Swiss card feasible or not

Swiss card feasible or not

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Posts: 10. This thread is closed.
adsha
adsha
11 posts
new member
May 1, 2013 - 7:38 AM
I am traveliing to Switzerland in June. I would be taking the route from Paris - Switzerland - Venice.

After initial response from the fourm, I decided on Swiss card as it will cover the border travelling also. But after calculating the complete prices for the journey, I do not see much diference. My itinerary is as follows:

Day 1 - paris to Interlaken by train
Day 2 - Jungfrou
Day 3 - Retrun trip from Interlaken to Gastaad for Glacier 3000 or Montreux
Day 4 - Interlaken to Venice by train.

The total cost comes to 550-600 Swiss francs in both scenarios with swiss card or full price ticket.(Maybe 50 frans here and there).

So my questions are:

1. Is Glacier 3000 covered under Swiss card for discount as this can make the difference.
2. Which option seems feasible to buy the tickets at full price or to buy Swiss card as maybe I am forgetting something on swiss card will benefit.
3. Also point to consider, my journey from paris to interlaken has only 5 min change time at Basel, so I am not sure how to validate the swiss card as I heard its required to be done.
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
May 1, 2013 - 10:08 AM
Hi adsha. Are you sure you've calculated correctly? According to my calculations, the Swiss Card option would be about CHF 85,- cheaper per person than buying regular tickets. I took the cheapest travel scheme, i.e. assuming you make a trip to Montreux instead of Glacier3000 on day 3. If the trips would be more expensive, for example if you'd get up to Glacier3000 on day 3, the price difference would be even larger, making the Swiss Card even more attractive. To summarize, the Swiss Card is cheaper in your case than buying regular tickets. And yes, Glacier3000 is covered. Please refer to the downloadable validity map at the Swiss Card page.

5 minutes won't be enough to have your Swiss Card validated. It's no problem to get a later train to Interlaken though; they leave twice per hour from Basel. Please refer to the timetable. Another option is to have your pass validated by a train conductor between Paris and Basel. Also, some resellers allow you to validate the Swiss Card yourself in advance. Just check the 'Quick transfer' information in the reseller overview at the right hand of the Swiss Card page.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:31 PM by Arno
adsha
adsha
11 posts
new member
May 2, 2013 - 7:44 AM
Thanks Annika for detailed reply as always. I selected the non-refundable options maybe that''s why the diffirence was not much. Anyway as Glacier 3000 is also covered, I will opt for Swiss card as you recommended also.

Now I am thinking of few options, please let me know if this make sense.

1. I will book ticket from Paris to Basel via SBB website, get down at Basel station and purchase/validate swiss card and purchase ticket to Interlaken. In this case, let me know if I purchase swiss card do i still need to buy Basel to Interlaken ticket as the journey should be free. Secondly, what about the reservation from Basel to Interlaken is this case.
2. Similarly for outward journey, I will book the ticket Interlaken to Milan. Does the Milan - Venice ticket needs to be booked in advance or the ticket can be purchased at the counter for the next train.
3. By Glacier 3000 I actually mean Alpine coaster, will I get any discount with Swiss card on it.

Please let me know if this plan looks fine and or there are some points I need to consider. Thanks again.
Arno
Arno
7313 posts
expert &
moderator
May 2, 2013 - 8:07 AM
Hi adsha,

1. Where are you from? The SBB site might not be convenient for you as I don't think they will ship such tickets abroad. In most cases you can get both the Swiss Card and the tickets from one (other) reseller. You don't need anything else. The Swiss Card covers your inbound trip to Interlaken. You don't need reservations either.
2. You don't need a ticket for the leg covered by your Swiss Card. From Domodossola (Italy), you need a ticket to Milan. Milan - Venice is a long trip so I would recommend to book that in advance.
3. As far as I know the Alpine coaster is not discounted.
adsha
adsha
11 posts
new member
May 2, 2013 - 8:58 AM
Hi Arno,

Thanks for the quicky reply. My query for the first point is little bit different.

I mean if I do not order the Swiss card in advance, and during journey can I get down at Basel and purchase swiss card and further ticket to Interlaken.

For the initial ticket from Paris to Basel, I will purchase ticket via SBB and can take the printout.

Also, if the ticket from Basel to Interlaken can be purchased on the spot with the seat reservation or it has to be booked in advance.

Thanks.
Arno
Arno
7313 posts
expert &
moderator
May 2, 2013 - 9:46 AM
Hi adsha,

Sure you can do like you suggest. I just though it's easier to arrange for it in advance as you need several tickets for France, Switzerland and Italy anyway. You can probably get all of that from one website and thus don't loose time while traveling. You don't need seat reservations for trains within Switzerland, please see here.
adsha
adsha
11 posts
new member
May 4, 2013 - 1:05 PM
Thanks for all the replies. I have decided on the below points, please let me know if this looks fine.
[u]For paris to Interrlaken journey[/u]
1. Book train ticket now via SBB website from Paris to Basel. (printout ticket option)
2. Get down at Basel , purchase swiss card and travel to Interlaken by the next available train as no further reservation required.
[u]For venice journey[/u]
3. Also book a ticket via SBB website from Interlaken to Milan.(printout ticket option and selecting GA 2nd class to get the Swiss card discount online).
4. For further journey, book a ticket from Milan to Venice at http://www.trenitalia.com/ for the connecting train.
I am preferring SBB site rather than reseller website because it saves on booking fees, provides an option to get the swiss card discounted rates while booking. Also I noted rates are lower on some journey on SBB website. In above scenario, I just need to purchase swiss card at Basel.
Arno
Arno
7313 posts
expert &
moderator
May 5, 2013 - 3:41 AM
Hi adsha,

I don't know pricewise, but it looks like a viable option to me.

Enjoy your trip!
adsha
adsha
11 posts
new member
May 7, 2013 - 5:25 AM
Thanks. I also need your suggestion.

I wish to know is there anything around Interlaken which can be covered from morning till 1 pm. As I have a option to take a train to Milan either in morning or afternoon.

So I was thinking I will leave in the morning if I cannot make use of the avaiable time. Otherwise, If you can recommend something which can be covered in 3-4 hrs in morning time near Interlaken, than I will take the afternoon travel...Maybe Wengen or anything nearby apart from Jungfrou.
Arno
Arno
7313 posts
expert &
moderator
May 7, 2013 - 7:55 AM
Hi adsha,

Lots of options for you if you don't mind starting the day early. Here's a few:
  • Visit Wengen or Mürren;
  • Visit the Harder Kulm near the Interlaken Ost rail station;
  • Do a boat trip to Spiez or Thun and continue your trip to Milan from there. If you have a lot of luggage I would suggest Thun as the ship dock is close to the rail station there.

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