Zurich (locally spelt Zürich) is set on a beautiful lake and surrounded by mountains. You can take advantage of this setting by taking one of the many cruises available on Lake Zurich. I took my sixteen month old on a short cruise on Lake Zurich on a grey March day.
The Lake Zurich Navigation Company operates lots of different cruises, more in summer than winter. We were visting in winter, so we had the choice of the Grosse Rundfahrt (long round cruise) and Kleine Rundfahrten (short round cruise). We could also have chosen a special cruise, such as brunch and fondue cruises. As it was the toddler’s first time on a tourist cruise, the short cruise for one and a half hours was perfect for testing the waters.
We hopped on our cruise from the departure point at Zurich Bürkliplatz, which is easily accessible by tram. I was using a baby carrier which was definitely easier. We found that the boat and pier were easily accessible, but space on the boat would have been a bit tight for a buggy. (According to the website, the doorways are 80cm wide).
As you can see from the picture above, the weather wasn’t great for our trip. This meant that Daisy wasn’t very interested in the view. She mainly played with my purse and phone for the duration of this trip. I could use my imagination to coujure up views of scenic snow-capped mountains. I think if she was a little older she would have been more interested in pointing out ducks and so on out of the windows. And she would have been more excited by the mere experience of being on a boat.
As it was, this gave us a good spot to eat our picnic lunch. We weren’t alone in doing this, as there were a few families doing the same. I found that the cruise was a good way of having a look at the lakeside. The route passes many lakeside playgrounds and swimming areas, useful to make a note of for summer days.
I think that the lake is certainly one of the city’s highlights. However, at Daisy’s age, if the weather had been good, I think that we would have been better off going for a walk along the shore. She would have enjoyed including a stop at one of the playgrounds, such as the one in the huge Blatterwiese. However, on a rainy day this gave us a dry method of experiencing the lake, rather than missing out entirely.
Short Cruise on Lake Zurich: The Facts
You can find details on the various cruises here – this website includes information on timetables and prices. For planning your budget, you are eligible for various discounts if you have a public transport pass or the ZürichCard.
You are able to buy tickets at the port. However, when we visited it was quite busy, even in Winter. You may find it worth getting there early to ensure you get on the boat. Or you can make reservations online or at the ticket office at the port.