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Canal Cruise Paris; Canauxrama

We will be in Paris in October and are interested in the canal cruise mentioned in Rick Steves' France 2013 book. The cruise appears to be 2.5 hours one way. How do I get back to Paris from the end, Basin de la Villette? Bus? Which one? We do not have enough time to do a round trip on the canal.

Thanks for any help. We have been to Paris several times and want to do something different--something Parisian!


Posted by
2224 posts

I sincerely doubt that there will be any Parisians on the canal cruise - just tourists. We enjoyed strolling along the Canal St. Martin and seeing this cruise boat go through the locks, but (just my opinion) about 20 minutes of watching was plenty. I can't imagine spending 2.5 hours on this slow-moving boat.

Posted by
33330 posts

I'll be in the vicinity next month but not taking the boat. There is a fairly comprehensive website at complete with map.

You ask how you will get back to Paris. You will be in Paris, near Place Stalingrad. You arrive at Quai de la Loire just beyond the square, and the nearest Metro (according to Rick's book is Stalingrad - that's what he means when it reads "near Mo:Stalingrad") according to the website is Jaurès where you can get Métro lines 2, 5, or 7bis which you can take 1 stop to connect to the 7. Also buses 26 and 48. There's also a taxi stand at Stalingrad.

What you do when you get on the bus or Métro will depend on where next in Paris you want to go.

Posted by
11507 posts

Bett I have heard the cruise can be a bit of a snooze fest.. too long very slow, .. and there will be no Parisiens on it( why would they bother.. they would walk or take the metro , not a 2.5 hour canal cruise !) I do understand you want to find something a bit unique to do.. perhaps a tad off the beaten path..
I have heard good things about the Calife dinner cruises.. google for the webiste I like that its on a cute older type boat and not the giant sightseeing type ones. I am going to try it this year myself after reading many good things about it. Once again,, doubt many locals would bother with it either.

Bett.. I have relatives in Paris.. they simply are not doing what most tourists want to do all day.. they work, they go to doctors appts.. they do laundry , shop for food, take out the garbage and pick their kids up for school.. I think people have some fantasy that all the Parisiens do is drink little coffees and paint. .lol no , they are just like you and me at home!! So enjoy being a tourist.. we are lucky , we can sightsee all day long.. take long coffee breaks , people watch.. wander in parks for hours.. enjoy being a visitor!!

Perhaps you would enjoy exploring some different less central areas of Paris this time around.. many enjoy strolling through the Parc Des Buttes Chaumont ,, its very pretty and there will be some locals enjoying that park! google for some images!

Posted by
8293 posts

Bettye, I've taken that canal boat to La Villette a couple of times and it's actually quite interesting. I don't remember being at all bored. If you have a couple of hours at hand it is a way to view parts of the city you don't usually get to, and a good way to rest yourselves a bit. At Villette there is the Science Park which I found fascinating, and you can take Metro Line 7 back to central Paris. Taking the canal boat may not be particularly "Parisian" but I think going to the Science Park is. I don't remember seeing hordes of tourists there, at least not English-speaking ones.

Posted by
4066 posts

I enjoyed this cruise too although I could have walked the route faster. It is completely different than the Seine outings, and not just because of the locks. The first third of the route, departing the basin at Arsenal, is through tunnels, a novel experience but not exactly scenic. At the other end you can walk on to the Villette music and science museums.

Posted by
3796 posts

It may have been the luck of the draw for me but when I took the cruise, there were a number of Parisians on the boat. It was a cool day in June and there were maybe 15 people on the boat -- my family of 4, about 6 European tourists and some young Parisians who were just chilling for the day. I enjoyed the cruise and enjoyed seeing a different part of Paris, but it is slow. My husband and children thought it was a snooze fest after the first 45 minutes and since then have refused to go on any more canal cruises. We did the cruise as part of a 5-week vacation in Paris and I would not do this cruise if I had more limited time in in Paris or if it were my first time there.

Posted by
1 posts

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the Canauxrama cruise. It provided a glimpse into Paris life in a different arrondisement. There is a metro station near the cruise dock but we chose to walk back along the canal to have lunch and enjoy the neighborhoods we had just sailed through.

Posted by
33330 posts

I looked out my hotel window and saw the approach of the funny looking Canauxrama boat so ran downstairs to watch the lifting of the wacky Crimée bridge recently and got up on the pedestrian bridge with a clear view of the lift bridge as the boat pulled up (my goodness but that's a SLOW boat) and stopped. Did it go under? NO, by goodness, it did not!! Just backed away from the bridge and slowly moored at the Stalingrad end of the Bassin. After a while it entered the double locks and headed back south.

BTW - it would be a really easy walk over to Mo. Jaurès or Stalingrad. Just be aware that the number 2 line there is elevated and it a pretty high quite narrow escalator up to it. The 7 is underground as is the 5.

Posted by
2261 posts

This sounds like a great way to spend an afternoon-a leisurely float, grab some lunch, head to the Parc, and Metro back. I think we'll do it!