Part 1…River Seine Dinner Cruise…Loved it!…Many Paris photos!…

Tom was carrying his dress shoes in a bag when the dress code for the dinner cruise stipulated no sports shoes were allowed. However, on a rainy evening, they made exceptions when most of the passengers were wearing sport shoes.

Yesterday, we asked the concierge at our hotel to call the river cruise company as to where we were to go for the boat for the dinner cruise. The River Seine has hundreds of tour boats along its banks. 

As we walked down a few flights of step to the boardwalk along the River Seine searching for the dinner cruise boat, the Bataueux Parisiennes.

Our tickets didn’t indicate a location as to where to find the boat which was surprising. Then again, we’ve found in Paris, that even if directions and instructions are provided in English, they are often confusing and incomplete, which we’ve discovered to be the case almost everywhere we’ve gone.

The walkway onto the boat.

Leaving the hotel on foot at 8 pm, we found our boat, the Bateaux Parisiennes which we’d booked through Viator, a reputable online tour booking company that makes arranging tours relatively easy.

As soon as we were seated, we were served these little French pastries and champagne. I didn’t try the buns but took a few sips of the delicious champagne. Tom ate all four of these pastries plus three of the white buns.

With vague instructions, we managed to arrive at the dock for the luxurious boat where we were immediately escorted to a table by the window. When I’d booked the event, I’d chosen the option for a table in the center of the dining room, away from the window which was the additional US $100, EU $75, over the all-inclusive cost for two at US $270, EU $202.

Dark clouds loomed over the city for days as it rained heavily off and on. 

Safari luck kicked in once again, and we were seated at the window at an ideal table for two.

Most of our photos shown here today and tomorrow were taken through the blue glass dining enclosure on the boat. We apologize for the unavoidable glare.

After seeing how impossible it would have been to take photos from the center of the dining room, we were all the more grateful for the window seats. With minimal areas to stand outside the glass-encased dining room, most of our photos today were taken through the glass diminishing the quality. 

The gold pillar tops as the boat drove past Pont Alexandre III. We boarded the boat at 8:30 explaining the darker photos.

Surely, in our remaining full week in Paris, we’ll have many more unobstructed photos to share.

The ornaments as we passed under one of many bridges.

The boat was full of well-dressed passengers. The dress code indicated no sports shoes were allowed so I wore the blister-inducing sandals I’d worn a few days ago and we brought along Tom’s dress shoes in a cloth bag. 

This foie gras appetizer was amazing. I savored every morsel along with the single perfectly cooked, cold asparagus spear, lying atop a line of what tasted to be an anchovy paste.

Once we boarded the boat we noticed that many passengers were wearing dressy casual clothing with sports shoes. It had been raining in buckets all day. Tom never had to put on the dress shoes. Nor was a sport coat required, which Tom no longer has in his possession.

Tom’s appetizer of grilled prawns and vegetables.  He doesn’t normally care for shrimp. After sharing a few prawns with me, he said, “There was nothing offensive about this.”

On several occasions, we attempted to get someone to take a photo of us together, which always presents a challenge. A couple of young women offered, but, the photos they’d taken didn’t work out so well with the bright lights in the background. We’ll post them tomorrow.

We weren’t certain as to which building this is as we cruised under another bridge.

The dinner was fabulous, to say the least. The menu options allowed me to order an appetizer, entrée, and cheese plate for dessert at an extra EU $5, US $6.69. Tom had my included dessert along with his menu as shown in these photos.

We’ll find out what building this is when we go to Notre Dame on Monday.  It was next door to the Cathedral.

A glass of champagne was presented to each of us the moment we were seated and throughout the dinner, two full bottles of French wine were served and left at the table for our consumption. 

Interesting architecture located along the River Seine.

Since I don’t drink alcohol for health reasons, (although I did taste the wines), Tom wiped out the entire bottle of the white wine and half of the bottle of the red wine.

As night fell, it became more difficult to take photos with the glare of the glass enclosure.

Tom was pleasantly tipsy by the end of the evening. Tom is not a big drinker, rarely drinking at “home” and often drinking water instead of a cocktail in a restaurant. 

Many bridges were constructed with ornate decorations.

When he does imbibe, he’s a fun drunk, doesn’t slur his words, doesn’t fall down, and has his wits about him, including his great sense of direction and sense of humor. He simply ups the ante on his humor and playfulness, all of which I thoroughly enjoy. We had our usual great time, perhaps escalated by the romantic environment and that insane playfulness.

Tom’s eyes were also riveted on the beautiful scenery.

After dinner, we wandered outside to the small outdoor area of the boat (the rain had stopped) staying outdoors to watch the City of Light go by as the boat made its way back to the pier.

On occasion, we spotted advertising along the River Seine.

Docking at 10:50 pm, we were anxious to make our way to the Eiffel Tower for the on-the-hour light show. Tom dragged me along to ensure we were the first people off the boat hoping we’d make it on time. Had we waited five minutes, we’d have missed the light show.

A portion of Notre Dame.

The crowds in the area of the Eiffel Tower at 11 pm were like nothing we’ve ever seen. It was literally body to body, but, the excitement generating from the crowd was intoxicating. I was literally reeling, not from the few sips of wine, but from the energy of the crowd.

With the full moon only days away, we enjoyed seeing it peeking out from the heavy cloud cover.

Surprisingly, it felt safe. Armed guards were everywhere and, other than the necessity of taking precautions against pickpockets, for us, Paris felt relatively safe, even at night in the crowds. 

Some of the spires of Notre Dame.

At this point, as I write here late in the day on Saturday, August 9, when this morning we left for the Louvre, which we walked for almost five hours, the dinner cruise on the River Seine may prove to be our favorite experience in Paris. 

As the boat continued on the River Seine. The 2½ hour cruise eventually turned around to go back the way we’d come enabling us to see the other side.

The combination of gourmet French food and seeing many of the major venues along the river created a memorable experience.

The French architecture in apartments, condos, and office buildings is pleasing as well as the more prominent and well-known buildings in the city.

Plus, wrapping up the evening with the Eiffel Tower light show capped off the perfect evening. We couldn’t have been more pleased. 

At this point, we were nearing the turnaround spot.

With the handy food list in French on my phone, the chef on the boat easily and willingly accommodated my requirements which our excellent waiter gladly relayed to perfection. 

There were many dinner cruise boats on the River Seine for considerably lower prices, as low as US $51, EU $39 per person which we less luxurious with standard fare. We’d researched extensively to decide on the Bateaux Parisiennes which was highly rated on various websites.

As it turned out, many of the menu options were suitable for me. I gave Tom my dessert while we paid the extra US $6.71, EU $5 for a delicious small portion plate of a variety of French cheeses. Superb!

There were many day tour boats along the river.
The sight of all the well lit boats on the river at night was captivating

We finally fell asleep well after 1:00 am with smiles on our faces awakening at our usual early time to begin yet another fine day in Paris. Tomorrow, Part 2 with food photos and our exciting nighttime photos and video.  Please check back.

Tom was certainly enjoying the included two bottles of wine plus two glasses of champagne served when we were seated. He prefers the white over the red.

Photo from one year ago today, August 9, 2013:

We found this type of bat in the house in Boveglio, Tuscany, Italy. (Not our photo). Living in the mountains covered in lush vegetation and many flying insects is an ideal habitat for bats. Finding this bat is the house startled us. Little did we know what awaited us in Africa. For details of that date, please click here.

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