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Grand Train Tour of Switzerland in Winter

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You are viewing the 2025 itinerary. Select your departure year
20252026
11 days From $3,595 $3,295 per person
5.0 stars(10 reviews)
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Mountains, valleys, waterways and scenic railways: Switzerland offers stunning vistas and grand adventures at every turn on this 11-day tour.

Travel on your own following a well-planned itinerary
Save Up to $500

Offer Ends August 7th: Save up to $500 per person on 2025 Vacations, offer varies by tour. Prices as marked online.

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2025 Tour code: WE-GSWR-25

About the tour

The very best sites and attractions of Switzerland lie ahead on this incredible wintertime journey. You will enjoy a look at the lands from all angles as you cruise the beautiful waters of Lake Lucerne and ascend some of the region's most iconic mountains, including Mt. Rigi and Mt. Schilthorn. You will experience historic cities, resort towns, quaint villages and everything in between. Your time here begins in and ends in Zürich and continues to Lucerne, Interlaken, Montreux, Zermatt and St. Moritz. Each destination brings wonderful sightseeing opportunities and full immersion in Swiss culture. You will have time to explore on your own, as well as to embark on well-planned excursions as you move through the country. In addition to everything else this tour provides, your trip is rounded out by scenic rail journeys aboard the Glacier Express and the Bernina Express. A true winter wonderland awaits.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Zürich / Lucerne

Arrive in Zürich and travel by train to Lucerne. Check in to your hotel with the remainder of the day at leisure to enjoy this lakeside town. Overnight Lucerne. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 2 - Mount Rigi Excursion

Start the day with a boat cruise on Lake Lucerne. Then comes the venerable Mt. Rigi Railway, which has been taking visitors up the "Queen of the Mountains" from Vitznau since 1871. At Rigi Kulm you'll find a majestic 360-degree panorama with views of the Swiss plateau and as far as the Black Forest, the Vosges mountains and the ring of mountains from the Glarus Alps to the Bernese Alps. After the journey back down by cogwheel railway to Arth-Goldau, travel by train back to Lucerne. Overnight Lucerne.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 3 - GoldenPass Panoramic to Interlaken

Starting in the German speaking Lucerne region, today's train journey takes you over the Brünig Pass into the Bernese Oberland and past Lake Brienz. Interlaken lies between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. The vacation destination, which is presided over by the three mighty mountains, Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, is the starting point for numerous activities. Overnight Interlaken.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 - Excursion to Schilthorn

At 2970 meters, the Schilthorn attracts visitors with a magnificent 360-degree panoramic view of the Swiss skyline, including Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. Since 1967, the aerial cableway makes its way from Stechelberg in the Lauterbrunnen valley up to the summit in four legs. Visitors can follow in James Bond's footsteps by visiting the interactive adventure exhibition Bond World 007 or on the new 007 Walk of Fame. Overnight Interlaken.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 - GoldenPass Line to Montreux

Your journey on the GoldenPass Line continues today as you travel along the shores of Lake Thun to the Simmen valley and the world-famous holiday resort of Gstaad. Continue further on through the wild romantic Pays d'Enhaut with the scenic villages of Château d'Oex and Montbovon before reaching Montreux. Overnight Montreux.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 6 - Montreux / Zermatt

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before traveling by train from Montreux to Zermatt or Brig, where the remainder of the day is at your leisure. Zermatt lies at the foot of the Matterhorn and is quite possibly the world's most famous mountain. Overnight Zermatt. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 - Gornergrat Excursion

Today you have the chance to take an unguided mountain excursion aboard one of Europe's highest cogwheel trains up to the Gornergrat and enjoy views of the surrounding mountains and the Matterhorn. Overnight Zermatt.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 8 - Glacier Express to St. Moritz

This morning, board the world-famous Glacier Express for a thrilling ride in the panorama carriage to St. Moritz. Take in Switzerland's dramatic scenery as you travel along the deep Rhone valley, over the Oberalp Pass and through the impressive Rhine Gorge. St. Moritz is more than just a holiday resort. It is also the birthplace of Alpine winter tourism and has twice hosted the Winter Olympics. Overnight St. Moritz. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 9 - Bernina Express

Board the narrow-gauge Bernina Express and enjoy one of the most impressive scenic rail journeys Switzerland offers. Travel over circular viaducts and pass through winding tunnels en route to Tirano, Italy. Have a quick lunch before the return journey to St. Moritz aboard a regional train. Overnight St. Moritz.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 10 - St. Moritz / Zürich

After breakfast, take the train to Zürich. With a magnificent view of the snowcapped Alps on the horizon, Zürich offers a unique mixture of attractions - over 50 museums and more than 100 art galleries, international fashion labels and Zurich designs, and the most flamboyant and lively nightlife in Switzerland. Overnight Zürich. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 11 - Departure

Enjoy a final breakfast at your hotel before your trip comes to an end. 

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Pricing Plans

Moderate hotels commonly used are the Hotel De la Paix, Lucerne, Hotel Crystal, Interlaken, Tralala Hotel, Montreux, Hotel Gami Sarazena, Zermatt, Unique Hotel Eden, St. Moritz, and Hotel Adler, Zurich. Hotels are subject to availability, substitutes will be of similar quality and amenities. Train accommodations are in second class. Upgrades to first class available upon request.

