Those who know me or have been following me for some time know that since the beginning of our stay here I have been attending “MuKi Deutsch” classes. As I mentioned several times on the blog, it is a German class for mothers with children organized by the local town hall. The aim of this course is to help integrate newcomers not only by helping them and their children to learn the language but to learn more about life in Switzerland.
It has become a nice tradition that a trip of course participants (whether the current or the past or their family members) is held each year. The Saturday trip was the third one I attended. Two years ago we headed out to the wonderful Mooraculum water park, last year we joined a visit to the St. Beatus caves with a cruise on Lake Thun.
Here are a few facts – the Aare River rises in the Bernese Alps and flows through the Briens and Thun Lake. After 288.2km, it becomes a tributary of the Upper Rhine near the town of Koblenz.*
And now let´s take a look what can you experience, see and admire cruising the River Aare?
The first highlight for the children was admiring the boats in Biel Port. I think the cruise ship “Stadt Biel” had the greatest success – guess why?
Just after fifteen minutes of cruise came an interesting moment when we were passing through the locks in Port. After closing the door, our ship dropped to the level of the Aare River, and after opening the front door we continued on.
During the comfortable cruise, you will see a lot of waterfowl in the corners of the river (I have certainly identified swans, ducks, gulls, and herons :)) Those who like storks can interrupt the cruise in Altreu and visit the “Storks village” with its stork settlement (you can read about our first visit here). Now I’ve got a tip at the Infocenter that the best to visit this place in mid-July, when the young storks are flying out of the nests and there are more storks to see than in May when we were here for the first time (and I thought I haven´t seen so many storks seen in my life!).
Another interesting place on the cruise is the historic town of Büren an der Aare. From what I could see from a ship’s deck, I’ve alredy put it on my “Swiss travel bucket list”. Moreover, I was given a tip that charming Christmas markets are being held here and Büren is “klein, aber fein” overall 🙂
The cruise ends in Solothurn and I certainly recommend visiting this “most beautiful Baroque city in Switzerland“.
On the boat, you can enjoy meals from a menu, whether it’s breakfast, lunch or some snacks. If you would like to enjoy a gastronomic experience, I recommend visiting the website of BSG as it offers various thematic (culinary) cruises.
If you stop in Altreu, you can make your own picnic.
You can enjoy a boat trip with your family or friends. It was a perfect day out for all the participants of our German class. Our group was truly from all over the world – judge yourself: the Czech Republic, Poland, Switzerland, Spain, Japan, China, and Sri Lanka. I think we all enjoyed a wonderful day thanks to the great organization of our “Kursleiterin” Claudia (many thanks for that!!!).
Our itinerary and practical information
We took an SBB train from Solothurn to Biel. The ride lasts about 15 minutes. From the Biel railway station in Biel, we followed a yellow tourist sign just outside the station (direction Robert-Walser-Platz).
After a few minutes of walking, we reached the bridge over the Aare, where we turned right and follow the Uferweg street to the port.
The cruise is operated by BSG (Bielersee-Schifffahrtsgesellschaft – Lake Biel Navigation company), and it takes less than three hours from Biel to Solothurn. You can, of course, split your cruise (we just took a break in Altreu and waited for another “connection”).
If you are traveling in a larger group, it is good to book places on the boat in advance. You can find the price list and group discount information here.
You can take a stroller or a bike on the boat.