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grand train tour fr lucerne

Hi, we will spend 5 days in switzerland from 5th to 9th May 2015. My question is :
1) If my base is geneva, how long will it take for me to get to lucerne by train?
2) does the train trip from geneva to lucerne included in the package of grand train tour from lucerne? If no,what is the suggestion and what train ticket/pass do i have to buy.
3) since it will be 4 days itinerary,do i have to plan my accomodation at every stop of the day?
thank you in advance..

Posted by
8889 posts

(1) It takes 2h45 to get from Geneva to Luzern by train. Single fare, 2nd class, without a pass is CHF 79. Return fare exactly double, CHF 158.
Times and prices for all trains in Switzerland can be found on: www.sbb.ch
But, if you would rather be in Luzern, why are you staying in Geneva?

(2) and (3) I do not know what "grand train tour" you are talking about, so I cannot answer your question.

Posted by
16835 posts

Looks like the "Grand Train Tour" is merely a suggested itinerary using a 4-day Swiss Pass. You don't need to go to Luzern to start, you could start in Geneva just as well. Take a train to Montreux where you get the Golden Pass train to Luzern. It is not really a single train, you change at Zweisimminen and Interlaken Ost to get to Luzern. You don't necessarily need to take the named trains with reservation fees not included in the Swiss Pass. Regular trains do these routes as well, although you will have to change trains a few times. It also includes the the Glacier Express, Bernina Express, and William Tell Express. Seems a bit of overkill to me, but if you love sitting in trains and watching great scenery (if the weather cooperates), you're hitting them all.

Posted by
815 posts

I'm sorry but it is very hard to make sense of your post....

First of all the only package deal I see on you page you referenced is an eight day package, not four days! And secondly if you are based in Geneva, then you will not be able to do all the routes and return to Geneva each evening!!!

I would suggest you consider the following path as it is more or less in line with Itinerary 1 on the page you referenced:

Day 1: Geneva to Zermatt via Martigny - this takes about 3 hours 45 minutes so there is plenty of time to visit the Gornergrat, look around Zermatt etc as the guid suggests.

Day 2: Zermatt to St. Moritz with the Glacier Express

Day 3: St Moritz to Lugano and on to Lucerne - This is directly from the description you posted using the Bernina Express and the Wilhelm Tell Express

Day 4: Lucerne to Geneva - Again this is directly from the description you referenced, but ending in Geneva rather than Montreaux, using the Golden Pass route.

Hopefully this is the kind of thing you had in mind. As for room reservations, I really can't say... I will be doing much of the same route a month later and do not intend to make any bookings until a few days before hand, but then again I live locally.

Enjoy your trip.

Jim

Posted by
8889 posts

Yes, looks like 5 suggested routes for making the most out of a 4-day Swiss pass. You would have to book your own hotels.
As none of the routes start or end in Geneva, you would have to adapt and make your own route. Both Sam and Jim's suggestions are sound. My own suggestion (not necessarily better or worse, just different).

  • Day 1: Geneva to Zermatt (overnight). If weather nice up the Gornergratbahn.
  • Day 2: Backtrack to Visp (main valley), then to Andermatt (part of the Glacier Express route), turn north to Goschenen and Luzern. If you have time, switch from train to boat for last section to Luzern (overnight).
  • Day 3: Brünigbahn to Interlaken (first half of Golden Pass route). Up side valley to Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald and overnight there.
  • Day 4: Backtrack to Interlaken, rest of Golden Pass route to Montreux. Back to Geneva (overnight).

Or, you can just look at a map and decide on your own route. If it was June, I would suggest including a postbus trip over one of the high alpine passes, but they are all usually blocked by snow until the end of May.

Posted by
7205 posts

Most of us here advise against booking on RailEurope because they're just middlemen and resellers who add a surcharge to sell you something that you could just was easily buy on your own. Avoiding RailEurope never hurt anybody ;-) except perhaps RS company who seems to be promoting RE at every possible step of the way. I'm also assuming there's some added $$$ incentive to RS for promoting RE.

Posted by
16883 posts

I would be interested to know how you reached the Grand Train Tour page, since excursions and packages are not supposed to be in the Rick Steves/Rail Europe co-branded shopping cart. We recommend making your own hotel bookings.

If you want a Swiss Travel Pass for delivery to a US address before you go, then you can order it through our cart. The pass for 4 consecutive days currently costs $268 per person in 2nd class and is also sold as an e-ticket, pre-validated for your 4-day travel window. They are also sold in Geneva airport and other train stations when you arrive.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks for all your suggestion..last question,should i buy the 4 day swiss pass online or i can get it once i arrive in geneva airport or at the train station.