How long will you be in Switzerland?
Much of the Jungfrau region of the BO is car-free. Another good reason for some form of rail pass. Each kind has its features, both + and -.
Arno has definitely picked the best choice for your stated needs. At the next level of detail, there are differences in details from pass to pass.
In particular, once you are not traveling on public transport between population centers, different passes may offer different kinds of discounts. For public transport ( as opposed to excursion or ski lift type transport) the Swiss Travel Pass almost always offers travel with no additional costs.
Once you have an actual itinerary laid out, it might be worth another look at other options, but almost certainly the Swiss Travel Pass is the best for your needs as stated. Arno and Annika keep up on all the passes and details if you need more information than this website offers:
The variety and options can be confusing.
The timetable will help you in your travelplanning:
Note that it will tell you if the key scenic cableways in the BO are open if you try to use it for a particular date. Check Wengen Wengiboden to Männlichen LWM on various dates for a test.
Off hand, I think they will be shut down for their own spring break, and re-start on May 25th.
Note that those are the precise names for the large cabin cableway ( die Luftseilbahn; "LSB"). The generic names Wengen and Männlichen will work, but the query may result in a display of or offer more stations.
The cograil train runs all year. Schilthorn should be accessible in the Spring. ....I think they take a break in around November. The timetable will tell you.
Altitude defines the weather in the seasons; no surprise to you, I'm sure.
<<"Our major interests are cultural heritage, spring hiking, and wine. As a disclaimer, our children spend their summers in the American Rockies, so while not exposed to technical climbing do quite well with mid-level hikes.">
Do you have Swiss family background? if so,which language region? More to the point for the BO - Do you speak or read German? If your history is Anabaptist, the Emmental is a rich source of Anabaptist cultural heritage. Is your interest in the city of Bern or the canton?
April in the high Alps provides somewhere between Winter hiking and no hiking. Popular trails are groomed during ski season. By April, the conditions deteriorate, and the trails are not maintained until re-opening in early to mid-June ( depending on snow pack and slides that block trails.) Quite a few hotels and restaurants take a Spring break...but many are open.
Spring hiking is possible at lower altitudes, in the BO as well as elsewhere.
<<" so while not exposed to technical climbing do quite well with mid-level hikes.">">>
There are extensive map resources, including those which grade the hiking trails by difficulty. More detail on that if you are interested
A useful bit of light reading about the Jungfrau region, focusing on Wengen:
A map oriented toward Summer:
www.swissholidayco.com /Public/Assets/User/fi les/Map-of-Jungfrauregion1.jpg
Have you tasted any Swiss wines?
There have been a lot of changes in Swiss wines in the past decade or so, especially in improved reds from the Bündner Herrschaft. I don't like to drink extract of sawdust, as featured in some California reds, so I appreciate the many excellent Pinot Noirs (Blauburgunder) made without oak, or with little oak . That has been the norm until the past few years.
The Swiss experiments....and they still are that...with wood provide wines with the label "barrique." I don't think they have got that figured out yet, but "barrique" wines are trendy, and sometimes cannot be avoided.
You will also find a variety of grapes in the whites.. Some chardonnay is now grown in Switzerland, but they are not up to speed vs. the French. I like the Sauvignon Blancs that are appearing. Definitely not New Zealand style.