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  October 2016
Lake Geneva

Photo Facts (Top to Bottom)

Lake Geneva is one of the largest lakes in Europe.   Its Northern shores are in Switzerland and those in the South are in France.   Geneva lies at the Western end of the lake and Montreux at the Eastern end.   It is famous for its classic paddle steamers operated by CGN which ply from end to end.   There are also a couple of cross-border, cross-lake routes operated by conventional motor boats.

  • Paddle steamer La Suisse, dating from 1910, heading for Montreux in late evening sun.
  • Paddle steamer Savoie about to depart Geneva on its daily lunch cruise.
  • Paddle steamer Savioe at Geneva
  • As well as paddle steamers, CGN operates a passenger service from Yvoire in France to Nyon in Switzerland.   Col-vert is seen arriving at Yvoire with Nyon in the background.
  • Paddle steamer Rhone arriving at Geneva.
  • Clip1 : Rhone arriving at Geneva
  • Clip2 : Valais arriving at Yvoire on a commuter run from Nyon



Lake Como

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Lake Como is arguably the most pleasant of all the lakes in central Europe.   There is particularly poor access via a tortuous narrow road from Como.   This results in most tourists visiting by boat which immediately limits their numbers.   The most popular destination is the Bellagio/Menaggio/Varena triangle which is the place to see ferries.   Villa Carlotta, one of several grand villas on the lake is also a short hop away.   There is a mixture of car ferries, ferries, catamarans and hyrdrofoils operated by Gestione Navigazione Laghi.

  • Two preserved paddle steamer exist including Concordia which operates private hires and evening dining cruise as seen here passing Colonno.
  • Hyrdrofoil Voloire near Menaggio heading for Como
  • Renzo at Bellagio, one of four sisters that provide stopping services in the middle of the lake
  • Fra Cristoforo approaching Bellagio from Cadenabbia which can be seen in the background.
  • Seen at Varenna is car ferry Ghisallo.   Car ferries ply a triangle from Bellagio to Varenna to Cadenabbia.
  • Car ferry Lario leaving Cadenabbia
  • Seen leaving Bellagio is car ferry Addo.
  • Clip: Bisbino leaving Bellagio
  • Lucia about to leave Menaggio for Varenna
  • The largest ferry on the lake is Orione, seen arriving at Villa Carlotta


Lake Garda

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Lake Garda is undoubtedly the most touristy of all the lakes in central Europe.   Beloved by Germans some of the more popular destinations can get swamped in the height of summer.   There is particularly poor access via a tortuous narrow road from Como.   The Southern part of the lake has most of the scenic towns and it's easy to do a round trip of these in a day using the regular car ferry across the middle of the lake.   As well as the car ferries there is a mix of passenger ferries, catamarans and hyrdrofoils operated as in Como by Gestione Navigazione Laghi.

  • Car ferry Adamello at Torri del Benaco about to depart for Toscolano Maderno
  • Hydrofoil Goethe leaving Toscolano Maderno
  • Catamaran D'Annunzio moored at Garda during lunch.   The extensive quayside restaurants can be seen behind.
  • Passenger ferry Tonale approaching Toscolano Maderno
  • Clip: catamaran Verga approaching Toscolano Maderno
  • The massive Andromeda at Desenzano del Garda
  • Baldo arriving at the picturesque town of Salo


Lake Annecy
Photo Facts (Top to Bottom)

Lake Annecy, a forgotten gem of a place, is located on the French border close to Geneva.   The principal operator of services on the lake is compagnie-des-bateaux who provide short tours and dining trips.

  • The dining cruises are provided by Libellule, seen moored at Annecy.
  • Approaching Annecy is Savoie that had been doing a one hour trip around the lake
  • Although Lake Annecy is entirely in France, both the Swiss and French flag are flown.




Lake Constance
Photo Facts (Top to Bottom)

Lake Constance lies in the south of Germany and has a long border with Switzerland and a shorter one with Austria.   There are several regular services that operate the length of the lake that are provided by BSB, and a couple of cross-lake car ferry routes

  • Karlsruhe entering the distinctive harbour at Lindau on a service from Bregenz in Austria.   This ferry was built in 1937.
  • Karlsruhe at Lindau, famous for its medieval town centre.
  • Baden leaving Lindau heading for Konstanz.
  • Romanshorn of SBSAG, a Swiss operator, leaving Friedrichshafen in Germany for Romanshorn in Switzerland.
  • Tabor operated by Stadtwerke Konstanz at Meersburg having just arrived from Konstanz.
  • Clip: Baden leaving Lindau heading for Konstanz.



Lake Iseo
Photo Facts (Top to Bottom)

Lake Iseo is a small Italian lake near Bergamo.   All routes lead to Monte Isola the large island in the centre of the lake which is a favourite tourist destination.   The services are provided by Navigazione Lago Iseo.

  • Sebino arriving at Iseo
  • Clip: Sebino leaving Iseo for Monte Iseo


xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx All photos taken in June 2016 apart from Como which includes June 2012.  Click to enlarge photos and play clips.
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