Swisspass vs. Berner oberland pass

Old Apr 5th, 2006, 09:50 AM
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treble, thanks for the time to do the research. Since I will have a rental car & staying in Grindelwald, I think I've pretty much settled on the 1/2 fare card and let the chips fall where they may. The Jungfraubahn looks good, but it doesn't cover boats as I will also be visiting Thun & Luzern, and the 1/2 fare card is good for a month.
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Old Apr 5th, 2006, 10:03 AM
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Savings with 8-day pass are greater if you buy in U.S.
308 SF = (.80) $246
same pass in U.S. = $225
saverpass - savings for two would be about $40 over buying in Suisse.
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Old Apr 5th, 2006, 10:06 AM
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Two comments here.
Don't forget that the Berner Oberland pass gives discounts over a wide region. There is a validity area map on the website.

If you ride extensively onthe national rail system, the new twist that the Swiss Pass gives 50% off of mountnain travel can swing the Pass in your favor.

The Jungfraubahn Pass is 190 chf (140 if you hold a Swiss Pass). It is good for 6 days of "free" travel with two major caveats: (1) You pay half of the cost of the sectionof the trip from Eigergletscher to the top, and (2) it does not include the Schilthornbahn from Mürren to the top.

It is good for First, Schynige Platte, Kleine Scheidegg, the gondola to the Männlichen, the bus to Grosse Scheidegg and a couple of other little ones.

Here is the web site.

There is one curious statement on the description: 50% of connecting tickets.
I have no idea what that means.
Connecting tickets? Hmm. I need to ask.

By the way Ballenberg is an easy train, bus connection. I enjoyed my visit there quite a bit. It was most interesting.

By the way, I never spent much time buying tickets!! I don't think that advantage is worth much. Walk up, tell the agent what you want, fork over the money. For the Schilthorn and the Jungfraujoch, you have to buy a ticket anyhow for part of the trip, and you are not going to do until you take a good look at the sky!!

Most of the time, it takes less than 2 minutes to buy a ticket. Big deal.
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Old Apr 5th, 2006, 10:10 AM
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Yes i've rarely seen any really Italian-style long lines at Swiss stations - and many have automatic ticket machines as well. Every Swiss train station official i've talked to speaks good enough English as well.
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Old Apr 5th, 2006, 12:18 PM
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I did the math. And I am going with the 5/15 BO Pass. Here is why:
* Swiss Card/Pass doesn't work for me because I am renting car; also I am entirely doing private rail/cable & boats
* 3/7 BO is cheapest but I might need a few extra trips up/down Murren since I'm staying there
* HalfFare card is the next best but not enough to justify buying tickets each time
* considered the 6Day Jungfrau pass plus 6Day Schilthorn pass but boats are not covered.
*Sorry could not align any better

See details below; Car trips NOT shown:
Day1 Lauter-Wengen___6.00_6.00_6.00
Day2 Grindel-First___25.00
Day2 Interlak-Thun___35.00___________70
Day3 Grind-Mannli via
Day4 Grindel-JF'joch
and on to Wengen____78.50_52.00_52.0_52
Day5 STC-MurrenOW_15.20_15.20
Day6 Murren-Schilthn_32.80_32.80_32.80
Day7 Murren-Stechl__15.20_15.20_15.20
Pass Price_______CHF99___220___265__325
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Old Apr 6th, 2006, 07:24 AM
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Impressive data - get out the calculator when planning a BOB adventure!
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Old Apr 6th, 2006, 10:51 AM
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There are far too many options!! If you know exactly where you are going you can figure out which is best, but if you're like me and are planning to visit the BO region and want to decide when you're there what to see and do... I guess I'll just pick one and hope for the best.
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Old Apr 6th, 2006, 11:07 AM
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It seems like if you need to get to the BOB from an airport or Swiss border point by train then the Swiss Pass, with it's 50% off for the whole month, is a better option - if you're driving to the BOB then either the Jungfraubahnpass or Regional Pass may be best - but with these two you have to be doing a lot of cables and Jungfraujoch type trains to make it pay off.
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Old Apr 6th, 2006, 12:09 PM
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I admit I make too much of the ticket-purchase thing; that is because I travel with a family group of 7 to 9 people (think herding cats), and since I am the only one who speaks German I am the one who gets to buy any tickets we may need. Meanwhile, everyone else is standing around with their luggage or running off to buy something. . . (remember the cats). We have encountered waits in line of 5 minutes or so at Brig, long enough for aforesaid cats to disappear. . . So now we use passes and I herd everyone down to the station just in time to catch the train.
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Old Apr 6th, 2006, 12:19 PM
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I do like the idea of being able to jump on and off the various cables and trains without having to worry about money, though.

I'm still confused on the subject of travel between countries. I'll be traveling to the BOB by train from Innsbruck. If I didn't get the Swiss Pass, I assume I would buy a ticket from Innsbruck directly to the BOB. However, if I do get the Swiss Pass, I would tell the ticket agent in Innsbruck that I'll be using that, and they would just sell me a ticket to the border. Is that right?
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Old Apr 6th, 2006, 12:49 PM
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Right - show your Swiss Pass and buy a supplemental ticket to the Swiss border. There is a Swiss-Austria pass but it's like a Eurailpass and thus doesn't offer many of the benefits that Swiss passes do - and as for activating your pass - normally have to take up to a train station ticket window but a special caveat for folks coming into the country on a train from another country the conductor then is supposed to validate your pass on board. Often however the conductor may lack the official stamp and tell you to activate it when you get off the train. If this happens you could obviously gain a day of travel if your ethics permitted it. Anyway can't activate Swiss Pass in Austria and you don't have to get off the train to do so in Switzerland.
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Old Apr 6th, 2006, 04:59 PM
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Thanks, PalQ, for clearing that up for me.
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Old Apr 6th, 2006, 06:21 PM
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I have never had a problem buying a ticket in Switzerland using English.
I speak poor German, and can use it in a pinch, but Swiss Rail Employees as a general rule speak several languages.

