How to book ticket for Gotthard Panorama Express

How to book ticket for Gotthard Panorama Express

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BarSal
BarSal
75 posts
active member
Feb 5, 2018 - 5:23 AM

Does anyone have a link of where I can book the Gotthard Express from Lugano to Luzern using the train/boat combo without a pass?

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Feb 5, 2018 - 9:52 AM in reply to BarSal

Hi Sally,

Tickets can be booked here. There are no seat reservations for the boat section.

Another option is to take the regional trains. They will travel the same route as the Gotthard Panorama Express so the scenery is exactly the same. The regular trains require you to change trains once or twice along the way. If you decide to do so, be sure to travel on the regional trains via Airolo and Göschenen, not the fast direct trains. The fast trains cross a long tunnel and you won't see anything of the remarkable scenery. Tickets for the regional trains and boats can be purchased via the Swiss timetable.

Last modified on Feb 5, 2018 - 9:54 AM by Chantal
BarSal
BarSal
75 posts
active member
Feb 5, 2018 - 11:52 PM in reply to Chantal

Thx Chantal. I must be doing something wrong. I have been on the happy rail site and the SSB site and can only find a place reserve seat if I have a pass or a place to buy a pass. There is a huge push to buy a pass everywhere. I am looking for the price of the Gotthard express - train and boat from Lugano to Luzern.

Regional rail is a good idea too.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3388 posts
expert
Feb 6, 2018 - 2:21 AM in reply to BarSal

Hi Sally,

Attached might help (extract from www.mystsnet.com/filea dmin/doc/02_Produkte_S ervices/01_Swiss_Trave l_System/04_Premium_Pa noramazuege/Gotthard_P anorama_Express/STS-Backgrounder_2018-Gotthard-Panorama-Express-EN-Office.pdf)

You don't need to have actually bought a pass to make a reservation. Just tell them you have a pass. The only person who will care is the inspector on the train/boat.

Also attached are route details from SBB Timetable.

Last modified on Feb 6, 2018 - 2:30 AM by rockoyster
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BarSal
BarSal
75 posts
active member
Feb 6, 2018 - 8:13 AM

Thx Rock ... that brochure had the fares on it 150CHF first class pp = 300CHF for 2 x one way. A bit over $A400. Trying to do due diligence to this whole perplexing 'pass' thing. Going with the first class 2 x 15 day flex option and adding reservation fees for panorama trains and add on fees for things like Jungfraujoch, Pilatus and Titilus and Brienz Rothorn (assuming one would do all these things!) it will be about $A3300 (cost of pass plus extras) vs $A3800 with no pass. I'd say go half fare card ($A1900) but I like the idea of not constantly buying tickets! Its easier to buy a mobile phone plan!!

rockoyster
rockoyster
3388 posts
expert
Feb 6, 2018 - 8:38 AM in reply to BarSal

Hi Sally,

You don't need a 1st Class Pass. With a 2nd Class Pass you can buy a Class upgrade for any particular trip. It will cost you half the difference between the 1st and 2nd class fares. We went with 2nd Class pass and upgraded on Glacier, Bernina and Gotthard only.

Wallaby Bob
Wallaby Bob
61 posts
active member
Feb 6, 2018 - 10:28 PM in reply to BarSal

Gday Sally,

Just remember you can only get discounted entry tickets where available, on the day you actually travel using one of your pre-paid Swiss Pass tickets. Some museums are free at any time however.

BarSal
BarSal
75 posts
active member
Feb 7, 2018 - 2:44 AM

Good information Rock!! We are doing three panorama trains. So I can upgrade when making the seat reservation? Buying a 2nd class 15 day flex pass is a big difference (about $A700 pp vs $A1100pp)! $A1400 for two people for 15 days is less than $100 a day ($50 each) that's good value!

Thx Bob - I am assuming you can always get tickets to any cable car or train and the pass just gives you a discount - eg 25% at Jungfraujoch and 50% at Pilatus?

rockoyster
rockoyster
3388 posts
expert
Feb 7, 2018 - 3:14 AM in reply to BarSal

Hi Sally,

You can't upgrade as part of the seat reservation process. You can buy a class upgrade for a specific trip at SBB on-line, using the SBB mobile app or at any ticket office. See under "ClassUpgrade for Specific Route" at www.sbb.ch/en/travelca rds-and-tickets/tickets-for-switzerland/class-upgrade.html. I had the devil's own job getting a class upgrade for the Gotthard Panorama Express and ended up going to the ticket shop at Lugano Station. GEX and BEX were no problem but you have to invoke a series of mystical incantations to get the SBB timetable to come up with the GPE route. Attached screenshots from SBB Timetable advanced search show the formula I subsequently devised for finding the right connections (departing Lugano 9:23). Second picture shows the "Search for more alternative services" option which is further down the advanced search page and needs to be ticked. (Alpenrose will no doubt reply shortly with a super simple method of achieving the same result!)

I think what Bob was saying was that you can only avail yourself of any Swiss Travel Pass Flex benefit on a day that you actually nominate to use it for travel (ie you fill in that date in the relevant box). In Bob's case he was hoping the pass would work for free entry to museums on days he wasn't actually travelling. It won't.

Please login to see the attached documents
Wallaby Bob
Wallaby Bob
61 posts
active member
Feb 7, 2018 - 3:49 AM in reply to BarSal

Yes Sally but only providing you have used part of your Swiss Travel pass on rail travel the same day you want to access Pilatus etc.

