Impossible to book Gotthard Panoramic Express

Impossible to book Gotthard Panoramic Express

Print this page
Create an account to receive an e-mail when someone replies to this thread
Posts: 57
This thread is closed. You are welcome to log in and submit a new thread.
kslewis
kslewis
26 posts
active member
Apr 8, 2018 - 3:35 AM

Hi all

After hours of research and emails to booking sites I think I have to give up trying to book the Gotthard Panoramic Express online with my Swiss Half Fare Card.

It is easy to book the reserved seat but impossible to book the train/ferry.

I understand that I can do this at a train ticket office once I arrive in Switzerland but I am travelling on my own and with luggage and do not want to waste time and energy doing this. I just want to book it online, ie. reservation and train/ferry ticket.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3345 posts
expert
Apr 8, 2018 - 5:54 AM in reply to kslewis

Hello kslewis and Welcome to MySwissAlps,

It can be a bit tricky to actually find the right connection to buy a ticket. I found it easier to break the journey into two parts when searching the Swiss Train Timetable (www.myswissalps.com/ti metable).

Which direction are you travelling?

If heading north search for Lugano departing 9:23 to Flüelen via Göschenen. If heading south search for Flüelen departing 14:10 to Lugano via Göschenen.

Then you need to get a boat ticket from Flüelen (See) to Luzern Bahnhofquai (or vice verse) using the advanced search and turning off all forms of transport apart from Ship.

You should see the connections on the timetable but won't be able to buy tickets until 30 days out from travel.

Hope that helps.

kslewis
kslewis
26 posts
active member
Apr 8, 2018 - 6:27 AM in reply to rockoyster

Thank you very much rockoyster

I am travelling north and worked out finally how to book the reservation for the train part, ie. it does not work unless you input all the stations (in the via field).

I know that I am too early to actually book the train itself but was unclear whether I book it from Lugano to Fluelen or Luzern (as the website I was at stated "Luzern"). I assumed that was because the Luzern destination actually covered the boat part.

It seems from what you have said that I should book train from Lugano to Fluelen and then go to the advanced search and book ship from Fluelen to Lucerne? Hope I can find that advanced search.

I am actually amazed how difficult it is to book things in Switzerland online. A lot of the sites including SSB have links which fail.

Seriously whoever operates this specialty tour ought to have a decent website, with a contact section and most of all a book function for the whole thing.

I was going to just give up but determined now to make it work.

I also think it is not very advanced that you cannot save the Swiss Half fare Card to an app so you can just show that instead of having to keep the paper version I bought online

rockoyster
rockoyster
3345 posts
expert
Apr 8, 2018 - 6:54 AM in reply to kslewis

"whoever operates this specialty tour ought to have a decent website"

It is not so much a speciality tour as a train and boat bundle. Many people travel with a Swiss Travel Pass so only need a reservation but no tickets. That makes life easier.

I haven't experienced broken links with the SBB Timetable and wold look things up on it several times a day.

Luzern is the German spelling for Lucerne.

Pity you didn't see this thread bit.ly/2GJzAwv or www.myswissalps.com/go tthardpanoramaexpress/ packages.

You can't reserve (ie book) seats on the boat. You just need a ticket.

When you look for the boat you should get to a screen like the first attachment. Click change extended search. You will see attachment 2. Deselect everything except ship. and search.

You should see attachment 3. That's the trip you want.

You can keep all your tickets on the SBB Mobile app. Just not the Swiss Half Fare Card.

Hope that helps.

Please login to see the attached documents
Arno
Arno
10333 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 8, 2018 - 10:48 AM

Hi Kslewis,

One of the easier options to buy the train portion ticket for Swiss Half Fare Card holders is through https://www.trainline. eu/search/lugano/fluel en. You'll find that link on the last page that Rockoyster shared as well. Anyway, if you click it, it has already filled out Lugano to Flüelen. Now all you have to do is select your date and departure time (e.g. 8:00 AM), and then click the passenger to indicate the Swiss Half Fare Card discount: click "Loyalty & discount cards" and select the "CFF SBB - Half-Fare Card" as they call it there. It will show many trains, including the 9:23 AM direct train that you need. All the others are not direct. A pity they don't label it "Gotthard Panorama Express" there, but that's the train you need.

