Boat trips Switzerland

Boat trips in Switzerland

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Boat Trips Activities and tickets

In this guide, the passenger ships are the main actors. Year after year, they transport millions of people and shape the image of the Swiss lakes. Milestones of development were the establishment of steamships in the 19th century, until finally in the 1920s the first motorized passenger ships set sail

Switzerland is not only the land of mountains. It is also the land of lakes and rivers. One of the greatest attractions is the leisurely "sightseeing" of the country from the water. Then as now, people from all over the world come to our lakes. They enjoy a tranquil ride on the water, but also marvel at the breathtaking scenery with mountains and sights from the lake.

Navigation on Lake Constance (Source: Bodensee Schifffahrt)Navigation on Lake Constance (Source: Bodensee Schifffahrt)
Navigation on Lake Geneva (Source: CGN)Navigation on Lake Geneva (Source: CGN)

Boat trips in Switzerland

Boat trips in Switzerland aren't only for tourism and enjoyment. It still has considerable importance in terms of transport access. Every day, ferries transport cars, trucks and buses.

There are several passenger ship companies that offer different passenger trips

Passenger ship companies in Switzerland

Here you can find an overview of the lakes in Switzerland and their passenger ship companies. The table arranges the lakes by size in km2.

LakeNavigation companyCantonsMain stops and places
Lake GenevaCompagnie de general de navigation sur le lac lémanGE, VD, WAGeneva, Lausanne, Montreux. Evian (FR)
Lake NeuchâtelNavigation Lacs de Neuchâtel et MoratBE, FR, NE, VDNeuchâtel, Yverdon
Lake ConstanceSchweizerische Bodensee Schifffahrt, Untersee und Rhein SchifffahrtsgesellschaftSG, TG, SHRomanshorn, Kreuzlingen, Stein am Rhein, Schaffhausen
Lake LucerneLake Lucerne Navigation CompanyLU, NW, OW, SZ, URLucerne, Brunnen, Flüelen, Stansstad, Vitznau
Lake ZurichLake Zurich Navigation & Catering, Lake Zurich Meilen-HorgenSG, ZH, SZZurich, Rapperswil, Meilen, Horgen, Wädenswil
Lake ThunLake Thun and Lake Brienz Navigation BLSBEThun, Interlaken, Spiez, Beatenbucht
Lago MaggioreNavigazione Lago MaggioreTIAscona, Locarno
Lake BienneNavigation Lac BienneBE, NEBiel, St. Peter Island
Lake ZugLake Zug and Ägeri NavigationLU, ZG, SZZug, Arth
Lake LuganoSocieta Navigazione del Lago LuganoTILugano, Morcote, Campione (I)
Lake BrienzNavigation Lake Thun and Lake Brienz BLSBEBrienz, Interlaken
Lake WalenLake Walen NavigationGL, SGWalenstadt, Quinten
Lake MurtenNavigation Lacs de Neuchâtel et MoratFR, VDMurten
HallwillerseeSchifffahrtsgesellschaft HallwillerseeAG, LUBeinwil, Birrwil, Meisterschwanden
GreifenseeGreifensee Shipping AssociationZHGreifensee, Fällanden, Maur
ÄgeriseeLake Zug and Ägerisee NavigationZGMorgarten, Oberägeri, Unterägeri, Naas
Basel - RhineBasler PersonenschifffahrtBSBasel, Rheinfelden

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Shipping Zurich

For shipping in the Zurich region there are numerous shipping companies that make their rounds on various lakes.

Shipping on Lake Zurich

Shipping on Lake Zurich probably dates back to the time of the settlement of the shore region around 4000 BC. The first iron ship on the European continent was the Lake Zurich steamer "Minerva", which began operations on July 19, 1835.

Today, the fleet comprises 17 ships. Of these, 12 are motor ships, three are Limmat boats and two are paddle steamers. in 2007, the newest member of the fleet, the MS Panta Rhei, was christened. The 700-passenger ship is particularly impressive because of its large windows and the accessibility of all decks for the disabled.

Under the title "Traumschiff" (dream ship), the Zürichsee-Schifffahrtsgesellschaft (ZSG) offers numerous special theme trips. In Zurich, you can travel comfortably from Bürkliplatz to Rapperswil, or treat yourself to a leisurely round trip on the Limmat. In the winter months, the Limmat navigation is always discontinued.

