The Gotthard Panorama Express is a unique way to experience the beauty of the Swiss landscape and explore the different regions of Switzerland. By combining train and boat, the journey not only offers impressive views, but also a relaxed and comfortable way to travel from Lucerne to Lugano.
Note: Visit of Lucern and Lugano is part of our Luxury Tours Switzerland.
“In the footsteps of William Tell” from Lucerne to Lugano
In Lucerne, you board a nostalgic steamboat (or saloon motorboat) and glide across Lake Lucerne, past mystical bays and picturesque landscapes, while enjoying culinary delights. You will cruise past countless historical sites in primeval Switzerland. First and foremost the Rütli meadow, where Switzerland was founded in 1291, as well as the Schiller Stone and Tell’s Chapel.
The Schiller Stone is a striking boulder about 20 meters high that rises out of the water at the entrance to Lake Uri, the southernmost basin of Lake Lucerne. It lies opposite Brunnen between the Treib and the Rütli and is only accessible from the water. The obelisk-shaped stone was designated a Schiller monument to mark the 100th birthday of Friedrich Schiller, the author of the drama “William Tell”.
If you drive past the Schiller Stone, you may be able to read the golden inscription on the rock: “To the singer Tells, F. Schiller, Die Urkantone 1859”. The Schiller monument can only be reached from the water.
The Tell’s Chapel is a chapel on the shore of Lake Lucerne and is located at the place where, according to legend, William Tell jumped from the boat of bailiff Gessler, the so-called Tell’s Plate.
In Flüelen, the panoramic train is ready to depart and takes you south through the mighty Reuss Valley in Uri along the world-famous Gotthard railroad line. Here you have three views of the church in Wassen, which has achieved world fame thanks to the bold railroad layout with its many helical tunnels.
The small baroque church in Wassen can be seen and photographed from three different perspectives: from below, from close up and from above.
Other highlights besides the church in Wassen are the 2-metre-high Devil’s Stone, the legendary Schöllenen Gorge and, last but not least, the 15-kilometre Gotthard railroad tunnel.
The historic tunnel between Göschenen and Airolo is the central and largest structure on the Gotthard railway line, which is over 130 years old. The Gotthard Base Tunnel is the longest railroad tunnel in the world. It is 57 kilometers long and extends under the Gotthard massif. It is a technological masterpiece and a symbol of Swiss engineering.
Once inside the tunnel, the experience continues: the train reduces its speed and the myth of the Gotthard is brought to life with light projections.
From Airolo, the famous panoramic train winds its way downhill to Lugano, opening up views of wonderful landscapes characterized by magnificent vineyards, dark chestnut forests and picturesque Ticino villages.
The varied Mediterranean landscape of Ticino awaits you here. In Bellinzona, you will see three castles that characterize the cityscape. The imposing buildings are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The castles were built in the 15th century and were used to protect the area from invaders. Today, they are a popular tourist destination and a symbol of the region’s history and culture.
Shortly after Bellinzona, you will be captivated by the charm of Lugano with its many buildings worth seeing, magnificent palaces, well-tended parks and, last but not least, the wonderful lake.
Lugano is a picturesque town on the shores of Lake Lugano in Ticino. The city is known for its Mediterranean atmosphere, its elegant boutiques and cafés and its beautiful scenery. Lugano is also a popular destination for art lovers, as there are many museums and galleries exhibiting works by famous artists such as Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí.
Your Gotthard panorama experience comes to an end in Lugano. The adventure trip can also be made in the opposite direction, i.e. from Lugano to Lucerne.
For further information including timetable and prices, please contact SBB or Lake Lucerne Navigation Company.
Video Gotthard Panorama Express
Steamboat trip and Gotthard Panorama Express leave lasting impressions…