FERRY & BOAT TOURS
around Lake Como

Boat trips and tours on Lake Como are something that I’d definitely recommend to anyone who wants to experience their holidays at its best.

Whether you are visiting Lake Como for a day or staying longer, jump aboard a boat, relax and reach your favourite destination: BellagioVarennaComo, or maybe one of the historical villas on the shores of the lake.

Boat tours are basically of two types: public or private. You can choose the experience you prefer based on your needs, especially the time and budget you have available.

Boat to Villa Carlotta, Lake Como
Public tours
Public boat tours on Lake Como

The local public navigation service (Navigazione Laghi) provides several routes that connect all of the most popular towns along Lake Como’s shores, at a convenient price.

Private tours
Private boat tours on Lake Como

With a driver at your disposal you have the chance to choose your favorite itinerary and the length of your cruise. The best to experience Lake Como at your own pace.

PUBLIC BOAT TOURS
around Lake Como

The public boat service is provided by Navigazione Laghi.

The service operates all year round (with the exception of the southeastern branch, where it only operates in the summer), although in the low season it has a reduced frequency of service.

Below I collected the most useful information that will help you organize your transfers, but if you don’t find what you are looking for, or if you have specific questions, please contact Navigazione Laghi directly through their website.

What kind of information are you looking for?

About the routes

There are three main routes:

Como - Colico (and back)

The most popular route (for passenger transport only) that connects Como, on the southwestern tip of the lake, to Colico, in the north, and makes stops along the way.

Yes, this is the route that takes you from Como to Bellagio and that also connects Bellagio and Varenna. You can choose between two types of services:

  • Regular service (Corse battello in the map above): this one stops in all towns with a pier along the route and is perfect for those who want to enjoy the trip and take many photographs.
  • Fast service (Corse rapide): this one makes fewer stops, although the major destinations are always guaranteed (Argegno, Bellagio, Varenna, etc.). It costs a little more than the regular service but is perfect for those who have little time.

Ferry in the central part of Lake Como

Ferries in the central area (Corse traghetto in the map) allow the transport of vehicles, but they only operate between the towns of Bellagio, Varenna, Menaggio, and Cadenabbia.

Lecco - Bellagio (and back)

This route (for passenger transport only) connects Lecco, on the southeastern tip of the lake, to Bellagio, on the promontory between the three branches of the lake. It only operates in the summer.

Schedule & timetables

Below you can find the PDF timetables currently provided by Navigazione Laghi. However, I invite you to use the timetable search form on their website for the most up-to-date schedules.

Como - Colico (and back)

Ferry in the central part of Lake Como

Lecco - Bellagio (and back)

Tickets & fares

Remember to buy your ticket before getting on board!

Fares of Lake Como’s public boat service

You can buy different types of tickets, the rates of which vary depending on several factors: length of the trip, presence of intermediate stops, surcharges for fast service, etc.

The best thing you can do to know the exact price of your trip is to visit the website of the company and use their search form. However, below is an overview of what you can get.

Types of tickets
  • One-way tickets: buy this ticket if you want to travel to a specific destination, without intermediate stops (you can sail from Como to Bellagio but without getting off at Argegno for a coffee).
  • Free-circulation tickets: holders of these tickets are entitled to make intermediate stops between the piers for which the ticket was issued (if you want to visit multiple destinations by lake in a single day, this is probably the best choice).
Fares for most common routes
  • One-way ticket Como-Bellagio: €10.40
  • Free-circulation ticket Como-Bellagio (valid 1 day): €23.30
  • One-way ticket Bellagio-Varenna: €4.60 (this price applies to all one-way passenger transfers between towns in the central area of the lake)

Surcharge for fast service varies by route (see on the company's website). Discover more about:

 

Where to buy tickets

Summer 2022 update: you can currently purchase tickets online (on Navigazione Laghi's website) for regular service trips only (which means: no vehicle transportation, no express service) for the following trip types:

  • one-way/return trips
  • free-circulation tickets (trips involving intermediate stops)

Otherwise, tickets can be purchased at the ticket office near the dock of almost any town (onboard purchase – with cash/credit card and without any additional cost – is allowed in case of towns with no ticket office). People with disabilities can always buy the ticket on board without extra charge.

