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Thonon-les-bains to Lausanne passenger ferry

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
So, I'm planning a ski trip....

I want to travel overland (I live on the alps side of the channel) and one of the options for getting back involves the passenger ferry from Thonon-les-bains to Lausanne.
I will be carrying a largish suitcase with ski-boots, ski gear and a few clothes (it's a Sat-Wed trip), but no skis (I'll hire them).

Anyone done it?

A few questions:
* Will my large suitcase be an embarrasment? Is it setup for people using it as a link in a long journey?
* How likely is there to be snow at lake level in Thonon or Lausanne in mid-January - will dragging my suitcase the half mile I need to walk at either end be awkward?
* What about the funicular in Thonon - will that be useful to help me get to the ferry on time, or just a waste of time/money?
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Rcav, Snow at lake level unlikely, but it could happen.

The funicular cuts out a short walk but a steep hill, downwards on your return journey.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
A backpack, which would easily hold that lot, as you can wear your ski jacket (and trousers if it's cold), would be far less cumbersome.
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pam w wrote:
A backpack, which would easily hold that lot, as you can wear your ski jacket (and trousers if it's cold), would be far less cumbersome.


Thanks Pam.
But on the train I like to have small day pack with books/snacks/important documents etc which I can keep with me and larger bag I can stick at the end of the carriage. Managing two backpacks is worse than managing daysack + wheely suitcase I find. I also know from trips to the fridge that my medium backpack can just about fit my ski boots + ski jacket + ski trousers without the extra clothes and stuff, so I think it would have to be my large pack and then I still have a large bag to manage on the boat, just a rucksack instead of a suitcase, not sure I have any advantage here and am more likely to accidentally knock other commuters out when swinging it onto my back!
hmmm... Puzzled
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
* Will my large suitcase be an embarrasment? Is it setup for people using it as a link in a long journey?

Not as embarrassing as your spelling. Maybe though. If anything like the Geneva boats, set up for commuters/day trippers.

* How likely is there to be snow at lake level in Thonon or Lausanne in mid-January - will dragging my suitcase the half mile I need to walk at either end be awkward?

Entirely possible. Who knows. I'd find it a PITA if e.g. there's been an ice storm. Then again, then the boats probably won't be running. Even in heavy snow, two half hour walks with luggage wouldn't appeal to me.

* What about the funicular in Thonon - will that be useful to help me get to the ferry on time - yes, if it helps - , or just a waste of time/money? - just a waste if you miss your ferry.
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1. Depends on the time of day. Early mornings used by commuters.
2. Unlikely, more likely cancellation due to high winds.
3. I would use the funicular. But.... if its has been snowing, you could use the suitcase to toboggan down the hill
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@under a new name, Sad bad commute ?
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@BergenBergen, you don't appreciate my warped and facetious sense of humour? Perhaps I am too harsh.
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@Rcav, I am sorry. I am too harsh.

* Will my large suitcase be an embarrasment? Is it setup for people using it as a link in a long journey?

Is it am embarrassing suitcase otherwise? Too big? too small? Geneva public transport (which sort of includes lake shuttles) recommends that you don't take big luggage on buses and trams (and presumably small boats) at rush hour. I'm not Swiss, so I do so anyway.

* How likely is there to be snow at lake level in Thonon or Lausanne in mid-January - will dragging my suitcase the half mile I need to walk at either end be awkward?

Entirely possible. Yep, this is the eternal "will it snow?" question. I'm sticking with my first response. Who knows? I'd find it a PITA. If it hasn't snowed you are still about 1.5 kms from pier to Lausanne station... (How are you getting to Thonon?)

* What about the funicular in Thonon?

There's a funicular in Thonon?

I should probably work on my people skills.
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I can get all my ski stuff (minus skis) in a rucksack and have two hands free. Documents etc in front of rucksack. Passport, tickets, boarding pass etc in back pocket of trousers for going through barriers etc without having to take ruck sack off. I must confess that I quite enjoy travelling with a rucksack - makes me feel like an ancient globetrotter. Wheely bags are OK in an airport but an absolute pain on and off icy and snowy (or just rough) pavements and roads. And a total liability getting on and off boats. They drive me potty, frankly.
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under a new name wrote:
. If it hasn't snowed you are still about 1.5 kms from pier to Lausanne station...
and up hill as well. This is the bit that would worry me. Smile
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Quote:

This is the bit that would worry me

It would worry me with a big suitcase, but not with a rucksack. wink
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@BergenBergen, I may be wrong but my memory of Lausanne is that there is a metro station near the ferry terminal which goes to the railway station
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
johnE wrote:
@BergenBergen, I may be wrong but my memory of Lausanne is that there is a metro station near the ferry terminal which goes to the railway station


Yup. So plan would be....
Altibus down from resort late afternoon/evening after skiing all day
Cheap hotel in thonon for the night (half the price of hotel in Lausanne)
Walk/funicular down to ferry
Early morning (commuter) ferry on a weekday morning
Metro up the hill in Lausanne
Train all day back across Switzerland and Germany
Bus across the border home.