The ZSG serves with its fleet of ships both banks as far as Rapperswil and in the high season also the upper lake between Rapperswil and Schmerikon. The Limmat boats also entertain a small loop around the lake. The best place to board is at the Swiss National Museum. Finally, the most beautiful excursions lead to Zurich or as far as Rapperswil with a wooden footbridge that is part of the Jakobsweg (Way of St. James).

From Rapperswil, a footbridge led over the dam on Lake Zurich from the earliest times. Old pilgrimage traditions are also testified by the innumerable inns in the town. The most important landmark, however, is the triangular castle with its three different towers.

Ship on Lake Zurich (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Christof Sonderegger)Ship on Lake Zurich (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Christof Sonderegger)
Lake Zurich in RapperswilLake Zurich in Rapperswil

Offers Lake Zurich

On Lake Zurich there is a wide range of adventure cruises for connoisseurs and explorers. Regular cruises with food & drink experiences or round trips from Zurich or Rapperswil are offered.

OfferRoute fromDuration
Sunday BrunchZH Bürkliplatzca. 2h
Chäs FondueZH Bürkliplatzca. 2h
Mini Lake TourZH Bürkliplatzapprox. 1h
Small Lake TourZH Bürkliplatzapprox. 2h
Big Lake TourZH Bürkliplatzca. 3h
River TourZH National Museumca. 1h
Obersee round tripRapperswil (Schmerikon)ca. 2-3h
Lake TourRapperswilca. 2h
Ufenau ShuttleRapperswilapprox. 2h

Ferry Horgen - Meilen

The Lake Zurich Ferry Horgen-Meilen (FHM) operates year-round ferry service on Lake Zurich between Horgen and Meilen. This ferry connection shortens the travel route for individual traffic from the Zurich Oberland to central Switzerland. You can reach the opposite shore of the lake without a detour through the city of Zurich or via the Rapperswil lake dam.

The fleet consists of five ferryboats, the lion's share of whose trips are for commuters between the two lakeshores. From spring to fall, both tranquil round trips and nostalgia trips are offered.

Offers Horgen - Meilen ferry

  • single trip passengers
  • single trip vehicle < 3m
  • single trip vehicle 3 - 6 m
  • single trip vehicle 6 - 12 m

The special culinary cruises are no less inspiring. There is a breakfast ship as well as a pasta, fondue, Asian and a game ship.

Lake Greifen boat trip

15 km east of Zurich lies the charming Greifensee, whose entire shore region is a protected nature reserve. The Greifensee boat service links the five main starting points on the lake: Maur, Fällanden, Uster and Mönchaltorf Silberweide open up the region around Lake Greifen.

In 1895, the steamship Greif was built by Escher Wyss, the largest manufacturer of ships in Switzerland at that time. More than 600 ships have left the factory halls in the meantime. The steamship "Greif" is the oldest and only coal-fired steamship with screw propulsion operating in public passenger shipping in Switzerland today.

In addition to the steamship, the Schifffahrtsgenossenschaft Greifensee (SGG) also operates its own ships, which offer themed boat trips. Today, the environmentally friendly operated ships of the SGG include the MS Stadt Uster, the MS David Herrliberger and the MS Heimat.

The view from the lake is the best way to see the unobstructed shores. About 400 different plant species grow in the reed meadows and fens surrounding the idyllic Greifensee. The round trip from Maur - Uster - Maur takes about 1.5 h.

Offers Greifensee

  • Whole round trip
  • Evening trips with 1st August fireworks from Maur
  • Sunset trips with steam romance and aperitif (Saturday)

Lake Zug and Lake Aegeri boat trip

The graceful Lake Zug - 14 km long and 198 m deep - is surrounded by a gently rolling landscape in its northern part. The southern end is nestled between the steep flanks of Rossberg and Rigi. Lake Aegeri, about 5 km southeast of Zug, is also beautiful to experience by boat. The boats leave near the boat station north of the Landsgemeindeplatz. In summer they sail south to Arth and many other destinations.

The places on the shore are served by the ships of the Schifffahrtsgesellschaft Zugersee. At the start of the season (April 1), the lake maps of Lake Zug and Lake Aegeri are available digitally. There you will also find the most important data and basics about navigation and leisure.

Lake Zug is connected by boat via 9 stops. On your big round trip you reach the worth seeing places Cham, Walchwil, Arth am See, Immensee and Oberwil via these stops.

