France is one of the best countries in Europe to take advantage of the wonderful waterways, and a Paris river cruise is the perfect place to start. Many of our cruises in France begin in the capital of Paris, so you’ll be able to see many of the city’s icons as you sip champagne in the comfort of your luxury hotel barge.
There are plenty of opportunities to embark and explore on foot at certain points of interest along the river. As a starting point, here are some places you may wish to check out…
Strolling Down the World’s Most Beautiful Avenue
The Champs Elysees, according to the French themselves, is simply the ‘most beautiful avenue in the world’. You really can’t blame the French for this superlative – when you’re there you will understand how this stretch of road can inspire such a level of admiration. If you’re exploring by foot as part of your Paris river cruise, you’ll likely witness many other important structures can in and around the vicinity, such as the Arc de Triomphe and, with a quick detour, the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais. The Grand Palais is particularly hard to miss—the huge domed building was first built for an exhibition in 1900 and still serves that same purpose today. Facing it from the opposite side of the street is the Petit Palais. Strolling along the Champs Elysees is a palpably sensual treat: aside from the architectural wonders, there are exquisitely sculptured gardens, numerous statues, and a general festive air that pervades the entire length of the avenue.
Île de la Cité
The city of Paris started life in this little island right in the middle of the river – the Île de la Cité. When you glide past at the onset of your Paris river cruise, you’ll see France’s history emanates from every building and ancient street. When Julius Caesar took control of what was then known as the small village of Lutetia, in 52 BC, and subsequently established a garrison, little did anyone realise it would be the ‘seed’ from which the larger city of Paris would arise. Among the notable structures that can be found in this island include the Palais de Justice, the Notre-Dame de Paris and the Sainte-Chapelle.
The Little Island by the Pont Neuf
The Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge in the city and crosses over a tiny island that is the perfect place to wander around during the warmer seasons. While Pont Neuf is a worthy tourist destination in its own right (the bridge, like many other sites in France, has a chequered history), the island is a truly delightful place to visit. In summer, the stone embankments are filled with people, lying in the sun or chatting with friends, with the beautifully tended central garden as a backdrop. In spring, the willow trees make for a picturesque sight. This little island is a wonderful place to take time to visit as you explore the city on foot on your Paris river cruise, with plenty of other breathtaking sights in store as you meander along the waterways, but this one should not be missed.
Discover Paris on a luxury barge cruise.
Book your Cruise with Confidence
Don’t forget, our flexible booking policy allows guests to reschedule 2021 cruises up to 30 days prior to departure, if Government regulations prevent travel.
We’re also following all appropriate measures to ensure that our already strict safety and hygiene procedures address the threat of COVID-19, whilst maintaining the relaxed and enjoyable ambience that you know and love.
Read our Safe Cruising Protocols here.