Come explore the beauty of Switzerland. Experience the rich history, medieval castles, crystal clear lakes, glacial mountains and wonderful culture in this amazing Alpine country in the heart of Europe.
Day 1 “Zurich to Luzern” – From the Zurich airport you will take a train to the beautiful city of Luzern, located on the edge of the alps. where you will meet your American Swiss guide. The day is free to rest and sight see the historical town of Luzern. Take a walk through old town, see the Lion Monument, stroll along the lake as the sunsets and see the infamous Chapel Bridge. A guided tour will be offered for those who are interested.
Day 2 “Luzern” – We will walk to the lake and take a scenic boat ride across Lake Luzern to the steepest cog train in the world. As the train works its way up to the top of Mount Pilatus you will start to see the beauty of Switzerland. Once on top you can enjoy a snack & a drink and walk around the top of Mount Pilates and admire the views of the Alps. On a clear day we can see into Germany. From the top of Pilatus we will take a Gondola down the other side with a stop at Fräkmüntegg. Here people can choose between some hiking, a mountain toboggan ride, a rope course or a little R&R with lunch and ice cream. When we are done here we will take the Gondola the rest of the way down and a short bus ride back to Luzern. This day people are free to move at their own pace and do as much or as little as they want. If you are in the mood for a great hike, instead of the cog train you can take a trail up. It’s a good work out and a great way to enjoy the mountain
Day 3-5 “Luzern to Interlaken” – We will spend 3 nights in Interlaken. There is much to do. Our first day in Interlaken we will settle into our hotels and do some sightseeing. In the afternoon we will go for an evening kayak trip on Lake Brienz (or as the locals say Brienzersee)
Day 4 – We will take a Day Trip to Grindelwald and the famous Top of Europe. Top of Europe is the highlight of any Swiss Vacation. The highest railway station in Europe is located over 11,300 feet above sea level. You will gain access to a high-Alpine wonderland of ice, snow and rock which you can view from the Aletsch Glacier or from the Ice Palace.
Day 5 – No trip to Interlaken would be complete without Boat & Castle Tours. Lake Thun is bordered by a fairy-tale world: Five magnificent castles with spacious parklands are located directly on the lake shore, and all offer stunning views of the Bernese Alps. Today is your day to take it easy and move at your own pace. We will have a rough itinerary for the day, but if you are a history buff and want to spend more time learning about the history of the medieval time period and the history of the castles you are free to move at your own pace. If you are still looking for more action you can also head back to Grindelwald for a day of action and adventure with scenic hikes, canyoneering, ziplining and/or mountain carts (which are adult big wheels) zipping down mountain paths…It’s an exhilarating and adrenalin inducing experience!
Day 6 “Interlaken to Zermatt” – We will take a 2 ½ hour scenic train ride to Zermatt. On the renowned Glacier Express, we will ride deep into the Alps and through small mountain villages that date back to the 1300’s. Bring snacks and drinks and sit back and enjoy this scenic ride. Swiss cheese (not the “swiss” cheese you are used to), Swiss chocolate, Mimosa’s or white wine are great compliments to this journey. And yes, you may drink on the trains. When we arrive in the completely car-free town of Zermatt we will settle into our hotel. Once settled in we can go for a hike or walk around the scenic town and take in the views of the Matterhorn, glaciers and alpine beauty.
Day 7 “Matterhorn” – The highest cable car station in Europe (12,739 feet). The views of the highest mountains in Italy, France and Switzerland are breathtaking. At the top, on the edge of the Italian border, we will see a very different side of the Matterhorn, and is the best vantage point of the mountains south face.
Hiking – If you enjoy hiking then Switzerland is the place for you!
Glacier Palace – A lift will carry you 45 feet below the surface of the glacier to a fairy-tale place deep under the perennial snows. An ice tunnel leads through the glacier to sites such as a glacial crevasse and an ice toboggan run. Cozy furs adorn benches and ice sculptures evoke the world of the ice fairy-tales. (additional $10.00)
Day 8 “Zermatt to Zurich” – Enjoy the views of the Alps and travel back to where our trip began in Zurich. After we settle into our hotel we will take a tour of Old City and other famous attractions in Switzerland’s largest city. There is plenty to do in this beautiful city. During this time of year festivals and summer events are common. We will recommend local events to our guests that are specific to your interests so that you may enjoy everything Zurich has to offer.
