Geneva Feature


Geneva Tour Options

Boat Tours

The Compagnie Générale de Navigation (CGN) boards passengers on both sides of the Pont du Mont-Blanc and serves multicourse meals aboard special Belle Epoque steamship cruises. Separate, hour-long CGN loops of the lower lake point out local sights.

Swissboat operates year-round smaller-scale guided tours that take in castles, famous homes, ports, and parkland along the lake. Trips last anywhere from 40 minutes to two hours; recorded commentary is in English. The boats leave from Jardin Anglais on the Left Bank and, on the Right Bank, board either across from the Beau-Rivage or at the Port des Mouettes. Swissboat also operates a nearly three-hour natural-history tour of the Rhône. Live commentary is in French, but on request they'll put on recorded commentary in English. The boats depart from Place de l'Ile.

Fees and Schedules

Compagnie Générale de Navigation (0848/811848.

Swissboat (4–8 quai du Mont-Blanc, Les Pâquis, Geneva, 1201. 022/7324747.

Bus and Train Tours

Key Tours conducts two-hour bus tours of the city, leaving from Place Dorcière daily at 1:30 pm as well as at 10:30 am May–October. It's a good idea to arrive at least 15 minutes early, as the Swiss are known for their punctuality. The circuit costs 45 SF, and recorded commentary is in English. Afternoon bus tours of the Geneva countryside are also available May through October.

Between March and December you can also opt to catch an STT -operated minitrain at Place du Rhône for a trip around the Vieille Ville. A second minitrain leaves from there and the Quai du Mont-Blanc for a tour of the International Area with its scenic lake and mountain views. From March to October, a third minitrain departs from the Quai du Mont-Blanc for a "parks and residences" ride to the Botanical Gardens and back. Each loop lasts between 35 and 75 minutes; the cost is 8.90 to 25 SF.

Fees and Schedules

Key Tours (7 rue des Alpes, Les Pâquis, Geneva, 1201. 022/7314140.

STT (36 bd. St-Georges, Plainpalais, Geneva, 1205. 022/7810404.

Walking Tours

An English-speaking Service des Guides at the Genève Tourisme lead a two-hour walk through the Vieille Ville every Saturday at 10 am. Additional weekday circuits at 10 am, as well as an 11 am tour on Sunday, take place between June and late September. The cost is 15 SF. English-language audio guides to the Vieille Ville last 2½ hours and cost 18 SF. You can arrange tailor-made thematic tours that trace the history of watchmaking, Jean Calvin's legacy, or any one of 14 other subjects.

Fees and Schedules

Service des Guides (Genève Tourisme, 18 rue du Mont-Blanc, Centre Ville Rive Droite, Geneva, 1201. 022/9097030.)

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