About Lakes Thun & Brienz cruises
Available: all year round (more limited services in winter)
Bernese Oberland Regional Pass, Jungfrau Travel Pass and Swiss Travel Pass: FREE
Half Fare Card: pay half the published fare for your particular journey
With a scheduled boat service on both lakes, you can enjoy an outing on a motor-powered vessel or on an elegant, restored paddle-wheel steamboat. The turquoise Lake Brienz and neighbouring Lake Thun are situated in the spectacular mountain setting of the Bernese Oberland, each fed by pure alpine water coming down from the highest glaciers.
Excellent on board dining facilities are available on the boats on both lakes, along with a well stocked bar and snacks. Both lakes also offer themed events and round trip excursions (half or full day trips). All tickets for these trips can be purchased locally from either the local tourist office in resort, the local train stations or directly at the boat stations. First class tickets allow you to access the upper decks, with fewer passengers and fantastic views. Some boats even have very comfortable cushioned seating in the exclusive first class decks.
Cruises on Lake Thun
In the midst of the Bernese Oberland, the true blue water of Lake Thun is surrounded by fabulous mountain scenery and by the charming towns of Thun, Spiez and Interlaken. There are even lidos and bathing spots all around the lake which invite you to take a swim and cool off. There are popular paths along the lakeshore which lead from Thun to Hünibach or from Spiez to Faulensee. On the north side of the shore of the lake is the St. Jacobs trail, which also leads to the St. Beatus Cave. Several romantic castles and other historic buildings can be seen at the far end of the lake, near the city of Thun. If you have a day pass, you could step off the boat to visit one of the castles and enjoy a lakeside lunch before making your return journey.
During the summer, you can enjoy your cruise on the restored steam boat Blümlisalp - a real treat!
There are many different boat trips available on Lake Thun. You could experience a full round trip or incorporate a cruise as part of an excursion up in to the mountains.
Cruises on Lake Brienz
Lake Brienz is the smaller of the two lakes and is famous for its glacial turquoise colouring.
The regular boat service links all the little places around the lake on its route from the resort of Interlaken on the western side to the idyllic little town of Brienz in the east. From Brienz, you can board the oldest steam train in Switzerland, the Brienzer Rothorn railway which takes you to the top of the Rothorn and some stunning views of the lakes and the surrounding mountain chain. It is also the starting point for many hikes.
Another destination for a boat trip on Lake Brienz is the Giessbach Falls. The roaring water thunders down 500 metres into the lake. Immediately beside it is the historic Grand Hotel Giessbach, which looks like a fairy tale castle. A funicular leads from the landing stage in Giessbach straight up to the waterfall. Another popular excursion is to walk along the southern bank of Lake Brienz from Bönigen via Iseltwald to Giessbach.
During the summer you can enjoy your Brienz cruise on the restored steamer the Lötschberg.
There are boat stations at several villages, resorts and points of interest around each of the lakes. They are clearly signposted for your convenience.
In Interlaken itself, it is just steps from the Interlaken Ost railway station to board the Lake Brienz boats, and from the Interlaken West railway station to board the Lake Thun boats.