Boat and Ferry Travel

Note that the English pronunciation of "ferry" sounds a lot like the German word "fähre," which means car ferry. "Schiffe" is the term used for passenger ferries. Car and passenger ferries have different docking points in the various towns. The car ferries run all year; in summer you may have to wait in line. The passenger routes, especially the small ones, often do not run from November to March. Sailing on a car ferry as a passenger can be cheaper than taking a passenger ferry—and most car ferries are reasonably comfortable. Bicycles can be taken on both types of ferry.

The Weisse Flotte line of boats, which is run by the BSB, or Bodensee-Schiffsbetriebe, links most of the larger towns and resorts. One of the nicest trips is from Konstanz to Meersburg and then on to the island of Mainau. Excursions around the lake last from one hour to a full day. Many cross to Austria and Switzerland; some head west along the Rhine to Schaffhausen and the Rheinfall, the largest waterfall in Europe. Information on lake excursions is available from all local tourist offices and travel agencies.

Bodensee-Schiffsbetriebe. Ticket offices for this ferry line are in Konstanz, Überlingen, Meersburg, Friedrichshafen, and Lindau. Hafenstr. 6, Konstanz, Baden-Württemberg, 78462. 07531/36400; www.bsb.de.

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