I’m Confused!!

Honeymoon Help!! Turin-Vernazza, Vernazza-Bologna, Bologna-Lake Como, Lake Como-Interlaken, Interlaken-Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken-Paris

Hi there - My husband and I are headed to Europe for our three week honeymoon (!!). We're looking at getting the 15 day non-consecutive Eurail Global pass - 1st class, but I'm very confused as to what this pass actually provides and if there are any hidden costs (like seat reservations, or regional train fees?). Can someone please advise if the below point-to-point locations are offered as part of the Eurail Global Pass, and/or if I need to pay extra to get to any of these locations? - Turin, Italy to Vernazza, Italy (Or do we need to go to La Spezia and then PAY EXTRA to take a regional train to Vernazza?) - Vernazza, Italy to Bologna, Italy - Bologna, Italy to Lake Como, Italy - Lake Como, Italy to Interlaken, Switzerland - Interlaken, Switzerland to Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland - Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland to Interlaken, Switzerland - Interlaken, Switzerland to Paris, France Additionally, we're looking at paying extra for the 1st class Eurail Global pass (it is our honeymoon, after all!) but when I do a quick search for one of our destinations it seems like 1st class is no longer available. WHAT GIVES?! Any help, virtual hugs, advice is totally appreciated. Thank you!!Lost in research, Jerrica
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) April 03, 2019 16:10
    Hi Jerrica,

    For the Eurail Global Pass, you would click here: www.raileurope.com/pass/eurail-global-pass-5880

    First class is recommended for the most comfortable experience.

    The objective of a rail pass is to cover the ticket costs on trains. When applicable, reservations are a supplementary cost to a rail pass. If you were to purchase regular point-to-point tickets (instead of a rail pass), the value of any necessary reservations would still be considered/embedded into those costs. Therefore, a rail pass can still work out to be the most economical option for travelers taking multiple trains while in Europe.

    Reservations are required on most high-speed trains, many international routes, and all overnight trains.

    For travel with a rail pass, you would check reservation costs and purchase reservations by searching a route on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), checking the box that says ‘I have a rail pass’, and then indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. a ‘Eurail Global Pass’).

    For trains that do not accept reservations, there is nothing you need to book, so the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board. On such trains, you would just hop on and show your pass. For planning purposes, you can still use the route search feature on our homepage (www.raileurope.com) just to view schedules for many unreserved trains. Generally, when you're just trying to access schedules for non-reservable trains, you would have to be sure to leave the 'I have a rail pass' button unchecked.

    I'll go through your itinerary trip-by-trip, so you'll know what to do and what to expect. Your itinerary is a long one, so go trip-by-trip when you're reading through it.

    Turin to Vernazza (with a Eurail Global Pass)

    Trains between La Spezia and Vernazza are regional trains, which do not accept reservations. Therefore, no additional costs would apply, as the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board.

    As for a connection from Turin to Vernazza, it involves changing trains once in Genoa along the way.

    If you take an IC (InterCity) or Frecciabianca train for the segment from Turin to Genoa, then reservations would be required as a supplement to the rail pass. However, most trains from Turin to Genoa are regional trains. The regional trains do not accept reservations, so the rail pass is all you would need to board.

    Direct trains from Genoa to Vernazza are all regional trains, so reservations are not accepted, and the rail pass is all you would need to board.

    If you do not want to pay for reservations to make this trip, then you would just have to make sure you take regional trains.

    For planning purposes, you can use the route search feature on our homepage just to view schedules for the regional trains. When you're just trying to access schedules for non-reservable trains in Italy, you would have to be sure to leave the 'I have a rail pass' button unchecked. You would piece together the connection by doing one search for the segment from Turin to Genoa and then another search for connecting trains from Genoa to Vernazza. When you pull up the results of your search, you would look for the regional trains, which are labeled as either 'Regionale' or 'Regionale Veloce'.

    If you want to take an IC or Frecciabianca train for the segment from Turin to Genoa, you would purchase reservations by searching just this segment of the route on our homepage, checking the box that says ‘I have a rail pass’, and then indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. a ‘Eurail Global Pass’).

    Time Spent in Vernazza, Cinque Terre (with a Eurail Global Pass)

    Once you're in the Vernazza, you can use your Eurail Global Pass to travel between the villages of the Cinque Terre. Keep in mind, however, this does involve the use of a 'travel day' on your pass, if your pass is 'non-consecutive' (flexi). If you do not wish to squander a 'travel day' on your pass for these short trips, you can instead just purchase these particular tickets locally. These are short trips/distances, so the tickets would not cost too much at all. Regional trains between the villages of the Cinque Terre operate regularly throughout the day.

    Vernazza to Bologna (Eurail Global Pass)

    The most feasible connections from Vernazza to Bologna involve 2 train changes along the way; once in La Spezia and then once in Parma.

    Trains from Vernazza to La Spezia and La Spezia to Parma are regional trains, so reservations are not accepted, and the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board.