If you are going to buy your ticket at the ticket office, just make sure you get there about 20-25 minutes before the departure. Keep in mind that during the peak season the turnout at ticket offices can be very high. If you can, buy your ticket online to avoid standing in line under the sun. 

Travel times for popular journeys

Regular service

  • Como - Argegno: 1h 05 min / 1h 15 min
  • Como - Bellagio: 1h 30 min / 2h
  • Bellagio - Varenna: 15 min
  • Bellagio - Menaggio: 15 min

Fast service

  • Como - Argegno: 20/25 min
  • Como - Tremezzo: 40/45 min
  • Como - Bellagio: 45 min / 1h
  • Como - Varenna: 1h 15

Disabilities, Covid-19, etc.

Green Certificate: Access to local public transport services is allowed to holders of green certification with the obligation to use FFP2 type respiratory protection devices until the end of the state of emergency.

People with disabilities: Important information for people with disabilities.

In case of any other doubts, please consult the FAQ page of Navigazione Laghi.

 

 

Public boat routes on Lake Como
Some ferries of the fleet

Some ferries of the fleet:

Motorship | Boat trips on Lake Como
The regular service ferry
Hydrofoil | Boat trips on Lake Como
The fast service ferry
Ferries on Lake Como, Italy
Ferries for vehicle transportation

PRIVATE BOAT TOURS
around Lake Como

Private boat tours Lake Como

Tours provided by Como Classic Boats

Most of the towns will give you the chance to take a private boat tour on Lake Como at your own pace, maybe at sunset and with a fine bottle of prosecco.

If you are looking for a private tour with a driver at your disposal, here are some options that may be right for you!

Related posts

This Post Has 46 Comments

  1. Glenn Richardson

    You need to make your fares more easily understandable. We have paid for the multi stop only to find out it is not possible to go to Calico unless you pay an extra supplement. This should even made far easier to interpret

    1. Alessandro - Lake Como Travel

      Hello Glenn, thank you for your suggestion. Lake Como Travel’s goal is to try to gather, in the simplest way possible, all the information that can help anyone who wants to visit Lake Como. However, I would like to remind you that this is a personal project and not an institutional website: that is why I always recommend visiting the official websites of the various companies to get the most accurate information possible, so that you can plan your trip without any surprises. Sorry for the inconvenience!

  2. Sara

    Dear lake como trip
    We are a group of 20 people that would like to go from Varenna to Bellagio and return on the 11 of November 2022. Do you have timetable and price list for this route?

    Thank you so much for your soonest replay.

    Best regards Sara

    1. Alessandro – Lake Como Travel

      Hello Sara, the new schedules will be posted on Navigazione Laghi’s official website in late September-early October. You can contact the company directly to ask for more information. I hope this helps!

  3. Ron

    Great help many thanks

    1. Alessandro – Lake Como Travel

      Thank you very much, Ron!

  4. Vivek

    Thanks for providing such a well-organized web site. This was so much easier to understand than the official Navigazione Laghi web site.

    1. Alessandro – Lake Como Travel

      Thank you very much Vivek, feedback like yours is a source of satisfaction for me 🙂

  5. Amy lee

    Could I ask if eurail global pass can be used within lake Como ? Eg ferry, bus, train etc
    We are traveling from Grindelwald to Lake Como
    Tks!!

    1. Alessandro – Lake Como Travel

      Hello Amy, since I do not want to give you incorrect information, please contact the transportation operators directly.

  6. Carolyn

    My daughter and I will be spending 8 to 10 days exploring Lake Como and its many villages.
    1) Is there a multi-day ferry pass available or must we purchase daily pass?
    2) which mid-lake city is most reasonable to make it our home base?

