The Best Dinner Cruise Experiences on the Seine River

View on the Seine and the Eiffel Tower at sunrise

Paris is one of the most romantic destinations in the world. And what could be more romantic than enjoying a sumptuous dinner cruise on the Seine River while admiring the breathtaking views of the city’s iconic landmarks? Two of the most renowned Seine river dinner cruises are the Ducasse sur Seine and Don Juan II. In this article, we will delve into the details of these two dinner cruises and explore what makes them a must-try experience for every foodie visiting Paris.

Ducasse sur Seine

Meet the chef

Alain Ducasse, a world-famous Michelin-starred chef, has made his mark in the Parisian culinary scene with his elegant and refined cuisine.

Chef Alain Ducasse
Experience the artistry of culinary master Alain Ducasse – where every dish is a masterpiece crafted with passion and precision

Ducasse has played an instrumental role in shaping the contemporary French cuisine, and his dishes are celebrated for their creativity, balance, and attention to detail.

Ducasse’s culinary journey began in his early twenties when he started working in the kitchens of renowned Parisian restaurants. He then went on to train under some of the most respected chefs of his time, including Michel Guérard and Alain Chapel. In 1984, he opened his first restaurant, Le Louis XV, in Monte Carlo, which earned him three Michelin stars within just four years of its opening.

Over the years, Ducasse has expanded his culinary empire, opening numerous restaurants around the world, including several in Paris. His Parisian establishments offer a range of dining experiences, from the opulent and refined dining room at Plaza Athénée to the more casual and relaxed atmosphere of Aux Lyonnais.

Ducasse’s cuisine is characterized by its emphasis on high-quality ingredients, meticulous attention to detail, and innovative use of flavors and textures. He is particularly known for his skillful use of sauces, which often form the backbone of his dishes. Ducasse’s creations are a reflection of his deep respect for traditional French cuisine, combined with his desire to push the boundaries and create something truly unique.

At Ducasse sur Seine, you can savor a dish of naturally presented blue lobster accompanied by cocoa beans and herb pesto.

Dining on the Seine River

You can now experience his gastronomic artistry on a luxurious dinner cruise on the Seine River. Ducasse sur Seine, a floating restaurant that opened its doors in 2018, offers a unique dining experience that combines the best of French cuisine with stunning views of Paris.

The boat, designed by naval architect Gérard Ronzatti, is a masterpiece of modern engineering and luxury. With its sleek and elegant design, the boat blends perfectly with the surrounding architecture of the city. The restaurant’s interior is equally impressive, featuring a contemporary and minimalist décor with a focus on natural materials such as wood and leather. The dining area can accommodate up to 200 guests, and each table has a window view of the Seine River.

Embark on a culinary adventure like no other aboard the Ducasse sur Seine
The magic of Alain Ducasse’s cuisine meets the beauty of the Seine River for a truly unforgettable dining experience

A unique dining experience

Alain Ducasse’s culinary philosophy is centered around using the freshest, highest quality ingredients to create dishes that celebrate the essence of French cuisine. The menu at Ducasse sur Seine is no exception to that philosophy. The menu changes with the seasons, and every dish is a masterpiece of flavors, textures, and presentation. From the amuse-bouche to the dessert, every course is a sensory delight.

The service is impeccable, with a team of skilled waiters and sommeliers catering to every need of the guests. The wine list is extensive, featuring a carefully curated selection of French wines, with a focus on organic and biodynamic wines.

Cruise the Seine River in style and indulge in the ultimate gastronomic experience aboard Ducasse sur Seine

As of April 2023, the cost of the 4-course dinner cruise is 160€ / guest. If you’d like to browse through other available options and check their menu, please click on the link provided below:

Le Don Juan II

Le Don Juan II, named after the legendary Spanish lover, is another Seine river dinner cruise that offers a unique dining experience in Paris. The boat, built in 1931, has a rich history and has been restored to its former glory by Yachts de Paris, a luxury boat rental company. The boat’s art deco design and luxurious interior transport guests to a bygone era of glamour and sophistication.

The dining area, located on the upper deck, offers panoramic views of the Seine River and the city’s iconic landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame, and the Louvre Museum. The décor is reminiscent of a chic Parisian brasserie, with leather banquettes, marble tables, and crystal chandeliers.

The menu at Don Juan II is equally impressive, featuring classic French dishes with a modern twist. The chef, Frédéric Anton, uses only the finest ingredients to create dishes that are both flavorful and visually stunning. The menu changes regularly to reflect the seasons and the availability of ingredients.

Step aboard Le Don Juan II and immerse yourself in the timeless elegance of a bygone era – a luxurious dining experience on the Seine River that exudes romance, charm and sophistication

Meet the chef

Chef Frédéric Anton is a renowned French chef and culinary expert who has made a name for himself in the world of gastronomy. Born in Burgundy, France, Anton began his culinary career in the early 1980s, working at Michelin-starred restaurants across the country.

