Running since the 1930’s, the Glacier Express passes through 291 bridges and 91 tunnels with the highest point of the route being the Oberlap Pass. A ride on the Glacier Express Train includes 7.5 hours of gorgeous, panoramic views from Zermatt to St. Moritz/Davos, through the three cantons of Valais, Uri, and Graubübden. Some key sights include St. Moritz, the car-free alpine village of Zermatt, the Albula Line, the Rhine Gorge, and the Oberlap Pass. Among the idyllic scenery from the train are pristine rivers of the Rhine and Rhone, picturesque alpine villages, and various quaint wooden chalets. Though the accommodations may be essentially Swiss in their understated style, the views certainly are not!
The carriages feature comfortable seating and air-conditioning. During your journey, you may listen to music or a provided audio guide about your route.
- Excellence class: 20 seats total (all two-person facing seats with guaranteed panoramic view). Please see Excellence Class description below.
- 1st class: 36 seats (six four-person compartments, six two-person compartments, central aisle w/ tables)
- 2nd class: 48 seats (12 four-person compartments, central aisle with tables)
This brand new class of service has set a high standard for luxury train travel throughout the globe. The first of its kind, the Excellence Class Car onboard the Glacier Express is the ultimate high-end experience for those traveling to/from St. Moritz and Zermatt. Each comfortable (and adjustable!) leather seat offers a panoramic view with tall windows even exposing the ceiling, so you won’t miss any mountain peaks! Before you even board the train, you can check-in at your own private desk and lounge area. Once the train is ready for boarding, you are welcomed via red carpet and worry-free of luggage that is taken care of for you and stored in locked bins. As you head to your seat by the car’s very own concierge at your disposal during your adventure, you will be in awe of the fancy wooden tables, porcelain plates, shiny silverware, and essential wine glasses, as if you were being seated at a high-end restaurant. Throughout your journey, you will be served a 5-course professionally cooked meal, along with wine pairings and stunning views of the alps and glaciers surrounding you. Toward the end of your journey, you are spoiled with a traditional afternoon tea service including delectable Swiss chocolates. If you need to stretch your legs at any point, there is a private bar at the head of the coach for Excellence Class guests only, offering top-shelf drinks and a fun place to chat with staff and fellow guests! On the ceiling of the bar, there is a very impressive handmade compass, spinning and guiding you throughout your journey through the region. You will forget you ever are on a train and revel in the unparalleled experience that is Excellence Class!
Food & Drink (Excluding Excellence Class)
All meals served on the Glacier Express are prepared aboard using fresh, regionally-sourced ingredients. The train features a seasonal menu and serves a daily three-course lunch with soup or salad, one main course, and dessert or a small selection of Swiss cheeses with bread and butter. The wine aboard is hand-selected from the region and paired perfectly with each meal. Liquor, like Grappa and Williams, is held at a height of 24 inches and poured by staff members while the train is moving, to ensure the perfect aeration.
St. Moritz: Located 5,910 feet above sea level and considered the nicest, luxury resort in Switzerland, St. Moritz’s prime location allows it an average of 300 sunny days a year! Enjoy skiing and hiking or spend the day at the spa.
The alpine village of Zermatt and views of the Matterhorn: The mountain village of Zermatt lies under the 14,692 foot tall Matterhorn and features a lively ski-scene and lovely public, outdoor rinks for ice skating. The town’s main street, Bahnhofstrasse, is lined with boutique shops and restaurants, perfect for a day of leisurely exploration.
The Abula Line with the Solis and Landwasser viaducts and spiral tunnels: The Glacier Express joins the Albula Line, and travels across the Solis and Landwasser elevated, limestone bridges, seemingly floating. It’s an experience like no other.
The Rhine Gorge: The 40 mile stretch of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, features castles and historic towns and vineyards, illustrating the long history of human survival in dramatic and difficult landscapes. This picturesque town and the river gorge that runs through it is an artist’s paradise.
Oberalp Pass: Connecting the cantons of Graubünden and Uri, this high mountain pass in the Swiss Alps stands at 6,706 feet in elevation.