May 24, 2016 - 6:19 PM
Welcome to MySwissAlps, jhsmama!
The Swiss Half Fare Card may indeed be the best option in your case. Your children aged 12 and 13 will travel along for free on all routes if you order along the free Swiss Family Card; the 16 year old will need his/her own Swiss Half Fare Card. Retailers are listed here. I suggest you use www.swissrailways.com/ en, as they offer online tickets you can print yourself, without charging additional handling or shipping fees.
As for your further questions:
1. You first need to get to Montreux, as that's where the Golden Pass line starts. It's described here. The timetable allows you to search for all connections. Mind to enter a via-station like Zweisimmen. If you don't, the timetable will display other routes (e.g. via Visp/Spiez) by default, as these are quicker than the Golden Pass alternative.
2. An online purchase as described above is a lot easier. If you take along your printed passes, you can start using them as soon as you arrive in Geneva and you won't have to spend time at a manned desk arranging for your passes first.
Seat reservations aren't required: www.myswissalps.com/go ldenpass/tickets.
3./4. Your plans for June 20 and 21 certainly look doable. Schilthorn and Jungfraujoch are quite different in my view, so there's nothing wrong with visiting both. It's a very personal decision though, and it's really up to you to decide how to prioritize. Alternatives for the Jungfrau regio and the Bernese Oberland are listed here. Mind that skies are typically quite clear in the early morning, but less so in the course of the late morning and afternoon. It's quite a common pattern in spring and summer, and for that reason you may want to consider visiting Jungfraujoch and Schilthorn first on both days. Do check weather forecasts shortly before leaving in any case. Weather is very changeable and unpredictable in the Alps, and during your visit you may encounter circumstances that are entirely different from the pattern I just described.
Last modified on May 17, 2018 - 11:42 AM by Arno