Most tourists are keen, rightly, to take a boat trip on the Seine. One good option is the Batobus; otherwise Bateaux-Mouches is the best-known operator. Leaving from the Embarcadère du Pont de l’Alma on the Right Bank in the 8e, boats take you past the major Seine-side sights, such as Notre-Dame and the Louvre, complete with commentary. Night-time cruises use dazzling lights to illuminate the streetscapes – much more fun for people on board than passing pedestrians. The pricey lunch and dinner trips are best avoided. Bateaux-Mouches has many competitors, all much of a muchness, including Bateaux Parisiens, Vedettes de Paris and Bateaux-Vedettes du Pont-Neuf.
Another option, which takes you past less-visited sights, is to take a canal boat trip. Canauxrama offers a number of narrated cruises on the St-Martin, Ourcq and St-Denis canals, along with the Seine and the River Marne. Paris Canal is the company to offer cruises that ally the charm of Canal Saint Martin, and its locks, to the majesty of the major monuments on the Seine. With Paris Canal, you can Cruise Paris differently, from Musée d’Orsay to Bassin de la Villette.