Hi flgirl, and welcome to MySwissAlps!
>> What is the best way to get to Mt. Pilatus at the end of October (26th)?
You can go both ways by cogwheel train from Alpnachstad. To get to Alpnachstad from Luzern, you have the choice of boat or train.
>> I understand the golden ticket is not available on this day, would you suggest the silver ticket?
Neither the Golden Round Trip nor the Silver Round Trip can be made on 26 October, because the cableway is closed for maintenance. As mentioned above, you can go both ways on the cogwheel train from Alpnachstad.
>> Would we have enough time if we left Lucerne at approximately 1:00 pm.
Yes. You can use the Swiss Timetable to plan your trip:
A possible itinerary could be:
Depart Luzern 13:38 by boat to Alpnachstad
Arrive Alpnachstad 14:50
Depart Alpnachstad 15:05 on cogwheel train to Pilatus Kulm
Arrive Pilatus Kulm 15:35
The last cogwheel train down is at 17:45. Then you would get the train back to Luzern.
>> Also, will scenic lake cruises be available at this time of year? Can you recommend a good cruise company?
Yes, but schedules are more limited than in summer. There is a lot of useful information here:
The boat timetable is here:
>> Can tickets be purchased on the spot?
Yes. Have you considered getting any sort of transport pass? Depending on your other travel plans, it might be worth considering a Tell-Pass or a Swiss Travel Pass. The Pilatus trip and lake cruises would be free with both.
This information might assist you:
Swiss Travel Pass
How to choose a pass
www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/chooserailpass