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Classic Rail Journey's

The William Tell Express

Tour highlights
  • Lake Lucerne cruise including lunch
  • Mount Rigi Railway
  • Picturesque Interlaken
  • Journey along the route of the William Tell Express
  • Locarno & Lake Maggiore
  • Beautiful Stresa
  • Cruise on Lake Maggiore
  • The Centovalli Railway
  • Lake view hotel rooms in Lucerne and Locarno
  • GRJ First Class Swiss Travel Card

What's Included
  • First Class rail travel throughout (Leisure Select service on Eurostar journeys with meals and drinks)
  • 9 nights' hotel accommodation with breakfast each day
  • Balcony lake view room in Lucerne
  • Lake view room in Locarno
  • 1 lunch, 6 dinners
  • GRJ First Class Swiss Travel Card
  • 3 full day excursions plus the William Tell line rail journey
  • All transfers
  • Services of your Tour Manager throughout
  • Single room prices include the supplement for single occupancy throughout £300

GRJ First Class Swiss Travel Card

This holiday includes a GRJ First Class Swiss Card which allows you to explore Switzerland on most of the country's trains, buses and lake cruisers on your free days.

Day 1 - By train to Dijon

We depart St Pancras International by Eurostar for Paris, travelling in Leisure Select class with a complimentary meal and drinks served before our arrival. Crossing the city by coach, we continue by TGV to Dijon. We overnight at the Mercure Dijon Clémenceau, close to the centre. If time allows, wander through this historic city, famous for its medieval half-timbered houses. (E,D)

Day 2 - Through France to Switzerland

From Dijon, we travel by TGV into Switzerland. The efficient Swiss rail network then takes us on a pleasant journey through the lush green pastures of the Emmental cheese-producing region to the historic city of Lucerne. Our hotel for four nights is the Hotel Seeburg, which enjoys a fabulous lakeside location with breathtaking vistas across the lake to Mount Pilatus rising to over 7,000 feet (2,134m) on the opposite shore. The hotel is highly rated by our customers for cuisine and we dine together tonight in the 'Panoramasaal', overlooking the lake. (B,D)

Day 3 - A day at leisure in Lucerne

You are free to explore Lucerne at your leisure today. Take a stroll through the cobbled streets and squares of the city, past ornate churches, medieval buildings with painted façades and the famous Kapellbrücke covered bridge. Enjoy a steamer cruise on the lake or perhaps visit the Swiss Transport Museum. This is also an excellent opportunity to discover the surrounding area by bus, train, funicular or cable car, using your GRJ First Class Swiss Travel Card. (B)

Day 4 - Lake cruise and Mount Rigi Railway 

Today's excursion by train, ship and Europe's oldest mountain railway is timed to connect as only the Swiss know how. We begin by train to Flüelen, where we board a steamer for a relaxing cruise on the waters of Lake Lucerne. Lunch is included in the First Class saloon. Our day continues as we enjoy the magnificent views during a journey on the Mount Rigi Railway, Europe's oldest rack-and-pinion railway, dating back to 1871. (B,L)

Day 5 - The Bernese Oberland

We travel by mountain railway on the GoldenPass Line to Interlaken, with dazzling views of shimmering lakes and soaring mountain peaks along the way. Interlaken is situated between Lakes Thun and Brienz, set against a backdrop of breathtaking scenery. Your options here include a visit to the Alpine Gardens along the Schynige Platte Railway, a circular cruise of one of the lakes or a stroll around the shops. You could make the ultimate mountain railway journey to the highest station in Europe, Jungfraujoch (supplement payable), at over 11,000 feet (3,353m). (B,D)

Day 6 - The route of the William Tell Express

We leave Lucerne by train and skirt the lake before climbing the Gotthard Pass. Horseshoe tunnels, galleries and bridges all testify to this engineering masterpiece. After passing through the tunnel, we emerge to the abulous scenery of Ticino the Italian-speaking area of southern Switzerland. We continue to Locarno, an old town full of Italian character on the northern shores of Lake Maggiore. Though Locarno is in Switzerland, Lake Maggiore straddles the border and enough of the lake is in Italy for it to be second in size only to Lake Garda. We spend three nights in the Belvedere Hotel, perched above the lake. B,D

