Austria/Swiss combo pass is better than separate c

Austria/Swiss combo pass is better than separate c

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santanu.c
santanu.c
5 posts
new member
Jan 22, 2014 - 4:25 AM
I have been told that a combined Austria + Swiss 1st class saver pass ( Austria/4 days & Swiss/6 days ) for 2 adults allows unlimited travel by train/bus/boat within Switzerland with manadatory reservation for cross country/high speed/scenic train. it is very confusiing as compare to taking separate pass for Austria and Switzerland, Because .

1)Eurorail representative says combo pass allows unlimited Train/Boat/Bus during your journey in Swiss . It's a first class saver combo pass cost me $ 1272 for 10 days cobmo Austri+Swiss .
whereas 2) Rail Euroe says their combo pass only allows in national carrier in swiss , not allowed for Train/Bus/Boat .

Please clarify my doubts and suggest what is true and most cost effective for me. My preference is
1) Cost effective combo pass for Austria + Swiss ( if it includeds France also) . But I want to avail unlimited Bus/boat ride including pass to be allowed in High speed train/cross country train/panoramic train/Glacier train with reservation and supplement charges. Hope Rail Europe is not your partner and you will be unbiased while sharing the information.
Arno
Arno
7328 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 22, 2014 - 5:14 AM
Hello Santanu, and welcome to MySwissAlps,

Just to be clear: we're partners of many (rail) and other companies. Rail Europe is one of them, but there are more, so we are in fact unbiased. Your question is more related to the pass choice rather than where to buy it. You can buy a Eurail Austria-Switzerland Pass wherever you like, they're not unique to Rail Europe or any other company.

Having said that, both statements you received are not 100% accurate: a Eurail Pass does not include buses in Switzerland. It does include most trains and boats, not limited to the national carrier SBB. The section Zermatt to Disentis is not included for example, but you get a 25% discount there. Please check this page for all details.

A Swiss Pass includes more than a Eurail Pass. For example: free museums, free bus/boat/train traveling and free city transport. Also it grants discounts to more cable cars and other mountain transport, and even some free ones. With a Swiss Peak Pass you get free traveling to 8 mountains on top of this. See here for full Swiss Pass details.

Seat reservations and supplements are not included in any pass. You always need to pay for those separately. But 99% of Swiss trains do not need prebooking. You can just board with your pass. Details are here.

If you want the maximum of unlimited traveling you'd best pick a Swiss Pass for Switzerland. If you're looking for the most cost effective solution, you need to have a detailed itinerary and compare passes as described here.

I hope this helps!
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:35 PM by Arno
Arno
Arno
7328 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 22, 2014 - 7:58 AM
santanu.c said: Thanks Arno for your quick response ; I would be highly obliged if you go through my plan and then suggest a) any changes in plan b) which kind of pass would be near perfect, you can take the name of company as well . Me and my wife prefer to raom around more than staying in hotel ; here are my plans--( plan to base/ stay all nights at Interlaken only)
  • Day one--Reaching afternoon at Interlaken from Salzburg by cross country train from Austria. Please suggest the most scenic route of this train journey as there 2-3 routes through which one can come from Sazburg to Interlaken.
  • Day Two--Jungfra
  • Day Three--Luzern & Mount Titlis, Boat ride at Luzern
  • Day Four --Glacier express , from Visp to Chur --please tell how much extra to be paid ( tentatively)
  • Day Five--Golden Pass / Lake Geneva
  • Day Six--Lake Zurich/ Rhine falls and Interlaken
  • Day Seven --Leaving for Paris by Morning Train.
I would like to continue the link of my question and your valued answer ; don't want to initiate a separate page. Many thanks in advance,
Santanu

Hi Santanu,

It's a whole lot of traveling if you're planning to do all of this from Interlaken (see the timetable for details). If would skip Zurich (day 6) and focus on local sightseeing instead on that day. There's so much to see around Interlaken, you can easily enjoy yourself for weeks there. Just an example is the open-air museum Ballenberg, which can easily be combined with a boat trip on Lake Brienz. All for free with a Swiss Pass. A trip to Mürren is beautiful and also free. Also there are numerous hiking trails (not in Winter, I'm not sure when you travel) and viewing points, apart from the Jungfraujoch. Be sure to check the weather forecasts every evening and only then make your plans. A mountain visit in the rain will result in zero visibility, so you'd better visit a town (Bern is not that far) on such a day.

