It is a wonderful experience to travel along the Cinque Terre coastline by boat. The villages look quite different if you look at them from the sea, and who doesn't enjoy sitting on a boat on a hot summer day?
There are public ferry boats running between the villages, but they are very crowded. So if you don't like the idea of taking the boat with hundreds of other tourists and are looking for a more relaxed experience, check out our sailing trip and these boat tours from Manarola, or rent a private boat.
If you decide to take the public ferry, here is some information for you. The boats run between Monterosso and Portovenere (also La Spezia) both directions and stop in every village except Corniglia. You can also take a boat tour from Portovenere around the 3 islands or travel to Levanto, Lerici and Portofino.
Boats usually run between April 1 and October 31 but it also depends on the weather and sea conditions. In case of bad weather, boat service may be suspended any time.
For timetables and prices, please visit the website of the boat company.
You should also take the boat around the Portofino peninsula. Private boat rental is possible there as well!
Otherwise, there are 2 companies working in that area. The eastern side of the peninsula is called the Golfo del Tigullio and boats are running between San Fruttuoso, Portofino, Santa Margherita Ligure, Rapallo, Chiavari, Lavagna and Sestri Levante. They also have boats that run all the way to the Cinque Terre and back. For details, routes, schedules and prices, please check their website. Another company operates on the other side of the peninsula, in the Golfo Paradiso. You can take their boat from San Fruttuoso to Camogli but they have several different lines between Genova and Portofino, or even Genova and the Cinque Terre. For details click here.