An option for those who have found accommodation in other cities on Lake Constance is to travel to Bregenz on a special ship that is timed to arrive shortly before the performance, and leave shortly afterwards. There is a ship to and from Lindau, Germany, for every performance, and usually other ships to Konstanz and other cities. I have seen up to four ships come in on the same evening. They do not go to Bregenz harbor, but land directly at the pier of the festival grounds.
Since only one ship can arrive or leave at a time, there are announcements after the show about which ships are leaving when. Those passengers leaving later usually seem quite happy to have a glass of wine at one of the many stands, bars or restaurants in the immediate vicinity of the festival grounds.
In addition, there are ships that crisscross Lake Constance on a regular schedule.
These scheduled ships leave several times daily from Bregenz harbor for Lindau, Friedrichshafen, Meersburg and Konstanz, among other places.
Travelling on these ships can be very pleasant — a good way to get around and see various towns on the shores of the lake. A few years ago, for instance, I took a ship from Meersburg to Konstanz, had a look around Konstanz during the day, and then caught another ship back to Meersburg in the evening.
To get a quick look at this end of the lake from out on the water, you can take a one-and-a-quarter hour cruise around Bregenz Bay, calling at the nearby Austrian towns of Hard and Lochau.
These short cruises are offered several times daily during the summer months, leaving from Bregenz harbor (not from the festival grounds). Refreshments are available on board.
My photos in this post are from 2005. I revised the text in 2022.
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