Which of these Switzerland group tours is better?

Which of these Switzerland group tours is better?

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ginachua82
ginachua82
3 posts
new member
Jul 22, 2017 - 4:10 PM

Dear All, I will be visiting Switzerland with my family in mid Nov. I have shortlisted 2 group tours but not sure which is better. Both charge the same amount. We are a family of 5. Two 30+ yrs old adults, one 70+ yrs old elder and 2 children age 9 and 11. Appreciate any advice/feedback.

Itinerary 1:the whole tour is travelling via train

DAY 1 SINGAPORE → ZURICH (Meals on Board)

Assemble at the Singapore Changi Airport and depart for Zurich, Switzerland’s bustling city.

DAY 2 ZURICH → LUCERNE (Dinner - Local Fare)

From Zurich you will head to Lucerne via train. Upon your arrival you will embark on an orientation tour of Lucerne with your tour manager; visit the Old Chapel Bridge – the oldest wooden bridge in Switzerland, Old Town Lucerne with its unspoiled buildings covered with colourful murals and the Lion Monument. Then, you will make your way to the Glacier Garden Museum, which was discovered in 1872. The site comprises of glacial portholes that date back to the Ice Age. Check in your hotel in Lucerne city.

DAY 3 LUCERNE → MT PILATUS → LUCERNE(Breakfast)

Begin your day with a mountain excursion, and take the world’s steepest cog railway to the top of Mt Pilatus. The railway is famed for offering scenic sights of lush meadows dotted with Alpine flowers and pristine mountain streams. After acquainting yourself with the natural beauty of the region, make your way to Lucerne City for an overnight stay.

DAY 4 LUCERNE → GRINDELWALDJUNGFRAUJOCHWENGEN (Breakfast, Lunch – (Sausage & Rösti)

Today you will leave Lucerne and depart for Grindelwald, a picturesque village in Switzerland. The tourist destination is famed for offering numerous activities, including skiing in winter and hiking in summer. You will join a mountain excursion and continue to Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe, where you will get an unhindered, panoramic view of the snow-clad mountain ranges and the expansive sky. As you take the train up to the mountain, acquaint yourself with the alpine sceneries, and the towering peaks of Mt.Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau.

At top, indulge in the magnificent view of the Aletsch glacier - Europe’s longest glacier. While here, you can also visit the Sphinx Observatory, an astronomical observatory located above the Jungfraujoch and the Ice Cave. Take a moment to admire the captivating surroundings before heading down to the car-free village - situated on the top of a cliff - Wengen for the night.

DAY 5 WENGEN → INTERLAKENTHUNERSEE BOAT RIDEZERMATT Breakfast, Lunch – Swiss Fondue Combo)

Start your day with an orientation tour of Interlaken, a small town below Jungfrau. After exploring the region, indulge in a Swiss fondue combo lunch that is simply out of this world. You will then board a boat from Thunersee (Lake Thun) and make your way to Spiez. Enjoy the scenic boat ride at a slow pace and be awestruck by the towering, snow-capped mountains of the region. From Spiez, head towards Zermatt, the mountain resort is renowned for Matterhorn, the king of all mountains. It is also believed to be one of the most of the most photographed mountains in the world. You will spend the night in Zermatt.

DAY 6 ZERMATT → ROTHORN PARADISE → ZERMATT (Breakfast)

After taking your breakfast, you will make your way to Rothorn Paradise. Be enchanted by the sweeping views of the Zermatt region from the peaks of Rothorn. Afterwards, continue your journey to Stellisee Lake, a charming mountain lake that is situated 20 minutes from the cable car station. The placid waters of the lake reflect the majestic and jagged Matterhorn. From there you will visit the Matterhorn Museum, a cultural-natural museum, which offers a deeper insight into the history and development of Zermatt.Transfer to your hotel and retire for the night

at Zermatt.

DAY 7 ZERMATT → GLACIER EXPRESSST MORITZ (Breakfast, Lunch - Three-course Menu)

Embark on a memorable trip when you board the Glacier Express – the world’s most famous panorama train. Travel in comfort as you traverse from the eastern to the western Swiss Alps by train. You will begin your 8-hour journey in Zermatt and takes you to St Moritz. The train will travel through 91 tunnels and across 291 bridges, bringing you panoramic views of snow-capped mountains,breath-taking rivers, peaceful alpine pastures,magical castles, and charming villages. You will then enjoy a three-course menu lunch on board the train.

