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Switzerland by rail
railfan / tourist tour
August 18-31, 2016
Our annual visit to Switzerland will once more be a feast of rail, tram and lake steamer travel. Many of the places visited are different from previous tours, and we will step into Germany, Italy and France in addition to exploring the length and breadth of Switzerland. Geoff Cooke will host the tour which will run with between 15 and 24 guests.
Day 1Thursday August 18: (D)
Arrive in Zurich then on to Appenzell. This afternoon, travel by train from either Zurich Airport of the main Zurich station to Appenzell. Relax for the rest of the afternoon, or explore the attractive town centre. Check in to your Hotel in the heart of the old town. overnight: Hotel Hecht ***
Day 2 Friday August 19: (B-D)
This morning, ride regional trains to Konstanz in Germany, and from there by boat on Lake Constance to the island of\ Mainau to see the Island of Flowers. This afternoon, return from Konstanz by rail via St Gallen, with a 2 hour walking tour of St Gallen included. Overnight: Hotel Hecht ***
Day 3 Saturday August 20: (B-D)
This morning, travel the narrow gauge railway to Alstatten with views across Switzerland, Austria and Lichtenstein. Continue to Chur and St Moritz, travelling over the dramatic Albula route with spiral tunnels and the Landwasser viaduct. Options to stop at Filisur for the Viaduct, or Burgen for the railway museum and town. On arrival at St Moritz station, the hotel bus will transfer you to the hotel which is located in St Moritz Bad. Overnight: Hotel Laudinella ***
Day 4 Sunday August 21: (B-D)
Ride the famous Bernina Express to Tirano in Italy over the Bernina route, one of only three railways awarded World Heritage status. Enjoy an included Italian lunch before returning by regional trains to St Moritz for a second night. Overnight: Hotel Laudinella ***
Day 5 Monday August 22: (B-D)
Today, you will ride on what is possibly the slowest but most famous express train in the world, the Glacier Express. Join the train in St Moritz and ride all of the way to Zurmatt, within sight of the Matterhorn. Overnight: The Butterfly Hotel, Zermatt ***
Day 6 Tuesday August 23: (B-D)
Enjoy a day in the quaint resort of Zurmatt. Included is a ride on the scenic Gornergratt rack Railway that climbs past the Matterhorn on its way to the Gornergratt glaciers. .Overnight: The Butterfly Hotel, Zermatt ***
Day 7 Wednesday August 24: (B-D)
Walk to the station in Zermatt for a train to Domedossola and on to Locarno. There will be free time this afternoon to explore Locarno, the town with the warmest climate in Switzerland, located on the northern shore of Lago Maggiore. Later this afternoon, continue to Bellinzona where we will spend the next two nights. Overnight: Hotel Internazionale ***
Day 8 Thursday August 25: (B-D)
Enjoy a day trip to then attractive town of Lugano. Included will be a boat trip on Lake Lugano to dips in and out of Italy as it connects the numerous small towns and villages that cling to the shore. Also possible is an optional ride up the funicular railway to Monte San Salvatore (extras cost). This afternoon, return to Bellinzona. Overnight: Hotel Internazionale ***
Day 9 Friday August 26: (B-D)
This morning, enjoy a train and lake steamer trip on the William Tell route to Lucern. Travel by train over the Gothard Pass to Fluelen, The Gotthard railway climbs over the highest pass in Switzerland, linking the southern canton of Ticino with the canton of Uri. Travel through spiral tunnels through narrow valleys. See the entrances to the new, yet to be commissioned, Gotthard base tunnel that will shorten the journey from much of Europe to Milan and beyond in Italy. From Fleulen, take a lake steamer to Lucern where we will berth a short walk from our hotel. This afternoon, enjoy a guided walking tour of the attractive and interesting town of Lucern. Overnight: Hotel Waldstatterhof ***
Day 10 Saturday August 27: (B-L)
Steam across the lake to Vitznau to take a Rigi Bahn rack railway train to the top of Mount Rigi. Enjoy spectacular views back towards Lucern before travelling down another rack line to Alth Goldau, a busy standard gauge junction. Travel to Lucern on a regional train, stopping at the Transport Museum for an included visit. Later this afternoon, complete your journey by boat across the lake. Overnight: Hotel Waldstatterhof ***
Day 11 Sunday August 28: (B-D)
Travel by train from Lucern to Brienz to join a train on the spectacular, steam operated Brienzerbahn rack railway. Spend time on the top of the Rothorn before descending to Brienz for a lake steamer to Interlaken. From there, a train will take you over the scenic Goldan Pass route to Montreux on Lake Geneva. Overnight: Hotel Suisse Majestic ****
Day 12 Monday August 29: (B-L)
Today, travel to France to Chamonix, at the base of Mont Blanc. Ride on the Mont Blanc Tramway or the Montenvers Train, a final decision on what option is best will be made later. There will be free time in Chamonix before returning to Montreux. Overnight: Hotel Suisse Majestic ****
Day 13 Tuesday August 30: (B-D)
Travel by rail this morning to Bern, the capital of Switzerland. On arrival, board our chartered steam tram for a two hour tour of the city - a tour highlight! There will be time to explore the old town independently after checking into our hotel. Our celebratory dinner tonight will be in a local restaurant. Overnight: Hotel Bristol ****
Day 14 Wednesday August 31:
Tour ends after breakfast with a train transfer back to Zurich Airport, or onward travel to our Germany by Rail tour.
