Which rail pass for Zurich - Zermatt - Paris?

Which rail pass for Zurich - Zermatt - Paris?

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rockoyster
rockoyster
3749 posts
expert
Jan 17, 2018 - 1:48 AM in reply to Chantal

Hi Chantal,

That's why I was interested to know if the STT was tied to a specific date or inward outward connect. If it isn't then I can't see it being a problem. The inspector on the train presumably won't be asking to see their flight tickets. Thanks for following up.

Julie, the other "constraint" with the Swiss Transfer Ticket is that you have to follow the most direct route as offered by the SBB Timetable. So you will go via Bern as opposed to the more scenic but slower route via Lucerne and Interlaken. It theoretically rules out going via Kandersteg between Spiez and Brig on the scenic Regio-Express Lötschberger train. It most definitely would rule out zipping from Zurich down to Chur and catching the Glacier Express across to Zermatt. But I guess you don't have that much time to play with.

Last modified on Jan 17, 2018 - 1:48 AM by rockoyster
juliekzp
juliekzp
16 posts
new member
Jan 17, 2018 - 2:21 AM

Not much time and not much patience lol - with the three kids, I'm generally going for the fastest routes, not most scenic. And here are my updated calculations - if I still don't understand, I think I'll just cancel the whole trip (kidding!). It would be awesome if someone could take just one more look at these and then I'll stop bothering everyone, I promise!

Bottom line seems to be that Eurail pass is the least expensive. Thank you thank you for all your help!

Swiss Pass + French ticket + London ticket

3-day Swiss Pass – $1494 (4 adults, 3 kids free)

Zurich to Zermatt – none

Zermatt to Basel – none

Basel to Paris – $568

Disneyland Paris to London – $918

Total = $2980

Eurail Pass

4 Day, 2 Country Passes - $1566 (4 adults, 3 kids free)

Zurich to Zermatt – none

Zermatt to Basel – none

Basel to Paris – $83x7 = $581 (reservation fee)

Disneyland Paris to London – $45x7 = $315 (reservation fee)

Total = $2462

Individual Tickets with Junior Travelcards (if those work for 1st class? )

3 Junior Travelcards - $62

Zurich to Zermatt (adults only)– $995

Zermatt to Basel (adults only) – $449

Basel to Paris (everyone) – $568

Disneyland Paris to London – $918

Total = $2992

Swiss Transfer Ticket + Basel-Paris + Disneyland-London

Swiss Transfer Ticket - $1028

Zurich to Zermatt – none

Zermatt to Basel – none

Basel to Paris – $568

Disneyland Paris to London – $918

Total = $2514

juliekzp
juliekzp
16 posts
new member
Jan 17, 2018 - 2:24 AM in reply to juliekzp

Oh and I can't get that spreadsheet to open on my computer, or else I'd try that!

rockoyster
rockoyster
3749 posts
expert
Jan 17, 2018 - 2:42 AM in reply to juliekzp

Hi Julie,

I didn't pick up that you were travelling 1st Class. You need a 3-country pass, n'est-ce pas?

Looks like you have the answer. The spreadsheet won't help from here on in.

Last modified on Jan 17, 2018 - 3:08 AM by rockoyster
Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Jan 17, 2018 - 6:22 AM in reply to rockoyster

Hi Julie and rockoyster,

It is possible to use the Swiss Transfer Ticket after your arrival date. Please see this thread: www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/swiss-transfer-ticket-same-day-as-entry, and www.myswissalps.com/sw isstransferticket/howt ouse.

When you buy it, enter the actual travel day, not the day of arrival.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3749 posts
expert
Jan 17, 2018 - 6:27 AM in reply to Chantal

Hi Chantal,

Thanks. Good to know. Seems logical. Unfortunately the 1st Class price somewhat blows it out of the water. I was thinking it would only cost them around CHF620 (for 2nd Class).

juliekzp
juliekzp
16 posts
new member
Jan 17, 2018 - 1:52 PM

Thank you all so so much, I couldn't have figured this out without you!

Rockoyster, to use a Eurail pass on Eurostar to London, you only need to have the country where you're starting. So my two country France-Switzerland pass covers it. Which is good news!

Arno
Arno
10765 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 18, 2018 - 10:39 AM in reply to juliekzp

That's interesting Julie, thanks for sharing that. It is indeed confirmed here:

www.eurail.com/en/help /reservations-and-planning/eurostar-included-my-eurail-pass

juliekzp
juliekzp
16 posts
new member
Jan 18, 2018 - 2:15 PM

You're welcome!

Also, in case anyone cares (doubtful), I've changed my mind about the Eurail pass, I keep reading how difficult it is to use and make seat reservations in France. Also I looked into how much the mountain passes will be in Zermatt, and with that sizable discount I think it makes sense to get the Swiss Travel Pass and then just buy separate tickets for France and London.

And even though I'm a Type A planner (can you tell??), I think I'll go with the flow and not make seat reservations in Switzerland, since everyone says they're not necessary, and it'll be nice to be flexible about when we leave Zurich for Zermatt (who knows how late my kids will sleep in??).

Thanks again!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4756 posts
expert
Jan 18, 2018 - 3:04 PM in reply to juliekzp

Hi Julie-

<<"And even though I'm a Type A planner (can you tell??), I think I'll go with the flow and not make seat reservations in Switzerland, since everyone says they're not necessary, and it'll be nice to be flexible about when we leave Zurich for Zermatt (who knows how late my kids will sleep in??).">>

You're safe on the train reservations. Especially since you chose first class. It's OK in second class, too.

