White-Water Rafting in
ABOVE: Thrill-seeking tourists navigate
swirling rapids in the Swiss Alps.
Offering thrills to tourists is nothing
new in Interlaken and the surrounding Jungfrau District of the Bernese Oberland,
where intrepid visitors have been entertained with mountain-climbing, alpine
touring, and other challenging pursuits for more than a century.
Today, adventure travel has become an offshoot of mass tourism, with many
activities that are geared toward weekend thrill-seekers. Interlaken's tourist industry is meeting the demand for quick (if not especially
cheap) thrills with paragliding, skydiving, bungee jumping, canyoning, kayaking,
and other pursuits--including white-water rafting, which is open to any adult or
older adolescent who's in good health, has a strong stomach, and can afford 85
to 100 francs for a morning or afternoon's excitement. Excursions take place on several rivers in
the vicinity, and you can match your itinerary to the degree of risk and excitement
that float your boat.
rafting and other commercially packaged adventures aren't without danger. In 1999, a flash flood
killed 19 tourists who were "canyoning" in a gorge near Interlaken. Adventure World, the Interlaken firm that organized the trip, ceased operations
in May, 2000 after a bungee-jumping fatality in nearby Lauterbrunnen.
For links to white-water rafting organizers, photos, and related sites in
Interlaken, see page 2.
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rafting links > Page 1, 2