Rent a Boat in Paris

It’s a known fact that Paris in the spring is amazing. Countless songs, poems, and novels have been written confirming this. Author Henry Miller once famously wrote “When spring comes to Paris the humbles mortal alive must feel that he dwells in paradise”. As someone who has lived in Paris for quite a while now, I can safely say that Mr. Miller really knew what he was talking about!

Boat on the Seine River, Paris

Boat on the Seine River, Paris – Max Pixel

When the sun finally comes out in Paris after a long winter, the city really comes to life. Later sunsets, evenings spent out on outdoor patios, and park lounging sessions become the norm and everyone seems to be in a better mood! So, what else can you do in Paris once the weather gets warmer? Why not get out on the Seine River, or one of the canals on a boat?!

Yes, in Paris it is possible! Keep reading for my tips and tricks for renting a boat in Paris.

Do I need a boating license?

French boating license

French boating license – WikiCommons

For my more experienced boaters out there, you may be wondering if you need a boating license in order to get out on the water. The answer is no!

In France, the law states that you only need a licence to operate a boat if it exceeds 6 horsepower. Luckily, in Paris, the boats that you are allowed to rent to operate do not exceed this limit! It’s an intimate experience for sure, as the boats are on the small side, with a capacity of 11 people max.

Another option is to rent a boat that you do not operate yourself, and therefore do not need to worry at all about having a license yourself. This could be the safest option for you, especially if you’re considering having a few drinks while you’re out boating.

Rent a boat in Paris that you do operate

If you’re feeling confident enough to drive a boat on your own, there is only one company that gives you this option. Enter: Marin D’Eau Douce!

Marin D’Eau Douce, located on the Bassin de la Villette in the 19th arrondissement. This one of my favorite neighborhoods in Paris, and last year for my birthday my friends and I rented a boat from them and enjoyed such a nice afternoon!

Marin D’Eau Douce, Paris

Marin D’Eau Douce, Paris by Benoît Prieur – WikiCommons

The Marin D’Eau Douce offers 5 different itinerary options, which range from 1 hour to full day rentals. If you choose the 1 hour option, you will be required to stay within the Bassin de la Villette, but anything over 2 hours will permit you to explore outside the bassin. The full day itinerary will allow you to travel up to 40 kilometers, meaning that you can travel out past the limits of Paris, all the way to Poudrerie’s Park, located in the town of Sevran.

The prices of the different options vary between 40 euros and 310 euros, depending on the length of the rental and the size of the boat. The smallest option can fit up to 5 people, and the largest up to 11.

In addition to this, their website is extremely user friendly, and includes a very well done English version for all of you Anglophones out there!

Boat on the Canal de l'Ourcq, La Villette, Paris

Boat on the Canal de l’Ourcq, La Villette, Paris by Guilhem Vellut – WikiCommons

Practical information:

Address: 37 quai de la Seine, Bassin de la Villette 75019

Open every day 9:30am-10pm

Phone number: +33 9 70 71 40 60

Website

Rent a boat in Paris that you do not operate

If you’re feeling more like you’d rather sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride as you let a professional drive you around, there are many options for you in Paris!

Paris Canal boat on Canal Saint Martin, Paris

Paris Canal boat on Canal Saint Martin, Paris by Jeanne Menjoulet – Flickr

Renting a private boat in this way is definitely a more expensive option, but if you have the means to do it, it can be a really special way to experience Paris.

These types of boat rentals will also enable you to rent for larger parties, with some able to accommodate up to 490 passengers! This could be a great option for you if you’re planning a wedding, or something of the like in Paris and want to do something a little different.

Here are some great options to choose from:

1. Paris Canal

Paris Canal is a boat company that operates tours starting from the Musée d’Orsay on the Seine river, ending at the Bassin de la Villette. They offer daily cruises starting from 22 euros, and they also offer dinner cruises every Friday starting at 69 euros.

Paris - Bassin de La Villette

Paris – Bassin de La Villette by Fred Romero – Flickr

In addition to these non-private options, you can privatize a boat for a wedding, a birthday party, a private group dinner, or even a dance party. Rates will vary and you are required to  fill out a form detailing your wants and needs in order to get a price quote.

Practical information:

Address: 19/21 quai de la Loire, 75019

Office hours: Monday-Friday 9:30am-1pm, 2pm-6pm

Phone number: +33 1 42 40 96 97

Website

2. Bateau mon Paris

Bateau mon Paris offers up to 18 different boat styles available for private rental. Rent for 2 people up to 150, meaning there is something for everyone!

Similarly to Paris Canal, Bateau mon Paris’ boats can be rented for weddings, birthday parties, and more. If you are looking for a more intimate experience, to say, pop that very important question, it is possible to book a private boat ride for you and your sweetie.

Seine River, Paris

Seine River, Paris by Daniel Julie – WikiCommons

Alternatively, Bateau mon Paris only features boat rides along the Seine River, and not the canals. This is also an amazing opportunity to see the most important monuments of Paris, as they are mostly located along the river!

Again, you’ll need to fill out a form on their website in order to get a price quote depending on what you’re interested in.

Practical information:

Address: 10 Quai d’Austerlitz, 75013 

Open all day, every day

Phone number: +33 6 02 15 47 58

Website

3. Vedettes du Pont Neuf

Vedettes de Paris

Vedettes de Paris by Carlos Delgado – WikiCommons

The company Vedettes du Post Neuf is one of the most well-known boat companies in Paris. If you’re like me and enjoy sitting along the Seine River on warm nights near the Pont Neuf bridge, chances are you’ve seen one of their barges float by!

This is actually the only service on this list other than the Marin D’Eau Douce that I’ve personally used, and their options are fantastic!

When I had family visiting my first summer in Paris, we really wanted to get out on the water (did I already mention I grew up on the seaside?!). We decided to do their 1 hour Seine cruise with a live commentary that explained each of the monuments as we passed by. It was a really informative way to experience the Seine and we really enjoyed ourselves.

In addition to this, Vedettes du Pont Neuf also offers private rentals! If you’re planning a really large party, this company should be your go-to as they have boats that can accommodate up to 490 passengers. They also offer options with outdoor seating for up to 270!

Vedettes du Pont Neuf is probably most famous for it’s champagne, cocktail, and dinner cruises, which can also be booked privately. They offer the most budget friendly options as well, with the champagne cruise starting at just 36.50 euros per person (rate based on 50 people). 

Practical information:

Address: Square du Vert Galant, 75001

Office hours: Every day 10:30am-10:30pm

Phone number: +33 1 46 33 98 38

Website

Conclusion

There you have it! I tried to include something for every budget, so I hope that shows. Now that you know more about how to rent a boat in Paris, what are you waiting for?! And, as always, if you’re interested in touring with us too…click here!

Planning a trip to Paris ? Get ready !

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