Lucerne and Lugano, boat trip on transfer day?

Print this page
Posts: 7
This thread is closed. You are welcome to log in and submit a new thread.
Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Jul 13, 2019 - 5:47 PM

I have booked my hotels for a 10 day trip to Switzerland, but am struggling with some details. I would appreciate any suggestions on the following:

---We have arrival day plus 2 days in Lucern. Is the Bunker Furlgen interesting? We do like history.

---Should we take a day to go around the lake by boat and stop at a couple of the towns or should we take the lake portion of the Gotthard Panoramic en route to Lugano.

---I know the panoramic train doesn't run on Mondays. Unfortunately, that is our travel day. Can we still do the paddle boat on the lake and use regional trains? Just taking the train is an option if we have seen enough to the lake.

---Does anyone have a favorite typical grotto in Lugano or the surrounding area for lunch or dinner?

I really appreciate any help you can provide. BTW we go from Lugano to Murren for three days.

1960man
1960man
2242 posts
top member
Jul 14, 2019 - 12:05 AM in reply to Removed user

The options on the Gotthard route are:

Use the new base tunnel (the longest tunnel in the world), the Intercity trains run Arth Goldau - Bellinzona non stop *

Use the old mountain route on ordinary regional trains - for this you take a train from Zurich or Luzern to Erstfeld, or a boat from Luzern to Fluelen then a train Fluelen - Erstfeld, then the regional train Erstfeld - Göschenen - old tunnel - Airolo - Bellinzona - Lugano - Milano

Use the Gotthard Panorama Express(GPE): any train or boat to Fleulen then the GPE. Personally ** I don't think it is worth the extra expense, as the regional trains have large windows

It is a myth that the Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) 'removes' all the scenery from a north - south train ride over the Gotthard route. Between Zurich / Basel / Luzern (the three main city northern origin points of Gotthard journeys) and the GBT tunnel entrance near Erstfeld, you get plenty of mountain and lake views and an awful lot of classic Swiss rural farmland scenery, and the same applies when you exit the tunnel at the south end near Biasca.

** Gotthard Panorama Express - a personal view

This is ‘take it or leave it’ advice:

Personally I am sceptical of the attraction of the Gotthard Panorama Express. It is an attempt to keep some tourism going on the Gotthard 'mountain route' since the rest of the fast trains now go through the base tunnel. However, you see mainly valleys not high mountains. Also it is reservation obligatory and first class only.

Also, the train gets rather lonely - part of the ‘romance’ of the Gotthard route previously was that your train competed for space on the line with huge long international long-distance trains carrying 000s of passengers a day between northern and southern Europe, and those passenger trains interacted and weaved in between dozens of heavy freight trains lumbering back and forth across the Alps.

The curiosity was seeing another train high above you one minute then a few minutes later passing by your train on the same level, then perhaps seeing it again below you a few minutes after that. It is this that no longer happens as there are so few trains left on the line.

(It could also be argued that it is just a way of finding a use for very expensive panorama cars that Swiss Federal Railways bought but don't have now have any other use for them...)!

More economical might be for you to take any boat Luzern - Fluelen. Then take the train Fluelen - Erstfeld. Change at Erstfeld into the regional train that takes the same old mountain route but at no extra cost, and runs direct through to Como (and Milano)

1960man
1960man
2242 posts
top member
Jul 14, 2019 - 12:08 AM in reply to Removed user

"---Should we take a day to go around the lake by boat and stop at a couple of the towns or should we take the lake portion of the Gotthard Panoramic en route to Lugano.

---I know the panoramic train doesn't run on Mondays. Unfortunately, that is our travel day. Can we still do the paddle boat on the lake and use regional trains? Just taking the train is an option if we have seen enough to the lake."

My advice would be to do the lake separately whilst staying in Luzern

it is not always a great idea to go 'round the houses' on a 'transfer' day.

Steph
Steph
1979 posts
top member &
moderator
Jul 14, 2019 - 11:53 AM in reply to Removed user

Hello Flyaway,

To check out travelling times and connections for all the routes provided by 1960man use below timetable, make sure you read how it works, it's a fabulous tool for planning:
- www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

I agree that sometimes travelling directly on transfer days can be more practical, but then again this is a very individual thing. For input about boat rides on Lake Lucerne as well as some suggestions regarding activities in and around the city (incl. boat rides), use:
- www.myswissalps.com/bo atlakelucerne
- www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne/activities

Also see:
- www.myswissalps.com/lu gano
- www.myswissalps.com/mu rren

Best,
Steph

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Jul 24, 2019 - 7:54 PM in reply to 1960man

Thanks so much for your reply. I just posted a similar question because I had not seen this reply. Sorry!

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Jul 26, 2019 - 11:36 PM in reply to 1960man

Thank you so much! What a relief to have this figured out. Do you know if we can upgrade our 2nd class Swiss Pass to 1st class? If so, can we do it at the beginning of the trip in Lucern or do we have to do each segment separately?

Annika
Annika
6100 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 27, 2019 - 5:12 AM

Hi FlyAway. You can get upgrade tickets for a 1st class ride at all times: www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/practical/2nd1stcl ass. You can arrange for that at the Lucerne railway station. I'm not sure how you plan to make this journey, but if you want to travel by boat, you can get an upgrade ticket from the ticketing desks at the Lucerne boat dock, or on board: www.myswissalps.com/bo atlakelucerne/tickets.

If you want to use the "official" Gotthard Panorama Express train, an upgrade ticket is even obligatory: www.myswissalps.com/go tthardpanoramaexpress/ tickets.

More on MySwissAlps.com

Get a free account to plan your trip

Planning your trip is much easier with a free MySwissAlps account. Learn all about Switzerland and get in touch with us quickly if you have questions.

Learn more

Get a customized itinerary for your trip

Let Swiss travel consultants create a customized itinerary. They will book your entire trip.

More
© MySwissAlps.com 2002-2019