In theory, you should pay only for the ticket to the Swiss border. Actually, you pay for the ticket to the first station within Switzerland.

Last year, I had my tickets in advance from the SBB. I paid for the section from Munich to Schaffhausen (we came via Stuttgart). At Schaffhausen, the first stop, the Swiss Card paid for the remainder. All we did was show it to the conductor.

As I said, I have bought tickets all over, and standing in line was never a problem. I never missed a train, and never had to wait. It is not like I only went there once. Total up the days, and I have spent 3 months touring Switzerland.

I repeat. If you don't do the numbers, how do you know the pass is saving you money? Answer: You don't.

As for the Swiss Pass versus the Card, I use the Swiss official prices as a measuring point.

The Card, again, is 178 chf. The 15 day pass is 374 chf. I have to estimate based on that one because of how long I stay. Somehow, if I use the Card, I have to find almost 400 chf worth of tickets outside of the Berner Oberland (where all is half price )to reach a point where the Pass is better than the Card.

I cannot count entry and exit trips because those are built into the price of the Card.

I have yet to do it. As I have said,
show me the figures. All I get is an excuse, such as "I don't want to stand in line." In many cases you can buy the ticket the night before, provided you know where you are going.

I submit, further, if that if you have no idea where you are going, how do you know in advance which discount instrument would be the most economical, or even if ANY pass would be better than point to point.

If those simple figures floor you, I would hate to see your income tax return if you have expenses, capital gains, capital loss carry over, large deductions, unusual medical expenses, rental property,and the like.

For the Swiss Pass for me to be better than the Swiss Card, it would take a lot of train travel. For 400 chf, I could ride all over Switzerland!

I could ride round trip from Winterthur to Geneva to Zermatt for 302 chf.

If I did that much rambling, there is not much point in going to the Berner Oberland because I would not be there.

I don't deny that if you go to the BOB for 2 days out of a 12 day Swiss journey that the a Pass might not be better.
This whole thing I thought started with a focus on a sojourn in Berner Oberland.

And Bud, if you are going to the Berner Oberland, the Card gets you in and out of the country with 50% off in between.
Unless you ride for the equal of 260 chf out side of the BOB and outside of entry and exit trips, the Card gets you a better deal financially.

You are going to have to stand in line in the BOB anyhow unless you buy the Jungfraubahn pass or the Berner Oberland Regional Pass.

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Old Apr 7th, 2006, 04:14 AM
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tagging for future reading...
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 11:33 AM
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My 2 cents: We are staying 4 nights in Wengen in May. Traveling in from Frankfurt and out to Avignon via Geneve. My calculations show the Berner Oberland Regional Pass is best. The caveat is that the BO Pass can only be purchased in the BO.(Or by fax for 80Chf) In our case Bern is the 1st point of sale. So we must exit the train to purchase and wait for the next train an hour later. The BO Pass will also cover much of our departure route thru Château-d'Oex. We intend to ride the mountain lines 'til we drop, hotels are for sleeping....
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 12:28 PM
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Have you considered taking the MOB Martigny-chamonix line from Martigny - this to me is a much more dramatically scenic line than the Golden Pass route to Montreux via Chateau d'Oex - but you may want to go to Geneva. anyway from Matrigny it's only two hours to Chamonix - glaciers border the tracks when the train nears it and the climb from the Rhone Valley from Martigny is thrilling - Chamonix of course has rail links to the Annecy area and Lyon and Geneva as well. If you were going to travel much in France you could investigate the Swiss-France railpass which would cover in full the Chamonix train though that is not a big ticket item. On the Chamonix route you also go via Brig and perhaps you've experience the Spiez-Brig Lotschberg route - it to me is the most thrilling mainline ride in Switzerland (broad gauge), especially on its airplane simulating stimulating descent into Brig, going along a ledge for several miles above the Rhone Valley - sit on the right side of the train for the best views. Change at Brig to the short train ride to Martigny. You BOB pass would cover you in full if using a day or 50% if not - Brig to Visp 50% then BOB ends. At Sierre, before Martigny you can take what must be one of the longest funciulars in Europe - a multi-stage afair up into the Alps to some swank resort - but it's an old-fashioned funicular a la the one at Murren that is being removed soon and replaced by the aerial cable car.
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 12:38 PM
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Well...that is interesting. I saw the Chamonix run on the Mont-Blanc Express but the Golden Pass run to Montreux was very highly touted and "on the way to Avignon". (Must be a song title) Having not been on either, I must make the choice. However, I must board a river boat in Arles on the same day so timing is important.
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 02:18 PM
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Thanks PalQ but the Chamonix run deserves more time. ~7 train changes and 15 hours.
Switzerland won't melt, in spite of the global-warming whacko doomsayers!
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Old Apr 12th, 2006, 12:37 PM
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The Golden Pass route is quite nice but not dramatically a mountain train a la the Bernina Express or Martigny-Chamonix runs - that said the dramatic descent down to lake Geneva the last few miles is very impressive.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 08:21 AM
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RailEurope says, to clarify the free child's pass question, that no matter what train, Jungfraujoch included, children on a Family Pass (one free pass for kids under 15 for each adult buying a Swiss Pass) the kids go free, even on days on a flexipass when adults only get 50% off - kids always go free to match whatever ticket the adults buy at 50% off - boats, trams in cities, postal buses, gondolas, mountain top trains, etc.
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