Hi Arno/Annika, congratulations on maintaining such an informative forum and website! After reading various sources on the subject on which passes are right for me and my family, I have become even more confused and want to make sure I'm not overpaying for what I really need. My family consisting of 2 adults, 1 child (6 years old) and 1 toddler (2 years old) will be travelling to Switzerland for one week commencing 9th November 2014 to 15th November 2014. I have a detailed itinerary which if you don't mind I will list below. I am looking for your expert advice as to which pass I should buy for my family configuration, either Swiss Pass (and Family card for the kids) or point to point tickets with Half Fare Pass and Junior Card for the kids. Does the Junior card entitle my 6 year old to free tickets or 50% tickets?
9th November: Zurich Flughafen to Zurich HB - From airport to old town Zurich
9th November: Zurich HB to Luzern - Evening train. Will stay here for two nights
10th November: Luzern to Verkehrshaus: Return trip, visit to Swiss Transport Museum for the day
11th November: Luzern to Interlaken Ost: Morning train preferably on the Golden Pass line. Please advice how I can book this with and without a rail pass? I also read there is a Luzern-Interlaken express. Do you have any info on this?
11th November: Interlaken Ost to Jungfraujoch: Day trip to Top of Europe and back to Interlaken Ost for same day onward journey. I have seen an offer on their Facebook page for a discount trip to Jungfraujoch which is falling cheaper than the Swiss Pass rates.
11th November: Interlaken Ost to Zermatt: Evening train on Glacier Express? I have read that the express might be closed during the time we are there? Which train can get us there? What is the Regio Express?
12th November: Day trip to either Gonergrat or Mattherhorn Glacier Paradise. Not sure which one to pick or if we can do both in one day? Which one is better for our young ones? We do not intend to ski but I am interested in the Ice Palace.
13th November: Zermatt to Montreux: Morning train on Lavaux Line? I read this is a panoramic train but how do I go about reserving it? I cant find the train codes for these?
13th November: Montreux to Veytaux-Chillon: We stop at Montreux for a quick visit to the Chateau Chillon, just a day trip. My husband did his college around the area and he wants to do this quick day trip to show us the area!
13th November: Montreux to Geneva: Evening train perhaps continuing the Lavaux Line to Geneva, where we are visiting a friend hence the trip there.
14th November: Geneva to Zurich airport: We have our flight out on the 15th at 9:45am from Zurich airport and the trains from Geneva to Zurich leave late 14th evening around 8pm. The ones later than that arrive in Zurich too close to when we need to be ready to catch our flight so I think 14th evening from Geneva would be a safe option.
Sorry the list seems so long; I couldn't get the alignment right! I did point to point calculations and compared them to Swiss Pass and the prices seem very comparable that just the convenience of having a pass may be a better option however the Half Fare card is what is confusing me too as it seems cheaper? What are my options for the kids for the Half Fare pass? Do I get a Junior pass? Then is the fare free or half price? I also am confused about the fares for panoramic trains. I cant seem to find these, only the seat reservation fares. In regards to the Top of Europe trip, how do I book these with a Swiss Pass, if I go with that option instead of Facebook offer? (as the Swiss Pass offers 25% off a portion of the trip). In general please advice whether I should get a Swiss Pass or Half Fare Pass?
Thank you so much in advance for your help and for taking the time to read all of this. Your reply and efforts are so much appreciated!