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Boat cruises on Lake Zurich: key facts to plan your trip

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Boat trip on Lake Zurich

Enjoying the views from a boat on Lake Zurich.

Lake Zurich boat trips

A cruise on Lake Zurich is a perfect way to escape from the busy city and see Zurich and the region from the water.


About tickets and prices.



Suggested (guided) tours & packages.



How to get to the boat dock.



The forum allows you to post your questions and discuss your plans.

  • Attraction type: Natural site, Lake;
    Scenic trip, By boat
  • Escort: independent (no guide)
  • Region: Lake Zurich (Region Zurich)
  • Duration: 1 day or less

Different kind of cruises

Zurich is located in the north-western corner of the 42 km long lake. Many different cruises can be made, varying from short river cruises to full-day cruises to the opposite end of the lake and back.

The lake cruise boats depart from the 'Bürkliplatz', and the river cruises depart from 'Zürich Landesmuseum'. Find out how to get there here. There are several types of cruises. These are the main ones:

  • Limmat River cruises: these 50- to 60-minute canal boat tours start and end from Zürich Landesmuseum and take you on the river Limmat, along the Old Town, and onto the lake. The 'Zürichhorn' dock is where it turns around and goes back to the town center. Round trips from the docks along the way are possible as well.
  • Round trips over the lakes of varying durations.
  • Upper Lake cruises over the entire lake from Zurich to Schmerikon. They include a break in Rapperswil, where you may have to change to another boat. A single journey takes 3,5 hours.

Most boats have 2nd and 1st class areas. 1st class is usually at the upper deck. Many boats have a restaurant or a bistro on board.

Tips to make most of your day

  • Making a round trip is not required. You can take a boat to one of the towns along the lake, get off there, and go back to Zurich by train - or the other way around. In many towns, the rail station is just a few minutes on foot from the boat dock. Examples are Küsnacht, Thalwil, Herrliberg, Horgen, Uetikon, Wädenswil, Richterswil, Rapperswil and Schmerikon.
  • If you want to see most of the lake but don't want to spend an entire day on the water, you can take a boat from Zurich to Rapperswil (2 hours), and a train back to Zurich (about 40 minutes).
  • Apart from the cruises starting in Zurich, there are also cruises in the so-called Obersee (Upper Lake) area, starting from Rapperswil.


Sunny clear weather is best for a boat trip, but it's still worth it if it's cloudy or drizzling. Take along sun glasses and sunscreen, as well as an extra layer of clothes: it can be windy at the deck. Check the timetable to see which cruise suits you best.

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