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  • Glacier Express Excellence Class Holiday

    Glacier Express Excellence Class Holiday

    5 nights/6 days
    Geneva – Zermatt – Glacier Express – St Moritz – Zurich


    The Glacier Express is one of Switzerland’s best loved iconic trains offering a journey through stunning Alpine landscapes from Zermatt to St Moritz. Newly introduced in 2019 is the Excellence Class, offering a luxurious experience this outstanding rail journey through the Swiss Alps.

    The Excellence Class is a new premium carriage which is available on the Glacier Express from 2 March 2019 onwards. This service, which promises to be in great demand, offers optimum comfort for just 20 travellers in two-seater lounge compartments with guaranteed window seats. Hand your luggage over to staff at the station who will take care of its transport whilst you relax and settle down with your welcome drink. The stunning scenery of the journey is accompanied by snacks and soft drinks throughout the day, an exquisite lunch with wine served at your table and a delicious afternoon tea with canapes prior to arrival at your destination.

    Begin this Glacier Express touring holiday by either flying into Geneva, or arriving via train. Spend your first night here, then, continue by rail to Zermatt, a picturesque, traffic-free town overlooked by the Gornergrat, the Hornli Ridge, and the Matterhorn. After two nights exploring idyllic Alpine Zermatt, board the Glacier Express and embark on a luxury rail cruise through enchanting villages punctuated by Alpine chalets which emerge from clusters of vivid green forest. Pass the emblematic castle of the Upper Valais, head through the Furka tunnel to Oberwald, traverse the Gotthard Pass, witness the Benedictine monastery of Disentis, see the thrashing turquoise water of the Ruinaulta, cast a sweeping gaze over Switzerland’s oldest town, journey through the Albula tunnel, until finally you reach St Moritz, all the while rising and falling with the varied lie of the land, passing rivers, glaciers, and surreal mountain peaks. Your journey back to the UK takes you via Zurich where you can extend your holiday.

    Sample prices
    First class rail (standard premier class on Eurostar and first class on all other trains) from London and throughout back to London at 5 star hotels (eg Hotel Beau Rivage, Geneva, Grand Hotel Zermatterhof, Zermatt, and the Giardino Mountain, St Moritz), from £2,990 per person

    Flights to/from Switzerland and first class rail travel in Switzerland at 5 star hotels (eg Hotel Beau Rivage, Geneva, Grand Hotel Zermatterhof, Zermatt, and the Giardino Mountain, St Moritz), from £2,820 per person

    What’s included
    Flights from UK to Geneva and back from Zurich OR rail travel London to Switzerland and back via Paris
    4-day first class Swiss rail flex pass
    Excellence Class supplement on the Glacier Express
    1 night’s bed and breakfast in Geneva
    2 nights’ bed and breakfast in Zermatt
    2 nights’ bed and breakfast in St Moritz
    Shuttle service in Zermatt
    Private transfers in St Moritz

    What’s not included
    Transfers in Paris
    Transfers in Geneva
    Travel on the Bernina Express from St Moritz

    Dates
    The hotels included are open for the summer and winter season each year and close between. Summer travel dates are possible for departures starting on the 25 June to 9 September 2019. Alternative hotel options can be offered for travel dates outside of this period.
    For more information regarding rail services to and within Switzerland, view our train guide.

    Click the tabs above to view out suggested day-by-day itinerary and to find our more about the train and hotels featured.

    Glacier Express Excellence Class Holiday

    Day-by-day Itinerary
    All train times are approximate and may vary depending on travel dates.

    DAY ONE: Arrive in Geneva
    Begin your Glacier Express Excellence Class holiday by travelling to Geneva, either by plane or train. There are regular direct flights from London Heathrow to Geneva although we can also offer flights from other airports. If travelling by train, you take a morning Eurostar from London to Paris and continue from here on the high-speed TGV service to Geneva. Spend the rest of your day exploring the city, home to fine watch-making, the headquarters of the UN, and the Jet d’Eau fountain. Wander around the Vielle-Villa, the largest Old Town in Switzerland, stopping at the St Pierre Cathedral. This evening choose to dine either at your luxury hotel or choose from one of the many restaurants in the city.

    DAY TWO: Travel by rail to Zermatt
     We recommend boarding the train to Zermatt in the mid-morning, after a leisurely breakfast at your hotel. Change trains at Visp and arrive into Zermatt around four hours after departure from Geneva. Your hotel in Zermatt will send a complimentary shuttle to collect you from the station. In an idyllic, car-free zone, known for its popular winter sports, Zermatt is a stunning place to start this memorable trip. A peaceful village in the summer months, Zermatt is a haven for gourmet food lovers, with the highest concentration of gourmet restaurants, serving very typically Swiss cuisine, on the Glacier Express route. Quaint boutique shops are also housed within the chalet houses in the village centre.

    DAY THREE: Zermatt
     Take in the views of the icy Matterhorn and wander along some of the 400km of walking paths that vein the landscape around Zermatt, Tasch, and Randa. Perhaps even enjoy the sights from the smaller railways that can take you as high as 3000m above sea level. The Glacier Paradise cable car will take you up to Europe’s highest viewing platform, while the Gornegratbahn, the world’s highest open-air cog railway, take you from Zermatt station up to the Gornergrat where you can view the peaks of 38 surrounding mountains, including the Matterhorn. Consider visiting the famous Hornlihutte, where climbers have stayed for decades before advancing up the sides of the Matterhorn via the Hornli Ridge, the Zmutt Ridge, or through the north wall. To witness more of the sublime and intriguing history of the area, visit the Zermatlantis Matterhorn Museum, an archaeological site that has been faithfully recreated.

