Boat tours on Lake Brienz: the must-knows

  • Boats on Lake Brienz are available from spring to autumn.
  • The full trip Interlaken Ost-Brienz takes 75 minutes. You can make shorter trips too.
  • If you like waterfalls, get off the boat at Giessbach and hike along the falls.
  • Planning the GoldenPass ride? For more variety, you can take the boat instead of the train between Brienz and Interlaken.
  • Boat rides are free with the Swiss Travel Pass.
Min. time required: 1:00
Season: mid April to mid October
Recommended season: mid April to mid October
Max. altitude: 566 m (1857 ft)

Lake Brienz boats: quick introduction Copy link to clipboard

Lake Brienz ("Brienzersee" in German) is a lake in the Bernese Oberland. It's located between the towns Interlaken and Brienz. You can travel the entire lake, or part of it, by boat. The scenery is amazing: the lake is surrounded by mountains. And you'll pass the beautiful Giessbach waterfalls.

Boat prices, tickets and reservations Copy link to clipboard

Lake Brienz: 2024 boat prices

A single boat ride Interlaken Ost-Brienz costs CHF 35 if you don't have a rail pass. The exact price of your ticket depends on the route you pick.

If you want to make several boat trips on one day, a day pass may be economical. You can get it for just Lake Brienz, or for both Lake Thun and Lake Brienz.

You can get discounts or even free travel with your rail pass. If you have a rail pass that includes the Lake Brienz boats, such as the Swiss Travel Pass or the Berner Oberland Pass, you don't need additional tickets or day passes.

Where to buy your tickets

Boat tickets are available online. They can also be bought on the boats, right after boarding. From spring to fall, manned ticket desks at the boat docks in Interlaken Ost and Brienz are available as well.


You don't have to make reservations for normal boat trips. Just board with your valid ticket or pass.

Reservations for the ship restaurants are optional. However, if you want to join one of the special (culinary) cruises, you should make reservations in advance.

Get your tickets for the Lake Brienz boats Copy link to clipboard

You only need tickets or day passes for the lake if you don't have a rail pass that allows free boat trips.

Interlaken: Boat Day Pass on Lake Thun and Lake Brienz
Interlaken: Boat Day Pass on Lake Thun and Lake Brienz
Step onboard and enjoy a full day soaking in the magnificent scenery of Lake Thun. Enjoy time on Lake Brienz during the spring and summer months.

Offered by GetYourGuide:

  • Easy, online, free cancellation in most cases
  • Best Price Matching: GetYourGuide will pay the difference if you find a lower price.
  • Extra Support: if you buy here, MySwissAlps can also assist if you have questions about your order.
Day ticket Lake Brienz by boat
Day ticket Lake Brienz by boat
Scenic boat trip
Experience unlimited travel on Lake Brienz, one of the most beautiful lakes with a mountain panorama, with the Bls Schifffahrt day ticket.

Offered by Swiss Activities:

  • Easy, online, free cancellation in most cases
  • Extra Support: if you buy here, MySwissAlps can also assist if you have questions about your order.
Lake Thun and Lake Brienz Day Pass Ticket for Lake Boat Cruises
Scenic boat trip
In the midst of the Bernese Oberland, Lake Thun is surrounded by a fabulous mountain scenery, a myriad of cozy villages, and the charming cities of Thun and Interlaken. The turquoise Lake Brienz and neighbouring Lake Thun are set amid the spectacular mountain scenery of the Bernese Oberland between Interlaken …

Offered by Viator:

  • Easy, online, free cancellation in most cases
  • Lowest Price Guarantee: Viator will refund the difference if you find a better price.
  • Extra Support: if you buy here, MySwissAlps can also assist if you have questions about your order.
This list includes external links to our trusted partners.

Promotions Copy link to clipboard

There are currently no promotions available.

Find other promotions

Rail pass discounts for Lake Brienz cruises Copy link to clipboard

The benefits of the passes below apply to standard boat tours. If you book a special (culinary) cruise, additional costs apply.

