Windermere Lake Cruises

Lakeside Pier, Bowness-On-Windermere, LA23 3HQ
Windermere Lake Cruises

Windermere Lake Cruises (JuliusKielaitis /

It’s easy to see why the Windermere Lake Cruises is the most popular tourist attraction in the Lake District and Cumbria.

Its enviable fleet of ferries transports passengers to various points around this large body of water including Bowness-On-Windermere and Ambleside, providing a picturesque alternative to the busy roads that run along the shores of Windermere which are often clogged with traffic.

With a variety of options available that include commentary on the sights in the area and stops at popular places to visit the cruises are a day out for the whole family. Furthermore, if you prefer something more private, you can choose to hire a boat from the company’s extensive fleet that includes luxury motor boats and rowing boats.

Planning Your Visit

Contact Details:
01539 443 360 / Website
Please see official website
Seasonal Opening:
All Year


Boats on Windermere were originally used to transport goods between various towns and villages on the lake, as well as a small number of local passengers. The first steamer service was launched in 1845, but it was the arrival of the railway to the area in 1847 that saw Victorian tourists flocking to the lake and the popularity of steamer cruises grew.

In 1956, HM Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Duke of Edinburgh sailed on one of the fleet from Ambleside to Bowness. Today the cruises are the most popular attraction in Cumbria, attracting over one million people each year.

Things To See

There are a number of attractions that can be accessed on foot from the ferry jetties, including the Lakeland Motor Museum, the Lakes Aquarium, and the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Steam Railway.

In addition, Ambleside and Bowness-On-Windermere have a delightful selection of shops, restaurants, cafés and pubs. In the summer months, an evening cruise is in operation where you can enjoy a two course buffet, live music, and sunset views.

Useful Information

During the summer months the town of Bowness-On-Windermere is a tourist honeypot and parking is difficult. You may find it easier to catch a ferry from Ambleside on the north shore of the lake, or Lakeside on the south shore, both of which tend to be quieter.

Dogs can travel free of charge. Bicycles can be brought onto the ferry for a small additional charge. Not all of the vessels are wheelchair accessible so it is best to check before you book.


A variety of ticketing options are available from single fares to cruises, 24-hour tickets, and tickets that include unlimited bus travel. Most can be booked in advance online and this is recommended during peak season.


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