This wonderful trip is our most popular international tour. It combines a surprisingly easy pace with comprehensive sightseeing featuring the grandeur of the Alps as seen from the superb trains of Swiss Rail.
Highlights of this tour great Swiss rail adventure include a ride on the narrow-gauge Bernina Express over the 7,000-foot Bernina Pass, dropping down from glaciers and perpetual snowfields on the pass to the palm trees of Tirano, Italy, as well as a journey across the main range of the Alps on the legendary Glacier Express. The diners of the Rhaetian Railway are renowned for gourmet meals and unique tilted-stem glassware to compensate for the steep grades! We enjoy a wonderful lunch in the diner on the Glacier Express. We see the Matterhorn and Zermatt, and visit the remarkable Swiss Railway Museum in Lucerne. Several lake cruises enhance the tour. Sail past the flower-clad hills of the Swiss/Italian Lake District and cruise the beautiful lakes of Constance, Locarno (the Lago Maggiore), Lucerne, Thun, and Geneva beneath towering peaks.
Call 877-929-7245 for air and add-ons from your city.
- Hotel accommodations for 12 nights
- First-Class 15-day Swiss Railpass and train reservations (add $931)
- 21 Meals (12 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 8 dinners)
- Sightseeing and scenic excursions per itinerary
- Baggage handling
- Services of a professional tour manager
- St. Gallen
- Lake Constance
- Mainau Gardens
- Bernina Express to Tirano, Italy
- Glacier Express from Chur to Zermatt
- Voralpen Express from Arth-Goldau to Chur
- San Bernadino Pass
- Lago Maggiore
- Lake Thun
- GoldenPass Panoramic Express to Montreaux
Day One - U.S. Departure
Depart the U.S. on your transatlantic flight bound for Zurich. (International flight not included)
Day Two - Zurich - Appenzell
Arrive in Zurich this morning, meet your tour manager and travel by train to Appenzell. The afternoon is unstructured so travelers can rest after the long flight or discover Appenzell's beautiful architecture, fine shops, unique folkloric museum, grand Baroque church, and fascinating maze of squares and narrow streets all within a five-minute walk from your hotel. Overnight Romantik Hotel Santis (D)
Day Three - St. Gallen
Ride the little narrow gauge train to the beautiful cathedral town of St. Gallen for a walking tour that includes the magnificent cathedral and unique Abbey Library, which houses a priceless collection of illuminated manuscripts. Overnight Romantik Hotel Santis. (B)
Day Four - Mainau Gardens
Take regional trains north to Lake Constance, a great widening of the Rhine River, and cross into Germany. At the “Free and Imperial” city of Constance, board a lake steamer for the lovely voyage across the lake to tour magnificent Mainau Gardens. This floral paradise occupies the estate of a Swedish Count. The immense spring tulip display should be peaking during your visit. Returning to Appenzell, pass through sunny vineyards on flower-bedecked terraces gradually ascending from the lakes to the Alps above the village. Overnight Romantik Hotel Santis. (B)
Day Five - Train Journey to Chur
Ride the narrow gauge railway to Alstatten. This line descends from the heights of the Mount Santis massif to the Rhine River Valley and offers amazing views of three countries: Switzerland, Austria and Lichtenstein. Transfer to the mainline train for a fast run to Chur, where you'll stay three nights. An exciting option this afternoon a ride on the narrow gauge railway to Arosa, which departs from the main plaza in front of the station. This line ascends through a stupendous canyon on its hour-long journey into the high peaks. Overnight Romantik Hotel Stern. (B,D)
Day Six - "Top of the World" on the Bernina Express
You can almost touch a glacier from your train today as we ride the Bernina Express over the 7,000-foot Bernina Pass, the highest point in Europe reached by a non-cog railway. This narrow gauge line includes spiral tunnels and horseshoe curves as it surmounts the Albula and Bernina Passes, finally terminating amid unexpected palm trees at Tirano in northern Italy. There is free time for lunch before the return journey to Chur. One of the marvels of this line is a spiral viaduct on the ascent up the Italian side of the Pass. Overnight Romantik Hotel Stern. (B)
Day Seven - Glacier Express