The Glacier Express requires a supplement of CHF 33 per person in Summer and CHF 13 per person in Winter.

An 8-day Swiss Saver Pass is ideal as you travel a lot. You can get it from the Swiss Railways, or from Rail Europe US, Rail Europe worldwide, or one of their other sites, depending on where you live. All options are on the Swiss Pass page. On day 7 the pass will get you to Basel for free. All you need is a ticket Basel to Paris. The Rail Europe sites sell those as well. Wherever you buy, be sure to get that ticket in advance as almost all trains to France require seat reservations.

Hotels suggestions for Interlaken are here.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:35 PM by Arno
santanu.c
santanu.c
5 posts
new member
Jan 22, 2014 - 8:15 AM
  • Thanks Arno; You are really quick in responding the query --however please clarify more --
  • We are from India , planning to travel during end MAY/June --please suggest between May and June?
  • I think you are suggesting me to take Separate Swiss and Austria pass and not a combo pass ; this clarification is extremely important to me ; please feel free ; just give your opinion.
  • Between Zurich and Geneva region if I have to choose one which I should prefer ?
  • For boating in lake which was is prferred , Interluken or Luzern , though I know boating at different place is unique on its own ; still need your view.
  • Just for curosity , since I travel Austria/4 days, Swiss / 6 days an Paris / 2days still a separate pass for each country is preferred than a combo pass ?
  • For Journey by Golden pass to lake Geneva region please elaborate/guide how to spend the entire day.
  • Can you take little more pain and draw a itinieary for my 6 days trip --really appreciate.
  • are you also provide expert advise over Austria and France .
  • Thanks a lot again in advance, pass related query need your special attention; I am not getting clarity between EUrail and Rail Europe ; are they sell different passes? or they sell same passes but from different website?

Arno
Arno
7328 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 22, 2014 - 9:15 AM
Hi again Satanu,

June would be a good month: just before tourist peak season and most of the boats and cable cars will be fully operational.

First of all, I am not an expert on Austria and France. I prefer the Swiss Pass for Switzerland over a combined pass, because you are planning a lot of traveling and it includes more than a Eurail Pass. So if you choose the Swiss Pass you also need a separate pass or ticket (depending on your plans) for Austria. You don't need a pass for France if you only travel from Basel to Paris and stay in Paris. Just get tickets from Basel to Paris, and perhaps a Paris Pass for traveling and sightseeing in town. Details of the Paris Pass are on the Indian Rail Europe site. They also list Swiss Pass prices in your local currency, and tickets to Paris too.

Eurail and Rail Europe are selling the same passes. Eurail is focusing on Eurail passes, and Rail Europe sells the same ones and more. Many other websites sell Eurail passes as well.

Your itinerary is fine. I would just take a little bit of traveling out and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Interlaken rather then traveling away from it almost every day. Hence my suggestion for day 6. Lake Geneva is better with Interlaken as a base, as you can take the scenic Golden Pass route as you already planned. You could visit the Chillon Castle after arriving in Montreux. Then travel to Brig and switch to a local train to Spiez via Goppenstein (another scenic route). Finally a train from Spiez to Interlaken. And for day 1: be sure to travel via Innsbruck and Feldkirch. That's a route across the Alps and more scenic than via Germany. As for the boats: I would do either Lake Brienz or Lake Thun as these trips depart from Interlaken. These lakes are beautiful, and so is Lake Lucerne, but I would recommend to just spend your time on day 3 in Lucerne (town) and visit the Titlis. That's plenty for one day.
Last modified on Nov 17, 2014 - 3:40 PM by Arno
santanu.c
santanu.c
5 posts
new member
Jan 22, 2014 - 9:42 AM
Thanks Arno;

