Saver Day Pass + Rigi Kulm or Oberalp Pass?

Saver Day Pass + Rigi Kulm or Oberalp Pass?

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tanayghosh
tanayghosh
5 posts
new member
Jan 3, 2018 - 5:48 PM

Hello everyone. I'm making my MySwissAlps debut with this question,and request your help :)

Four of us (my wife and I, and my parents) will be in Switzerland for 3 days in the last week of April. While we have a good idea of what we'll do on the first and third days, we are conflicted between two options for Day 2. I request all Switzerland experts to please let me know their thoughts. While I appreciate and prefer slow travel, I unfortunately don't have the luxury of time on this leg of our trip!

Day 1- Milan-Lauterbrunnen. Plan to spend a relaxing day exploring Lauterbrunnen and nearby villages on foot.

Day 2- Lauterbrunnen-Lucerne. Store our luggage at the train station and explore Lucerne for around 3 hours. We need to be in Chur by the end of the day, and post exploring Lucerne, our choices seem to be:

(a) Lucerne-Vitznau-Rigi Kulm-Weggis-Lucerne-collect luggage-Chur (via Zurich/Thalwil), or

(b) Lucerne-Andermatt (enduring 3 train changes; unlikely that we'll have time for the ferry to Fluelen) and then Andermatt-Chur (the Oberalp Pass section of the Glacier Express, but on a regular- and not panoramic- train)

Day 3- Chur-Tirano on the Bernina Express. Tirano-Lecco on Lake Como.

Does either itinerary look feasible to you? Considering what we would have experienced during the rest of our trip, which option would you recommend for Day 2 and why?

I realize that we are looking at a significant amount of time spent on trains. If you'd like to suggest any alternatives, please do by all means.

PS: I'm considering getting the new Saver Day Pass for Day 2 but it's not mentioned in the 'International Guests' section of the SBB website. I'm assuming I am still eligible to buy one?

Many thanks in advance :)

rockoyster
rockoyster
3908 posts
expert
Jan 3, 2018 - 9:40 PM in reply to tanayghosh

Hello tannayghosh and Welcome to MySwissAlps,

Your Day 2 looks very busy whichever way you go.

You can buy a Saver Day Pass but what are you using for the rest of your trip? The SDP won’t cover the Rigi cogwheel and cable car unless you also have a Swiss Half Fare Card.

I would have thought a 3-Day Swiss Travel Pass a better idea www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/chooserailpass .

Lucas
Lucas
8833 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 4, 2018 - 5:24 PM in reply to tanayghosh

Hi Tannatghosh,

Yes your trip is quite busy. It is up to you of course but I wouldn't stay in 3 towns over 3 days. I would restrict myself to preferably one or two towns at the most. Lauterbrunnen is a good choice as is Zermatt before taking the Glacier Express.

For that round-trip (Milan to Lake Como over 3 days) I would myself probably go Milan - Zermatt - Chur - Tirano - Lake Como. As I wouldn't want to do that much traveling around unless you have some "must-sees" in Luzern and Lauterbrunnen?

The 3 day Swiss Travel Pass would make the most sense to me as well.

Arno
Arno
11140 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 4, 2018 - 6:53 PM

Hi all,

The Saver Day Pass does cover Mount Rigi, but this is an exception. Basically it covers everything covered by the GA used by Swiss residents: most mountain transport is not included, but this one is.

The pass does come with quite some restrictions, so please see: www.myswissalps.com/on edaytravelpass/details. A Swiss Travel Pass would allow you to take some discounted or even free mountain transport around Lauterbrunnen: www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/validity

Personally I'd probably prefer plan (a) if the weather is good enough for clear views. Otherwise plan (b) would be very nice as well. I would not want to backtrack to Lucerne for the luggage though. Perhaps you can send it ahead: www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/practical/luggage. In that case you can descend from the Rigi via Arth-Goldau and continue to Chur from there.

Last modified on Jan 4, 2018 - 6:59 PM by Arno
rockoyster
rockoyster
3908 posts
expert
Jan 4, 2018 - 8:34 PM in reply to Arno

most mountain transport is not included, but this one is

The exception that proves the rule! 😎

tanayghosh
tanayghosh
5 posts
new member
Jan 5, 2018 - 6:21 PM

Many thanks everyone. Your insight is much appreciated!

I then understand that all aspects of the Lucerne-Rigi Kulm-Arth Goldau leg are covered by the SDP, which is reassuring.

My limitation is that I have already booked the Milan-Spiez train on Day 1 and would like to avoid buying a pass that day, and spend a more relaxed day considering the next 2 days are likely to be quite busy. Do you recommend staying near Spiez itself or heading to Lauterbrunnen as initially planned? I have also read that Lauterbrunnen/Wengen might not be the best destination in April!

The idea on Day 2 was to do the Interlaken-Lucerne leg of the Golden Pass route, even though I am happy to reconsider this plan depending on what we do on Day 1.

Day 3 is pretty much set.

Last modified on Jan 5, 2018 - 6:28 PM by tanayghosh
Lucas
Lucas
8833 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 6, 2018 - 7:00 AM in reply to tanayghosh

I think you will find Lauterbrunnen or Wengen more interesting than Spiez. The last week of April is "between seasons" and activities will be limited certainly but it still should hold more interest that Spiez.

Last modified on Jan 6, 2018 - 4:17 PM by Arno
tanayghosh
tanayghosh
5 posts
new member
Jan 6, 2018 - 1:31 PM

Perfect. Thanks again! We've settled on Rigi Kulm as our first option . Can you guys please weigh in on whether the following plan is feasible (I know we'll be rushing a bit, but then again we don't know when we'll return to Switzerland so...)

