Oct 8, 2014 - 7:01 AM
Hi again susanb,
Actually this can't be checked yet as the timetable for January will not be released until around mid October. Currently there are no direct trains from Spiez to Venice that I am aware of, nor have I heard of any direct trains being offered in the new timetable. There's always a change in Milan. Just be clear: you can book Spiez to Venice as a single ticket through Rail Europe. I just warned in the other post about them not showing all the connections if you fill out that trip. But if it happens to show the connection you plan to take (I saw the one departing from Spiez at 8.36 AM), then you can just book that in one go. It's still with a change in Milan though. If you have another departure time in mind, then book the two legs separately and more options will be shown.
You can book through the SBB site, but in your case it makes sense to just buy the tickets and the rail pass of choice in one order from your local reseller (Rail Europe). They ship the documents from Australia while SBB ships from Switzerland which results in high shipping costs (I think around CHF 80 or so). You can get an additional discount with Rail Europe, and pay in your own currency (no exchange rate costs), so all in all it should be a good option.
Apart from shipping, SBB also offers to collect the tickets from a staffed SBB station. That's a possibility, although it's more convenient to have them at hand right away. That goes for the rail pass especially, which can be activated by the staff of the train to Basel, so it won't take you time upon arrival. You can switch to the next connecting train immediately.
I hope this answers your questions.