RAIL TUNNELS & MOUNTAIN PASSES
July 27-August 8, 2018
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Our visit to Switzerland will be different in 2018, in addition to the favorite Swiss trains and towns we will explore the base tunnels and the mountain passes that carry the trains. Included in this tour will be travel through the recently opened 35 mile Gotthard Base Tunnel which opened up to full rail traffic on December 11, 2016 and is the longest and deepest rail tunnel in the World. Around 160 cargo trains and 50 passenger trains run through this tunnel every 24 hours at speeds of up to 150 mph. So on the average a train enters the tunnel every 7 minutes. The old line over spectacular Gotthard Pass with it’s countless bridges, loop tunnels and the summit tunnel will continue to run rail traffic so that a passenger can choose which line they would like to ride on. We will ride over both lines on this tour.
The amazing spiral tunnels and loops on the Swiss Rail System that we will travel on
Three trains on three levels - Countless beautiful viaducts
Day 1 Friday July 27: (D)
Upon arrival in Zürich Airport, make your way by rail to the main railway station in downtown Zurich. Your hotel is conveniently located within walking distance from the station. The rest of the day will be at leisure, your centrally located hotel making an exploration of the city and lake easy. Meet this evening for an included dinner at the hotel. Hotel Glockenhof, Zürich.
Day 2 Saturday July 28: (B-D)
Take a train to Lugano through the recently opened 35 mile Gotthard Base Tunnel. This is the longest and deepest railway tunnel in the world, allowing for a shortcut over the Gotthard Pass line that we will travel over later. Take the funicular railway from Lugano Station to the city and a short walk to the waterfront. The Lugano Città–Stazione funicular has an upper station within the main railway station of Lugano, and the lower station is on Piazza Cioccaro in the historic city centre below. It is one of the busiest funicular lines in Switzerland. After a break for lunch, join a boat trip on Lake Lugano to Gandria , a pretty town that has remained unchanged for a hundred years. Later this afternoon, return by train to Bellinzona. Foryour convenience, your luggage will be transported from your hotel in Zürich to your hotel in Bellinzona. Hotel Internazionale, Bellinzona.
THE GOTTHARD BASE TUNNEL
DURING THE CONTRUCTION YEARS
MANY MONTHS OF TESTING TO ENSURE SAFETY
Day 3 Sunday July 29 2018. (B-D)
Travel by rail from Belinzona to Lucerne by the old railway route over the Gotthard Pass to Fluelen, where you will join a lake steamer to continue your journey to the transport museum in Lucerne. Later this afternoon, continue by boat or bus to your hotel in central Lucerne with time to relax before dinner. Your luggage will be transported from your hotel in Bellinzona to your hotel in Lucerne. Hotel Astoria, Lucerne.
Day 4 Monday July 30: (B-D)
Our destination today is Mount Pilatus, accessible by the world’s steepest cog railway after a boat trip across Lake Lucerne. There will be time to take in the wonderful views and have lunch (not included), before we make the journey back to Lucerne by cable car, gondola and bus. The rest of the day is at leisure for you to explore Lucerne at your own pace. Hotel Astoria, Lucerne.
Day 5 Tuesday July 31: (B-D)
Today we travel from Lucerne to Interlaken, breaking our journey at Brienz for a trip up the Brienzer Rothorn railway. Your luggage will be transported from your hotel in Lucerne to your hotel in Interlaken. Enjoy time at the summit to admire the breath-taking views over the high peaks of the Bernese Oberland and the two lakes below, have lunch and enjoy a walk around, before travelling back down to Brienz and on to Interlaken by paddle steamer. Hotel Interlaken, Interlaken.
Day 6 Wednesday August 1: (B-D)
An exciting day awaits as we travel on mountain trains and cable cars through some of the prettiest places in the Bernese Oberland, enjoying incredible scenery on the way. Ride an historic rack railway to Schynige Platte before continuing to Lauterbrunnen. After a break for lunch in Lauterbrunnen, ride to Grutschalp by cable car to join the narrow gauge railway to the dramatically located town of Murren. Return to Interlaken for the night. Hotel Interlaken, Interlaken.
