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Glacier Express

The Glacier Express is undoubtedly Switzerland's best known train.

Departing from Chur, we board the magnificent Glacier Express for a spectacular journey offering unparalleled views of the most awe-inspiring mountain ranges in the world. We spiral up the mountains, crossing enormous viaducts, burrowing through tunnels and rising above the clouds on our way to Zermatt, under the mighty Matterhorn.

 

Highlights of the journey

Highlights of the route include the ascent of the Oberalp Pass, the highest point on the line at 2,033 metres above sea level, the stunning Rhine Gorge through which the train travels alongside the river and the remarkable - and famous - Landwasser Viaduct, a vast and curving limestone structure of six arches which spans the Landwasser River sixty-five metres below and leads the Glacier Express directly into the adjoining Landwasser Tunnel. 

The only times at which there is little of interest to observe from the Glacier Expressis when the train is passing through one of the ninety-one tunnels which lie along its route. Otherwise, passengers enjoy a constantly-changing vista of Switzerland's most breath-taking landscapes as they traverse imposing snow-clad mountain ranges, skirt the shores of vast lakes and pass through rolling Alpine wildflower meadows.

Read on below...

 

 

Glacier Express and the Oberalp Pass

11 results matching: The Glacier Express

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Traditional Glacier Express
(63 reviews)
2020MayJunJulAugSepOct
8 days from
$2,095 pp
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8 days from
$2,095
per person
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tour map
  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
Classic Glacier Express
(31 reviews)
2020MayJunJulAugSep
9 days from
$2,965 pp
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9 days from
$2,965
per person
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tour map
  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
Glacier Express & St Moritz
(27 reviews)
2020JunSep
10 days from
$4,045 pp
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10 days from
$4,045
per person
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  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
Grand Alpine Explorer
(6 reviews)
2020JunJulAug
14 days from
$4,580 pp
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14 days from
$4,580
per person
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  • DestinationAustria, Germany, Switzerland
  • Starts / EndsMunich / Zurich
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
Klosters
2020JunJulSep
9 days from
$3,315 pp
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9 days from
$3,315
per person
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  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
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Glacier Express
2020MayJunAugSep
2021MayJunJulAugSep
12 days from
$3,595 pp
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12 days from
$3,595
per person
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  • DestinationGermany, Switzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationCruise, Hotel
  • TransportRail, Cruise
Map and accommodation
Engadine Valley
2020JunJulAugSepOct
9 days from
$4,115 pp
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9 days from
$4,115
per person
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tour map
  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
tour map
  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
tour map
  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
tour map
  • DestinationAustria, Switzerland
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
tour map
  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
Our customers love our Glacier Express tours
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Classic Glacier Express
Mr D Webber
“Great experiences, wonderful scenery, well organised, great Tour Manager, friendly group, no problems.
First Class Glacier Express in Winter
Mrs S Hassard
“Absolutely amazing from start to finish
Glacier Express in Winter
Ms C Hill
“A wonderful full itinerary, well organized and planned. The hotels were a great contrast...one in a town and one in a small village of typically Swiss wooden houses surrounded by mountains, and only accessible by train. The country was expensive, but the provided meals were good and local. Our group was friendly and a good mix of pleasant people, who all got on well. The weather couldn’t have been better....five days of sunshine for all the trips on the glacier and Bernina Express, so amazing views, then snow on the last day for a wonderful woodland walk from the chairlift above our last hotel. One of the best tours we have had with Great Rail.
Grand Tour Of Switzerland
Anonymous
“It way exceeded my expectations
Traditional Glacier Express
Anonymous
“Great organisation, itinerary and hotels. Guide was fantastic and very considerate to all Clients especially as some of them had problems with their mobility and needs
Glacier Express & St Moritz
Les Mackey
“We were downgraded on the Glacier Express because of overbooking. This was not the fault of GRJ. At the last minute we were reinstated for most but not all of it. It meant we had to travel on later trains to the group. The train journey from Cologne to St Moritz was tiresome and involved changes of stations, trains etc due to the problems on German Rail. This was not the fault of GRJ. However, the journey took 13.5 hours. Our tour guide was brilliant, he did his utmost to get us there as quickly as he could. He was constantly cheerful no matter what was thrown at him. He is a credit to GRJ. Overall the vacation was superb. Lovely scenery, hotels.
Grand Alpine Explorer
Mr M Ward
“The hotels were of variable standard. We felt the hotel in Traunkirchen was not of 4 star standard with regard to facilities, room, and the hotel was not particularly well situated. The dinners served in St Moritz were of poor quality and appeared to have been prepared on an extremely tight budget. However the hotel in Innsbruck was excellent and we would have preferred more time there than in Traunkirchen. The total porterage worked excellently which is why we give the vacation 4 and not 3.

CLASSES OF RAIL

Those making the spectacular journey between Zermatt and St. Moritz on the Glacier Express benefit from a wide range of Great Rail Journeys itineraries. Second Class carriages are comfortable, light and spacious and are designed to carry a maximum of forty-eight passengers via a configuration of twelve tables, six on either side of the carriage, each seating four passengers. Second-class carriages benefit from large panorama windows which extend into the ceiling of the carriage.

Each Glacier Express train consists of two First Class carriages, a carriage containing a bar and toilets, and three Second Class carriages. Between 2006 and 2009, every item of the Glacier Express's rolling stock was renewed to ensure that travelers enjoyed comfort and facilities of the highest standards.

 

 

Glacier Express Interior

The more expensive First-class carriages carry a maximum of thirty-six passengers, offering six four-seat tables and six two-seat tables. As a result, First Class carriages are more spacious and offer larger seats with greater leg room. The panoramic windows in First Class carriages are also larger. Travelers in both classes can enjoy a two or three-course lunch with at-seat service. First Class carriages are served before Second Class carriages. Additional snacks and drinks can be ordered in The Panorama Bar carriage at the center of the train for delivery to your seat in either class. Carriages in both classes are air-conditioned.

Since 2005 the Glacier Express has carried around a quarter of a million passengers each year. Although the train began operation in 1930 it only ran during the summer months until as recently as 1982 when construction work was completed to ensure that the train could safely negotiate the Furka Pass and the Oberalp Pass in winter.

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