Day 7 - A day at leisure in Locarno

Locarno enjoys an exceptionally mild climate and plenty of sunshine. A pleasure to explore, Locarno has a picturesque Old Town very much Italian in style, with subtropical gardens filled with palm trees, exotic flowers and lakeside promenades. (B)

Day 8 - Stresa and the Centovalli Railway 

Today we cruise across Lake Maggiore, stopping at small villages and islands before arriving in the beautiful Italian town of Stresa, noted for its wonderful architecture and beautiful setting. From Stresa we travel by train to Domodossola for a journey on the Centovalli Railway, probably the highlight of any visit to Ticino. This narrow-gauge line winds its way across 'a hundred valleys' along remote hillsides, over high bridges and past sleepy villages on its way back to Locarno. (B,D)

Day 9 - By train to Germany

We leave Locarno and travel by train to Basel. Our journey continues through Germany and along the Rhine Gorge, with its wealth of fairytale castles nestled amongst extensive vineyards. We arrive in Cologne for an overnight stay at the Hotel Euro Garden or Four Points Hotel Central, both close to the station, the Rhine and the city's magnificent Gothic cathedral. (B,D)

Day 10 - To Brussels and London

We continue to Brussels to connect with the Eurostar service to London. We are served a complimentary meal and drinks on board before our arrival into St Pancras International. (B,E)

E = Eurostar meal, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

These meals, where shown, are included in the price of your holiday


Four Points Hotel, Cologne

Serving as a waypoint for many of our tours, the Four Points Hotel serves thousands of Great Rail Journeys customers each year. This modern hotel is located immediately opposite Cologne's railway station and a short walk from the impressive Gothic Cathedral. The hotel houses a bar and restaurant. Rooms feature minibar, television, tea/coffee making facilities, hairdryer and air conditioning.

Typical meal arrangements when dining at the hotel:

  • Breakfast: buffet-style breakfast with some hot items
  • Dinner: buffet-style dinner
Hotel Euro Garden, Cologne

The 4-star Hotel Euro Garden is situated just a short walk from Cologne's main railway station and the Cathedral. The hotel benefits from a bar, lounge, and sauna. Room facilities include a telephone, television, hairdryer and a safe.

Typical meal arrangements when dining at the hotel:

  • Breakfast: buffet-style breakfast with some hot items
  • Dinner: buffet-style dinner
Mercure Dijon Clémenceau, Dijon

In Dijon we stay at the 4-star Mercure Dijon Clémenceau, located within walking distance of the historic town centre. The hotel facilities include a restaurant, bar and outdoor swimming pool, whilst rooms are equipped with air conditioning, a safe, telephone, television, minibar and hairdryer.

Typical meal arrangements when dining at the hotel:

  • Breakfast: buffet-style continental breakfast, cold items only
  • Dinner: three-course meal, set menu
Belvedere Hotel, Locarno

The Belvedere in Locarno is situated in an excellent position on a sunny slope overlooking Lake Maggiore. The hotel has an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, sauna, fitness equipment, restaurant, and bar. The rooms include a television, safe, minibar and hairdryer. All rooms have a fantastic lake view and you have the option of upgrading to a room with a balcony. The hotel is a consistent favourite with our customers in terms of service, food and accommodation.

Typical meal arrangements when dining at the hotel:

  • Breakfast: buffet-style continental breakfast with hot items
  • Dinner: four-course dinner with a choice of main course
Hotel Seeburg, Lucerne

In Lucerne we stay at the 4-star Hotel Seeburg, located on Lucerne's outskirts close to the lake shore. The hotel has two restaurants, a lounge and bar. All rooms have balconies overlooking the lake and a television, telephone, radio, minibar, tea and coffee making facilities and a safe.

Typical meal arrangements when dining at the hotel:

  • Breakfast: buffet-style continental breakfast with hot items
  • Dinner: three-course dinner with a choice of main course

  • Cancellation, medical & travel insurance: from £43

Prices are per person, based on two sharing. Named accommodation may be changed if necessary by the tour operator. If this is the case you will be advised of all new details at time of enquiry. All holidays and prices are subject to availability, change and possible fuel surcharges

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