hidden europe 55

Lake Geneva By Boat

by hidden europe

Picture above: Belle époche paddle steamers ply Lake Geneva, connecting the villages along the lakeshore. Here, the historic steamer ‘La Suisse’ arrives at the station in Cully. The vessel has been in regular service for over 100 years (photo © hidden europe).


From the Bodensee in the north to Lago Maggiore in the south, Swiss lakes are blessed with a wide range of scheduled boat services. We take a look at services which ply the waters of Lake Geneva, serving over two dozen ports across the lake.

Most boat services on Lake Geneva are operated by Compagnie générale de navigation sur le Lac Léman (often abbreviated to CGN). Some routes run all year, but note that winter services are less frequent than those during high season and some routes are not served at all. So it is not possible to travel the full length of the lake in winter. In summer it is, but it still requires time. The sailing from Geneva to Montreux takes five hours. It is, in our view, time well spent. There is no finer way to see the local landscapes than from a boat.

Fares are priced in Swiss francs (CHF). The boat ride from Cully to Vevey is 14 CHF single (€12) or 24 CHF (€21) return. Cully to Chillon (at the eastern end of the lake) is 36 CHF (€31) return. A one-day pass allowing visitors to explore the entire lake for a day is 64 CHF (€55).

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