Re-board the Rhaetian Railway, riding the renowned Glacier Express, with lunch in the unique narrow gauge diner while traveling across the Oberalp Pass (literally the “Overalp Pass”). Descend via the “North Ramp” of the St. Gotthard Line, renowned for its spiral tunnels. At Arth-Goldau, change to the little-known but very scenic Voralpen Express for a lovely crossing of the meadows and heights of the pre-Alps enroute back to Chur. Overnight Romantik Hotel Stern. (B,L)
Day Eight - Bound for the Interlaken
Today we board one of Switzerland's remarkable Postal Buses for the "Via Mala," the legendary crossing of the San Bernardino Pass, a stunning drive across the Alps to Bellinoza in the Italian-speaking south. After a short train transfer, we will have a mid-day layover in Locarno, the resort town located on the shores of Lago Maggiore. There will be free time to stroll the flower-bedecked lakeshore promenade or take the funicular for a visit to the basilica church of the Madonna del Sasso. Our journey continues this afternoon aboard the Cento Valley tram line and Lotschberg route, which takes us to Lake Thun, where we will connect to Bonigen/Interlaken, our home for the next six nights. Overnight Hotel Seiler au Lac. (B, D)
Day Nine - Zermatt and the Matterhorn
We travel by train today to the car-free alpine town of Zermatt, which lies at the base of the Matterhorn. Good views of the legendary peak are seen from the village but, weather permitting, you may wish to take an optional excursion aboard the steep cog-wheel Gornergrat Railway to a classic overlook of the peak and glaciers. We retrace our route to Interlaken this afternoon. Overnight Hotel Seiler au Lac. (B, D)
Day Ten - Panoramic Express to Chillon Castle / Lake Geneva
Today's travels take us on the renowned GoldenPass Panoramic Express route along the shores of Lake Geneva to Montreaux, where we will take a short lake steamer voyage to the Castle of Chillon, made famous by Lord Byron. The day concludes with a journey along the shores of Lake Geneva past the vineyards to Lausanne and Bern and back to Interlaken. Overnight Hotel Seiler au Lac. (B, D)
Day Eleven - Lake Thun / Bern
This morning we enjoy a lake cruise from Interlaken to Thun, where we will board a train to Switzerland's capital city, Bern. Enjoy a walking tour of the historic center as well as some time at your leisure to marvel at the grand buildings and arcades from the Middle Ages. You can return to Interlaken on your choice of trains as service is hourly. Overnight Hotel Seiler au Lac. (B, D)
Day Twelve - Brunig Pass / Lucerne / Lake Brienz
Travel the stunning Brunig Pass en route to Lucerne this morning. Here, we will embark on a walking tour of this lakeside town. Highlights include a visit to the beautiful Jesuit Church, the famous covered walking bridge and the Lion Monument. This afternoon, return via the Brunig Pass to Brienz, where we will board a lake steamer and cruise directly to Bonigen/Interlaken, disembarking literally at the front door of our hotel. Overnight Hotel Seiler au Lac. (B, D)
Day Thirteen - Bernese Oberland at your leisure
Today is a free day to explore Interlaken and its surrounding towns on your own. Your tour manager will be able to provide a variety of scenic touring suggestions as well, such as visit to the highest railway summit in Europe, the Jungfrau. Overnight Hotel Seiler au Lac. (B, D)
Day Fourteen - Return to U.S.
Transfer by train to the Zurich Airport for your flight home.
|April 18, 2012 - SOLD OUT
|15-day first-class Swiss Railpass
|15-day first-class Swiss Saver Pass
|SWISS RAIL PASS PRICES
|Please note that this price is in effect as of December 21, 2011 and could change based on exchange rates at any time. Pass prices can only be guaranteed when payment is made.
Prices are land-only, per person based on double occupancy. Single price available upon request. Prices are subject to change and all reservations are based on availability.
Call 877-929-7245 today to book your Springtime in the Alps.
*Swiss Saver Pass is for 2 or more people traveling together at all times. Price is per person.
A valid passport with an expiration date no less than six (6) months after the schedule return date is required. Non-U.S. citizens must consult with appropriate consulates to determine if any visas are needed and are responsible for obtaining all visas and entry documents.