(Photo: Lake Zug Navigation)(Photo: Lake Zug Navigation)
(Photo: Lake Zug Navigation)(Photo: Lake Zug Navigation)

Offers Lake Zug and Lake Aegeri

Throughout the year, the Zuger Schifffahrtsgesellschaft offers adventure cruises. These range from breakfast or brunch on Sunday to aperitifs and themed cruises such as Dinner Krimi, Casino Night or Bond Brunch.

OfferRouteDuration
Sunday BrunchZG Bahnhofstegca. 2h
Round TripZG Bahnhofstegapprox. 2h
day ticketflexibleflexible

Lake Walen boat trip

The light green shimmering Walensee stretches between the Glarus Alps and the Churfirsten peaks rising almost 1000 m above the lake to the north. It is 15 km long, 151 m deep and up to 2 km wide.

The ferries of the Walensee shipping company run regularly between Quinten and Murg. The motor ship Quinten forms the largest unit with a total capacity of 260 passengers, followed by the ferries MS Churfirsten, MS Seestern, MS Walenstadt and MS Alvier.

From March to October, ships regularly travel between Weesen and Walenstadt. On the route Murg - Au - Quinten - Murg they stop at several places like Betlis. In winter the connection is limited from Murg to Quinten. One of the most beautiful destinations is Weesen, an idyllic little town visited as a summer resort. Hikers also appreciate a stop at Walenstadt under the steep walls of the Hinterrugg.

(Photo: Switzerland Tourism Thomas Kessler)(Photo: Switzerland Tourism Thomas Kessler)
(Photo: Switzerland Tourism Roland Gerth)(Photo: Switzerland Tourism Roland Gerth)

Landing stages on Lake Walen

The main landing stages at the Walensee, which are approached, are: Murg, Au, Weesen, Mühlehorn, Betlis and Quinten.

Shipping Aargau

In the region of Aargau you have the opportunity to enjoy the surroundings from a ship on the Hallwilersee.

Lake Hallwil boat trip

You can cruise across the peaceful waters of Lake Hallwil on a ferry. If you want to discover the lake valley in all its beauty, you can't miss a boat trip on Lake Hallwil.

In 1888, the Lake Hallwil Navigation Company was founded - as the "Steamship Company of Lake Hallwil". Currently, five ships operate on the lake: MS Brestenberg, MS Delphin, MS Seetal, MS Hallwil and MS Seerose.

The scheduled boats sail regularly from May to September, as well as on fair-weather days in the early and late season. The main landing stages are Seengen, Delphin Meisterschwanden, Birrwil, Beinwil am See, Aesch, Mosen and Boniswil.

The big round trip from Seengen - Meisterschwanden - Aesch - Mosen - Beinwil - Birewil - Boniswil - Seengen takes 1 h 45 min. The most popular destinations on Lake Hallwil include Hallwyl Castle, Heidegg Castle, Schongiland Adventure Park and the Seerose and Delphin restaurants in Meisterschwanden.

The offer ranges from seasonal special and theme trips to culinary excursions. Among the most beautiful experiences is the Sunday morning trip with the brunch ship as well as a sunset cruise.

(Photo: Aargau Tourism Michel Jaussi)(Photo: Aargau Tourism Michel Jaussi)
(Photo:Switzerland Tourism Max Schmid)(Photo:Switzerland Tourism Max Schmid)

Boat trip Lake Thun and Lake Brienz

When you travel from Bern to Interlaken for the first time, you will never forget the moment when your gaze falls on Lake Thun. The turquoise blue water will immediately enchant you. So it's no surprise that these two lakes in the Bernese Oberland are a real magnet for excursions.

BLS boat trip

Lakes Thun and Brienz lie in the elongated valley of the Aare between Brienz and Thun. The idyllic Brienz is located on the shore of the lake of the same name. Here you look out over beautiful turquoise waters, rugged mountains and dense forests. Lake Brienz, which is mainly fed by glacier water, is one of the coldest lakes in Switzerland.

The BLS Schifffahrt-Flotte consists of a total of 14 ships, including the two stately paddlewheel steamers "Blümlisalp" and "Lötschberg". Passenger ships operate year-round on Lake Thun between Interlaken and Thun, while operations on Lake Brienz are discontinued in winter.

