The Gotthard Panoramic Express

Discover variety. Discover Switzerland.

Discover the climate, the culture, and the language of the Swiss Alps. Every turn is different, you’ll discover landscapes that will take your breath away. This is a combined train and boat journey, beginning in Lucerne and finishing in Lugano, or vice versa, across Switzerland, either north to south or south to north.


About this journey

The Gotthard Panoramic Express begins its journey in Lucerne, Central Switzerland. The German-speaking Lucerne is known for it’s cool and relaxed climate, and you’ll enjoy the environment from the comfort of a boat journey across Lake Lucerne before joining the train. Travelling south through Switzerland, you’ll spend 5 and half hours gliding through the country, from the cool crisp north to the warm and sunny south, from a distinctly German-inspired culture to the Italian speaking Lugano.

Discover your journeys below


Day 1 –  to Flüelen (by boat) Day 2 – Flüelen to Göschenen (by train) Day 3 – Göschenen to Lugano (by train)
You’ll begin your journey from Lucerne in style, aboard the historic paddle steamboat. Take in a beautiful view of the Alps, the city of Lucerne and Mount Pilatus.

The landscape changes dramatically as the boat travels south towards Urnersee. You’ll travel through forested rocks to the snow-capped peaks surrounding Gotthard Pass.

The boat journey takes around 3 hours, after which you will arrive in the village of Flüelen.

Leave the boat and join the panoramic train at the station, ready to make the next 2 and a half hour journey through beautiful mountain scenery on the world-famous Gotthard railway

Your train will guide through the valley of the River Reuss towards the village of Amsteg.

To help the train climb the 1106m to the village of Göschenen, you will travel around famous spiral loops, passing the small white church in the village of Wassen three times.

We’ll leave Göschenen and travel towards Lugano, through two tunnels, the second of which is the Gotthard Base Tunnel, the longest railway tunnel in the world at 57km long.

The weather on this section of the journey will be the most dramatic. At 1141 meters we have passed the highest peaks of the Alp and our journey. Here the language spoken most often changes from German to Italian

As the climate changes again, drier and milder than the beginning of your journey, As every level of the valley is passed through from 1000m down to 700m the climate will be noticeably different

We reach our lowest point of the journey, Giornico at 400m under sea level, reaching the Swiss wine-growing region. We’ll finish off by gliding into Lugano, south of Ticino.


Route: North to South

Lucerne–Lake of Lucerne–Flüelen–Gotthard–Bellinzona–Lugano


Tour dates: 18 April to 18 October 2020, Tuesday to Sunday including public holidays.

Boat Timetable

Stop Arrival Departure
Lucerne n/a 11:12
Flüelen 13:55 n/a

Train Timetable

Stop Arrival Departure
Arth-Goldau n.a. 13:44
Flüelen n/a 14:10
Göschenen 14:45 14:47
Airolo 15:05 15:06
Bellinzona 16:03 16:08
Lugano 16:38 n/a

Route: South to North

Lugano–Bellinzona–Gotthard–Flüelen–Lake of Lucerne–Lucerne


Tour dates: 18 April to 18 October 2020, Tuesday to Sunday including public holidays.


Stop Arrival Departure
Lugano n/a 09:22
Bellinzona 09:54 09:54
Airolo 10:48 10:49
Göschenen 11:07 11:10
Flüelen 11:47 n/a
Arth-Goldau 12:12 n. a.


Stop Arrival Departure
Flüelen n/a 12:00
Lucerne 14:47 n/a

Gotthard Panorama Express and the Glacier Express

Want to experience even more Swiss culture? Combine the Gotthard Panorama Express with the Glacier Express on the following routes:

  • Zermatt to Lucerne: Zermatt – Andermatt (Glacier Express), Andermatt – Göschenen (cogwheel train), Göschenen – Lucerne (Gotthard Panorama Express);
  • Zermatt to Lugano: Zermatt – Andermatt (Glacier Express), Andermatt – Göschenen (cogwheel train), Göschenen – Lugano (Gotthard Panorama Express);
  • St. Moritz to Lugano: St. Moritz – Andermatt (Glacier Express), Andermatt – Göschenen (cogwheel train), Göschenen – Lugano (Gotthard Panorama Express);
  • Lugano to Zermatt: Lugano – Göschenen (Gotthard Panorama Express), Göschenen – Andermatt (cogwheel train), Andermatt – Zermatt (Glacier Express);
  • Lucerne to Zermatt: Lucerne – Göschenen (Gotthard Panorama Express), Göschenen – Andermatt (cogwheel train), Andermatt – Zermatt (Glacier Express).