Boat cruises in Interlaken

Old Oct 8th, 2001, 11:50 AM
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Boat cruises in Interlaken

We are staying in Lauterbrunnen next September, and will take the approximately 20-30 minute train ride into Interlaken for a sight seeing trip. I understand your can take cruises on Lake Brinezersee and/or Lake Thunersee. If so, we would like a cruise of a few hours including lunch. Is anyone familar with these cruises and approximately how expensive are they?
Old Oct 8th, 2001, 12:35 PM
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Don't know of any "few hour" long cruises on Brienzersee (or Thunersee). Both take only an hour for a trip from Interlaken to Brienz (or Thun). Meals are available on many of the more or less hourly sailing schedules on both lakes. Between June and about September 25 there are a couple of steam-operated services daily, including one at lunchtime.

For schedules on Brienzersee use Interlaken Ost BrS as the departure station and Brienz BrS as the arrival station.

On Thunersee use Interlaken West ThS and Thun ThS. If you have a SwissPass the boats trips are included in coverage. 2nd class fare is less than USD20, and less than $30 in first class. On a nice warm day I'd strongly recommend first class, and I believe you can only dine in the restaurant with a first class ticket. Food is unremarkable, but like most all meals in Switzerland, tasty. Meals are not inexpensive, though prices are not much different from the average restaurant in the area.
Old Oct 8th, 2001, 03:19 PM
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Not sure which lake is nicer but both are spectacular, but only on a clear day when the backdrop of ice-bound high Alps girdling both lakes is visible. On Lake Thun, boat Interlaken-Thun (actually is a 2-hour cruise) and return from there by train. This boat goes via Spiez, 45 min from Interlaken, a cute town with a romantic hilltop castle ensnared in vineyards; the train station here however is a steep uphill walk; and Merligen, considered to be the cutest lake town, where many folks get off to walk around its inviting lakefront or castle protruding into the water and hop the next boat to Thun. Besides the train, you can also return to Interlaken from Thun via Swiss postal bus (railpasses valid) which hugs the lake's north shore most of the way. Lake Brienz probably has more dramatic scenery, with sheer cliffs and waterfalls on the lake's south side. Interlaken East-Brienz is about 1 h 15 min; the popular stop-off on this lake is at Giessbach See, from where you can take a funicular or hike up a steep trail to the famous Giessbach Falls, before going onto Brienz, a picture-postcard town of wooden chalets known for its woodcarving tradition. From here a steep steam-operated cog train climbs to the Rothorn summit, one of Switzerland's celebrated alpine viewpoints. Train back to Interlaken from Brienz, or train from it to Merlingen, a few minutes away, and visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum and ultra-famous Reichenbach Falls, scene of i think Dr. Moriaty's fatal fall into the falls. And a mile away is the awesome Aare gorge you can walk through on catwalks. There's also the celebrated open-air museum just outside of Brienz, re-creating the rural Swiss of old in a verdant setting ovcerlooking the lake. In any case both lakes present wonderful excursions - plan a whole day and get off the boat en route. If don't have a Eurailpass, Europass, Swisspass etc., which gives free passage on both lakes, fares are reasonable as stated by fellow above, or investigate the Berner Oberland Pass, sold locally that covers virtually all forms on transport in the whole region.
Old Oct 8th, 2001, 06:20 PM
richard j vicek
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Good evening, Bob
Information can be found on
and the Swiss Old village is Ballenberg
reached by a ten min bus trip from the
Brienz station/dock.
For steam running on either lake there
was a 5 SF upcharge per person.
Richard of LaGrange Park,Il..
Old Oct 10th, 2001, 03:41 PM
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Boats about every hour on both lakes in summer - June through late September, scaled down service other times, or none some winter periods, especially on Brienzersee. Need no reservations, in fact don't think it's possible to even book except for nighttime dinner cruises perhaps. From Lauterbrunnen take train to Interlaken East (Ost) station, walk through underground viaduct to boat dock for Brienzersee boats, or walk or hop train one mile to Interlaken West station, where a similar viaduct leads under the tracks to the Thunersee boat dock.
Old Oct 10th, 2001, 06:45 PM
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We have taken boats on both lakes (and numerous others) several times. We usually have a Swiss Pass and as mentioned above -- the boats are free with that. Assuming you have a first class pass, you use the top deck of the boat -- much nicer than downstairs. We usually just hop on and off boats going from town to town, and enjoy walking around a hour or two and possibly having lunch on shore before catching the next boat. Palenque Bob's suggestions are all very good ones.
Old Oct 14th, 2001, 12:24 PM
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We took a cruise on Lake Thun on a warm sunny day and the panorama of glaciers and Alps around the lake was stunning, one of the best things I've done in europe. don't know about Lake Brienz but suppose it's the same. Take the cruise!
Old Oct 14th, 2001, 12:28 PM
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Brienz is a bit smaller, and a bit less surrounded by 'civilization'. Both have gorgeous blue (green?), glacier-fed waters. Don't know that I can think of a glacier that can be seen from either lake. One can, on a clear day, though seen snow-capped peaks.
Old Oct 16th, 2001, 09:37 AM
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If you decide to "cruise" on the Brienzersee, the boat of choice is the Lotschberg. The area around the Brienzersee is less populated than that surrounding the Thunersee, but it is well worth the trip. Last summer, we stayed in Iseltwald, which is about halfway along on the south side. The village has a marvelous setting and exceptionally pretty harbor. We stayed four nights and could have easily spent a week there as a base for visiting throughout the Oberland. Giessbach falls and the Grandhotel Giessbach are also on the south side and are of interest. Brienz, too, especially the Brienzer Rothorn, which you can reach by a steam-powered train. These are the websites for the Grand Hotel Giessbach and the Brienzer Rothorn Bahn.
Also, for ideas about these and other possibilities in the area, see
Old Nov 26th, 2001, 03:56 PM
Bill Daniel
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Where did you stay in Iseltwald? Am considering the Edelweis some time next June. Also can't decide between full time Iseltwald or part time there and part time Murren. Any suggestions?
Old Dec 1st, 2001, 07:13 AM
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Bill, are you driving? Iseltwald is very peaceful and tiny and beautiful, but no train station. Bus connections and, of course, the delightful lake boats.

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