William Tell Express & Bernina Express. How do you book the bus/train from Bellinzona/Lugano to St. Moritz?

Hi,

I am visiting swiss during beginning of June 2016. I want to book both Wilhelm tell express and bernina exp. I will start from lucern and goto Bellinzona then from there to st moritz. From there i will catch regional train to chur. After that, i will goto venice. I want to spend 3 /4 days in swiss. Please suggest a good itineary.

Where to book the bus from Bellinzona/lugano to st. moritz? please suggest.

thanks!
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) March 31, 2016 15:16
    Hi Nitin,

    The segment from Lucerne to Bellinzona/Lugano would be considered the William Tell Express scenic route. It would consist of a boat across Lake Lucerne from Lucerne to Flüelen (across Lake Lucerne), a train to Bellinzona, and another train to Lugano. Conveniently, the trains from Flüelen to Bellinzona depart right from where the boats arrive into from Lucerne.

    Technically, reservations aren't required on any part of this journey between Lucerne and Lugano. Therefore, if you'll be traveling with a rail pass, the rail pass would be all you'd need to board.

    If you'll be traveling with a rail pass, you would only purchase reservations if you'd like to have the "William Tell experience", which includes a "welcome package" on the boat from Lucerne to Flüelen and a seat in an observation coach (with panoramic views) on the connecting train from Flüelen to Bellinzona. The "welcome package" consists of a William Tell souvenir, a meal voucher, a refreshment voucher, and a travel guide. The meal voucher is worth CHF 19 (locally) otherwise.

    The Bernina Express scenic route would consist of a bus ride from Lugano to Tirano and a train from Tirano to St Mortz. Reservations would be required on both of these segments if you'll be traveling with rail pass.

    Generally, reservations for the "William Tell experience" and the Bernina Express segments are both able to be booked on our website; however, these routes are not able to be viewed or booked there at this time. Instead, you would have to call us to purchase these reservations and inquire about the costs/schedules. We can be reached at 1-800-622-8600.
    • Jeff (Official Rep) April 14, 2017 19:16
      Update:

      As of 2017, the ‘William Tell Express’ scenic route is now known as the ‘Gotthard Panorama Express’ scenic route.

      The actual route is still the same, following the rail line between Flüelen and Bellinzona/Lugano that goes through the old Gotthard Tunnel.

      Also still considered part of this experience is the steamboat on Lake Lucerne, connecting Lucerne and Flüelen.

      From April 14th to July 2nd of 2017, the actual 'Gotthard Panorama Express' trains only operate on weekends and will not run all the way to Lugano. Therefore, during this time frame, the 'Gotthard Panorama Express' will only run between Flüelen and Bellinzona. In Bellinzona, passengers can connect to another train that will take them the short distance to Lugano.

      From July 3rd to October 22nd of 2017, the 'Gotthard Panorama Express' trains run daily between Flüelen, Bellinzona, and Lugano.

      For taking in the scenery, 'Gotthard Panorama Express' trains have panoramic windows in 1st class.

      For passengers traveling with a rail pass, the ‘Gotthard Panorama Express’ trains do require reservations, which would also be inclusive of the steamboat. When booking reservations for the ‘Gotthard Panorama Express', you would have to type 'Lucerne-Boat Gotthard' (instead of just 'Lucerne') in the field for the departure city or arrival city, with either ‘Bellinzona’ or ‘Lugano’ in the opposite field.

      If you'll be traveling on a day when the 'Gotthard Panorama Express' trains don’t run (i.e. a weekday between April 14th and July 2nd, 2017), you would instead take a series of regional trains that follows the same route. While you would still be following the same route and enjoying the same scenery, the regional trains do not have panoramic windows, like the actual ‘Gotthard Panorama Express’ trains do. The regional trains on the ‘Gotthard Panorama Express' route are:

      Flüelen-Erstfeld
      Erstfeld-Bellinzona
      Bellinzona-Lugano

      The regional trains do not accept reservations. Therefore, any passenger traveling with a rail pass would only need to show the rail pass to board.

      Other notable changes with the new ‘Gotthard Panorama Express’ route are:

      - Now offered in 2nd class but with no panoramic windows

      - Eurail Passes no longer cover the Lake Lucerne steamboat but do provide for a 50% discount (Swiss Travel Passes, on the other hand, are still valid to cover the Lake Lucerne steamboat in full)

      - A meal is no longer included on the steamboat
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) March 31, 2016 15:25
    There is also a direct bus all the way from Lugano to St Moritz but this is not considered to part of the Bernina Express, and reservations for it would only be able to be purchased locally.

    The Bernina is the bus from Lugano to Tirano and the train from Tirano to St Moritz.
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  • Thanks for your reply!

    few other questions please:

    1. I am travelling with rail pass. If I dont book a reservation for william tell express, I still can carry mt luggage from lucern to fluelen by boat, as from there I will be travelling to milan? Ofcourse, there after in trains I can carry my luggage.

    2. If I book reservation, do they have some vegetarian option for meal voucher and refereshment voucher?

    thanks!
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    • Hi Jeff,

      Thanks!

      There is no need for reservation from flueelen to bellinzona? This is a panormic train?

      Thanks once again!

      Regards,
    • Jeff (Official Rep) May 04, 2016 20:28
      Reservations are not required on the trains from Flüelen to Bellinzona unless you want to have seats in the panoramic coach. If you want your seats to be in the panoramic coach on this train, you would need to purchase reservations.

      Due to an error, these reservations are not able to be purchased on our website at this time. Instead, you would have to call us to purchase these reservations. We can be reached at 1-800-622-8600.
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  • Another question :

    1. The bernina express from Chur to tirano is free for eurail pass holder? No need of reservations? I am carrying 1st class. How much time it will take?

    2. I need to book seat reservaion tirano to lugano bus, if I want to travel? How much time it will take?

    thanks!
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