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First Class Glacier Express in Winter

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(23 reviews)
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Discover Zermatt, Interlaken and Poschiavo

9 days Sold out

2020 Tour code: GEW20

About the tour

Spectacular views and stunning scenery have made the Glacier Express from Brig to Chur famous the world over. Shimmering winter peaks and sugar-frosted forests provide a picture-postcard backdrop to our wonderful winter rail adventure, taking in some of the very best that Switzerland has to offer.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - First Class rail to Strasbourg

We depart St Pancras International by Eurostar for Paris after meeting at our dedicated Departure Office. Traveling in Standard Premier Class, we enjoy a light meal and drinks served during the journey. In Paris, we change trains and continue to Strasbourg where we spend the night.

Includes
  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Eurostar
Day 2 - To Switzerland in First Class

Spend a morning at leisure in Strasbourg. This excellent city, located on the border between Germany and France takes its cultural and architectural cues from both nations, adding a unique flavor to its bustling streets. Dominated by a striking 15th century Gothic cathedral with a famous astronomical clock, Strasbourg has a wealth of narrow medieval streets, charming crooked houses and vibrant town squares.

After our time in Strasbourg, we travel south into Basel, Switzerland. Here we transfer by rail to Kandersteg for a four-night stay. Kandersteg is in many ways a quintessential Swiss town, high up in the Bernese Oberland and surrounded by resplendent scenery of noble mountains and fl owering meadows. The glorious valley in which the town is found, is well know for its wide range of delightful trekking paths.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Kandersteg
Day 3 - By mountain railroad to Zermatt

Today we experience the first mountain railroad journey of the vacation as we travel to the charming, car-free resort of Zermatt. We walk the short distance to the railroad station to board our narrow-gauge train, heading through picturesque vineyards and alongside the River Rhône. 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 tilted peak of the instantly recognisable Matterhorn. In Zermatt, you are free to spend your time as you choose. One option that you will find hard to resist is the ascent to the summit of the Gornergrat by funicular railroad (supplement payable locally). At over 10,000 feet (3,048m), the Gornergrat is a truly spectacular place to visit in winter, offering dramatic vistas over the valley below.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Zermatt
Day 4 - A day at leisure

Today is at leisure, so why not use your GRJ First Class Swiss Card for 50% of fares? Alternately, you can take the cable car to climb the mountains to see the Oeschinensee Lake.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Kandersteg
Day 5 - A day exploring the scenic Bernese Oberland

Today we travel to Interlaken, which enjoys an unparalleled location in the heart of the Bernese Oberland region between Lakes Thun and Brienz, and at the foot of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. Your time here is free to explore, with many varied options available. You could take the cable car to the summit of the Schiltorn, or enjoy the ultimate mountain railroad journey to the highest railroad station in Europe, Jungfraujoch, situated at 3,454m above sea level (supplements payable locally). Alternatively, Interlaken itself is a delightful town, where you can explore the Höheweg, the town's charming main street, as well as the historic casino and selection of shops.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Bernese Oberland
Day 6 - First Class on the iconic Glacier Express

We leave Kandersteg today, traveling 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 and climb towards and through the Furka Base Tunnel. We continue past the countless small villages that line our route, nestled in the foothills of the surrounding mountains, before our steep ascent over the Oberalp Pass - at 6,670 feet the highest point of the route and where the views south include the distant peaks of the Italian Alps. Our descent from Oberalp takes us along the beautiful Rhine Valley and into Chur - Switzerland's oldest town, for three nights at the Romantik Hotel Stern.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Glacier Express
Days 7-8 - To Poschiavo and at leisure

Today, you are free to begin exploring at your own pace. On Day 8, the narrowgauge Bernina Express takes us from Chur to Poschiavo, a picturesque town in the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland. Connecting Switzerland and Italy via the highest mountain railroad in the Alps, the Bernina Express rises to the challenges presented by snow, ice and steep gradients to delight passengers with a 4-hour journey of breathtaking beauty.

Of the 55 tunnels and 196 bridges that help the train negotiate the trickier natural elements of the route, Solis Viaduct and the famous Landwasser Viaduct are particularly spectacular. On arrival, there's free time in Poschiavo to discover the delightful town before we make the return journey.

Please Note: For departure GEW2002 Day's 7 and 8 have swapped around.

Includes
  • Day 7 - Breakfast
  • Day 8 - Breakfast, Dinner
Bernina Express
Day 9 - Homeward bound

We leave Chur and travel by train via Basel to Paris. From here, we connect with the Eurostar back to London St Pancras International, where our tour concludes.

Includes
  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal
Return Home

Additional information

Please note

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

Recommended airports

For this tour, we recommend arriving to, and departing from, London Gatwick or London Heathrow airport (LGW or LHR). London Gatwick is approximately 30 miles from your start and end point, and London Heathrow is approximately 19 miles from your start and end point.

Airport waiting room
Visa Requirements

It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.

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.

Hotels

Romantik Hotel Stern, Chur

Romantik Hotel Stern, Chur

View hotel

Hotel Bernerhof, Kandersteg

Hotel Bernerhof, Kandersteg

View hotel

Trains

Bernina Express
Eurostar
The Glacier Express

Reviews

96% of travelers would recommend this tour

Based on 23 verified reviews

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Mr G Whittaker

Submitted Mar 13, 2020

A very enjoyable and well-packaged vacation, with an experienced and very approachable tour manager. Excellent traditional hotels. Extremely good value for money. But …. The group was FAR too large for a "First Class" vacation - and that would stop me trusting GRJ's descriptions in future !! Too many changes to the published itinerary. Not a good idea to have long and tiring day trips on either the first day in Switzerland or the last day before travel home.

Paul - Customer Relationsfrom Great Rail Journeys
Thank you for your 4 star reviewI am pleased you had a great time! I will pass on your comments and feedback, as its always useful for future consideration. Kind Regards, Victoria
1

Mrs S Hassard

Submitted May 31, 2019

Absolutely amazing from start to finish

Mrs E Adlington

Submitted Apr 26, 2019

Well organised vacation from booking to return home

Anonymous

Submitted Apr 22, 2019

Extremely well organised to make a very memorable vacation. Tour manager always there to help everyone get the most from the vacation.

Mrs S Roe

Submitted Apr 18, 2019

All arrangements were in place as expected, the group moved efficiently, hotels were as expected, meals were good. All the work was done for us in advance, so we could just enjoy the ride.

Anonymous

Submitted Apr 18, 2019

Brilliant vacation, very well organised.

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