Europe tour day 14: Seine River Cruise

We emerged from the Louvre and found ourselves along a street we didn’t know. We decided to just keep walking and enjoy the scenery.

Pont Alexander III, Paris
Pont Alexander III, Paris

Eventually, we found ourselves looking at a beautiful bridge, which turns out to be Pont Alexander III, built in 1897. Paris is one of the few cities I’ve seen with ornately decorated bridges.

This bridge marked three things for me: First, it was the first time we experienced those ‘solicitors’ tourists are always warned about online. I swiftly replied with a non, s’il vous plait when they approached and shook my head for emphasis. When they heard me speak French, they left us quickly and didn’t bother us again.

Second, it was the first time I’ve seen the famous French crepe carts, but since we were thirsty and he wasn’t selling water, we didn’t try it.

Third, it was the first time I’ve seen the Eiffel Tower in person. I wanted to cry when I saw it. My thirteen-year-dream finally happened! My family was so happy for me and we took turns taking a lot of pictures.

My first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower
My first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower

In fact, just three years prior to this trip, I got a picture of the Eiffel Tower, scribbled Someday on it and made it my Facebook header picture. Now there I was, three years later, staring at the same view.

My first photo with the Eiffel Tower
My first photo with the Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower looked awfully near us so we decided to walk from Pont Alexander III to the tower. That was exhausting, especially since we already walked around the Louvre for 6 hours. Thankfully, my family’s a trooper and they knew how important it was for me. However, since they were already tired, and it was only four in the afternoon, I told them we couldn’t go up the tower because the line would be really long. To take a break, we decided to just take our free Seine River cruise (courtesy of our Paris City Pass) before we go to our next destination, which was supposed to be the opera.

While walking along the River Seine (oh my gosh, how I love saying that), I couldn’t help but fall in love with the city more. There were little pocket gardens and places where there seemed to be ongoing outdoor classes. There were also several couples kissing and making out. I love how expressive and affectionate French people are!

The first port we reached (which we actually ran to, much to my parents’ annoyance) was wrong, and we had to walk for another good twenty minutes before we reached the right port, right on the foot of the Eiffel Tower! After waiting for a few minutes, we were finally on board the ship!

Our cruise was courtesy of Bateaux Parisiens. It was clean and welcoming and we felt very safe. They had headsets on the lower deck (although some were malfunctioning) that gave a brief history of the landmark buildings along the river. You can choose which language you want to listen to.

Since my parents and sister were tired and there was a threat of rain, they decided to stay below while I went to the top of the ship along with several other tourists. We were all chattering excitedly, with our cameras out as we took in the beautiful buildings along Île de la Cité and the Seine.

Even though there were several of us who opted for the top deck, there were still plenty of seats available. And even though I was alone, I felt right at home with my fellow tourists who didn’t let the rain stop us from enjoying the fresh air.

Seine River cruise atop the Bateaux Parisiens
Seine River cruise atop the Bateaux Parisiens

Along the way, we passed thru several beautiful buildings. I love how Paris managed to maintain the old buildings. Since the trend now is towards leaner and less ornate buildings, I especially enjoyed seeing them.

Along the Seine River, we passed by the:

Assemblée Nationale - Palais Bourbon
The Palais Bourbon (1728) is where the Assemblée Nationale (parliament) of France meets
Musée d'Orsay
Beautiful Musée d’Orsay, which we, unfortunately, didn’t get to visit because we lacked time, but to which we had free entrance c/o our Paris City Pass
Invalides
Hôtel national des Invalides showing the dome which contains Napoleon’s tomb and where the Musée de l’Armée is located, and a view of one of Paris’ famous lock bridges.
Ongoing class along the Seine
What looked to be an ongoing class along the Seine
I don't know what building this is but I loved the architecture so I took a picture of it
I don’t know what building this is but I loved the architecture so I took a picture of it
Cour de cassation
Cour de cassation is one of France’s court of last resort

We also passed by the Notre-Dame Cathedral but by this time, I’d put down my phone and just enjoyed the sights and experience.

The Seine River cruise may be called a tourist trap, but I was one happy trapped tourist!

There were also restaurants along the river, and some cruise ships also offer lunch or dinner while you do the cruise. Some of the young French people, upon seeing us pass by, would wave at us, and we’d wave right back. We passed beneath several of the bridges. I felt like I was seeing the place thru The Thief Lord‘s eyes (by Cornelia Funke).

I think I have about 30 shots of the Tower!
I think I have about 30 shots of the Tower!

The cruise took one hour and ended right at the Eiffel Tower. There was a light drizzle so after we got out of the ship, we went straight for one of the eateries littered by the food of the Tower and had a cup of hot chocolate, mais oui! I know, I know, it was expensive, but hey, we were all for experiencing touristy things so we just enjoyed the whole thing.

Since we were able to rest our feet for an hour, we were feeling quite energized for our next activity… 🙂

Travel tip:

  1. Wear sunscreen. Lots of it. Even if the clouds are dark, UV rays are still going to turn your skin brown, like it did to me. While I didn’t mind getting a tan, it might not have been very good for me. Plus, my skin became uneven for several weeks.
  2. There are several ports and cruise ship companies along the Seine River, but if you have a Pass, there is only a specific ship you can ride.
  3. Always keep an eye out for your belongings.
  4. Don’t talk to the people who approach you and ask for solicitations or donations. That’s a scam, apparently.

Please don’t grab my images and use them without permission. All photos are unedited except for the watermark I’ve placed.

Read about my Eurotrip!
Rome day 1-2
Rome day 3
Florence days 4-5
Pisa day 5
Venice day 6
Austria day 7
Munich days 8-9
Zürich days 10-11
Geneva day 12
Paris day 13
Paris day 14 – Touring the Louvre
Paris day 14 – the Eiffel Tower

Other links you might find helpful:

Getting ready for Europe  |  Preparing your Schengen visa requirements  |  Booking your hotel and plane fare  |  Filling out the Schengen visa form  |  How to apply to the Italian embassy thru Via  |  Cross-country train travel in Europe



4 Replies to “Europe tour day 14: Seine River Cruise”

  1. I can’t remember any of these sights.
    Next time we’ll visit d’Orsay. 🙂

    1. Tulog ka kasi, remember? :))

      And yay, pumayag ka na bumalik ng Paris!! :*

  2. […] Munich days 8-9 Zürich days 10-11 Geneva day 12 Paris day 13 Paris day 14 – Touring the Louvre Paris day 14 – Seine River Cruise Paris day 14 – The Eiffel Tower Paris day 15 – Touring Paris Paris day 16 – Last day and a bus […]

  3. […] Munich days 8-9 Zürich days 10-11 Geneva day 12 Paris day 13 Paris day 14 – Touring the Louvre Paris day 14 – Seine River Cruise Paris day 14 – The Eiffel Tower Paris day 15 – Touring Paris Paris day 16 – Last day and a bus […]

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