boat sailing across a lake in Switzerland
Podcast Episodes

Episode 44: Breathtaking boat trips to enjoy in Switzerland

April 20, 2022 Last Updated on September 20, 2022

Did you know that Switzerland is home to over 1500 lakes? And that wherever you are in Switzerland you are never more than 16 km – or 10 miles – from one of those lakes?  That’s a pretty incredible fact.

With so many lakes in the country, it’s not surprising then that boat trips and lake cruises are plentiful.  In fact, in some instances, it’s faster to get from A to B by boat than it is by any other mode of transport!

To tell us about some of the fantastic – and varied – boat trips that are available in Switzerland, I’m joined again by Andy Nef from Swiss Travel System.  Andy is a regular guest on the podcast and he’s a wealth of knowledge when it comes to travelling by public transport in Switzerland.

Andy has promised to tell us about some of Switzerland’s most popular boat trips as well as a couple of others that are not as well known.  And the great thing about all these fantastic boat trips is that almost all of them are fully covered with the Swiss Travel Pass – Switzerland’s all-in-one transport ticket.

Cruising the lakes of Switzerland whilst admiring the stunning natural scenery is the ideal way to spend an hour or three.  If you need a natural trophy, you need Switzerland.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Switzerland Tourism for sponsoring the podcast. Just like the folks from Switzerland Tourism, my passion is to inspire you to visit this most incredible country and to pass on practical tips to help you plan your dream Swiss vacation.  It’s great to be able to join with Switzerland Tourism on the podcast to do just that.

You can find lots and lots of travel tips and destination inspiration on myswitzerland.com so be sure to check that out.

Click the green button below to listen:

[This post may contain compensated links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.]

Show Notes

Topics covered in this episode include:

  • What is the System Travel System?
  • What is the Swiss Travel Pass?
  • Boat trips included with the Swiss Travel Pass
  • Combining boat trips and other forms of public transport
  • International boat cruises
  • River cruising in Switzerland
  • Types of vessels and their onboard facilities
  • Where to find boat timetables
  • Theme cruises
MS Uri on Lake Lucerne © Swiss Travel System
Cruise boat on Rhine River near Schaffhausen
Cruise boat on the Rhine River © Schaffhauseerland Tourism
Paddle steamer at Montreux on Lake Geneva

Boat trips mentioned in this episode:

Boat trips and leisure cruises are available on all major lakes in Switzerland including Lake Geneva, Lake Constance, Lake Lucerne, Lake Zürich, the lakes of Bernese Oberland (Lakes Thun and Brienz), Lake Lugano and the three lake area, which includes Lake Neuchatel, Lake Bienne and the Murten Lake. 

Specific cruises that Andy talks about:

>> Thun to Interlaken (Lake Thun) – a great alternative to travelling by train between the two towns

>> Lucerne to Vitznau (Lake Lucerne) – the perfect way to connect with a cogwheel train to Mt. Rigi

>> Lucerne to Flüelen (Lake Lucerne) – enjoy a cruise as part of Gotthard Panorama Express journey

>> Romanshorn to Friedrichshafen in Germany (Lake Constance) – a 45-minute ‘international’ cruise

>> Rorschach to Lindau in Germany (Lake Constance) – reach the pretty German town in just 1 hour

>> Lausanne to Evian-les-Bains in France (Lake Geneva) one of the most popular commuter boat trips

>> Schaffhausen to Kruezlingen via Stein am Rhein (Rhine River) – enjoy a leisurely cruise on the Rhine

>> Biel, Neuchatel and Murten (3 Lakes Cruise) – cruise three lakes thanks to a series of canals which connects them

MS Diamant on Lake Lucerne
MS Diamant on Lake Lucerne © Swiss Travel System
Paddle steamer sailing on Lake Thun
Boat sailing on Lake Murten, Switzerland
Boat crossing Lake Murten © swiss-image.ch/Anthony Demierre


Useful Resources

As Andy mentions in this episode, almost all of the cruises he talked about are fully included with the Swiss Travel Pass. Those that aren’t fully included are often discounted by up to 50%. You can read more about the Swiss Travel Pass > in this article.

> Click here to buy your Swiss Travel Pass.

You might also like to read > this article which details some of the many different scenic cruises and boat trips available in Switzerland.

Timetables for boat trips can be found on the website of the individual navigation companies or on the website of the Swiss Federal Railways (use the Advanced Search filter to select boats only).

If you would like to listen to other podcast episodes featuring Andy Nef, you can find them on the links below:


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This episode is sponsored by Switzerland Tourism

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