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'There is no better way to travel than with St James Rail. The journeys are incredibly well researched and meticulously planned by the founder and tour leaders'

Peter and Joan (Mosman)

PO Box N400

Grosvenor Place

NSW 1220

AUSTRALIA

ABN  76 150 053 384

Tel: +61 2 9326 9660

Mobile +61 418 585 838

Email:sjr@digitor.com.au

© 2014 by St James Rail. All rights reserved.

NEW YEAR’S EVE ON LAKE LUCERNE

SWITZERLAND BY RAIL IN WINTER

SWISS AND AUSTRIAN ALPS

Highlights include:

*  New Year's Eve concert in the splendid Lucerne             Concert Hall

*  Gala NYE Dinner on the historic paddlesteamer 'Uri'
*  Stay in the romantic car-free village of Zermatt

*  Indulge at the beautiful Interlapen Hotel in the

     Austrian Alp village of Seefeld-in-Tyrol

*  Dine in Europe's highest restaurant 'Crystal' at the       top of themagnficient Jungraujoch

*  Experience the UNESCO Albula Line and Bernina           Express fromSwitzerland into Italy

*  Ride the Glacier Express on the Zermatt to St Moritz      line

*  Enjoy sledging along the snow covered roads in           Graubunden

 

Celebrate the New Year with a NYE Concert and then gala dinner on Lake Lucerne. Experience the stunning winter scenery of the Swiss and Austrian Alps by train – the Glacier Express, Bernina Express, Mont Blanc Express and more. Dine on the train as we climb the UNESCO listed Albula Line to St Moritz. Ride to the top of the Gornergratt to view the Matterhorn in glorious morning light, relax in hot spa baths and enjoy great food and Swiss wine. Splendid rail travel through the snow covered alps of Europe.

 

Date :  Sunday 28 Dec 2014  - Sunday 18 Jan 2015

Day 1 - 2

To Zurich and sightseeing in Zurich

Depart Australia for Zurich. There are options of one-stop flights with Singapore Airlines via Singapore, Thai Airlines via Bangkok, Etihad via Abu Dhabi, and Qantas/Emirates through Dubai to Zurich, or have an overnight stop in Asia or the Middle East en route. We’ll discuss your air travel preferences and make the appropriate arrangements. We will meet passengers at Zurich Airport arriving on the recommended flights with Singapore Airlines. Depending upon your flight choice, a morning arrival into Switzerland’s very efficient Zurich Airport. Enjoy a relaxing day sightseeing in Zurich. Overnight Zurich. (Day2 - B)

Day 3

Zurich and to Lucerne

After breakfast we enjoy a morning exploration of the city of Zurich, and in the early afternoon we catch the first of many of the wonderful SBB rail services for the short journey to Lucerne. And then travel by local bus to Kriens to join the first of two gondolas for the ascent to the famed Pilatus. In good weather, the unique views of the Alps and Central Switzerland's lakeland landscape are simply stunning. This evening you may like to join a small group at a great seafood restaurant (O) or enjoy a meal at one of the many fine eating options in the city. Overnight Lucerne.  (B)

Day 4 - 5

New Year’s Eve - Lucerne, Pilatus and New Year’s Eve Gala Cruise / Mt Rigi and New Year’s Eve Fireworks

Today we enjoy a guided tour and explore the sights of Lucerne – its museums, historic foot bridges, churches, the world-famous Chapel Bridge and Water Tower, the Musegg Wall, the Jesuit Church, and the Lion Monument. And then we enjoy an early evening concert in the splendid Lucerne Concert Hall – KKL – perched on the edge of the lake. We then walk the short distance to board our evening cruise on Lake Lucerne for New Year’s Eve aboard the historic steam powered paddlewheeler ‘Uri’ – more than 100 years old and in fine operating condition – with a gastronomique evening meal onboard. On New Year's day, we cruise across Lake Lucerne to Vitznau and then join the Vitznau-Rigi Railway to Rigi Kulm. Swiss engineer Niklaus Riggenbach masterminded the construction of the Vitznau-Rigi Railway in the mid-19th century. In his own words: "I want to take everyone up into the mountains, so they can all enjoy the beauty of our glorious country". After exploring the mountain peak, you have the option to travel to Fluelen and join a paddlewheeler for a three hour cruise – with a late luncheon aboard (O) – or travel directly back to Lucerne to explore the city and its sights. Tonight we walk to the shores of the lake to enjoy the NYE fireworks display – whilst not quite of the extent of Sydney’s, nevertheless the reflections in the lake and the more intimate setting make it a special experience. (Day 4 - B/D, Day 5 - B)

