8 Day Affordable Switzerland
Air & Land
Click a Date to Book Online
Click a Date to Book Online
|2023 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $450|
|Hotel||Dates||Embark||Tour Starts||Ship||Land Only||Air & Land|
Optional tours and gratuities.
Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers.
Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary. For visa information, check our Visas page.
Is This Trip Right for You?
Escorted Package Includes
- Flights New York-Geneva, Milan-New York
Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
- Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
- 6 nights First Class accommodations
- 2 nights Geneva
- 2 nights Lucerne
- 2 nights Lugano
- Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
- Hotel porterage
- All transfers included only with airfare purchase on package arrival & departure dates†
- 8 meals: 6 breakfasts, 2 dinners
- Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
- Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
- Entrance fees per itinerary
- Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring
- During your Geneva tour, view the Jet d'Eau, Flower Clock and Reformation Monument
- Explore the hilltop village of Gruyere, home of Switzerland's most famous cheese
- Visit Berne, the capital of Switzerland, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Admire the 14th century medieval Chapel Bridge, forming the centerpiece of Lucerne's townscape
- Discover the medieval Castelgrande Castle, Bellinzona's mightiest castle
- Take a walking tour of Lugano with its fabulous mix of Swiss-Mediterranean cultures
†Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates
Is This Trip Right for You?
This moderately active trip covers a fair amount of ground each day. Expect from three to four hours walking every touring day. The pace is moderate, however you will encounter some uneven surfaces, cobblestone streets, stairs, steps and significant slopes. This tour is not recommended for people who have difficulty walking. This is an Off Season program. For more information, click here.
Gate 1 Travel itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently.
This first class hotel is located in the heart of Geneva, across from the Cornavin train station.Hotel Details
This first class hotel is situated in a prestigious location just a 5 minute drive from the city center.Hotel Details
- Tours purchased while travelling may cost an extra 10% or more
- Tours often sell out. Avoid disappointment
- Save your cash. Credit card processing may not be possible locally
- Travel insurance only covers services purchased prior to departure
- Book Online or call to book these tours up to 1 week before your departure
- The day the optionals operate varies by the day of the week
Ascend the world's steepest cogwheel railway which winds up through lush meadows carpeted with Alpine flowers, past sparkling mountain streams and fascinating rock faces to Mt. Pilatus. After admiring splendid views of the Bernese Oberland and the snowcapped Swiss peaks from the summit at nearly 7000 feet, descend by aerial cableway and return to Lucerne.
Approximate tour duration is 4 hours.
*From November to May and in the event of adverse weather, the cogwheel will be replaced by the aerial cable car.
|Day #5||01 Jan 2023 - 31 Dec 2023||$104.00|
Today, travel to the town of Como, home to exquisite Lake Como, one of Italy's most romantic destinations. Take a guided walking tour and experience the delights of this lakeside town with its spectacular mountain views. View the Como Cathedral, Basilica of San Fedele and Broletto (old town hall). Afterwards, embark on a private scenic cruise of the lake, admiring the picturesque villages and elegant villas. Spend some free time to shop in charming boutique stores, have lunch or perhaps even ride the funicular up to the town of Brunate for stunning views out over the lake before returning to Lugano.
Pick up details to be advised locally. Approximate tour duration is 9 hours.
|Day #7||01 Jan 2022 - 31 Mar 2024||$83.00|
|Know Before You Go|
|Although most of the planning and preparation is taken care of for you, there are still a few things you should know and some details you should take care of to ensure your comfort, safety and peace of mind. Please review the following information before your departure to ensure that any surprises along the way will only be pleasant ones.|
|Getting Ready to Go|
|Passports and Visas|
|It is each traveler's responsibility to have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the dates of travel and a visa if required. Please check the information at www.gate1travel.com/visas.aspx for the specific country/region you are visiting for more details. IMPORTANT: Passengers who are not U.S. citizens must check with the respective consulate or a visa agency to determine what personal identification is required. Passengers who enter, leave and then re-enter the same country on their itinerary should check if they require a double-entry visa. Passport applications are available at most U.S. Post Offices, as well as at regional Passport Agencies. Passengers requiring visas, whether obtained in advance or locally upon arrival, should ensure that their passport has blank pages.
