Must-knows about boat trips in Switzerland

  • Spontaneous boat rides are no problem at all. Reservations are not required.
  • If you have a rail pass that includes free lake cruises, you can board without getting a ticket.
  • If you do need a ticket, you can buy it online, at larger rail stations, at the boat docks and sometimes on board.

Find your boat tour in Switzerland

Boat on Lake Lucerne near the village of Weggis
Boat Lake Lucerne
Scenic boat tripMin. time required: 1:00
Many boat rides are available on the large Lake Lucerne all year round. We explain what they cost, how to get discounts, what to expect …
Passenger ferry at Bürkliplatz in Zurich
Boat Lake Zurich
Scenic boat tripMin. time required: 1:00
All you should know when preparing your Lake Zurich boat ride: about short river cruises, full-day lake cruises, schedules, prices, catering, and more.
Oberhofen Castle along Lake Thun
Boat Lake Thun
Scenic boat tripMin. time required: 2:00
The large Lake Thun in the Bernese Oberland can be explored by boat all year. There are long cruises between Thun and Interlaken, and many …
Boat for lake Brienz waiting near Interlaken Ost
Boat Lake Brienz
Scenic boat tripMin. time required: 1:00
Boat trips on Lake Brienz in the Bernese Oberland can be made from spring to fall. Learn how to get to the docks, which rides …
Passenger ferry leaving from the Brissago Islands
Boat Lake Maggiore
Scenic boat tripMin. time required: 0:30
This is how to plan a boat tour on the Swiss part of Lake Maggiore. You can even enjoy an international cruise into Italy.
1st class seat in panoramic Gotthard Panorama Express coach
Gotthard Panorama Express
Scenic boat trip, Scenic train tripMin. time required: 5:30
The Gotthard Panorama Express is a scenic boat and train journey between Lucerne and Lugano. Prepare with our info about the route, tickets, reservations and …
Steam boat on Lake Geneva seen from Territet
Boat Lake Geneva
Scenic boat tripMin. time required: 1:00
Plan your trip on the largest lake of Switzerland: Lake Geneva. We explain about the cruises on the western and eastern part of the lake, …
Ferry crossing Lake Lugano between Gandria and Lugano
Boat Lake Lugano
Scenic boat tripMin. time required: 0:03
Boat trips on Lake Lugano are a relaxed way to see the area, and can be combined with various other activities. Learn all about the …
Lake Lugano, green hills and Monte Generoso seen from Monte San Salvatore
One day Ticino
City trip, Mountains, Scenic boat tripMin. time required: 7:00
If you are pressed for time, you can see the highlights of the Ticino region in Switzerland in one day. Follow this step-by-step itinerary.
St. Alban ferry and passenger boat on the Rhine in Basel
Boat Basel
Scenic boat tripMin. time required: 0:30
Tips for boat and ferry trips from Basel on the river Rhine. There are round trips, ferry crossings and culinary cruises. Learn all details.
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Practical info about boat reservations and tickets

Reservations aren’t necessary for normal boat rides. This means you can just hop on and off with your rail pass or ticket. You may only need reservations for special culinary cruises.

If you don’t have a rail pass that includes free boat rides, you have to buy a point-to-point ticket. You’ll find specifics on each of our boat pages above.

Boat schedules can be found through our boat pages as well. Alternatively, you can find them in the general Swiss timetable. Use the “Advanced search” option to select boats. A full explanation of the timetable is available here.

RhB train in Val Bever in autumn


Use our rail pass finder to quickly select the best pass or ticket for your Switzerland trip: from the Swiss …
1st class seat in panoramic Gotthard Panorama Express coach

Seat reservations

You don’t need seat reservations for Swiss trains and other public transport. There are exceptions, such as a few panoramic …

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Page author: AnnikaSince early childhood I've been visiting Switzerland during my holidays and I just fell in love with the country. I spent many summers in the Bernese Oberland, which still feels like my second home, and then started to explore other areas. Traveling, hiking and photographing in the Swiss Alps are my absolute favorite activities.