Le Bateau...Cruising along the Seine on the Batobus

One of the ways that the kid and I frequently travel around Paris is by boat, the bateau bus, to be exact.  Mais oui, le bateau (French for boat) along the Seine.  You can purchase either a one day pass for 15 Euros or a five day pass for 21 Euros and are then able to cruise along the Seine from 10:00am in the morning until 9:30pm in the evening. There are various stops that the bateau docks at, allowing passengers to disembark and check out their favourite Parisian haunts. The beauty of the bateau is that you are able to linger at your designated destination however long you choose to, and can either jump back on to the boat at a later time and sail to your next stop. The itinerary is entirely up to you.

 We would often walk from Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower, which is about a one and a half hour walk or longer, all depending upon how many discounted designer handbags I happen to stumble across along the route.  Fatigued at the end of the day, having clambered up and around the Eiffel Tower, the kid and I would hop into the bateau for the 20 minute sojourn back to our stop at Hotel de Ville on the Right Bank.  Make certain to check the departure time, as the Batobus does not sail past 9:30pm and then you are stuck trudging back home.  Not fun if your tootsies are sore, blistered and bleeding from having hit the pavement on a 12 hour marathon frenzied touristic shopping and sightseeing adventure.

Our bateau of choice was the “Batobus”, a passenger ferry similar to an aquatic bus line. I recommend opting for the five day pass if planning on staying in the City of Lights for more than a week, as the unlimited travel that one is able to do with the pass is the equivalent of having the services of your own schooner, ferrying you around at your beckon call, all on a cheapo 21 Euro budget! The kid and I would pretend, as we always do, that the Batobus was our own private yacht, zipping us from art tripping at the Louvre to lunching in trendy St. Germain de Pres, eventually depositing us at the Eiffel Tower, our imaginations dripping with endless possibilities of sun-drenched Mediterranean escapades as we sailed from one exotic locale to yet another.

Primping and posing against the backdrop of Musée d’Orsay and Pont Neuf, locks tousled and windblown, imitating the mannequined stances of super models, my niece and I snagged photo op after photo op on the back of the deck of the bateau, all the while subject to the inquisitive glances of the other boaters, curious that perhaps they’ve lucked out and were fortunate enough to find themselves in the presence of world famous Canadian celebrities. One can dream, right?

There are eight locations that the Batobus stops at, five of them on the Left Bank (Tour Eiffel, Musée d’Orsay, Saint-Germain de Pres, Notre Dame and Jardins des Plantes) while the remainder of the three are on the Right Bank (Hotel de Ville, Louvre and Champs-Elysées ).  Spending an entire day floating along the Seine in a glass domed bateau remains one of the highlights of our magical Parisian adventure, especially when one of the foreign speaking tourists hesitatingly asked the kid for her autograph!! You never know whom you might bump into while sailing on the deep blue seas, newly minted celebrities of the junior pink sneakered kind!!

Come hop on the Batobus and sail away on your next adventure…..come travel with us...

Next week – Dining on the Left Bank…the goat and yummy tap water.

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