|Traveling with Friends or Family?|
|If you are traveling with friends or family who are booked on another reservation, please make sure that we are aware. On occasion, we may operate more than one vehicle on your tour departure in which case we will ensure that guests will be assigned together. This is achieved by connecting your reservations before your departure. Once you arrive in your destination, it may not be possible to make assignment changes. To check that your reservations are linked, log into https://www.gate1travel.com/res with your email and password, select your reservation number, and check to see that your reservations are indicated as "Traveling With" at the top right side of the display. |
|A little pre-planning can make your trip go a lot smoother. Several weeks before your trip, make a list of what you will need to take with you. Make sure your personal documents (passports, visas, driver's license) are in order. Make sure also that you have enough prescription medications to last through the trip and carry them with you in case your luggage is delayed. Bring a change of clothes in your carry-on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost. Lost luggage is common. We strongly urge you to consider carry-ons instead of checked bags when possible, and when checking a bag is necessary, choose a bag color and identification that stands out. We suggest that you make photocopies of passports, visas, personal ID and any other important travel documents and pack them separately from the originals. You may also make a digital copy of your passport to keep a clear picture with the important details in your cell phone or digital camera photos. If you lose the originals while traveling, you'll have copies for easier reporting and replacement. Pack a list of medications including dosage and generic names. You may consider bringing a small supply of over the counter medications for headaches and/or anti-diarrhea pills (especially when traveling outside of the USA and Western Europe). We recommend that you pack a portable alarm clock. Due to security reasons, many museums have restrictions on the size of bags that can be taken inside and backpacks, carry-on bags or large purses may not be permitted. It is recommended to bring a small shoulder bag or purse to use in these situations instead. Avoid placing valuables such as cameras in your checked luggage. Airplane pressure can cause similar pressure in your body, most notably in ears, as well as liquid tubes and bottles. Your physician can suggest medication for decongestion. We suggest that you place liquid containers into Ziploc bags to catch any leaks. |
|Travel Safety Advice: The safety of our guests is Gate 1’s #1 concern. Before making the decision to reserve your vacation, we want you to be aware of potential situations which may impact your holiday. While most of the time our programs run precisely according to plans, on rare occasion force majeure events including weather, transportation mechanical issues, or uninhabitable accommodation, civil unrest and even criminal or terrorist activities will present themselves unexpectedly and with little or no notice. Gate 1 will make the decision to cancel a tour only after receiving verifiable government issued information. We are otherwise obliged to comply with contractual airline and vendor agreements and carry out the tour until or unless we are advised otherwise. In the event of such an occurrence anytime after your date of departure, Gate 1 and the local destination ground staff, in coordination with government advisories, airlines, hotels, cruise ships and other vendors, will make decisions with regard to your safety first. We strongly recommend that tour participants review the destination country's specific information at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html. |
|Even the best-planned trips can be impacted by the unexpected. And that is why we recommend that you help protect yourself and your investment by purchasing Travel Protection for your Gate 1 trip. Travel Protection can help with medical coverage for illness or injury, trip cancellation and/or interruption, baggage loss, medical evacuation, and more. At any time before you complete Final Payment, you may choose to purchase Travel Protection. The protection plan premium is non-refundable after a 10-day review period. In addition, you must be medically able to travel at the time the premium is paid. For a summary of the plan details on coverages, benefits, limitations and exclusions, please refer to the Description of Coverage by visiting www.gate1travel.com/insurance/. |
Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit (CFAR) is a non-insurance feature that allows you to cancel up to 72 hours before your scheduled departure for any reason not otherwise covered in the Travel Protection Plan. CFAR must be purchased at the same time as the Travel Protection Plan as well as within 21 days of the original booking date. Independent or escorted tour reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to the full cost of your trip, less the cost of initial deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. Sea or river cruise reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to 50% of the cost of your trip, less the cost of initial trip deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. All CFAR credits are valid for a period of two years from the original date of travel. CFAR Credits have no cash value and are not transferrable. Airline-assessed fees are generally $300 per person, but may be as much as fully non-refundable. Some non-refundable airline tickets may retain value, less airline-assessed fees. Your future air credit must be used to book with the same airline. Deadlines to rebook and complete travel vary by airline and may be as early as 12 months from when the tickets were originally issued (not the date of travel). For details, www.gate1travel.com/insurance/.
