Golden Eagle Swiss Rail Spectacular II
- Daytime travel on the luxurious, standard-gauge Prestige Continental Express, with its Orient Express-style day cars
- Meter-gauge travel on Pullman cars of the Glacier Pullman Express
- Tour of Zermatt, with stunning views of Matterhorn, and dinner at 7,290 ft at Al Bosco Restaurant
- Steam-hauled trip across the historic, 7,086-foot Furka Pass
- Gornergrat rack railway ride: one way by Glacier Pullman Express car, the other via rack railcar
- Guided tour of the Benedictine Abbey in Disentis, founded 720 AD
- Walking tour of Chur, the oldest city in Switzerland
- Steamer cruise on Lake Lucerne
- Visit to the Swiss Rail Museum in Lucerne
- Trip to Reichenbach Falls, made famous by Arthur Conan Doyle, and a visit to the Sherlock Holmes museum in Meiringen
- Journey to Jungfraujoch, highest railway station in Europe
- Dinner at the iconic Paris’ iconic Restaurant Train Bleu (pretour only)
- Includes: 12 nights in premium hotel accommodation (4-star minimum); 12 breakfasts, 9 lunches and 10 dinners; generous drinks allowance with meals; luggage porterage and gratuities throughout
Experience the unparalleled beauty of Switzerland’s mountainous landscapes in luxury and style on the Golden Eagle Swiss Rail Spectacular II. Daylight travel on the country’s most exquisite and historic trains during this 13-day tour (with a three-day pre-tour rail extension from London).
Travel aboard the luxurious Orient Express-style day cars of the standard-gauge Prestige Continental Express. And enjoy the meter-gauge Pullman cars of the Glacier Pullman Express. Marvel at some of Europe’s most breathtaking Alpine scenes, including the historic Furka Pass, the Gornergrat Railway, and the Jungfraujoch.
Relax and enjoy the sumptuous onboard cuisine and musical entertainment. You’ll spend each evening in a well-situated luxury hotel room.
To add to the grandeur of this incredibly special tour, you’ll also experience the splendor of the beautiful Glacier & Bernina Pullman Express while being hauled by some of Switzerland’s most historic locomotives.
Optional Pre-tour Day 1: London
Check into the stunning St. Pancras Grand Hotel for a one-night stay, followed by dinner in the hotel’s Gilbert Scott restaurant.
Meal Arrangements: D
Optional Pre-tour Day 2: Paris
After breakfast, take a late-morning Eurostar train through the Channel Tunnel to Gare du Nord station in Paris. Transfer to the Mercure Hotel in Paris Gare de Lyon station for one night. Dinner at the iconic Restaurant Train Bleu, situated in the main hall of the Gare de Lyon.
Meal Arrangements: B,L,D
Optional Pre-tour Day 3: Paris to Basel
Lunchtime departure from Gare de Lyon for a three-hour journey by TGV Lyria to Basel SBB station. Transfer to GAIA hotel and join your fellow guests.
Meal Arrangements: B,L,D
Day 1: Basel
Those not on the pre-tour will be privately transferred from Basel Airport to the central city, close to Basel’s main railway station. Get to know your fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.
Overnight at the GAIA Hotel, Basel. Meal Arrangements: D
Day 2: Basel to Chur
In the morning, join the Prestige Continental Express private train in Basel’s main railway station. After a short stop in Zurich, enjoy lunch on board, as your steam-hauled train travels from Winterthur through the Swiss countryside to Chur.
Overnight at the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz. Meal Arrangements: L, D
Day 3: Zermatt
Following a morning visit to the Rhaetian Railway (RhB) workshop in Landquart, join a train of traditional RhB carriages hauled by one of their steam locomotives and head to Disentis. Board a first-class panorama car of the Glacier Express, and travel over the spectacular Oberalp Pass, arriving early evening into Zermatt.
Overnight at the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof. Meal Arrangements: B, L, D
Day 4: Zermatt
Enjoy a morning at leisure in this beautiful Alpine town that is dominated by the majestic Matterhorn. In the afternoon, as part of the delayed 90th anniversary celebration of the Glacier Express, take an exciting journey on the Gornergrat rack railway. Guests will travel one way in the Glacier Pullman Express car and the other way in the rack rail car.
Travel to a height of 10,135 feet for the most incredible close-up view of the Matterhorn. The Gornergrat is located between the Gorner glacier and Findel glaciers. As you descend the mountain, you’ll enjoy views of more than 20 peaks over 13,000 feet. Tonight, enjoy a typical Swiss dinner — raclette — at the Riffelalp Resort’s Al Bosco Restaurant — 7,290 feet above sea level. Then return to Zermatt on our private train.
Overnight at the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof. Meal Arrangements: B, D
Day 5: Furka Pass and Andermatt
After breakfast at the hotel, join the Pullman Glacier Express (two Pullman cars and a piano-bar car), and descend from Zermatt to Oberwald, where a postal bus will take you to lunch at the Hotel Glacier du Rhône.
After lunch, cross one of the most beautiful mountain passes in the world, the Furka Pass. The Dampfbahn Furka-Bergstrecke (Furka Cogwheel Steam Railway) is a largely volunteer-operated heritage railway which operates a mainly rack-and-pinion line across the Furka Pass. Rising to 7,086 feet above sea level, the line was decommissioned when it was made obsolete by the 9.5-mile Furka Base Tunnel. Trips such as ours, with original equipment, have brought new life to the famous pass.
On arrival in Realp, tour the railway workshops, and re-join the Pullman train for the short journey down to Andermatt.
