A cruise to discover canal St Martin and the Seine

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Boarding takes place at the foot of the Musée d’Orsay Museum right beside the Seine. It will glide you slowly in front of the Tuileries gardens, the Louvre… There you’ll see the passerelle des Arts, Ile de la Cité, Notre Dame and the beautiful private hotels of île Saint-Louis. But it’s when you’ll pass the first lock that gives access to St Martin canal that the adventure will really begin.

  • Duration: 2h30
  • Language: French

A cruise to discover canal St Martin and the Seine
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At Port de l’Arsenal you’ll meet the « génie de la Bastille » (spirit of freedom) that looks down on you from its 52 metres tall column. The boat will disappear into the night : 2km of almost total darkness under a mysterious underground vault cracked with light here and there… A place imbued with magic and beauty. On exiting the tunnel you are on canal Saint-Martin in all its poetic nature : an amazing stretch of water dotted with romantic footbridges, lined with chestnut tress and fishermen. Not far from the Temple lock, you’ll notice Frederic Lemaître’s bust (actor) in a small square, Garence and the “Enfants du Paradis” are not far away either. At the Récollets and Hôtel du Nord lock: “l’atmosphère” (Arletty’s famous line from the film Hôtel du Nord) is guaranteed ! “Frères humains, qui après nous vivez ...” murmurs the ghost of François Villon : we are getting close to the lock « des Morts » (the Dead) where the gibbet (gallows) of Montfaucon once stood. Then, the boat passes through the final lock : the Jaurès lock to reach bassin de la Villette... the lift bridge on rue Crimée and Parc de la Villette (green area at La Villette).

This describes the excursion leaving from musée d’Orsay at 9.30am. It is also possible to get on at the other end, from Parc de la Villette at 2.30 pm.

Duration : 2h30

Departure between 3 March to 16th December 2018 :

  • 9.30am from Musée d’Orsay and 2.15pm from Parc de la Villette
  • From Tuesday to Sunday (and daily during school holidays) from Saturday 31 March 2018 to Sunday 4 November 2018 and weekends and Wednesdays outside these periods.

Check our activities near the water other tours around the canals:


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Covid-19 Information
From June 2, 2020, the Explore Paris visits are back in compliance with the current health standards. And some virtual tours are also available.