Glacier Express is an express train running between the railway station of mountain resorts of Zermatt and St. Moritz through Andermatt in the central Swiss Alps of Switzerland.
On the contrary of calling it "Express Train" Glacier Express is one of the slowest train in the world. But it is called an express train because it provides one seated ride and doesn’t stop at local stations. It is operated by Glacier express Ag, Andermatt. The first service was started on 25 June 1930.
What is the Glacier Express?
The Glacier Express is a tourist train starting from Brig, Zermatt and ends at St Moritz/ Davos and Chur. This train travels a distance of 291 km and takes 8 hours approximately. One glacier runs daily in winter season both ways of Zermatt to St Moritz and in the summers daily Zermatt to Chur, Brig to St Moritz and two daily from Zermatt to St. Moritz.
The train compiles of 2 classes 1st and 2nd with a restaurant car and panorama cars with disabled access. It carries people with great comfortable and mesmerizing journey experiences. This majestic train runs at an elevation of 1606 m before disappearing into the huge valley of Calais in Brig.
What is the Route of the Glacier Express?
The train travels from Zermatt to St Moritz and the other way round. The itinerary is divided into 4 sections Albula line, Oberalp Section, Furka section and the Mattertal line. The Glacier express stops at
Fiesch, Andermatt, Disentis/Mustér, Chur, Thusis, Tiefencastel, Filisur, Bergün/Bravuogn, Samedan, Celerina.
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What it’s like to be onboard with the Glacier Express?
Glacier Express is the name of elegance and luxury. The whole train is designed with modern panoramic coaches with comfortable seats, carpeted floors, and air conditioning surrounding.
The most peculiar feature on this train is the huge panoramic windows with glass skylights, which won't allow you to miss any scenery.
The 1st class car in this train has 4 seats around the table which are in 2-2 and 1-1 configuration, meanwhile, in 2nd class there is only 2-2 configuration. The space in the train is plenty and passengers are less. Apart from this, there is also one excellence class with 1 on 1 configuration with world-class facilities. It was introduced in 2019.
The excellence class is set up in a panorama car, the car has a cocktails bar at the end. A host is provided with the car dresses smartly with white gloves on. This sure does set off some royalty vibe.
There is one foodservice car but the food is provided on the table, the staff comes down to take orders of snacks, lunch, dinner, and drinks. There will be lip-smacking variety on your table with beautiful cutlery and elegant table cloths. Travelers have the option to pre-book their meals before boarding.
More About The Excellence Class
In 2019 the Glacier express introduced excellence class which is only available on train 902 and 903. The excellence class is a deluxe panoramic car setup to enjoy the 360-degree view. The table arranged here is set up in a face to face manner with 1 on 1 configuration, so yes everyone gets a window seat. This class allows 20 elite people to journey altogether. They serve the 5-course meal with wine included in the reservation fee.
The guests are served with complimentary coffee, juice, snacks, and champagne. The seats are very comfortable and equipped with sockets and a USB charger. There are ipads provided to guests to help them navigate through the ride.
If you want to go overboard there is an additional option as in brand new excellence class- this class is taking 1st class on just another level.
The expectations you can keep while riding in excellence class car:
- Window seat for everyone and that’s the whole point to sit on glacier express, that everyone can enjoy the wild ride views.
- Spacious and luxurious lounge seats for a comfortable journey.
- Five-course cuisine with complimentary wines.
- Munching on snacks all day long with afternoon tea as well.
- Board information is given on provided tablets to every passenger.
- Safe and lockable luggage compartment.
- Personal host to provide answers to your curiosity and information en route.
- Only 20 passenger limit per carriage to make the journey more Hassel free.
- Private bar area is also available m
What to expect from the Glacier Express?
The Glacier express sure does define luxury vaguely. The tourists traveling here experience a wide ride under the open sky. All the seasons here are fruitful to eyes. The train passes through narrow valleys, tight curves 91 tunnels and 291 bridges through the Alps.
Every time of the year suits train differently, whether it’s snowfall or just lush greenery. The train never ceases to amaze the eyes. This train defines the meaning of "journey is more beautiful than destination".
Glacier Express Timetable and Schedule
According to the Glacier Express schedule, trains run twice a day during the winter season and four times a day during the summer season, except for a short period from mid-October to mid-December, where it does not operate at all.
Fare of the Glacier Express
The Glacier Express is a surreal experience train with elegant luxury. These premium tourist train costs of fares differ on the basis of class, supplement you add and itinerary.
Children under the age of 6 have no obligation to get tickets, meanwhile from 6- 16 aged ones have to pay half fare but full fir the supplements.
The fares are broken up into basic fare plus reservation fare and cost of lunch.
Basic fare of Glacier Express
- Excellence Express : 152 € + 375 €
- 1st class : 237€
- 2nd class : 152 €
- June- Sept : 38€
- Spring and Autumn : 29 €
- Winter : 21€
Cost of lunch
- Plate for the day : 27€
- For 3 course lunch : 38€
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How to book tickets?
The tickets on Glacier express are always full, so it is recommended to pre-book the tickets. The tickets can be booked through the following means:
Through website: Tickets can be booked through their official website and tickets can be collected at the station later.
On phone: There is also a phone service for international passengers to call the international rail and arrange reservations and swiss passes as well. They arrange everything alongside with your meal pre-booking.
Through swiss railway station: If you're in Switzerland, you can go to any Swiss railway station and make your booking there.