A day trip is not a bad idea at all, but it would be awesome if you can stay. I would prefer staying at Halstatt more than anything else, because the mornings and evenings are amazing without any tourists around. Bad Ischl too is a good base.
the ferry service is to service the train. bad ischl is not on the lake, but is about 8 miles away. but bad ischl is a good base for going to hallstatt, salzburg, wolfgangsee etc
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