Lucerne, the Swiss Alps and the Moriarty Express

Thursday 28th May to Wednesday 3rd June 2020
7 - Days


Prices from: £1665


Discover the picturesque heartland of Switzerland on this inspiring tour to Lake Lucerne, where steam and scenery form a seamless blend.


Departure Date: 28-May-2020
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  • Enjoy the very best of the Swiss Alps with its tranquil meadows, icy glaciers, deep-blue lakes and impressively engineered railways from the convenient base of your elegant hotel in Lucerne, one of Europe’s finest resort cities.
  • Use your exclusively issued ‘Tell-Pass’ rover ticket for flexible free-time travel on trains, buses, boats and aerial cableways throughout Central Switzerland, with a First-Class upgrade for all ships on Lake Lucerne.
  • Experience the rare steam journey on the ‘Moriarty Express’ along the banks of Lake Brienz to the chalet village of Meiringen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s favourite Swiss destination. Visit the legendary Reichenbach Falls by funicular railway and see the site of Sherlock Holmes’ epic struggle with his fictional nemesis.
  • Enjoy more steam travel on the stately paddle steamers on Lake Lucerne, with their original marine steam engines and elegant dining salons.
  • Ascend lofty Alpine peaks by rack railway, funicular or aerial cableway, including Mount Rigi, Mount Pilatus, Mount Titlis and the Stanserhorn. Discover what it’s truly like to be on ‘Top of the World’!

Thursday 28th May
London to Lucerne
You travel from London to Lucerne via Paris, Strasbourg and Basel on Eurostar and TGV high speed services. You arrive to Lucerne in the early evening, with time to look around the city and take a stroll over the landmark Chapel Bridge. The centrally located 3-star Superior Hotel Waldstätterhof in Lucerne is your base for the tour. A light dinner of soup and sandwiches will be served on your arrival. (D)

Friday 29th May
Paddle steamer cruise on Lake Lucerne; Stoos panoramic peak
After breakfast at the hotel you board a paddle steamer for a cruise on Lake Lucerne, taking advantage of First-Class accommodation on the panoramic upper deck. The lake has an intricate shape with much of the shoreline rising picturesquely into the surrounding mountains. You’ll travel the entire length of the lake to Fluelen before transferring to an SBB service train for the onward journey to Schwyz. Traveling northwards beside Lake Lucerne you arrive at Schwyz, famous for the charter that led to the foundation of Switzerland. You then take the breath-taking Stoosbahn, the world’s steepest mountain funicular railway, from Schwyz to the small car-free village of Stoos. At 1,300 metres above sea level, there are spectacular views of lakes and the highest Alpine peaks of Central and Eastern Switzerland to enjoy. The return to Lucerne can be made either by boat or by main line train, whatever you prefer. Tonight, you dine at your hotel. (B D)

Saturday 30th May
Lake Lucerne paddle steamers; Mount Pilatus; Lucerne trolleybuses
You return to Lake Lucerne today and cruise to its southernmost bay, disembarking at Alpnachstad quay. The nearby Alpnachstad railway station is the lower terminus of the unique Pilatusbahn, the steepest rack and pinion railway in the world. You’ll take a vintage electric railcar to the summit of Mount Pilatus, 2,132 metres (6,995 ft) above sea level. From here fabulous views of the Swiss lakes, the surrounding mountains, and the city of Lucerne are your reward. You may return to Lucerne by rack railway and lake steamer or by using the aerial cableway and panoramic gondolas to Kriens, before taking a stylish trolley bus back to the city centre. (B)

Sunday 31st May
Steam along Lake Brienz aboard the ‘Moriarty Express’; Brünig Pass Railway Line
You take an SBB service train to Interlaken Ost for a nostalgic 2-hour steam journey along the banks of Lake Brienz. Your train is formed of ornate green carriages and hauled by a 2-6-0 tank engine locomotive dating from the early 20th Century. You reach Meiringen by mid-day, just in time for lunch at a typical Swiss restaurant. This pretty chalet town is famous for the nearby Reichenbach Falls, a spectacular waterfall that was the setting for the final showdown between Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional detective Sherlock Holmes and his nemesis Professor Moriarty in the story ‘The Final Problem’. You take a trip on the funicular at reach the Reichenbach Falls and the site of Sherlock’s struggle. Later in the afternoon, you travel from Meiringen back to Lucerne by way of the spectacular Brünig Pass, one of the most scenic narrow-gauge railway lines in Switzerland, and part of the famed Golden Pass route. (B L)

Monday 1st June
Steam to Vitznau and ascent of Mount Rigi
Another tour highlight awaits today as you travel by paddle steamer and vintage train to Mount Rigi. You board a paddle steamer at Lucerne’s boat pier and cross the lake to Vitznau. At Vitznau a vintage electric railcar takes you over Europe’s oldest rack and pinion railway to the summit at Rigi Kulm. This graceful peak is almost completely surrounded by lakes and gives stunning views of the surrounding area. After refreshments at an attractive summit lodge you descend by a different route to Arth-Goldau, from where you catch a service train back to Lucerne. The rest of the afternoon you can either spend sightseeing in Lucerne or exploring Central Switzerland further with your rail rover. Additional mountain railways of interest are the funiculars to Zugerberg or Seelisberg, as well as the panoramic gondola to Klewenalp. (B)

Tuesday 2nd June
Glacier experience at Mount Titlis; Stanserhorn summit
This morning you travel on the Lucerne–Stans–Engelberg (LSE) narrow-gauge rack railway which links Lucerne with the famous resort town of Engelberg. From there you have an option to take the spectacular aerial cableway to the summit of Mount Titlis, 3,020 m above sea level. If you don’t want to make the ascent, an alternative is to visit the lovely town centre of Engelberg, famous for its Benedictine Abbey. In the afternoon you return by LSE train to Stans to take the Stanserhornbahn, an historic funicular railway dating from 1893 and one of the oldest mountain railways in Switzerland. The railway gives access to the lower part of the local Stanserhorn mountain, and the summit is reached using the world’s only open-top, ‘cabriolet’ aerial cableway. The revolving restaurant ‘Rondorama’ at the summit offers stunning views stretching 100 km. On a clear day you can see 10 Swiss lakes and Germany’s Black Forest. You return to Lucerne by cable car, funicular and narrow-gauge railways. (B L D)

Wednesday 3rd June
Return to London
You travel by SBB service trains from Lucerne to Basel and on to Strasbourg, from where you take a TGV service to Paris Gare de L’Est. You then transfer to Paris Gare du Nord and take a Eurostar service First-Class back to London St. Pancras International. (B)


Details

Price

  • First Class Eurostar, French and Swiss trains to/from Lucerne. £1995
  • Single supplement £235
  • Ground only (Lucerne – Lucerne) £1665

All prices shown are per person based on two persons sharing.

Price Includes

  • 6 nights accommodation with breakfasts at Lucerne hotel
  • 2 lunches, 3 dinners
  • All rail and boat trips as detailed in the itinerary
  • All visits as detailed in the itinerary
  • Rail travel from London to Lucerne and return
  • A regional ‘Tell-Pass’ for travel in the Lucerne region, including First Class Upgrade on all Lake Lucerne ships
  • All seat reservations and transfers
  • The services of a tour manager

Meals included each day are shown as:
B = Breakfast - L = Lunch - D = Dinner

 

Map feature coming soon!