This is especially true if you're arriving from overseas -- and if the weather permits, of course. I pick up friends at the airport, drive straight to the Eiffel Tower and we park nearby and make a beeline for Vedettes de Paris.
You start the ride at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, which is the ideal point of orientation for a visitor. You then sit back and relax. Maybe you'll recover a little from the jet lag. Maybe you're alert and want to take it all in. Either way, you're covered. Most of the main attractions of Paris that tourists have on their "checklists" are along the Seine and they are covered by this leisurely voyage -- only in the most superficial way, of course, but that's way this is the ideal orientation journey and the perfect first activity in Paris.
When you get off, you still haven't seen the Arc de Triomphe (or, for that matter, Versailles) but you'll have a good idea of where everything else is. You have many choices to make and you can now make them in a somewhat informed way. For instance, you could now spend a small fortune on those open-top double-decker hop-on/hop-off buses, but that would be redundant in my opinion. You can now make your own way, by Metro, RER or by foot from Trocadero to Notre Dame. If you're a museum enthusiast (or if the weather inclines you in that direction) you've got the Louvre and Musee d'Orsay in your sights. You can shop your way up the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe or walk there by crossing over to Place du Trocadéro and then strolling through the neighborhoods of the 16th arrondissement. You can wait in line for the Eiffel Tower (although I prefer to book tickets for that on-line for the evening when you can see the City of Lights with its lights on.)
Again, you will haven't really scraped the surface after you get off the boat. But the important thing is that you'll have little snippets of information. And you'll have an idea of where things are and how far away they are from one another and which side of the Seine they're on. It's way cheaper than getting all of that from the circuitous, disorienting routes of the hop-on/hop-off buses -- with the difference being that you're now left to find your own means of locomotion to explore Paris. (There's also a hop-on/hop-off boat ride, through a separate company, which may be to your liking if you're not interested in chilling out and are not in need of an orientation ride.)
It's perfect for all ages, it's a great value; it's well-organized; it's safely operated; it's perfect for those who want to sit and do nothing as well as those who want to get their Paris vacation started right away because, those seemingly conflicting desires are accommodated by this singular activity. It's the perfect first thing to do after you arrive in Paris.
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