Switzerland Train Travel June 2017 (Basel, Lucerne, Interlaken/Lauterbrunnen/Murren, Montreux, Bern, Lausanne, Paris)

Greetings,I know my days of travel but not sure about times yet since we have not seen the options and not gained proper access to the rail ticketing information. Here's our travel and train plans.June 9 Basel to LucerneJune 11 Lucerne to Interlaken / Lauterbrunnen(destination is actually Murren)June 14 Lauterbrunnen to Interlaken to MontreuxJune 14 Montreux to BernJune 14 option - Montreux to Lausanne by boat and Lausanne to Bern by trainJune 16 Bern to Paris direct on high speed trainHere are our questions1) What's the best travel pass for these plans ? we were thinking there 3 or 4 day flex pass2) can you suggest train travel times to make the trip most enjoyable and facilitate connections ?3) which legs are reservations required versus recommended ?4) what are the reservations fees for these legs?5) how far in advance can we reserve our seats ?6) how best to get between city train time information?the website did not provide info on the Interlaken to Montreux train leg8) please tell us about other discounts the swiss flex pass enables? for example, what portion of the golden circle(boat/tram/cablecar) in Lucerne is covered ? Thanks in advance for your help Tony Abrami
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) November 07, 2016 19:54
    Hi Tony,

    What to purchase for your travels would depend on certain specifics of the itinerary itself and various other factors. Therefore, if you’d like assistance determining the best option for an itinerary such as this, 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.

    I'm sorry, as we would not be able to tell you when to travel. Schedules can be viewed by doing a search on the homepage of our website, and you can request additional guidance when you call us.

    Of the trains comprising of your itinerary, reservations would only be needed on a train Zweisimmen to Montreux (as part of a connection from Mürren/Lauterbrunnen to Montreux) and a train from Bern to Paris (TGV Lyria).

    Trains from Zweisimmen to Montreux run along part of the famed GoldenPass scenic route. Technically, reservations are not required on trains from Zweisimmen to Montreux, but they are highly recommended. The TGV Lyria trains from Bern to Paris require reservations.

    On each of your other trains, reservations would not be necessary. On trains from Lucerne to Interlaken (as part of a connection from Lucerne to Mürren) and trains from Interlaken to Zweisimmen), reservations are possible, but not at all necessary. Trains from Lucerne to Interlaken and Interlaken to Zweisimmen represent the other 2 segment of the GoldenPass scenic route.

    On the segment from Zweisimmen to Montreux, where it is advised that you have reservations, there are either ‘Classic’ GoldenPass trains or ‘Panorama’ GoldenPass trains for you to choose from. These would be labeled accordingly when you pull up the results of a passholder reservation search for this segment. Coaches on the 'Classic' trains have a vintage turn-of-the-century Belle Époque look, whereas the 'Panorama' trains have a more modern look with panoramic windows. 'Classic' GoldenPass trains also have 'wine cellar' coaches, which offer a wider selection of wine than would be offered in the bar cars on the 'Panorama' trains; however, food is available for purchase on both the 'Classic' and 'Panorama' trains. The Classic trains have large windows, but the windows on the Panorama trains are more “panoramic”, as the name suggests.

    With regard to the rest of the GoldenPass route, all trains on the segment from Lucerne to Interlaken are 'Panorama' trains and none of the trains on the segment from Interlaken to Zweisimmen have panoramic windows.

    When searching schedules for a route from Interlaken to Montreux on our website, you would just have to break it up in Zweisimmen. Therefore, you would do one search for trains from Interlaken to Zweisimmen and another search for connecting trains from Zweisimmen to Montreux. Once again, you would really only want to purchase reservations on the Zweisimment-Montreux leg.

    Generally, GoldenPass trains and TGV Lyria trains can be reserved once within 90 days of an intended date of departure. Since your intended travel falls outside of this time frame, you would just enter a date some time within the next 90 days to get an idea of the reservation costs and view schedules in the meantime. With regard to the TGV Lyria from Bern to Paris, the passholder cost would be dependent on the type of rail pass you choose, so you would need to decide on that first. Expect that the passholder cost for the Bern-Paris train will be more than that of the GoldenPass trains.

    If you ever wish to view the bonuses offered with a particular pass, you would click the 'Travel Bonuses' tab once you have accessed the page for that pass on our website. For the Swiss Travel Pass, you would click here: https://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/swiss-pass/index.html.
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