websites to price swiss transportation?

Apr 9th, 2009, 02:53 AM
  #1  
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websites to price swiss transportation?

We're headed to Switzerland at the end of May. I have used the www.sbb.ch site to price train tickets, but where can I price all of the different cable cars and transportation in the Bernese Oberland area? I'm trying to confirm whether the Swiss Pass is the best deal for us.

Also, is there any kind of add on to the 8-day Swiss Pass (without jumping to 15 days)? We are going to be in Switzerland for 9 days. I'm leaning toward the Swiss Pass instead of the Flexi Pass since I think it will be more convenient and because I believe we'll be out doing something on most days. There will be 2 adults and 2 kids, so we can get the 15% discount plus the kids for free.

Our schedule looks like this:
Day 1: arrive by plane into Geneva, take train to Montreux
Day 2: Montreux/Lake Geneva area
Day 3: Montreux/Lake Geneva area
Day 4: Travel to Grindelwald
Day 5-8: Grindelwald/BO area
Day 9: Train back to Geneva, fly home

Right now I'm leaning toward the Swiss Pass for 8 days, but paying the first day train from Geneva to Montreux separate and starting the pass on Day 2. Is that the best option? Any other suggestions. We would plan to be traveling 2nd class trains.
see_the_world7 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2009, 04:41 AM
  #2  
 
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Hi see the world7,

You can get all the fares for the mountain railways here:

www.jungfraubahn.ch

The transportation around Lake Geneva is not at all expensive, so using Pass days for those trips may be over-paying by a significant amount. You can save yourself that extra day of travel by waiting to activate it.

s
swandav2000 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2009, 05:43 AM
  #3  
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Thanks for the website link. That's just what I needed.

On the page that lists the fares from Interlaken, that website says the following if you have a Swiss Card:
Free travel to Wengen, Mürren and Grindelwald. 50% reduction on other sections (mountain rail & cableways), Swiss Pass Kleine Scheidegg-Jungfraujoch 25% reductions. Grindelwald-Pfingstegg aerial cableway 20%

We will be staying in Grindelwald. So does that mean my travel to Wengen and Murren (from Grindelwald) are 100% covered on the Swiss Pass? Or is it only travel from Interlaken? Then am I correct in understanding that traveling to other places like First are only 50% reduction with the Swiss Pass?

Thanks for the clarifications.
see_the_world7 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2009, 07:00 AM
  #4  
 
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Yes, you have it right; travel between Grindelwald and Mürren and Wengen is covered no matter where you originate from. Once you go beyond those villages, then you get the reduction, as up to First.

Now, I've never used a Pass, so all my information is only academic! I always get the HFC and am usually skiing in the area so travel on the ski pass.

Have fun!

s
swandav2000 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2009, 07:30 AM
  #5  
 
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It is very hard to beat the 8 straight day Swiss Pass if it comports to your time frame - better for you than HFC (CHF 99) as you will probably find out when comparing fares at sbb.ch

www.swisstravelsystem.com also links you to many mountain trains, lake boats, postal buses, etc.

Swiss Passes are cheaper in the U.S. for the exact same pass for some reason - and many sellers do not charge postage - you can buy them at any Swiss train station as well - but compare savings for passes in Swiss francs at www.sbb.ch and http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/id3.html or www.raileurope.com or www.ricksteves.com (though i think steves charges a mailing fee) - use .90 cents US to one Swiss franc (.87 in today's NYTimes but that means about .90cents effective rate and add 3% for usual credit card charge with foreign transactions. www.seat61.com and the above sites will tell you lots about Swiss trains and passes.

http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/id3.html
Palenque is offline  
Apr 9th, 2009, 08:54 AM
  #6  
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I had actually skipped over the Half Fare Card and was just focusing on the Swiss Card, Swiss Flexipass and Swiss Pass (or nothing), but the HFC might not be a bad choice for us, considering the kids are free with the Family Card no matter what.