    DAY FOUR: Zermatt to St Moritz on the Glacier Express
     After your final night in Zermatt, catch the Glacier Express to St Moritz at 08:52 in the morning, with a view to arrive at around 17:03. Some highlights of this route include the phenomenal Stockalper Castle, the icy walls near the Rhone Glacier, the harsh landscape of the Gotthard Pass, the complex network of tunnels, viaducts, and railway tracks of the Oberalp Pass, the winding Rhine River, the panoramas across Chur, the castles and palaces of the Domleschg Region, the curved Landwasser viaduct, and the Cresta Run, just outside St Moritz. The full, detailed journey, with altitudes, stops, and descriptions of the views, check the “About the Train” tab. Arrive in St Moritz in the late afternoon where you will be met by a car transfer to take you to your hotel.

    DAY FIVE: St Moritz
     At 1856m above sea level, visitors are welcomed by stunning views across the lakes of the Upper Engadine Valley, and the refreshing dry, clear, Alpine climate. Navigate the local peaks via railway, reaching the Piz Corvatsch, Chantarella, and Corviglia, where a cable car takes you up to Suvretta’s most famous viewing point. Enjoy the water sports at the sublime Lake Sils and Lake St Moritz, or the windy Lake Silvaplana. While staying in St Moritz, it is possible to use this opportunity to explore another of Switzerland’s most iconic rail journeys, the Bernina Express. In one of the distinctive red trains, with their tall, angular windows, and comfortable, airy interiors, the Bernina Express rail journey takes you from Chur, the oldest city in Switzerland, south through the winter resorts of Davos and St Moritz to Tirano on the Swiss-Italian border. En-route you pass the dramatic Ruinaulta, or Rhine Gorge, the castles and palaces of the Domleschg Region, and the Morteratsch Glacier, and travel over the Landwasser Viaduct and around the Montebello Curve.

    DAY SIX: Return to the UK via Zurich
     We will arrange for a car to take you back to the train station in the morning. If you depart from St Moritz for Zurich in the mid-morning, you will arrive at around half one in the afternoon, which leaves plenty of time to enjoy a few hours in the city before catching a flight home. If you are catching the train home, you leave from your hotel earlier in the morning and may like to add additional nights in Zurich.

    Optional
     It is possible to add extra nights in Geneva, Zermatt or St Moritz, or in Lausanne, Vevey or Montreux en route to Zermatt, and in Zurich before returning to the UK

    Click the 'Hotel Information' tab to find out more about the hotels featured in this touring itinerary.

     

     

    Hotels
    These are the luxury hotels that are featured in this vast touring holiday. Alternative hotels are available in some destinations – please contact us for full details.

    Geneva
    Hotel Beau Rivage Geneva – 5 star

    This luxurious property on the banks of Lake Geneva has its own Michelin-starred restaurant, a Thai restaurant, regal bedrooms, and an enviable location in the city. On the outside, French balconies are decorated with blue flowers, and inside an authentically recreated Roman atrium provides a wholly unique place to relax.

    Zermatt
    Grand Hotel Zermatterhof

    A history, chic property, the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof may well be the most prestigious hotel in Zermatt. Positioned in the centre of the village, it is just a minute’s walk from the main church, a park, the best restaurants in Zermatt, and the Matter Vispa. The rooms blend state-of-the-art comfort with regal charm.

    St Moritz
    Giardino Mountain, Champfer

     This chic, luxury hotel is a gem amongst the Engadine hotels. Traditional alpine style architecture is balanced with stylish accommodation, authentic and modern dining, an indulgent spa and a fantastic central location for summer sports as well as laid-back relaxation. The Giardino Mountain closes for several months between the main winter and summer seasons.

     About the Glacier Express Excellence Class

    The Glacier Express rail journey
    The Glacier Express is one of Switzerland’s best loved iconic rail journeys, traversing stunning Alpine landscapes from Zermatt through to St Moritz. Indulge yourself as you travel in the height of luxury in the new Excellence Class carriage, new for 2019.

    Route Length: 8hrs, over 291km, from Zermatt to St Moritz
    Stops: Zermatt, St Niklaus, Brig, Fiesch, Andermatt, Disentis, Chur, Thusis, Tiefencastel, Filisur, Bergun, Samedan, Celerina, St Moritz
    Facilities: On-board restaurant and waiter service, and panoramic carriages
    Dates of operation: The Excellent Class coach service will start on 2 March 2019 through to 13 October 2019

    Services and features of the Excellence Class
    Guarantee panoramic window seat in two-seater lounge compartments
    Personal travel guide
    Dedicated welcome desk and check in on the platform
    Luggage transport on the Glacier Express
    Tablet for on-board entertainment
    Modern bar area in coach
    Food and beverages included?
    Welcome drink
    Snacks throughout the day
    Soft drinks
    Aperitif and appetizer
    Seasonal, regional several course lunch menu with wine
    Tea time in the afternoon with canapes
    What’s not included
    Wine cabinet with premium wines
    Top-class range of spirits

    For more information please see our Glacier Express page.

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