Hi Frugalistas and France Travel Planners! This is the first post written for both Frugalistas and France Travel Planners, because I know you will all want to read this post. I’ve been recommending The Tour Guy for some time now, based on others’ feedback, but on my recent trip to France we had the opportunity to try them for ourselves. I’ve never had a Paris tour guide, and had not done an Eiffel Tower visit for some time. And I must admit, I thought that an Eiffel Tower and Seine river cruise with a guide might be a waste of money. But as you will see, I’m happy to admit I was completely wrong – I now think a tour of the most iconic French landmarks like this might just be one of the best things to do on your Paris holidays. With the best Seine River cruise and a stunning Eiffel Tower visit, you will agree I’m sure.
It is important you check the terms and conditions of your tour, including cancellation prior to booking.
Meeting our The Tour Guy Paris Tour Guide
We were given detailed instructions on where to meet the guide for our Eiffel Tower Night Tour With Champagne on the Seine tour. We found our tour group very easily – the instructions were spot on. Arriving right on our meeting time we were close to last to arrive, which meant we were able to head off on the short walk to our cruise departure point in plenty of time to board our cruise.
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Enjoying the best Seine River Cruise – with Champagne
There was already quite a long queue for the cruise when we arrived at the terminal. Being in a group with pre-booked tickets we were directed to a separate, much shorter line. About 10minutes prior to departure the gates were open for passengers to board. Our The Tour Guy group, being first in the group line, was invited to board before individual passengers. This meant we had first choice of the entire cruise ship’s seating. Because it was a fine evening, most of our group headed to the small roof top seating area.
Our guide settled us all down, making sure we were comfortable and took our drinks orders prior to departure.
As we headed off the English language audio for the cruise started. It was simple and not intrusive at all – just identifying and describing the bridges and buildings as we glided along. I was interested to note that even after many visits to Paris there were buildings I hadn’t known the name of, or history, that were pointed out in the commentary.
Our guide arrived back with the bottle of Champagne, glasses and a can of lemon soft drink as ordered by MissG. She chatted away to members of our tour, and was genuinely interested in everyone. Despite being on a group tour, we felt quite “independent” without name tags, or having to sit with our group. Everyone on the top deck moved around, taking in the sites and enjoying the view.
As we cruised along the early evening light started to give the buildings a wonderful golden glow. It was so pretty, and a Seine boat tour was the ideal way to make the most of it. After around 30 minutes of cruising we arrived at Notre Dame, where we were able to see the recent fire damage up close. It was sad, but a cruise is certainly the best way to see Notre Dame at the moment.
Our Paris river cruise turned around the Ile de la Cité and around the back of Notre Dame to return to the Eiffel Tower area. This afforded more of the view of the damage done to the Cathedral. It also created a stunning silhouette of the city sky line against the setting sun.
Visit the Eiffel Tower – tickets to skip the line of course
Following our Seine night cruise our guide took us to the Eiffel Tower. Even at 10pm the tower was busy and there were queues everywhere. But again we beat the queues and entered via a separate group entry. The only waiting we had was for the strict security.
As we waited for the elevator to the second floor (again The Tour Guy group was first in the queue) our guide gave us a short history of the tower, and briefed us on our visit to the second floor. Then she left us to enjoy the site for as long as we liked.
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And just like that we were on our own to enjoy the tower and its views. And then just like that, the light show began, while we watched on in awe. And again, The Tour Guy had planned our arrival perfectly.
It was not terribly crowded on the second level of the Tower so we were able to wander round and enjoy the views across the city. We had fun identifying landmarks in the city that we knew well, but which looked completely different in the night lights. Even the ugly Montparnasse Tower looked its best from the Eiffel Tower when lit up at night.
What is the Eiffel Tower Night Tour with Champagne on the Seine like?
I loved this tour. It was timed perfectly to make the most of evening glow, the Paris sunset and the Eiffel Tower lights. A small cruise ship and the lights of Paris made this tour a winner. Our Tour Guy tour guide was friendly and cheery – and managed to strike that happy medium of guiding but not directing. Because we had priority access to the cruise ship and the Eiffel Tower I genuinely recommend this tour for Paris visitors who don’t like guided tours – we entered both activities before independent travellers on this tour. No matter how independently you prefer to travel, you will never feel like one of the herd on this tour and it is a worthy addition to your Paris itinerary when you plan your trip to Paris.
With a small group of just 15 on the tour we were able to move easily and quickly between our activities. There was not a lot of walking, making this tour easy and convenient for the less mobile and those travelling with children.
Planning your The Tour Guy Eiffel Tower and River Cruise tour
Because this tour is timed perfectly to capture the sunset and Eiffel Tower lights, the departure time of the tour will change during the year. In July, our meeting time was around 8.30pm and we were still on the tower at 11.30pm. If you are travelling with small children or doing this tour after a full day of Paris sightseeing tours in summer, you need to plan your time accordingly.
Even after a warm summer day, it is cool on the river and the tower in the evening so a cardigan or light jacket or wrap is a good idea.
The Tour Guy Eiffel Tower Night Tour with Champagne on the Seine tour costs €79.95.
Author’s note: Mr Frugalfirstclass, Miss G and I were guests of The Tour Guy. We all enjoyed the tour, and as always my opinions are my own. Prices are correct as at October 2019.