A lake cruise on both lakes can be combined with excursions to popular places and sights. For example, a stop at the Giessbach Falls on Lake Brienz or the Beatus Caves on Lake Thun is worthwhile. About 18 km from Interlaken, on the northern shore of Lake Brienz, is the valley station of the Brienz-Rothorn cable car, which whiskey lovers should not miss.

Ship on Lake ThunShip on Lake Thun
Steamboat on the lake of BrienzSteamboat on the lake of Brienz

Offers Lake Thun and Lake Brienz

Wonderful evening cruises and numerous events complement the range of courses offered by BLS Schifffahrt. You can also plan a Zweiseen boat trip and connect the lakes with a trip on the Bödeli Railway. This nostalgic mini train in Interlaken operates between May and October by reservation for groups of 8 or more.

Steamboat lines

  • With the nostalgic steamer Blümlisalp you travel the line Thun - Interlaken - Thun or Thun - Beatenbucht - Thun.
  • With the paddle steamer Lötschberg you travel the line Interlaken Ost - Brienz - Interlaken Ost.

Lake Lucerne boat trip

Lake Lucerne is named after the four "Waldstätten" surrounding it - the original cantons of Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden and the canton of Lucerne. It is the fourth largest lake in Switzerland and stretches over a length of 38 km from Lucerne to Flüelen. In magnificence as well as diversity, the 214 m deep lake is not surpassed by any other Swiss lake.

Lake Lucerne Navigation Company SGV

The Lake Lucerne Navigation Company (SGV) operates ships on the lake every day. With 5 paddle steamers and 14 motor ships, the fleet offers something for everyone.

Lucerne is the ideal starting point for excursions by boat on Lake Lucerne as well as for combined tours. The Lucerne regions on Lake Lucerne appear cheerful and serene. Lovely mountain ranges alternate with sheltered bays of almost Mediterranean vegetation. The three well-known excursion mountains Pilatus, Bürgenstock and Rigi set striking accents.

Steamboat ride (Source: Vierwaldstättersee Schifffahrt)Steamboat ride (Source: Vierwaldstättersee Schifffahrt)
Fantastic view (Source: Vierwaldstättersee Schifffahrt)Fantastic view (Source: Vierwaldstättersee Schifffahrt)

Lake Lucerne offers

There are year-round connections from Lucerne to Alpnachstad, Weggis, Vitznau, Brunnen and Flüelen. To Flüelen, however, there is only one ship a day in winter, while the courses turn around in Brunnen or at the Rütli.

Combine your hiking trip with a boat trip, enjoy the sunset atmosphere on deck or sail towards Lucerne's sea of lights during Advent.

With the Lake Lucerne Pass you have one year of free travel on the lake and many other advantages. The annual fee is worth it if you often travel on the lake.

OfferRouteDuration
course tripAlpnachstad to Luzernca. 2h
course rideWeggis to Lucerneca. 50 min
Course rideVitznau to Lucerneapprox. 1¼h
Course rideBrunnen to Lucerneca. 2h
Course rideFlüelen to Lucerneapprox. 3¼h
day ticketwhole lake

Lake Geneva Navigation

To the east of Geneva stretches Western Europe's largest inland lake. The much visited Lake Geneva is a gigantic liquid mirror. It lies between the French Savoy Alps and the Vaud Alps in Switzerland. Of its lake surface, 60% falls on Switzerland and 40% on France.

Boat trips on Lake Geneva CGN

The sunny northern shores of Vaud with the vineyards of Lavaux, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, invite you to linger, discover and enjoy. Other beautiful destinations around Lake Geneva are the Chateau Chillon and the cities of Montreux, Lausanne, Geneva and Evian.

There are plenty of family-friendly activities on Lake Geneva. The largest ferry company (CGN Ferries and Cruises) on Lake Geneva offers a regular schedule year-round. And in addition, various themed cruises operate on beautiful Belle Epoque steamboats.

Navigation Lake Geneva (Photo: CGN)Navigation Lake Geneva (Photo: CGN)
historic Chillon Castlehistoric Chillon Castle

Timetable & Offers Lake Geneva

Main moorings and routes on Lake Geneva are:

  • Geneva - Nyon - Lausanne
  • Lausanne - Montreux - St. Gingolph
  • Nyon - Yvoire
  • Lausanne - Thonon - Nyon

Swissboat also offers various thematic cruises on Lake Geneva and the Rhone from April to October.

