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Half Fare Card for the Bernina Express

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new member
Jun 27, 2014 - 11:05 PM

My husband and I are staying in Lucerne for 3 nights from 30th August, then going to Chur for 1 night and then catching the Bernina Express on 3rd September this year. In Lucerne we will basically be sightseeing around the immediate area, e.g. trips to Mt Pilatus, maybe Mt Rigi too and boat trips on the lake to see other towns. I have done a great deal of research on the most suitable Pass for us to use and I think the Half Fare Card would be the best choice. Does this seem correct? If so, my main query regards purchasing our Bernina Express tickets.

The Half Fare Card can only be purchased one month in advance (for us that would be no earlier than 30th July). We have already purchased our seat reservations. I can purchase our tickets on the 5th July. So when I book our tickets can I buy them at half price even though I can't buy the Half Fare Card until the end of July? That is, can I book the tickets before the Half Fare Card?

Thank you for any advice you can give us.

7116 posts
expert &
Jun 29, 2014 - 9:45 AM

Hello marg57,

You're conclusion can very well be correct. Here are some details that many people miss, so be sure you have done that right:

  • the Rigi and all the boats on Lake Lucerne are free with a Swiss Pass;
  • the fares as quoted by the timetable are half the fare by default, as explained here. So don't assume these are full prices.

Note that the Pilatus cable car closes on September 1 this year, so only the funicular will be operational.

The Swiss Half Fare Card can be purchased up to 6 months in advance, so you can already buy it if you want. All points of sale are listed here. Most websites allow to purchase seat reservations along with the card. The discounted tickets, reservations and the Swiss Half Fare Card are separate components, and there is no need to purchase them in any particular order. You can get them whenever you want, as long as you have all at hand when you board the train. See the reservation page for more information.

Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 12:53 PM by Arno


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