Magical Moments in Paris: Cruising the Seine

You know those special travel moments where you’re seeing something beautiful, doing something exhilarating or just experiencing something special and you just sit there marvelling at the fact that you get to see the world? I had one of those unforgettable moments during our time in Paris.

We were cruising down the Seine, enjoying VIP seating at the front of the boat, sipping champagne while watching the sun set over the gorgeous city. I looked around at the smiles on my travel companions’ faces, thought about how happy I felt and it sunk in that I was in a place I’d dreamt of being for so long.

City Wonders offered me my choice of tours in Paris and I selected their Evening Eiffel Tower Tour with VIP Seine Champagne Cruise! My main selection criteria was the fact that it had “champagne” in the title..that’s a good enough reason, right? Also, we knew we wanted to see the Eiffel Tower, but were hesitant about waiting in the crazy lines, and we were nervous about booking a river cruise without knowing if we’d get good seats, etc. This tour was the perfect solution – I freak out every time I go on a tour because I think I’m about to be herded around, but it wasn’t like that at all. We laughed at the beginning when we had to don headsets and stickers that identified us as tour participants, but ya know what – we are tourists and sometimes you just have to embrace that!

Walking to the river, our hilarious and charming tour guide Adam (who went to the same school as my sister and friend – in Canada) told us about the Eiffel Tower and I realized just how little I knew about it. I kept wandering off to get the best angle for pictures, which was no doubt irritating, but no regrets. When we arrived at our boat, we were ushered to a special section while Adam made amusing jokes about not having to sit with the commoners. He continued his spiel about what we were seeing, which was surprisingly interesting – as you may have learned, I have the attention span of a three year old. Adam was great at making info about museums, etc. super exciting!

Then, the aforementioned awesome travel moment came and the sun started to set while we were served champagne. I dashed out to the uncovered part of the boat, freezing in my romper but determined to capture the glorious scene in front of me – I really must work on my sunset/nighttime photography.

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I talked about sunsets in my 8 Reasons to Travel post, and I stand by what I said – every new sunset is a new magical experience.

Then, it was time for something I’ve dreamed of doing for so long – seeing the Eiffel Tower! While waiting for our allotted time to skip the queue, we examined the tower from every angle and I took 8 kajillion pictures.

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Skipping the line was possibly the best part of this tour. Who doesn’t love walking past a long line of disgruntled people to head straight up one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world?? This was also when we learned that there had  been 4 or 5 foiled terrorist attacks in Paris the previous weekend…awesome. My worries were set aside by this incredible view, kindly photographed by our friend Catherine – I can’t take a picture of a skyline at night to save my life.

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When 10 o’clock hit and the tower started to glitter and shimmer, it was so beautiful I thought I was going to cry. I once cried at the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Centre, however, so it doesn’t take too much. I could have watched the show for hours, but sadly it only lasts five minutes – nevertheless, definitely a highlight.

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My biggest recommendation from our time at the Eiffel Tower – don’t bother with the top floor unless there’s no line. We had to wait forever to get from the second floor to the top floor, and even longer to get down. The view was nice, but I would say don’t bother unless there’s no line!

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