St Moritz at an elevation of 1856m, is one of the world’s most famous holidays resort. St Moritz first became famous thanks to its mineral springs, which were discovered 3,000 years ago, and established the town as a summer spa resort early on

DAY 8 ST MORITZ → ZURICH (Breakfast, Lunch - Chinese Fare)

Today you will leave St Moritz and continue to Zurich, the lively city of Switzerland. Join an orientation tour and discover the fascinating attractions that encompass this vibrant place. From its diverse cuisine to its historical highlights, Zurich has something for everyone. Drop by the Swiss National Museum, one of the most prominent art museums that

encompass the cultural history of Europe. Afterwards, make your way to the Zurich Airport for an overnight stay.

DAY 9 ZURICH → SINGAPORE (Meals On Board)

If time permits, you can do some last-minute shopping before transferring to the airport for your flight home.

Itinerary 2: Travel by coach

Day 1 SINGAPORE – ZURICH

Meals on Board

Troop down to Singapore Changi Airport where you will set off to Zurich.

NoteIf you are flying by Singapore Airlines, you will assemble at the airport on the night of Day 1. However, the flight only departs after midnight.

Day 2 ZURICH – BERNGENEVAMONTREUX

Meals on Board/Dinner

Welcome to Switzerland, land of clocks, chocolates and indispensable Swiss army knives. Begin your trip with a scenic drive to Bern, the capital of Switzerland. Upon arrival, proceed to Bahnhofplatz and commence your tour of the city. Keep your eyes peered for the 16th-century astronomical Clock Tower with its ornate decorations. A short walk away, you will find house No. 49, once Albert Einstein’s home where he had written the groundbreaking “Theory of Relativity” in 1905. Not to be missed is a visit to the iconic bear pit, dedicated to the bear which is the protagonist of Bern’s coat of arms. Next, proceed to Geneva, the 2nd-largest city in Switzerland by population size, but holds more than its weight as the city where international bodies such as World Health Organization and International Labour Organization are headquartered. Upon arrival, head for the city’s most famous landmarks, namely the harbour, magnificent Jet d’eau, the highest fountain in the world, Flower Clock and Reformation Wall. True citizen of the world that you are, make stops at landmarks such as United Nations Building and International Committee of the Red Cross. Next, adjourn to beautiful Montreux, Switzerland’s modern resort city on Lake Geneva, beloved by locals and tourists alike for its vibrancy and scenic lakeside splendour.

Day 3 MONTREUX – ZERMATT +

Breakfast/Dinner

After breakfast, visit the fabled Chillon Castle, one of the best-preserved medieval castles in the region that dates back to the 11th century. With its rugged mountainous setting, this castle houses some of the most impressive relics of Switzerland’s past and consists of 100 independent buildings that were gradually connected through the ages. A vision of peace and majesty, you will see why this castle has inspired poets such as Lord Byron. Next, enjoy a wine-tasting session in which you may sample some of the region’s finest Swiss wines. In the afternoon, journey to the municipality of Tasch and board the rack rail to Zermatt, the famous resort town at the base of Matterhorn, Switzerland’s icon and one of the most distinctive mountains in the world with its pyramidal shape.

Note

Overnight accommodation may not be in Zermatt during ski season.

Day 4 ZERMATT – LEUKERBAD +

Breakfast/Dinner

This morning, spend your time at leisure exploring Hinterdorf Street, a car-free village dotted with sloped-roof wooden alpine dwellings. Next, head to Leukerbad, one of the largest spa and wellness resorts in Switzerland. This evening, enjoy a rejuvenating dip in the thermal springs of Leukerbad. You deserve it.

Day 5 LEUKERBAD – GRUYERES – INTERLAKEN +

Breakfast/Swiss Combo Fondue Dinner

What could be better than a morning of cheese and chocolates? Today, travel to the medieval town of Gruyeres, famed for its cheese, to visit a gruyere cheese factory, followed by a visit to Cailler-Nestle chocolate factory, one of the oldest and famous chocolate factories in Switzerland. Enjoy a cheese and chocolate-tasting session. Next, visit Castle of Gruyeres. Set against the green alpine landscape, this majestic 13th-century building had once been the residence of numerous counts. Make your journey to Interlaken, where you can catch gorgeous views of Jungfrau Mountain. Stroll through the town and indulge in a cuppa or two at one of the many chic sidewalk cafes. Tonight, savour a Swiss combo fondue dinner of cheese, meat and chocolate.