Day 7 Thursday August 2: (B-D)
Today we travel on the scenic GoldenPass line to Montreux, a pretty town on the shores of Lake Geneva. Your luggage will be transported from your hotel in Interlaken to your hotel in Montreux. Upon arrival in Montreux, enjoy some time at leisure to have lunch before we travel to Château de Chillon. Join a 50-minute guided tour of the château before we return to Montreux by paddle steamer. Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic,
SCENERY AND EQUIPMENT ON THE GOLDEN PASS LINE
Day 8 Friday August 3: (B-D)
Board an exciting Chocolate Train, which will give you an insight into two of the best Swiss products: cheese and chocolate. Start your exploration on the Belle Epoque or Panoramic train from Montreux to Gruyères. Upon arrival, visit the Maison du Gruyere to find out how cheese is produced. Enjoy some free time in the medieval town of Gruyères with its impressive 13th century castle before a bus transfer to Broc to visit Maison Cailler, the famous chocolate factory to taste some delicious chocolates. End your day with a train to Montreux. Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic, Montreux.
Day 9 Saturday August 4: (B-D)
Travel by train from Montreux to Brig where you will change trains to ride over the original Lotschberg alpine pass to Spiez. The Lötschberg line connects Spiez in the canton of Bern with Brig in the canton of Valais. It crosses the Bernese Alps through the Lötschberg Tunnel. Together with the Simplon Tunnel south of Brig, it constitutes one of the major railways through the Alps and an important north-south axis in Europe. The line is famous for its double loop of spiral tunnels on its northern approach to the Lötschberg Tunnel and the climb out of the Rhone Valley on a steep mountainside through numerous tunnels and viaducts on the southern approach. Its culminating point is 1,240 metres above sea level, making it the highest line of the main Swiss railway network. Enjoy a short break in Spiez before returning to Visp through the lower Lötschberg Base Tunnel, continue to the car free resort town of Zermatt. Your luggage will be transported from your hotel in Montreux to your hotel in Zermatt. This afternoon, take the mountain train to the Gornergrat, which offers incomparable views of the famous Matterhorn. On return to Zurmatt, your hotel is a short walk from the station. Hotel Butterfly, Zermatt.
Day 10 Sunday August 5: (B-D)
Take a train to Oberwald to board a steam train on the Furka Railway bound for Realp. The original railway, now replaced by a tunnel, is preserved with steam trains running through a scenic gorge. From Realp, join Regio local trains for the scenic journey to Chur. Your luggage will be transported from your hotel in Zermatt to your hotel in Chur. Romantik Hotel Stern, Chur.
Day 11 Monday August 6: (B-D)
Travel by train from Chur to St. Moritz, breaking our journey at Filisur, Burgen and Preda. The first stop at Filisur will be to visit the famous Landwasserr Viaduct, a short walk from the station. After photographing trains on the viaduct, return to the station for an onward connection to Burgen where we will visit the museum for the Albula line. Our last stop will be at Preda, the northern portal for a new tunnel and location of a small museum explaining the project. Your luggage will be transported from your hotel in Chur to your hotel in St Moritz.. This afternoon, there will be time to explore St Moritz before your included dinner. Hotel Laudinella, St Moritz.
WE WILL MAKE A STOP AT FILISUR STATION WHICH IS A SHORT WALK TO THE SPECTACULAR
LANDWASSERR VIADUCT PHOTOGRAPHING SOME TRAINS BEFORE CONTINING OUR RAIL JOURNEY
Day 12 Tuesday August 7: (B-D)
Ride the famous Bernina Express to Tirano in Italy over the dramatic Bernina, one of only three railways awarded World Heritage status. The railway includes some dramatic scenery and impressive engineering and the arrival in Tirano includes a section of rare street running as the train passes the Basillica Madonna di Tirano. After time to look around the attractive Italian town and enjoy lunch, return by train to St. Moritz. Hotel Laudinella, St Moritz.
BREATHTAKING SCENERY ALONG
ROUTE OF THE BERNINA EXPRESS
BETWEEN SWITZERLAND AND ITALY
Day 13 Wednesday August 8: (B)
The tour finishes after breakfast today, but you can still make use of your 14-day First Class Swiss Travel Pass today and up until Friday August 10.
ALL PRICES ARE PER PERSON
DOUBLE ROOM OCCUPANCY$4,695
SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT$645
FINAL PAYMENT DUE BY APRIL 27, 2018
EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT EXPIRES JULY 31, 2017 ($-300)
TOUR CONDITIONS FOR 2017 **PLEASE READ CAREFULLY**
Tour Price: All tour prices are subject to change without notice, at any time. All prices based on double room occupancy. Those people that use a credit card for payments a 3% conveyance fee will be added to the tour price. We reserve the right to change tour prices if necessary without prior notice.
* 26 MEALS
*12 NIGHTS LODGING
* ALL TRAVEL PER THE ITINERARY
*14 DAY SWISS FIRST CLASS TRAVEL PASS