Apr 9, 2014 - 5:07 PM
in reply to mikefrank
Hi mikefrank, welcome to MySwissAlps,
If I understand your group composition correctly, this would be your shopping list:
- 3x 8-day Swiss Saver Pass for 2 adults, plus 3x Swiss Family Card for 2 children each;
- 3x 8-day Swiss Saver Pass for 2 adults (the couples);
- 3x 8-day Swiss Youth Pass for the 16 year olds. This is cheaper than adding them to the Saver Pass. Also they can travel independent from the others, they may appreciate that :-)
This way, all couples and families have their own pass and do not depend on the others.
There are indeed many websites selling the passes. I don't know all of them. The ones we trust are listed in the price section of the Swiss Pass page. The two main options for you are the webshop of the Swiss Railways and the US website of Rail Europe. The Swiss Railways shop does not easily allow to specify the number of adults you want on each Swiss Saver Pass. If you order through them, just add a pass for 12 adults to the cart and tell them in the Notes field that you want to receive 6 Swiss Saver Passes and 3 Swiss Family Cards. That won't be a problem. An advantage of ordering there is that you can validate the passes yourself (writing down traveler names and passport numbers), so there's no need to spend time on that in Switzerland, you can board the train immediately.
The Rail Europe site allows you to specify the travelers for each pass, so you will get the appropriate number of passes there as well. You can even place separate orders for each pass if you like; shipping is free anyway. Their passes need to be validated at a manned Swiss rail station. There's no need to do that with 21 people together. It just matters that all travelers for the one pass being validated are present.
Apart from passes there are group rates for groups of 10 and more, but that will get you a discount of about 20% on the regular fares. It's an option for one or two trips, but when traveling around a pass offers more savings and convenience.
A final note: also check the promotions section. There currently is this promo that offers a discount on 1st class passes, but it depends on when you travel whether you qualify for that.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 12:55 PM by Arno