Gotthard Panorama Express scenic rail journey

An enchanting cruise and rail journey between Lucerne and Lugano

Gotthard Panorama Express at Wassen
Flüelen - where you change between boat and rail on the Gotthard Panorama Express
Gotthard Panorama Express boat and rail at Flüelen
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 a restored paddle steamer or 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 paddle steamer or motor boat depending on the time of year. 

Make your holiday one to remember with a journey on the Gotthard Panorama Express

Speak to our team today to find out how you can combine your holiday with a breathtaking ride on the renowned Gotthard Panorama Express

Get your holiday quotation today

Contact us to book your holiday

Call us on 0800 619 1200 or email us at

Gotthard Panorama Express suggested holidays
Holidays can be enjoyed in reverse order and extended

Our suggested two and multi centre 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.

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 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. 

In the shoulder season (early spring and autumn) and at times when the official Gotthard Panorama Express is not operating (winter), 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 £64 per person
Booking fee: £14 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).

Request your holiday quotation

Speak to our team today to find out more!

Call us on 0800 619 1200 or email us at

Gotthard Panorama Express carriage

Highlights of the route

Route of the Gotthard Panorama Express

Please click below to discover more about the beautiful sights you will see as you journey along the route of the Gotthard Panorama Express

Planning your holiday

Harder Kulm
Call 0800 619 1200
  • Decide where you would like to stay
  • Choose your scenic journeys
  • 1st or 2nd class rail travel in Switzerland
  • How many nights in each resort
  • Decide on bed & breakfast or half board
  • 3, 4 or 5 star hotel accommodation
  • Plan visits with your Half Fare Card

You may also like to consider adding a scenic river cruise at the start or end of your holiday. Please ask for details. 

Request your holiday quote

Gotthard Panorama Express video

Enjoy a short video of this special train and boat journey