Best rail pass for my 5 day trip based in Lucerne

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Euro2018
Euro2018
30 posts
active member
Mar 14, 2018 - 8:46 PM

Hello all,

Myself , my wife , 5 year and 3 year old planning to spend 4 nights in Luzern as the base. Please find below my itinerary as we will be traveling from Tirano to Luzern and then head to Paris

Day1--> Tirano to Chur (BEX) and then to Luzern via Zurich

is there a only short way to get to Luzern, we wanted to take BEX for sure from Tirano to Chur

Day 2 --> Luzern to Mt Tiltis and come back, roam around Luzern

Day 3 --> Lake Luzern and Mt Rigi and come back, roam around Luzern

Day 4 -->go to Rhine falls and spend day there or go to Luzern to Montreux using Golden Pass Train and come back to Luzern on the same day ( when return are there any short route , since Luzern to Montreux is 5 hrs in Golden Pass train)

Day 5 --> Luzern to Zurich and either take train or fly to Paris ( which is better option),

Experts, please let me know if the above itinerary looks good or you have a better option for Day 4 as I am not sure about Day 4

Also with the above itinerary, which pass would benefit me like Tell Pass or Swiss Travel pass. Does the swiss travel pass covers train all the way from Tirano to Luzern including BEX ?

Also, i do see in this website swiss pass covers BEX but not seat ? what does that mean, I am confused with that .

Thank you a ton for spending time and responding .


rockoyster
rockoyster
4066 posts
expert
Mar 14, 2018 - 9:30 PM in reply to Euro2018

Hello Euro2018,

Swiss Travel Pass covers BEX but you must have seat reservations which you can get here www.rhb.ch/en/panorami c-trains/bernina-express#cart.

Your kids will travel free but will need BEX reservations for their own seats.

BEX does not arrive Chur until 18:20 and you still have a few hours to go to reach Luzern.

STP covers Chur to Luzern see www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/validity.

Day 4 to Montreux would be a long day. The Swiss Train Timetable (www.myswissalps.com/ti metable) will give you fastest route back to Luzern by default.

Train to Paris is probably better than messing about in airports. Again you can use timetable to check route to Paris.

You should read “How to choose the best travel pass” (www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/chooserailpass). Tell Pass may be good for Luzern but not for such wide area of travel you propose.

Euro2018
Euro2018
30 posts
active member
Mar 14, 2018 - 11:18 PM

Thanks Mr Rockoyster,

I am still confused when STP covers BEX but i still need to have seat reservation ? So let us say now i see the fare from Tirano to Chur is 78CHF , with STP I still have to pay 78 CHF per adult . right ?

for Day 4 do you have any better option please ?

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Mar 15, 2018 - 12:27 AM in reply to Euro2018

>> I am still confused when STP covers BEX but i still need to have seat reservation ?

Tickets and reservations are two separate things. A ticket (or Swiss Travel Pass) covers the cost of the fare for the journey. A reservation allocates a specific seat for your exclusive use.

>> So let us say now i see the fare from Tirano to Chur is 78CHF , with STP I still have to pay 78 CHF per adult . right ?

Wrong ;-) A seat reservation will cost you CHF 14 or CHF 10 for each adult, depending on the time of year. The Swiss Travel Pass will cover the fare.

Go through the process as if buying a ticket, then after putting in how many passengers there are, a Tickets/Reductions box will appear for each passenger, with a drop down list. Choose your pass from the drop-down list, and it will calculate the cost for the reservation only.

Children aged 0-6 travel for free if not occupying a seat of their own. If you would like a seat each for your children, then you must pay the reservation fee and purchase a half-fare ticket for each child as well. That will be clear during the booking process.

Alpenrose

Last modified on Mar 15, 2018 - 11:38 AM by Arno
Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Mar 15, 2018 - 12:45 AM in reply to Euro2018

>> for Day 4 do you have any better option please ?