Last modified on Apr 8, 2018 - 10:50 AM by Arno
kslewis
kslewis
26 posts
active member
Apr 9, 2018 - 3:07 AM

I really appreciate all the help but still cannot do it.

I have already seen all the links/threads you mention.

Trainline does not list the 9.23 direct train at all.

SBB cannot even process the reservation-see screenshot below. It had a link to an order you could make which they would process by email but when you click on it-nothing

I cannot find the boat booking menu at all.

There is conflicting information as well ie. do you book the train from Lugano to Fluelen or Lugano to Lucerne.

Please login to see the attached documents
rockoyster
rockoyster
3345 posts
expert
Apr 9, 2018 - 3:29 AM in reply to kslewis

Are you trying to reserve a seat or buy a ticket? I thought from your initial post you already had a reservation on the train.

When you use the word "book" do you mean reserve a seat or buy a ticket? They are two separate things. In fact once you have a reserved seat you can buy a ticket for any train on that day that goes Lugano to Flüelen via Göschenen. The ticket covers the route not the specific train. Same for the boat leg. You don't have to buy a ticket for a specific departure and there is no reservations on the boat.

For the boat try fahrplan.sbb.ch/bin/qu ery.exe/en and complete as per attached. NB You need to select Advanced Search and Deselect all methods of transport apart from ship at bottom of form. You won't be able to actually buy a ticket yet but you can see how it works.

If you have your reservation and you are now trying to buy tickets for 30 May you can't. You have to wait until less than 30-days from travel.

Having said all that there does seem to be a problem with the reservation link discussed at bit.ly/2GJzAwv. I just tried it and got the same error you did. I'd say the SBB website is having a bit of a turn.

Last modified on Apr 9, 2018 - 3:36 AM by rockoyster
Please login to see the attached documents
kslewis
kslewis
26 posts
active member
Apr 9, 2018 - 3:37 AM in reply to rockoyster

Haha

No I understood you but maybe I was not clear myself.

I knew how to book the reservation for the train seat but had not done it as I wanted to be sure the rest of the booking would work.

I understand that I cannot book the train itself until 30 days out.

I did try to see how to get a ticket for the train/boat by inputting an earlier date but could not see what you advised to do-see below

When you look for the boat you should get to a screen like the first attachment. Click change extended search. You will see attachment 2. Deselect everything except ship. and search.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3345 posts
expert
Apr 9, 2018 - 6:40 AM in reply to kslewis

Have another look at what I added to my previous response as another suggestion for finding the boat. You may find that easier.

Or using the modern timetable look at Step 1 attached. Put in the from and to and date and time and then click Advanced Search at the right hand bottom of the screenshot. That will take you the the screen shown at Attachment 1 in my even earlier post. You should be able to follow on from there.

For some reason even if you try to buy for 9 May you get the attached error.

If all else fails you can just buy the tickets at any station in Switzerland when you are there and not lugging bags and have a spare moment.

Funnily enough I had problems buying a Class Upgrade for these trips and ended up doing it at Lugano Station one day when I was just wandering around. Did anyone mention that if you want to get up to the top deck on the steamer and access the dining room you need a first class ticket?

Last modified on Apr 9, 2018 - 6:47 AM by rockoyster
Please login to see the attached documents
Arno
Arno
10333 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 9, 2018 - 9:20 AM

Hi Kslewis,

It's weird that you don't see that train through the Trainline link. You did click the "Later" button to make it show more trains, right? Attached is a screenshot. And don't fill out a Monday as the train does not operate then.