Shipping Eastern Switzerland

Located off the northern edge of the Alps, Lake Constance is the third largest inland lake in Europe. It ranks third after Lake Balaton and Lake Geneva among the most extensive lakes in Central Europe. Lake Constance is located in Switzerland, Germany and Austria.

  • Greatest length: 63.3 km between Bregenz and Bodman-Ludwigshafen
  • Greatest lake width: 14.8 km between Kressbronn and Rorschach
  • Largest lake depth: 251.8 m in the Tiefen Schweb of Obersee

Lake Constance Navigation

The entire southern foreland of Lake Constance is Swiss territory and by far the greater part belongs to the canton of Thurgau. In contrast, the area around Rorschach up to the Old Rhine is assigned to the canton of St. Gallen.

Several ferry companies, including the Schweizer Bodensee Schifffahrt SBS - the Vorarlberg Lines VLB, the Bodensee-Schiffsbetriebe BSB and the Schifffahrtsgesellschaft Untersee und Rhein SSURh - crisscross the lake and along its shores from the beginning of March to the end of October.

Bodensee Schifffahrt operates as the largest shipyard on Lake Constance. There are 4 scheduled ships and 2 ferries in operation. In addition, the ships MS Rhynegg and MS Rhy and Rhyspitz operate. In summer, the MS Rhynegg invites you to a wonderful voyage of discovery on the Old Rhine. The motorboats Rhy and Rhyspitz can also be rented.

  • The "St. Gallen" represents the Swiss Lake Constance navigation on the annual fleet star cruise.
  • Together with the "Zürich", the motor ship "Thurgau" is one of the first larger motor ships in Switzerland (built around 1930). The age of the sister ships is hardly noticeable.
  • Coming from Romanshorn, the "Zürich" sets course for Kreuzlingen.
  • Her sister ship, the "Thurgau", was redesigned in 1991 in an appealing rustic style. After transformation into the private Schweizerische Bodensee-Schifffahrtsgesellschaft in 1996, the excursion program was further expanded.
  • The luxury yacht MS Säntis stands out as a gem.
  • Euregia and Romanshorn are the two motor ferries that connect Romanshorn and Friedrichshafen in 45 minutes.
  • From the home port Bregenz the ships of Vorarlberg Lines sail in the summer half-year to Lindau (DE), Meersburg (DE) and Constance (DE). The fleet also includes the MS "Sonnenkönigin". She has room for 1000 passengers. This makes it the largest ship on Lake Constance.

The main stops on Lake Constance on the Swiss side are Romanshorn, Rorschach and Kreuzlingen. Other stops are Arbon, Rheineck, Constance (DE), Mainau (DE), Lindau (DE) and Immenstaad (DE).

(Photo: Lake Constance Navigation)(Photo: Lake Constance Navigation)
(Photo: Lake Constance Navigation)(Photo: Lake Constance Navigation)

Lake Constance offers

offerroute
CruiseMeersburg to Rorschach
course tripLindau to Rorschach
day ticketeverywhere

The Lake Constance ticket includes the use of the ferries Friedrichshafen - Romanshorn and / or Constance - Meersburg depending on the region purchased.

Untersee is separated from the main basin of Lake Constance by a land bridge cut by the Rhine at Constance. In its northern part it forms the two fingers of the Gnadensee. Untersee is located between Constance, Stein am Rhein and Radolfzell.

On the Untersee, the Swiss shipping company "Untersee und Rhein" offers course and adventure cruises. The scheduled boats operate daily from April to October between Kreuzlingen, Stein am Rhein and Schaffhausen. The main stops are Kreuzlingen, Constance, Reichenau Island, Höri Peninsula, Stein am Rhein and Schaffhausen.

View of the Rhine from the shipView of the Rhine from the ship
(Photo: Switzerland Tourism Reto Schlatter)(Photo: Switzerland Tourism Reto Schlatter)

Offers Untersee and Rhine

The 45 km long boat trip from Schaffhausen to Constance leads along one of the most beautiful sections of the Rhine. The Swiss shipping company "Untersee und Rhein" sails from/to Kreuzlingen via Stein am Rhein and Reichenau to Schaffhausen. The trip takes almost four hours downstream - one hour longer in the opposite direction.

