A cruise along Lake Lucerne combined with a scenic rail journey across the Gotthard Pass
Lucerne - Flüelen - Bellinzona - Lugano
Your Gotthard Panorama Express journey starts in Lucerne as you board the elegant MS Diamant lake cruiser and meander to Flüelen on Lake Lucerne in about 2½ hours. Watch as the sleepy bays, picturesque villages and historic landmarks such as the Rütli and Tellsplatte silently glide by.
In Flüelen, only a few steps away from the pier, you board the train for the rail section of your journey. There is a new, faster tunnel through the Alps, but this trip follows the original looping route and the original tunnel - which is much shorter, so you spend more time amongst the wonderful scenery. The trip takes you through the awesome Reuss Valley with its deep ravines and precipitous cliffs and onto the world-famous Gotthard line, which swiftly climbs from 470m to about 1,100m. Countless spiral and horseshoe tunnels, galleries and bridges testify to the remarkable achievements of the men who built this masterpiece of civil engineering
You'll soon arrive in the lovely Ticino region, where you travel through the Leventina Valley crossing breathtaking cantilevered bridges and passing charming villages on the way to Bellinzona. From here the next leg is to Locarno or Lugano - the choice is yours!
The journey can also be enjoyed in the opposite direction and in this instance, the lake section will take place aboard a restored paddle steamer.
Suggested two and multi centre holidaysHolidays can be enjoyed in reverse order and extended
Our suggested itineraries can be changed to fit your own requirements with higher grade hotels, upgraded rooms and additional centres. Other combinations are also available. Call us on 0800 619 1200.
8 days St. Moritz, Andermatt and Lucerne A holiday which includes some of the most beautiful scenic journeys, plus a ride on a steam train across a high alpine pass.
8 days Mini Grand Tour Highlights of Switzerland for lovers of travel, with the Glacier, Bernina and Gotthard Panorama Express and GoldenPass Line.
12 days to Pontresina, Lugano and Lucerne Experience 3 contrasting Swiss experiences including the high Alps, the Italian border region and stunning Lake Lucerne.
12 days Ascona, Weggis and Wengen Small is beautiful on this holiday which takes in three of Switzerland’s outstanding lakes and mountain destinations.
12 days Swiss Grand Tour Including journeys on the Glacier, Bernina and Gotthard Panorama Express trains and stays in some of our favourite resorts.
15 days Grand Rail Tour An amazing holiday combining the classic scenic rail journeys showcasing the contrasting beauty of the different Swiss regions.
Your lake journey
During the main season, the journey from Lucerne starts with a delightful ride on the elegant MS Diamant cruiser. There are interior lounges and outer decks for enjoying the views. You can dine on board (pre-booking recommended) or enjoy a drink from the bar.
If travelling Lugano-Lucerne, the lake journey will comprise a delightful ride on a historic paddle steamer, where you can see many ornate original features as well as the engine pumping. Again, dining on the boat is a real treat and we can pre-book this for you.
At times when the official Gotthard Panorama Express is not operating, you can still enjoy the route and although you may travel in a standard modern lake boat, the views and on board services are just as good.
Your rail carriage
On arrival in Fluelen, you will transfer to the sleek new rail carriages of the Gotthard Panorama Express. Exclusively first class, the train offers huge panoramic windows so that you can immerse yourself in the stunning scenery rolling past. You'll also have a travel guide at your seat and more room to stretch out. A trolley service with drinks and snacks is available throughout. There is also a photo carriage on the train which has windows that open for you to take souvenir pictures.
If you are travelling outside the Gotthard Panorama Express operating period, you can still enjoy the route from a standard train.
Gotthard Panorama Express costs
Lucerne to Lugano/Locarno or vice versa: 1st class £65 per person
Booking fee: £13 per person
Prices are a guide and will vary according to itinerary. They are valid only with the Half Fare Card (included with your holiday).
Transfer your bags between resorts: simply register your luggage at the station before 9am and collect it at your destination on the same day any time after 6pm. There are a few stations where luggage will not be available until the following morning, so an overnight bag would be needed.
Each transfer costs £10 per item plus an additional one-off fee of £24