Eurail Global Pass - 1st Class vs. 2nd Class

I am looking to purchase a Eurail Global Pass and was trying to decide between 1st and 2nd class. We have a group of 8, four adults and four teenagers. When I look at booking each train, the only option I see is second class. What is the benefit of a 1st Class Eurail Global Pass?

We will be traveling in England, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands over a 12 day period.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) May 23, 2019 15:53
    Hi Robert,

    Rest assured, you should still be able to reserve space in 1st class. For some reason, it just isn't showing as an option. What are the routes you're trying to reserve?

    On trains in Europe, 1st class generally offers larger and more comfortable seats with more leg room. With fewer seats per train car, 1st class is also usually going to be less crowded and quieter than 2nd class.

    For the Eurail Global Pass itself, click here: www.raileurope.com/pass/eurail-global-pass-5880
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  • Thank you for the reply.

    We are traveling the following route:

    London - Paris

    Paris - Either (Basel, Lucerne or Zurich) Only have two days but daughters want to see the Alps. Any recommendation?

    Will fly to Amsterdam from wherever in Switzerland or may take train, not sure due to the length of the trip

    Amsterdam - London
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    • Jeff (Official Rep) May 23, 2019 19:00
      From Lucerne, you could even then take the panoramic GoldenPass scenic train through the Alps over to Interlaken, where are there are more mountain excursions.

      On the GoldenPass from Lucerne to Interlaken, reservations are not necessary, so the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board. You can use the route search feature on our homepage just to view these schedules.

      When visiting the Interlaken area and the Bernese Oberland region, a Eurail Global Pass would enable you to receive a 25% discount on the excursions to nearby Jungfraujoch, Mount Schilthorn, Harder Kulm, First, and Schynige Platte.

      Jungfraujoch Top of Europe

      The gateway to Jungfraujoch is Interlaken. The Eurail Global Pass does not cover the trains that make up a connection between Interlaken and Jungfraujoch. However, with the Eurail Global Pass you would be eligible to receive a discount of about 25% on these trains. To receive this discount, you would purchase the 'JUNGFRAUJOCH/TOP OF EUROPE Interlaken to Jungfraujoch Eurail Pass Holder' (Low season, Mid-season, or High-season depending on when you'll be taking the trip) option of a pass called the 'Jungfraujoch Top of Europe'. For this pass, you would click here: http://www.raileurope.com/pass/jungfraujoch-top-of-europe-8315.

      This pass covers the 2 different routes up to Jungfraujoch (and a return to be done within 24 hours). These routes are as follows:

      The Grindelwald route would look like this:

      -Train from Interlaken to Grindelwald on the ‘Bernese Oberland Railway’
      -Train from Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg on the ‘Wengernalp Railway’
      -Train from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch on the ‘Jungfrau Railway’ (the highest railway in Europe)

      The Lauterbrunnen/Wengen route would look like this:

      -Train from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen on the ‘Bernese Oberland Railway’
      -Train from Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg on the ‘Wengernalp Railway’ (Wengen is a stop along this rail line)
      -Train from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch on the ‘Jungfrau Railway’ (the highest railway in Europe)

      On the 'Jungfrau Railway' between Kleine Scheidegg and Jungfraujoch, reservations are highly recommended for travel between the months of May and October. The reservations are a small cost in addition to the 'Jungfraujoch Top of Europe' and have to be made locally at the stations in either Interlaken (Interlaken Ost), Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, or Wengen.

      Expect stunning views throughout the entire trek between Interlaken and Jungfraujoch, whether you take the route via Grindelwald or the one via Lauterbrunnen/Wengen. To get the most of your Jungfraujoch experience, you might want to consider making your ascent one way and your descent the other. The ‘Jungfrau Railway’ itself runs mostly through a tunnel (the ‘Jungfrau Tunnel’), but there are two ‘sightseeing stops’ in the tunnel (‘Eigerwand’ and ‘Eismeer’) where passengers can exit their train and take in the views through windows built into the side of the mountain.

      At the Jungfraujoch Top of Europe station, you have access to the Sphinx Observation Terrace and the Aletsch Glacier (Great Aletsch Glacier). The Jungfraujoch station (Top of Europe) is the highest rail station in Europe, the Sphinx Observation Terrace is one of the highest astronomical observatories in the world, and the Aletsch Glacier (Great Aletsch Glacier) is the longest glacier in Europe.

