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Golden Eagle Swiss Rail Spectacular

Swiss Rail Spectacular

12-day luxury rail journey from £12,885 pp incl. flights

Summary

Short description

From chartered steam trains to restaurant-car opulence, this is the ultimate Swiss rail journey

Highlights

  • Travel in 1920s style aboard Europe’s only luxury narrow-gauge train
  • Take in Alpine beauty aboard funiculars and steam trains
  • Get to the heart of the destination with expert-led tours
  • Enjoy luxury stays, porterage and fine drinks and dining
  • Begin with a Eurostar hop and luxurious stays in London and Paris

In Brief

  • 1 Night London
  • 1 Night Paris
  • 2 Nights St. Moritz
  • 1 Night Andermatt
  • 2 Nights Zermatt
  • 3 Nights Interlaken
  • 1 Night Zurich

About

Recommended for:
City | Natural world | Photography | Rail journey

This handpicked route will see you sweeping between snow-capped peaks and lush Alpine meadows on board everything from funiculars and chartered steam trains to the ultra-modern Glacier Express and the trip’s backbone – luxurious 1920s Pullman carriages. It’s all been seamlessly mapped out, with porterage and professional tour managers helping you between a full-board spread of luxury hotels, drinks-accompanied dining and expert-led excursions. Think glacier walks and winery lunches. It all begins with luxury stays in London and Paris, joined by a Business-Premier Eurostar journey.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
15 July: London

Begin in style with a night at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel. Since it first opened its doors in the late 19th-century, it’s become something of a London landmark, with its ornate Gothic-Revival flourishes now host to luxury-chic rooms and spa indulgences. You’ll also have the likes of the Charles Dickens Museum – housed in the author’s residence – and the literary treasures of the British Library on your doorstep. Alternatively, consider toasting the start of your journey with a meal at one of London’s world-class restaurants. 

Stay: St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel (Deluxe)

Day 2
London to Paris

This morning you’ll head downstairs to board a Eurostar bound for Paris. Travelling in Business Premier Class, you’ll enjoy everything from a 10-minute check-in and exclusive lounge access to a three-course meal designed by a Michelin-winning chef. Then, after rural France rolls into the Paris skyline, an included transfer will see you on to the Gare de Lyon station. Here, you’ll be treated to an indulgent dinner at the iconic ‘Le Train Bleu’ restaurant – a frescoed fine-dining institution since its turn-of-the-century inauguration. You’ll then overnight in the station’s ultra-contemporary Hotel Mercure, perhaps heading out for a stroll along the Seine or a glance at the city’s famous icons. 

Stay: Mercure Gare de Lyon (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Day 3
Paris to St. Mortiz via Basel

Heading downstairs, you’ll board a high-speed TGV to sweep on to Switzerland and Basel. Here, you’ll be among the first to board the Prestige Continental Express, with your fellow passengers joining in Zurich. Modelled on the Orient Express, you’ll settle in to admire the rich upholstery, wood inlay and brass detailing before enjoying the first of your full-board gourmet meals, washed down with a complimentary drinks service. Then, perhaps after a piano-accompanied drink in the bar car, you’ll change in Zurich to the narrow-gauge Glacier & Bernina Pullman Express, comprising four original 1930s Pullman cars. You’ll travel up over the high Albula Pass in wood-panelled opulence, arriving for dinner and a stay in UNESCO-listed St. Moritz – a favourite among 19th-century aristocracy for its postcard -perfect ski slopes.

Stay: Kempinski Grand Hotel Les Bains (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 4
The Bernina Line

Continuing in the Pullman Express, you’ll travel on to Poschiavo, perhaps settling in to further piano twinklings in the bar car. Having been adjoined to a regular departure, you’ll swap over to a private service here, pulled by with a 1920s electric locomotive. It affords the chance for scenic slowdowns and photo stops, including at Bursio’s spectacular spiral stone viaduct. Once arrived in Italy’s Tirano, you’ll explore the mountain-framed Valtellina Valley with an indulgent lunch at the Triacca Winery. Then, retracing your tracks to St. Moritz, a horse-drawn carriage will bring you to dinner, taken overlooking the sublime Lej Da Staz Lake.

Stay: Kempinski Grand Hotel Les Bains (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 5
St. Moritz to Andermatt

Leaving St. Moritz, today’s route will bring you along the green-carpeted floor of the craggy Rheinschlucht Gorge. You’ll then skirt close to the source of the Rhine River before hopping over Oberalp – a pass watched over by twin-peak sentinels – to arrive into Andermatt. As always, you’ll be treated to a gourmet lunch of fresh produce sourced from local farms, all the while the sublime scenery rolls past. Once arrived, you’ll check into luxury accommodation, billed as the “best five-star deluxe hotel in Switzerland”. Perhaps relax with a spa treatment and the fireplace of your Alpine-chic room or head out to explore the zigzagging St Gotthard Pass and its 20th-century fortress.

Stay: Hotel Chedi (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 6
Andermatt to Zermatt

This morning, you’ll be treated to one of the world’s most beautiful mountain passes – Furka. It’s plied today, as it has been for almost a hundred years, by a cogwheel steam railway. Largely volunteer run, it’s been lovingly restored to its former glory, with the century-old locomotive taking a leisurely hour to climb up to 2,160 metres above sea level. Here, you’ll be treated to a traditional Swiss bratwurst barbecue as you overlook the stunning Alpine scenery. Then, descending under the colossal Rhône Glacier, you’ll board the modern Glacier Express to continue on to Zermatt where your timber lodge is backdropped by the Matterhorn itself.

