|NEW EXCELLENCE CLASS ABOARD THE GLACIER EXPRESS WITH PLANET RAILTailor-made specialist operator Planet Rail has introduced a new Luxury Glacier Express vacation for 2019, as Switzerland’s most famous railway launches a new Excellence carriage. From 2 March, the Glacier Express – probably the slowest ‘express’ in the world – will offer the last word in luxury with an Excellence Class panoramic carriage accommodating just 20 passengers (compared to the usual 36). Passengers will be treated to a dedicated check-in desk, guaranteed window seats for all passengers, a VIP in-carriage bar, spacious comfortable seating, a 5-course lunch and afternoon tea, plus an attentive concierge service, as the train makes its 8-hour scenic journey between St. Moritz to Zermatt. Planet Rail has combined a journey aboard this new carriage with three 5-star hotel stays and a business class flight home to form a sumptuous 7-night vacation showcasing the very best of Switzerland.LUXURY GLACIER EXPRESS
The vacation begins from London St. Pancras, catching the Eurostar in this, its 25th anniversary year to Brussels, and then onwards to Cologne for a night’s 5-star stay. Guests continue by rail along the Rhine Gorge and into Switzerland, heading for the glamourous resort of St. Moritz before transferring to the beautiful high altitude village of Sils-Maria for three nights at the 5-star Wildhaus Sils hotel. Here, guests have a day of leisure: a chance to use the hotel’s underground spa or hiking trails from the door, and a day’s ride aboard the Bernina Express, a scenic rail journey that loops and spirals around the Engadine Valley.
The next day is the undoubted highlight of the vacation, boarding the new Excellence Carriage of the Glacier Express, ‘the slowest express in the world’, for a journey through to Zermatt. Settling into the luxurious seats with a welcome drink in one hand and an iPad packed with points of interest in the other, guests will marvel at astounding mountain views as the narrow gauge railway snakes over the Oberalp Pass (6,670ft). En route passengers tuck into a five-course lunch with wine while gazing through the carriage’s panoramic windows.
Upon arrival in Zermatt, beneath the iconic Matterhorn, guests stay three nights at the 5-star Cervo Hotel, consisting of a set of chalets each with a wellness area with sauna, steam bath and massage room. During the two days in the resort town, there’s the chance to visit the Matterhorn Museum, head to the world’s highest cable car station or catch the cogwheel railway to Gornergrat to take in a stunning panorama of some 29 peaks over 4,000 metres from its viewing platform. The luxury trip ends with a Business Class flight back to London from Geneva airport.
Price: Planet Rail (planetrail.us, 01144 1347 825292) offers the Luxury Glacier Express holiday from $3,250 per person based on two sharing, including First Class rail travel throughout (Standard Premier service on Eurostar and Excellence Class on the Glacier Express), 7 nights’ hotel accommodation in 5-star hotels in Cologne, St. Moritz and Zermatt, lunch with wine and soft drinks, and tea on board the Glacier Express, private taxi transfer across Paris and return Business Class flight from Geneva. Available between 2 March – 13 October 2019.