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  • Lake District Foundation
  • VistEngland VAQAS

Lake Cruise, £8.60-£15.60

Ambleside (Waterhead) Pier from above

Ambleside (Waterhead) Pier from above

Steamer MV Swan awaiting to depart to Bowness on the Red Cruise. Steamers operate on this route during our peak season (Easter to the end of October). At all other times, smaller launches run every day except Christmas Day.



No visit to The Lake District, Cumbria, would be complete without a visit to England’s largest lake, Windermere; And what better way to experience it than from onboard a world-famous Windermere Lake Cruises ‘steamer’?

With more than 1.6 million passenger journeys made each year, Windermere Lake Cruises was named England’s fourth most popular “paid-for” attraction by VisitEngland in 2018.

With origins dating back to the Victorian era, the fleet of boats include ‘steamers’ with saloons, promenade decks, teashops and licensed bars.

Passengers can enjoy four different scenic routes, taking in the famous towns of Bowness-on-Windermere and Ambleside, as well as Lakeside and other stops including Wray Castle and Brockhole – the Lake District Visitors Centre.

With services operating from Waterhead Pier, Ambleside every day apart from Christmas Day, passengers can choose from specific routes or enjoy a 24 Hour Freedom of the Lake ticket on any route they choose – as often as they like!

Other attractions near our stop-off points include the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway, Lakeland Motor Museum, The Lakes Aquarium and The World of Beatrix Potter.

Parking facilities for cars and coaches are provided at or near our main pier at Ambleside.

Private charter cruises can be pre-booked; and other activities include afternoon tea and lunch cruises and jazz/buffet cruises.

Group, charter and education brochures are available on request.

Printed information is available in Bengali, Gujurati, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, German and French.

Opening details

Daylight hours.


  • Baby changing facilitiesBaby changing facilities
  • Coach parties acceptedCoach parties accepted
  • Credit cards accepted (no fee)Credit cards accepted (no fee)
  • Disabled toiletsDisabled toilets
  • Facilities for groupsFacilities for groups
  • Facilities for educational visitsFacilities for educational visits
  • Gift shopGift shop
  • On-site light refreshmentsOn-site light refreshments
  • Regional Tourist Board MemberRegional Tourist Board Member
  • Welcome HostWelcome Host
  • Accepts groupsAccepts groups
  • Facilities for conferencingFacilities for conferencing
  • Facilities for corporate hospitalityFacilities for corporate hospitality
  • Children welcomeChildren welcome
  • Disabled accessDisabled access
  • Dogs acceptedDogs accepted
  • Smoking not allowedSmoking not allowed

Corporate hospitality and conferencing facilites can be provided on a steamer if pre-booked. We hold private charters, lunch cruises, buffet cruises, corporate hospitality, public sailings and group travel.


Waterhead Pier,
LA22 0EY


Plan route to Windermere Lake Cruises, Waterhead using Google mapsPlan route using Google maps

Map reference: NY 376031  Lat: 54.41950 Long: -2.96312

To Ambleside, follow A591.

Parking: with charge

Accessible by Public Transport: 4 miles from Windermere station

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