Day 1- Reach Spiez by 10 am. Drop the luggage at the train station for transfer to Tirano (which I should receive anytime post 9 am on Day 3, right?). Take in a bit of Spiez. Head to Wengen. Stroll for an hour or two. Walk down to Lauterbrunnen. Explore a bit and stay there.

Day 2 (with a Saver Day Pass)- Head to Brienz to visit the Ballenberg museum (free with the SDP too, right?), continue to Lucerne. Explore the city for a couple of hours. Head to Vitznau by boat, Rigi Kulm by train, spend some time there and head back down to Arth-Goldau. Head to Chur and stay the night.

Plan B if Rigi isn't doable because of the weather- From Lucerne, head to Andermatt and catch a normal train on the Glacier Express route to Chur.

Day 3- Catch the Bernina Express until Tirano, and head to somewhere on Lake Como, where we'll stay for the night.

Last modified on Jan 6, 2018 - 1:31 PM by tanayghosh
rockoyster
rockoyster
3908 posts
expert
Jan 6, 2018 - 8:01 PM in reply to tanayghosh

The SDP only covers transport, not museums, so you will need to pay to visit Ballenberg. Too bad you already paid for the train from Domodossola to Spiez otherwise Swiss Travel Pass would have been good for you.

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Jan 7, 2018 - 1:13 AM in reply to tanayghosh

>> Four of us (my wife and I, and my parents) will be in Switzerland for 3 days in the last week of April ... (a) Lucerne-Vitznau-Rigi Kulm-Weggis-Lucerne-collect luggage-Chur (via Zurich/Thalwil)

That will be OK if you are there between 28-30 April, but the cable car between Rigi Kaltbad and Weggis is closed for maintenance between 3–27 Apr 2018.

>> Head to Wengen. Stroll for an hour or two. Walk down to Lauterbrunnen. Explore a bit and stay there.

How are you planning to get to Wengen from Lauterbrunnen? Walking from Wengen down to Lauterbrunnen is a steep walk and will be hard on the knees. If you particularly wanted to do that hike, hiking up and getting the train back might be a better idea. I would also recommend footwear with a good grip, as there may be snow on the trail, or muddy/slippery patches due to melting snow or rain. I have not done that hike myself, but I understand that it is mostly in the forest without a lot of views. Another contributor in the forum did it recently in the uphill direction. It might be worth asking her about it:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/trip-report-6-days-montreux-and-wengen

>> Does either itinerary look feasible to you?

Feasible is subjective, but if you have planned it out with the Swiss Timetable and are happy with the travel times (taking into account when sunset will be) then that is the main thing.

Alpenrose

Last modified on Jan 7, 2018 - 1:14 AM by Removed user
tanayghosh
tanayghosh
5 posts
new member
Jan 7, 2018 - 8:04 AM

Thanks both. Yes, I absolutely regret buying a ticket for the Domodossola-Spiez leg as a pass would've made more sense that day.

Although it is disappointing to note that the Ballenberg Museum will not be covered by the SDP, I guess it's a sign from above that we are looking to pack too much in a very short time! :)

Thanks for the heads up on the cable car between Rigi Kaltbad and Weggis being closed for maintenance between 3–27 Apr 2018, however the Vitznau-Rigi Kaltbad-Rigi Kulm-Arth Goldau stretch should be unaffected, right?

For the Lauterbrunnen-Wengen bit, from your suggestions it's apparent that I should probably limit my options to either take the train both ways, or hike up from Lauterbrunnen and take the train back down from Wengen.

PS: On Day 2, since Ballenberg is out, I'm contemplating starting the day early with an hour or so exploring Grindelwald. Is it worth the detour or should we head straight to Interlaken and onwards to Lucerne?

Arno
Arno
11140 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 8, 2018 - 1:55 PM

Hi Tanayghosh,

Grindelwald as a village is not really a sightseeing destination. It's all about the surrounding scenery. You can take a train from Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg, enjoy the view for half an hour or so and take a train to Grindelwald. Then continue to Lucerne. The Lauterbrunnen - Kleine Scheidegg - Grindelwald train is not included in the Saver Day Pass, but very scenic.

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Jan 9, 2018 - 4:22 AM in reply to tanayghosh

>> Vitznau-Rigi Kaltbad-Rigi Kulm-Arth Goldau stretch should be unaffected, right?

That's right, the trains on each side of the Rigi operate year round, it's just the service frequency that varies with the season.

Alpenrose

tanayghosh
tanayghosh
5 posts
new member
Jan 10, 2018 - 5:31 AM

Thanks both, and to everyone who helped out. I think I have a good idea of how we'll spend our time in Switzerland now.

PS: I also came across an article on Seat61 which helped me book the Bernina Express (Chur-Tirano) for EUR 29.90 on bahn.com, saving me the need to buy a Saver Day Pass for that day. Hope those who stumble across this post later can benefit from it:

www.seat61.com/Bernina Express.htm#Zurich_to_ Tirano_by_Bernina_Expr ess_for_29

rockoyster
rockoyster
3908 posts
expert
Jan 10, 2018 - 6:20 AM in reply to tanayghosh

I've seen that before but never heard of anyone using it as most people are travelling round on a STP. It is more than 90 days out from you trip so I guess you weren't able to get seat reservations yet. Don't forget. 😎

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