    1. Alessandro – Lake Como Travel

      Hi Carolyn, you can buy a 6-day pass. Find more information about the fares in the second table that you can find here. All mid-lake towns have their own charm, maybe I would suggest you to choose one of the less crowded (such as Cadenabbia or Lenno), then consider that you can reach all others by ferry in a matter of minutes. Hope this helps!

  7. Laura S.

    Ditto compliments for the concise and organized info on this website.

    1. Alessandro – Lake Como Travel

      Thank you very much Laura!

  8. Kim

    Thank you for your very helpful information. Is there ever a problem in August where the ferries are full at certain times? Is there ever a worry that one cannot get back to Como or Varenna to catch a train back to Milan due to ferries being full?

    1. Alessandro - Lake Como Travel

      Hi Kim, I’ve heard of someone being asked to wait for the next ferry, but this happens quite rarely because, especially in high season, the ferries that are used are quite large. The only suggestion I can give you is to arrive at the dock at least 20-25 minutes before departure, with your ticket already in hand 🙂

  9. Chris

    Thank you so much for putting together this information – it’s very clear and concise and I can’t wait to visit Lake Como!
    All the best

    1. Alessandro – Lake Como Travel

      Thank you Chris, I really appreciate it 🙂

  10. justin

    hi Alessandro

    we are a family of 5 (3 teenagers) and wondering where to stay to explore lake como four 4 nights.

    would appreciate your insight given we will be jumping on ferries and swimming at beaches a lot.

    1. Alessandro – Lake Como Travel

      Hello Justin, I suggest you to choose a town in central area of the lake that is well-connected to the others, such as Varenna, Bellagio, Menaggio or Cadenabbia!

  11. Bonnie

    Hello Allesandro,
    Great site/resource – thank you for putting this together. My husband and I plan to spend a day visiting Como, Bellagio and Varenna (day trip from Milan) on Oct 12 this year. and have a few questions I am hoping you can answer!

    – I am trying to find where to purchase our ferry tickets in advance but can’t find anything. Is it possible to purchase online in advance, or just day of at the dock?

    – Is the schedule still good in mid-Oct?

    Thank you – we are very much looking forward to our visit!

    Bonnie

    1. Alessandro – Lake Como Travel

      Hi Bonnie, first of all, thank you very much! Yes, you can buy tickets in advance, but don’t worry, you can do it even 1-2 days before the trip, tickets will not be sold out at that time. Unfortunately, the company updates the schedule at the last, so currently you can’t know the winter schedule until the beginning of October. I wish you a wonderful visit and I anticipate that on my Instagram channel you will soon find a Reel in which I will simulate this very trip 🙂

  12. Beverly

    If I buy an intermediate ferry ticket in Varenna can it be used to visit the middle lake towns and to return to Varenna to catch our train?

    1. Alessandro – Lake Como Travel

      Hello Beverly, yes, you have to buy a round-trip free-circulation ticket.

  13. Judy

    Hi Alessandro – Thank you for this wonderful information! I’m staying near Varenna and was thinking about taking our rental car to Villa del Balbianello. Is it possible to take the car across Lake Como from Varenna to the Villa? I saw that there’s a Griante to Varenna ferry, but it looks separate from the Navigazione Laghi ferry service. Where ferry service can I take? Thanks for your help!

    1. Alessandro – Lake Como Travel

      Hi Judy, the ferry from Varenna to Cadenabbia is also operated by Navigazione Laghi. So, as you said, if you want to take your own car, the best option is to get to Cadenabbia by ferry and then drive to Via degli Artigiani (8 minute drive), where you will leave your car and then decide whether to walk or take a taxi boat to the villa. I hope this helps you!

  14. Claudio

    We want to make a round trip starting from Como (around 10 am), with 2 stops. First one in Varenna than in Bellagio from where we have to return to Como (no later than 21 hrs). Timetables and routes are a little bit complicated to organise easily our trip. Could you give us a hint which would be the best option considering our limited time to visit (about 8 hrs) both towns and a resonable fares for this (either regular or rapid boats)?