Since the HFC is good for a month I could include all 9 days. I'll have to do the math, and I'm not really sure how much we'll be traveling during our time in Bernese Oberland and whether we'll do a few boats on the lakes or not. I expect we'll be out everyday, but we don't have a specific plan for each day yet. It sounds like the HFC card is 50% off everything including the mountain trains and also the Jungfrau (which is only 25% on the Swiss Pass, I think), so it might come out fairly close.

Is there anything else I'm missing? I'll try to estimate our travels and do the math but just want to make sure I have the facts straight.
see_the_world7 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2009, 09:19 AM
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considering the kids are free with the Family Card no matter what.>

With the Swiss Pass kids under 16 accompanied by a parent (only a parent) always go free as well - even when adults have to pay 50% - kids with the free Family Card that comes with the pass never pay a dime on anything.
Palenque is offline  
Apr 9th, 2009, 09:21 AM
  #8  
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Yes...sorry I wasn't clear. I meant that the kids would be free no matter which option I chose.
see_the_world7 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2009, 11:17 AM
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"Swiss Passes are cheaper in the U.S. for the exact same pass for some reason"
Does this depend on how many people are going? Because the cheapest place I can find is the Swisstravelsystem.com website. I have to buy 2 and it applies a 15% discount when buying 2 or more. My debit card only charges a 1% currency exchange fee. The price ends up being $319.60 for an 8 day 2nd class pass. Please let me know if there is a better or cheaper way. We plan on buying our within a month.
jlm43 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2009, 11:32 AM
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jlm43 - if you are talking about solo one person passes then the cheapest would be $327 in the U.S. - same everywhere - price set by RailEurope, part owned by the Swiss Railways

But if you are talking about p.p. Saver pass (8 con days) p.p. then it's $279 p.p. in the U.S.

I assume you mean individual passes - i did not know for buying two separate passes (not a pass with two names on it i gather) that sbb.ch would give 15% discount - thanks for informing me - very few folks buy two passes at once - you obviously have reason but if you were buying two 8-con day passes to use consecutively the 15 day con pass would be much cheaper.

If you need 15 days over a month i wonder if the 15-day flexipass may be cheaper than two 8-day con - you still get 50% off everything practically with the flexipass in between the first and last day of use.

But i suppose you are using them outside a one-month period - so that would be the best deal you can get i would think.And this would be an exception to what i wrote.
Palenque is offline  
Apr 9th, 2009, 11:45 AM
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The main reason I chose a Swiss Pass over a Half Fare card is convenience. You are constantly getting on/off different modes of transportation. The Swiss are great at synchronizing them so there is little time between. I had one day without the pass--trying to save money--and it was such a pain.

If the transportation goes to a village where people live you are covered. Above that is 50% off.

"includes the classic scenic routes, the public transport systems of 38 Swiss cities, and gives you 50% discount on most mountain-top trains and cable cars. To top it off, you will profit from free entries to approx. 450 museums and other interesting discounts accorded to you by our Bonus Partners."

"The Swiss (Saver) Pass, Swiss (Saver) Flexi Pass, Swiss Youth Pass and the Swiss Card also serve as a half-fare card. If you show anyone of these tickets when taking a mountain train, aerial cable car or other means of transportation not included in the basic Swiss Travel System, you will receive a 50% discount (see also Synoptic map). Seize this opportunity and enjoy an unforgettable trip to one of Switzerland`s countless mountain tops."

