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Gotthard Express not operating on my travel day


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Joejax
Joejax
62 posts
active member
Jun 19, 2022 - 7:39 PM

I have a couple of questions about the trains, not necessarily in the order of my travel.. I have finally spent quite a bit of time on the SBB Mobile and have most of it figured out.

I am traveling on a 15 day trip around Switzerland with a Swiss Travel Pass. Unfortunately, the day I am traveling from Lugano to Fluelen / Luzern is a Monday and the Gotthard Express is not operating. I will plan to take a regular train. What is the best route to get to Fluelen. I thought I read that going through Airolo and Goshenen is a nice route that does not go through the big tunnel. What do you advise?

When I get to Fluelen, is the train station right next to the Boat docks? Are all of the boat trips the same that sail to Lucerne or.is one recommended over the others?

I was able to find the seat reservation from Zweisimmen to Montreaux. I get the impression that a seat reservation is not needed from Lucerne to Interlaken and from Interlaken to Zweisimmen. If I want to get one anyways, i could not find where you sign up?

Any advice would be great..

Joejax

Anna
Anna
3921 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 20, 2022 - 4:21 AM in reply to Joejax

Hi Joejax,

The regular train (Treno Gottardo) is a great alternative to the Gotthard Panorama Express. The train station in Flüelen is located next the boat landing stage. Boats to Lucerne leave every few hours I think. Be sure to check the timetable for exact timing. The boat stops at various stations so if you have time you can make side trips if you wish. More details here: www.myswissalps.com/boatlakelucerne

That's right. Seat reservation is not necessary on the Golden Pass route between Zweisimmen and Lucerne but it is possible to book your seats if you wish. You can find more information here: www.myswissalps.com/train/reservations

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Anna

Last modified on Jun 21, 2022 - 11:05 AM by Arno
1960man
1960man
4401 posts
expert
Jun 22, 2022 - 12:22 AM in reply to Joejax

The Gotthard Panorama Express is a largely redundant 'one off' train service. It is quite easy to use the bang up to date Treno Gottardo service which runs over the Gotthard mountain route to Fluelen.

It is about 1 to 2 minutes walk from the station platform to the boat at Fluelen

Lake boats to Luzern depart Fluelen every hour between 11.00 and 17.00 daily. In the peak summer season (what is your travel date?) up to five of those are 100 year old paddle steamers from the historic SGV fleet.

www.lakelucerne.ch/en/your-cruise-experience/explore/our-fleet/

www.lakelucerne.ch/fileadmin/user_upload/PDF/Ihr_Schifffahrts-Erlebnis/Fahrplan___Preise/Fahrplan/Saisonaler_Fahrplan/Fahrplan_Sommer_2022_26.05_11.09.pdf

andrew
andrew
133 posts
active member
Jun 25, 2022 - 2:18 PM in reply to Anna

Well said 1960man re boat times.

The only thing I would add is that in my opinion the first class is recommended on the boats. If you have 2nd class tickets you can upgrade on board. First class allows you onto the upper decks where the views are even better. Note that paddle steamers are not guaranteed. There are five of these but some days they only use 4 or sometimes only 3. The boats take 2 hours 47 minutes from Fluelen to Luzern ship station and from there, depending which quay is used, it's about 10 minutes stroll to the station platforms.

Andrew

Joejax
Joejax
62 posts
active member
Jun 26, 2022 - 2:32 AM

Anna, 1960man & Andrew,

Thank you for your responses and advice. i have found the Treno Gottardo and timeframes on the SBB Mobile. The only thing that I am struggling with is to find the Boat timeframes. Do I find that on the SBB Mobile also because I can't find it. Even when I go into your links about scheduling I cannot find the boats?

I also made seat reservations on the Bernina Express. (We have 1st class Swiss Travel Pass) We are traveling in second half of September. I still have to make a reservation on the Glacier Exxpress (I believe I have to wait until 90 days in advance of travel) and the Golden Pass from Zweisimmen to Montreaux. (I was informed the Golden Pass can't be made until 92 days in advance).. The next time I tried the Golden Pass, it informed me I have to wait until 60 days in advance. Not sure if the instructions on the web are conflicted or I am mis-reading. I just don't want to be delayed making these reservations because it looks like the train reservations fill up fast.

Any advice will be helpful.

Joejax

Arno
Arno
15694 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 26, 2022 - 6:12 AM

Hi Joejax,

You'll find a link to the boat timetables on www.myswissalps.com/boatlakelucerne/gettingthere, and the 2nd link posted by 1960man includes boats only.

Bernina Express reservation links can be found here: www.myswissalps.com/berninaexpress/tickets. You can already book for late September.

GoldenPass reservation links can be found here: www.myswissalps.com/goldenpass/tickets. Indeed you can book 92 days ahead of time.

1960man
1960man
4401 posts
expert
Jun 28, 2022 - 9:15 PM in reply to Joejax

Lake Luzern boats:

Further to the detail, I already gave you, and now understanding your travel dates, the boats from Fluelen to Luzern will be operating to the Autumn schedule.