If the full Golden Pass route Luzern to Montreux is too long a day for you (especially the children), I would consider two other options:

www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne

  • Take the Golden Pass route as far as Interlaken Ost, then visit one or more of the Jungfrau Region villages: Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, Mürren or Grindelwald. My choice would be Wengen or Mürren. The Swiss Travel Pass will cover you as far as any of those villages.

If you have a Swiss Travel Pass, the cable car from Mürren to the Schilthorn is also free in 2018. As far as I can see, you have not told us what time of year you will be in Switzerland, so I will mention that the cable car to the Schilthorn is not operating between 23-27 April 2018, or between 12 November and early December 2018.

I wouldn't bother with the Rhine Falls. They are nice enough, but there are much more spectacular places to go in Switzerland when you have such a short time to spend there.

Alpenrose

Last modified on Mar 15, 2018 - 11:40 AM by Arno
rockoyster
rockoyster
4066 posts
expert
Mar 15, 2018 - 1:34 AM in reply to Removed user

Hi Alpenrose666,

I forgot that "Children aged 0-6 travel for free if not occupying a seat of their own. If you would like a seat each for your children, then you must pay the reservation fee and purchase a half-fare ticket for each child as well." Thanks for clarifying. As you say it is clear once you start to work your way through the booking process.

I reckon that is just plain mean charging CHF46 for 3-year old. 😠

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Mar 15, 2018 - 2:15 AM in reply to rockoyster

>> I reckon that is just plain mean charging CHF46 for 3-year old.

I agree. I don't understand their logic, when children 6-16 travel free with the free Swiss Family Card.

So children under 6 have to pay a fare to occupy a seat, and those aged 6-16 don't!

Their designation of ages also is unclear, i.e. 0-6 and 6-16. How are people to figure out which category a 6-year-old or a 16-year old falls into? They should say 0-5 and 6-15.

Alpenrose

Last modified on Mar 15, 2018 - 2:15 AM by Removed user
Lucas
Lucas
9837 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 15, 2018 - 7:54 AM in reply to Removed user

They do like the #6 don't they? :)

I do often see "under 6" is free and 6-15 is free with the family card....using the #5 by SBB would clarify it a little better!

Euro2018
Euro2018
30 posts
active member
Mar 15, 2018 - 2:16 PM

Thank you so much for all the experts .

I am convinced to get Swiss Travel Pass. I do see where STP is valid but my followup questions

1. I get 2 adults STP and 2 Family card for my kids , upon buy I will receive the STP and family cards in mail to my address . right ?

2. Please provide me the valid site to buy as sbb website is not user friendly

3. * With STP, i dont have to book any trains within swiss, right like for example while traveling from Chur to Zurich and Luzern

to the follow up question, how do i book train from Luzern to Paris via Basel, should i book just Basel to Paris and use STP from Luzern to Basel ?

fyi, I cant thank enough to this website and to people like you all !!!!

Euro2018
Euro2018
30 posts
active member
Mar 15, 2018 - 3:17 PM

It is weird, today i dont see an option in BEX to select purchase a half-fare ticket or Swiss Family Card as Alpenrpse666 mentioned above ?

I am very positive that i see that yesterday but not today, i see for kids from 6-16 but not for 0-6 today ??? looks like full fare for kids 0-6 ??

www.rhb.ch/en/panorami c-trains/bernina-express#cart

Last modified on Mar 15, 2018 - 3:18 PM by Euro2018
Lucas
Lucas
9837 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 15, 2018 - 5:34 PM in reply to Euro2018

Hi Euro2018,

  1. You just need one Swiss Family Pass for both kids and it will come on your order yes
  2. You can find a list of retailers here. Just enter your country of residence and hit search. If you click on SBB on this list you'll be redirected to their tourist site which is user-friendly.
  3. Yes for all trains not the Glacier Express, Bernina Express and Gotthard Panorama Express. You do have to buy the odd ticket though, if you go to Jungfraujoch for example and the STP doesn't fully cover the route.
  4. Yes for Basel to Paris.

