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Cheese and sombreros give boost to Swiss ships

Fondue boats, Mexican nights and dinner theatre cruises contributed to record passenger numbers on Switzerland’s lakes and rivers last year.

The country’s ships transported 14.7 million passengers in 2009, an increase of 4.9 per cent over 2008, said Litra, Switzerland’s public transport information service.

Winter cruising is increasing in popularity, Litra said, and people took advantage of the extensive cultural and culinary options on the 184 ships plying Swiss waters.

The figures, reported on Wednesday, showed that Lake Lucerne led with nearly 2.44 million passengers, closely followed by the Lake Zurich Horgen-Meilen ferry, with nearly 2.24 million passengers.

Zurich’s River Limmat cruise counted 3.68 million hands on deck – or 1.84 million people. Some 1.33 million sailed the waters of lakes Thun and Brienz in the Bernese Oberland and Geneva’s Mouettes Genevoises had 1.28 million.

Numbers sank elsewhere: Neuchâtel and Murten had 271,000 passengers and Lake Biel recorded 361,700. and agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR