Why do I see different costs for the William Tell Express reservations?

The reservation fee for the Wilhelm Tell Express is C$66. But the fee for the Basic offer from SBB is only CHF39. (The fee for the Premium offer from SBB is CHF79.) Why are these fees so different?
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) July 15, 2013 18:05

    We are the United States-based seller of European train tickets for North American countries, and we are not able to account for the ticket prices of other vendors. Costs for tickets purchased locally can vary and are subject to market pricing. In some cases, they may be higher, but in other cases they may be lower. At any moment, a particular train operator in Europe can substantially increase or decrease their rates for their own purposes.

    Our products are sold in U.S. dollars on www.raileurope.com or www.raileurope.com.mx and Canadian dollars on www.raileurope.ca. We do not sell any products in Euros (or Swiss Francs).

    If you are a resident of a North American country, you would purchase tickets by clicking on 'Find Fares & Schedules' (or 'Buscar tarifas y horarios') on the homepage of the appropriate site. Residents of the United States and Caribbean nations would have to purchase from www.raileurope.com, residents of Canada would have to purchase from www.raileurope.ca, and Spanish speaking residents (including Central American countries and Mexico) would have to purchase from www.raileurope.com.mx.

    For travel with a rail pass, you would click on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' (or 'Reserva tus Pases de Tren') on our homepage.

    The William Tell Express route consists of a boat across Lake Lucerne from Lucerne to Flüelen and a train from Flüelen to Bellinzona. Travelers can also continue on to Lugano from Bellinzona if they choose to do so.

    When you go to purchase tickets or passholder reservations for the William Tell Express on our site, you would enter 'Lucerne-Boat Wmtell' (instead of just 'Lucerne') as your departure city and 'Bellinzona' as your arrival city. This would cover both the boat across Lake Lucerne and the train from Flüelen to Bellinzona. When you pull up the results of this search, the departure 'station' in Lucerne would be labeled as 'Luzern Sgv Wm Tell'. You could then purchase tickets for trains between Bellinzona and Lugano as needed. If you'll be traveling with a rail pass that includes Switzerland; however, the rail pass would be all that's needed to board.
    • Jeff (Official Rep) April 14, 2017 19:37

      As of 2017, the ‘William Tell Express’ scenic route is now known as the ‘Gotthard Panorama Express’ scenic route.

      The actual route is still the same, following the rail line between Flüelen and Bellinzona/Lugano that goes through the old Gotthard Tunnel.

      Also still considered part of this experience is the steamboat on Lake Lucerne, connecting Lucerne and Flüelen.

      From April 14th to July 2nd of 2017, the actual 'Gotthard Panorama Express' trains only operate on weekends and will not run all the way to Lugano. Therefore, during this time frame, the 'Gotthard Panorama Express' will only run between Flüelen and Bellinzona. In Bellinzona, passengers can connect to another train that will take them the short distance to Lugano.

      From July 3rd to October 22nd of 2017, the 'Gotthard Panorama Express' trains run daily between Flüelen, Bellinzona, and Lugano.

      For taking in the scenery, 'Gotthard Panorama Express' trains have panoramic windows in 1st class.

      For passengers traveling with a rail pass, the ‘Gotthard Panorama Express’ trains do require reservations, which would also be inclusive of the steamboat. When booking reservations for the ‘Gotthard Panorama Express', you would have to type 'Lucerne-Boat Gotthard' (instead of just 'Lucerne') in the field for the departure city or arrival city, with either ‘Bellinzona’ or ‘Lugano’ in the opposite field.

      If you'll be traveling on a day when the 'Gotthard Panorama Express' trains don’t run (i.e. a weekday between April 14th and July 2nd, 2017), you would instead take a series of regional trains that follows the same route. While you would still be following the same route and enjoying the same scenery, the regional trains do not have panoramic windows, like the actual ‘Gotthard Panorama Express’ trains do. The regional trains on the ‘Gotthard Panorama Express' route are:


      The regional trains do not accept reservations. Therefore, any passenger traveling with a rail pass would only need to show the rail pass to board.

      Other notable changes with the new ‘Gotthard Panorama Express’ route are:

      - Now offered in 2nd class but with no panoramic windows

      - Eurail Passes no longer cover the Lake Lucerne steamboat but do provide for a 50% discount (Swiss Travel Passes, on the other hand, are still valid to cover the Lake Lucerne steamboat in full)

      - A meal is no longer included on the steamboat
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