Deals of the Week: Take the slow Swiss train; From Dee to Dublin
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Wednesday 04 December 2002
The Glacier-Express traverses the Swiss Alps from Zermatt to St-Moritz, on a seven-and-a-half-hour journey that passes through seven valleys and 91 tunnels.
Is this the slowest express train in the world? The Glacier-Express traverses the Swiss Alps from Zermatt to St-Moritz, on a seven-and-a-half-hour journey that passes through seven valleys and 91 tunnels. The line is 291km (180 miles) long, with one bridge for each kilometre of its length. The highest it climbs is 2,033m (6,670ft). The best deal for travelling on it is the Flexipass, booked through the Switzerland Travel Centre (00800 1002 0030, www.myswitzerland.com), which gives three days' unlimited travel on Swiss trains for £104, falling to £87 per person if two travel together. In addition, you must reserve seats, and pay a nominal supplement, for the privately run Glacier-Express. You can find more information, in English, at the website www.glacierexpress.ch/e.
"This is an eight-hour crossing. This vessel has limited passenger facilities. There are no lifts to the main passenger area and access is by a staircase which may be unsuitable for the infirm, disabled or young children. On-board facilities consist of one main lounge." That is how P&O Irish Sea Ferries (0870 2424 777, www.poirishsea.com) sells its ferry trips to Dublin from Mostyn, a port on the Dee Estuary, between Chester and Rhyl. But if you feel strong enough to put up with the inconveniences, the fares around Christmas look good value: £79 for a three-day return between now and 6 January.
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