Rail Pass price depends on the length of time you need it for. In our case, 17 days so it is $803 for the 21 day Swiss Saver Pass. It will still be cheaper to get the 21 day pass, even though we don’t need that many days.
There are deals for children (ages 16 and under) traveling with parents or grandparents. Then if you go with a parent, it is free. If you go with a grandparent, its 30. Good deal if you ask me!
We typically get first class passes because it is easier to get seating and you can go to the top level of the ships!
We have bought our tickets through Rick Steves and through RailEurope. The only advantage to Rick Steves is that you get 20% off in his store. I think we got discounts the time we bought it at the other place.
Right now, you can get a 4 day swiss pass for buy 1 get one traveling on certain dates. Unfortunately, the specific dates don’t work for us. We have found on the rail site that in past Aprils, they have a half off special and a free upgrade to 1st class. At least it was that way for the last few years. Hopefully it will be that way again this year! Will have to keep on the lookout for it.
We typically get it about a month ahead of time. Sometimes later than that. Once we purchase, it will be mailed to you. Then, it has to be validated in Switzerland before you board any of the trains, boats or lifts.
The following is from Europe Rail’s site:
The last thing you should waste in Switzerland is time
It sounds simple, doesn’t it? And with the Swiss Pass from Rail Europe, it is. No matter where you go in Switzerland, never wait in line at ticket counters or fumble for money when you have one pass that provides unlimited travel on the Swiss Travel System including trains, buses and boats. Use them all to journey between the Alps, St. Moritz, or any part of Switzerland without worrying about transfers, conversion rates, or practicality.
And all that stress-free travel provides the opportunity to take advantage of the more than 400 museums the Swiss Pass will get you into for free. There’s no smarter way to see more of Switzerland than with a Swiss Pass from Rail Europe. It helps make every minute of your trip quality time. And in a country of legendary watchmakers, isn’t that the least you should expect?
Here’s what you get:
- This pass gives you unlimited travel on the Swiss Travel system.
- Choice of Consecutive and Flexi Passes give you unlimited travel on the Swiss Travel system.
- The consecutive pass is available for 4, 8, 15, 22 days or 1 month of consecutive travel. Example: You may choose to travel from Monday to Thursday, which would count as 4 days of travel.
- Flexipass is available for 3, 4, 5 or 6 days of consecutive or non-consecutive travel within a 1 month period. Example: You may choose to travel on Monday and then again on Thursday this would count as 2 days of travel.
- Includes a Swiss Museum Pass with free access to over 400 museums.
Conditions of Use
- Residents of Switzerland & Liechtenstein are not eligible to purchase or use this rail pass.
- Rail passes must be validated within 6 months of purchase date at the station by a railway official.
- The railway official will write the passport number on your rail pass.
- When a saver pass is purchased all travelers in the party must be present when validating the rail pass.
- Rail passes must be validated prior to boarding the first train or before using a passholder bonus.
- The date of travel must be entered into the corresponding box on the rail pass by the traveler before boarding the first train of the day or when utilizing a passholder bonus.
- Travelers must either carry a passport or U.S. Military I.D. in order to travel with this rail pass.
- Rail passes are 85% refundable up to 1 year after the purchase date if the rail pass has not been validated or used.
- Rail passes are non refundable if lost or stolen except as covered by Rail Protection Plan™.
- Reservations and supplements are not included in the rail pass and are at an additional cost.
- Reservations are required on all scenic and high-speed trains. Reservations are not recommended/necessary on all other trains in Switzerland.
- Prices are subject to change.