars.  For you with DSLRs, simply adjust the f-stop to the highest number possible (closing down the aperture as far as it will go), and position the sun so it's partially obstructed (by a building, a tree, etc.).

Sunstar on the Seine, approaching pont Louis Philippe.

These are not ordinary sunstars, mind you.  They are French sunstars.  :)

To help you plan your Seine River boat tour, here are some websites that were helpful to us.

Also to help you plan this outing:

  • Nearest Métro station:  Pont Neuf (line 7)
  • Cost:  A one-hour cruise from vedettes du Pont Neuf is 13 € for adults, or 8 € if you purchase a ticket via the Internet (oh, for a printer in our appartement!)
  • What to look for:  A relaxing one- to one-and-a-half-hour boat ride.  Lots of picture-taking opportunities, especially of the Eiffel Tower!  The bridges are rich in history, so if you're into that (and even if you're not!), pay attention to the tour guide--ours gave each segment in French first (fun to try to interpret), then in English.  This was a great way to see the sights of the city from a different perspective--and a great way to sit and relax for a couple of hours!
  • Combine with:  Book-browsing along the Seine, window shopping along one of the nearby streets, or a visit to Notre Dame and/or Sainte Chappelle.

Treasuring life's moments,

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1 comment:

  1. Looks like a beautiful boat ride. Love the sunspots, I'll have to try that sometime. :)