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Lake Garda: everything you need to knoe about the ferries

Lake Garda Ferry Service. Everything you need to know for an unforgettable journey around Lake Garda on a boat.

Lake Garda Ferry Service

Lake Garda offers breathtaking scenery and an unforgettable experience to every tourist. Explore all the secrets and enchanting villages that surround the lake with a means of transportation different from the usual bus. Discover, in this article, how the ferry service on Lake Garda works.

CLICK HERE to download the SUMMER 2024 SCHEDULES in PDF
(valid from May 18th to October 6th, 2024)


Lake Garda Ferries and Boats

1. How does the ferry service work on Lake Garda?
2. Prices and schedules of ferries on Lake Garda
3. Daily ticket, subscription, and family ticket
4. Where to buy tickets for the ferry
5. Boat navigation on Lake Garda in case of bad weather
6. Additional information: bicycles, pets, and cars (with schedules)

GIRO DEL LAGO DI GARDA IN BATTELLO
Credits:  Benjamin Voros

1. How does the ferry service work on Lake Garda?

The ferry service on Lake Garda provides a public transport service, operated by Navigarda. Their functioning closely resembles that of buses. Therefore, there are no organized tours of Lake Garda on these ferries, but you can create a tailor-made one for yourself!

The navigation service operates on various routes that connect many villages along the lake. These routes allow passengers to move quickly from one point to the other on the lake, avoiding the long summer queues that often occur along the busy Strada Gardesana.


Credits: Anna Jagielska

2. Prices and schedules of ferries on Lake Garda

For the Lake Garda ferry service, the prices of single journey tickets vary depending on the desired route, age, number of people, and the type of boat chosen:

  • In addition to traditional ferries, hydrofoils are also available, which are smaller and faster boats. The rates marked in red in the table below refer to the supplement to be paid for the boats that offer a fast service.
  • Travelers over 65 years old, groups of more than 15 people, and residents in the municipalities around Lake Garda are eligible for a reduction valid only on weekdays (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays).
  • Children aged between 4 and 11 years old, school groups, and disabled persons are entitled to a greater reduction.

You can calculate the fare for the desired route by consulting the image below.

Lake Garda Ferry Service
Credits: Navigarda

The ferry timetable on Lake Garda is carefully planned to provide efficient and reliable service to passengers. Normally, ferries operate from March to October, with additional runs during the Christmas period. However, it is important to note that schedules may vary depending on traffic conditions and service needs at each stop.

During the peak season, ferries are generally active from 8 in the morning until 8 in the evening, allowing passengers to fully enjoy the long summer days on the lake. However, as autumn approaches and the days gradually shorten, schedules start to decrease gradually to avoid nighttime navigation, which could be complicated.

To find detailed ferry schedules for this period on Lake Garda, you can check the link provided at the beginning of the article.


Lake Garda Ferry Service
Credits: Michael Martinelli

3. Daily ticket, subscription, and family ticket

For those wishing to explore Lake Garda by boat with greater flexibility and convenience, various types of tickets, subscriptions, and discounts are available.

  • Daily tickets for one or three days are available for the Entire Lake (including fast services). Alternatively, you can purchase a one- or three-day ticket for the Upper Lake or Lower Lake area.
  • There are also four other types of daily tickets covering smaller areas: North, Center, West, and East.
  • The “Happy Family” package is also available, where, with the purchase of two full-rate daily tickets, children aged 4 to 11 are granted free admission (maximum of 2 children per family).
Lake Garda Ferry Service
Credits: Navigarda

For those who frequently use navigation services on Lake Garda, various types of subscriptions are available. More information on these options is available on the Navigarda website at this link.


Credits: Andrea Aiello

4. Where to buy tickets for the ferry

The easiest way to purchase a ticket for the ferries on Lake Garda is to buy it directly on-site. Ticket offices open only 20 minutes before each departure and are located at the port.

In smaller towns without ticket offices, you can buy tickets directly on board without any surcharge. However, in all other cases where the ticket is purchased on board, a surcharge applies. For this reason, I recommend arriving early at the ticket office, especially on days with high traffic.

Alternatively, tickets can also be purchased online on the Navigarda website.


Lake Garda Ferry Service
Credits: Navigarda

5. Ferry service on Lake Garda in case of bad weather

It’s important to note that in case of rain and bad weather, there may be changes to the ferry schedules or suspension of boat services on Lake Garda. Even strong winds can affect the regularity of the navigation service.

To stay informed about the status of services during bad weather, you can visit the ticket offices or contact the toll-free number 800-551801.


Lake Garda Ferry Service
Credits: Navigarda

6. Additional information: bicycles, pets, and cars (with schedules)

Take your bike on the ferry on Lake Garda

Regarding the transportation of bicycles on Lake Garda ferries, it’s important to note that an additional supplement is required on top of the ticket price (as visible in the previously provided tariff table).

You can identify the ferry routes where bicycle transportation is allowed by observing the color of the bicycle symbol:

  • White bike: You can bring your bicycle on board.
  • Yellow bike: The number of bicycles accepted may vary depending on availability.
  • Blocked bike: Bicycles cannot be transported on that route.
Pet Transport on Lake Garda Ferries

If you wish to bring your faithful pet friend on Lake Garda ferries, you can do so, but it’s important to know your dog’s exact height. Dogs under 50 cm in height can board for free. However, if your pet exceeds 50 cm in height, you’ll need to purchase a reduced fare ticket (the same rate as for children aged 4 to 11).

Transportation of Cars and Motorcycles on Ferries

The route from Maderno to Torri del Benaco is specifically intended for vehicle transportation. As Toscolano Maderno and Torri del Benaco are located exactly halfway between the north and south of Lake Garda, this route is particularly useful for those needing to cross the lake with vehicles.

CLICK HERE to download the TIMETABLES MADERNO – TORRI 2024 in PDF
(valid from May 18th to October 6th, 2024)

In high season, an additional route for vehicle transport is added from Limone to Malcesine, and vice versa.

CLICK HERE to download the TIMETABLES LIMONE – MALCESINE 2024 in PDF
(valid Saturday and Sunday and Holidays from May 18th to October 6th, 2024) and daily from August 15th to August 18th

Consult the rates for different types of vehicles in the table below.

Credits: Navigarda

If your destination is the enchanting Isola del Garda, I must inform you that the ferry doesn’t stop there, as it is a private island. However, you can visit it with an organized tour bookable here.

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