SWISS RAILS AND TRAILS
June 27 – July 8
July 11 – July 22
July 25 – August 5
August 1 – August 12
August 22 – September 2 - sold out
September 5 – September 16
September 26 – October 7 - sold out
GROUP SIZE 17 PERSONS
DAY 1: LUCERNE: (D)
Individual arrivals. Morning stroll around the old town that includes stops at historic Chapel Bridge, Lion Monument, St. Ledger’s Church, and other sites of interest. We’ll also visit the Glacier Garden and see glacier potholes and learn about Lucerne’s ecology & glacier past. Depending upon the time that everyone arrives in Lucerne we may be able to visit a nearby Cheese-dairy farm or go up the Stanserhorn Cabrio Cable car for a view of the surrounding Swiss Alps. Hotel check-in.
DAY 2: (B-D)
We travel on the Mt. Rigi Railway featuring the very first cogwheel train, in service since 1871. This is where the tourism business began in 1863 when Thomas Cook ran a tour. In the afternoon, we'll scale the sister peak by Pilatus Rail, still the steepest (48% grade) cogwheel. 2nd night at the same hotel in Lucerne.
DAY 3: (B-D)
We depart on the Voralpen Express, traveling through the rolling landscapes of Eastern Switzerland to St Gallen where we visit the Abbey Library–one of the oldest libraries in the world. Built in the 9th Century A. D., the library maintains priceless manuscript collections from the Carolingian and Ottonian period. In the afternoon, we'll continue on to Chur, where we will transfer to the legendary Glacier Express route bound for St. Moritz. Sites along the way include the spectacular Landwasser limestone railway viaduct, a World Heritage Site on the Albula Railway. Once in St. Moritz, we will take the legendary Muottas Muragl Funicular where we have dinner on top of the mountain overlooking the Engadin valley, between the towns of Samedan, St. Moritz and Pontresina. Hotel Check-in.
DAY 4: ST. (B-D)
Our group boards the Bernina Express to travel across the highest railway in the Alps, a route that offers spectacular views of mountain peaks, glaciers and waterfalls. These are the Alps at their most impressive. In the afternoon, after we have visited the 9,700ft Diavolezza summit and return to St. Moritz, there is an opportunity to do a 90 minute leisurely walk through the forest on the public path from Pontresina to St. Moritz. The rest of the day there is time to stroll around St. Moritz and explore on your own. Hotel check-in.
DAY 5: (B-D)
Provides another opportunity to take the Glacier Express route, universally acclaimed as one of the world’s great railway journeys. You'll cross the Albula line and Landwasser Viaduct a second time, but from the South. The train continues along the Rhine Gorge (Switzerland’s ‘Grand Canyon’) and up to the Oberalp Pass (2033 meters/6000 feet). Enjoy a rarity, a hot meal at your seat, as the train climbs over 1000 meters from Disentis to Oberalp, before arriving at Andermatt in the early afternoon. Afternoon, the group will take a 2-hour ride in the Furka Cogwheel Steam Train, a historic rail transport fully restored to its original condition. The second highest rail crossing in Europe after the Bernina—the Furka train offers unparalleled views of the Rhone and Mutt glaciers. Hotel check-in.
DAY 6: (B-D)
In the morning, we'll ride up to the Gotthard Pass summit to get a sense of Switzerland’s defense system during World War II. A Swiss military historian will be on hand when we visit the formerly top-secret Elsasso Gothardo military bunker built to protect Switzerland’s southern flank from invading forces. If you tire of military relics, there are plenty of trails and beautiful mountain scenery to explore. Hotel check-in.
We travel through the Furka Tunnel connecting the German- speaking region of Switzerland to the Swiss Canton of Valais where both Swiss German and French is spoken. The Furka Base Tunnel is a Swiss railway base tunnel on the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn's Furka–Oberalp line, an east-west railway connecting the cantons of Valais and Uri. We'll arrive in picturesque Zermatt early enough for a relaxed amble around town, with views of the Matterhorn around every corner. Even after a little shopping, there’s plenty of time left to enjoy wellness services at our hotel.
DAY 8: (B-D)
Experience breathtaking views of Mt. Matterhorn and the Alps in an excursion that combines a cogwheel train ride with an easy-to-moderate day hike. You'll ride Europe’s second highest railway and the highest open-air railway on the continent—the Gornergrat cogwheel train climbing up to the 10,134 feet offering incredible views of the Matterhorn along the way. The group walks up to the 360-degree platform area providing a panoramic view of 29 alpine peaks higher than 13,123 feet including the world-famous Matterhorn. Our 1-2 hour guided hike travels along sign-posted trails of an alpine nature reserve feature awe-inspiring views of the Matterhorn mirrored in pristine alpine lakes. Along the way, you'll learn about the origins of Zermatt and the people of the canton of Valais Hotel check-in.
DAY 9: (B-L)
Travel through the French speaking Canton of Valais – know as the fruit basket of Switzerland offering delightful views of terraced vineyards and fruit trees.This segment is branded as the Goldenpass Line with either a Classic train car or the Panorama Car with big panorama windows. Experience what it was like during the Belle-Epoque, Golden Age period when the rich and famous where the only ones traveling on such trains. We continue on the GoldenPass Line through the Préalps of the canton of Fribourg and through the beautiful Simmental Valley known for the sturdy brown and white cows and the world famous resort town of Gstaad, home to many Hollywood stars. View Alpine valleys and rolling hills, green pastures and grazing cows, wooden chalets and picturesque villages as we journey to the Jungfrau region – one of Switzerland’s oldest and most popular resorts in the UNESCO World Heritage Jungfrau region. Hotel check-in.
Day 10 (B-D)
starting with a train ride to the top of the Jungfraujoch, a complex built between the Mönch and Jungfrau mountains—the perfect venue for viewing Europe’s largest Aletsch glacier. Mountains, snow, and ice as far as one can see. Sit in a deck chair, go tubing or simply walk on the glacier and become one with nature. The afternoon finds the group on a train to Lauterbrunnen where we transfer to a postal bus on its way to Trümmelbach Falls, a series of ten glacier-fed waterfalls within the mountain, made accessible by a tunnel-funicular—a complex of lifts, galleries, tunnels, paths and platforms constructed in 1913. The falls carry melt water from the glaciers—up to 20,000 liters of water per second, rushing over 20,000 tons of boulders. The mountain shudders and thunders unceasingly—a stage for nature's majesty. Hotel check-in.
DAY 11: (B-D)
After taking the Lake Brienz steamer from Interlaken to Brienz, the group boards the Rotbahn Steam train, in continuous operation since 1892. Ascending up to 7,700 feet, the railway offers views of emerald-green Alpine pastures, Swiss farmhouse—and at the peak— 360-degree views of the Bernese mountains. A cable car takes us down into the Entlebuch valley to visit the pre-Alpine landscape UNESCO has designated as Switzerland’s first biosphere reserve. Later in the day, we'll catch a local bus to Schupfheim train station where everyone transfers through Bern to the Zürich airport and hotel check-in.
DAY 12: (B)
End of the tour in the morning.
* 23 Meals
* All admission fees
* 11 Nights Lodging
* First class rail pass
* All ground transportation
* Daily transfer of luggage hotel to hotel by truck
ALL PRICES ARE PER PERSON
DOUBLE ROOM OCCUPANCY$7,995
SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT$595
EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT BY DECEMBER 31, 2021-$200
DEPOSIT TO HOLD SPACE CONFIRMED$1,500
FINAL PAYMENT DUE 90 DAYS PRIOR TO START OF TOUR
TOUR CONDITIONS FOR 2022 **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.