    1. Alessandro – Lake Como Travel

      Hi Claudio, in my opinion the opposite is preferable, that is: starting from Como, visit Bellagio first (which you can reach, nonstop, by a fast ferry in about an hour). From there, take the ferry to Varenna (15 minutes, max 30). Once you’ve visited Varenna, you can take the fast service from Varenna to Como (not too late-I think the last one of the day is around 7 p.m.). I know it is difficult to read their timetables, which is why I suggest you use the search form directly: https://www.navigazionelaghi.it/risultati?lake=Como. Best!

  15. Claudine

    On the navigazionelaghi.it website, there are two options to select – eg. Varenna or Varenna (Traghetto). The first one I believe is the mid lake shuttle and the first service from Varenna is 9:23, while the second one is the car ferry and has earlier services. If I buy a one way ticket or a free circulation ticket, can I take any of these services or do I have to stick to only the one I buy a ticket for? Is the free circulation ticket only for the mid lake shuttle? Is there a different dock for the shuttle and the ferry at Varenna and Bellagio? Thank you!

    1. Alessandro – Lake Como Travel

      Hi Claudine, useful questions for other readers as well. You don’t have to worry: if you buy the free circulation ticket you can take any kind of ferry you want, as long as you move within the validity area of the ticket you chose to buy. The piers may be different (for example, in Bellagio there is one where you take the regular ferry and another where you have to board if you have a car – or even if you don’t have it), but in any case it is best to ask the shore staff to make sure you take the right boat 😀
      Best!

  16. Leslie

    Hi we are coming from Milan by train & arriving at hotel du lac on September 10 at 9:30 am. Do we need to purchase our ferry tickets in advance for the hotel? Thanks you Leslie

    1. Alessandro – Lake Como Travel

      Hello Leslie, yes, this way you will avoid the queue at the Como ticket office!

  17. Jozef

    Je povolene preprava psa na verejnej lodi ?

  18. Alexandra

    Hello,

    When will the fall/autumn ferry timetable be available on the website (schedule as of Oct 2nd 2022)?

    Thank you!

    1. Alessandro – Lake Como Travel

      Hello Alexandra, I’ve just updated the schedule. Take a look!

  19. Susan Matthews

    Hello,
    We will be in Varenna and would like to tour up to Colico and back to Varenna by ferry. Not looking to get off the ferry until back at Varenna.
    What would that schedule be?
    Do we need to purchase before our desired day of the tour and can we purchase in Varenna?
    2nd week of May, 2023.
    Your reply will be most appreciated,
    Susan

    1. Alessandro – Lake Como Travel

      Hi Susan, if you don’t get off at the intermediate stops, a regular round-trip ticket is fine. You can buy it online before the desired day of the tour, so you will avoid standing in line at the ticket office. Hope this helps!

  20. Joan

    Does the boat from Lecco to Bellagio run past 2 Oct 2022? Is there any service from Lecco after that date? Thank You

    1. Alessandro – Lake Como Travel

      Hello Joan, I’ve just updated the schedule. Take a look!

  21. Linda Gartner

    Dear Alessandro, group of six adults would like to take high speed ferry from Como to Bellagio, spend a couple of hours, take ferry to Varenna, spend a couple of hours and then back to Como. What is the best option knowing we only have one day.
    Thank you for your help.
    Linda Gartner

    1. Alessandro – Lake Como Travel

      Hi Linda, I think the trip you have already planned is perfect 🙂 Just be sure to check the ferry schedules to plan your travel as smoothly as possible.

  22. Adva

    Can we go on the ferry with our car from menaggio to Varena?

    1. Alessandro – Lake Como Travel

      Hello Adva, yes definitely! It takes 15 minutes, more or less.

  23. Annie

    If we stay at Grand hotel Imperiale, Can we go on a ferry from from como to Moltrasio ?

    1. Alessandro – Lake Como Travel

      Hello Annie! Yes, definitely, please remember to check timetables on navigazionelaghi.it.

Leave a Reply

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.