Within Switzerland and France
Lake Geneva (in French Lac Léman or Lac de Genève), the largest of the lakes in the Alps, lies between the Savoy Alps, the Swiss Jura and the Vaud Alps at a mean height of 371 m/1,217ft above sea level. Of its total area of 581 sq. km/224 sq. mi, 60% falls within Switzerland and 40% within France.
Its maximum depth is about 310 m/1,017ft. The lake, which the River Rhône enters at one end and leaves at the other, extends in a flat arc 72km/45mi long from east to west, with a maximum width of 14km/ 9mi.
While the French southern shore of the lake (department of Haute-Savoie) is only thinly populated, with Evian and Thonon as its largest towns, the sunny northern shore in the canton of Vaud, with the vine-growing areas of Lavaux and La Côte, is the Swiss equivalent of the Riviera, a popular holiday and tourist region.
Regular steamer services between places on the lake, run by the Compagnie Genérale de Navigation sur le Lac Léman (CGN: head office Lausanne-Ouchy, branch office in Geneva at Le Bateau, Jardin Anglais); many round trips and cruises (evening trips with dancing on board); shuttle services and round trips in port and on the Petit Lac by the "Mouettes Genevoises"; short round trips on the motor-launches "Elma" and "Star of Geneva". A particular attraction is "Neptune", the last cargo-carrying sailing vessel on the lake, which can be chartered. Built in 1904 (length 24 m/78ft, width 8.5 m/28ft, weight 20 tons) it was used to transport stone blocks from Meillerie and gravel from Bouveret/Vieux Rhône to Geneva until 1968. Since 1976 it has been used for excursions.
The shipping company of Lake Geneva (CGN) has the largest paddle-wheel fleet in Western Europe, (four steam ships and four with diesel-electric motors). Special Attractions: Whole day cruises, for example with a visit to Geneva, Lausanne, Montreux, Evian, Chillon Castle and Yvoire; midday cruises; firework cruises; cruises with special entertainment and a program changing each year.
Avenue de Rhodanie 17, CH-1007 Lausanne, Switzerland