Tips on Saving on Cruise Fares on Lakes Thun and Brienz in Switzerland

Many savings fares and special deals are available when cruising on the Thunersee and Brienzersee lakes near Bern and Interlaken in Switzerland.

Cruise Boat in Oberhofen on the Thunersee in Switzerland

A wide range of discount tickets and savings options is available for lake boats cruising on the Thuner- and Brienzersee near Interlaken in Switzerland. All regular Swiss railway transportation discount cards are honored on scheduled boat cruises. Families should use the Junior Card or cruise on Saturdays. Combination tickets with other sights in the Thunersee and Interlaken area are often available with small discounts.

Standard Fares on Lake Thun and Lake Brienz

Lake Boat on the Thunersee in Switzerland

Schifffahrt Berner Oberland boats cruising on Lakes Thun and Brienz generally offer first and second-class transportation. First-class passengers generally occupy the upper floors and larger outdoor areas with better views.

The full fare from Thun to Interlaken West is CHF43 (CHF73 return) in second class and CHF71 (CHF121 return) in first class. On the smaller Brienzersee, the full fare from Interlaken Ost to Brienz is CHF30 (CHF51 return) in second class and CHF50 (CHF85 return) in First Class.

However, many discount fares and saving options are available to reduce the cost of pleasure cruises on the Thunersee and Brienzersee.


Saving Fares on Lakes Thun and Brienz Pleasure Cruises

Belle Epoque Steamer on the Thunersee in Switzerland

A day ticket (Tageskarte) for cruising on Lakes Thun and Brienz is CHF68 in second class and CHF99 in first class, which is cheaper than the standard return fares on the Thun-Interlaken West route. The day ticket allows for unlimited travel on both lakes for a day (day tickets for one lake only are not available). This day ticket is also valid on the train from Interlaken Ost to West, a ride not covered by other boat tickets.

  • On Mondays, the day passes are reduced to only CHF39 in second class and CHF59 in first class.

Virtually all Swiss transportation passes and discount cards are valid on Lakes Thun and Brienz boat cruises. Families should take advantage of the Junior Card, which pays for itself very fast in this region with its numerous mountain railways and cable cars. Children (6 to 16) without a Junior Card pay half fare.

However, all children 6 to 16 cruise for free on most Saturdays on both Lake Thun and Lake Brienz.

Free cruising is available for children under 6 as well as for anyone on a birthday (in first class!) – official documentation necessary.

Dogs and bicycles pay half price (maximum CHF8).

Railway tickets can be exchanged for a surcharge for the cruising part of the route on the lakes. However, lake-boat tickets are not valid for travel on trains or buses.

All ships and landings on Lake Thun and Lake Brienz are suitable for wheelchairs.

Reservations are not possible or needed for individual travelers on regularly scheduled cruises but often essential for special cruises. Seat reservations are possible for meals on scheduled cruises and a good idea during the high season as on most boats only a small fraction of the total passenger capacity can be seated for meals at any given time.

Special Deals and Combination Tickets

Lauternbrunnen Valley near the Thunersee in Switzerland

Pleasant as cruising on Lakes Thun and Brienz is, few visitors to the region will have cruising and hiking as their sole activities. A wide range of package deals is available to combine a cruise with other activities such as cable car and mountain railways (e.g. Niederhorn, Stockhorn, Niessen, and Brienzer Rothorn) or visits to castles and museums (e.g. Ballenberg Open-Air Museum of Rural Architecture) where the combination tickets give discounts.

The Berner Oberland Regional Pass can also be a very good deal for visitors staying in the region for a week or two, especially when used on expensive mountain railways and cable cars. Other discount passes are also available, especially during the spring season.

More on the Lake Thun and Lake Brienz Region:

Henk Bekker in armor

About the author:

Henk Bekker

Henk Bekker is a freelance travel writer with over 20 years of experience writing online. He is particularly interested in history, art, and culture. He has lived most of his adult life in Germany, Switzerland, and Denmark. In addition to, he also owns a travel website on the Lake Geneva region of Switzerland and maintains statistical websites on car sales and classic car auction prices. Henk holds an MBA from Edinburgh Business School and an MSc in Development Finance from the University of London.

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