It’s hard to say which part of the journey is more memorable. The three-hour cruise on Lake Lucerne? Or the railway journey on the famous Gotthard rail route? What it lacks in speed, this ‘express’ route makes up for with the most varied travel experience imaginable. After boarding a historic steamer at Lucerne’s quayside, you enjoy a three-course meal in the Belle Epoque floating restaurant while gliding past ancient Swiss sites such as the Rütli Meadow, Schiller Stone and Tell’s Chapel. At Flüelen, you change to a 1st class panorama car for the rail journey to Canton Ticino. The train winds its way from 470 to 1100 metres altitude, disappearing into the 15-kilometre Gotthard Tunnel (which dates from the 19th century and took 10 years to build at a cost of some 200 lives). The train re-emerges on the sun-kissed southern side of the Alps. In the summer season an accompanying guide provides interesting information on the Gotthard region.
RouteLucerne-Flüelen (by boat, travel time 2.45 hours)
Flüelen-Locarno (by train, travel time 2 hours)
Flüelen-Lugano (by train, travel time 2.15 hours, change trains in Bellinzona) Show map
Lucerne and regionThe world’s first revolving cable car is the gateway to a world of eternal snow on Mount Titlis. Awaiting you at 3020 metres – the nerve-tingling Titlis Cliff Walk and Ice Flyer chairlift.
LocarnoThe Centovalli Express is so much more than the fastest connection between Ticino and Valais. It takes under two hours. But the route from Locarno through the Centovalli (100 valleys) via Domodossola in Italy offers many scenic sights – across dizzying viaducts and past chestnut groves and Ticino’s highest church tower at Intragna.
Did you know that there is a lookout above Locarno from where you can see both Switzerland’s highest and lowest points? Take the cable car to Cardada, the ideal starting point for a hike. Or simply linger longer and admire the view.
LuganoMonte Brè and Monte San Salvatore offer fantastic views of Lugano and its lake. Reach these scenic summits in minutes by cable car and funicular.
Dining & Wining
Meal and refreshments on the boat.
- Wilhelm Tell Express: Voucher
ReservationReservation is recommended.
Reservation supplement CHF 39/EUR 33Reservation
Important: Travel on the Wilhelm Tell Express (boat and train) is 1st class only. You will therefore require a 1st class ticket, or an upgrade from 2nd to 1st.
Did you know...
....that when traveling by train to Locarno you see the tiny church of Wassen no fewer than three times? And each time from a different angle? No, it's neither a mirage nor magic. It's simply that the train has to loop round the church three times to gain height where no space is available.