Steam Navigation on Lac Léman

The Belle Époque was the heyday of the
Compagnie Generale de Navigation sur le Lac Léman

The appointment of a new technical director, who was determined to replace the ‘floating restaurant’ image of some of the earlier boats with vessels having a more nautical character, and the influence of a naval engineer hailing from the Faroe Islands, led to the construction of the beautiful vessels which we see on the lake today.Between 1904 and 1914 the company launched no fewer than 7 new boats. The Montreux, oldest surviving boat in the fleet was launched in 1904. The Vevey and Italie II built in 1907 and 1908, La Suisse, flag ship of the CGN launched in 1910, and the Valais and Savoie launched in 1913 and 1914 are all still in active service.

The last steamship to be built on the lake was the Rhône III constructed in 1927. She is sixty-six metres long and carries 1000 passengers at a maximum speed of 27.5 km per hour. Since 1981 the Rhône III has operated the prestigious Rhône Express service from Geneva to Montreux where passengers transfer to a luxury train to complete their journey to Zermatt. This service is operated daily throughout the summer months

Source: Steve Crook