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A Cruise on Lake Zurich

by Sophia
(Mexico City)

We had to attend a business meeting in Zürich and therefore had not even two full days to explore the city and its region. Of course, we wanted to see Zürich itself, but we also wanted to venture out of the city for a bit.

You suggested a Lake Cruise and we are so happy we did it. The day couldn't have been more beautiful for a Cruise on Lake Zürich.


Bürkliplatz, where all cruises start for a Zürich boat tour

Bürkliplatz, a great view point




We departed from Bürkliplatz, a scenic view point where the River Limmat flows into Lake Zürich. We were lucky and caught the nostalgic and over one hundred year old steamer "Stadt Zürich". The cruise took us all the way to Rapperswil at the opposite end of the Lake - a quaint medieval town with a 12th century castle on a hill overlooking the area.


Rapperswil, the Rosen City, with its beautiful castle on the shore of Lake Zürich
Rapperswil, a quaint medieval city with a beautiful shoreline




The boat stopped at the pretty lakeside villages along the shoreline and people filed in and out. We could have visited the factory of Zürich's iconic chocolate shop Sprüngli in Kilchberg. Or joined activities of some kind of festival in Stäfa, and although we were tempted to hop off the boat and do just that, and maybe sit in a café at the water's edge, we just didn't have enough time on our hands. So we continued this enjoyable ride through the inspiriting scenery.


Stäfa, one of the pretty villages on Zürichs Gold Coast
Stäfa, just one of the many pretty villages along the Lake




I now understand why the northeast shore of Lake Zürich is called the "Gold coast". The region is dotted by sun drenched vineyards and stately villas can be seen from the boat. Apparently taxes are low and the moneyed plenty. We were actually surprised to see so many vineyards. We learned that it would be possible to visit wineries but again, time was not on our side but later we made sure we ordered a Swiss wine for dinner.


Zürichs so-called 'Gold Coast' along the north-eastern side of the Lake




Although we were hungry and could have had lunch inside in the restaurant, we didn't want to miss any vistas and sat on the upper deck where we took in the spectacular views. Lulled by softly rocking waves it felt like being in a dream: Gently rolling hills dotted with villages embedded in vineyards, meadows and forests, and the Alps in the background - some of them even snow covered. All this enhanced by the sparkling water of Lake Zürich.


Large vineyards on the 'Gold Coast' side of Lake Zürich
Quite large vineyards along the Lake




Another surprising fact to me was that there are ferries crossing Lake Zürich between the "Gold and Sniffle Coast" - apparently the "Gold Coast" gets all the sun while the "Sniffle Coast on the opposite side gets less of the golden shine. However, I wouldn't mind living there because they get the best views :-)


A Zürich Lake Ferry carrying passangers and cars from one side to the other
A Zürich Lake passanger and car ferry. Imagine going to work with one of them and having to look at that captivating scenery every day :-)




We spent about an hour meandering along the cobbled streets of the old town of Rapperswil and climbed the stairs up to the castle. It's a charming place and we could have spent easily more time but we were eager to see more of Zürich and so returned by train which took us in just over half an hour back to Switzerland's largest city.


The medieval castle town of Rapperswil
Rapperswil was definitely worth our time!




We have to return because we only touched the surface of Zürich; haven't even seen anything else of this scenic country but our short stay definitely vetted our interest for more.


You enjoy fabulous views when taking a Cruise on Lake Zürich, Switzerland
Isn't that an amazing view?





Additional info

There are many different Cruises on offer: Sunset cruise, wine and culinary tours, dance cruises, and even private boat tours; one-way or round-trips - lasting between 1.5 hours and 7 hours.

Next to regular boats, there are two steamers on the Lake - "Stadt Zürich" and "Stadt Rapperswil", but they don't always cruise so make sure you check with their website.

Summer weekends's and evenings are the busiest on the lake. Cruises on Lake Zürich take place year-round, albeit with a limited schedule during winter. Regular cruises (not private tours) are included in the Swiss Travel Pass.

We got a great discount on the Zürich Lake Tour with the Zürich card.


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Comments for A Cruise on Lake Zurich

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by: Fida

Thanks so much Sophia for taking the time and send in your wonderful account of the journey on Lake Zürich. And I am so happy the weather cooperated during your short stay!

Until next time, all the best
Fida

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