Tuesday 26 March 2024

TopRail experiences: Connecting the world through extraordinary rail journeys – Gotthard Panorama Express

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When the journey becomes an adventure – experience history on the Gotthard Panorama Express. Your personal journey by boat and train between central Switzerland and Ticino.

A voyage on the Gotthard Panorama Express is an unforgettable experience connecting two enticing regions of Switzerland: Lake Lucerne and the Mediterranean Ticino, and two different modes of transport: steamboat and panoramic train. It is also a journey through some of Switzerland’s most historical sites, providing a window into the fascinating world of Swiss history.

Your adventure starts in Lucerne, where you board a steamboat built between 1901 and 1928 for a three-hour scenic cruise, granting you inspiring views of majestic alpine peaks. The Schifffahrtsgesellschaft des Vierwaldstättersees (SGV) AG provides a delightful array of seasonal and regional delicacies on board the steamboat, ensuring an unforgettable culinary experience.

Upon arrival at Flüelen, located on the southern bank of the lake and well known for its strong winds and good conditions for water sports, you step aboard the Gotthard Panorama Express. Alternatively, you can also start from Arth-Goldau where the station serves as the departure point for the cogwheel railway to Mount Rigi and is well connected by national and international Intercity trains. On the Gotthard Panorama Express, you will be warmly welcomed by knowledgeable multilingual travel guides, who are eager to point out the most important sights along the route and share a wide range of fascinating facts and hidden stories about the historical origins of the Gotthard Railway. The panoramic coach, equipped with first-class seats and large windows, ensures you can comfortably savour the breathtaking landscapes along the way. While you enjoy the panorama, attentive staff will serve you regional snacks and drinks, such as a traditional Ticino cold platter and a “Gottardo Premium Lager” beer from the renowned San Gottardo SA brewery as you relax in your seat.

When you open the window in the photo coach, you will feel the invigorating wind. There you’ll witness the well-known Wassen church from three different vantage points, exemplifying the ingenious railway system and helical tunnels. The engineer will even reduce the speed of the train to ensure you experience all the sights in the best possible way. The 15-kilometre-long Gotthard Tunnel between Göschenen and Airolo is the central and largest engineering structure on the railway line. After passing through the iconic tunnel, opened in 1882, the journey continues south, revealing Ticino’s diverse Mediterranean landscape. Prepare to be welcomed by waving palm trees, adding to the region’s unique charm.

Please note that you can also embark on this extraordinary journey in the opposite direction, from south to north. The Gotthard Panorama Express takes you from Lugano, which is only a little more than an hour away from Milano, to Flüelen where there is a boat connection to Lucerne.

The Swiss Travel Pass is the best ticket option for this journey. It includes all the services detailed above, with only a seat reservation and surcharge for the train additionally required.

The Gotthard Panorama Express is also part of the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland, which combines spectacular panoramic train routes through the most popular holiday destinations, covering four language and cultural regions of Switzerland, into one unique route. The Gotthard Panorama connects in Lugano with the Bernina Express Bus and the Bernina Express, and in Lucerne with the Lucerne-Interlaken Express (and further, with the Golden Pass Express to Montreux) or with the Voralpen-Express towards St. Gallen and Lake Constance).

Useful links

Please check the Gotthard Panorama Express website for further details about the journey and get your ticket as soon as possible at Gotthard Panorama Express (gotthard-panorama-express.ch).

You can find more details about the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland, together with package tours, at Grand Train Tour of Switzerland.

All information about the Swiss Travel Pass can be found at Swiss Travel Pass – the All-in-one-Ticket for Switzerland.

If you are interested in sustainable tourism by rail, check out other TopRail experiences around the world at www.toprail.org, and follow us on LinkedIn.

Should you want to know more about TopRail activities please contact us at toprail@uic.org

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