Cruising The Sights Of Paris

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A DINNER CRUISE ON THE SEINE IS ONE OF THE SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES OF PARIS

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Prior to our trip, we had researched the many companies that offer boat cruises on the Seine.  There are ways to do this for a reasonable price (a boat tour without a meal during the daytime can cost as little as 15 Euros), or you can do a more frivolous excursion.  Since the whole point of this trip was to celebrate  Pete’s birthday and the fact that we had been side by side for 15 years, we went with a more expensive option.

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BATEAUX PARISIENS WAS THE COMPANY THAT WE CHOSE

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Bateaux Parisiens is noted for their central dock located right beside the Eiffel Tower, excellent service, modern boats and very good food.  We selected a dinner cruise of 75 minutes that would start during twilight and finish at the foot of the Eiffel Tower as the sun was setting.  The meal included an appetizer, a main course, a dessert, as well as a bottle of wine, a bottle of water and all gratuities.  The walls of the boat are glass, so you have unobstructed views both around you and above you. If you want each of you to be closest to the action, you pay a premium for a window seat.  We took the 6:15 cruise and it cost 85 euros per person.  This was truly an extravagance … but it was a special dinner and the experience lived up to the cost.  There is an even pricier cruise at 8:30 that is 90 minutes in length and includes live entertainment.  If you want to lower your cost, you can do a lunch cruise, or simply do a cruise without a meal on a boat.

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THE BOAT HAS TABLES ON THE INNER PART AND TABLES AT THE WINDOW

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Guests are asked to arrive 30 minutes prior to the departure time.  We checked in at the desk and were invited to wait in a small lounge beside the dock .  At around 5:50, the captain gave permission to board, and we were seated at our table.  Our server pulled out our chairs at our window seat and we were offered our selection of red or white wine, a fine basket of bread and a choice of appetizers, entrees and  dessert.  As we relaxed and enjoyed the gentle sway of the boat, our appetizers came out.

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 PETE HAD FINISHED HIS APPETIZER BEFORE WE LEFT THE SHORE.

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Pete started with the Beluga lentil salad with smoked salmon and a herb vinaigrette.  I chose a delicious Veloute of butternut squash, mushroom royale and toasted pumpkin seeds which is created by the waiter pouring the hot broth over top of the mousse.  It was yummy.

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THE SUN SETS ON PARIS

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The boat travels on the Seine around the Ile de la Cite, cruising past significant buildings (such as the Louvre) and under beautiful bridges.  As the scenery slides gently by, more food arrives.  Pete chose the braised steak with stewed vegetables, while I had the steak with black rice and lobster sauce.  The service was well paced and the mood entirely relaxing.

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THE SUN’S RAYS HIT THE GOLDEN WINGED HORSES ON THE PONT ALEXANDRE III

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We finished off our wine and I thoroughly enjoyed my perfectly poached pear with spiced red wine and a walnut and almond crumble topping.  Pete opted for the almond financier cake with a small jug of creme fraiche to pour over top.

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THE LIGHTS ON THE EIFFEL TOWER WERE JUST COMING ON AS WE ARRIVED BACK AT THE DOCK.

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Romance was definitely in the air as Paris cast its magic spell. Two tables down from us as the lights of the Eiffel Tower came on, a young man got down on bended knee and proposed marriage to his girlfriend.  Tables around them burst into applause.  And thankfully, she said YES.  Now that’s a proposal she will remember for a lifetime.

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THE EIFFEL TOWER AT NIGHT IS SPECTACULAR

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We got off the boat at around 7:30 and made our way to the Champs de Mars which provides a lovely view of the Eiffel Tower.   And the tower has a secret.  Every hour on the hour it puts on a light show.  The video I took of it is sideways, so I have linked to another clip that I found on youtube.  To see it live is quite extraordinary.  To see what I’m talking about go to  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTaq_MI6ey8    It is like watching fireworks and it must be something to be on the tower when it is showing off its sparkles.

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THE MOULIN ROUGE WAS LIT UP AS WE MADE OUR WAY HOME

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We arrived back to the area of our hotel around 9 PM and enjoyed walking the streets, all brightly lit up for weekend revelers.  But we didn’t stay out late.  We had another big day planned for Sunday.

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Tomorrow …  we go to the Opera Garnier

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White & Fenton

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