Windermere Lake Cruises trace their origins back to Victorian days, steamers and launches carry over 1.35 million visitors each year. The steamers have saloons, promenade decks, teashops and licensed bars. A fleet of passenger launches supplement the service. Boats operate an extensive route network linking the main settlements. A popular outing is the 45-minute Islands Cruise from Bowness, which passes wooded islands and secluded bays. A 40-minute trip from Ambleside offers free entry to the Lake District Visitor centre at Brockhole with its exhibitions, playgrounds, gardens and restaurant.
The main cruise operates daily throughout the year between Ambleside, Bowness and Lakeside, except christmas day, this takes 3 hours but passengers may get on and off the vessel, if they wish, to sample the delights of the steam railway, aquarium, the world of Beatrix Potter attraction, Ambleside museum and the little towns and villages around the lake.