Area residents find a ferry ride in Switzerland is a little different than it is here

The 160-year-old ferry in Basel, Switzerland makes its way across the Rhine River. Riding the ferry, Bruce and Beth Carpenter struck up a conversation about ferries, including their own Canby Ferry. Bruce and Beth Carpenter travel the Canby Ferry regularly, so have an appreciation for that mode of crossing a river.

Recently, the couple were traveling in Basel, Switzerland, when they took a ferry trip across the Rhine River from the old part of the city to the new.

“We shared with the Munster ferry operator, Daniel Keller, that our Canby Ferry was celebrating 100 years of service,” said Bruce. “He just smiled and said his ferry was 160 years old.”

Instead of a motor, the ferries in Basel are connected with a line to a pulley that traverses a fixed cable attached to both banks. They set the rudder to full port or starboard and allow the Rhine current to push the ferry across the river.

“They adjust travel speed with the rudder and perform the docking maneuver quite smoothly,” he said. “It is a very ‘green’ operation.”

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