Glacier Express Excellence Class: What Sets it Apart?
Known as the most sought-after seats in Switzerland, the Excellence Class on the Glacier Express was introduced in early 2019 as a “super-first” class on board what is one of Europe’s most popular rail journeys.
The experience is unlike any other, offering an amazingly enhanced environment from which to enjoy what is dubbed the “World’s Slowest Express Train”.
Each passenger checks in at a welcome desk at the station prior to boarding, where your larger cases (if you have them) are conveyed for you to the storage units within your Excellence Class carriage. There is a carpet laid outside the door to your carriage to add to the enhanced experience from the outset! You are then in the hands of your concierge, who welcomes you aboard and is at your beck and call throughout the journey.
The first difference you will notice when boarding is that there are far fewer seats in the carriage than you would normally expect in a First Class carriage. In fact, there are only 20 seats, arranged in 10 pairs of tables for 2, meaning that everyone has a window seat guaranteed.
Tablet and infotainment
Each passenger has complimentary use of an iPad with headphones, which provides information on the journey including sights you are passing and local people.
Exclusive access to the Glacier Bar
At the end of the carriage you will find the very impressive Glacier Bar. This is for the exclusive use of the (maximum) 20 passengers in Excellence Class, and offers an array of refreshing beers, Swiss wines and ornate cocktails served by an experienced bartender.
All-day catering is provided, commencing with an aperitif and amuse-bouche. During the ride a 5-course regional meal is served, accompanied by wines. Later in the afternoon, tea service is offered with special treats. Complimentary snacks, soft drinks and juices are provided throughout the ride.
- Coffee, juice, champagne and brioche
- Aperitif and amuse-bouche
- Seasonal, regional 5-course menu including wine accompaniment
- Coffee and digestif with a coffret of chocolates
- Tea time in the afternoon with goodies
- Soft drinks and fruit juices
- Snacks available throughout the day
How much does it cost?
Firstly, you need to have a First Class railpass or Swiss Pass to cover the journey, or a point-to-point ticket in First Class. Then, you need a reservation for Excellence Class, which is CHF 420.00 (approximately £350) per person. To give you an idea, the supplement for First Class is CHF 43.00 (approximately £35) per person, which means it is around £315 each, to upgrade from First to Excellence Class for the 8-hour journey.