Boats will depart from Fluelen at:

12:00

13:00

14:00 (historic paddle steamer)

16:00

As such I highly recommend you time your train to get to Fluelen in time for the 14:00 paddle steamer (which also has a full restaurant facility)

www.lakelucerne.ch/fileadmin/user_upload/PDF/Ihr_Schifffahrts-Erlebnis/Fahrplan___Preise/Fahrplan/Saisonaler_Fahrplan/Fahrplan_Herbst_2022_12.09._16.10.pdf

Golden Pass

I don't think you will really need a reservation in late September as it is some time past the peak summer season.

Joejax
Joejax
62 posts
active member
Jun 29, 2022 - 1:04 AM in reply to 1960man

1960man

Thank you for the additional information about the Fluelen Boats. I did notice that your first response included the schedule for the Summer months only so this is very helpful information. I will take your advice to set my schedule for the 14:00 Historic Paddle Steamer since we will be arriving into Fluelen on the Treno Gottardo at either 11:43 or 13:43. I assume we can arrive a little early at 11:43, relax in Fluelen and enjoy the waterfront for a couple of hours before the 14:00 Paddle Steamer. We are traveling on Swiss Alps 1st class so we may try to get reservations for the heck of it. What is the name of the Paddle Steamer Boat?

I also discovered that the seat reservation on the Golden Pass between Zweisimmen and Montreux can only be retrieved 60 days before travel and for us, that will be around the 25th of July. I have all of my other train reservations at this time.

Thanks again for everyone's help.

Joejax

Ildiko
Ildiko
2528 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 29, 2022 - 5:25 AM in reply to Joejax

Hi Joejax,

1st class on boats during high season is good advice, I agree with that.

In the timetable, I can only see that "Normally a steamboat. Subject to change." It does not say at the moment which boat is that. Sorry.

Ildiko

andrew
andrew
133 posts
active member
Jun 29, 2022 - 6:57 AM in reply to Ildiko

Hi Joejax,

You may wish to keep an eye on www.swissitalianpaddlesteamers.com/ which is a useful website for discovering which paddle steamers are sailing and when. Nothing as far ahead as late September yet, but I'm sure there will be by the time you're in Switzerland.

Andrew

1960man
1960man
4401 posts
expert
Jun 29, 2022 - 11:09 AM in reply to Joejax

It is a great idea to travel early to Fluelen and enjoy the village and lakeside there for a couple of hours (weather permitting of course)

The 14.00 Fluelen - Luzern is the only service scheduled for a paddle steamer after 12 September .

It will be one of either:

Gallia (built 1913) - the fastest lake steamer in Europe

Schiller (b. 1906)

Stadt Luzern (1928)

Uri (1901)

Unterwalden (1902)

My personal favourite is Uri which has a lovely whistle!

Joejax
Joejax
62 posts
active member
Jun 30, 2022 - 12:20 AM in reply to 1960man

One more question about trains. I am planning my travel from Zurich to Interlaken Ost. I know that I have to travel first to Luzern. I have read your literature which says I board the Interlaken Express to Interlaken. I am using the SBB mobile and the trains that travel from Luzern to Interlaken Ost are referred to as InterRegio and they depart every hour. I have not found any reference to Interlaken Express. Is this the correct train to catch that is considerred the Golden Pass?

Joejax

Last modified on Jun 30, 2022 - 12:20 AM by Joejax
Ildiko
Ildiko
2528 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 30, 2022 - 6:33 AM in reply to Joejax

Yes, that is the one. You'll travel by the InterRegio from Lucerne and Interlaken (or vice versa).

Read more about the Golden Pass route: www.myswissalps.com/goldenpass/gettingthere.

lldiko

1960man
1960man
4401 posts
expert
Jun 30, 2022 - 10:26 PM in reply to Joejax

The Luzern - Interlaken railway is actually a separate railway named the Brunig pass railway. In recent years - to help overseas tourists - it was made part of the so called Golden Pass route (but the original 'Golden Pass' is just the Zweisimmen - Montreux railway).

For some years the Brunig line has Golden Pass branded trains, but then the operator, the ZB Railway replaced all the trains with new ones and these are collectively dubbed 'Luzern Interlaken Express' They are designated IR for the purposes of the national timetable.

StevefromHou
StevefromHou
128 posts
active member
Jul 1, 2022 - 1:13 PM in reply to Joejax

Hello Joejax,

Here is a short video I made of one of my trips from Fluelen to Lucerne on one of the refurbished steamers.

rumble.com/veh6oj-vintage-steamship-on-lake-lucerne-switzerland.html

Hope this helps give you a feel for what to expect.

Steve

Arno
Arno
15694 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 1, 2022 - 2:49 PM in reply to StevefromHou

That's a great video with beautiful shots Steve. Thanks for sharing!

Joejax
Joejax
62 posts
active member
Jul 1, 2022 - 5:17 PM in reply to Arno

Steve,

Thank you for the video of the beautiful boat ride on Lake Lucerne. We can hardly wait. Thanks to all who helped me with further planning for our late September trip and giving me an alternative to traveling on the Gotthard Panoramic Express and guidance with the Golden Pass route from Lucerne to Montreux. You have all been a huge help in planning our exciting 15 day trip to Switzerland. The MySwissAlps site has been amazing.

Joejax

Arno
Arno
15694 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 2, 2022 - 12:34 PM in reply to Joejax

Thanks for your kind words Joejax. I hope you'll have an amazing stay in Switzerland! If you'd like, you could share your experiences and tips in a trip report after your return: www.myswissalps.com/forum/tripreports.

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