BarSal
BarSal
75 posts
active member
Feb 7, 2018 - 4:52 AM

That is really interesting information about using your "pass'. Bit like paying for an annual membership to the Qantas Club, but you can only use it if you are travelling that day! Good to know.

Yes, Rock, I think the tricky bit with the Gotthard Express is the train/boat combo! I read somewhere else its important to fill out the 'via' fields to ensure you are on a panorama train not a local train. You can use local trains to take the Gotthard route, just use the 'via' fields to ensure you don't get a direct train and end up in a tunnel - fast but not very scenic.

As we are in Luggano for five days (and staying near to the main train station) I am thinking we (the royal we) will go into the station and do the upgrade and book seats at the ticket window on day one. Do you think five days in advance will be enough in September? 13th of September to be exact. We will be in Chur a few days earlier - I presume it can be done at any ticket window? I will have hopefully booked and upgraded the Bernina Express before we get to Switzerland.

Lucas mentioned the SSB app. Has anyone downloaded and used that? I will probably be travelling with an iPad not a phone and relying on free wifi rather than a sim card.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3388 posts
expert
Feb 7, 2018 - 5:05 AM in reply to BarSal

Hi Sally,

Not sure how busy the GPE will be in September. In late May the 1st Class carriage was only 1/3rd full. I'd do the reservation at your earliest opportunity. The upgrade you can do in Lugano.

Just for interest I tried doing a reservation using the timetable search I sent previously. When you get to the reservation page that connection is not even shown but that cold be because I was trying for a date in July or somewhere too far in the future.

Last May I tried doing a reservation using Happy Rails but could not for the life of me figure out how to drive that website. I ended up making the reservation on the SBB site. It didn't offer you a choice of seating like the BEX reservations site does. When the paper work turned up we were quite relieved to find we were sitting together!

The SBB App is fantastic and will work on an iPad with Wi-Fi but is much more useful on a smartphone with data SIM. That's how I did my class upgrade and just showed the inspector the barcode on the phone. Download it and give it a try. It as a demo mode so you can try buying tickets/upgrades etc.

For added security with public wifi (including hotels) think about installing a VPN app on your iPad. I used VPN Unlimited. You can just get it for a month. It creates a secure link (a Virtual Private Network) between your iPad and the VPN server (in whichever country you choose).

Lucas
Lucas
5608 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 7, 2018 - 7:42 AM in reply to BarSal

Hi BarSal,

If you want to read more details on the Gotthard Panorama Express routing and what towns for the "via" fields in the timetable etc. check out our route page for the GPE here.

BarSal
BarSal
75 posts
active member
Feb 7, 2018 - 8:23 AM

Thx Lucas.

Yes Rock I will check out that app. I used to work at the bleeding edge of IT but it moves so fast I am left in the dust. There was not a GUI (graphical user interface) til 1993 - kids think the internet has always just been there!!

Love travelling with my iPad - large screen and no risk of unexpected data costs. I have a large format iPhone but would need to buy a cheap local sim. Leaving my Telstra sim in would require a second mortgage! Did you buy a local SIM in Switzerland?

rockoyster
rockoyster
3388 posts
expert
Feb 7, 2018 - 8:56 AM in reply to BarSal

Hi Sally,

Have a read of this www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/around-switzerland-via-stp-flex-and-sbb-mobile-app

ps I worked on a Leo III in the UK in 1969. Can you beat that for leading edge tech?

Last modified on Feb 7, 2018 - 9:17 AM by rockoyster
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rockoyster
rockoyster
3388 posts
expert
Feb 7, 2018 - 9:03 AM in reply to Lucas

Oh Lucas I think you might have dropped off the peleton on this thread. (Joke)

Last modified on Feb 7, 2018 - 9:19 AM by rockoyster
BarSal
BarSal
75 posts
active member
Feb 7, 2018 - 11:56 AM in reply to rockoyster

I was with Gartner in 1999 when we were searching for COBOL programmers to prevent the end of the known universe! In 69 I was in zoological research ... rats/mice... bits/bytes ... research is research.

Gartner turned the term cutting edge into bleeding edge. Now I struggle with the universal remote for the TV.

Lucas
Lucas
5608 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 7, 2018 - 12:05 PM in reply to rockoyster

I'm still not sure I get your meaning haha. (I even googled what a peleton is! Did you mean Peloton?). It is either a stationary bike or "the main group or pack of riders in a bike race". Let me know. :)

But I'm guessing you mean to indicate I double posted something? BarSal seemed unsure where she read the details on the GPE so I posted it. Thanks for the heads up. No harm no foul I think! :)

BarSal
BarSal
75 posts
active member
Feb 7, 2018 - 12:11 PM in reply to rockoyster

Hey Rock. That thread on Salt SIM was great info. Noted!! Thx.

Not familiar with Leo ... obviously pre the Apple operating system animal offerings. I worked with dBase II back in 83 :-)

Lucas
Lucas
5608 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 7, 2018 - 12:24 PM in reply to BarSal

Hi BarSal,

Hopefully I'm not dropping of a Peloton again! But another option other than a SIM Card is Traveler's Wifi (portable hotspot).

It's a very cool device which I used outside of Switzerland (they have several models) and it worked fantastically. Our Sim Card / Hot spot information page has more details. A handy option you or another member may find useful.

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