Coordinating Swiss rail travel with accommodation

Coordinating Swiss rail travel with accommodation

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austcochon
austcochon
30 posts
active member
Sep 25, 2017 - 10:18 PM

I hate to admit it but I have shot myself in the foot.Always wanting to see Switzerland by panoramic and regional trains in the snow and over Christmas I got a rush of blood to the head and booked accommodation in towns I wanted to see then looked at the trains. Result hopeless all over the place and I do not want to change existing bookings if possible as they are very scenic. Because of our age and the tyranny of distance we will not be visiting Switzerland again.

I am attaching our bookings in the hope it will not be straining the friendship to ask for some suggestions as to how to coordinate as best as possible. I have purchased 1st. Class Swiss Travel passes Flex 15 days.

Arrive Zurich 7.50 am December 19th. Stay overnight.

Zermatt. 20 -23

Lucerne. 23-26

Bern. 26-30

grindelwald. 30-2

Wengen. 2-5

St Moritz. 5-8

Samedan. 8-10

Zurich. 10-12

Fly to Berlin. 12

This is an awful lot to ask of you but it would be very much appreciated if you could make some suggestions. We are seasoned travellers and like doing our own bookings but things got a bit out of hand.

Kindest Regards

austcochon

Last modified on Sep 26, 2017 - 9:24 AM by Sue
maggiehorswell
maggiehorswell
577 posts
top member
Sep 25, 2017 - 11:12 PM

Hi Austcochon

Can you clarify which dates you actually travel between the destinations? e.g. I gather on 20th you go from Zurich to Zermatt but do you stay in Zermatt the night of 23rd and go on from Zermatt on the 23rd to Lucerne and so on?

Is it how to travel between destinations you need help with or what to do while there? What are your interests? Nature? Scenic trips? Museums? Fitness levels for walking? What meals are included in your accommodation? One thing to remember is that if you want to see views on way between destinations, you can't leave too late in the day as it will be dark quite early - that's why I asked which days are actual travel days.

With this extra information I will see if I can help with a few ideas.

Maggie

rockoyster
rockoyster
3693 posts
expert
Sep 26, 2017 - 3:51 AM in reply to austcochon

Hi austcochon,

Oh dear, that Zermatt stay is not ideally positioned is it? Never mind, if you are intent on sticking with your accommodation bookings, all is not lost. Just a bit more zigging and zagging than you'd want. Looking on the bright side at least you'll be able to spend the longer than necessary time on trains in 1st Class. 😉

I am guessing that by your ". . . then looked at the trains" means you know your way around the SBB timetable www.myswissalps.com/ti metable. So my recommendation would go something like this:

Zurich to Zermatt via Bern

Zermatt to Andermatt on Glacier Express then to Göschenen and on to Luzern

Luzern to Bern

Bern to Grindelwald

Grindelwald to Wengen

Wengen to Luzern to Andermatt via Göschenen and pick up Glacier Express to St Moritz (you'd need to check timing of this and if not possible take regular trains Andermatt to St Moritz)

You're on the home run now so should be pretty straight forward.

This is just a quick off the top of the head suggestion. There will be other permutations.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3693 posts
expert
Sep 26, 2017 - 5:28 AM in reply to austcochon

Here's the link to the Glacier Express timetable in December www.glacierexpress.ch/ en/travel-planning/timetables/ti metables/

austcochon
austcochon
30 posts
active member
Sep 26, 2017 - 7:10 AM in reply to maggiehorswell

Maggie you are correct, e.g. Zermatt checkin 20th. Checkout 23rd. and so on. I have done a bit of research on each stay and have worked out most of what we want to do whilst there.Most of our days will be sight-seeing like Gornergrat and cable cars and day trip to Geneva and so on. We have breakfast only with most of our reservations so are really at liberty during the day.

Rockoyster I hope you don't mind making this a joint reply, it is probably easier this way. As I mentioned earlier I have looked up a few things and thought from Lucerne to Bern I would go on the Golden Pass line to Montreux then local train to Bern. I had also thought to go to Lucerne from Zermatt on the Glacier Express to Andermatt then Goschenen. What I want to do is go on the Bernina Express which may mean forfeiting one day's accommodation somewhere if it means staying overnight in Tirano. It sounds very wasteful which it is however I am sure I would always regret not doing so. I hope this helps you both work out what I am trying to achieve!

Once again thank you,, the trouble you and your colleagues go to is unbelievable.

Cheers

austcochon

rockoyster
rockoyster
3693 posts
expert
Sep 26, 2017 - 9:44 AM in reply to austcochon

Cool. You can easily do a return day trip from St Moritz to Tirano on the Bernina Express (or local trains if the timing of the Express doesn't work for you) without forfeiting a nights stay anywhere. It looks like you have it well in hand.

austcochon
austcochon
30 posts
active member
Sep 26, 2017 - 9:27 PM

Thank you Rockoyster.

Next step Gotterhard Express or best parts of line.

Cheers

austcochon
austcochon
30 posts
active member
Sep 27, 2017 - 6:19 AM

Dear Rockoyster, thanks to you I have managed to book seat reservations on the Glacier Express Zermatt to Andermatt now trying to do the same from Goschenen to Lucerne on Gotthard Express same day. I find it impossible to reserve seats or find timetables for the above, Golden Pass or the Bernina Express. I just cannot find the sites or if I do they will not accept whatever I enter. I am reasonably competent on the net so have no idea where I am going wrong. The link you provided for the Glacier Express took me straight to the correct site.

Once again thanks very much for your help

rockoyster
rockoyster
3693 posts
expert
Sep 27, 2017 - 6:44 AM in reply to austcochon

Hi Austcochon,

The SBB timetables beyond early December don't get released until mid to late October.

The Gotthard Panorama Express timetable can be found here (scroll down to timetable tab). You will see it only runs between April and the latter part of October. Maybe as people don't find the steamer segment that appealing during winter?

Looks like you might be restricted to regular trains Göschenen to Luzern.

Have you tried www.rhb.ch/en/service-souvenirs/timetable/ti metable for Bernina Express. It seems to be OK for early December but not later so you may have to wait for new timetables to be released.

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