Boat tours on Lake Thun: the must-knows

  • Boats operate on Lake Thun all year long, even in winter.
  • Choose between the full 2-hour ride (Interlaken-Thun) or many shorter stretches.
  • The scenic marina of Spiez is perfect for a coffee or lunch break.
  • We recommend a combined trip to Niederhorn: a lesser-known mountain with great views.
  • All standard boat rides are free with the Swiss Travel Pass.
Min. time required: 2:00
Season: all year
Recommended season: mid April to mid October
Max. altitude: 566 m (1857 ft)

Lake Thun boats: quick introduction Copy link to clipboard

Lake Thun ('Thunersee' in German) is a large lake in the Bernese Oberland. It's between the towns Thun and Interlaken. You can cross the entire lake, or part of it, by boat. Beautiful scenery, pretty villages and castles on the shores make this a great excursion.

Lake Thun prices, tickets and reservations Copy link to clipboard

Lake Thun 2024 boat fares

A single boat ride between Interlaken West and Thun in 2nd class costs CHF 51 without a rail pass. The exact price of your ticket depends on the route you pick.

Day passes for unlimited cruises on the lake are available too: either just for Lake Thun, or for both Lake Thun and Lake Brienz.

You can get discounts or even free traveling with your rail pass. If your pass grants free traveling, you don't need tickets or day passes: just board and show your pass when asked for.

Where to get your tickets

Boat tickets are available online or on board the boat right after boarding. From spring to autumn, the there are manned ticket desks at the docks of Interlaken West, Spiez, and Thun as well.


You don't have to make reservations for normal boat cruises. Just board and show your ticket or pass if asked for.

Table reservations in the regular boat restaurants are optional. Only if you want to make a special culinary cruise, you do need to make reservations in advance.

Get your tickets for Lake Thun boats Copy link to clipboard

If you don't have a rail pass that allows free travel on Lake Thun, you need boat tickets.

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.

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  • Easy, online, free cancellation in most cases
  • Best Price Matching: GetYourGuide will pay the difference if you find a lower price.
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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 …

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  • 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.
Interlaken: Lake Thun and Lake Brienz Boat Cruises Day Pass
Interlaken: Lake Thun and Lake Brienz Boat Cruises Day Pass
Scenic boat trip
Admire spectacular scenery with a day ticket for all scheduled boats on Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. Enjoy a full cruise on each lake, or stop off as much as you like. Explore train and bus lines too.

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.
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Discounted boat tours with your rail pass Copy link to clipboard

The benefits of the passes below apply to standard boat trips. If you book a special themed 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 docks Copy link to clipboard

The main docks of Lake Thun: Thun and Interlaken West

The main boat docks are in Thun and Interlaken. Both docks are right next to the train stations of Thun and Interlaken West.

You can reach these towns by train or by car. We recommend traveling by train, because the trains stop very close to the docks. And you won't have to deal with parking.

Other docks

There are many more towns at which you can get on or off board. Examples are Oberhofen and Spiez. The map does not show all the stops, as these are different per trip. Consult the schedules for all cruise options.

Map of Lake Thun

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Operation dates, schedules and timetable Copy link to clipboard

Operation dates of the boats

The boats on Lake Thun operate all year. You'll have the most choice in the summer season, which runs from usually runs from mid-May until mid-October. There's a restricted schedule during the rest of the year.

How to plan your boat trip in the timetable

You can find specific boat timetables through the BLS links here. Or find cruises in the general Swiss timetable.

  • Use the "Settings" option to select boats as the only travel mode.
  • The shipping piers can be recognized by the addition "(See)" after the town name. Examples are "Interlaken West (See)" and "Thun (See)".

Best season for Lake Thun Copy link to clipboard

The best months to enjoy Lake Thun by boat are 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.
  • In July and August temperatures are highest and you can usually enjoy the scenery from an outdoor seat.
  • From September to mid-October, you can have great late-summer weather, or see autumn setting in.

Other months are fine too. Mind that:

  • it can get crowded in July and August. 
  • timetables are restricted in low season (late October until early April).