Day 9 – A leisurely morning on your own with airport transportation available from the hotel for your convenience. Depending on when your flight departure, you may have time for a little more sight-seeing.
Additional Days – If you are interested in booking adding days in Switzerland or other parts of Europe, let us know. August 1st is the Swiss National Holiday. It is similar to Independence Day in the US and commemorates the Foundation of Switzerland in 1291. It is truly a sight to behold!
Cost with a down payment before January 20th – $2800
Cost with a down payment after January 20th – $2950
Includes all accommodations*, 7 Breakfasts, Scenic Boat tour on Lake Luzern, Cog Train ride up Pilatus Moutain, Gondola Ride down Pilatus, Kayaking trip, Top of Europe Trip, Matterhorn Glacier Express, Scenic Boat tour on Lake Thun and/or Lake Brienz, Castle Admissions and Swiss Travel Pass, Trip Protection and Medical Insurance**, and more.
Airfare is not included – However we are working with David Diamond of Expedia Cruiseshipcenters to assist you with all of your travel needs.
Cancellation and Refund policy:
FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO BOOK YOUR SWISS ADVENTURE, CONTACT DAVID DIAMOND
(484) 483-3272 or DDIAMOND@CRUISESHIPCENTERS.COM
ABOUT YOUR GUIDE – Doug Chapman is the owner of Take It Outdoors Adventures, a recreational company operating in North America and Europe. Doug grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and now resides in Switzerland. All of his life, Doug has had a love of exploring new places and a deep passion for the great outdoors. He founded TIOA in 2010 and started running local kayaking trips in the United States, eventually adding multi-day adventures to the Canadian Outback, Pictured Rocks National Park, Adirondacks and more. In 2013, Doug met his future wife (from Switzerland) on one of TIOA’s ski trips. When she moved back to Switzerland, Doug followed.
Doug has had the fortune of touring and finding the best parts of Switzerland. He also offers guided tours for people, families and groups looking to explore Switzerland in their own way. Whether it is sight-seeing, mountain biking, road cycling, backpacking, skiing, etc., TIOA can cater a trip to anyone’s desires.
TIOA models their tours after trips Doug has personally taken with friends and family. When you are a part of a trip with Take It Outdoors Adventures, you will feel like you are on a trip with friends instead of feeling like a tourist surrounded by strangers.
When I go on vacation I always have a plan…but part of that plan is being flexible. Every group has its own personality, strengths and desires. And you never know when Mother Nature’s plans won’t cooperate. I always do extensive research on the area, talk to locals and local outfitters. With this information, we have the option to change the itinerary in the best interest of the group. Often times, we discover hidden gems that are less crowded then the hot spots listed in the brochures. I have done the ground work in advance of my trips in order to give everyone a good mix of the ‘must see’ tourist spots and those hidden gems that the locals prefer, with the flexibility to adjust when it is most advantageous.”
For this Switzerland Trip, we understand that you may not want to do what the group desires every day. If someone decides that they prefer to have a day trip that differs from the group plans, we can accommodate that. Just let Doug know what you would like to get out of your excursion and he can help you plan the day. With your Swiss Travel Pass (included in the trip cost) there may be little or no extra cost.
THE FINE PRINT:
* Hotels are based on double-occupancy. We do our best to make the rooms same gender or traveling partners. Single occupancy rooms are available for an additional $1100.
**Trip Insurance – If you are age 60+, an additional surcharge may apply (approx. $300). Trip Protection, Trip Interruption and International Medical Insurance is underwritten by Transamerica Casualty Insurance Company and provided by Travelex Insurance Services. Plan Benefits and Schedule of Coverages and Services will be provided to all travelers and may be provided prior to booking upon request.
Additional activities and days booked may incur costs and fees. If you wish to do something other than what is planned for the group on a particular day, we can help you plan those activities as well. Your Swiss Travel Pass entitles you to unlimited travel throughout the rail, bus and boat Swiss Travel System network. This pass also covers scenic routes and local trams and buses in 75 towns and cities and offers 50% reduction on most mountain railways and cable cars. The Swiss Travel Pass also includes the Swiss Museum Pass, allowing you free entrance to 490 museums, castles and exhibitions. This means that many activities are available at minimal or no cost.