Day 6 - 7

Jungfrau region

We join the Brünig express to travel across the only narrow-gauge line of the Swiss Federal Railways. It was built as a combined adhesion and rack railway(\(\(the first in Switzerland). There are great views from the train as we first climb to Brünig-Hasliberg then descend to Meiringen. Many services have a restaurant car aboard, and we plan to join one of these services so you can enjoy a refreshment as the scenery passes. On the next day we explore the Jungfrau region – Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg, Jungfraujoch and Grindelwald. Here the Jungfrau Railway climbs to the Eigergletscher station, well known for its mountain restaurant and polar dog kennels. The trip continues through the Eiger tunnel, to Eigerwand and Eismeer stations, with a five minute halt at each station. Enjoy spectacular sightseeing through large observation windows, hewn from solid Alpine rock. Then the arrival on the Jungfraujoch, in the heart of a glorious glacier world on the very roof of Europe! We are based in the foothills of the famed Jungfrau for two nights.( Day 6 and 7 - B)

Day 8 - 10

The Golden Panoramic Express to Montreux, Rocher-de-Naye, Chamonix and Mont Blanc

In the morning, we board the Golden Panoramic Express and travel through “Swiss Chocolate Box” scenery on towards Montreux, where we descend steeply into Montreux and Lac Leman below. Enjoy stunning vistas across Lake Geneva as the train twists and descends quickly with the mountains behind. In Montreux, we inspect Castle Chillon, a splendid edifice on the edge of the lake, with fascinating history and an excellent historical presentation, join the private railway to ascend to Rocher-de-Naye, and visit Chamonix and Mont Blanc. Overnight at the Grand Hôtel Suisse-Majestic, Montreux for three nights. (Day8, 9 and 10 - B)

Day 11 - 12

Zermatt, the Gornergratt and Matterhorn

After a relaxing morning we travel along the edge of Lake Geneva to Brig. In Brig we transfer to the modern narrow-gauge railway of the Matterhorn Gotthard Railway, which arrives in Zermatt after an hour and a half ride through the rugged and romantic Nicolaital Valley. As we climb higher we leave the cars behind at Tasch, and enter the car-free mountain village of Zermatt. Explore in the afternoon light, visiting the Museum that depicts the history of attempts to climb the Matterhorn. This evening you can enjoy the local swiss delicacy of cheese fondue, and many restaurants in Zermatt offer such an experience. The next day we explore the Gornergratt and the Matterhorn. We travel on the famous rack railway - built in 1898 and incidentally the first electric railway of its kind in Switzerland - which winds its way up the mountain letting the Matterhorn appear ever larger and more magnificent, while the village of Zermatt appears more and more like a collection of doll's houses. In the afternoon we travel to the Matterhorn glacier paradise (3,883 metres above sea level) - the highest sightseeing point in Europe, accessible by cableway! Overnight at the Sarazena Hotel, Zermatt. (Day11 and 12 - B)

Day 13 - 16

To Pontresina on the Glacier Express, St Moritz, the Engadine, Davos, Chur and the Bernina Express to Italy

