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Another P2P vs Pass Itinerary Help Request

Alright, my itinerary is pretty well nailed down. Now I'm just trying to figure out whether it would be best to get a pass and pay all the supplemental/reservation fees or just buy p2p tickets. My initial plan was to buy a railpass, then my plan was to buy p2p tickets and a Swiss Pass, and now I'm really just not sure. Here are the trips I'm taking:

Rates are for TWO people. All travel is in August.

London-Brussels: $150 p2p (Eurostar)

Brussels-Amsterdam: $100 p2p (ICE, not Thalys)

Amsterdam-Zurich CNL: 350-400?? (double sleeper) *-see note

Switzerland Swiss Pass: $450, or:

Zurich-Lucerne-Lauterbrunnen-Murren: ??

Jungfrau: $200 with Swiss Pass, 320 or so with railpass, 400 or so with nothing?

Murren-Thun-Bern: ??

Bern to Rome on EuroNight Luna: $225 (advance fare, double sleeper)

Rome-Venice: $150 p2p

Venice-Florence: $100 p2p

Florence-Paris Artesia Palatino 226: ?? (trouble getting the SMART quote for a double sleeper)

Paris to London: $150 p2p

  • - The SparNight fare for this train apparently is about as much as a standard fare - 280 euros for an economy double compartment!?

I think I had it worked out that p2p tickets would be cheaper, but that was when I was seeing good SparNight rates for the CNL night train. Now I'm thinking that a railpass may be cheaper if that gets me good rates on the three night routes; however, that presents the issue of the Switzerland travel. We'll be staying in Murren and taking the Jungfraubahn; the Swiss Pass would have been helpful for all of that, but it doesn't make sense ($) to buy both a railpass and a Swiss Pass. Not sure what to do...

Posted by
8700 posts

You've done your homework well!

A couple of comments: 278€ for the Amsterdam-Zuerich night train is $430. The standard fare is 350€ ($542).

From my perusal of the Trenitalia site, it looks like Smart fares aren't available on the Firenze-Paris night train for double sleepers. Go fares are, but the site says the actual fare will be calculated during the booking process.

Posted by
486 posts

Wow! You must not want to see much as you will be spending a lot of time in trains!

Consider visiting fewer countries (like one or two) and going back again in a few years when the dollar is worth more. You will be a lot more relaxed.

Posted by
6898 posts

A couple of thoughts on train travel in Italy. For the Rome/Venice segment, standard fare for 2 on the Eurostar is 112E or about $180. However, if you take the slightly slower ICPlus train on the same tracks, the standard fare is 83E or about $133. Plus, if you buy your tickets a few days in advance of travel, ask for the Amica fare. 20% discount off the fares above if they are available. The Amica fares are limted to date, class, and train category.

For the Venice/Florence segment, Std fare on the Eurostar is 64.60E or $103.00. On the ICPlus train, the Std fare for two is 43E or $69. So, there are some savings on the ICPlus trains over the Eurostars.

You really don't need a pass for Italy but if you do, there is a reservation/seat fee of 18Euro per person for a pass holder per run. About 4Euro on the ICPlus trains.

Posted by
6898 posts

On the Swiss pass, which one were you considering? Are both of you over 65? The 2nd class GA pass for two is 570CHF or $570. The 1st class GA pass for two is 860CHF or $860. These costs are less for seniors over 65. When we go to Switzerland, we get the half-fare cards. Our most recent trip was June of last year. A half fare card for 30 days cost 99CHF. However, I've never seen a 30-day half-fare card on their website. I'm looking at ours so I know they do it. It has the active dates printed right on the ticket. Without a pass, a round-trip ticket to and from the Jungfraujoch (train station) is about $180.

Posted by
60 posts

In case there's any confusion, those are just all of the trips, not a daily itinerary (not one line per day!).

We're actually both quite young; our ages don't add up to 65. :) It may be many years until we can return; we're trying to find the proper balance between seeing lots of things and having too hectic of a schedule. I think we have a good balance (I've been there before on a whirlwind guided tour, so I know how bad that can be).

We were considering the full "Swiss Pass" that covers everything up to Murren and gives a 50% discount for anything further.

Larry - for the ICPlus tickets, if for example I were to purchase a ticket from Rome to Venice, could I stop in Florence and hop back on to resume my trip to Venice all on the same ticket?

I may end up just getting the half-fare card and some sort of multi-country railpass. It sounds like I probably need the railpass in order to get a decent price on the night trains...

Posted by
6 posts

To purchase a One Month Swiss Half Fare card online go to:, click on train, under see also: click on A Special Offer for our foreign guests: The Swiss Travel System Shop, scroll over to Swiss Half Fare Card and click on Info/Book Here. I t will arrive in your mail in a few days.

Posted by
6898 posts

Joel, good question. I see so much information that no reservations are required on an IC or ICPlus train in Italy. No seat guarantees either. You just get on a get lucky. I have been on R, ES, EC and CIS trains but not an IC or ICPlus. Thus, I can't be sure.

If no seat reservations are required, you can hop off and hop on a later train with a properly validated ticket. If seat reservations are required then the simple way to do this is buy two tickets. One from Rome to Florence and a second one from Florence to Venice. On reserved tickets, it shows the date, train number, departure time and seat number. Open tickets (R train, etc.) only has the departure point and destination. That's why you have to validate your ticket before boarding.