Lake Garda Boat & Ferry Guide

Boat is the best way to get around Lake Garda. It can be the quickest way too but my advice is rather try not to rush - Garda is not that sort of place. Take your time and enjoy a slow cruise around the lake or from town to town.

Boat on Lake Garda - Veneto Italy

For those in a rush...

The hydrofoil and catamaran are the best options. They are fast and my son loves them. I think he would spend most of his day going up and down on the hydrofoil but then he loves anything that goes fast. Personally I find you zoom from one place to the next without seeing very much and they are very expensive. Not worth it is my considered opinion.

The slower option…

The car ferries are both cheaper and slower. This is the way to see the lake – slowly and calmly while sitting on deck and enjoying the sunshine.

Plenty of people take their car across the lake like this and it is quicker than driving all the way around. It makes sense considering the time saved and, if you work out the cost of the ferry versus the petrol, it will probably save you money too.

Even slower are the old steamers still operating out of Desenzano. These are over a hundred years old and look quite magnificent chugging up and down the lake. I have never been on one and I am not sure how you get to go on them – I believe they are now used only for private charters so perhaps you need to work for a corporation that hires one for an event or something. If you do work for such a corporation please invite me next time!

Tickets for the ferries, catamarans and hydrofoils can be bought at the ports.

Need somewhere to stay?

Hotels on Lake Garda are a mixed bag. I have a few I know and which I can trust to not let you down. Have a look at the list here.


For more on Lake Garda, Venice, Italy and boats please try the search engine below.


  1. Home
  2. Lake Garda
  3. Lake Garda by Boat

Please Book with Us...

Maria here, if you enjoy my site and Facebook page I'd love your support.

Simply book your next trip anywhere (not only to Italy) with the search box below or with any of the hotel links on the website.

I promise you'll get the best deal on accommodation available and the income we receive from HotelsCombined helps us to:

  • Stay independent and to keep bringing you the best of Italy.
  • Never have to accept money from hotels directly, so that we can share only those we genuinely love.

Recent Articles

  1. Summer in Italy

    Ever experienced a summer in Italy? Well, we've a way that you can bring the sunshine and happiness of an Italian summer home with you.

    Read More

  2. Visiting Burano - Venice Colored Bright

    When the crowds of Venice start getting on your nerves and your mood turns grey that's when you need to color your life bright... with a little Burano.

    Read More

  3. Christmas in Italy? Everything You Need is Here!

    Planning a Christmas in Italy? I have everything you need - advice on Italian Christmas traditions, insider tips, weather, great value accommodation picks and a guide to the best restaurants.

    Read More

  4. Venice Italy - The 6 Things you HAVE to See

    There's so much to see in Venice Italy that you can become overwhelmed. Before you despair, here is the list of the 6 sights you absolutely must see and everything you need to know about them.

    Read More

  5. Venice Tourism and the Undiscovered Venetian Wonders

    Venice is not only the Bridge of Sighs and St Marks Square. There is a whole lot more to this great city. Join me, Maria, exploring the Venetian wonders few ever discover.

    Read More

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.