has been a river city since the third century B.C., when Celts founded the
village of Lutétita on the Ile de la Cité. Today,
the city's northern and southern portions are still described as the "Left Bank"
and "Right Bank," and the Seine probably carries more river traffic today than
at any other time in its history.
ABOVE: The tour boat Parisis of Vedettes du
Pont-Neuf cruises under a bridge. INSET BELOW: Floodlights on a boat illuminate
quays along the Seine.
Of the many boats that ply the Seine, the most noticeable are
the sightseeing boats of the Compagnie des Bateaux-Mouches,
Vedettes du Pont-Neuf, and other excursion fleets. These tour boats run from
morning until late at night, carrying tourists past the city's quays and
monuments like waterborne tour buses. Some companies offer lunch and dinner
cruises (albeit at steep prices).
The Seine isn't the only Parisian waterway with tour boats: Two
excursion companies, Canauxrama and
Paris Canal, operate cruises on the St-Martin and
Ourcq Canals, which run through the city's northeastern neighborhoods. Other
Canauxrama and Paris Canal cruises include day trips on the Marne and the Seine.
information on the leading Paris sightseeing-boat companies, follow the "Next
page" links or use the navigation table below.