The Castle of Chillon

Switzerland III, September 11 – 25, 14 days, 13 nights, $3900 per person in double room, add $375 for a single room

INCLUDED:

Accommodations: 1 night at the Hotel Einstein (St Gallen) in standard room, 3 nights at the Hotel Schatzalp (Davos) in standard room (mountain view), 3 nights at the Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic (Montreux) in standard room (city view), 2 nights at the Hotel Sunstar Alpine (Wengen) in standard room (village view), 4 nights at the Hotel Wilden Mann (Lucerne) in superior room.
Meals: Breakfast daily, dinners daily except on 18th September, On two of the days we will add a third meal: 3-course lunch in Tirano and on board the Glacier Express. Drinks (within reason) included.
Transport: 2nd class rail within Switzerland, seat reservations throughout (where possible), luggage transfer (1 piece per person) from hotel to hotel (x4): St Gallen to Davos, Davos to Montreux, Montreux to Wengen and Wengen to Lucerne.

NOT INCLUDED:

Meals not mentioned, personal expenses, and any entrance fees or activities not stated in the itinerary.

ITINERARY

September 11, Fly from the USA

Day 1, September 12, Arrive Zurich, take a train to St. Gallen

Upon arrival in Zurich, make your way to St Gallen by train. (See Switzerland Notes for more details.) The train station is located at the airport and the journey takes just under 1 hour from Zurich. The earliest train from Zurich to St. Gallen leaves at 7:21A. The last train leaves at 6:51P. There are three trains an hour. Though the walk from St Gallen station to the hotel is only about 10 minutes, you will probably want to share a taxi (at own cost, approximately CHF 10.00 per taxi). Meet in hotel bar at 6:00 for a bit of socializing and announcements. Dinner at 7:00 at the hotel restaurant across the street and overnight at Hotel Einstein, St Gallen. (D)

Day 2, September 13, St Gallen Walking Tour, Train to Davos

Breakfast is located where we had dinner and starts at 6:30 and goes until 10:00. (Breakfast is included every morning at the hotels) Before we leave at 9:00 on a two-hour walking tour with our local guide, prepare your luggage which will be transported directly from St Gallen to your room in Davos. Please make sure it has a baggage tag (BET tag as well as STS tag) with your name on it.
St. Gallen is located between Lake Constance and Appenzellerland and our hotel is located adjacent to the charming, traffic-free old town. Colorfully-painted oriel windows are a town feature. The Abbey precinct with the cathedral and Abbey Library has been accorded UNESCO World Heritage listing. Our 2-hour walking tour includes a visit to the Cathedral and Abbey’s Library.
After lunch (independent), we will travel to Davos by train. The trains to Davos leave every hour and reservations are not necessary. We can decide as a group whether or not to follow the schedule below or take a later train.

1326/1436 RE4873 Train to Landquart. Change trains.

1447/1556 RE1049 Train to Davos Platz

(Note: Swiss trains run like clockwork. 11 minutes is plenty of time for us to make the change from one train to another.)

Upon arrival at Davos Platz, we will take Bus #3 and get off at the second stop, Schatzalp. We will then take the cable car up to our hotel.

Dinner and overnight at Berghotel Schatzalp, Davos (B, D)

Day 3, September 14, Bernina Express to Tirano, return to Davos

Today after breakfast, we will take the first of our special train rides in the Swiss Alps.  The Bernina Express has to be the most spectacular Alpine crossing, with the crimson-colored train ascending to the Engadine before weaving its way behind the Bernina Hospiz (2253 meters) through the Poschiavo Valley into Valtellina in Italy. The first highlight awaits passengers near Filisur, where the train traverses an awe-inspiring landmark – the 65-meter-high Landwasser viaduct. The train continues through 55 tunnels and across 196 bridges, making short work of the gradients even without a rack-and-pinion system.

0953/1333 Bernina Express to Tirano. We will have a 3-course typical Italian lunch at a local restaurant followed by some free time to explore Tirano.