the map--
http://www.swisstravelsystem.ch/file...-09-EN-WEB.pdf
Connie is offline  
Apr 9th, 2009, 01:10 PM
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Palenque
My wife and I will be there for 6 days. Am I correct in assuming that I will have to buy 2 passes? When I put 2 people in the swisstravelsystem.com site, it comes up with 2 passes then takes 15% off of each. Please tell me there is a cheaper option!!
jlm43 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2009, 04:29 PM
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Okay, now I am confused. What is the difference between 2 passes for 2 adults or 1 pass for 2 adults?
jlm43 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2009, 07:25 PM
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Palenque: This Raileurope site does not appear to have a 2nd class Saver Pass option, although this choice is listed on both Rick Steves and budgeteuropetravel websites. Has this pass been eliminated for U.S. travellers?:

http://www.raileurope.com/rail-ticke...d-pricing.html
lovisa is offline  
Apr 9th, 2009, 09:26 PM
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Last night I priced out the main train routes and estimated other travel in the Bernese Oberland area and for now it looks like for my family that the HFC is coming out significantly ahead. However, I'm not sure that I'm really including all of the little things that we might use a Swiss Pass for so I don't want to make a decision just yet. And the convenience of the Swiss Pass will definitely push it ahead if they are close.

I posted another query asking for specific suggested daytrips out of Grindelwald (and also Montreux), including what transportation needs to be used. I was hoping that would give us some good ideas and also help me get a better grasp on how much we would be using a pass. I haven't gotten any responses yet so maybe someone reading this post can help.

Also, if I click on Individual Fares on the www.jungfraubahn.ch site it seems to list the prices for travel from Interlaken. But if we'll be staying in Grindelwald I assume that some of those prices will be slightly lower. Is that correct? Is there somewhere I can enter my start and end point to figure out the cost and the combined transportation I need to get somewhere?

I'd like to make a decision soon since we'd like to have the cards or passes before we travel.

I appreciate the help.
see_the_world7 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2009, 09:38 PM
  #16  
 
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Hi again,

Here's how to get the fares from Grindelwald --

At the "Individual Fares" page, look at the left-hand side of the page. There is a long rectangular box with the names of the villages, with "Interlaken Ost" at the top. Just click on "Grindelwald." Then you'll get all the fares from Grindelwald.

Have fun!

s
swandav2000 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2009, 09:40 PM
  #17  
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ahhh...thank you. Not sure why I didn't figure that out.
see_the_world7 is offline  
Apr 10th, 2009, 07:14 AM
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There definitely is a second class Swiss Pass version of all first class passes - that REurope site may not have is just indicative of the shoddiness and misinformation this site is known to have sometimes. For the definitive word on this or anything call Byron at budgeteuropetravel.com - that's what i do sometimes with conflicting info - if he doesn't know he has on accasion checked with REurope authorities (not their phone personal for general questions) on some of my more arcane questions. But i am 99.99% sure it exists - 2nd class pass.

jlm 43 - a Saver Pass is two names on ONE pass and is cheaper p.p. by about 20% than two individual passes of the same length and type. It is one pass - be sure you are not ordering two individual passes but one saverpass and then see if the 15% discount applies - but a saverpass is only one pass with two names on it. One person can travel without the other if need be but your cannot take separate trains because there is only one actual pass. Most couples buy one Saverpass with two names on it.
Palenque is offline  
Apr 10th, 2009, 08:49 AM
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Palenque, Thank you very much for the info. I really do not see us travelling alone so I think we will definately get the saverpass. I think the 15% discount is only when buying 2 passes.
jlm43 is offline  
Apr 11th, 2009, 12:36 AM
  #20  
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I'm getting a better plan for our days in the BO region now. I think 3 days will be spent in the mountains and one day will be spent going to Interlaken and then taking a boat cruise to Thun and probably the train back. Where can I find prices for boat cruises on Lake Thun? Also, what other places on Lake Thun might we want to stop at? What about Interlaken itself...is that worth much time?

Secondly, a question about the Family Pass. I know that we can get this with the Swiss Pass or HFC. If we decided on the Swiss Pass, is the Family Card only good for the same 8 days as the Swiss Pass? We'll have 1 extra day where we'd have to buy adult train tickets separately. If we've ordered the Swiss Pass and Family Pass ahead of time, can we use the Family Pass on that first day (when not using the Swiss Pass) to get the kids tickets for free? I know if we decide on the HFC then that is good for the entire month.

Thanks for the help. I really appreciate it!
see_the_world7 is offline  

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