This morning we travel from Zermatt to Pontresina via Visp and Brig on the famed Glacier Express. We travel on one of the most scenic and spectacular rail journeys of the world. Enjoy travel in a first class panorama car, with a quality meal served at your table at luncheon, as you watch the amazing vista around you. On the next day for the adventurous we enjoy sledging/tobogganing on the snow covered road that descends from Preda to Bergün/Bravuogn. Catch the train from to Preda, then hire a sledge for the downhill ride to Bergün/Bravuogn. We leave the sledge here and rejoin a train for a ride back up the mountain. Then in the mid afternoon visit St Moritz – with its sophistication and chic. We explore the Engadine reigon more on the next day. We enjoy a round trip on the scenic railways of the Engadine, and thanks to the relatively new Vereina tunnel linking the Engadine more directly with Chur, we’ll travel back towards St Moritz via this historic city, with an afternoon historic tour. We have then planned an early evening departure by train to return to our hotel with the option to experience a candlelit dinner (O) in the restaurant car as we ascend the Albula Line back to our hotel in Pontresina – another of the many highlights of this trip. The last night in Pontresina is the experience of the Bernina Express. Wonderful valleys, mountains that tower above the valleys and the eternally icy summit of Bernina. Ride over graceful viaducts, through galleries hewn into the sheer rock, through switch-back tunnels, along rushing mountain streams, glaciers and even an alpine garden. Technical buffs will enjoy knowing the train climbs up to the 2253 metre high Bernina Pass without the help of a rack-and-pinion mechanism. See why these railway lines are catalogued as UNESCO world heritage sites. Our 4-star-superior Hotel Saratz for our four nights stay in Pontresina is an elegant yet informal, modern yet charming property. A contemporary lifestyle merges with Engadine hotel tradition, grandezza with design, nature with architecture. The hotel sits in unique surroundings in the midst of the Engadine mountain world, and boasts excellent cuisine, and a spacious pool and spa facility to enjoy at the end of the day. (Day13 - B/L, Day14 and 15- B, Day16 - B/MT )

Day 17

Pontresina to Chur and Innsbruck

We descend from Pontresina along the Albula Line to Chur, then change for Sargans and then on to a RailJet service of the OBB Austrian Railways for Innsbruck. The scenery along the valleys and rivers of western Austria is dramatic, with snow capped peaks on both sides of the line at various times. In the late afternoon we arrive at Innsbruck and check in to our hotel. (B)

Day 18 - 19

Innsbruck and to the Tyrolean Alps

This morning we inspect the Goldenes Dachl Museum (Golden Roof), explicitly created to commemorate the wedding of Emperor Maximilian I to Bianca Maria Sforza from Milan and the Imperial Palace, which is one of the three most important cultural landmarks in Austria. There is also the option to experience the Stubaitalbahn as it climbs through the Stubai Valley on an 18.2 km long narrow gauge interurban tram from Innsbruck to Fulpmes in the Tyrol. In the city of Innsbruck, it uses the local tramway tracks, and then at the Stubaital station, the branch line begins and we begin our ascent. Enjoy lovely views across Innsbruck and the Tyrol as we wind higher into the mountains. In the late afternoon we catch a train the short distance to Seefeld in Tyrol. Our final two nights are enjoyed in one of Austria’s finest hotels, a spa resort set in the midst of the Tyrol, in a national park. With probably the most beautiful and luxurious spa in the Alps, it has everything you could wish for to help you relax. Spanning an area of over 5,000 m², the spa area features a panorama pool for indoor and outdoor swimming with a view onto the surrounding mountain scenery, a luxurious Tyrolean sauna village with a murmuring Kneipp stream and a quiet zone for those precious moments of complete relaxation. You can swim outside with snow lapping the edge of the heated swimming pool, then relax in a warm spa. Enjoy all this luxury. We will have a mid morning walk through the snow (weather permitting) and then experience a horse drawn carriage through snow clad forests to a local inn where the publican offers refreshments - Glühwein or a cleansing ale, hot coffee or chocolate, and his famous apple strudel. Overnight at the five star Interalpen Hotel Tyrol. for two nights (Day 18 and 19 - B/D)

Day 20

Seefeld in Tyrol to Zurich

After another lavish breakfast buffet, we transfer late morning to Telfs railway station and catch our rail service to Zurich. The rail journey sees us travelling through Landeck, St Anton and Bludenz and is particularly scenic as we traverse narrow gorges and cross deep viaducts. Enjoy our final rail journey in Europe before we arrive at Zurich, where we then travel the short distance to Zurich Airport, from where group members return to Australia or to their further destinations. Evening flight departures to Australia. (B)

Day 21

En route to Australia

En route to Australia. Meals aboard the flight. (B/D)

Day 22

Arrival in Australia

A morning arrival in Australia. (B)

FARES

 $11,890 (per person (twin share))

plus airfares from Australia with a $2,390 single supplement for hotels.

 

 

BOOKING AND ENQUIRY

*Bookings are confirmed on receipt of the booking form and your deposit. The booking form is attached to each tour brochure or can be downloaded above. After receipt of the booking form and deposit, we will send a confirmation letter to you.

For booking, any further details or information,

use the "BOOKING AND ENQUIRY" buttoms above  or  call us on

(02) 9326 9660

0418 585 838

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