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This pass, that pass, which pass...please help

I'm taking the below trip and need advice on what pass to get or not. I've tried to figure out how much for each section and total up without a pass. Boy, some of the sites (Bernina & Golden) are confusing. On both the B & G I want 1st class and on the G, VIP.
On the Bernina site it does not show me the St Moritz to Chur route when I try to look for cost of ticket. I'm using a date within 90 days.

We hope to take in as much as we can at each town. So we will also have the cost of cable cars, etc.
If we get any of them it would make sense for the Half-way pass. Just not sure about the other special passes. Any suggestions?

Day 1 - Leave Varenna to Tirano
Board the Bernina Express arrive St Moritz
Stay the night in St. Moritz
Day 2 St Moritz arrive Lucerne (can I take the Bernina from St Moritz to Chur, then regular to Lucerne
Day 3 - Lucerne
Day 4 Luceren - Golden Pass to Interlaken - regular to Wengen
Day 5 Wengen
Day 6 Wengen - Zweisimen
Take the Golden Pass to Montreux
Day 7 Montreux leave for Colmar, France

Thanks for your help!
Carla

Posted by
16883 posts

Since your travel fits into 7 calendar days, I'd consider the fullest coverage offered by the Swiss Travel Pass for 8 consecutive days for about $385 per person. This might not be cheaper than just the trains listed, but also gives you more coverage and discounts on your days in Lucerne and Wengen, which I did not try to estimate.

When is your trip? Swiss pass specials often come up for fall travel, as well as Rail Europe has just started a 20% off coupon deal for travel through June on consecutive e-passes.

Posted by
2581 posts

Just as an aside, on the Golden Pass to Montreux you'll get great views regardless of what class you're in. I was in first and it was just fine, is VIP that bit where you sit up above the driver? If it's a lot extra, I would think twice.

Posted by
13 posts

Thank you for the valuable information. I've decided to purchase the 8 day pass, along with the half-fare card.
I'll wait to purchase on-line since our trip is September.
Thanks
Carla

Posted by
16840 posts

There is no point getting a half fare card if you are getting a Swiss Pass. You will already get half fare privaliges on mountain railways (in general). Also the "named" trains like the Bernina Express have mandatory reservation fees which are not covered by the pass. The Bernina Express is 10 chf. If you take the actual Express, you will have to pay twice if you use it on two separate days. There are regular trains every hour, so they work just as well. There are regular direct trains from St Moritz to Chur every hour. To take the Bernina Express on this route, you need to take the short connecting train to Samedan.

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks for the information. I found an article that mentioned as of August 2015 they will combined the Swiss Pass and Half-way pass into one. When I'm on the Bernina Express site, I still can not find tickets from St Moritz to any town close to Chur. Is something wrong with there website?
Thanks,
Carla

Posted by
16840 posts

Well, the Bernina Express does not go to St Mortiz, it goes through Pontresina and Samedan, short cutting St Moritz. It is a short distance, I guess you could say these towns are suburbs of St Moritz. So if coming from Tirano, you get off at Pontresina and take a short connecting train to St Moritz proper. Leaving St Moritz, you take a connecting train to Samedan to get the Express. But you can just get one of the hourly trains that go direct from St Moritz to Chur. Look at www.sbb.ch.
If you get an 8 day Swiss Pass, no need for the Half Fare Card, but if you get a Swiss Flexi Pass, say a 3 of 8 day pass, you can add the Half Fare card for you nonflex days at 60 chf.