The Big Five versus the Stoosbahn
Take in the amazing scenery of Lake Lucerne, Mount Titlis, and much more on this 8-day journey that features five unique rail adventures.
Experience five completely unique mountain railroad excursions - the Pilatus Railway, the Rigi Railway, the Stanserhorn, the Titlis Rotair Cable Car and the Hammetschwand Lift - all from our base at the 4-Star SeeHotel Pilatus beside lovely Lake Lucerne, whose leisure facilities open out onto a fantastic panorama of lake and mountain scenery.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Choice of First or Standard Class rail travel to Switzerland and return
- 4-Star hotel beside Lake Lucerne with leisure facilties and fabulous views
- 7 nights’ bed, breakfast & evening meal
- Excursion on the Rigi Railway, Europe’s first mountain railway
- Breathtaking ride on the Titlis Rotair Cable Car, the world’s first revolving gondola
- Drama and Thrills on the Pilatus Railway, Europe’s steepest cog railway
- Experience traditional and modern technology at the Stanserhorn
- Enjoy incredible views at the Hammetschwand Lift, the world’s highest outdoor rock lift
- Local Transport Pass – offering freedom of the region on your free day
- Services of experienced Tour Manager
- Hotel Porterage
Day 1 - London to Hergiswil
Relax as we let the European train system transport us from the bustle of early morning London to Lucerne, then by local train to lakeside Hergiswil by Lake Lucerne and the Seehotel Pilatus, where a welcome evening meal awaits at our hotel. (D)
Day 2 - The Stanserhorn
Our first adventure begins with a rail journey around the lake to Stans. Here we join the Stanserhorn, firstly enjoying the timber carriages of the nostalgic funicular railway dating from 1893, before continuing on the world's first cabrio cable car, whose top deck has no roof. Enjoy the lakes and mountains panorama through the panoramic windows of the lower deck or feel the wind in your hair on the sun deck, with nothing but the wide open sky above. (B, D)
Day 3 - The Pilatus Railway
Drama and thrills all the way today on the Pilatus Railway! This famous round trip provides the best of mountain railways from every angle. Let the world's steepest cogwheel railway take you up through woods and tunnels, along flowery meadows and rocky outcrops to the top of this rugged pre-Alpine peak. After free time at the summit, an aerial cable car and panorama gondola transport you back down to Lucerne, Switzerland's prettiest city. (B, D)
Day 4 - Hergiswil at leisure
A day at leisure in Hergiswil allows you the opportunity to relax and unwind by lovely Lake Lucerne and maybe take full advantage of the hotel's leisure facilities. Alternatively, you can use your local transport pass to visit Lucerne itself, with its famous Chapel Bridge and Transport Museum. (B, D)
Day 5 - Hammetschwand Lift
A pretty unique experience awaits today, as we travel from Hergiswil to Stanstad. From here a short bus journey takes us up to Bürgenstock. We enjoy the fresh mountain air on a breathtaking mountain walk to the Hammetschwand Lift, the highest outdoor rock lift in the world. For over 100 years the elevator has taken passengers up 153 metres in one minute, enjoying lakes and mountain views. Revel in the views from the restaurant at the summit before we make the return journey. (B, D)
Day 6 - Mount Titlis
See steep rocky walls, deep glacial crevasses and snow-covered mountain summits glide past as we ascend Mount Titlis on the world's first revolving gondola - the 'Titlis Rotair'. The gondola rotates a full 360 degrees during its ascent, providing breathtakingly beautiful panoramas as you soar to the mountain station at an altitude of over 3,000 metres above sea level. (B, D)
Day 7 - The Rigi Railway
Europe's first mountain railway, the Rigi Railway, has been transporting visitors from all over the world to the top of the Queen of the Mountains since 1871. The Rigi was the preferred destination of writers and heads of state during the 'Belle Epoque' era between 1884 and 1914. Mark Twain, Tolstoy and Goethe all enthused about the beautiful views and even Queen Victoria wrote that, "We are amused!" Enjoy the Queen of the Mountains for yourself on our fantastic final mountain adventure. (B, D)
Day 8 - Depart to London
We return by train across Switzerland to Paris, changing stations for our Eurostar journey to London. (B)
Train and Hotel Accommodations
The Mt. Stanserhorn Railway Company dates back over a century to 1893. This Swiss railway is comprised of two parts: the Oldtimer-Standseilbahn, also called the funicular, and the CabriO. The Oldtimer-Standseilbahn is made up of vintage cable cars and has a maximum occupancy of 40 passengers. These cars were restored in 2009 and 2010, yet still surround passengers in vintage charm as they ascend 63 percent up Mt. Stanserhorn over the course of approximately 45 minutes.
