Swiss Rail Spectacular II

Experience the unparalleled beauty of Switzerland’s mountainous landscapes in luxury and style, as we travel on the country’s most exquisite and historic trains during our twelve night/thirteen-day tour (with a two-night pre-tour optional rail extension available from London). Travelling by day on board the luxurious CIWL/VSOE style day cars of the standard-gauge Prestige Continental Express, and the metre-gauge Pullman cars of the Glacier Pullman Express, we marvel at some of Europe’s most breath-taking alpine vantage points, including the historic Furka Pass, the Gornergrat Railway and the Jungfraujoch, as we relax and enjoy the sumptuous onboard cuisine and musical entertainment. Each evening will be spent in luxury hotel accommodation in the heart of each destination.

(London - Paris) - Basel - Landquart - Zermatt - Gornergrat Railway - Furka Pass - Andermatt - Disentis - Chur - Tirano - Rigi Kulm - Lucerne - Interlaken - Reichenbach Falls - Jungfraujoch - Brienz - Rothorn - Bern - Basel

Tour Schedules & Prices

2021

Pre-Tour London to Basel via Paris

Optional Pre-Tour Extension

For those wishing for something additional, join us for our optional pre-tour extension. We check in to the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel and spend the rest of the day relaxing. The next day we will board the Eurostar (Business Premier Class) for our journey below the English Channel to Paris where we dine at the iconic ‘Le Train Bleu’ restaurant in the heart of the Gare de Lyon. Built in 1901, the restaurant was given Historical Monument status in 1972 and has just reopened after a painstaking renovation. We spend the night at the Mercure Gare de Lyon. The next day we transfer to the French TGV for a speedy ride to Basel, Switzerland to be the first to board the Prestige Continental Express as we head for Zürich to meet with the rest of our fellow travellers.

12 July 2021 - London - Check into the stunning St Pancras Grand Hotel for a one-night stay followed by a dinner in the Hotel’s Gilbert Scott restaurant

Overnight at the Renaissance St Pancras Grand Hotel
Meal Arrangements: D


13 July 2021 - Paris - After breakfast we take a late morning Eurostar train through the Channel Tunnel to Gare du Nord station in Paris. We then transfer to the Mercure Hotel in Paris Gare de Lyon station for one night. Dinner at the iconic Restaurant Train Bleu, situated in the main hall of the Gare de Lyon.

Overnight at the Mercure Gare de Lyon
Meal Arrangements: B,L,D


14 July 2021 - Basel - Lunchtime departure from Gare de Lyon for the three-hour journey by TGV Lyria to Basel SBB station where we transfer to the GAIA hotel and join other guests who have arrived by air for a one-night stay.

Overnight at the GAIA Hotel
Meal Arrangements: B,L,D

Day 1 Basel

Switzerland

Transfers from Basel Airport to central Basel, close to Basel SBB station where our train will leave tomorrow morning. This evening we will enjoy a Welcome Dinner.

Overnight at the GAIA Hotel, Basel

Meal Arrangements: D

Day 2 Basel to Chur

Switzerland

This morning we join the Prestige Continental Express private train in Basel's SBB main station. After a short stop in Zurich we will have lunch as we are steam-hauled from Winterthur through the Swiss countryside to Chur where we stay for one night.

Overnight at the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz

Meal Arrangements: L, D

Day 3 Zermatt

Switzerland

Following a visit to the Rhätisher Bahn’s railway (RhB) railway workshop in Landquart this morning, we join a train of traditional RhB carriages hauled by one of their steam locomotives and head to Disentis, where we board the Glacier Express (travelling in the 1st class panorama cars) as we travel over the spectacular Oberalp Pass and arrive early evening into Zermatt.

Overnight at the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof

Meal Arrangements: B, L, D

Day 4 Zermatt

Switzerland

Enjoy a morning at leisure in this beautiful alpine town that is dominated by the majestic Matterhorn. This afternoon, as part of the delayed 90th anniversary celebrations of the Glacier Express, we take an exciting journey on the Gornergrat Rack Railway with one of the Glacier Pullman Express carriages and a rack-railcar. Guests will travel one way in the Pullman car and the other in the railcar.

We travel to a height of 3,089 metres (10,135 feet) for the most incredible close-up view of the Matterhorn. The Gornergrat is located between the Gornergletscher and Findelgletscher (glaciers) and offers a view of more than twenty peaks over 4,000 metres (13,123 feet) as we descend the mountain. A raclette dinner will be taken at the Riffelalp Resort, Al Bosco Restaurant at 2,222m (7,290 ft) before returning to Zermatt on our private train.

Overnight at the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof

Meal Arrangements: B, D

Day 5 Furka Pass & Andermatt

Switzerland

After breakfast at the hotel, we join the Pullman Glacier Express, (two Pullman cars and a piano-bar car) as we descend from Zermatt to Oberwald, where a post bus will take us for lunch at the Hotel Glacier du Rhône.

After lunch we cross one of the most beautiful mountain passes in the world, the Furka Pass. The Dampfbahn Furka-Bergstrecke (Furka Cogwheel Steam Railway) is a largely volunteer operated heritage railway which operates a mainly rack and pinion operated line across the Furka Pass. Culminating at 2,160 (7,086 feet) metres above sea level, the line was decommissioned after construction of the 15.4 km Furka Base Tunnel made it obsolete. The Furka Pass has been gradually brought back into service using original equipment and is now restored to its former glory.