In 1997, Anton became the head chef at Le Pré Catelan, a three-Michelin-starred restaurant located in the heart of Paris. Under his leadership, Le Pré Catelan earned international acclaim for its innovative approach to classic French cuisine, with Anton’s signature dishes often being described as “culinary works of art.”

Frédéric Anton, Don Juan II, Seine River
Discover the culinary magic of Frédéric Anton – a visionary chef whose passion for creativity and excellence is reflected in every exquisite dish he creates

Throughout his career, Chef Anton has been recognized for his contributions to the culinary world, including being awarded the prestigious Meilleur Ouvrier de France in 1993 and being named a Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur in 2007. Today, he continues to inspire and delight diners with his passion for high-quality ingredients and his innovative approach to French cuisine.

Among his signature dishes are the ravioli langoustines, which feature delicate handmade pasta filled with succulent langoustine meat, and the roast venison with autumn truffles, which pairs tender venison with earthy, aromatic truffles for a flavor explosion.

Ravioli de langoustine, crème de Céleri, Restaurant le Don Juan II
Indulge in the delicate flavors of handmade langoustine ravioli with creamy celery sauce, exclusively at Restaurant Le Don Juan II

For dessert, Chef Anton is known for his hot chocolate soufflé, a decadent and indulgent treat that perfectly balances rich chocolate with light, fluffy texture.

From the moment you step aboard the boat, you’ll be greeted with warmth and hospitality. The staff are attentive, yet unobtrusive, and they go above and beyond to make sure that every detail is taken care of. Whether you need help with your coat, assistance with a special request, or simply a smile and a friendly greeting, the staff are always ready to assist you.

As of April 2023, the cost of the 4-course dinner cruise is 160€ / guest. If you’d like to browse through other available options and check their menu, please click on the link provided below:

Low-Cost Dinner Cruises Alternatives

While Ducasse sur Seine and Don Juan II offer a luxurious and unforgettable dining experience, they may not be affordable for everyone. For those on a budget, there are plenty of low-cost Seine river cruises that offer a glimpse of the city’s landmarks and scenery without breaking the bank.

These budget-friendly options typically range from €15-40 per person, and while they may not offer the same level of gourmet cuisine or luxurious amenities, they still provide a unique and enjoyable way to explore the city. These cruises often include an audio guide that provides information about the landmarks and sights along the way, as well as some snacks and drinks.

Here are a few budget-friendly alternatives that we would recommend based on our personal experience:

  • 3-course dinner cruise on Le Bistro Parisien
    • Price: around 70$ / adult
    • Duration: 3 hours
    • Link to their website: Le Bistro Parisien
3-course dinner cruise on Le Bistro Parisien
Savor the flavors of Paris with a 3-course culinary voyage on the Seine River aboard Le Bistro Parisien
  • 3-course dinner cruise on Le Capitaine Fracasse
3-course dinner cruise on Le Capitaine Fracasse
Embark on a culinary journey down the Seine River with a 3-course dinner on board Le Capitaine Fracasse
  • 3-course dinner on the VIP Paris Yacht
    • Price: around 100$ / adult
3-course dinner on the VIP Paris Yacht
Experience Parisian glamour at its finest with a VIP dinner cruise on the VIP Paris Yacht

While the low-cost cruises are a good option for those on a budget, they do have their downsides. They are often crowded, and the seating may not be as comfortable as the high-end cruises. The food and drinks may be basic, and the service may not be as attentive.

In contrast, the high-end cruises like Ducasse sur Seine and Don Juan II offer a more exclusive and luxurious experience. They provide a fine dining experience with top-quality ingredients and an extensive wine list. The boats themselves are stylish and elegant, offering panoramic views of the city’s landmarks and scenery.

While the high-end cruises come at a premium price, they provide an unforgettable experience that is worth the investment. From the impeccable service to the exquisite food and stunning scenery, they offer a truly unique and memorable way to experience Paris, the City of Love.

Start your day in Paris with a magical sunrise view of the old town skyline

Comparing Le Ducasse and Don Juan II

While both dinner cruises offer a similar experience in terms of food and scenery, they have their unique features that make them stand out. Ducasse sur Seine is a modern and contemporary dining experience, with a focus on using the freshest and highest quality ingredients to create dishes that celebrate the essence of French cuisine. Don Juan II, on the other hand, offers a more classic and traditional dining experience, with a menu that features classic French dishes with a modern twist.

Both dinner cruises are priced at the higher end, with prices starting at around €200 per person. However, the experience is worth the price, as it offers a unique and unforgettable way to experience the magic of Paris.

In conclusion, a Seine river dinner cruise is a must-try experience for every foodie visiting Paris. Whether you choose to dine on the Ducasse sur Seine or Don Juan II, you’re in for a treat. From the exquisite food to the stunning views of the city, it’s an experience that you won’t forget. So, book your table now and get ready to savor the best of Parisian cuisine and scenery on a magical Seine river dinner cruise.

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