My last cruise stop in July is La Harve, Paris. I know this is the disadvantage of crusing, but given the transportation time into Paris, I only have about 8 hrs in the city. Help! Rick's walking tours are a bit time consuming for this trip. Can anyone give their advise for this short stay in a way that I don't run back to the ship cursing the cruise line for teasing me with the beauty of Paris?
Oh no! I was there for 9 days last September and even that wasn't enough for me!
But, working with your schedule, I'd take one of the river cruises for a great overview of the city. I like the Maxim's cruise best - they have ones that run several times during the day without the meal (9e last year) and have an excellent narration in multiple languages. They depart across the street from the Eiffel Tower, so you'd be able to see that too (but not go up in it due to time). I've also done the one that leave from Pont Neuf (Bateaux les Vedettes (online coupon for 2e discount) - I went at night (which was gorgeous). I'd avoid the huge, crowded, touristy Bateaux Mouche. After the tour, eat in a street bistro near the Eiffel Tower and head back to your cruise. And visit again when you'll have more time!
I assume your eight hours in Paris means you'll be relying upon the cruise ship to provide transportation--and for a hefty price.
If you take the train on your own, you can be in Paris as early as 08:49 and leave Paris as late as 21:20. That gives you 12 hours to explore. The standard 2nd class fare is 28.10€ each way.
Not much time, but if you organize well, you can make the best of it. Take a cab from the dock to the center of Paris. Catch the Batobus on the Seine. It is a hop on hop off boat that stops at eight major sightseeing destinations. You can stay on the boat for as long as you like. It reaches the end turns around and continues back and forth. You will not be able to go into many of the sights due to your time restraints, but at least you will visit them. Better than not going or seeing them at all.
Robin, the above is Tom's Guide to Paris. Maybe it will help... P
I would highly recommend that you go to Notre Dame, walk around Notre Dame (along the river) then cross the pedestrian only bridge behind Notre Dame and walk around Ile Saint Louis (the island directly behind ND). It's quintissential Paris at it's best! Our favorite cafe in all of Paris is "La Flore en L'Ile" to the far right as you step off the bridge and onto Ile Saint Louis. Also, if time permits, the Luxembourg Gardens are wonderful!
Thanks for all of your helpful comments! They're very useful.