On arrival in Realp we have a tour of the railway workshops then re-joining our Pullman train for the short journey down to Andermatt.

Overnight at Hotel Chedi, Andermatt

Meal Arrangements: B, L, D

Day 6 St Moritz

Switzerland

After breakfast at the hotel we re-join our Pullman train, today supplemented by two Gourmino dining cars, for a second crossing of the Oberalp pass before stopping mid-morning in Disentis where we pause to visit the Benedictine Abbey, founded in 720 AD, escorted by one of the monks. We have lunch on board as we run down the Rhein Gorge to Chur, the oldest city in Switzerland and have a walking tour of the completely car-free centre.

Late afternoon we re-join our Pullman train for the journey up to St. Moritz. Our travels will take us through the Albula Pass between Filisur and St. Moritz, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Overnight at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, St Moritz

Meal Arrangements: B, L, D

Day 7 Tirano

Italy

Today we travel Switzerland’s famous Bernina Line to Tirano, Italy. From St. Moritz we again use the Glacier Pullman Express cars hauled by a unique and historic Bernina ‘Crocodil’ electric locomotive Nr 182, built in 1928. Our private train will allow us the freedom to make some photo stops along the way. This section of the Bernina Line is home to the incredible spiral stone viaduct at Brusio.

Once in Tirano, Italy we spend time enjoying the Valtellina Valley and visit the Triacco La Gatta Winery where we will have lunch, before retracing our steps past St Moritz and then through Davos and Klosters to Landquart via the 19-km Vereina Tunnel.

Overnight at Grand Hotel Bad Ragaz

Meal Arrangements: B, L, D

Day 8 Vitznau & Lucerne

Switzerland

This morning we depart Landquart on the Prestige Continental Express for Arth Goldau. Here we have another steam special, this time up Mount Rigi; also known as Queen of the Mountains 1,752 metres (5,748 feet) to Rigi Kulm. From Kulm station we will descend to Vitznau on Lake Lucerne. From Viztnau we enjoy a cruise on the Lake, on one of the classic paddle steamers, to the town of Lucerne itself, where we visit the Swiss Rail Museum or have some free time before travelling onto Interlaken, where we will stay for four nights at the Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa.

Overnight at Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, Interlaken

Meal Arrangements: B, L (packed lunch), D

Day 9 Reichenbach Falls

Switzerland

Interlaken will act as our base for the next few days as we visit the magical Jungfrau alpine region of Switzerland. Today we will join a private steam train on the Ballenberg Dampfbahn to Meiringen and Innertkirchen. From here there is the choice to walk 2 km through the spectacular Aareschlucht Gorge, followed a trip by Funicular to Reichenbach Falls, made famous by Arthur Conan Doyle as the spot where he killed off both Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty, before a visit to the Sherlock Holmes Museum in Meiringen then re-joining our steam train which will return us to Interlaken.

A second group has a more leisurely day by going straight from Innertkirchen to Reichenbach Falls, then visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum and some free time in Meiringen before returning to our train back to Interlaken.

Overnight at Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, Interlaken

Meal Arrangements: B

Day 10 Jungfraujoch, the Top of Europe

Switzerland

Today we depart Interlaken by regular trains for Grindelwald and Kleine Scheidegg. Once at Kleine Scheidegg we have the choice of a leisurely morning with stunning Alpine views or transfer to the Jungfraubahn and the final leg of our trip up to a height of 3,454 metres (11,332 feet) above sea level, making this the highest railway station in Europe. Weather permitting you may be able to venture out onto the glaciers.

There will be time at the top of the mountain before descending back to Kleine Scheidegg where we will have lunch and then continue down the mountain to Wilderswil where we have a special steam charter train on the Schynige-Platte Bahn Rack Railway. At the summit we will visit the Alpine Garden before returning to Wilderswil and then back to the hotel.

Overnight at Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, Interlaken

Meal Arrangements: B, L

Day 11 Brienz, Brienzer-Rothorn

Switzerland

Today we leave Interlaken for the Brienzer-Rothorn Steam Rack Railway. The town of Brienz has been known for centuries for its wood carving, as well as the stepping-stone for the Brienzer-Rothorn Bahn, the fourth highest railway in Switzerland that reaches a height of 2,244 metres (7,360 feet). Following lunch on the mountain at the Berghaus Planalp we will return to Brienz and cruise to Interlaken on the 1914 paddle steamer SS Lötschberg.

Overnight at Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, Interlaken

Meal Arrangements: B, L (coffee & pastries), D

Day 12 Basel

Switzerland

This morning we leave Interlaken on board the Prestige Continental Express and make the short journey to Bern, where we enjoy a short city tour by historic steam tram. Back on board for lunch we travel down to Lake Geneva and then transfer to the Blonay-Chamby Railway perched high above Vevey, where we spend the afternoon. Returning to our Pullman train we then follow Lake Geneva to the end of the lake. As our final dinner on the train is served, we return along Lake Geneva and then Lake Neuchatel back to our final stop in Basel and the end of our tour.

Overnight at GAIA Hotel, Basel

Meal Arrangements: B, L, D

Day 13 Basel

Switzerland

After breakfast, free time until airport transfers or train departures from the close by SBB station.

Meal Arrangements: B

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