Geneva Airport, Nyon, Lausanne, Montreux, Lauterbrunnen, Wengen (mountain railways & cable cars while in Wengen), Schaffhausen (Rhine cruise while in Schaffhausen), & Zurich Airport. What should I purchase?

Arriving at Geneva airport on June 30, leaving from Zurich airport on July 13. We know that we will have the following journeys while in Switzerland, and could have a couple more that we have not yet planned:
Geneva Airport to Nyon one way
Nyon to Geneva round trip 3 times
Nyon to Lausanne round trip
Nyon to Montreux round trip
Nyon to Lauterbrunnen one way
Lauterbrunnen to Wengen one way
a couple of mountain trains/cable cars while in Wengen
Wengen to Lauterbrunnen one way
Lauterbrunnen to Schaffhausen one way
1/2 day Rhine cruise in Schaffhausen
Schaffhausen to Zurich airport one way

Can you tell me which pass, if any, would be the most cost effective (Swiss Half fare pass, or Swiss pass, or other ). Or, should I just pay individual tickets.

Do any of these trips require a reservation, or can we just arrive at the train station and board the train that we choose.

Thank you!
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) June 11, 2015 18:27
    Thank you for your question, Elaine.

    For the requested itinerary, your best option would be to purchase the 'Swiss Travel Pass'. The 'Swiss Travel Pass' would cover the ticket costs for all of your requested trains and the Untersee-Rhein (URh) boat services on the Rhine River between Schaffhausen and Constance, while also enabling you to receive 50% discounts on various mountain railways and cable cars beyond Wengen. The discount on the Jungfrau Railway between Kleine Scheidegg and Jungfraujoch would be 25%.

    You would purchase the 'Swiss Travel Pass' here: http://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/swiss-pass/index.html.

    Reservations are not at all necessary on any of the trains you'd be taking, so the 'Swiss Travel Pass' is all you would need to board.

    Of the routes you mentioned, the following will be direct trains:

    -Geneva Airport to Nyon

    -Nyon to Lausanne (and return)

    -Nyon to Montreux (and return)

    -Lauterbrunnen to Wengen (and return)

    -Schaffhausen to Zurich Airport

    Connections from Nyon to Lauterbrunnen would take just over 3 hours in duration and involve 3 train changes along the way; once in Lausanne, once in Bern, and then once in Interlaken.

    Connections from Lauterbrunnen to Schaffhausen would take just under 3.5 hours in duration and involve 3 train changes along the way; once in Interlaken, once in Bern, and then once in Zurich.

    For planning purposes, you can view schedules for trains by clicking on 'Find Fares & Schedules' on our homepage and entering a route. Since your purpose is just to view schedules and you will not be purchasing any actual reservations, you would not indicate that you'll be traveling with a rail pass when doing your searches.

    For the trip from Nyon to Lauterbrunnen, you would just have to piece together the connection by doing a separate search for each segment. Therefore, you would do one search for trains from Nyon to Lausanne, another search for connecting trains from Lausanne to Bern, another search for connecting trains from Bern to Interlaken, and another search for connecting trains from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen.

    For the trip from Lauterbrunnen to Schaffhausen, you would also have to piece together the connection by doing a separate search for each segment. Therefore, you would do one search for trains from Lauterbrunnen to Interlaken, another search for connecting trains from Interlaken to Bern, another search for connecting trains from Bern to Zurich, and another search for connecting trains from Zurich to Schaffhausen.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) June 11, 2015 19:19
    As I alluded to above, you would be able to receive a 25% discount on the 'Jungfrau Railway' with the 'Swiss Travel Pass'. If you want to head up to Jungfraujoch while you're in Lauterbrunnen/Wengen, you would receive this discount by purchasing the 'Grindelwald or Wengen to Jungfraujoch for Swiss Travel Pass Holder' option of the 'Jungfraujoch Top of Europe' pass. You would purchase this here: http://www.raileurope.com/activities/jungfraujoch/index.html.

    This would cover you on the 'Wengernalp' cogwheel from Lauterbrunnen/Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg (or from Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg) and the 'Jungfrau Railway' from Kleine Scheidegg up to Jungfraujoch (as well as a return from Jungfraujoch back to Interlaken done within 24 hours).

    You could also head up to Mt Schilthorn from Lauterbrunnen. The 'Swiss Travel Pass' would cover you as far as Mürren (via Grütschalp) on the way from Lauterbrunnen to Schilthorn. The 'Swiss Travel Pass' would enable you to receive a 50% discount from either Interlaken or Mürren to Schilthorn.

    To receive the discount, you would purchase either the 'Interlaken to Schilthorn for Swiss Travel Pass Holder' or 'Murren-Schilthorn for Swiss Travel Pass Holder' option of the 'Schilthorn/Piz Gloria' pass. These options of the 'Schilthorn/Piz Gloria' would be purchased here: http://www.raileurope.com/activities/schilthorn-piz-gloria/index.html.

    There are 2 different routes between Lauterbrunnen and Schilthorn.

    One route would have you taking the 'Grütschalpbahn' cable car from Lauterbrunnen to Grütschalp. In Grütschalp, you would switch to a train to Mürren ('Mürrenbahn').

    The other route would have you taking a bus from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg. In Stechelberg, you would switch to the 'Schilthornbahn' cable car to Gimmelwald and then on to Mürren. From Mürren, you would then continue on the 'Schilthornbahn' up to Schilthorn.

    The 'Swiss Travel Pass' would only cover the route from Lauterbrunnen to Mürren that goes via the 'Grütschalpbahn' cable car to Grütschalp. Therefore, if you wish to have the option of taking the Stechelberg-Gimmelwald-Mürren cable car, you would want to be sure to purchase the 'Interlaken to Schilthorn for Swiss Travel Pass Holder' option of the 'Schilthorn/Piz Gloria' pass. If you do purchase the 'Interlaken to Schilthorn for Swiss Travel Pass Holder' option of the 'Schilthorn/Piz Gloria' pass, you would be able to ascend to Schilthorn via one route and descend via the other route.

    If you purchase the Murren-Schilthorn for Swiss Travel Pass Holder' option of the 'Schilthorn/Piz Gloria' pass, you would use your 'Swiss Travel Pass' to cover you for the segment from Lauterbrunnen to Mürren, but you would only be able to take the route that goes via Grütschalp.
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