What is the best pass for Paris, Montreux, Interlaken, Lucerne, & Zurich? Are the Golden Pass & Chocolate Train included in the price of a Eurail France-Switzerland Pass or a Swiss Pass?

I will be traveling from Paris to Montreux, Switzerland. Then to Interlaken, Lucerne and Zurich. I was wondering what the best pass to get would be?

Also, is the GoldenPass and Chocolate Train included in the price of the France-Switzerland Pass or the Swiss Pass?

Thank you.
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  • This reply was removed on 2014-12-04.
    see the change log
  • This reply was removed on 2014-12-04.
    see the change log
  • Jeff (Official Rep) December 04, 2014 17:17
    Hello,

    A Eurail France-Switzerland or a Swiss Pass would both be valid to cover the GoldenPass and the Chocolate Train. However, the best option for the itinerary you laid out would be the Eurail France-Switzerland Pass. You would purchase the Eurail France-Switzerland Pass here: http://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/eurail-france-switzerland-pass/index.html.

    The shortest connection from Paris to Montreux would take about 4 hours in duration and involves changing trains once in Lausanne along the way. The trains from Paris to Lausanne are high-speed TGV Lyria trains that would require reservations in addition to the rail pass. You would purchase these reservations by clicking on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on our homepage, entering 'Paris' and 'Lausanne' as the pair of cities you'll be traveling between, and indicating the type of rail pass you'll be traveling with, when prompted.

    Just be sure to browse through the list of options that display to locate one of the actual direct trains from Paris to Lausanne. To verify that you're being quoted the passholder fare and not the full fare ticket price, you would click on 'Read More' under where it says 'Ticket Flexibility' after clicking on the 'View' button, which is listed with the cost for each departure shown. Once you do this, it would say 'TGV Lyria Passholder 1' (or something similar) as the fare. If you don't see this fare for any of the direct trains from Paris to Lausanne, it could potentially mean they're sold out, and you can call us at 1-800-622-8600 to verify their availability.

    The connecting trains from Lausanne to Montreux don't even accept reservations, so the rail pass is all you would need to board.

    While you're in Montreux, you would do the excursion on the Chocolate Train. The Chocolate Train excursion is a roundtrip journey between Montreux and Broc, starting in Montreux. On the way from Montreux to Broc, the train will make a stop in Gruyères. When you get off the train in Gruyères, you'll be taken by bus to the actual village there. The trip includes free admission to the cheese factory in the village. After a couple hours in Gruyères, the bus would take you to Broc, where you'll visit the Cailler-Nestlé Chocolate Factory. After a couple of hours at the factory in Broc, you would take the train back down Montreux.

    Like the TGV Lyria from Paris to Lausanne, the Chocolate Train excursion does require reservations in addition to the rail pass. To book your reservations for the Chocolate Train, you would refer back to 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on our homepage, where you would have to enter 'Montreux' and 'Broc' as the pair of cities you'll be traveling between. For this trip, the reservation you purchase just by entering these cities is actually valid to cover the entire roundtrip for the journey, as well as the bus from the train station in Gruyères to the village and the bus from Gruyères to Broc.

    You would follow the same procedure I described above for the TGV Lyria to verify that you're being quoted the passholder fare and not the full fare ticket price. For the Chocolate Train, you would just be looking for a fare labeled 'Chocolate Train Passholder' when you do this. If nothing displays when you attempt your search for this trip, you may have to call us to book these reservations.

    You can then travel from Montreux to Interlaken and Interlaken to Lucerne via the GoldenPass route, as this is the exact path the GoldenPass follows. Specifically, the GoldenPass route from Montreux to Lucerne would just involve changing trains twice along the way; once in Zweisimmen and then once again in Interlaken.

    On the GoldenPass route, it is really only advisable to have reservations on the train between Montreux and Zweisimmen. Reservations aren't really necessary on the train from Zweisimmen to Interlaken and the train from Interlaken to Lucerne.

    To purchase reservations for the GoldenPass, you would refer again to 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on our homepage. If you decide to purchase reservations for the entire route of the GoldenPass, you would just break up your search once in Interlaken. Therefore, you would do one search for the segment from Montreux to Interlaken and another search for the segment from Interlaken to Lucerne. Otherwise, you can just purchase reservations for the segment from Montreux to Zweisimmen, and then the rail pass is all you would need to board the train from Zweisimmen to Interlaken and the train from Interlaken to Lucerne.

    Generally, the TGV Lyria from Paris to Lausanne, the Chocolate Train, and the GoldenPass trains can only be booked once within 90 days of an intended date of departure. The TGV Lyria, the Chocolate Train, and the GoldenPass trains from Montreux to Zweisimmen can sell out quickly, so it would be recommended that the reservations for these purchased as soon as it becomes possible.

    From Lucerne to Zurich, there are direct trains that depart frequently. These trains don't accept reservations, so the rail pass is all you would need to board.

    For planning purposes, you can just check schedules for any of the non-reservable trains (i.e. trains from Lausanne to Montreux and Lucerne to Zurich) by entering the route for them under 'Find Fares & Schedules' on our homepage and not indicating that you'll be traveling with a rail pass.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) December 04, 2014 18:56
    Many visitors to Lucerne, will make the trek up nearby Mount Titlis. For travel with a Eurail France-Switzerland Pass, you would be able to purchase the '1 Day Round-Trip Journey From Engelberg - For Use Only With Eurail Pass Which Includes Switzerland' option of the Mount Titlis Pass found here: http://www.raileurope.com/activities/mount-titlis/index.html.

    Reservations are not accepted on the Mount Titlis trip from Engelberg. The Mount Titlis Pass is an open voucher that is all you will need to board. The trek up Mount Titlis is by cable cars that do not have set schedules, as they operate continuously. The first cable car is from Engelberg to Trübsee, the second cable car is from Trübsee to Stand, and the third cable car is from Stand to Titlis.

    There are frequently operating direct trains to get you from Lucerne to Engelberg, and the rail pass is all you would need to board any of these trains.
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