1515/1848 Return to Davos

Dinner and overnight at Hotel Schatzalp, Davos (B, L, D)

Day 4, September 15, Day at Leisure in Davos

At check-in, we will have received the «Davos Klosters Inclusive Card». This special guest card guarantees free rides on all of the destination’s open mountain trains. In addition, you can benefit from other free or discounted services and leisure offerings such as free cable cars, free rides on local buses and much more.

Dinner and overnight at Hotel Schatzalp, Davos (B, D)

Day 5, September 16, Davos to Montreux via the Glacier Express

Prepare your luggage for transport to Montreux. Depart hotel in plenty of time to reach the station in time for our train.

Today we will make our way by rail to Filisur, where we will board the world-famous Glacier Express for a thrilling ride in the panorama carriage to Brig, taking in some of the most dramatic scenery Switzerland has to offer. The journey is narrated explaining the amazing engineering feat in overcoming extreme altitude variations by train. A 3-course lunch served at our seats is included today.

9:31/9:56  Davos Platz departure,  Filisur arrival

10:17/15:40  Filisur departure, Brig arrival

15:57/17:19 Brig departure, Montreux arrival

Our hotel is located right opposite the train station.

Welcome drinks before dinner in a room next to the dining room. Dinner and overnight at Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic, Montreux (B, L, D)

LAUNDRY ALERT: There is a laundry located about a 7-minute walk from the hotel (Turn right out of the hotel, stay on the same street for about 500 meters (5 football fields) and the laundry is on your right. They are open at 8:00 and close at 18:30. They charge CHF9.00 to wash, dry, & fold 1 kilo (2.2 pounds). Drop off laundry in the morning and it will be ready the same day in the late afternoon.)

Day 6, September 17, Vevey, Chillon Castle and Rochers-de-Naye

Today looks spectacular. I hope we have cooperative weather! Take the train to Vevey in the morning (frequent departures) and explore this beautiful town by the lake. Vevey is one of the “Pearls of the Swiss Riviera”. Its most famous inhabitant was probably the comedian Charlie Chaplin, who spent the last twenty-five years of his life here. A monument dedicated to him stands on the lakeshore.

1245/1325 Paddle steamer to Chillon Castle

Chillon Castle is located on a rock on the banks of Lake Geneva. The water castle is the most visited historic building in Switzerland. For nearly four centuries Chillon was the residence and profitable toll station of the Counts of Savoy. It also provided Lord Byron with the inspiration for his famous poem “The Prisoner of Chillon” in 1816. Entrance is included in the price of the package and it is recommended that we rent an audio-guide to enhance our experience.

1458/1502 Bus to Territet, gare

1515/1521 Funicular to Glion

1529/1606 Train to Rochers-de-Naye

A singular panoramic view awaits: over the Swiss and French Alps from Eiger to Mont-Blanc and further to Lake Geneva.

1711/1806 Train to Montreux

Dinner and overnight at Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic, Montreux (B, D)

Day 7, September 18, Montreux, Day Trip to Geneva

Today you will have the opportunity to explore Geneva at leisure. Our Swiss Travel Pass provides the ticket and we will have group seat reservations, but you can return to Montreux on your own.

0847/0948 IR 1810 Montreux departure, Geneva arrival

15:12/16:11 IR 1825 Geneva departure, Montreux arrival (We have reservations on this train, but you can come back earlier or later on another train.

Since we have had three meals on two of the previous days, lunch and dinner are on your own today.

Overnight at Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic, Montreux (B)

Day 8, September 19, Montreux to Wengen via the Golden Pass Line

Prepare baggage for transport to Wengen.

0944/1132 MOB Panoramic to Zweisimmen, change trains.

1138/1249 Train to Interlaken Ost, change trains.

1305/1325 Train to Lauterbrunnen, change trains.

1337/1349 Train to Wengen

Short walk to the hotel with the rest of the afternoon at leisure.

Dinner and overnight at Hotel Sunstar Alpine, Wengen (B, D)

Day 9, September 20, Day Free to Explore Wengen

Wengen is a small town in an amazing location. Weather permitting, take the cable car up the mountain for an incredible view.