Another Untersee round trip starts from Steckborn and leads to Ermatingen, Switzerland's oldest fishing village. On the way you will see castles, palaces and historic half-timbered buildings. The round trip takes about 2 h

Shipping Basel

In Basel, Switzerland comes closest to a seaside port: from here, the Rhine is navigable all the way to its mouth for relatively large ships. It flows north through the city in a gentle curve coming from the southeast.

The Basler Personenschifffahrt operates scheduled cruises and year-round adventure cruises from March to October. Founded in 1924, the company now owns four ships.

  • Their new flagship is the Rhystärn. The course ship offers space for up to 700 people and impresses with a cozy deck with bar and generous window fronts. You enjoy a fabulous view on your Rhine Basel tour.
  • The trip on the motor ship "Christoph Merian" is no less exciting. There is room for 500 people.
  • The smallest ship in the fleet, the "Baslerdybli", sails past the old town and under numerous bridges in a nostalgic look and with up to 78 seats.
(Photo: Basel Tourism)(Photo: Basel Tourism)
(Photo: Basel Tourism)(Photo: Basel Tourism)

Offers Basel

  • The big lock trip to Rheinfelden is very popular. It is the king trip of the round trip offer. On the approx. 4-hour trip you pass the two locks Birsfelden and Augst.
  • From the Kleinbasel bank of the Rhine to Klybeckquay and the border triangle, you enjoy an approx. 50-minute harbor trip with a magnificent view of France and Germany.
  • In the heart of Basel, an approx. 50-minute city tour takes you past the Basel Cathedral, the Roche Tower, the Tinguely Museum and to the Birsfelden lock.

Boat trip Ticino

It is hard to believe the contrasts that Switzerland offers: Where you stroll along the waterfront promenades in Locarno and Lugano under well-tended palm trees, you enter an alpine jungle in the wild side valleys. The boat trip in Ticino is suitable for unforgettable hours or days with family or friends....

Lake Maggiore, 60 km long, 3-5 km wide and up to 372 m deep, is the second largest of the Upper Italian lakes.

Lake Maggiore boat trip

Only the northeasternmost corner of Lake Maggiore with the town of Locarno belongs to Switzerland. The rest of the lake is in Italian Lombardy. There has been passenger navigation on the lake since 1826. The Navigazione Lago Maggiore shipping company operates ships on the entire lake. The fleet consists of 25 ships. Among them are the historic "Piemonte", a historic steamboat built in 1904, and modern speedboats such as the catamaran "Leopardie".

Be it the event tour on a paddle steamer, round trips or short excursions - every trip across Lake Maggiore is an experience. The sister towns of Locarno and Ascona are located on the two bays. A charming contrast that always surprises is the light blue of the lake in front of the sugared peaks of Tamaro and Gambarogno.

Offers Lake Maggiore

With the day ticket you can sail the whole Swiss part of the lake. There are several options for visiting the Italian side. A car ferry connects the ports of Intra and Laveno every 20 minutes.

Ascona (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Ivo Scholz)Ascona (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Ivo Scholz)
Lake Maggiore (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Ivo Scholz)Lake Maggiore (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Ivo Scholz)

Lake Lugano Navigation

Lake Lugano on the southern edge of the Alps belongs mainly to the Swiss canton of Ticino. The lake also has a share in the Italian provinces of Varese and Como. Situated at 270 meters above sea level, the lake is up to 288 meters deep and 35 kilometers long.

A boat trip on Lago di Lugano is definitely worthwhile. The transport boats on the lake are operated by the Societa Navigazione de Lago di Lugano. The offer of the shipping company with nine ships includes morning, noon and evening trips.

Offers Lago di Lugano

There are round trips from Lugano to Melide, to Morcuote and to Ponte Tresa. If you want to visit more places, it is best to choose a time ticket. In addition to the day pass, there is also a three-day pass and a weekly pass. Children travel at a reduced price.

The pier in Lugano is located near Piazza della Riforma. The boats operate all year round. They operate most frequently between the end of March and October. At this time they sometimes even go as far as Ponte Tresa, which is right on the border with Italy.

With its rivers and lakes, the Three Lakes Region is predestined for a leisurely cruise on a passenger ship.

Lake Biel, with a length of 14.5 km and a width of up to 3.5 km, forms the boundary between two geological regions: the limestone formation of the Jura and the molasse region of the Seeland. The neighboring lakes Lake Neuchâtel and Lake Murten are connected to Lake Biel by a canal.

