The boating beginnings date back to 1873 when Jozef Szentiványi, the founder of Štrbské Pleso had a hunting cabin built on the southern tarn bank and made the pier with boats available for the public. Later, Szentiványi was granted a permanent right to operate boating on the mountain lake by the Hungarian state. In 1921, the old indoor swimming pool was demolished and a new outdoor one with a wooden pier and a boat rental was built in 1926. The pier was extended and changed to a dock in 1946. In the interwar period, sailing boats could be sporadically seen on the tarn surface too. Boating became very popular in the 1950s and the season lasted from May to October. In 1984, the activity was cancelled due to nature protection and safety reasons. There was too much rubbish that polluted the tarn. Boating was renewed again after 24 years on 5th July 2008 based on the initiative of Michal Sýkora, the mayor of the Štrba village and the former Tatra Cableways company. The mountain lake is officially unlocked by Poseidon, the Ruler of the Sea every year and this unique ceremony is considered the beginning of the summer hiking season in the High Tatras.
The present-day floating pier is anchored approximately at the same spot as it used to be in 1873. There are 23 wooden boats at disposal for clients who can even use the services of a professional oarsman or rent a wedding boat. “Our last year´s season was the most successful one from our point of view because 5,500 boats transported over 18,000 satisfied passengers in the period of 73 days. This year, we have a brand new glass-bottom boat and all plastic boats have been replaced by new wooden ones because they fit in the environment better and are more attractive. The glass-bottom boat has been made exclusively for the purpose of admiring the clean water of Štrbské pleso and observing the animals, plants and the bottom of the moraine mountain lake,” said Petra Jánošová, the area manager of the Tatry mountain resorts, a.s. company.
Štrbské pleso is located at the altitude of 1,346 metres, it is 26 metres deep and has an area of 19.76 ha. 640 metres long and 600 metres wide, the moraine-type lake is the second largest tarn in the High Tatras. It is covered by ice for almost 155 days per year. There is no inflow or outflow, it is supplied with water only by underground inflows and seepages. Passengers on boats can feast their eyes on the peaks of Solisko, Patria, Štrbský štít and Furkotský hrebeň and enjoy the peaceful surface in a truly unique environment.
The boating tradition is closely related to the so called Venetian nights – special cultural-social events that date back to the 1930s. The first Venetian night was organised with lantern decoration and lit boats in 1936 and combined with a military band concert, as part of the Tatra festival. The tradition was renewed a few years ago, in 2014, when the Venetian nights became an integral part of the summer programme at Štrbské Pleso and have offered a beautiful artistic and visual show ever since. The fifth Venetian night took place on 14th July this year.
Štrbské pleso is located in the fifth – highest level of nature protection so all activities related to the tarn must follow strict rules. Boating is available every day from 10:00am to 06:00pm. The last boats begin their trips at 05:00pm. The following rules must be respected while boating: It is forbidden to fish, angle or feed wild ducks and fish while boating. It is not allowed to take any food or hand luggage onto the boat. Luggage can be left with the staff at the pier. Smoking, shouting and throwing rubbish into the tarn is strongly forbidden. There is a small waste bin in every boat. It is also forbidden to swim in the water and jump from the boat into the tarn. Passengers can get on and off the boat at the pier only. It is not allowed to dock a boat outside the pier and go ashore. It is forbidden to row any boat under the influence of alcohol, drugs or endanger the safety of others while boating. Boating is available for children over 3 years (at least 3 years old on the day of boating). Please read more on www.vt.sk.
Tatry mountain resorts, a.s. (TMR) is the leader in tourism in Central and Eastern Europe; it owns and operates attractive mountain resorts, amusement parks, restaurant facilities, sports services, shops and hotels. In the Low Tatras TMR owns and operates the resort Jasná Nízke Tatry and hotels Wellness hotel Grand Jasná, Boutique Hotel Tri Studničky, Chalets Jasná De Luxe, Hotel Srdiečko, and Hotel Rotunda. TMR is also the owner of Aquapark Tatralandia, the largest Slovak aquapark with year-round operation, which besides water entertainment includes Tropical Paradise, a special tropical indoor hall with sea water, as well as Fun Park, and accommodation in bungalows and apartments of Holiday Village Tatralandia. In the High Tatras TMR owns and operates the resort Vysoké Tatry with mountain areas of Tatranská Lomnica, Starý Smokovec, and Štrbské Pleso, which TMR co-manages. In the High Tatras TMR also owns hotels Grandhotel Praha Tatranská Lomnica, Grandhotel Starý Smokovec, Hotel FIS Štrbské Pleso and Mountain hotel Hrebienok. TMR also owns a 9.5 % share in Melida, a.s., which leases and operates the resort Špindlerův Mlýn in the Czech Republic. TMR also leases and operates the ski resort Ještěd. In Poland TMR owns a 97% share in the mountain resort Szczyrkowski Ośrodek Narciarski S.A. (SON), a 75% share in a company that owns and operates Silesian Amusement Park (Śląskie Wesołe Miasteczko) and a 7.3% share in an amusement-educational project via the Polish company Korona Ziemi Sp. z.o.o. TMR also owns and leases hotels Slovakia, Kosodrevina, Liptov and Ski&Fun Záhradky a Bungalovy to third parties. By the end of 2017, more than EUR 300 mil. had been invested into development and modernisation of TMR’s resorts. TMR shares are traded on three European stock exchanges – in Bratislava, Prague, and Warsaw.