Eurail Select Pass + Switzerland cover trains like the Glacier Express & Gotthard?

Hi,I have clients traveling 2 weeks/to Hungary/Austria and Switzerland end of May. I offered them the 3 countries pass but in Switzerland, if they want to take all the little trains, the glacier express, the Gotthard etc..., does the 3 countries pass work or shall I add a Swiss pass on the top of it ? Not sure what is the best way to go. Thanks for your time..
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) May 05, 2017 20:01
    Hi Isabelle,

    It really depends on the specifics of what they want to do. However, a Eurail Select Pass that includes Switzerland does cover ticket costs for the 'Glacier Express' route and the rail portion of the 'Gotthard Panorama Express' route.

    If your clients wish to take the steamboat on Lake Lucerne (Lucerne-Flüelen), which is considered part of the 'Gotthard Panorama Express' route, a Eurail Select Pass that includes Switzerland would enable them to receive a 50% discount.

    The 'Glacier Express' (Zermatt-Andermatt-St Moritz) does require reservations as a supplement to the rail pass, as does the actual 'Gotthard Panorama Express' trains.

    For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase any reservations by clicking the 'Seat Reservations' tab on our homepage, entering a route, and indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. a 'Eurail Three Country Select Pass').

    The 'Gotthard Panorama Express' scenic route consists of the steamboat from Lucerne to Flüelen and then trains from Flüelen to Bellinzona.

    From April 14th to July 2nd of this year, the actual 'Gotthard Panorama Express' trains from Flüelen to Bellinzona only operate on weekends. From July 3rd to October 22nd of this year, the 'Gotthard Panorama Express' trains from Flüelen to Bellinzona run daily. For taking in the scenery, the 'Gotthard Panorama Express' trains from Flüelen to Bellinzona have panoramic windows in 1st class.

    As I mentioned above, reservations are required to take one of the 'Gotthard Panorama Express' trains with the panoramic windows. For this route, the reservation we issue is inclusive of both the steamboat from Lucerne to Flüelen and the connecting 'Gotthard Panorama Express' train from Flüelen to Bellinzona. In addition to the reservation, remember that the Eurail Select Pass would enable your clients to receive a discount of 50% for the actual ticket on the steamboat. For the ticket, your clients would pay right on board the boat and show their Eurail Select Pass to receive the discount.

    To purchase reservations for the actual 'Gotthard Panorama Express' journey, you would type 'Lucerne-Boat Gotthard' (instead of just 'Lucerne') in the field for the departure city. Therefore, you would search 'Lucerne-Boat Gotthard' to 'Bellinzona'. By doing this, our website will know to issue the reservation that will cover your clients on the steamboat from Lucerne to Flüelen and the 'Gotthard Panorama Express' train from Flüelen to Bellinzona.

    If your clients will be traveling on a day when the actual 'Gotthard Panorama Express' trains are not running (i.e. a weekday between April 14th and July 2nd, 2017), they can still follow the same route and enjoy the scenery; however, the trains that do run won't have panoramic windows. On days when the 'Gotthard Panorama Express' doesn't operate, they would instead take a connection from Flüelen to Bellinzona that's comprised of regional trains. These connections involve changing trains once in Erstfeld along the way. Therefore, after their boat arrives in Flüelen, they would take a short regional train from Flüelen to Erstfeld and then another regional train from Erstfeld to Bellinzona.

    The regional trains from Flüelen to Erstfeld and Erstfeld to Bellinzona don't accept reservations, so the Eurail Select Pass would be all your clients would need to board. They would still need the ticket for the Lake Lucerne steamboat, for which they can receive the discount.

    The 'Gotthard Panorama Express' trains from Flüelen to Bellinzona and the regional trains from Ersfeld to Bellinzona follow a slightly different path than the connections comprised of IC and EC trains from Lucerne to Bellinzona (via Arth Goldau). The direct IC and EC trains from Arth Goldau to Bellinzona take passengers through the new 'Gotthard Base Tunnel', while the 'Gotthard Panorama Express' trains from Flüelen to Bellinzona and the regional trains from Erstfeld to Bellinzona take passengers through the old 'Gotthard Tunnel' (the old 'Gotthard Tunnel' is shorter than the new 'Gotthard Base Tunnel').

    Schedules for the regional trains from Flüelen to Erstfeld and Erstfeld to Bellinzona are not able to be viewed on our website, but these connections depart once every hour throughout the day, and the trip takes just under 2 hours. The direct 'Gotthard Panorama Express' trains from Flüelen to Bellinzona also take just under 2 hours. Trains from Zurich to Lucerne take about 45-50 minutes, while the boat ride on Lake Lucerne takes about 2.5 hours.
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  • Hi Jeff,
    Thank you very much for your detailed answer. I will work on the Itinerary and see what would work the best considering all your comments ! Isabelle
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  • Hi Jeff,

    thank you for those detailed explanation. This helps ! I will work on the client Itinerary and I may have more questions later.
    Thanks again/
    Warm regards
    Isabelle.
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