Switzerland Travel Writing

1 magical way to spend a Swiss summer afternoon

Young blond woman standing on a small white boat on an emerald green lakeLooking for original things to do in Switzerland during the summer? Let me share with you one magical way to spend a Swiss summer afternoon.

Are you ready?

#African Queen II

This year, for my birthday, I wanted to do something a little bit different. After a couple of research, I found the perfect activity (and setting): a 1911 Dutch Saloon boat named “African Queen 2”!

Picture of the helm of an old saloon boat
Picture of the inside of an old saloon boat all with wooden panels
Picture of the stern of an old saloon boat with a birthday cake themed garland floating above it

On a very sunny Sunday afternoon, my guests and I boarded the African Queen II at Le Bouveret for a birthday lunch cruise. During the next 4 hours we would navigate from Le Bouveret to the Château de Chillon and back.

Picture of a medieval castle right on a lakeImagine yourself cruising the stunning Lake Léman on your very own, old-style, mini yacht?! Sitting at the stern of the boat, sipping Prosecco, letting the cool breeze float through your hair while witnessing some of the most stunning natural sceneries, is such a glorious experience!

Young blond woman sitting on a wooden bench on the deck of a small boat

While I’m usually quite the chatty person, I’m short of words to describe this truly unique birthday experience with the African Queen II. I think the one word perfectly summing it up is magical! The whole afternoon was pure magic, everything was picture-perfect: the natural surroundings, the weather, the guests as well as the service.

As for the boat itself, the African Queen is privately-owned. The current owners restored it back to its former glory in 2012. It can be rented for all kind of events: birthdays, wedding proposals, company gatherings and way more. You can rent it for a couple of hours or for the entire day. It can also host up to 10 persons (including Lloyd its captain).

In addition to renting the boat, the staff can take care of the catering for you too. However, if you’re like me and have a very specific idea of what type of food and ambiance you want, you can also bring your own catering and drinks. I had the best chef preparing my food: my mum! My birthday picnic was therefore very chic and exquisite!

Close up picture of a pretty picnic table inside a boat

The only downside of this experience is the space on the boat. We’re seven plus two staff members and I’ve to say it felt a bit crammed. I’d recommend to not be more than 5 guests onboard. And, we never had the promised welcome drink 😢

Picture of a large green tree planted on a tiny island on a lake

In conclusion, if you are looking for activities to do in Switzerland during the summer season I recommend renting the African Queen II! It will give you the opportunity to soak up Switzerland’s “wonderland” atmosphere.

By the way, I’d love to hear your thoughts about this post! Share them in the comments.



I believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. Although this post is sponsored, the views expressed are purely my own. However, African Queen did not pay me to write about my experience with them.

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  • Reply
    24/08/2020 at 17:10

    Super comme d’habitude Emi! Bravo

  • Reply
    25/08/2020 at 05:53

    A so nice and spécial day 🤗

  • Reply
    Christian Guhl
    27/08/2020 at 08:20

    Bonjour ! Le « Welcome drink » vous attendait mais nous l’avons pas eu le
    temps d’ouvrir la bouteille car vous avez ouvert les vôtres rapidement. Il faut revenir à bord! Merci pour le sympathique article! Christian le moussaillon

    • Reply
      14/09/2020 at 16:46

      Avec plaisir! Quant au “Welcome drink”, si vous nous aviez prévenus nous aurions attendu avant de sortir nos provisions 😉

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