May 21, 2018 - 5:44 PM
Sure, the Gotthard Panorama Express is a great idea if you have time. It's definitely more scenic than the regular route that passes the long Gotthard base tunnel. From Locarno, you'd best travel to Bellinzona and board the Gotthard Panorama Express there. Alternatively you can travel to Lugano (the starting point of the entire trip) and board there, but that's quite a detour and in my opinion the leg Lugano-Bellinzona isn't worth the extra time and effort.
You don't have to do the boat trip if you don't want to. Once you're in Flüelen, you leave the Gotthard Panorama Express train. You then either board the connecting boat to Lucerne, or get on a regular train in the direction of Arth-Goldau and Zürich. Connections can be found in the timetable: myswissalps.com/timeta ble.
With a Swiss Travel Pass, the costs for the journey itself are covered, but you indeed have to pay an additional amount for seat reservations. So you'd probably reserve seats between Bellinzona and Locarno. Reservations for the boat segment aren't possible.
Please find all details at myswissalps.com/gottha rdpanoramaexpress.