Authored by Megan PB.

Bateau Geneve

The Bateau de Genève is the old steam ship which is docked next to the jet d’eau not far from the flower clock in the Jardin Anglais.

It’s also the infamous boat upon which the Austro-Hungarian empress Sisi (whose statue adorns the Quai by the Beau Rivage hotel) was ambushed (& sadly assassinated) by an anarchist in 1898. The boat was going to be sunk, but a group of private donors saved it for the purpose of giving shelter to those in precarious life situations (refugees & asylum seekers, homelessness, etc).

The boat is a place where those living on the streets can go as ‘passengers’ to get a free meal and to work either as a guide for the boat or on the renovation team. Thirty such ‘apprenticeships’ are offered to passengers each year and the apprentices receive a small wage.  There is also a professional caterer who trains the passengers in kitchen service and the boat offers an open buvette café throughout the summer.  Passengers can also access language classes, support with job applications, computer access and up to 200 passengers are on board every morning.  

Like the Bain des Pâquis, the Buvette meals are reasonably priced and good — with the bonus of a lake terrace view!  We think it is one of the most beautiful terraces in the harbor for a drink or a meal.

The Buvette du Bateau has been completely renovated over the winter with tarpaulins swapped for a magnificent glass roof that protects you both from the cold and the windy weather but also letting you enjoy the sun in good weather.

The boat can also be rented out for private parties as well & offers music and pirate-themed aperitif bar on alternate Thursdays. The AIWC will be having one of our evening Cocktails nights there this summer.


Some of the AIWC ladies have recently joined in helping to conduct a sort of art therapy activity on the boat with whichever of the passengers feel inspired to join in on some Mondays & Thursday mornings.


Here are some photos of our group in front of the boat — and a list of the upcoming events. So if you feel like an apero on deck or a tasty lunch by the water, come on by — there will also be a kick off opening party this coming Saturday 18th with music if interested!


More info at

We are a group of international women living in Geneva, Switzerland. If you would like to learn more about our activities and excursions, visit our website at