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SBB link and SBB mobile ticket purchase question

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Albi
Albi
14 posts
new member
Nov 13, 2019 - 3:38 AM

Hi,

I am planning a trip to Switzerland June 2020 starting June 17 for approximately 8-11 days. Tentatively we will fly into Zurich and will stay overnight at the following destinations: Zurich, Morges, Montreux, Zermatt, Lauterbrunnen, Lucerne. We will leave Switzerland and head to France via Basel to Colmar. I start to do the match to find what would be the best trail pass option for our trip, 8 or 15 days Swiss Pass or half fare card.

With Swiss Travel Pass, we just jump into the train and show the pass without any seat reservation except for scenic train ride. With half fare card, we just purchase the ticket with 50% discount and show the half fare card on the train. Is this correct?

When I look at the fare at SBB link from my laptop, the fare is default at 50% off. But when I look at SBB mobile, it is full fare. So if I purchase half fare card via SBB mobile, will it give an option to reduce the fare at final payment? CHF 5 for seat reservation, do I need to purchase seat reservation?

Scenic train ride question - We are keen in landscape photography, so we are rather not spend a straight 8+ hour train ride. We are looking to break the ride as follows: 1) Golden Pass from Montreux to Zweisimmen, then change to regular train to Zermatt to arrive late afternoon. 2) After one night in Zermatt, we take a train to (Thun, Spiez, Interlaken, not sure where to base to conveniently exploring Thun, Bern, Cruise on Lake Brienz, Lauterbrunnen, Murren, Schilthorn. 3) After few days, we will take Golden Pass from Interlaken to Lucerne. Will we miss out any spectacular view by skipping the Glacier express route?

Looking at SBB timetable, how do I distinguish between regular train versus Golden Pass train?

Thanks in advance for your reply!

rockoyster
rockoyster
7911 posts
expert
Nov 13, 2019 - 4:27 AM in reply to Albi

Hello Albi and welcome to MySwissAlps

"With Swiss pass, we just jump into the train and show the pass without any seat reservation except for scenic train ride. With half fare card, we just purchase the ticket with 50% discount and show the half fare card on the train. Is this correct?"

Yes, provided you mean the Swiss Travel Pass (the Swiss Pass is something else more relevant to Swiss residents).

To get half-fare prices using the SBB mobile app you need to edit your passenger details and tick the box which says you are travelling half-fare. Seat reservations are only mandatory on a few major panoramic express trains. The Golden Pass is not one of those.

You can make reservations for the Golden Pass Line (www.myswissalps.com/go ldenpass) including seat selection at www.myswissalps.com/go ldenpass/packages or bit.ly/2kaq6Rf. Click the "e" for English language top right of the page. (where it says "Sprachwahl: d i f e"). Then change the class of travel, date of travel and start/end points to suit. Reservations are not compulsory but are recommended on the Zweisimmen to Montreux leg (which is where the Panoramic and Belle Époque trains operate) during peak tourist season.

On the SBB timetable look for IR or PE trains described as the MOB Golden Pass Panoramic or MOB Golden Pass Belle Epoque.

Going on the Golden Pass route to get to Zermatt is rather a long way round. Personally I would take the more direct route from Montreux to Zermatt via Visp.

From Zermatt to Interlaken go via Kandersteg for the best scenery. You don't go via Thun to get to Interlaken (unless you want to take that detour from Spiez and back again).

"Will we miss out any spectacular view by skipping the Glacier Express route?"

Not really. You certainly won't miss out on seeing any glaciers. 😉

Also note that landscape photography can be pretty tricky from trains. You get a lot of reflection on the windows.

rockoyster
rockoyster
7911 posts
expert
Nov 13, 2019 - 4:32 AM in reply to Albi

Based on your personal itinerary you should read “How to choose the best travel pass” (www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/chooserailpass), download the handy spreadsheet calculator and do the math. The spreadsheet also includes links to the “Where it's valid" page for all available passes. Be sure to check those pages for each pass you are considering. Study the map AND read all the text on those pages to fully understand what is covered by the respective pass.

Albi
Albi
14 posts
new member
Nov 13, 2019 - 5:28 AM

Thanks Rockoyster for your prompt reply!

Yes, I edit the passenger detail and tick the box with half-fare. It now defaults to 50% less.

From Montreux to Zermatt - I did look at the direct route via Visp, approximately 2h37min. But I read that the route from Montreux to Zweisimmer is very pretty. If we just do a day trip from Montreux, it takes 4 hrs round trip plus another 2h37min from Montreux to Zermatt. Direct from Montreux to Zweisimmer then continue to Zermatt will save us 2 hrs. That said, will it be a great miss if we skip the scenic drive from Montreux to Zweisimmer?

This is my dilemma and I have been tossed and turned few times and still cannot seem to find a best route that allows us to see the Alpines/Swiss Apls with minimal transfers and avoid backtracking.