Superior hotels commonly used are the Ameron Hotel Flora Luzern, Lucerne, Hotel Bellevue, Interlaken, Hotel Eden Palace au Lac, Montreux, Hotel Aristella swissflair, Zermatt, Hotel Reine Victoria, St. Moritz, and Glockenhof Zurich, Zurich. Hotels are subject to availability, substitutes will be of similar quality and amenities. Train accommodations are in second class. Upgrades to first class available upon request.

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Trains

Bernina Express
The Glacier Express
The GoldenPass Line

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Reviews

5.0 stars5.0 / 5 · 10 reviews

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  5. 1 star
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Chris M

5 stars

Submitted 30 Apr 2024

For context, we live in New Zealand and booked to do this trip in March 2020, but Covid got in the way. We thought that was it, we'd never get to go. We were given a credit by Vacations By Rail (VBR) as many other companies did. Then, for global, cost and personal reasons, we could not do this trip until this year. Now I have to say, VBR went above and beyond to keep the dream alive. Their team (Hilary, Charles, Gabrielle and others) were very supportive and got us on tour in March 2024 and it was just fantastic. The itinerary was very well planned, presented and easy to follow. It gave us time and options along the way. The 15-day SwissPass, SBB (Swiss Rail) and their SBB App were the magic that unlocked so many things to do. We used it heaps in Zurich and the surrounding regions where we had 6 days. We used it to visit museums, take Lake Cruises, Trains, Buses and Trams everywhere all included. A free tour of Chillon castle in Montreux (great to do, get the audio guide) etc... The hotels were great. Zurich, Old Town, Hotel Wellenberg great location and staff, Zermatt Alpenhof, brilliant, was the best we stayed in. Great hotel, luxury, location and restaurant (ask them to pick you up from the station, good to know). Same at the Crystal in St Moritz, give them a call. Interlaken Royal St George was pure luxury. Beautiful place. And many more. All an excellent experience. As you can see we really enjoyed this trip and have nothing but praise for how VBR looked after us for four years and then with their excellent tour, meticulous planning and great choices of destinations and hotels. And all by email and a few calls from Chicago 13,000kms away. Thanks again. We couldn't ask for more and will remember this one for quite a long time. Chris & Helen Some things we learnt along the way; - Switzerland shops and supermarkets are shut on Sundays except for small grocery stores, cafes, pubs and restaurants etc - If you are travelling in March/April just think about the impact Easter may have on your travels and day. Otherwise, great time of the year to travel. Not too many tourists and skiers. Not weather extremes either - Ask the hotels about pickups from stations. - Check the local attractions in and around Zurich. Some great places to see - The Zurich Tourism office in Zurich's Hauptbahnhof is very good and well worth a visit for ideas and savings, oh and free WiFi as is SBB - Have some change as they charge for the public bathrooms, 2CHF. Many have PayWave.

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JULIE GUTSCHENRITTER JUSTICE

5 stars

Submitted 20 Mar 2024

Fabulous Trip. I was really worried about using the train system because I am not used to it. But everything worked out great. The train system was very easy to use and to move from city to city. The cities we stayed in were fabulous (Zermatt was my favorite). The scenic train rides were all fabulous (my favorite was the Excellence Class on the Glacier Express, yes the upgrade is worth it). We did not upgrade the hotels, but the hotels we stayed at were perfect for us (the Matterhorn Hotel in Zermatt and the Swiss Chalet in Interlaken were my favorite). But the prize of the trip were the excellent views from the top of the mountains.

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NANCY JO JOHNSON

5 stars

Submitted 03 Mar 2024

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip! The hotels were located conveniently close to the train stations, the SBB train schedule was easy to follow, and the scenery was beautiful. We would highly recommend this trip!

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DEBORAH FRINK

5 stars

Submitted 03 Mar 2024

I would highly recommend this trip to anyone interested in train travel through Switzerland. The trains were immaculate, comfortable, and always on time to the minute. We did the independent tour and the itinerary supplied by VBR worked very well for us. The hotels were great, all conveniently located within walking distance from the train stations. Words fall short in describing the stunning scenery and the beauty of this country. Upgrading to first class was well worth it, as we always had a seat in a spacious car. Having the Swiss Travel Pass was great, on and off each train with no need to buy a ticket and it also got us several scenic boat trips, bus rides and free admission into some museums. The only negative I can think of was with the Hotel St. Gottard in Zurich. Our room had a broken shower head and the staff at the front desk was very unfriendly. They did end up getting us a new room but it took quite a bit of discussion and we had to prove to them the shower was indeed broken before they would move us.

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DENYS and THELMA WEBSTER

5 stars

Submitted 09 Jan 2024

We did our Grand Tour of Switzerland in December. Getting around Switzerland by train was easier than we had expected, and all of the rail and hotel bookings went seamlessly. The scenery was simply fantastic. Thank you to Vacations by Rail who arranged and customised the trip to our specific requirements, inluding securing hard to get tickets in Excellence Class on the Glacier Express. Our only suggestion is that it would have been better if Vacations by Rail could have provided our final ticket documentation a little earlier than just a few days prior tio our departure.

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JAMES JOSEPH PASELA

5 stars

Submitted 25 Mar 2023

A wonderful experience. Would do it again. Thank you.

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