I actually did not get full clarity on " Lake Geneva is better with Interlaken as a base, as you can take the scenic Golden Pass route as you already planned. You could visit the Chillon Castle after arriving in Montreux. Then travel to Brig and switch to a local train to Spiez via Goppenstein (another scenic route). Finally a train from Spiez to Interlaken. " Kindly give litle more details starting from Interlaken and back to Interlaken --Route/trains/stopage/places ; should there be different route to be taken for going to Geneva and coming back to Intelaken please do suggest the same too.

Another query between these 2 places Griendelwald and Beatenberg which place is preferable for staying interms of connectivity from Station as well as scenic point of view. As you know we have to leave the base everyday and come back back to same place a well connectivity withe station through Bus is preferred; though surrounding scenic is also an important criteria.

Do you suggest that on same day we can cover Mount titlis & Boat ride of Luzern ? should we travel by Golden pass rail while making to & fro journey to Luzern or take different route/trian or other service for this journey?

Thanks Again.
Arno
Arno
7328 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 22, 2014 - 12:17 PM
Hi Satanu,

The full route is Interlaken - Spiez - Zweisimmen - Montreux - Veytaux-Chillon (this is where the castle is) - Brig - Goppenstrein - Kandersteg - Spiez - Interlaken. See the timetable for all the details. You can optionally go from Montreux to Geneva and back and then continue your route, but that takes too much time I think. Just stroll around in Montreux, visit the castle, and then go back.

You have planned very full days and Interlaken is ideal for that as many trains depart from there. If you base yourself in Grindelwald or Beatenberg you'll have an additional hour of traveling each day. Those villages are much more scenic then Interlaken, so it's a choice between traveling time and landscape. I would choose Interlaken for convenient traveling or Grindelwald if you don't mind the extra travel time.

No, I would suggest to do mount Titlis and then spend a few hours in the town of Lucerne. You don't have time to do everything in one day, and a boat trip can easily be done from Interlaken as well.
santanu.c
santanu.c
5 posts
new member
Jan 22, 2014 - 10:43 PM
Thanks Arno; as always --Wish you start a good day; couple of clarification--
1. I asked "Do you suggest that on same day we can cover Mount titlis & Boat ride of Luzern ? should we travel by Golden pass rail while making to & fro journey to Luzern or take different route/trian or other service for this journey?" I understand that you suggest boat riding in Interlaken is enough; but please tell me the query on taking Golden Pass to Luzern/Mount titlis. Should I take the to & from Interlaken to Mount titlis through Golden pass only or going by Golden pass and then coming back by some other scenic route? Please suggest.

2. Traveling to Grindelwald or Beatenberg from Interlaken takes one hour as a toatal ( means morning half an hour to come to station and evening going back from station ) or each side it takes one hour. How about the connectivity. Is Beatenberg still a lesser distance ( & better connectivity) than Grindelwald.

3. As you suggested I found a train route Salzburg-Zurich-Bern -Interlaken; hope this is scenic route than traveling through Germany .

Regards
Arno
Arno
7328 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 23, 2014 - 1:25 AM
Good morning Satanu,

1. I would suggest to take the Golden Pass route (Interlaken - Meiringen - Lucerne) both ways. It's a good route, and you won't have much time left to do detours anyway. If you somehow have time left, you can take the scenic route Lucerne - Schüpfheim - Bern, and switch to a train to Interlaken in Bern. Please see the timetable.

2. It's about half an hour each way, but you best check the timetable to see the exact details.
santanu.c
santanu.c
5 posts
new member
Jan 23, 2014 - 1:29 AM
Thanks a lot Arno.
Will come back to you if I need further help; I must say your reply was very helpful to me.
With best wishes,

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