International Travel

Boat Tour on Lake Geneva (Geneva, Switzerland)

While we were in Geneva, we took a boat tour on Lake Geneva. Located in Switzerland and France, Lake Geneva is one of the largest lakes in Europe. We took the Swissboat’s Cruise of the Mermaid. The tour lasted an hour and fifteen minutes, and cost 16 CHF each. A brochure in multiple languages, including English, was given with the ticket purchase. We purchased tickets at the Swissboat office on the right bank. The Star of Geneva boarded on the right bank first, then picked up more passengers on the left bank. The recorded audio commentary was also in multiple languages, including English, though it was a bit hard to hear over the boat’s motor.

Star of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland |
Sights on the Boat Tour

Left Bank

Cathedrale St-Pierre (St. Peter’s Cathedral) – This cathedral was first constructed in the 12th-century, and has undergone many changes over the years. The Neoclassical facade was constructed in 1750. John Calvin preached at this cathedral from 1536 to 1564.

La Neptune – A boat built in 1904 for the transport of goods. It is located near the Niton Rocks.

Lake Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland |

Pierres du Niton (Niton Rocks) – Two unusual rocks located in Lake Geneva. They were once a sacred place for the worship of Neptune. The larger rock is 373.6 m above sea level and is used in Swiss maps as the basis for altitude measurements.

Jet d’Eau (Water Jet) – Located where Lake Geneva empties into the Rhône River is one of Europe’s tallest fountains – water shoots 459-feet into the air.

Jet d'Eau (Water Jet), Geneva, Switzerland |
Parc La Grange – The largest park in Geneva, which is home to Geneva’s largest rose garden.

Eaux-Vives Park – Located next to Parc La Grange, this park contains an 18th-century castle that currently serves as a restaurant.

Port-Noir Monument – This monument was erected in 1864 to commemorate the landing site of the Swiss when Geneva joined the Swiss Confederation.

Yacht Club – Founded in 1872, this yacht club hosted the America’s Cup from 2003-2010.

Genève Plage – A lakeside resort that opened in the 1930s.

Villa Diodati – This manor, located in Cologny, was built in 1710. It has become popular due to having such renowned visitors as Lord Byron and Mary Shelley. It was at Villa Diodati that Shelley wrote Frankenstein.

Château de Bellerive – Built in the 17th century by the Duke of Savoy, Charles Emmanuel II, as a warehouse, though it looked more like a fortress.

Chateau de Bellerive, Geneva, Switzerland |
Mont Blanc – The highest mountain in the French Alps at 15,767 feet. On a clear day, this mountain can be seen from Geneva.

Little Mermaid of Lake Geneva – A bronze statue of a mermaid. The statue was sculpted by Natacha de Senger and placed on its rock in 1966.

Little Mermaid of Lake Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland |
Right Bank

Maison de Saussure – Built in 1723. In 1765, it became the residence of Horace-Bénédict de Saussure, a famous scientist. This mansion has had such famous visitors as Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan.

Maison de Saussure, Geneva, Switzerland |

Creux-de-Genthod – Now the location of a yacht club, but was once a dockyard for steamships in 1836-1855.

Lake Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland |

Manoir Colgate – A mansion built in 1890 for Colgate, the toothpaste manufacturer.

Manoir Colgate, Geneva, Switzerland |

Château Rothschild – Built in 1858 for Baron Carl de Rothschild. The property remains in the Rothschild family.

Embassade de Chine (Chinese Embassy) – A modern grey building near the lake.

Villa Josephine – Given to Joséphine de Beauharnais by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1811.

Villa Josephine, Geneva, Switzerland |
United Nations Organisation (UNO) – The United Nations headquarters.

Jardin Botanique (Botanical Garden) – Sixty-nine acres of greenspace with plants, flowers, trees, paths, streams, greenhouses, an aviary, and a zoo.

World Trade Organisation (WTO) – Now the building for the World Trade Organisation, it once housed the International Labour Office, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the library of the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Études Internationales, and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

Henry Dunant Institute – A training and research center for the International Red Cross, for which Henry Dunant was the founder.

Villa Bartholoni – Built in 1828, it now houses the History of Science Museum.

Villa Bartholoni, Geneva, Switzerland |
Palais Wilson – Named after Woodrow Wilson, this building is currently the headquarters of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. This building was originally a luxury hotel, Hotel National, built in 1872. From 1919 to 1946, it was the headquarters for the League of Nations.

Palais Wilson, Geneva, Switzerland |
Pâquis Lighthouse – Originally built in 1860, though it was rebuilt in 1896. It is still an active lighthouse.

The Paquis Lighthouse, Geneva, Switzerland |
Monument Brunswick – The mausoleum of Charles d’Este-Guelph, Duke of Brunswick. He died in 1873 and left his fortune to the city on the condition his mausoleum, based on the Scaliger Tombs in Verona, Italy, be given a place of prominence.

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