Once the cable cars reach the 710 meter mark, passengers disembark the funicular and board the CabriO. On the CabriO, riders have two levels from which to choose. On the main level, riders enjoy 360-degree views from the glass-enclosed car. Just up the elegant staircase is a beautiful sky deck. This open-air deck allows travelers to breathe in the fresh mountain air as they take in stunning views on the way to the top of Mt. Stanserhorn, which is set at approximately 1,848 meters. In all, the CabriO hosts up to 60 riders and offers a modern experience to complement the historic nature of the Oldtimer-Standseilbahn.
Founded in 1889, the Pilatus Railway is the steepest cog railway in the entire world. This train follows a route that boasts an impressive 48 percent gradient at times and covers 4,618 total meters from Alpnachstad to the Pilatus Kulm in Switzerland. On average, travelers can expect a gradient of around 38 percent. Originally, this railway was comprised of 11 steam-powered cog railway cars; however, in 1937 the train cars were replaced with 10 electric counterparts. While the cars of the Pilatus Railway were replaced, the rails were not. As such, travelers today still follow the same century-old rails as travelers of years past.
The Pilatus Railway’s ascension takes approximately 30 minutes total for passengers, while the descension is slightly longer at 40 minutes. The conveyor capacity - the capacity is approximately 340 persons per hour for this historic train. The maximum capacity is closer to 400, with 40 passengers fitting comfortably on each of the 10 cars. Best of all, riders can enjoy the scenic mountain views, rock formations and alpine gardens from May through November each year.
Founded in 1871, the Rigi Railway overlooks Lake Lucerne, the Swiss Alps and even offers sights of the famed Black Forest. There are two railroad lines operating under the Rigi Railway line, one that sets off from Vitznau and another that begins its journey in Arth-Goldau. The original red and black train, known as the Queen of the Mountains, follows the Vitznau route from Lake Lucerne and takes passengers back in time aboard its restored 19th century rail cars. The original cog train was powered by steam engines, though now, passengers enjoy a more modern experience, thanks to electric engines. During the summer months, nostalgia takes over the Rigi Railway, and the original steam engines return to push the trains up the mountain. The route takes approximately 30 minutes. The Arth-Goldau route is powered by electric engines and follows a concourse that takes just under 40 minutes. Passengers enjoy scenic mountain views from the blue rail cars of this line and a comfortable journey to the summit hotel. Both trains operate all throughout the year.
The high speed Eurostar trains link St Pancras International in London with Paris and Lille in France as well as Brussels in Belgium.
Eurostar's Standard Class coaches feature two seats on either side of the central aisle, most of which is arranged in an 'airline' seating configuration with drop down tray tables. There are two tables for four per carriage. Passengers travelling inEurostar Standard Class coaches can take advantage of the Bar-Buffet which sells a range of snacks, meals, hot and cold drinks - including Champagne!
The highest class of Eurostar travel available for leisure customers is Standard Premier Class. In your dedicated Standard Premier carriage you'll find a less dense seat configuration, meaning the seats are larger and you have ample space to relax and stretch out. As part of the service you'll enjoy complimentary drinks and refreshments, served at your seat by friendly, helpful waiting staff.
SeeHotel Pilatus, Hergiswil
This 4-star hotel stands directly at the lakeshore on lovely Lake Lucerne in the village of Hergiswil, just a short train journey from Lucerne itself, surrounded by majestic mountain views. The hotel was bought as a humble guest house in 1911 by ancestors of the Fuchs family, who still own and run the Seehotel. There have been many changes since 1911 and, whilst providing a relaxing base in a great location for all our excursions, the hotel also features a host of leisure facilities, including a large indoor pool, jacuzzi, saunas, sun deck and lakeside terrace.
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Prices are correct at the time of publication, however are subject to change at time of booking. Prices are land-only, per person based on double occupancy.
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