Tourists can get a unique and breathtaking view of Paris sights via the city’s bateaux mouches, open excursion boats that ply the Seine.
Literally meaning “fly boats,” the name actually derives from the place where the boats were originally manufactured, the Mouche area of Lyon.
These boats are easy to spot: with their flat tops covered with deck chairs, they resemble colorful barges.
Each boat seats several hundred people, and most offer open upper decks and enclosed or covered lower decks, perfect for viewing the city during rainy or chilly weather. Some boats have sliding canopies to offer additional shelter.
To make sure tourists know what they’re seeing, these boats offer live or recorded commentary about the sights as the boat passes by, as well as lights to illuminate riverside attractions during evening tours.
Boat tours became popular in Paris after World War II, and remain a very popular tourist attraction.
Both the Left Bank and the Right Bank can be seen from the boats, and passengers can expect to see such sights as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, and Les Invalides, as well as the famous Alexander III Bridge and the Pont Neuf.