Discover the team My Paris River
2012 – The origin of My Paris River
The adventure began in 2012 with a Christmas gift:
Dominique and his wife were used to getting their children and grandchildren together in Britany to enjoy the sea among family.
Marianne thought that her husband, Antoine, would be happy to learn how to drive a boat. She offered him a pleasure craft training to obtain a license, thinking it would be a great way to brighten up their Breton summers.
Antoine was thrilled by the idea and passed his license in the 15th arrondissement of Paris with an outstanding view of Paris and the Eiffel Tower. He was enthralled and concluded that at the age of 30, he had never been aboard a boat in the city where he was born.
What is more, on a human-scale boat, away from the mass, he could enjoy a unique setting and an amazing sightseeing.
At that time, he was looking for an opportunity to build his own company and make the most of his commercial skills and his well-known determination. He had just to find the good idea, a very good idea indeed!
It was in the United States where he found the pontoon boats. Highly popular on the northern American lakes and rivers, these boats offer comfort and limitless possibilities in setting.
He chose the one that looked more like a reception room in order to accommodate public of all ages and of all types: couples, family, friends, and professionals.
2013 – From the concept to the company
Antoine began to work on the administrative procedures to create his waterway passenger transport company to obtain the legal authorizations and the necessary funds to purchase and import a boat.
At the time, Antoine had already been sick for some years. Because of the recurrent relapses and chemotherapy sessions, banks did not see him as the right candidate to take out a loan.
However, Antoine kept his spirits up and his willingness in times of adversity could be nothing but admired by his relatives.
If the banks did not support him, others did: his father Dominique and his wife Marianne believed in his project. The Chambre of Industry and Commerce of the Hauts-de-Seine (West of Paris) awarded him with the “entrepreneur prize” and supported him especially with the administrative procedures.
In the fall of 2013, Antoine registered My Paris River and orders his boat from Canada. Marianne used her marketing skills to create the first version of the website. Dominique took in charge the administrative and accounting part.
In November 2013, Antoine and Marianne became the happy parents of Lucas
In the beginning of 2014, they knew too well that Antoine’s day were numbered and asked Benjamin, a long-time friend, to join My Paris River. He was there to help him commercialize the cruises but more than everything welcome the passengers and steer the boat.
2014 – The beginning and the end…
In May 2014, after few months of practice, Antoine and Benjamin sold their first cruise.
In the end of 2014, My Paris River accounted for about fifty cruises after a first year rich in discoveries and lessons.
On Antoine’s side, the situation got worse and he died in January 2015 and left his wife a young widow and his 14 month-old boy an orphan.
2015 – A new start
The associates soon decided that the company had to survive him. For himself and for his son.
Marianne committed herself to the day-to-day management, answered the phone, provides quotes and takes her license and the authorizations to steer the boat.
When summer 2015 came, she was at the helm!
In the same time, My Paris River also participated in a call for project to build a pontoon at the Issy Bridge (one of Paris entrances, on the left bank of the river Seine) that would enable the company to get closer to the capital.
In 2015, My Paris River celebrated its 100th cruise.
2016 – Year 3
The third year is generally a symbolic stage for most of young SMBs. For My Paris River, 2016 was indeed the ordeal year:
It began in spring with the fuel shortage due to the blockade of the refineries. You have to imagine the My Paris River team queuing up, days in row, to fill in their containers before the “benevolent” eyes of the other unfortunate customers who waited hours to fill in their tanks.
With some gas station attendants even refusing to serve us claiming the antiterrorist plan, getting your fill became a true adventure!
May came with torrential rains ever seen for more than 130 years! The river Seine bursted its banks in June when the season is supposed to be in full swing… Sailing was forbidden for obvious safety reasons and we had to cancel or postpone all our cruises.
In the end of July, it was the engine that broke down during a cruise. Against all odds, we achieved the impossible: purchasing and installing a new engine within 24 hours!
Summer and fall compensated a dull beginning of year enabling My Paris River to celebrate its 150th cruise.
In 2017 all the participants to the adventure are more determined than ever to make the company live and thrive.
To be continued…