Throughout the year, the Bielersee Schifffahrtsgesellschaft BSG in Biel and the Navigation Lacs de Neuchatel et Morat LNM in Neuchâtel offer day trips for all three lakes. The proud fleet of BSG Schifffahrt includes classic course ships, the largest solar catamaran in Switzerland and a modern yacht. The route network runs through the Seeland region from Solothurn to Murten. On the Aare, the ships sail into Lake Biel, on into Lake Neuchâtel to Lake Murten and back again.

A round trip makes you familiar with the beautiful shores and a number of villages and small towns worth seeing. A famous destination on Lake Biel is St. Peter's Island - a spot of poetic beauty. You can reach St. Peter's Island by boat from Biel or La Neuveville. Along the nature reserve Yverdon les Bains Champ-Pittet you will enjoy a magnificent view of the Jura chain.

Highlights on the Aare trip between Solothurn and Biel are the storks of Altreu, the historic town of Büren an der Aare and the lock in Port.

View of Lake Biel (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Jan Geerk)View of Lake Biel (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Jan Geerk)
The Aare on a sunny dayThe Aare on a sunny day

Timetable & Offers Three Lakes Country

Day trips across all three lakes include lunch. Other boats operate regularly only in spring and summer. In autumn and winter, however, there are numerous special trips such as fondue evenings.

The one-way trip from Biel to Erlach takes about 1 ¼ h, the two-lake trip about 2 ¼ h and the big three-lake trip about 3 ¼ h.

Boat trip Fribourg

In the Fribourg region, a tour by boat on Lake Murten is possible and definitely worth a visit.

Lake Murten boat trip

Canals connect Lake Murten with Lake Neuchâtel to the west and Lake Biel to the north, forming the Three Lakes Country. It is lakeland, distinguished by about 250 km of cycling and hiking trails. Lake Murten is 9 km long and up to 46 m deep. To the northwest extends the flat ridge of Mont Vully, which separates Lake Murten from Lake Neuchâtel.

In the season from the end of April to the end of October, the Navigation Lacs de Neuchatel et Morat offers boat trips on Lake Morat. On the approximately 70-minute round trip, the ship stops in Praz, Motier, Avenches, Vallamand and Faoug.

By the way, in Salavaux you will find the longest sandy beach in Switzerland.

Boat trips Valais

In Valais, the main valley of the Rhone, an enchanting river landscape reveals itself. It starts at the Rhone glacier and ends at the shore of Lake Geneva. There are no navigation companies here, as they are known from the Aare. Instead, the rivers of the region can be explored in other ways, for example river rafting.

Boat trips Graubünden

Graubünden is the headwaters of the Rhine. The Inn also rises here, as well as the rivers of the Italian-Graubünden southern valleys that flow toward the Po. The Rhine Gorge forms a spectacular backdrop for first white-water rafting taster tours. If you're looking for more challenging waters, you'll find them on the Landquart in central Prättigau and in the Lower Engadine

Also for canoeists the Vorderrhein is an ideal area for the first attempts in white water. It is also home to the best canoe school in the canton. It offers a wide range of canoe and kayak courses.

Swiss Activities tips for boat trips in Switzerland

  • With a day pass in your pocket, you can get off and explore as many times as you like along the way before moving on to the next ship.
  • If you want to enjoy the outside deck during the trip, we strongly recommend that you take a windbreaker with you, even in summer and when the weather is nice
  • The GA and the Half-Fare Card are valid on most lakes and rivers, so that you can travel at greatly reduced rates or even for free.
  • The Swiss Boat Pass offers a 50% discount on boat trips. Brunch and lunch are also taken into account
  • Boat trips are a great excursion even in winter. Many shipping companies offer a year-round schedule, although it is usually greatly reduced in the winter.
  • The last surviving steamship on Lake Constance, the "Hoehentwiel", was launched in 1913. Already one year before, a first steamship imported from Liverpool - the "Comapagnie Generale de Navigation sur le Lac Leman" - was sailing on Lake Geneva. The "Savoie", the "Simplon" and the "Rhone" date back to the Belle Epoque. The oldest ship on Lake Lucerne is the "Rigi" from 1884
Lake Thun in winter (Photo: BLS)Lake Thun in winter (Photo: BLS)
(Photo: CGN)(Photo: CGN)

FAQ

  • Are dogs allowed on the ships?
  • Are boat cruises in Switzerland suitable for wheelchair users?