Berner Oberland Pass Free:
  • All boats
Day Pass Free:
  • All boats
Eurail Global Pass Free:
  • All boats
Interrail Switzerland Pass Free:
  • All boats
Jungfrau Travel Pass Free:
  • All boats
Saver Day Pass Free:
  • All boats
Swiss Half Fare Card Discount 50%:
  • All boats
Swiss Travel Pass Free:
  • All boats
Swiss Travel Pass Flex Free:
  • All boats

How to reach the boat docks Copy link to clipboard

The main docks: Brienz and Interlaken Ost

The main boat docks are in Brienz and Interlaken. The dock at Brienz is just outside the rail station. The dock in Interlaken is right outside the rail station Interlaken Ost.

Both towns can be reached by train or by car. The train is easier, because it stops so close to the docks. You don't have to worry about parking either.

Other docks

There are many more towns at which you can get on or off board. Examples are Bönigen and Iseltwald. The map does not show all the stops, as they are different per trip.

You can find all options in the timetable.

Map of Lake Brienz

Not all routes are displayed on this map. Consult the boat timetable for a complete overview.

Maps are available to members only
Check out all the benefits members have access to
Create a free account

Operation dates, schedules and timetable Copy link to clipboard

Operation dates of the boats

The boats on Lake Brienz usually operate from early or mid-April to mid-October. There are several rides a day, in both directions. In spring and autumn, the schedule is a somewhat restricted, but there are still plenty of trips each day.

How to plan your boat trip in the timetable

You can find specific boat timetables through the links here. Or you can use the general Swiss timetable.

  • Use the "Settings" to select boats only.
  • Most ship piers can be recognized by the addition "See" to a town's name in the timetable. Examples are "Interlaken Ost (See)" and "Brienz (See)".

Best months for Lake Brienz boat rides Copy link to clipboard

We love a boat ride on Lake Brienz during all operation months: mid April to mid October. Details:

  • From mid-April to June, you'll see beautiful spring nature and there can still be snow on the surrounding mountains.
  • July and August are summer. Being seated on the outdoor deck and fully enjoying the views will be more pleasant than in other cooler months.
  • From September to mid-October, there are fewer tourists than in July and August. You can have great late-summer weather, or see the autumn setting in.

Weather Copy link to clipboard

Of course sunny skies are best for a ride on Lake Brienz. That allows you sit on the outdoor deck and enjoy the views. But boat trips are possible in nearly all kinds of weather, even in rain. There's plenty of room to sit inside too.

Services can be suspended in case of extreme weather conditions or high water levels.

Find the current forecasts for Brienz below.

Weather reports are available to members only
Check out all the benefits members have access to
Create a free account
Weather forecast

Other excursions to combine your boat trip with

A tour on Lake Brienz can well be combined with other excursions. Our suggestions:

  • Travel one-way between Interlaken Ost and Brienz by boat. Then get back by train.
  • Replace the GoldenPass train section between Interlaken Ost and Brienz by a boat tour.
  • Visit the Brienzer Rothorn from Brienz.
  • Visit the Aare Gorge or the Ballenberg Museum east of Brienz.
  • Hike along the lake, for example from Giessbach to Iseltwald.

Lake Brienz or Lake Thun: how to choose

Lake Brienz and nearby Lake Thun can both be explored by boat. If you have time, we recommend to make trips on both lakes: they’re quite different and have their own charm. If you have to choose, pick the one closest to your base town.

Overall, these are the pros of Lake Brienz:

  • It’s smaller than Lake Thun. It takes less time to cross the entire lake, so there’s more time for additional trips on the same day.
  • It’s surrounded by high hills. To us, this feels like we’re making a boat cruise right amidst the mountains, more so than at Lake Thun.