Day 6 INTERLAKEN +

Breakfast

Today, spend the morning at leisure to revel in this spellbinding resort town. Alternatively, you may choose to take an optional journey to Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe at your own expense.

Day 7 INTERLAKEN – LUCERNE +

Breakfast/Dinner

After breakfast, continue to the picturesque township of Lucerne and embark on a walking tour to the famous Chapel Bridge and the stirring Lion Monument, carved from a limestone cliff in memory to the Swiss guards that died defending the French King. Thereafter, you may opt to while the day away with shopping. Luxury brands, watches, music boxes, famous Swiss chocolates and more, there’s (almost) something for everyone.

Note

Overnight accommodation may not be in Lucerne.

Day 8 LUCERNE – RHINE FALLS – TITISEE – ZURICH +

Breakfast/Original Black Forest Lunch/Dinner

After days of alpine peaks and valleys, it is time for a change in scenery. Travel to Schaffhausen to witness the natural grandeur of Rhine Falls, the largest waterfall in Western Europe. Thereafter, cross the border to Germany and take a scenic drive through Black Forest, the largest forest in the country. Then, adjourn to the tourist resort township of Titisee, home to Germany’s largest cuckoo clock centre. You will be pleased to learn that you can tuck in to an original Black Forest lunch comprising German pork knuckles, sausages and the iconic Black Forest cake. Thereafter, proceed to Zurich for your overnight stay.

Day 9 ZURICH – SINGAPORE +

Breakfast/Meals on Board

This morning is free for leisure, and perhaps take some parting shots of Zurich before you transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4489 posts
expert
Jul 22, 2017 - 11:25 PM in reply to ginachua82

Hi Ginachua82 -

Welcome to My Swiss Alps!

Both tours cover a lot of good places. I like the first tour a bit better from that perspective; Those are places that I prefer.. Purely a personal preference...there is no such thing as "better" or "worse" when it comes to personal preferences.

If you would comments on "better" or "worse" you can guide us by telling us what you are particularly interested in, and we can reply with comments on how your tour matches your preferences.

However, if you can travel by train, that elevates the tour to a much higher quality.

Go for the train!

Slowpoke

PS- Just my personal opinion, of course. ;-)

ginachua82
ginachua82
3 posts
new member
Jul 23, 2017 - 12:55 AM

Hi slowpoke, thank you for your reply!

i personally like taking train too. Just worried if there will be a lot of walking if Travelling by train. The tour operator mentioned that usually our hotels will be located near the train station and we will walk there while our luggage will be taken care of by a porter.

My flight will arrive 2 days early in Zurich before the tour starts. Other than the places stated in the itinerary, any places worth visiting in Zurich? I will most probably stay at a hotel near to Zurich airport before our tour group starts.

Thank you!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4489 posts
expert
Jul 23, 2017 - 9:39 AM in reply to ginachua82

Hi ginachua82 -

Please note that November in Switzerland is not like November in Singapore.

www.myswissalps.com/ab outswitzerland

Especially in the Jungfrau region, it can be quite cold. At that time of year, the snow usually has not accumulated sufficiently at higher altitudes for skiing, and hiking is not so pleasant, so many hotels and restaurants in the Jungfrau region are on holiday. You don't have to worry on your tour. By the way, the Jungfrau region past Interlaken is a major sightseeing experience. The bus tour only takes you to Interlaken, then you are on your own. That trip to the Jungfraujoch is quite expensive. You can easily do it by yourself, but you'll need to plan a bit for meals.

If you do any travel by yourself, the timetable is valuable:www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

I note that one of your group is 70+.

Does that person have any difficulty walking a few hundred meters? That can guide our comments.

Note that there is substantial walking with the bus tour as well...in Bern for example.

If you know the names of the hotels, you can search for them on this map, by address or often by name, to see how close they are to the station. Here is an example:

map.search.ch/Hotel-Adler-Z%C3%BCrich,Z%C3%BCric h,Rosengasse-10

I am in my late 70's and always stay at the Adler. 10 minutes walk from the train station or 3 minutes from the tram #4 at Rudolf-Brun-Brücke tram stop.

