I have heard that advance reservations can be made for the scenic trains. We will be traveling the Wm Tell Express, the Bernina Expr. ess, the Glacier Express and the Golden Pass. We will be traveling Sept. 14-28. We will be purchasing 15 days Swiss Travel pass and Half Fare when we arrive in country. Can anyone help me solve this ?? Thanks
If you want the official William Tell excursion package, including the boat, lunch, and 1st-class reservation, then it would be easier to go to that specific web site, but Rick doesn't recommend that package as a great value for time or money. You can take trains and boats on the same route without booking a package. You'd want to avoid trains going through the new, longer Gotthard tunnel, choosing the route via Airolo, instead.
If you're buying the Swiss Travel Pass for 15 consecutive days (about $465 per person in 2nd class), then you don't need a Half Fare Card. You already have maximum coverage.
Sounds like an awful lot of train riding. Don't forget to actually get out and about in that beautiful scenery. You don't have to be an avid hiker to meander through the beautiful scenery - and neither do you have to ride a particular train just because it's got "Golden Pass" painted on the side of the carriage. Other trains travel the same route and same tracks as those special trains so don't burn you precious vacation time waiting on a specific train just because it has some special writing on the side (Bernina Express, Glacier Express, etc).
You can make reservations even before you buy the travel pass! Just make sure you check the appropriate pass when you go to pay. And of course, actually buy the pass before you travel on the train.