      Mount Schilthorn

      Interlaken also serves as the gateway to Mount Schilthorn. The Eurail Global Pass enables passengers to receive a discount of about 25% on the excursion between Interlaken and Mount Schilthorn. To receive this discount, you would purchase the 'Mountain Tops: Schilthorn Interlaken to Schilthorn Eurail Pass Holder' option of the pass for ‘Mount Schilthorn’ here: http://www.raileurope.com/pass/mount-schithorn.

      There are then 2 different routes you can take to get from Interlaken to Mount Schilthorn; one via Grütschalp and the other via Stechelberg.

      The Grütschalp route would look like this:

      -Train from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen on the ‘Bernese Oberland Railway’
      -'Grütschalpbahn' cable car from Lauterbrunnen to Grütschalp
      -'Mürrenbahn' train from Grütschalp to Mürren
      -‘Schilthornbahn' cable cars from Mürren to Birg and Birg to Schilthorn

      The Stechelberg route would look like this:

      -Train from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen on the ‘Bernese Oberland Railway’
      -Bus from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg
      -'Schilthornbahn’ cable cars from Stechelberg to Gimmelwald, Gimmelwald to Mürren, Mürren to Birg, and Birg to Schilthorn

      Harder Kulm (Harderbahn)

      A Eurail Global Pass would also enable you to receive a 25% discount on the Harderbahn funicular in Interlaken. The Harderbahn takes you to a viewing platform at the ‘Two Lakes Bridge’ (Zweiseensteg) for spectacular views of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz below, as well as incredible panoramas of the surrounding Alps; including Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. There is also the Harder Kulm Panorama restaurant offering more stunning views.

      To receive the 25% discount, you would purchase the ‘Mountain Tops: Harder Kulm Interlaken to Harder Kulm for Eurail Pass Holder’ option (Low season, Mid-season, or High-season depending on when you'll be taking the trip) of the pass for ‘Harder Kulm’ here: http://www.raileurope.com/pass/harder-kulm-8178.

      Grindelwald-First (Firstbahn)

      The Firstbahn departs from its base station in the nearby village of Grindelwald. To reach Grindelwald, you would take a train along the famed ‘Bernese Oberland Railway’ from Interlaken. The ascent consists of a cable car from the base station in Grindelwald to Bort, another cable car from Bort to Schreckfeld, and then another cable car from Schreckfeld to the summit station of First. Once you’ve ascended to the First summit station, you would have access to the 'First Cliff Walk (by Tissot)', a 131 ft long suspension bridge leading to an observation platform that offers spectacular panoramic views of the valley below and the surrounding mountains.

      The Eurail Global Pass would enable you to receive a 25% discount on the ‘Bernese Oberland Railway’ (Interlaken-Grindelwald) and the Firstbahn cable cars. To receive this discount, you would purchase the ‘Mountain Tops: Grindelwald-First Interlaken to First for Eurail Pass Holder’ option of the pass for ‘Grindelwald-First’ here: http://www.raileurope.com/pass/grindelwald-first.

      Schynige Platte (seasonal)

      The Eurail Global Pass enables you to receive a discount of about 25% on the excursion between Interlaken and Schynige Platte. To receive this 25% discount, you would purchase the ‘Mountain Tops: Schynige Platte Interlaken to Schynige Platte for Eurail Pass Holder’ option of the pass for ‘Schynige Platte’ here: http://www.raileurope.com/pass/schynige-platte-8312.

      The excursion consists of a 4-minute train ride on the 'Bernese Oberland Railway' from Interlaken to Wilderswil and then the nostalgic ‘Schynige Platte Railway’ from Wilderswil to the Schynige Platte station.

      At Schynige Platte, you’ll have more amazing views of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, as well as Niesen, Stockhorn and Jura. Right by the station is also Switzerland’s only Alpine Botanical Garden and the Schynige Platte Panorama Restaurant.

      In 2019, the 'Schynige Platte Railway’ only runs from May 30th to October 27th.
    • Book Eurail global pass online at Eurocursions. We Eurocursions are providing online pass booking for Eurail. Book your ticket and travel all Europe.
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