Münster Reaction Ferry – Basel, Switzerland - Atlas Obscura

Münster Reaction Ferry

This ferry carries passengers across the Rhine propelled by no engine or paddles but by the river's current. 


One of four “reaction ferries” that cross the Rhine in Basel, the Münster Ferry carries passengers between Grossbasel to Kleinbasel, relying on the current to do so. The ferries were once common along the Rhine between the 1600s and 1800s, before being gradually replaced by bridges. Now, the Basel ferries are the only ones that remain in operation on this river.

The ferry is attached to a cable that joins the two riverbanks, and moves as the river current pushes against a rudder. The rudder is attached to a long bar, which the boat’s driver swings to one side or the other depending on the direction of travel. The faster the current, the faster the trip–leaving your journey entirely up to the whims of the Rhine.

So, sit back and enjoy the relative silence of motorless boat travel and take in one of the most unique views in the city of Münster Cathedral.

Know Before You Go

From Grossbasel, you can access the ferry jetty by descending the stairs on the west side of the viewing platform behind Münster Cathedral. From Kleinbasel, the jetty is accessible from Oberer Rheinweg west of Wettsteinbrücke. A one-way ferry ride costs 2 CHF for one adult and is cash only.

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September 27, 2023

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