Weather info and forecasts for Lake Thun Copy link to clipboard

Of course, sunny skies are ideal for a cruise on Lake Thun. It's great to sit outside, enjoy the views and snap pictures. But boat trips are possible in nearly all kinds of weather, even in rain. There's plenty of room to sit inside.

Boats may not operate in case of extreme weather conditions or high water levels.

Weather forecasts for Spiez on Lake Thun

Find the current forecasts for the Lake Thun region below.

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Weather forecast

How to combine Lake Thun with other excursions

We suggest to combine a boat trip on Lake Thun with any of these activities:

  • Travel one-way between Interlaken Ost and Thun by boat. Then get back: either by train along the southern shore of the lake, or by bus along the northern shore.
  • Visit Thun or nearby Bern.
  • Visit one of the castles on the lake, for example in Oberhofen or Spiez.
  • Get out in Spiez and have a coffee or lunch break in the marina.
  • Get out in Spiez and travel up to the Niesen.
  • Get off board in Beatenbucht and travel to the village Beatenberg or the mountain Niederhorn. It’s less well-known than other mountains in the Bernese Oberland but has amazing views.
  • Get off at the stop ‘Beatushöhlen-Sundlauenen’ and visit the Beatus caves.
  • Get up to Harder Kulm in Interlaken.
  • Travel part of the Lötschberg Mountain Railway. You can board in Bern, Thun, or Spiez.

Lake Thun or Lake Brienz: how to choose?

Lake Thun and nearby Lake Brienz can both be crossed by boat. We advise to make trips on both lakes, as they’re really different. If you have to choose, pick the one closest to your base town. If you’re still in doubt, these are the pros of Lake Thun:

  • It’s larger than Lake Brienz. You can make a longer trip and have a full 3- or 4-course lunch in the restaurant.
  • The scenery is more varied. The landscape is wide, open and hilly between Thun and Spiez. It’s more mountainous between Spiez and Interlaken.
  • If you like castles, you should opt for Lake Thun. There are 5 castles on the lake: in Thun, Schadau, Hünegg, Oberhofen and Spiez.

Lake Thun boats: FAQ

  1. Which types of boat tours are available at Lake Thun?

    Most cruises are standard ones. The ferries operate in daytime to transport tourists and other passengers between the towns along Lake Thun.

    There are special cruises too, usually with a culinary theme. These require reservations, and there are extra costs on top of a normal ticket or travel pass.

  2. What types of boats sail Lake Thun?

    The boats on Lake Thun are large passenger ferries, all operated by the company BLS. The fleet is a mix of modern vessels and traditional steamboats. The timetable indicates which kind of boat you’ll have 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 Thun 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 on Lake Thun is best?

    All of Lake Thun is pretty. We recommend to make a full trip between Thun and Interlaken West to experience all of the lake. Then you’ll see the gentle hills around Thun, and the high Alps that define the Interlaken area. The full trip also allows you to enjoy a long lunch in the boat restaurant.

    If you don’t have time to do the full trip, we recommend traveling between Spiez and Interlaken West. That’s the section with higher mountains.

  5. Can I eat or drink on board?

    Yes. Most boats have an indoor restaurant serving coffee, tea, and other beverages, as well as pastries, and a wice choice of cold and warm lunch dishes. Some boats have a bistro with a more limited offer snacks.

    If you’re not seated in the restaurant area, you can have our own food and drinks as well.

Other websites of interest


  • boat timetables for Lake Brienz and Lake Thun


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

Blog posts about Lake Thun Copy link to clipboard

Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau and Lake Brienz from Niederhorn

Hike Niederhorn-Waldegg

Wonderful route with lots of wide views over Lake Thun and more of the Bernese Oberland.
Castle and marina of Spiez along Lake Thun, Bernese Oberland

Hike Faulensee-Spiez

Explore the charming village of Spiez, its marina and Lake Thun in less than 2 hours.

Guides for the main nearby activities Copy link to clipboard

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About Thun, Interlaken, and the Bernese Oberland Copy link to clipboard

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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.