Seine River Cruise

Climbing aboard the Vedettes du Pont Neuf cruise ship, Justin and I worried about our once-again tardiness and how that would affect our view. We had actually begun walking to our cruise ship on time, if not early, but as usually happens to me, I got side-tracked. 

"Look! The Eiffel Tower! At sunset!" *squee* 

Click, click, click went the camera as Justin taped his feet against the pavement impatiently. "We've got to go," he exclaimed trying his best to be patient with me.

"But… sunset…" is all I could manage, pointing in desperation at the gorgeous clouds hanging low over the horizon.

The truth be told, how often do you get beautiful cloud-covered sunsets in Paris overlooking the Eiffel Tower?

Or maybe the better question is: how often are you in Paris to experience these types of sunsets?

For me, the answer is: not frequently enough. ;) I was trying to take full advantage of the moment forgetting that I had paid for yet another moment I also should be taking full advantage of. :)

So, we found our Pont Neuf cruise ship just in the nick of time! We shuffled our way to the back of the boat, angrily wondering how I could have gotten so sidetracked that our seating could be so bad. Luckily, as it turns out, backside boat seating ended up working out perfectly since I was able to shoot both sides of the river including the horizon and full sunset. It really could not have worked out better.

A few tips for taking the Pont Neuf cruise ship:

1. Get there early.

They already expect you to arrive 30 minutes before the boat leaves, but consider getting to the boat even earlier than that. Justin and I had a hard time finding the boat which made us even later.

2. And so you don't have a problem finding the boat: remember that it is the Pont Neuf cruise ship, which means the ship is located near the Pont Neuf bridge. Easy enough, right?

Think: Sainte-Chapelle and the Louvre.

3. BUT, if you do miss your boat, tickets for the Pont Neuf cruise ship can be used for later-running boats. So, when you buy tickets, you are buying tickets that can be used on any of the tours. (Just not the champagne tours, dinner tours, etc… any kind of speciality tours.)

4. If you have weather concerns, book your tour the day of.

Yes, there is a possibility that you won't be able to due to crowds, BUT Justin and I booked our tour on July 13th, the day before Bastille Day, and we didn't have a problem. We got our ticket through our hotel concierge at the Hyatt Hotel du Louvre (another amazing hotel in France!). And while the weather did look a bit overcast when we booked our ticket, you can see how it actually turned out…

Other things to consider:

* Have a nice dinner beforehand. 

It will take a decently cheap night (10€/person) and make it feel classy. :) (Of course, my opinion is that eating dinner beforehand anywhere in Paris feels classy. You are IN Paris!) Unless you book a dinner cruise, there is no food or drink available for purchase during your 1.5-hour tour.

* OR, another option is to bring your own food, a picnic of sorts.

We saw another family munching on a baguette and eating cheese as we rode down the Seine. It seemed like a pretty good idea to us. ;)

* Bring a telephoto lens. 

I do love the images shot with my wide-angle lens, but I think I love the images shot with my telephoto lens even more! Who doesn't want close up shots of clocks, flags, and statues?

* Sit near the back of the ship, up top in the "open air" section.

You don't want to be shooting out windows … and … you do want to be able to see. Sitting in either the front or the back of the ship will give you the most vantage points. Since the front of the ship is likely to be crowded unless you arrive and are in line super early, head for the back. You won't be disappointed.

* Research sunset before deciding which boat tour to take.

As soon as the sun sets, you aren't likely to get good photos. You'll notice the further down this blog post you get, the more images are dark/grainy/blurry as I raised my ISO to try and counteract how dark it was getting. If you want to take photos, ride earlier in the evening. If you want to see the Eiffel tower light up at dusk, go later in the evening. 

* Dress for the weather.

I recommend bringing a light jacket during summer evenings for comfort purposes, but you may not need one. Obviously, the later in the day and the closer to winter you get, the more warmly you should dress.

What to Expect:

♥︎  10 € per person if booked online (14 € if not), 5 € for children.
♥︎  12 € guarantees you a seat on a particular boat if booked online (14 € if not), 5 € for children.
♥︎  The website claims the cruise is 1 hour, but I thought it was more like 1.5 hours.
♥︎  The cruise ship takes you by Tour Eiffel, the Louvre, Assemblee Nationale, and a few other places.

a party?

Even though I was a bit hesitant about whether or not to take a boat ride down the Seine River (Was it worth the money? Would I be wasting a sunset?), you should not be! For the price, I think the boat ride is entirely worth it if taken on the right day at the right time. The sights you will see and the beauty you will behold is … magnifique!

Have you ever taken a river cruise when on vacation (or even in your own town)? What did you think if you did? … If you haven't, would you consider it?

Click here to go to the Pont Neuf Cruise website.

** Linking up to City Trippers and

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