I'm minded to just go for it, it'll be an adventure either way.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
It does beg the question which resort you are staying in.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hmmm, Ibis budget Thonon, 52 chf vs Ibis Lausanne 109 chf...

I would submit that Lausanne is worth 57 chuffs to see it and enjoy rather than Thonon which is not exactly glamourous...

A chacun.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Rcav wrote:
So, I'm planning a ski trip....

I want to travel overland (I live on the alps side of the channel) and one of the options for getting back involves the passenger ferry from Thonon-les-bains to Lausanne.
I will be carrying a largish suitcase with ski-boots, ski gear and a few clothes (it's a Sat-Wed trip), but no skis (I'll hire them).

Anyone done it?

A few questions:
* Will my large suitcase be an embarrasment? Is it setup for people using it as a link in a long journey?
* How likely is there to be snow at lake level in Thonon or Lausanne in mid-January - will dragging my suitcase the half mile I need to walk at either end be awkward?
* What about the funicular in Thonon - will that be useful to help me get to the ferry on time, or just a waste of time/money?


- Nobody will give a monkeys about your suitcase. It's a ferry used by tourists and commuters. Try to get one of the old boats if possible as they're beautiful, belle époque paddle steamers.

- snow at lake level either side is very unlikely. I'd guess fewer than 4 days each season On the Lausanne side there's a metro station from ouchy port that takes you directly to the train station. I'd strongly advise you to take this unless you're a masochist for walking up hills, in which case, you possibly might get laughed at, even by the Swiss, who don't laugh much or often.

- don't know about the funi in thonon sorry.

As long as your schedule isn't too tight I think it's quite a good idea. I agree with UANN (I think it was) that a night in Lausanne is worth the extra money compared with Thonon, depending on what time you arrive and what day of the week. The views from Lausanne are 10x those of Thonon.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@snoozeboy, so the Belle Epoque boats run Thonon-Lausanne?

I really must do one of the lunch cruises.
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under a new name wrote:
@snoozeboy, so the Belle Epoque boats run Thonon-Lausanne?

I really must do one of the lunch cruises.


Ha, thought you had me there didn't you? For a moment, I doubted it too.

But yes, "Italie" runs that route twice tomorrow, leaving Thonon at 1630 and 1830.

However I think ultimately you're right - the crossing on weekdays is mostly the usual boats. Maybe the op should do the journey in reverse in order to cross on one of the old boats.

https://www.cgn.ch/fr/italie.html

Think your lunch cruise would better wait until the spring, but all the same, it's a wonderful way to see the scenery from a unique perspective.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
under a new name wrote:
Hmmm, Ibis budget Thonon, 52 chf vs Ibis Lausanne 109 chf...

I would submit that Lausanne is worth 57 chuffs to see it and enjoy rather than Thonon which is not exactly glamourous...

A chacun.


Thanks for the advice, I've been considering this carefully. Unfortunately due to bus timings (late afternoon bus from resort arrives too late for last ferry) , the choice seems to be afternoon skiing + night in Thonon and commuter ferry or leave resort after lunch, night in Lausanne and onward train.

So the question to the people recommending a night in Laussane instead of Thonon, is it worth loosing an afternoon's skiing?
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@Rcav, depends if it's a good afternoon's skiing or not. Thonon isn't that terrible. Lausanne's just a little nicer.
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I use the N3 ( Yvoire - Nyon ) boat every working day in the Winter.
The early crossings are chocka with commuters on this and also the N2 ( Thonon - Lausanne ).
Commuters will roll their eyes a bit if you have a big-ass case, but really it won't be a problem.
The boats (N2 & N3) are prone to the odd cancelation, but these are pretty rare.
Reasons will either be extreme wind, or extreme cold or a bit of both.

When the wind blows the water up onto the pier and it freezes, the services are cancelled as its too dangerous for passengers.
It has to be pretty severe though. I took this pic one morning last winter, and the boat was running then:


Just as an aside, you could spend the night in Evain instead of Thonon get the N1 from Evain - Lausanne.
IMHO Evian is nicer & smaller than Thonon, but the other big plus is that the ferry terminal is on the main strip, rather than having to dog it down the funiculaire at some unholy hour of the day.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I’ve never had a problem on the N2 - I leave pram/ case in the lobby area and get a seat easily.
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