EMS Rütli

Electric motor vessel Rütli

The oldest motor vessel on Lake Lucerne dates from 1929 and is now being updated with the latest technology, making it fit for the future.

This project is just one part of the SGV Group's broader strategy to develop a clean and green fleet, thus focusing on sustainability and environmental protection. A first major milestone therefore was the relaunch of the electrified vessel Rütli in late spring. 


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Project milestones

25.08.2023 The MS Rütli was refueled for the last time.
29.09.2023 Removal of the old fuel tank
03.10.2023 Removal of the old diesel engine
17.10.2023 Transfer to the dry dock of the Lucerne shipyard
18.10.2023 Start of the main work
14.02.2024 Return to the lake
22.02.2024 Installation of the new electric propulsion system
21.03.2024 First trial
19.04.2024 Official launch by Shiptec
25.05.2024 First public cruise

Project goals

By converting the historic vessel MS Rütli from diesel propulsion to electric drive during winter 2023/24, the Lake Lucerne Navigation Company (SGV AG) is investing over 1 million CHF into clean and green mobility. The project will help reduce carbon emissions and contribute to sustainability in this sensitive Alpine environment. The works are being completed at the Lucerne shipyard, which is operated by SGV's own subsidiary Shiptec AG.


Thanks to the conversion of MS Rütli to electric drive, it will be possible to save roughly 2.5 million liters of diesel fuel annually. MS Rütli was purposefully chosen as the fleet's electric prototype, as it is particularly light and agile by original design. Its traditional area of deployment in the Bay of Lucerne, with short sightseeing cruises and compact range, makes it well suited for conversion to electric operation with powerful batteries. This refit is also highly symbolic and likely to launch a coming trend for other small passenger vessels on Swiss lakes or inland rivers.

Exciting fact: Before electrification, MS Rütli consumed an average of around 7,900 liters of diesel per year. This corresponds to CO2 emissions of around 21 tons. During a day of operation as a cruise and city boat (3 round trips of 75 minutes each), around 120-130 kWh are now required.

Deployment on Lake Lucerne this season

Enjoy a cruise on the eMS Rütli

As of 25 May 2024 the public is invited to experience the updated and attractively revamped electric vessel Rütli with a cruise over the clear waters of Lake Lucerne. The relaunched Rütli will therefore become a flagship of sustainable tourism and low-impact travel. Even with its modern electric drive, Rütli will retain its historic charm and 1920s nostalgia. During the summer months, the short and refreshing sightseeing cruises that Rütli operates in the Bay of Lucerne are ideal for individual travelers or small groups.

Additionally, the ship can also be chartered for pleasant private cruises in the late afternoon or early evening for Happy Hour. Enjoy an aperitif on Lake Lucerne with your family, friends or colleagues.


A small motorboat takes you from the city to the countryside in no time at all. Ideal für einen erholsamen Spaziergang am See, verbunden mit einer genussvollen Rundfahrt auf dem schönen Vierwaldstättersee.

Luzern - Meggenhorn - Luzern

We take responsibility!

Sustainability is a high priority within the SGV Group (SGV, Tavolago, Shiptec). The SGV Group assumes responsibility and aims to play a progressive role in its sectors with regard to sustainable corporate development.

OK:GO Initiative
OK:GO Initiative

The Lake Lucerne Navigation Company (SGV AG) participates in the OK:GO initiative. The inclusive OK:GO campaign provides additional information about public transportation accessibility and seeks to encourage people with reduced mobility to take advantage of accessible travel and enjoyable leisure options.

Seating capacity

Rütli Salon 36

Technical data

Ship name Electric motor ship Rütli (short form: eMS Rütli)
Type of ship Electric motor ship
Passenger capacity 120 persons
Crew 2 persons
Owned by Schifffahrtsgesellschaft des Vierwaldstättersees (SGV) AG
Builder Sachsenberg brothers, Roßlau an der Elbe & SGV shipyard, Lucerne
Virgin voyage 13 May 1929
Client Electrification Schifffahrtsgesellschaft des Vierwaldstättersees (SGV) AG A subsidiary of SGV Holding AG
Engineering and construction Shiptec AG, Lucerne ¦ A subsidiary of SGV Holding AG
Drive system Fully electric drive and energy management system from Shiptec
Electric power 180 KW / 245PS
Battery capacity 260 kWh (comparison battery capacity electric car: 50 - 100 kWh)
Charging concept Overnight charging, 1 day autonomy
Speed max. 20 km/h
Ship weight 28.6 tons
Length over all 22.60 m
Width over all 5.00 m
Deck area according to BAV approx. 71.3m2
Cost of conversion 1.2 million CHF
On departure and arrival in Lucerne - Flat rate for up to 36 people

If more people are traveling than the flat rate offered, the following surcharge will be charged: Each additional person: CHF 18.00 for the first hour + CHF 3.00 for each additional hour.

1 hour Sun-Wed/
CHF 1'100.00
CHF 1'200.00
2 hour Sun-Wed/
CHF 1'650.00
CHF 1'800.00
3 hour Sun-Wed/
CHF 2'200.00
CHF 2'400.00
4 hour Sun-Wed/
CHF 2'750.00
CHF 3'000.00
Every additional hour from 4 hours Sun-Wed/
CHF 600.00
CHF 650.00


Additional information as PDF

Media contact

Werner Lüönd 

Head of Marketing & Sales Shipping | Member of the Executive Board
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