Please login to see the attached documents
rockoyster
rockoyster
3345 posts
expert
Apr 9, 2018 - 9:58 AM in reply to rockoyster

You'll be pleased to know that whatever was causing the seat reservation problem at SBB is now fixed.

kslewis
kslewis
26 posts
active member
Apr 10, 2018 - 11:56 PM

Thank you both so much

I have had to stop and do some work so I can afford my Swiss holiday-expensive country even without the unfavourable AUD exchange rate.

I will try again on the weekend.

Lucas
Lucas
5491 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 11, 2018 - 5:12 AM in reply to kslewis

Be sure to have a look here for help on saving money - costs do add up quickly here!

rockoyster
rockoyster
3345 posts
expert
Apr 15, 2018 - 11:15 PM in reply to kslewis

How did you go? See more info here bit.ly/2EOvQIv.

Last modified on Apr 15, 2018 - 11:19 PM by rockoyster
kslewis
kslewis
26 posts
active member
Apr 15, 2018 - 11:48 PM in reply to rockoyster

Thank you for your interest

As I cannot book the train itself until the 30th I thought i would revisit and try to do whole thing then in one go.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3345 posts
expert
Apr 16, 2018 - 12:07 AM in reply to kslewis

Just take care reservations don't sell out.

kslewis
kslewis
26 posts
active member
Apr 16, 2018 - 12:10 AM

Ok I would have been keener to reserve early but all you can do is request a window seat and no guarantee. On the Bernina Express you could actually view and book a seat although you could not find out which way the seat faces or which side of the train you were on. Not great.

kslewis
kslewis
26 posts
active member
Apr 29, 2018 - 12:56 AM in reply to rockoyster

Hi rockoyster

I finally summoned the energy to have another go.

I booked my seat reservation on the train but cannot book the train ticket or boat until tomorrow.

I did at last work out how to do this thanks to your invaluable information below. I copy and paste this information below for other poor overseas travellers as it does not appear anywhere else and you could never find it by guessing what to input, especially the boat part.

One last question, I hope, The train arrives in Fluelen at 11.47 and there is a boat at 12 and at 1pm. I do not know how far the walk from the train to the boat is but more to the point I am guessing here that the boat does not wait for the train and so I would be better off booking the 1pm boat?

If heading north search for Lugano departing 9:23 to Flüelen via Göschenen. If heading south search for Flüelen departing 14:10 to Lugano via Göschenen.

Then you need to get a boat ticket from Flüelen (See) to Luzern Bahnhofquai (or vice verse) using the advanced search and turning off all forms of transport apart from Ship.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3345 posts
expert
Apr 29, 2018 - 2:43 AM in reply to kslewis

Hello again kslewis,

Glad you are pretty much sorted.

You wrote "The train arrives in Fluelen at 11.47 and there is a boat at 12 and at 1pm. I do not know how far the walk from the train to the boat is but more to the point I am guessing here that the boat does not wait for the train and so I would be better off booking the 1pm boat?"

The GPEX is designed to connect with the 12:00 steamer. It is only a 100 meters or so walk from the platform to the boat dock. You won't miss it. Even, in the extremely unlikely event that you did, your ticket from Flüelen to Luzern would be good for any boat on that day. You can't reserve a specific departure on the boat.

Hope you enjoy the trip. The boat ride is great.

ps Don't forget you need to upgrade to 1st Class if you want to get on the top deck or access the dining room which is on the top deck.

kslewis
kslewis
26 posts
active member
Apr 29, 2018 - 4:19 AM in reply to rockoyster

Awesome thank you and yes I will upgrade to first class fo the boat

More about Swiss trains and rail passes

More on MySwissAlps.com

Swiss tips in your mailbox

Sign up to receive our newsletter and the latest forum messages. The best way to prepare for your trip!

Sign up

Get a customized itinerary for your trip

Let Swiss travel consultants create a customized itinerary. They will book your entire trip.

More
© MySwissAlps.com 2002-2018