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Reporting from Lucerne

Just completed day 2 of a pre-cruise visit to Lucerne before boarding a Viking long ship. This city is amazing!!! So beautiful, CLEAN, and scenic! The only evidence of flooding were sand bags along the river. We hit the ground running by heading up the summit of Mt. Pilatus. It was indescribable. A travel moment I’ll remember the rest of my life. The crowds are not here as I expected. The Swiss are very kind but seem reserved and serious. Swiss food……….well, their beer is awesome!

Prior to our trip I spent much time worrying about getting proof of my COVID vaccine, obtaining a negative PCR test within the correct time frame, Swiss contact tracing forms, etc. etc. etc. Upon our arrival in Zurich, the customs official barely looked at our passports before stamping. He wasn’t interested in any of the forms I had ready for inspection and spent SO much time and anxiety on. It took less than 5 seconds and we were in. LOL!

Posted by
378 posts

Great to hear. Thanks so much for taking the time to report back. We appreciate it. I can’t wait to see Lucerne in Sept. (hopefully). Have a great rest of your trip!!

Posted by
1283 posts

Did your hotel ask for anything?

When we were in Maui in April, the rental car agent, the hotel, and our arrival airport were very strict on checking our covid testing info.

Pls keep us posted. Safe travels!

Posted by
1283 posts

Carrie- ditto for Sept.
Hope-hope-hope!

Posted by
134 posts

Glad you are enjoying your time in Lucerne. And definitely savor the lack of crowds - normally this time of year, I try to avoid the tourist areas in Switzerland, so it has also been a pleasure for us "locals" to have a chance to enjoy some of these places without all the tourists too :)

And I also want to say (to you and the others planning trips) that although I know it can be annoying when the forms don't get checked after you have spent time/money running around and organizing everything, just remember that the point of all the paperwork and testing is not the checking by a border guard, but primarily to keep travel possible and safe. As someone living in Switzerland, I appreciate that you (and other tourists) are vaccinated/tested/following the rules, so thank you for doing these things, even if they don't get checked at the border! I am about to do a similar round of tasks for my first trip in 17 months, but hey, in the scheme of things, it's a small price to pay to finally get back on the road!!

Hope the rest of your trip goes well!

Posted by
248 posts

gparvin,
Thank you for reporting on your experience in Luzern. We too hope to be there the end of September. I/we chose Luzern based on positive comments on this forum.

If you only had a day to spend in Lucerne would you do Rigi or Pilatus? We will have two additional days to make it back to Munich via train. Any suggestions where to go after Lucerne?

Posted by
1610 posts

Hi gparvin, hope you are enjoying your trip. If you have time, I’d love to hear about your Viking river cruise experience this year. We did Rhine Getaway a few years ago and loved it. Safe travels.

Posted by
1283 posts

drdenise, if you have the Swiss Travel Pass, Mt Rigi is completely covered: boat ride and cogwheel train. For Pilatus, you have a discount. Both are beautiful, but currently I favor Rigi, as you can see three countries from the summit, and can get off on the way up/down for refreshments at the restaurants or hiking. The food at the top is expensive and mundane, IMHO. I've never been to the cafes that are part-way up the mountain.
You will have a great time in this beautiful country! Safe travels!

Posted by
64 posts

We'll be arriving the second week of September (hopefully) for a 2 week stay and our first stop will be Lucerne. I cannot wait! I was hesitant to book time in Lucerne because I'm anxious to get back into the Alps, but I'm happy to hear a good report on the area! I wanted to see Mt Pilatus last time we were in Switzerland but had a VERY short visit so it didn't make it on the list.

I am also somewhat nervous about all the extra documentation requirements so I'm happy to hear it's not as serious as it seems! (Not to say they aren't taking things seriously, but just that it's nothing to stress over)

Enjoy your cruise and thank you for the update on travel conditions there!

Posted by
130 posts

Just returned from our Viking Cruise with a post-stay in the Netherlands and a pre-trip to Lucerne. It was a glorious-fantastic trip!!! The weather was wonderful with only a few showers here and there. We had NO issues returning into the United States. Prior to our trip we had purchased a self-administered COVID test kit from United Airlines. We downloaded the third party app (Navica) and the day before we left we went on the app and were given instructions on how to take the test. A proxy watches via our cell phone camera and gives instructions. It did work sorta like a pregnancy test with results showing on a card. From there the app reported our results to United and we were deemed "travel ready".

Thank you to everyone here that has replied to all my anxious questions before our trip. I learn so much here and really appreciate it.

Greg,

Posted by
1283 posts

Greg,
thanks, we learned so much from your reporting. Thx for taking the time, especially for the info on the self-test.

Safe future travels!

Posted by
378 posts

gparvin, thanks for taking the time to report back. So glad to hear you had a great trip. Also happy to hear of your experience with the home test as mine just arrived earlier today.

Posted by
1593 posts

I was just today reading my journal of a trip that included Lucerne in 1970 ( yikes ! ) and the lake was overflowing back then also !

Posted by
37 posts

@Gparvin
What are your thoughts on your Viking River Cruise?
Was it worth the cost? If you don’t mind sharing a few Pros and Cons…

We are kicking around the idea of a Viking River cruise in 2022. Would love to hear your feedback.

Thank you!

Posted by
31271 posts

gparvin,

Thanks for the trip report! It's interesting to hear how travel has "changed" in the Covid era. Lucerne is one of my favourite cities in Europe, but I'll wait until travel normalizes a bit more before returning for another visit.

Posted by
560 posts

So glad to read this! Heading to Zurich mid-September and trusting I have everything ready to go!

Posted by
1750 posts

this has to be one of Murphy's Corollaries - if you go to great trouble to do all the required paperwork, it will not be needed.

The next one? If you don't do the paperwork ....

Posted by
130 posts

suzettedalton3,

We loved our Viking River Cruise so much we booked an Italian ocean cruise with them in June of next year. I can't think of any cons whatsoever other than maybe the cost? However, you absolutely get what you pay for. Everything was outstanding.