Gotthard Panorama Express

From Lugano/Bellinzona to Lucerne/Arth-Goldau

Map: Gotthard Panorama Express

When the journey becomes an adventure, guests experience history on the Gotthard Panorama Express. A personal journey by boat and train between Central Switzerland and Ticino.

Starting at Lugano or Bellinzona, the journey takes travellers from the Mediterranean south right through the heart of Switzerland – and the Gotthard tunnel built in 1882 – over die Alps towards the north. En route, the church of Wassen can be seen from three different angles; thanks to the bold railway layout with its many loop tunnels it has become world-famous.

On a steamboat or modern motor vessel, passengers seamlessly continue via Flüelen across Lake Lucerne. Many locations steeped in history such as the Rütliwiese, the Schillerstein and Tell Chapel greet guests with their original Swiss charms. In the afternoon, Lucerne harbour – located right next to the famous Chapel Bridge – welcomes the travellers. Alternatively, travellers can stay on the panoramic train until Arth-Goldau with direct access to the network of the Rigi Railways. And by the way: The journey can easily be travelled in the opposite direction, too.

Apart from the many sights, passengers enjoy special presentations about history, myths and legends around Gotthard during this historic journey through time.

  • Route:
    • Lugano/Bellinzona to Flüelen by train. Flüelen to Lucerne by steamboat.
    • Lugano/Bellinzona to Arth-Goldau by train with connection to Rigi Railways.
    • The journey can also be travelled in the opposite direction.
  • Duration: From Bellinzona to Lucerne approx. 5 h. From Lugano to Lucerne approx. 5 h 30 min.
  • Website: Gotthard Panorama Express
Facilities & Services

Facilities on the boat and train

  • Boat: historic steamer or modern motor vessel, depending on the period of operation
  • Train: composition of 1st class panoramic coaches. Windows in the photo coach in the middle of the train can be opened
  • All boats are wheelchair-accessible; no reservation is required. Wheelchair accessibility on panoramic train has to be booked via SBB Call Center Handicap


  • Multi-lingual tour guidance on the panoramic train
  • The journey between Flüelen and Bellinzona is enriched by various stagings and presentations on the history of the Gotthard railway line
  • The “Travel Guide” provides detailed information about sights and landmarks along the route as well as the many existing Gotthard myths in four languages (GE, EN, FR, IT)
  • Luggage service between Lucerne and Lugano


  • Lunch can be taken in the boat restaurant
  • Table reservation recommended for individual travellers, +41 (0)41 367 67 67, [email protected] (no later than 15.00 h on the day prior to travel date); for groups, reservation as well as advance order of a single menu choice for all persons is required, +41 (0)41 367 66 16, [email protected] (no later than 10 days prior to travel date)
  • Regional Snacks, beverages and souvenirs offered directly at the seat
  • The Gotthard Panorama Express operates Tuesdays to Sundays from 15 April to 22 October 2023. Find exact departure and arrival times.
  • The Gotthard Panorama Express does not operate during the winter season.
Tickets & Reservation

This route is fully covered by the Swiss Travel Pass (Flex) and GA travel card. The Gotthard Panorama Express train offers only 1st class on the Gotthard route between Arth-Goldau/Flüelen and Bellinzona/Lugano. Bookings in 2nd class are not available.

In addition to a valid ticket for the chosen route, a surcharge of CHF 16 per person is charged on the panoramic train between Arth-Goldau/Flüelen and Bellinzona/Lugano. Travellers with a 2nd class ticket also need a class upgrade.

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