We present a one per cent measurement of the cosmic distance scale from the detections of the baryon acoustic oscillations (BAO) in the clustering of galaxies from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey, which is part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III. Our results come from the Data Release 11 (DR11) sample, containing nearly one million galaxies and covering approximately 8500 square degrees and the redshift range 0.2 < z < 0.7. We also compare these results with those from the publicly released DR9 and DR10 samples. Assuming a concordance Λ cold dark matter (ΛCDM) cosmological model, the DR11 sample covers a volume of 13 Gpc3and is the largest region of the Universe ever surveyed at this density. We measure the correlation function and power spectrum, including density-field reconstruction of the BAO feature. The acoustic features are detected at a significance of over 7σ in both the correlation function and power spectrum. Fitting for the position of the acoustic features measures the distance relative to the sound horizon at the drag epoch, rd, which has a value of rd,fid= 149.28 Mpc in our fiducial cosmology. We find DV= (1264 ± 25 Mpc)(rd/rd,fid) at z = 0.32 and DV = (2056 ± 20 Mpc)(rd/rd,fid) at z = 0.57. At 1.0 per cent, this latter measure is the most precise distance constraint ever obtained from a galaxy survey. Separating the clustering along and transverse to the line of sight yields measurements at z = 0.57 of DA = (1421 ± 20 Mpc)(rd/rd,fid) and H = (96.8 ± 3.4 kms-1Mpc-1)(rd,fid/rd). Our measurements of the distance scale are in good agreement with previous BAO measurements and with the predictions from cosmic microwave background data for a spatially flat CDM model with a cosmological constant. © 2014 The Author Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.