Overnight at Hotel Chedi Andermatt. Meal Arrangements: B, L, D
Day 6: St. Moritz
After breakfast at the hotel, re-join the Pullman train (supplemented by two Gourmino dining cars), for a second crossing of the Oberalp. Mid-morning in Disentis, pause to visit the Benedictine Abbey, founded in 720 AD. Enjoy a tour of the Abbey led by one of the monks. Return for lunch on board as you travel down the Rhine Gorge to Chur, the oldest city in Switzerland. Enjoy a walking tour of the completely car-free city center.
Later in the afternoon, re-join the Pullman train for the journey up to St. Moritz. Travel through the Albula Pass between Filisur and St. Moritz, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Overnight at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, St Moritz. Meal Arrangements: B, L, D
Day 7: Tirano (Italy)
Today, travel Switzerland’s famous Bernina Line to Tirano, Italy. From St. Moritz, use the Glacier Pullman Express cars, hauled by a unique and historic Bernina ‘Crocodile’ electric locomotive No. 182, built in 1928. The private train will allow you the freedom to make some photo stops along the way. This section of the Bernina Line is home to the incredible spiral stone viaduct at Brusio, where the train makes a tight, 360-degree corkscrew turn.
Once in Tirano, Italy, spend time enjoying the Valtellina Valley and visit the Triacco La Gatta Winery where lunch is served, before retracing our steps past St. Moritz and then through Davos and Klosters to Landquart via the 12-mile Vereina Tunnel.
Overnight at Grand Hotel Bad Ragaz. Meal Arrangements: B, L, D
Day 8: Vitznau & Lucerne
This morning, depart Landquart on the Prestige Continental Express for Arth Goldau. Get ready for another steam special, this time up Mount Rigi (also known as Queen of the Mountains) 5,748 feet to Rigi Kulm. From Kulm station, descend to Vitznau on Lake Lucerne, where you will enjoy a paddle steamer cruise from Vitznau to the town of Lucerne itself.
Visit the Swiss Rail Museum, or enjoy free time before traveling on to Interlaken. Check into the Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa for a four-night stay.
Overnight at Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa. Meal Arrangements: B, L (packed lunch), D
Day 9: Reichenbach Falls
Interlaken will act as your base for the next few days as you visit the magical Jungfrau Alpine region of Switzerland. Today, join a private steam train on the Ballenberg Dampfbahn to Meiringen and Innertkirchen.
From here you have a choice. You can walk 1.2 miles through the spectacular Aareschlucht Gorge, then take a trip by funicular to Reichenbach Falls (made famous by Arthur Conan Doyle as the spot where he killed off both Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty). Then visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum in Meiringen. Afterwards, re-join the steam train which will return to Interlaken.
Or, choose to enjoy a more leisurely day by going straight from Innertkirchen to Reichenbach Falls, where you will visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum. Then you’ll have free time in Meiringen before returning to the train back to Interlaken.
Overnight at Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, Interlaken. Meal Arrangements: B
Day 10: Jungfraujoch
Depart Interlaken by regular trains for Grindelwald and Kleine Scheidegg. Once at Kleine Scheidegg, choose between a leisurely morning with stunning Alpine views, or transfer to the Jungfraubahn, which, at 11,332 feet above sea level, is the highest railway station in Europe.
If weather permits, you can venture out onto the glaciers at the top of the mountain, then descend back to Kleine Scheidegg for lunch. Continue down the mountain to Wilderswil on a specially-chartered steam train of the Schynige-Platte Rack Railway. At the summit, visit the Alpine Garden before returning to Wilderswil, followed by a return to the hotel.
Overnight at Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, Interlaken. Meal Arrangements: B, L
Day 11: Brienz, Brienzer-Rothorn
Leave Interlaken for the Brienzer-Rothorn Steam Rack Railway. The town of Brienz has been known for centuries for its wood carving. It’s also known as the stepping-stone for the Brienzer-Rothorn Railway. At 7,360 feet, it’s the fourth-highest railway in Switzerland . Following lunch on the mountain at the Berghaus Planalp, return to Brienz and cruise to Interlaken on the 1914-vintage paddle steamer “SS Lötschberg.”
Overnight at Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, Interlaken. Meal Arrangements: B, L (coffee & pastries), D
Day 12: Bern/Basel
In the morning, leave Interlaken on board the Prestige Continental Express and travel to Bern for a short city tour by historic steam tram. Return to the train for lunch and travel down to Lake Geneva. Next, transfer to the Blonay-Chamby Railway, perched high above Vevey, to spend the afternoon.
Return to the Pullman train and follow Lake Geneva to the end of the lake. We enjoy a final dinner on the train as we ride along Lake Geneva, and then Lake Neuchatel, before reaching Basel.
Overnight at GAIA Hotel, Basel. Meal Arrangements: B, L, D
Day 13: Basel
After a leisurely breakfast, transfer to the airport or the nearby railway station.
Meal Arrangements: B
Dates & Prices
August 24 - September 5
|TRIP||Main Tour||Pre-tour extension|
- All prices are per person.
- Optional pretour dates: August 22-24 (London to Basel)
- Deposit required: $2,000 per person for main tour / $500 per person for pre-tour extension
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Reviews From Our Travelers
Eleanor and her staff are enthusiastic and provide information that is additional to that provided by the particular tour agency. She makes an effort to know her clients and makes sure that the tour is appropriate for each client and follows up on details.
Every year I think this will be my final trip. But the trips you offer are so glorious I can’t stop. You may have to have me committed somewhere to get me to stop.
I cannot praise Eleanor Hardy's company highly enough. She took care of all the planning, paying attention to every detail and thus this trip was smooth running and fabulous. I hope to travel with this company again.
Tour cost includes arrival/departure transfers, meals and excursions as outlined in the itinerary, gratuities and porterage.