Luzern to Lugano by Bernina express

Luzern to Lugano by Bernina express

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dhurkkha
dhurkkha
9 posts
new member
Apr 6, 2016 - 2:59 PM

Hi Experts

I will be going to Lugano from Luzern by Bernina express for the panaromic view.

I am trying to search via the SBB website for the timing and route, however it is not giving me an option to go via bernina express. The swiss pass does cover the travel by bernina express right?

Is there anything I am missing?

Pls help.

Arno
Arno
7718 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 6, 2016 - 3:11 PM

Hi dhurkkha,

If you fill out Luzern to Lugano in the timetable it will first present the quickest option. To force it to show the Bernina route, enter Chur and Tirano in the via boxes under Advanced Search. You will have to depart from Luzern early, before 7:00 AM I guess.

The Swiss Travel Pass (not Swiss Pass) covers the entire journey, except seat reservations.

dhurkkha
dhurkkha
9 posts
new member
Apr 7, 2016 - 4:34 AM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno

Thank you so much for your reply.

I managed to find the route in the SBB website. I am planning to leave Luzern only in the afternoon, after I complete Mt.Rigi.

However, the last train that leaves Luzern is at 12.35PM, which is too early for me. Is any other option where I can leave around 3PM, and the train follows the same scenic route as Bernina express?

dhurkkha
dhurkkha
9 posts
new member
Apr 7, 2016 - 4:41 AM in reply to Arno

Oh, I read there is another option where you can take the regular train that runs every hour (Rhätische Bahn) and follows Bernina route.

Is there any other option where the route is shorter and I still get to see most beautiful scenic route?

Arno
Arno
7718 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 7, 2016 - 6:18 AM

Hi dhurkkha,

The route you intend to do takes the entire day. The timetable provides the quickest options, there are no alternatives if you want to see the Bernina route, unless you can take two days to complete the journey to Lugano.

Instead, you can just enter Thusis in the via box and it will suggest a route with a post bus from Thusis to Bellinzona. This is a shorter alternative but does not include any significant part of the Bernina route. Another option is the Wilhelm Tell Express route.

dhurkkha
dhurkkha
9 posts
new member
Apr 7, 2016 - 6:35 AM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno

I am now considering to drop Bernina route (due to the duration) and spend 2 full days at Interlaken and Lucern each.

Hence, I will take the shortest route from Luzern to Lugano which is less than 3 hrs. Just wondering how scenic will this journey be?

As for Willhelm Tell express, how long is the duration? Understand that we will need to upgrade to 1st class. I will be using Swiss Travel Pass 2nd class. How much approximately would it cost to upgrade to 1st class. An approx figure will do.

Arno
Arno
7718 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 7, 2016 - 9:16 AM

Hi dhurkkha,

In that case the Wilhelm Tell Express route is a good alternative. It takes 5 hours (see the page I linked to), but that's well worth it. You don't need to upgrade to 1st class, that's just an option. The route is entirely free with a 2nd class Swiss Travel Pass. The page I gave you has all the details if you click to the various tabs.

dhurkkha
dhurkkha
9 posts
new member
Apr 7, 2016 - 2:40 PM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno

I believe for Bernina express, we may need to do reservation in advance. Can I knw how long in advance?

This is because, I am only planning to get the Swiss Travel Pass before leaving leaving for my euro tour. Which will be 2 weeks before my trip via Bernina express.

Arno
Arno
7718 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 7, 2016 - 2:51 PM in reply to dhurkkha

Hi dhurkkha,

You can buy reservations without having a pass in hand and vice versa. Booking seats as soon as your travel date is fixed is recommended (see here). You can print your Swiss Travel Pass at home by going to www.swissrailways.com/ en. Select "Online Ticket" as the delivery method. It takes 1-3 working days to receive the pass through e-mail, so be sure to take that into account when ordering.

dhurkkha
dhurkkha
9 posts
new member
Apr 8, 2016 - 9:38 AM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno

If I want to take the Willhem Tell Express route. I believe I can start the journey around 2PM.

Therefore, do you think I can cover Mt.Rigi that morning before I leave to Lucerne to take the boat to Fluelen?

FYI, the day before I have full day at Lucern -and I will be covering Mt.Titlis on this day.

Unfortunately due to reservation, looks like I need to decide way earlier if I am planning to take Willhem route or Bernina. I am so tempted to do Bernina, heard the journey is really really worth it. If I am doing bernina, I may need to drop Mt.Rigi. *confused*

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 8, 2016 - 3:12 PM

Hi dhurkkha,

Did you check the Wilhelm Tell Express timetable we link to from this page? As you'll see, it leaves much earlier from Lucerne, so you wouldn't be able to cover the Rigi before heading off with the official Wilhelm Tell Express. Note though that you don't have to use this reserved upgrade and that you can also cover the same route using regular trains and boats (please find options in the timetable). That way you could still start your journey in the (early) afternoon and visit Rigi first. Arrival in Locarno will be a bit late,but whether that's a problem depends on your furhte rplans for that day.

I think you already found out that the Bernina Express route too can be done in regular trains, without any prior reservations.

So if you're not able to decide right now, you can do so while you're there and just board any train/boat you like with your Swiss Travel Pass.

dhurkkha
dhurkkha
9 posts
new member
Apr 8, 2016 - 4:37 PM in reply to Annika

Hi Annika

Thank you so much for the alternate route.

Incase, if I want to use the regular trains to experience bernina route, how would I play with the timetable to ensure I cover the panoramic route? If depart to Lucern, where will arrival be? and it will be via?

This is because, through shorter routes, I dont see the Panoramic scene icon in the timetable. The Panoramic icon only appears for long route (from Chur to Tirano).

Also, if I decide to take Bernina express route (10hr +) on the same, will I still need to do reservation?

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 8, 2016 - 6:41 PM in reply to dhurkkha

Hi dhurkkha,

You can enter the via places Arno explained about in his first post. The timetable will get you all options; it does not care about whether trains are regular ones or "official" Bernina Express trains. The Bernina route is long and that applies to all trains. You can't do the entire route in one afternoon.

You only need reservations if trains are marked as such in the timetable: www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/reservations

GlobiTrotti
GlobiTrotti
26 posts
active member
Apr 9, 2016 - 8:19 AM in reply to dhurkkha

I would recommend you to take the Wilhelm Tell Express from Lucerne to Lugano:

www.interrail.eu/train s-europe/scenic-trains/wilhelm-tell-express

GlobiTrotti
GlobiTrotti
26 posts
active member
Apr 9, 2016 - 8:34 AM in reply to GlobiTrotti

A similar tour starts from St. Moritz with the Palm Express (part of Bernina Express) to Lugano. You watch more Alps with glaciers this route.

http://grandtraintour.swisstravelsystem.com/en/pax/

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