Dinner and overnight at Hotel Sunstar Alpine, Wengen (B, D)

Day 10, September 21, Wengen to Lucerne

Prepare baggage for transport to Lucerne

1103/1120 Train to Lauterbrunnen

1132/1153 Train to Interlaken Ost

1204/1355 Luzern-Interlaken Express to Lucerne

Our hotel is located just a short walk from the train station.

Dinner and overnight at Hotel Wilden Mann, Lucerne

Days 11-13, September 22-24, Lucerne

Lucerne, along with Davos and Wengen were favorite cities on our previous two Swiss tours. The old town (where we will be staying) is good for several days of explorations and there are several outstanding museums. Make sure you visit the Glacier Park. Besides the town, we will probably schedule excursions to the following. All are included in the Swiss Travel Pass. You only have to show their Swiss Travel Pass at the counter and you will receive free access. Here are suggested routes and times: We will decide which day to take which excursion and all of these excursions are optional.

 Mount Rigi, the Queen of Mountains

10:12/11:09 Boat from Lucerne to Vitznau

1115/1147 Cogwheel train from Vitznau to Rigi Kulm. Spend two hours at Rigi Kulm

14:00/14:13 Cogwheel train from Rigi Kulm to Rigi Kaltbad

14:40/14:50 Gondola from Rigi Kaltbad to Weggis

15:05/15:47 Boat from Weggis to Lucerne

Einsiedeln and its impressive abbey

09:39/10:36 Voralpen Express Panoramic Train from Lucerne to Biberbrugg

0:38/10:45 Train from Biberbrugg to Einsiedeln. Spend two-three hours in Einsiedeln and visit the Benedictine Monastery, the Mineral museum or the Gingerbread museum (not included in the Swiss Pass)

14:14/14:18 Train from Einsiedeln to Biberbrugg

14:20/15:21 Voralpen Express Panoramic Train from Biberbrugg to Lucern

Stanserhorn with its open-air cable car

11:10/11:23  Train from Lucerne to Stans

11:30/11:54  Funicular + Cable car from Stans to Stanserhorn

Spend two hours on Stanserhorn

13:45/14:09 Funicular + Cable car from Stanserhorn to Stans

14:40/14:47  Train from Stans to Hergiswil

Visit the famous Hergiswil Glassworks and admire the craftsmanship (not included in the Swiss Pass)

17:10/17:45  Boat from Hergiswil to Lucerne

Dinners and overnight at Hotel Wilden Mann, Lucerne (B, D)

Day 14, September 25, Lucerne, End of tour

After breakfast at the hotel, take the train to Zurich for your flights home or to Venice to join the Venice & the Adriatic tour.

08:39/09:11 Lucerne departure, Arth-Goldau arrival, change trains

09:50/15:40 Arth-Goldau departure, Venezia S. Lucia arrival (B)

NAMES ARRIVAL IN ZURICH DEPARTURES
Laurence Barker  12 SEP, 6:20A, UA9807 25 SEP, Train to Venice
Lora Sorrells 12 SEP, 8:05A, UA52 25 SEP, Train to Zurich
Patricia Reeb & George Webber 11 SEP, 8:05A, UA52 25 SEP, Train to Heidelburg
Nadya Peck 12 SEP, 9:20, BT 641, 25 SEP, Train to Venice
Gretchen Quinn & Carrol Smith  12 SEP, 8:50, AA 92 25 SEP, Train to Venice
Greg & Judy Parks  12 SEP, 8:50A, AA92 25 SEP, Train to Venice
Carol Boyd  12 SEP, 8:50A, AA92 25 SEP, Train to Zurich
George Beddingfield & Roxie Montesano 12 SEP, 8:50, AA 92 25 SEP, Train to Venice
 Cheryl Clark-Stoner & Gary Stout  12 SEP, 8:50, AA 92 25 SEP, 11:45, AA 93
Jeanne Johnson & Heidi Langston  12 SEP, 8:05A, UA52 25 SEP, Train to Zurich
Dale Fleishman & Ron Jenkins 12 SEP, 8:50, AA92 25 SEP, Train to Venice