    For the segment from Parma to Bologna, there are regional trains, IC (InterCity) trains, and Frecciabianca trains. If you take a regional train, reservations are not accepted, so the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board. However, if you take an IC or Frecciabianca train, then reservations would be required as a supplement to the pass.

    For planning purposes, you can again refer to the route search feature on our homepage just to view schedules for these trains. To access the schedules for the non-reservable regional trains, you would have to leave the 'I have a rail pass' button unchecked. Also, to access the schedules for a trip from Vernazza to Bologna, you would have to piece together the connection by doing a separate search for each segment. Therefore, you would do one search from Vernazza to La Spezia, another search for connecting trains from La Spezia to Parma, and then another search for connecting trains from Parma to Bologna.

    If you take an IC or Frecciabianca train for the Parma-Bologna segment, you would purchase reservations by indicating that you have a 'Eurail Global Pass' when do this search.

    Bologna to Como (with a Eurail Global Pass)

    Connections from Bologna to Como involve changing trains once in Milan along the way.

    Trains from Bologna to Milan are Frecciarossa, Frecciabianca, and IC (InterCity) trains, all of which require reservations as a supplement to a rail pass. You would purchase the reservations from Bologna to Milan by indicating that you have a 'Eurail Global Pass' when you search this segment of the route on our homepage.

    Trains from Milan to Como are regional trains, so reservations will not be accepted, and the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board. For planning purposes, you can use the route search feature on our homepage just to view schedules for these non-reservable trains. Just remember to leave the 'I have a rail pass' button unchecked when you do this search.

    Como to Interlaken (with a Eurail Global Pass)

    For a trip from Como to Interlaken, I would traveling by way of Lucerne. That way, you can take a segment of the famed GoldenPass scenic route when you go from Lucerne to Interlaken.

    To do this, you would take the direct EC (EuroCity) train from Como to Lucerne, where you would connect to the GoldenPass train to Interlaken.

    The direct EC train from Como to Lucerne does require reservations as a supplement to a rail pass.

    On the GoldenPass segment from Lucerne to Interlaken, reservations are possible but not necessary at all. Therefore, the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board.

    For travel with the rail pass, you would purchase reservations for the train from Como to Lucerne by searching this segment of the route on our homepage, checking the box that says ‘I have a rail pass’, and then indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. a ‘Eurail Global Pass’). You can then do the same just to view schedules for the connecting trains from Lucerne to Interlaken; just remember that you do not need to actually purchase reservations for this segment.

    All of the trains from Lucerne to Interlaken have panoramic windows for viewing the scenery.

    Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen (Eurail Global Pass not valid)

    Eurail Passes do not cover trains between Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen. Therefore, you would need to purchase regular tickets to be covered for this short trip. Rest assured, these tickets aren't going to cost much, since the ride only takes about 20 minutes.

    To purchase tickets from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen (and return), you would use the route search feature on our homepage and leave the 'I have a rail pass' button unchecked.

    Trains between Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen run along the Bernese Oberland Railway.

    Interlaken to Paris (with a Eurail Global Pass)

    Connections from Interlaken to Paris involve changing trains once in Basel along the way. From Basel to Paris, you would be on the high-speed TGV Lyria train.

    On trains from Interlaken to Basel, reservations are not necessary at all, so the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board.

    With a Eurail Global Pass, would purchase reservations on the TGV Lyria from Basel to Paris at something called the 'Pass 2' rate.

    For travel with the rail pass, you would purchase reservations from Basel to Paris by searching this segment of the route on our homepage, checking the box that says ‘I have a rail pass’, and then indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. a ‘Eurail Global Pass’).

    For planning purposes, you can still use the route search feature on our homepage just to view schedules for the unreserved segment from Interlaken to Basel.
    • view 1 more comment
    • Jeff (Official Rep) April 03, 2019 17:19
      If you'll be staying in Paris for multiple days and plan on using the Métro and RER to get around the city, you may also want to consider purchasing either the 'Paris Pass' or the 'Paris Visite Pass'.

      The 'Paris Pass' covers entry to over 60 top attractions, as well as public transportation on the Métro, RER, and buses in central Paris. You would purchase the 'Paris Pass' here: http://www.raileurope.com/activities/activity?code=2036PARIS&destId=479&catId=

      The 'Paris Visite Pass' just covers local transportation in Paris, which includes the Métro and RER networks, as well as city buses. You would purchase the 'Paris Visite Pass' here: http://www.raileurope.com/pass/paris-visite-pass-8339

      There is also the 'Paris Museum Pass', which does not cover any transportation, but it does cover entry to 50 museums and historic sites around Paris. You would purchase the 'Paris Museum Pass' here: https://www.raileurope.com/activities/activity?code=30310P1&destId=479&catId=8

      Various other city passes and tours for Paris can be found here: http://www.raileurope.com/train-tickets/activities/?countries=France&cities=cities-479
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  • Thank you for all this information, Jeff. It's very helpful.
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