Lake Brienz boats: FAQ

  1. Which types of tours are offered on Lake Brienz?

    Most cruises are standard ones. The boats cross the lake during the day to transport passengers between the villages on Lake Brienz.

    On top of these normal cruises, there are special themed tours, mostly in summer. Examples are dinner cruises. These require advance reservation, and there are extra costs on top of a normal ticket or travel pass.

  2. What types of boats sail Lake Brienz?

    The boats that cross Lake Brienz are large ferries, operated by the company BLS. Most are motor vessels, but there’s also the traditional steamboat called “Lötschberg”. The timetable indicates which kind of boat operates during your tour.

    All boats have indoor and outdoor sections with seats. There’s usually a bistro with simple snacks or a restaurant.

  3. What are the differences between 1st and 2nd class on Lake Brienz boats?

    2nd class is at the lower deck. It has indoor and outdoor sections. The smaller 1st class area is at the upper deck. Here too you can be seated indoors or outdoors. It’s usually les crowded.

  4. Which boat route is best?

    We think that all sections of Lake Brienz are equally pretty. Make a boat trip across the entire lake if you can. If not, just pick any section that suits your itinerary.

  5. Is it allowed to have your own food and drinks on board?

    Yes, you can eat and drink your own food, except when seated in the restaurant.

  6. How can I see the Giessbach Falls best?

    The famous Giessbach Falls can be seen from the boat. You’ll see the lower part where the falls splash into the lake.

    For a better view you can get out at the Giessbach pier. There’s a footpath along the waterfalls. You can hike or take the funicular up to the Grandhotel Giessbach. After your visit, continue your journey with the next boat at Giessbach.

  7. Is Iseltwald worth a visit?

    Iseltwald is a pretty village along the southern shore of Lake Brienz. It has traditional Swiss chalets and the picturesque Seeburg castle on a peninsula. It’s worth a photo stop, but things can quite crowded. We share our detailed advice here.

Other websites of interest


  • boat timetables for Lake Brienz and Lake Thun


  • standard ticket prices for boats on Lake Brienz and Lake Thun

Our blog posts about Lake Brienz Copy link to clipboard

Brienzersee and Niesen near Iseltwald

Hike Giessbach-Iseltwald

Walk along Lake Brienz, starting at the impressive Giessbach Falls and ending in the charming village Iseltwald.

Related activities Copy link to clipboard

Oberhofen Castle along Lake Thun

Boat Lake Thun

The large Lake Thun in the Bernese Oberland can be explored by boat all year. There are long cruises between …
Lake Brienz and Bernese Alps seen from Brienzer Rothorn

Brienzer Rothorn

Prepare for an excursion to the Brienzer Rothorn in the Bernese Oberland. A steam train takes you up to panoramic …
GoldenPass on snowy spring day in Montbovon


Several special GoldenPass trains run on this beautiful route between Lucerne, Interlaken and Montreux. Here's all you need to know …

More about nearby towns and the Bernese Oberland Copy link to clipboard

Passenger ferry at Lake Brienz arriving at dock in Brienz


Brienz is a scenic village in the Bernese Oberland. Located on Lake Brienz, it's a good base to cover the …
Rosenlaui valley towards Grindelwald, Wetterhorn and Eiger from Hasliberg

Bernese Oberland

The Bernese Oberland is a popular Swiss holiday region south-east of the city Bern. You'll find a very diverse landscape …
Höheweg main street in center of Interlaken


Interlaken is the central town in the Bernese Oberland, and the gate to the famous Jungfrau Region. We share our …

About MySwissAlps

We’re passionate tourists and locals. We share tips about how to plan a trip to Switzerland. MySwissAlps was founded in 2002.

Get a free account for a worry-free trip

  • Join our 9580 members and ask us questions in the forum
  • Access to member-only promotions
  • Detailed maps and weather forecasts

Don’t miss our tips and new promotions

Subscribe to our newsletter. You’ll receive practical tips and be alerted when there are new promotions.

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.