Lake Brienz is one of two lakes separated by the town of lnterlaken. Lake Brienz is located in the region of Bernese Oberland, which is a German speaking part of Switzerland. Lake Brienz is surrounded by beautiful mountains, waterfalls and villages with chalet houses. Brienz is famous as the Swiss center for woodcarving. The lake is primarily fed by the Aare River, the Lutschine River, and the Giessbach Waterfalls. Along the Lake Brienz there is a promenade with a nice view of the lake and the surrounding mountains. There are trees, benches, play area and many wooden sculptures along the promenade. The color of water in Lake Brienz is turquoise & it looks beautiful.
There is a train service from lnterlaken Ost operated by Zentralbhan, running parallel to the river Aare. lt takes 30 min to reach Brienz station. The train station and the ferry dock are right next to each other. The regular boat service links all the little villages and resorts around the lake on its route and cover the trip from Brienz to lnterlaken east in around 30 minutes.
From Brienz you can travel on the cog wheel steam railway with panorama coaches to the summit of the Brienzer Rothorn in roughly one hour. The Brienz-Rothorn Railway is the oldest steam rack railway in Switzerland. From here you will get a panoramic view of the lake.
lf you want to learn more about Swiss history and culture Visit the Ballenberg open air Museum which is near to the Brienz town. This is spread in a very large area with reconstruction of over L00 historic buildings organized by regions of Switzerland with each region showing its history and culture. There is a live cheese making and tasting session, bread making, coal making and demonstration of weaving, handicrafts & woodworking techniques. This place is really big and involve a lot of walking, so wear comfortable walking shoes. Plan at least a full day for this museum. Admission is free with the Swiss Travel Pass.
There is a small bistro on all the cruse with fine selection of food and drink available. Wine and beer is served on almost all the cruse. There is a dinner cruise operating in the evening in either direction on the steamer.
Other than Swiss travel pass, If you have purchased the cruise ticket still there is an option to hop off at any or each town along the lake and get on the next boat. If you wish you can explore all these small villages at your leisure or else just stay on the boat and enjoy the scenery.
On the way you sail past the magnificent Giessbach Falls. From the pier there is a funicular which will take you to the Giessbach Hotel near the waterfall. Next there are few villages in the mountain backdrop which were looking stunning with their colorful wooden chalets. This trip at the end of the day rejuvenated our mind and souls.
The boat stops at around 5 stops before reaching to lnterlaken Ost. The most interesting part is on the other side of the lake with one waterfall, castle like hotel and a small charming village. The last stop of this ferry ride is Interlaken Ost and Train station is in front of the dock.
If you are staying in Interlaken area, having limited time in Switzerland and you can do only one lake cruise, go for the Brienz lake cruise. This lake with turquoise water surrounded by picturesque villages is more beautiful than the lake Thun. Cruising time is also almost half compared to Interlaken to Thun Cruise.