The tram system is very effective in Zürich, and is supplemented by buses and commuter trains ( S-Bahn).

On that map, under points of Interest/ you can turn on "Traffic" as I have done and see station stops.

You can also turn on Gastronomy, under which is a choice for Hotel, which may not always list every facility. You can search for hotels by name and city.

When I arrive or depart and wish to be near the airport, I stay in downtown Zürich as noted. There are 5-10 trains every hour between the airport and the main station downtown (Zürich HB, "Hauptbahnhof), taking as little as 9 minutes ( no stops) to perhaps 15-20 minutes ( a couple of stops). That allows me to enjoy all the resources of the city. Airport hotels, of course, also allow access to downtown, but some have shuttle buses which only run on a 3 times per hour schedule, for example. So, for hotels like that, it is actually as fast to get to the airport from downtown. Check that out with your hotel.

There is also tram service to the airport from the main rail station, but it takes about 45 minutes.

Our normal first recommendation after arriving at Zürich on your own is to go directly to Luzern and stay there. See attached photos. Even if you stay at the airport, visiting Luzern is an easy option. Trains take about an hour, every half hour. One goes with no change of trains (at xx47, 1 hour and 2 minutes) ), another at xx18 requires a change at Zürich main station (1 hour and 7 minutes). It takes about 45 minutes from Zürich main satation to Luzern. So, you can easily walk around both cites in the same day.

These links describe Luzern and Zürich:

www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne

www.myswissalps.com/zu rich

Whether any of the places in Zürich is worth visiting is a matter of personal preference. Same for the great variety in Luzern.

A lake boat ride on Lake Lucerne ( der Vierwaldstättersee) is a very relaxing way to spend part of a day. There are several routes. You can also take a lake boat on Lake Zürich ( der Zürichsee), but the scenery around Lake Lucerne is much nicer.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jul 23, 2017 - 9:43 AM by Slowpoke
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Lucas
Lucas
5656 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 23, 2017 - 5:24 PM in reply to ginachua82

Hi Ginachua82,

There isn't a lot to add after Slowpoke's comments!

I also vote for Tour 1. Both because I like the itinerary a little better - and everyone should always take the train in Switzerland whenever possible. :)

Lucas

Last modified on Jul 23, 2017 - 5:25 PM by Lucas
ginachua82
ginachua82
3 posts
new member
Jul 24, 2017 - 12:32 AM

Hi slowpoke & Lucas, thank you so much for the advice! It certainly makes it easier for me to choose.

i am arriving in Zurich at around 730am on 17 Nov. Intend to stay at the hotel located beside the airport. the problem is hotel check in time is usually 2pm. What can we do during this 6 hours? We will be jet lag and carrying a couple of suitcases.

18 Nov is our free day. That's when I intend to do sledding if possible.our group tour only starts on 19 nov, 12 noon. i realised that mid nov is a Low season for winter sports. Thinking to bring my kids to do some sledding. I am sure they will love it.

Gina

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4489 posts
expert
Jul 24, 2017 - 1:46 AM in reply to ginachua82

<<"i am arriving in Zurich at around 730am on 17 Nov. Intend to stay at the hotel located beside the airport. the problem is hotel check in time is usually 2pm. What can we do during this 6 hours? We will be jet lag and carrying a couple of suitcases.">>

Hi Gina- find a less expensive hotel in downtown Zürich and reserve the night before you arrive. Pay in advance. Or, if you feel that you must stay near the airport, pay in advance at your expensive hotel for the night before you arrive.Pay in advance.

When I arrive or depart and wish to be near the airport, I stay in downtown Zürich as noted. There are 5-10 trains every hour between the airport and the main station downtown (Zürich HB, "Hauptbahnhof), taking as little as 9 minutes ( no stops) to perhaps 15-20 minutes ( a couple of stops). That allows me to enjoy all the resources of the city.

Airport hotels, of course, also allow access to downtown, but some have shuttle buses which only run on a 3 times per hour schedule, for example. So, for hotels like that, it is actually as fast to get to the airport from downtown. Check that out with your hotel.

I used to do that all the time on business, and still did it on occasions where we wanted a good rest before we began to travel.

Slowpoke

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