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Boat trip and Park for Children in Paris

Hong Kong
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Boat trip and Park for Children in Paris

I have been advised to take cruise, but there're two: one along the Seine, the other along The Saint Martin Canal heading to parc du villette. My friend told me kids would probably love Saint Martin Canal cruise. However I found that the latter route will take 2.5 hrs. So it seems pretty

long, that we probably have to prepare ourselves some snacks. As for the Seine route, the whole journey will only take 1 hr without stop, or we could choose the cruise company that allow hop on and off route.

My questions:

1) which would you suggest to us given that we have kids aged between 6-9?

2) If taking Seine cruise, which cruise company is good and reliable? Do I need hop on and off?

I'm also planning to go to the famous landmark like Eiffel Tower, Jardin des Plantes etc. So could this cruise serve as a mean of alternate transportation to do these places? However, I am a bit concerned how frequent are their cruises at each of those 8 hop off/on points.

3) We want to go to one of the parks in Paris, which one would you recommend: Jardin des Plantes, or Jardin du Luxembourg or other parks?

Many thanks

dwcho

Le Bugue, France
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1. Re: Boat trip and Park for Children in Paris

I would take a Seine river cruise, not the Canal St. Martin, which could be a dull excursion for kids.

There is only one hop-on hop-off possibility, the Batobus, and it's not a cruise, it's a water taxi. It's expensive, and there is no commentary, so there's no chance to learn about the sights of Paris that you're passing by. You don't need a water taxi to get you to the Eiffel tower.

Just take a regular Seine cruise. There are several companies. I like the Vedettes du Pont Neuf because the boats are smaller, but really, they're all about the same. You can get discount coupons online for the Vedettes du Pont Neuf, and the tickets can be used any day and time.

Pjk
New Jersey
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2. Re: Boat trip and Park for Children in Paris

The last 20 minutes or so of the Canal ride is underground. It's dark and cold and might be creepy for children. Stay with the sunny river cruise.

Pjk

Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: Boat trip and Park for Children in Paris

I have walked along the St. Martin Canal many times and it is a lovely spot to stroll and I have seen the boats laboriously making their way up through the locks. I would find this beyond tedious as an old lady -- I cannot imagine kids finding it interesting to be cooped up on a small boat for 2.5 hours. After the novelty of the first couple of locks, I would think they would be extremely bored.

The Seine Cruise is short and interesting and IMHO a much better choice for kids.

The canal boat would be a great choice for someone who is mobility impaired as it would allow sitting and watching parts of Paris glide by that would otherwise go unseen.

For parks --- the three I would chose with kids are the Luxembourg (great pay playground for elementary school age kids) and Parc Monceau and the Tuilleries. All have good playgrounds. All have pony rides. Luxembourg and Tuilleries have stands where you can rent toy sailboats to sail on the fountain pond. All have places to buy snacks. The Tuilleries has trampolines and at the end of the summer a small carnival.

Edited: 31 July 2013, 18:05
England, United...
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4. Re: Boat trip and Park for Children in Paris

After a visit to the Jardin du Luxembourg, if you walk towards the exit near the Avenue de l'Observatoire, you come to the gardens of Marco Polo and Robert Cavalier de la Salle (collectively known as Jardins de l'observatoire) where there are fountains and some playground equipment.

Edited: 31 July 2013, 21:07
Chicago, Illinois
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5. Re: Boat trip and Park for Children in Paris

one of the great things for Paris and kids is that there is great playground equipment everywhere -- there will be a park within walking range pretty much anywhere you could be. we have walked all over the outer arrondisement and they all have great playgrounds. Paris really makes a commitment to providing an outdoor life for its citizens -- between the cafe culture, the pocket parks and the great parks all over the city, people don't need their own yard. about the only thing out of reach of the average city dweller is outdoor BBQ facilities and that is not as big a part of the culture as it is in the US.

Hong Kong
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6. Re: Boat trip and Park for Children in Paris

Thank you all. For park, I probably would just put them down on my travel list, and choose to do the one that's close by the places we are visiting for convenience sake, as it appears that they're just equally good.

As for cruise, is it unnecessary to do hop on and off type but the ordinary 1 hour cruise to view the landmarks and take photos?

thanks again.

Paris 4th Arr
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7. Re: Boat trip and Park for Children in Paris

Maybe I missed it but if you're going to be here between now and Aug-20, the Canauxrama cruise from the Paris-Arsenal to the Parc de la Villette ends at a veritable children's playground during Paris Plage.

http://quefaire.paris.fr/articles/106 It's two and a half hours of serene, shady cruising through a fascinating underground tunnel that passes under the city and then a series of locks along a really scenic route to the Bassin de la Villette. The Paris Plage at Villette is much more kid-oriented than the one on the Seine so I doubt that the kids will be bored.

I disagree with the above comments about the tunnel. In the winter, the temperature is warmer than at street level and in the summer it's cooler and we have yet to see a bored kid on the Canauxrama boats. The tunnel and locks are fascinating to kids.

Hong Kong
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8. Re: Boat trip and Park for Children in Paris

metromole, thanks for letting me know about this Paris Paris Plage. Yes we will be visiting Paris for full 3 days in August. So does this cruise end at La Villette where Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie is within walking distance? Because we wanna visit this museum.

Paris 4th Arr
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9. Re: Boat trip and Park for Children in Paris

Yes. It ends at La Villette and Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie is just a short stroll north of the bassin.

Le Bugue, France
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10. Re: Boat trip and Park for Children in Paris

<<As for cruise, is it unnecessary to do hop on and off type but the ordinary 1 hour cruise to view the landmarks and take photos?>>

As I mentioned previously, the hop-on, hop-off boat, the Batobus, is not a cruise. It is a mode of transport, essentially a water taxi. Not a cruise. You would see landmarks, of course - that would be unavoidable being on the river, but you wouldn't necessarily know what they are if you don't know Paris, as there is no commentary or explanation.