Stay: Hotel National (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 7
Gornergrat Railway

After marvelling at its skyscraping form the day before, you’ll head right onto the iconic Matterhorn today with a trip aboard the Gornergrat Railway. Travelling up to a height of over three kilometres above sea level, you’ll not only be treated to the most spectacular views of one of the Alps’ highest summits, but sweeping vistas over no fewer than 20 peaks. Then, on your descent, you’ll be treated to lunch at the gorgeous Riffelalp Resort before some free time to explore Zermatt, perhaps enjoying a drink at one of its stylish lounge bars.

Stay: Hotel National (Deluxe)

Meals: B L

Day 8
Zermatt to Interlaken

Travelling in the panoramic cars of the Glacier Express, you’ll descend through the verdant Canton of Valais to rejoin the Prestige Continental Express in Brig. Settled back in its Art-Deco grandeur, you’ll tuck into a gourmet lunch as you head over the Lötschberg Pass and into Interlaken. This afternoon, you’ll have some free time to explore the town’s Victorian-era charm, indulge with your luxury hotel’s spa or board the Zentralbahn steam train. Its special route will see you past lakes and wooded foothills before you board a narrow-gauge to Aareschlucht Gorge – a great grey crag swept with bright-blue waters – and a funicular service to thundering Reichenbach Falls, the site of Sherlock Holmes’ demise and museum.

Stay: Hotel Victoria Jungfrau and Spa (Deluxe)

Meals: B L

Day 9
Jungfrau Railway

Leaving Interlaken today, you’ll board a charter steam train to climb up to 1,400 metres to Schynige Platte – an impossibly scenic ridge with giant views over the valley below. Then, descending, you’ll change trains for Grindelwald and the ascent to Kleine Scheidegg. Here, you’ll have a choice of either a leisurely lunch or a trip on the Jungfrau Railway, climbing up to almost 3.5 kilometres to Europe’s highest station. Once arrived, you’ll be right among a wonderland of ice, snow and rock, enjoying the chance to walk out into the Ice Palace Glacier and onto the Sphinx Terrace – a stunning observatory known as the ‘Top of Europe’. At the end of it all, you’ll retrace your train tracks back to Interlaken.

Stay: Hotel Victoria Jungfrau and Spa (Deluxe)

Meals: B L

Day 10
Brienzer-Rothorn Railway

Departing Interlaken by scheduled service, you’ll meet with the Brienzer-Rothorn Railway. Travelling by historic steam train, you’ll chug through lush forests and Alpine meadows on track first built in the 1890s, taking in sweeping views of the surrounding peaks as you go. Then, following lunch on the mountain, you’ll return to Brienz – a charming town famed for its woodcarving as much as its pretty waterside backdrop. And, you’ll take in its spectacular setting with a lake cruise in a 1914 paddle steamer, arriving back at Interlaken.

Stay: Hotel Victoria Jungfrau and Spa (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 11
Interlaken to Zurich via Lucerne

Returning to the historic decadence of the Prestige Continental Express, you’ll sweep on to Lucerne’s 19th-century charm. Once arrived, you’ll be treated to a pair of steam-powered delights, with a paddleboat cruise on its glassy lake and a special steam-train departure. You’ll be brought up the Queen of the Mountains – Mt. Rigi – for some superlative Alpine views before descending to Arth-Goldau aboard the Rigi Pullman, a historic electric railcar. Then, back aboard the Prestige Continental, there’s a farewell gala dinner and a spectacular evening run up to the St. Gotthard Pass tunnel, before you end back in Zurich. 

Meals: L D

Day 12
Depart for UK

After a last breakfast, you’ll be perfectly poised to board your flight home, leaving from the adjacent terminal.

Meals: B

Map

Pricing

Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Accommodation rating: Superior Deluxe

12-day luxury rail journey from £12,885 incl. flights

Deluxe

Validity:

Swiss Rail Spectacular departs Zurich on 17 Jul 2018 (optional pre-tour extension from London-Basel via Paris by Eurostar and TGV 15-17 Jul)

Pre-tour extension included in itinerary shown

Includes

  • 9 nights luxury hotel accommodation (plus 2 nights on pre-tour extension package)
  • Most travel will be on board private charter of the Prestige Continental Express and The Glacier & Bernina Pullman Express and accommodated in first class where available
  • All meals and drinks with meals on and off the train
  • Farewell gala dinner in the opulent Prestige Continental Express dining cars
  • Services of Tour Managers who are selected for their travel knowledge and organisational abilities
  • Off-train excursions to Triacco Winery and the fortress at St. Gotthard's Pass plus special train journeys as detailed in the itinerary included
  • One way flight from Zurich back to UK

Journey Highlights

  • The Prestige Continental Express
  • The Glacier & Bernina Pullman Express
  • Historic electric and steam locomotives will haul trains from Poschiavo on into Italy over the Brusio spiral stone viaduct
  • The Oberalp Pass
  • The Lotschberg Pass between Brig and Speiz
  • The Furka Pass Steam Rack Railway
  • Gornergrat Rack Railway, Zermatt
  • Aareschlucht Gorge & Zentralbahn steam train
  • The Schynige Platte Rack Railway
  • The Jungfraujoch, Top of Europe
  • Brenzer-Rothorn Rack Railway
  • The 100-year old Stam Paddle Wheeler SS Lotchberg
  • Rigi Kulm Steam Rack Mountain Railway with a steam special from Vitznau to Rigi Kulm and on the Arth Goldau by historic electric railcar the Rigi Pullman
  • Evening run up to the Gotthard Pass tunnel


Terms & Conditions

Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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