Gotthard Panorama Express boat reservations

Gotthard Panorama Express boat reservations

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Jansergeant
Jansergeant
12 posts
new member
Apr 14, 2017 - 5:18 AM

We( 4adults)are wanting to take the Gotthard Panorama on Sept 11 from Luzern to Lugano, then we will be travelling onto Milan &Florence. We are using a Eurrail 3 country (including Switzerland)

So am I right to think that I get on the boat at 11.12, after the cruise get off & then transfer to the train & go all the way to Lugano.

So where I am now getting confused is that I can't work out if the boat is purchased at the same time as the train seat ?

I think I get a 50% discount, on the price of the boat. But one site has told me to buy the boat trip locally, is that correct? Another has said that the booking is for the train only . If the booking is only for the train, then how do I know if I'm on the boat?Can we not buy the trip all in one go? Because we have to connect with other trains later in the day I want to make sure we are on the 11.12 boat & that way be able to connect the whole way through.

Can someone please step me through which is the best site to use & the steps I need to take. I know it is too early to book , but I am just trying to clarify it in my head before I try to book.

Another confused aussie

Lucas
Lucas
6497 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 14, 2017 - 9:37 AM in reply to Jansergeant

Hi Jansergeant and welcome to MySwissAlps!

Reservations aren't available for boat trips. You can buy the ticket the day before if you wish in Luzern but it doesn't guarantee you a spot on the boat (they will just tell you to take the next boat with your ticket).

So the best bet is to get there early, buy a ticket and line-up. This is what I do when taking the boat cruises on lake Zurich in the summer.

The Gotthard Panorama Express trip is free for you on the Eurail Select Pass - read here to see what is covered within Switzerland. You can find where to buy the reservations for the trip here.

Lucas

Jansergeant
Jansergeant
12 posts
new member
Apr 14, 2017 - 10:39 AM in reply to Lucas

Hi Lucas,

Thank you for your reply.

So do I treat it as 2 separate steps.

1. Turn up & buy the boat ticket on the day. get there early enough to make sure we are on the 11.12 boat. If we miss this boat then we won't connect with the 14.10 train, is that correct?

Is it possible to get an earlier boat just to make sure we connect with the train? If so where can I find the earlier times?

2. Pre book the train ticket online from Fluelen to Lugano departing at 14.10.

I have another question also, if we can get an earlier boat can we also get an earlier train?

We have a long day & have to travel onto Florence so if we can make an early start & allow for any stuff ups that would be great, we are leaving from Grindelwald in the morning, we are early risers so getting away early isn't an issue for us.

Hope this makes sense

Thanks again

Lucas
Lucas
6497 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 14, 2017 - 12:38 PM in reply to Jansergeant

You can buy a ticket for the whole trip (only the train seat is reserved) and take any boat you want, so you can go earlier. There is only the one train per day however so that's your only option if you want to be on the panoramic train (normal trains travel the same route as well).

So if you have the Eurail Select Pass then you can take any boat and any train you want. If you want the panoramic train on that route then you must make a reservation departing at 14:10 from Flüelen arriving in Lugano at 16:38.

Lucas

rockoyster
rockoyster
3607 posts
expert
Apr 14, 2017 - 10:28 PM

Hi Lucas,

You said "Reservations aren't available for boat trips. You can buy the ticket the day before if you wish in Luzern but it doesn't guarantee you a spot on the boat (they will just tell you to take the next boat with your ticket)." Now you have me worried.

I am doing the Bellinzona to Luzern GPE late May. From what you have said above how do I know I will get on the connecting steamer at Fluelen?

I have a reservation which says Bellinzona to Luzern SVG departing 11:37 arriving 16:47. It includes seat reservations in Panorama car. I get it that there are no reserved seats on the steamer but surely the reservation guarantees me the right to board the connecting boat. I won't be buying a ticket as I am using the Swiss Travel Pass Flex.

Should I stop panicking?

Arno
Arno
10572 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 15, 2017 - 6:15 AM

Hi Rockoyster,

No need to panic at all! There are no reserved seats on the boat but I've never experienced or heard that people were left behind because of a full boat. It's a theoretical problem. And even if somehow there are too many people to board I expect them to allow people who already have a ticket to board first. But again, don't worry. Boats and trains in Switzerland are like subways: if you don't have a pass you can buy a last minute ticket and board. There's nothing more to it. Enjoy the rides!

rockoyster
rockoyster
3607 posts
expert
Apr 15, 2017 - 11:19 AM

Phew, pulse rate back to normal. Thanks Arno.

Jansergeant
Jansergeant
12 posts
new member
Apr 19, 2017 - 8:35 PM

Thank you Lucas for that information, that certainly clarifies things.

Can I please just clarify the booking process

Once I get Eurrail pass , I book the whole journey in one go,but during the booking process specify the Panorama train from Fluelen to Lugano @ 14.10 ? After that we are free to get an earlier boat if we chose.

Which is the best site to do this on & will it be easy to follow. Unfortunately some sites I have looked at arent self explanatory.

Lucas
Lucas
6497 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 20, 2017 - 5:34 AM in reply to Jansergeant

Hi Janssergeant,

Yes, there is only one departure per day so you just need to reserve for your date. Try our reservation link here for the Gotthard Panorama Express (it notes it is to/from Flüelen). Then you take any boat that gets you there before your departure time (there may not be many to choose from).

Lucas

rockoyster
rockoyster
3607 posts
expert
Apr 20, 2017 - 5:40 AM in reply to Lucas

Hi Lucas,

I thought had read somewhere that the GPE boat was a "special paddle steamer" whereas if you take another vessel it may not be quite so "charming" (struggling to find an apt descriptor there). Is that correct or did I just dream it. Highly possible I imagined it considering the vast amount of information that has passed through my brain since starting researching our up-coming Switzerland visit. Just asking in case it is true and Jan wasn't aware.

Lucas
Lucas
6497 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 20, 2017 - 6:06 AM in reply to rockoyster

Well said! It is typically an historical paddle steamer for the connecting boat.

There are several boats that ply the lake - here are your options

Lucas

Jansergeant
Jansergeant
12 posts
new member
Apr 20, 2017 - 8:09 AM

Thank you both for your replies.

No i wasn't aware aware that there was only one steam paddle wheeler boat, I assumed they all were. So to get the steam boat we need to get the 11.12 boat?

Thanks again

Jansergeant
Jansergeant
12 posts
new member
Apr 20, 2017 - 8:15 AM in reply to rockoyster

Hi Rockoyster,

thank you for your comments on the Gotthard "experience". I would be interested to hear your feedback after you have done the trip &'any other tips you can give me on your Switzerland research. We don't leave until end of Aug for a total of 6 wks( not all in Switzerland, unfortunately)

Thanks

Jan

Annika
Annika
4934 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 20, 2017 - 8:39 AM in reply to Jansergeant

Hi Jan,

Yes, it's the 11:12 boat. Please find a link to timetables at myswissalps.com/gottha rdpanoramaexpress/gett ingthere.

Jansergeant
Jansergeant
12 posts
new member
Apr 20, 2017 - 9:05 AM in reply to Annika

Many thanks for your reply.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3607 posts
expert
Apr 20, 2017 - 9:57 AM

Hi Jan,

We are visiting May/June and I will definitely be doing a trip report to provide some feedback into this excellent forum.

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