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First Class Glacier Express at Christmas

(Tour code: GGX17)Christmas Day on the Bernina Express

Our festive rail holiday is a fantastic way to experience exciting train journeys on the Glacier Express and Bernina Express. Enjoy  wonderful excursions and explore the beautiful winter landscapes of Switzerland.

Tour Highlights
  • Brig
  • Excursion to Zermatt and the Matterhorn
  • Journey on the Glacier Express to Chur, including lunch
  • Chur, Switzerland's oldest town
  • Christmas Eve excursion to Lucerne
  • GRJ First Class Swiss Travel Card
What’s Included (Full details)
  • First Class Rail
    Eurostar Standard Premier
    Eurostar Meals
  • 3-4* Accommodation
    Breakfast Every Day
    Selected Evening Meals
  • Optional Bag Concierge

Itinerary & Map

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Departure Times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Day 1

First Class rail to Colmar

We depart our St Pancras International Departure Office by Eurostar for Paris, travelling in Standard Premier Class, with a light meal and drinks served during the journey. In Paris we change trains and continue through the Colmar. Here we overnight.

Day 2

To Switzerland in First Class

Spend a morning at leisure exploring the half timbered houses of Strasbourg's historic centre, before we travel south into Switzerland to Basel. Here we join the famously efficient Swiss rail network, which takes us on a wonderful journey into the Swiss Alps to Brig for a four-night stay at the welcoming Hotel Ambassador. Brig is a small town situated at the foot of the Simplon Pass, and is an excellent base from which to explore.

Day 3

By mountain railway to Zermatt

Today we experience the first mountain railway journey of the holiday as we travel to the charming, traffic-free resort of Zermatt. We walk to Brig railway station to board our narrow-gauge train, heading south through picturesque vineyards and alongside the River Rhône to Visp. From here we join the mountain track for the steep ascent to Zermatt. The train clings to the track as we wind left and right, ascending past small clusters of houses and tiny hamlets that together form the region's village communities. The spectacular approach to Zermatt takes us through 8 tunnels and across 42 bridges, the gradient of the ascent requiring cogwheels to be engaged. Finally we reach the grandiose scenery of Zermatt, nestled below the peak of the instantly recognisable Matterhorn. In Zermatt you are free to spend your time at leisure. One option that you will find hard to resist is the ascent to the summit of the Gornergrat by funicular railway (payable locally). At over 10,000 feet (3,048m), the Gornergrat is a truly spectacular place to visit, offering dramatic vistas over the valley below.

Day 4

A day exploring the Western Alps

Your day is free to explore this beautiful region, using your GRJ First Class Swiss Travel Card which gives 50% reduction on rail fares. We particularly recommend travelling along the Rhône Valley to Montreux on the shores of Lake Geneva.

The Glacier Express
Day 5

First Class on the Glacier Express

We leave Brig today, travelling from the Valais to the rocky landscape of the fantastic Graubünden canton on the iconic Glacier Express. We make the journey in First Class, enjoying unspoilt views through panoramic windows - views of the snow-covered scenery for which Switzerland is justly famous, intricate vineyards and frosted forests rising up the hillsides towards towering mountain peaks. The scenery is covered in a beautiful blanket of snow during the winter months - mountain vistas are truly spectacular when the sun shines and bounces off the fresh snow. A two-course lunch is served at our seats during the journey, followed by tea and coffee - the perfect accompaniment to our time on board 'the slowest express train in the world'. We follow the Rhône Valley climbing towards and through the Furka Base Tunnel. Our descent from Oberalp takes us along the beautiful Rhine Valley and into Chur, Switzerland's oldest town, where we spend three nights at the Romantik Hotel Stern.

Day 6

Exploring Lucerne on Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve we travel by train to Lucerne, an ancient lakeside city of cobbled streets, squares and the famous Kapellbrücke Bridge. In the evening we begin our celebrations with a five-course dinner with wine, and carol singing by the Christmas tree.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7

At leisure on Christmas Day

Today is Christmas Day; set against a breathtaking backdrop of towering mountains, Chur is a pleasure to explore. Or, you could use your GRJ First Class Swiss Travel Card for a 50% reduction on rail fares, perhaps to make the spectacular train journey on the Arosa Line to the mountain resort of Arosa.

The Bernina Express
Day 8

Boxing Day on the Bernina Express

Our Boxing Day excursion takes us on a mesmerising journey aboard the Bernina Express. Travelling on the narrow-gauge route, we journey from Chur over viaducts and bridges, past frozen waterfalls and deep ravines before ascending the Albula Pass. The ascent loops into the Engadine Valley before climbing even higher over the Bernina Pass to more than 7,000 feet (2,134m), often above the clouds which hang over the snow-frosted valley below. Enjoy the breathtaking views of incredible Swiss scenery as we travel to Poschiavo, a picturesque town in the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland. You have some free time here to discover the town before we return.

The Rhine
Day 9

Along the Rhine Gorge to Cologne

Zurich into Germany. Our journey continues up the stunning Rhine Gorge, past fairytale castles and vineyards to Cologne. We arrive late afternoon and spend one night close to the Rhine and the city's magnificent Gothic Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site. On Day 10 we leave Cologne and travel on the high-speed rail service to Brussels. In the Belgian capital we connect with the Eurostar to London.

Day 10

To London by First Class rail

Today we leave Cologne and travel on the high-speed rail service to Brussels. In the Belgian capital we connect with the Eurostar to London.

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.


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Helping you plan your holiday...

Lynne Broadley
Lori Mcclaren
Julie Longfield
James Eaton



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