We would like to visit and photograph the jardin des iris at Chateau de Vullierens near Morges. It only opens 5-6 weeks and our visit falls toward the end of the season. That the reason why we are in hurry to head to Morges as soon as we land at Zurich.

rockoyster
rockoyster
7911 posts
expert
Nov 13, 2019 - 5:54 AM in reply to Albi

Hi Albi,

Fair enough. I wondered what the attraction of Morges was. 😎

If you go Montreux, Zweisimmen, Spiez, Visp, Zermatt then you get to fit in the Golden Pass route at the cost of about 2 hours travel over the direct route Montreux to Zermatt.

"I read that the route from Montreux to Zweisimmer is very pretty."

That's a good description. It's a nice train ride through some varied countryside. It's not really a trip through the alps but it is not a major cost to you in travel time. If you return to Spiez via Kandersteg then you will be mostly on a different route to the one you use to arrive in Zermatt. So very little doubling back there. You will get your fill of the alps at Zermatt (pity you only can afford one night there) and in the Jungfrau Region.

How long will you stay in Montreux? An excursion to Rochers-de-Naye is well worth considering.

Ildiko
Ildiko
496 posts
top member &
moderator
Nov 13, 2019 - 12:50 PM

Hi there,

Morges has a castle too, right next to the lake and they also celebrate Tulip Festival every year, but unfortunately it ends in May. It is a nice little town, with a few old streets. If you are there during the Tulip Festival, definitely worth to check it. (Although it is nothing to compare to the Dutch one, but still nice).

Worth to have a look at www.myswissalps.com/bo atlakegeneva too.

Albi
Albi
14 posts
new member
Nov 13, 2019 - 12:52 PM

I am still working on the logistics, so I am pretty much flexible with how many nights to stay at each region. We have 8-11 days. Lucerne was the only city we visited in Switzerland just for 2 nights. We would like to return at least for one stay and visit Rigi.

We prefer nature that city, past trips to Europe, we left for country side a day after we landed at major international airport and return a night before the outbound flight. We are keen in landscape photography, so quaint medieval town, mountain, lake, reflection, best location for sunrise/sunset, alpine wild flower meadow. That said, any of these places are currently under the radar:

while in Morges, we would like to make a trip to Yvoire, Annecy if it is convenient with the new train route after Dec 15.

Montreux - chateau de Chillon, Vineyard around Chexbres, Vevey with photo opportunity at St Saphorin. Yes, Rochers-de-Naye and Gruyere if I add an extra day.

Zermatt, Lauterbrunnen, Murren, and Jungfrau region are not to be missed. Prefer to spend a day to visit Thun, Bern and a cruise from lake while we base in the area.

If time allows, we would like to do a day trip to Appenzell from Zurich.

That said, we are greatly appreciated for suggestions of where to base with minimum train transfer. What’s not to be missed while in the area. We don’t mind a little detour if the scenic view is worth the effort. We are couple in the 60’s. We typically get out before dawn for sunrise and stay out until sunset. We normally used afternoon train transfer as a rest break for the day 😄.

thanks in advance for your time!

rockoyster
rockoyster
7911 posts
expert
Nov 13, 2019 - 7:44 PM in reply to Albi

Hi Albi,

Annecy if it is convenient with the new train route after Dec 15.”

Tell me more.

Apart from that you seem to be right on top of your planning. Thun is lovely. Bern, you might find a bit “too big city”. The views from Niederhorn are great.

If you make it to the glorious Appenzell Region the Aescher Gasthaus is very photogenic.

Happy shooting. I hope you’ll share some of your photos with us when you get home. 😎

Albi
Albi
14 posts
new member
Nov 14, 2019 - 1:21 AM

Rockyoster,

Thanks for your reply! Of course, I will share the photos after the trip!

”Annecy if it is convenient with the new train route after Dec 15.”

Tell me more. I read one of the thread on tripadvisor but cannot remember the location that there has been a collaboration between Swiss and France rail system to open a direct route from Geneva to Annecy starting December 15. The travel time is reduced to 1h28 min compared to the current route of over 2 hours with one change. I can see it on SBB timetable after Dec 15 but there is no option to purchase the ticket. I am not sure if there is any new update on this project.

rockoyster
rockoyster
7911 posts
expert
Nov 14, 2019 - 2:18 AM in reply to Albi

Hi Albi,

I see the new S L2 direct train; tied in with this development.

Ildiko
Ildiko
496 posts
top member &
moderator
Nov 14, 2019 - 9:38 AM in reply to Albi

Hi Albi,

Annecy and Yvoire are lovely little towns. Have a look at www.myswissalps.com/bo atlakegeneva to get more information about boat trips on Lake Geneva.

One of my favorite towns is Montreux (www.myswissalps.com/mo ntreux/activities) and the Lavaux vineyard is wonderful too (www.myswissalps.com/la kegeneva). I suggest to take the train to Chexbres and to walk down to Rivaz, where you can catch an other train going back to Vevey or Montreux.

You can have a boat trip on Lake Geneva, Lake Brienz (www.myswissalps.com/bo atlakebrienz), Lake Thun (www.myswissalps.com/bo atlakethun) or even on Lake Lucerne (www.myswissalps.com/bo atlakelucerne).

Further information:

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