Which Pass is the Best to Buy for Paris-Orange, Paris-Cannes, Cannes-Paris, Paris-Bern, Bern-London

Paris - to Orange Paris to Cannes FranceCannes to ParisParis to BernBern to LondonWill a Rail Pass cover all these destinations?ThanksSandra
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) May 22, 2015 21:27
    Hi Sandra,

    There is no single rail pass that would combine the Great Britain with any countries on the mainland continent of Europe. Great Britain would only be covered by the 'BritRail Pass' (which includes England, Scotland, and Wales) or the 'BritRail England Pass' (which just covers England).

    Any rail pass that includes France, as well as either the BritRail Pass or the BritRail England Pass, would enable you to receive a discounted 'Passholder' fare for a ticket on the 'Eurostar', which is the train that connects continental Europe with Great Britain. Part of a connection from Bern to London would involve taking the Eurostar from Paris to London. However, you wouldn't want to purchase a BritRail Pass or BritRail England Pass if your only destination in the Great Britain is London.

    There is a dual country pass for France and Switzerland called the 'Eurail France-Switzerland Pass'; however, you wouldn't necessarily purchase this pass if your only destination in Switzerland in Bern. If you only have one destination in Switzerland, combined with other travels in France, you might still only purchase the individual country pass for France, the France Rail Pass. It all would depend on the specifics of an itinerary, as well as various other factors.

    With the individual country France Rail Pass, you would still be able to receive a 'Passholder 2' rate for reservations on the direct train between Paris and Bern.

    The Passholder 2 rate is a special rate created to allow passengers traveling with a France Rail Pass (or, for that matter, any multi-country pass that includes France but not Switzerland) to still receive a discount on the direct trains between Paris and Bern (high-speed 'TGV Lyria' trains).

    To ensure that you're purchasing reservations at a Passholder 2 rate on the train between Paris and Bern, you would take the following steps:

    1.) Click on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on our homepage, enter the route, and indicate the type of pass you'll be traveling with when you're prompted (i.e. 'France Rail Pass').

    2.) Locate one of the direct TGV Lyria trains from Paris to Bern/Bern to Paris and click the 'View' button for the fare listed under your preferred class of service (for this route, that would be 'Premier' for 1st class and 'Economy' for 2nd class).

    3.) After you've clicked 'View', you would refer to where it says 'Ticket Flexibility' in the box that expands out underneath and click 'Read More' next to the option(s) listed there until you see a fare named 'TGV Lyria Passholder 2'. Generally, the Passholder 2 rate for these trains would be found under the 'Semi Flexible' option.

    4.) Be sure the Passholder 2 option is checked and click 'Select' to proceed and add it to your 'Itinerary' (shopping cart).

    Generally, trains in France and Switzerland can only be booked within 90 days of an intended date of departure. Due to high demand, the TGV Lyria trains can sell out quickly, so it is recommended that the reservations be purchased as soon as it becomes possible.

    You would also refer to 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on our homepage to purchase tickets at the Passholder rate on the 'Eurostar' train between Paris and London. The single country 'France Rail Pass' or the 'Eurail France-Switzerland Pass' would both qualify you to receive any available Passholder fare on this train.

    The 'Eurostar' is unlike other trains in that it can generally be booked 6 to 9 months in advance of a departure. It also can sell out very quickly, so it would be recommended that the tickets be purchased as soon as possible.

    Between Paris and Cannes, there are direct 'TGV' trains. These trains do require reservations in addition to a rail pass.

    A connection between Paris and Orange involves changing trains once in Lyon or Avignon en route. The trains between Paris and Lyon or Avignon are 'TGV' trains that would require reservations in addition to a rail pass.

    Trains between Lyon or Avignon and Orange are regional 'TER' trains, which don't accept reservations. Since these trains don't accept reservations, a rail pass is all you would need to board.

    To book reservations on the 'TGV' trains, you would once again refer to 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on our homepage. If trying to book reservations on a TGV between Paris and Avignon, you would want to be sure to type Avignon as 'Avignon TGV' in order to specify the 'Avignon TGV' station and display results.

    You would purchase a France Rail Pass here: http://www.raileurope.com/rail-ticket....

    You would purchase a Eurail France-Switzerland Pass here: http://www.raileurope.com/rail-ticket....
    • view 1 more comment
    • Jeff (Official Rep) April 13, 2018 14:22

      As of this month (April 2018):

      The following rail passes no longer qualify passengers to receive ‘passholder’ rates for reservations on the Eurostar:

      Any single country Eurail Pass, including:

      • Eurail France Pass
      • Eurail Benelux Pass

      Any 2 country option of Eurail Select Pass, including:

      • Eurail France-Italy Pass
      • Eurail France-Switzerland Pass
      • Eurail France-Germany Pass
      • Eurail Benelux-France Pass
      • Eurail France-Spain Pass
      • Eurail Benelux-Germany Pass

      BritRail Passes and the France-Italy combination of the 2 country Eurail Select Pass continue to not be valid on the Eurostar.

      Passengers traveling with any of these rail passes would need to purchase regular tickets to take the Eurostar.

      Passholder rates will continue to be offered (depending on availability) to any passenger traveling with a Eurail Global Pass, a 3 country Eurail Select Pass (that includes the country of arrival or departure, be it France or the Benelux), or a 4 country Eurail Select Pass (that includes the country of arrival or departure, be it France or the Benelux).
    • Jeff (Official Rep) April 13, 2018 14:47

      As of April 2018:

      ‘Passholder 2’ and ‘Passholder 3’ rates on TGV Lyria trains are no longer valid. For a TGV Lyria to be covered, Eurail Passes must now include both countries being traveled through.
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