I have watched my behavior on the first couple of jet-lagged days after I arrive in Switzerland from the USA.

I find it extremely hard to make decisions. Should I go here or there? I misjudge the time available once I get to "there."

I misread maps, and go out pf the wrong side of the train station at St. Gall to go to Weinstube zum Baümli for lunch, and don't figure it out for 10 minutes of wandering.

I am usually capable of doing precise Centigrade to Fahrenheit ( or the reverse) conversions in my head. For the first two days, I can't.

I can't remember when the last cableway down runs from Männlichen to Wengen, even though I looked at the schedule board when I went up. I write that one down...not good to miss, and they don't run real late.

My remedy is to plan my first couple of days in excruciating detail, looking at maps and train schedules, making a few notes on schedules, etc.

If I don't, the first few days of precious time in expensive Switzerland are full of confusion or wasted almost entirely.

Type A is good for me. ;-)

Slowpoke

PS- when traveling with my 8 year old granddaughter and my daughter, I was unable to convince them that you need to get up by the clock and move out fairly on the first few days, even though you feel like doing absolutely nothing. Part of getting on the local clock.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4756 posts
expert
Jan 18, 2018 - 5:05 PM

Ooops-

dropped a word in the last post:

<< get up by the clock and move out fairly quickly on the first few days,">>

Slowpoke

rockoyster
rockoyster
3749 posts
expert
Jan 18, 2018 - 7:13 PM in reply to juliekzp

Hi Julie,

You went for the Swiss Travel Pass after all!

Well I’ll be. You can’t beat the convenience it offers. Hang the expense. 😎

Don’t forget that detour via Kandersteg on way to Zermatt.

Enjoy!

Last modified on Jan 18, 2018 - 7:15 PM by rockoyster
juliekzp
juliekzp
16 posts
new member
Jan 18, 2018 - 8:39 PM

Looking into Kandersteg right now -- would you say it's quite a big difference than just going the shortest route, or is shortest route also plenty nice (for people who have never seen any Alps at all)? Wondering if the extra time and train change with three kids (youngest will be 6, and the 9-year-old, whose dream for the past two years has been to go to Zermatt and see the Matterhorn, will be itching to get there) is worth it.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3749 posts
expert
Jan 18, 2018 - 8:49 PM in reply to juliekzp

Hi Julie,

The direct route goes under a long tunnel. The Kandersteg route goes through a Pass a has much better views (and a short tunnel). Haven’t checked the timetable but maybe adds a bit over an hour depending on connections.

But who am I to stand in the way of a couple of eager kids? 😉

Last modified on Jan 18, 2018 - 8:49 PM by rockoyster
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4756 posts
expert
Jan 18, 2018 - 9:53 PM in reply to juliekzp

Hi Julie-

<<"The direct route goes under a long tunnel. The Kandersteg route goes through a Pass a has much better views (and a short tunnel). Haven’t checked the timetable but maybe adds a bit over an hour depending on connections.">>

Actually, it goes "through" a long tunnel, to be precise. ;-)

Both get you to Visp, where you must change for Zermatt. Spiez is where the routes diverge. It takes an hour and 30 or 32 minutes to get from Zürich main station to Spiez. All trains go through Bern. Some require a change at Bern ( 6 minutes allowed) some do not require a change.

C heck the timetable which can tell you which platform to use when you leave Zürich, if you wish to be sure to get the train from Zürich which does not require a change at Bern, They leave at almost the same time from Zürich, so it can be confusing.

( A "type A's delight"). Plan ahead, ;-)

It is quite a scenic ride up and over the old route from Spiez onward, which does go through a short tunnel just past Kandersteg. Both the ascent and descent (in the Rhone Valley) have striking scenery, different because of the geography. If you choose it, sit on the right, especially once you are past Kandersteg. It takes 56 minutes longer to get to Visp.. Because the old route goes to Brig - very close to Visp- there is a change of trains (included in the 56 minutes) for the 6 minute ride to Visp, thence onward to Zermatt.

To represent in total time consumed, rather than the difference, after Spiez, - the new, fast tunnel, which has no interesting scenery inside the tunnel, takes 26 minutes to make the stretch to Visp from the last common point on both routes...Spiez. The old route takes 1 hour 21 minutes, including ( on one schedule I checked), 7 minutes to change trains at Brig and 6 minutes to get to Visp.

The next question - how much more time does it take to get all the way to Zermatt, once again, from Spiez as the last common point. This takes into account schedule matches at the various transfer stations, if any.

1 hour 38 minutes new fast route, either 2 hrs 39 minutes or 3 hours 2 minutes on some trains via scenic older route. Be careful about schedule matches.

Kids get bored with scenery pretty fast. At least one more mature forum visitor who took the upper route wrote afterward that the scenery in Zermatt was what they really came to see, so the slower route basically was not nice enough to compensate for the extra time. To each his or her own. I like the old route a lot,but have not tried it with kids in a hurry.

Slowpoke

rockoyster
rockoyster
3749 posts
expert
Jan 19, 2018 - 3:16 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

"Actually, it goes "through" a long tunnel, to be precise. ;-)"

OK, you've got me there. 😖

And thanks for painting the scenic picture much more clearly than my brief attempt.

Last modified on Jan 19, 2018 - 3:17 AM by rockoyster

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