If CGN can pride itself in serving the shores of Lake Geneva with this level of comfort and speed, it is because it was given an unusually eventful history to build upon.
A legendary element in the heritage of Lake Geneva, it has had its difficult times and has weathered a number of storms, but it has never succumbed, continuing to offer generations of passengers unforgettable, comfortable and sun-blessed crossings and cruises.
Thanks to Edward Church, US consul in France and a boating enthusiast, Switzerland's first steam ship, the 'Guillaume Tell', made its appearance on Lake Geneva in 1823.
CGN was formed in 1873 as a result of a merger between three navigation companies, which brought together the vessels 'Helvétie', 'Léman', 'Aigle' and later the 'Flèche'.
Shipping operations on the lake steadily became more closely associated with the railways (1870). This alliance highlighted the predominance that tourism was to have throughout the Lake Geneva area. Efforts continued to increase the size of the fleet, while maintaining the comfort and speed of transport. The range of destinations and the number of kilometres travelled also increased.
Then came the "Belle-Epoque", a real high point in tourism. Hotels, palaces and railways became the symbols of a period in which luxury was the order of the day. Local transport was no longer of interest; a new chapter had begun.
That all came to an end with the start of the First World War. Worldwide conflict and the drop in tourist numbers hit CGN hard.
After the war, the company enjoyed an increase in numbers again and new vessels were launched. In its weakened position, CGN still had to deal with the appearance and development of the automobile and the severe economic crisis that lasted through the 1930s. In 1940, CGN even suspended its services for three months.
Fortunately, there was a positive outcome. From 1943, the authorities intervened in the hope of seeing CGN's vessels plying the lake once again. The National Exhibition in 1964 provided new stimulus, and the acquisition of new and modern units followed, including the 'Lausanne' in 1991.