It’s difficult to say which part of the Wilhelm Tell Express route is more memorable. The three-hour cruise on Lake Lucerne? Or the train journey on the famous Gotthard route? What it lacks in speed, this “express” makes up for with the most varied travel experience imaginable. At Lucerne’s quayside, you board a historic steamer. In the distance, famous and familiar sights – to the left Mount Rigi, straight ahead the Bürgenstock and Titlis, to the right the Pilatus. You glide past historic landmarks such as the Schiller Stone, Rütli Meadow and Tell’s Chapel. And in the elegant Belle Epoque floating restaurant, enjoy pleasures for the palate. 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, passing through 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, and in the summer season an accompanying guide provides interesting information on the Gotthard region.
RouteTravel duration (incl. change of trains): 5.13 h
Lucerne-Flüelen (by boat, travel time 1.59 h)
Flüelen-Locarno (by train, travel time 1.59h )
Flüelen-Lugano (by train, travel time 2.11 h change trains in Bellinzona) Show map
Lucerne and region
- Saphir Yacht – a Lake Lucerne cruise in a state-of-the-art panorama vessel
- Mount Titlis – the world’s first revolving aerial cableway climbs to eternal snow
Bellinzona and region
- Three historic castles from medieval times – a UNESCO World Heritage site
- Bellinzona–Chur PostBus route – discover a wonderland of climatic and cultural contrasts
Locarno and region
- Centovalli Express – the fastest Ticino-Valais route passes the highest church spire in southern Switzerland
- Brissago Islands – subtropical paradise and exotic plant life on Lake Maggiore
Lugano and region
- Mount Brè – from Switzerland’s sunniest summit, fine views of the Monte Rosa and distant Bernese and Valais Alps
- Mount San Salvatore – beautiful vantage point overlooking Lake Lugano
- Swiss Miniature (Melide) – see Switzerland on a smaller scale, including mountains, monuments and means of transport
Dining & Wining
Meal and refreshments on the boat.
- Wilhelm Tell Express: Voucher
ReservationCompulsory (max. 60 days in advance)
Reservation supplement CHF 39 winter,
Reservation supplement CHF 49 summer incl. Welcome Package
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.