If you are staying in any hotel in Geneva, you should have received a card providing free public transport...
...that includes the Mouettes lines, four different 'boat lines' allowing to easily cross the lake.
And even if you don't have that card, this is still a pretty good deal, a cruise for the price of a bus ticket!! ;-)
There are quite a few options for boat tours around Lake Geneva, including a lunch cruise, a two hour cruise and an all day nine hour cruise. We had some time to spare, so we went for the one hour cruise.
Lake Geneva is very big, and this tour stays within the Petit-Lac (small lake). The main points of interest are highlighted over the loud speaker, but make sure to pick up the pamphlet on the boat as well, as the announcements were hard to hear. Try to get a spot on top of the boat on one of the deck chairs for the most relaxing view.
We did not have a lot of time in Geneva, and this was a nice way to see the highlights and rest our feet.
The boat departs every hour on the hour between 10am - 5pm from Mont-Blanc and Jardin Anglais. The cost is 16 CHF for adults and 8 CHF for children, round trip.
I have to give it to the Swiss, their tourism machine is a finely tuned, well oiled machine, it's evident every time you go to do any kind of activity whether it be train trips, trips up the sides of mountains or boat trips. When we got to the docks in Geneva, there was a booth with all of the different possible combinations for boat trips clearly detailed with times, prices and routes. The cruises from Lake Geneva stay in the "Little Lake" (Petit-Lac) with the exception of the 9 hour cruise which also heads into the "Big Lake" (Grand-Lac).
We opted for the 1 1/2 hour lunch cruise for 22CHF, lunch is not included in that price and you do not get off the boat.
Some other options:
2 hour Sunset dinner cruise for 36CHF, dinner extra
1 hour Belles Rivers Genevoises for 15CHF with no stops
9 hours Day by Paddle Steamer for 48CHF (65CHF for 1st class) that goes to Morges, Lausanne and Vevey, you don't appear to get off at any of these stops
2-3 hour trips to Nyon or Yvoire where you can get off the boat
You can also use the ferries as transportation to get from port to port, see the attached website for more information
Cruise temptation? You could choose between several possibilities:
***Cruise on board of the regular ferry shuttles named les Mouettes Genevoises. These shuttles are the delight of tourists as well as citizens. The former enjoy a pleasurable way of crossing the lake, and the latter use them as a convenient and cheap method of transport to go to work. Every 10 minutes, from 7 :30 AM to 6 PM, you can board one of these boats.
M1 Line Pâquis – Molard – Pâquis
M2 Line Pâquis – quai Gustave Ador – Pâquis
M3 Line Pâquis – Genève-plage – Pâquis
M4 Line Genève-plage – Perle du Lac – Genève-plage
***Cruise on a CGN paddle steamer vessel for a gourmet cruise, the beautiful shore of Geneva one hour cruise or a more far destination around the Lake Geneva as Nyon (1h22), Yvoire (1h44), Lausanne (3h25)...
***Cruise on one of the touristic trip commented in 5 languages (French, English, Dutch, Spanish, Italian) as the discovery cruise of the Lake Geneva( 40min to 2h45), the cruise along the Rhône (2h45), the cruise of the Castles (2h),...
Enjoy your Swiss cruise!
On a sunny day it can be very nice to do a tour on a boat on the lake. There are different tours, as well boats that enter the river and pass the border to France, others do round tours and offer e.g. a lunch on the lake. The prices are quite high, but probably normal for Geneva. We paid 12Euro / person for one and a half hour on the lake.
The scheduled boats on Lake Geneva offer a wide variety of excursions. The pre-season starts on Easter (25 March) and the peak season on 25 May.
A popular destination from Geneva is Yvoire (France), but the historic cities of Nyon and Morges are worth a visit as well. From Nyon, you could easily walk to Parngins to visit the Swiss National Museum.
An even more spectacular scenery offers the upper lake between Lausanne and Montreu/St-Gingolph with the vineyards on one side and the Alps on the other.
- The Swiss Day of Navigation on 24 April. A day ticket for unlimited travel on the lake costs CHF 15 (5 for kids up to age 16).
- 15 May: The Historic Steamer Day. The five steamers will meet at Morges in the afternoon. The special trip from Geneva or Lausanne costs CHF 50.
If you are walking by the lakefront,a very good idea,is take a ride or is better to say a small cruise in the Lac Leman.There are a few companies that offer this rides in the lake,you'll find them very easy walking by the promenade.
I get one of this numerous ships and I enjoyed my one hour trip very much.It depends of the ships you take,there are a few options,you can take one or two hours trip.I get the one hour cruise and I suggest you to do the same.The boat pass very close to Jet D'Eau and if is very impressive from the city,being just next to that fountain you'll feel the power of water!.
On that short trip,you'll see some awesome views of the nice buildings along the lake,a few beautiful small castles and lots of huge and expensive mansions.Also you'll see a very nice perspective of the city of Geneva and other small towns along the lake.Also you'll see some nice places of the city,as the United Nations building. This is a trip not to be missed!!!.
It goes without words that THE LAKE is most important.
When you are walking / standing in the Pont de Mont Blanc you will see that there the water becomes choppy and a little wild...
It is here that the river RHôNE enters the Lake to stream on to the Mediterranean Sea....
The Lac Léman (Lake of Genève) is loved by everyone who sees it: love at first sight for poets, painters, artists and composers and even scientists....
It is the largest Lake of all Lakes in the Alps, is 72 km. in lengths and 13 km. in width and belongs to Switzerland for 2/3 and to France for 1/3.
With an average depth of 153 meters it can be a bit dangerous especially in windy weather.
The Swiss people here are always talking about the WINDS......and right they are because these sudden dangerous winds can make sailing on the Lake hazardous.
Comes the wind from the North, then it is called the BISE and people will talk about it all day long.....it is an unpleasant cold wind.
Sometimes there is the hot & dry FöHN which can give you headaches and dizziness...
And all different wind have names such as: the JORAN, the VENT BLANC, the FRAIDIEU, the VAUDAIRE, the SéCHARD and the BORNAN, that comes from direction FRANCE.
It is only wise to listen to what people there tell you, they KNOW......and, keep an eye on the sky!!
The BORNAN is the worst: it can reach wind speed of 30 - 40 metres per SECOND, which is really extremely fast and dangerous!
Renting a boat on Lake Geneva is a very cool thing to do. We did it spur of the moment and had a lot of fun. Watch out for that damn jet.
Out of all of Suisse, Geneva was my least favorite but fun nontheless just because of the boat rental. It's really cheap if you go with a bunch of people.
You could go to Montreaux from Geneva by rail or road.It is a pleasant trip and the lake there is ideal to go for a boat ride .you also to walk around on the periphery of the lake.
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