Immerse yourself in the history of Switzerland whilst riding aboard scenic steam trains and admiring stunning vistas of the Swiss Alps and the Bernese Oberland on this self-guided rail adventure.
About the Tour
From the cities of Andermatt, Lucerne and Brienz or Meiringen, take in all the beauty and culture Switzerland has to offer on this week-long expedition. Your journey begins in Andermatt, where you embark on a scenic excursion aboard the Furka Steam Train. Move on to the city of Lucerne by rail and enjoy a visit to Switzerland’s most-visited museum, a private walking tour of the city and a memorable lunch cruise on Lake Lucerne. The Bernese Oberland is the final destination of your journey. Here, ride aboard another scenic railway in Brienz and visit an open-air museum that offers a glimpse at life in rural Switzerland years ago. With your Swiss Travel Pass in hand and comfortable hotel accommodations awaiting you each night, this steam train adventure is your ticket to some of the best of Switzerland.
- 7-day First Class Swiss Travel Pass, featuring unlimited travel by train, bus and boat, as well as fare for premium panorama trains, select mountain excursions, and admission to over 500 museums
- Two scenic rail excursions: Furka Cogwheel Steam Railway and Brienz Rothorn Railway
- Hotel accommodations for 6 nights
- Seven meals, including a lunch cruise on Lake Lucerne
- Visit to Verkehrshaus Lucerne
- Walking tour of Lucerne
- Visit to the Ballenberg Open-Air Museum
Day 1 - Arrive in AndermattArrive at Zürich Airport and make your way to the train station to board your train to Andermatt. The journey takes you into the heart of Switzerland and presents views of mountains, lakes and rural regions. Upon arrival in Andermatt, check in to your hotel - the incredible Chedi Andermatt - and begin your explorations. Overnight Andermatt.
Day 2 - Furka Cogwheel Steam RailwayThis morning, enjoy a ride on the Furka Cogwheel Steam Railway from Realp. Originally part of the Glacier Express route, this steam train offers a truly memorable ride over the Furka Pass. Marvel at the views of the Rhone and Mutt Glaciers, as well as at the surrounding mountain peaks and vast stretches of lush meadow. Highlights of this narrow-gauge journey include traveling through the 6,148-foot tunnel en route to the train station at Furka, Steinstafel Viaduct, the Steffenbach folding bridge and the Wyler Bridge over Furkareuss River. As the train ride concludes, take the remainder of the day at leisure in Andermatt. Perhaps ride the Tgom Cable Car for even more incredible views. Overnight Andermatt. (B)
Day 3 - LucerneMake your way to the rail station this morning, where your train to Lucerne awaits. The route takes just over 2 hours to complete and puts you in the midst of gorgeous mountain and lakeside scenes as you travel. In Lucerne, make your way to the hotel for check-in, then enjoy a visit to the Verkehrshaus Lucerne, the Swiss Museum of Transportation. Here, learn about the past, present and future of Swiss mobility through interactive displays featuring steam trains, automobiles, motorcycles, airplanes and space equipment. In addition to learning about various methods of transportation, enjoy space-themed exhibits at the Planetarium, the Swiss Chocolate Adventure and an elaborate sculpture garden. Following your time at the museum, the rest of the day is yours to experience Lucerne at your own pace. Overnight Lucerne. (B)
Day 4 - Steamboat Cruise on Lake Lucerne/BrienzSpend the morning meandering through the charming sites of Lucerne with a private guided walking tour. Highlights along the way include the medieval buildings of the city center and the oldest wooden bridge in all of Europe, the Chapel Bridge. As lunchtime approaches, make your way to the shoreline, where you board a steamboat for a 3-course lunch that is served while you cruise through the picturesque waters of Lake Lucerne. Back on land; make your way to the Lucerne train station for a journey into the Bernese Oberland. Overnight Brienz or Meiringen. (B,L)
Day 5 - Brienz Rothorn RailwayIn Brienz today, board the Brienz Rothorn Railway for a scenic journey to the summit station of Brienzer Rothorn. Operating for over 125 years, this rack railway is known for cherry-red panorama coaches and its enchanting views of meadows, mountains, lakes and rural scenes. The climb to the top takes approximately 1 hour to complete, and as you arrive, you are treated to breathtaking views of over 600 mountains! There are many hiking trails at the top, too, including a leisurely hike to the summit. As the train descends the mountain, breathe in the fresh mountain air and marvel at the vistas presented by this scenic excursion. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Overnight Brienz or Meiringen. (B)
Day 6 - Ballenberg Open-Air MuseumTurn back the hands of time with a visit to the Ballenberg Open-Air Museum. As the only open-air museum in Switzerland, this facility encompasses more than 160 acres and hints at rural life in years past. The campus of the museum is set up as 13 small hamlets and includes approximately 100 rural Swiss homes and farm buildings, some of which were built between the 14th and 19th centuries. In addition to the storybook-perfect buildings, the land on which they are set is simply idyllic, with meadows, forests and wide-open fields setting the historical tone. While at the museum, enjoy stories and demonstrations by people in period costumes and try your hand at traditional occupations. Do not forget to take a buggy ride. All of this and more is presented by your personal tour guide for the day. Overnight Brienz or Meiringen. (B)
Day 7 - Tour ConclusionAfter breakfast this morning, board your train for the return trip to Zürich, where your Swiss adventure concludes. (B)
Hotels include The Chedi Andermatt; Hotel Continental Park, Lucerne; and Grand Hotel Giessbach, Brienz or Hotel Victoria, Meiringen
Furka Steam Railway
The Furka steam railway mountain route takes visitors back to the golden age of steam rail travel in Switzerland. The journey leads from Realp to the magnificent mountain landscape of the Central Alps and on over the historic route of Glacier Express to Oberwald in Canton Valais. The intermediate stop at Furka station takes travellers to the routes highest point of 2160 metres.
Chugging along Alpine meadows and through lush forests on the rack railway built in 1892, the Brienz Rothorn Railway has lost none of its original appeal. In roughly one hour, the small steam locomotives push the merry red panorama coaches from Lake Brienz up to the Brienzer Rothorn. On a clear day, the Rothorn offers you a magnificent view of no fewer than 693 peaks.
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