All Prices are per person
|DOUBLE ROOM OCCUPANCY.................................................................................||$4455|
|SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT.................................................................................||$595|
|CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS DISCOUNT BOOK BY JANUARY 15.......................................||$200|
|DEPOSIT TO HOLD SPACE CONFIRMED .................................................................||$1000|
|FINAL PAYMENT DUE BY MAY 18, 2016|
DOUBLE ROOM OCCUPANCY$4,455
SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT$595
CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS DISCOUNT BOOK BY JANUARY 15-$200
DEPOSIT TO HOLD SPACE CONFIRMED$1,000
FINAL PAYMENT DUE BY MAY 18, 2016
• Swiss Pass - 15 days, 2nd class for unlimited travel on the SBB National Network and reductions of up to 50% on many privately owned funiculars and mountain railways.
• Seat reservations on all trains on the SBB - national network.
• 2 nights at three star Hotel Hecht, Appenzill, based on standard rooms including half board (no drinks included).
• Travel to Lake Constance and back to St Gallen.
• Boat ride fro Konstanz, Germany to the island of Mainau and back, including entry to the gardens.
• 2 hour guided tour of St Gallen.
• Travel to St Moritz.
• Luggage transfer from Appenzell to St Moritz (I item per person).
• 2 nights at 3 star Hotel Laudinella, St Moritz Bad, based on standard rooms including half board (no drinks included).
• Betrnina Express from St Moritz to Tirano (return using regional trains).
• 2 course lunch in Tirano, Italy.
• Glacier Express from St Moritz to Zermatt (lunch on train not included).
• Luggage transfer from St Moritz to Zermatt.
• 2 nights at 3 star Hotel Butterfly, Zermatt, based on standard rooms including half board (no drinks included).
• Zermatt to Gornergrat mountain train.
• Train from Zermatt to Locarno via Domedossola, and on to Bellenzona.
• Luggage transfer from Zermatt to Bellenzona (1 item per person).
• 2 nights at 3 star Hotel Internazionale, Bellinzona, based on standard rooms including half board (no drinks included).
• Boat trip on Lake Lugano.
• Rail and boat trip to Luzern.
• 2 hour walking tour of Luzern.
• Luggage transfer from Bellinzona to Luzern.
• 2 nights at 3 star Hotel Waldstarrerhof, Luzern, based on standard rooms including half board (no drinks included).
• Mount Rigi excursion including lake cruise and cogwheel railway excursion.
• Entrance to Luzern transport museum.
• Rail travel to Brienz. Train to Brienzer Rotgorn and back. Onward journey by boat to Interlaken and Golden Pass to Montreux.
• Luggage transfer from Luzern to Montreux.
• 2 nights at 4 star Hotel Suisse Majestic Montreux, based on standard rooms including half board (no drinks included).
• Day trip by rail to Chamonix including local train or tram ride.
• Rail travel to Bern.
• 2 hour private chartered steam tram in Bern.
• Luggage transfer from Montreux to Bern.
• 1 night at 4 star Hotel Bristol Bern, based on standard rooms including farewell dinner in a nearby restaurant (no drinks included).
• Return rail transfers to Zurich.
• Geoff Cooke as your tour manager.
Tehachapi Loop, Williams Loop, Georgetown Loop have nothing on the loops in Switzerland.