  5. Kids 5 and under are free. On the Bernina Express though they must pay half-fare if you want them to have their own seat. Yes, it is bizarre as older kids are free on the Swiss Family Card and they get a seat.
rockoyster
rockoyster
4066 posts
expert
Mar 15, 2018 - 8:07 PM in reply to Lucas

Bizarre indeed. Following the exchange with Alpenrose yesterday I emailed RHB as follows:

”I am booking for a trip on the Bernina Express using a Swiss Travel Pass.

Could you please explain why I have to pay for a half-fare ticket for a child aged 4 but my other child aged 10 can travel free with a Swiss Family Card.

I am reserving seats for both of them.

Seems very mean to me.”

I got a response saying:

”I am sorry that is a error on the website. To have it right you need to u insert also for the child under 6 years that it is between 6 and 16 years old that way you are able to choose the reduction Swiss Family Card.”

Maybe the change in how the website works means they are in the throes of fixing the error? In the mean time just fib. 🤓

I also suggested, per Alpenrose’s comments, they align their age categories with the STP. No response on that.

Last modified on Mar 15, 2018 - 8:15 PM by rockoyster
Euro2018
Euro2018
30 posts
active member
Mar 15, 2018 - 8:29 PM in reply to rockoyster

As per the email if i book the ticket for my 5 year and 3 year, i chose 6-16 and select Swiss Family Card and get the reduced fare . right ?

Also, i see in SBB I am not allowed to select Swiss Family Card for my 3 year , however rail europe and happyrail allow me to select 2 family card with no charge . My question is , is that necessary that i have 2 family card for my 2 kids on board especially when I am on BEX where I am going to select 2 kids seat

experts please throw some light here as happyrail and raileurope are safe and reliable to buy STP

rockoyster
rockoyster
4066 posts
expert
Mar 15, 2018 - 9:09 PM in reply to Euro2018

Correct. Just nominate your kids as being 6-16. But you will have to say they have a Swiss Family Card (even though they don’t) in order to get the right price. Unless they fix the website soon and enable you to pick right age group.

You don’t need a Swiss Family Card for your kids. They travel free anyway. SFC is only for kids 6-15.

Last modified on Mar 15, 2018 - 9:25 PM by rockoyster
Euro2018
Euro2018
30 posts
active member
Mar 15, 2018 - 9:32 PM

Thank you. RAil europe and BB is reliable as SBB to get STP?

rockoyster
rockoyster
4066 posts
expert
Mar 15, 2018 - 9:37 PM in reply to Euro2018

Any of the retailers mentioned here www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/price are reliable.

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Mar 16, 2018 - 1:57 AM in reply to rockoyster

>> Maybe the change in how the website works means they are in the throes of fixing the error?

Or maybe not! See Arno's post of May 24, 2017 - 4:12 PM here:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/seat-reservation-in-panoramic-trains

It seems nothing has changed!

Alpenrose

rockoyster
rockoyster
4066 posts
expert
Mar 16, 2018 - 2:23 AM in reply to Removed user

Hmmm. I wondered why no one had asked the question before yet had a nagging feeling that I'd read something about it earlier.

I have an email from RHB saying it is OK to fib.

Maybe Euro2018 should get similar confirmation. AND, just to be on the safe side, get a Swiss Family Card along with their Swiss Travel Pass through Happy Rails even though kids are too young to need one.

I wondered if I just got an ill-informed help desk operative but It seems RHB provided the same answer back in 2017 - fib (or book off-line). See www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/permalink/fQ J8NKDW9mqS6v8AAFcRTQ

What a weird thing.

Arno
Arno
11554 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 19, 2018 - 4:20 PM

Hi everyone,

RhB expects to solve this when their new web shop is ready by the end of 2018. Meanwhile you can buy seat reservations for children under 6 from other websites, or make sure you have a Swiss Family Card for them (normally only required for kids between 6 and 15).

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