I’m excited

Arrive into Zurich Airport & want to do the GoldenPass, Glacier Express, Bernina Express, & William Tell Express over 3 days

Good Morning
Over the last 6 months,we have extensively planned our Switzerland trip. With the awesome help of Jeff and Jen, we have gained knowledge and confidence that this will happen.
We purchased our Swiss Travel Pass (YEA) and we are ready to purchase our Scenic Train Reservations in a few short weeks. Here is our itinerary and questions.
Zurich airport to Lucerne-I can't find any schedule or trains for this connection, am I looking at the wrong stations?

Day One: Golden Pass-Lucerne-Interlaken-Zweismman-Montreux. We then want to get from Montreux to Zermatt the same day so we can do the Glacier Express the next day. What connections do I need to book for that trip?

Day Two: Glacier Express-Zermatt-Chur

Day Three: Bernina Express-Chur to Tirano How do we get to Bellinzona from Tirano to do the William Tell back to Lucerne?

Thanks so much for all the assistance.
Lynda
1 person has
this question
+1
Reply
  • Jeff (Official Rep) June 12, 2015 15:56
    Hi Lynda.

    There are direct trains from Zurich Airport to Lucerne. These trains don't accept reservations, so the 'Swiss Travel Pass' is all you would need to board.

    For planning purposes, you can just view schedules for non-reservable trains by clicking on 'Find Fares & Schedules' on our homepage and entering the route ('Zurich Airport' to 'Lucerne'). Since your purpose would just be to view schedules and you will not be purchasing any actual reservations for this route, you would not indicate that you'll be traveling with a rail pass when doing your search.

    Connections from Montreux to Zermatt take about 2.5 hours in duration and involve changing trains once in Visp along the way. The trains that comprise of this connection also don't accept reservations, so the 'Swiss Travel Pass' is all you'd need to board.

    You can determine which trains to book by viewing their schedules under 'Find Fares & Schedules' on our website. Once again, you would not indicate that you'll be traveling with any type of rail pass when you do your search (since your purpose here would just be to view schedules). You would just choose a departure from Montreux to Zermatt that leaves after your GoldenPass train arrives into Montreux from Zweisimmen.

    Of the trains that comprise of the actual GoldenPass connection, reservations would only be recommended on that segment from Zweisimmen to Montreux. You would purchase reservations for the segment from Zweisimmen to Montreux by clicking on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' (instead of 'Find Fares & Schedules'), entering the cities ('Zweisimmen' to 'Montreux'), and indicating that you'll be traveling with a 'Swiss Travel Pass'.

    Reservations are not necessary on the GoldenPass segments from Lucerne to Interlaken and Interlaken to Zweisimmen, so the 'Swiss Travel Pass' is all you would need to board.

    The Glacier Express from Zermatt to Chur does require reservations in addition to the rail pass. You would purchase these reservations by clicking on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' (instead of 'Find Fares & Schedules'), entering the cities ('Zermatt' to 'Chur'), and indicating that you'll be traveling with a 'Swiss Travel Pass'.

    The Bernina Express from Chur to Tirano also requires reservations in addition to the rail pass. You would purchase these reservations by clicking on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' (instead of 'Find Fares & Schedules'), entering the cities ('Chur' to 'Tirano'), and indicating that you'll be traveling with a 'Swiss Travel Pass'.

    After your Bernina Express train arrives into Tirano, your best option for getting to Bellinzona would actually be to continue on the Bernina Express route to Lugano (the Bernina Express route also consists of a bus from Tirano to Lugano.) In Lugano, you would switch to a William Tell Express train up to Bellinzona.

    The Bernina Express bus from Tirano to Lugano does require reservations in addition to the rail pass. You would purchase reservations for this bus by clicking on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' (instead of 'Find Fares & Schedules'), entering the cities ('Tirano' to 'Lugano'), and indicating that you'll be traveling with a 'Swiss Travel Pass'.

    The trains along the William Tell Express from Lugano to Bellinzona don't accept reservations, so the 'Swiss Travel Pass' is all you would need to board for this segment. Our website may say that the Lugano-Bellinzona trains require reservations or that they're recommended, but that is not accurate. If you see a note attached to the Lugano-Bellinzona trains that they require reservations or that reservations are recommended, you can just disregard it.

    For planning purposes, you can just view schedules for the trains from Lugano to Bellinzona by clicking on 'Find Fares & Schedules' on our homepage and entering the cities ('Lugano' to 'Bellinzona'). Since you wouldn't be purchasing actual reservations, you would not indicate that you'll be traveling with any type of pass when you enter your search.

    The remaining part of the William Tell Express, consisting of a train from Bellinzona to Flüelen and a boat from Flüelen to Lucerne, would require reservations in addition to the pass. For this part of the route, you would actually just purchase one set of reservations to cover you all the way through, including both the Bellinzona-Flüelen train and the Flüelen-Lucerne boat. Also, when booking the William Tell Express on our site, you would type 'Lucerne-Boat Wmtell' (instead of just 'Lucerne') in the field for the arrival city. Therefore, to purchase these reservations, you would click on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on our homepage, enter 'Bellinzona' and 'Lucerne-Boat Wmtell' as the cities you'll be traveling between, and indicate that you'll be traveling with a 'Swiss Travel Pass'.

    All of the reservable segments in your itinerary can be booked once within 90 days of an intended date of departure.
    • view 1 more comment
    • Thanks for the response, Jeff. We are arriving in Basel off a river cruise on July 18, 2018 and want to spend 5 nights in Switzerland. We want to see as much as possible. Is it worth going on all three Express trains you mentioned? How would you suggest we spend the five days?

      Ken Bornstein
    • Jeff (Official Rep) October 23, 2017 20:44
      You're welcome, Ken.

      Those are renowned scenic routes that do come highly recommended.

      We are actually not a travel agency, so we would not really be able to suggest specific places for you to go, but we can certainly help you with your rail pass purchase or tickets once you decide. What you purchase for any itinerary would depend on the specific itinerary itself and various other factors. This can be determined once a specific itinerary is settled upon. If you need assistance determining the best option for an itinerary, you would call us. We can be reached at 1-800-622-8600. Our current hours are 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM CT Monday to Friday and 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM CT on Saturdays.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned happy, confident, thankful, excited kidding, amused, unsure, silly sad, anxious, confused, frustrated

  • Hi Jeff.....just read your answer to Lynda. When you say you have to make reservations, does that cost extra. Are all of the transportation choices you mentioned included in the Swiss Travel Pass?

    Ken
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned happy, confident, thankful, excited kidding, amused, unsure, silly sad, anxious, confused, frustrated