This program does not apply to custom groups and Antarctica cruises. Residents of New York, Missouri & Minnesota may purchase this Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit separate from Travel Protection. Call to speak with a reservation agent for details. This Cancel for any Reason Wavier Benefit is not insurance and is provided by Gate 1 Travel.
|Cell Phones & Calling Cards|
|You may wish to carry a cell phone while traveling. Check with your cell phone provider if your phone will work in the destination(s) you are visiting. If you can access the Internet as you travel, you can take advantage of email or a Skype Internet telephone (VOIP) account for the best value. Additionally, if your phone can connect to WiFi you may be able to make voice and video calls free of charge. Please contact your cell phone provider for further details. Alternatively, you may investigate renting a cell phone before you leave or buying an inexpensive phone locally. When calling the U.S. from a foreign country, you may also use a prepaid calling card; normally, the only additional charge (besides the prepaid long distance charges) is a local fee of a few cents and possibly a connection fee if you are using your card at your hotel. It is best to check with the hotel's reception desk prior to making phone calls to avoid unexpected charges. Please note that we are unable to provide compensation for phone calls regardless of reason. |
|Making Telephone Calls from One Country to Another|
|When dialing a number from one country to another, you should proceed as follows: dial your country's Exit Code (often indicated with a “+” sign), then the destination Country Code, then the Phone Number. For most countries, the exit code is 00. Exceptions include the USA and Canada (011), Hong Kong and Cambodia (001), Australia (0011), and Russia (8 Pause 10*). For Brazil, please consult with the local telephone company. If you are dialing from a mobile phone, you can enter a “+” instead of the international Exit Code (011, 001, 0011 or 00) by pressing and holding the 0 key. For most countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and South Pacific, if you are calling from a local phone to a number within the same country, you should drop both the exit and country codes and then add a leading 0 (zero). Exceptions include Spain, Italy, Hungary and Malta (no additional zero needed to dial locally). |
To dial the following number in Germany (as listed on your voucher): +(49) 0555-555
From USA or your US cell phone: 011-49-555-555
From another country in Europe: 00-49-555-555
From a German phone within Germany: 0555-555
|WiFi access has improved. Free or inexpensive WiFi internet is accessible at coffee shops, airports, restaurants, libraries and on some trains and buses. WiFi access in hotels and cruise lines often involves a fee, determined by that property. Signal strength is subject to local conditions and not guaranteed. Availability on cruises is also dependent upon its location while sailing through multiple countries. Please note that WiFi can be extremely slow, unreliable and sometimes nonexistent in developing countries or, on moving conveyances such as buses and cruise ships. |
|Staying Healthy While Traveling|
|All travelers should familiarize themselves with local conditions, such as high altitude or required immunizations, which could affect their health. We recommend you consult with your personal healthcare provider, the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and/or the World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/en/) for their recommendations. |
There are several easy steps you can take to stay healthy while traveling which may help prevent contracting an illness while away from home.
|Notice on Aircraft Cabin Insecticide Treatment - Please note that some countries may require aircraft cabin insecticide treatment for in-bound foreign flights. A list of such countries is available at:
|Switzerland - Switzerland tours visit areas of high elevation ranging from 5,905 feet to 10,135 feet. High elevation may cause some passengers to experience the temporary effects of altitude sickness. If you have any concerns about traveling to higher than your accustomed elevation, please consult your healthcare provider. Individuals that are affected by high altitude, should avoid over-exertion, drink extra water, abstain from alcohol, and eat lightly. |
|Consideration for Tour Participants (Escorted Tours)|
For the benefit of all tour participants, we ask tour members to be considerate of their fellow travelers in the following ways: |
|Climate & Clothing|
|Switzerland - Spring and Autumn: 35-55°F; Summer: 55-80°F; Winter: 25-35°F. Bring comfortable walking shoes, a sweater, clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket. Some religious sites may require modest dress to enter (no shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless tops). |
Switzerland Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/europe/default.aspx
|Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or “drone” technology has quickly become affordable and is increasingly popular with recreational users. While some countries have clear, established drone laws, others do not, or existing regulations are undergoing review and change. Travelers who wish to bring a drone on their trip are responsible to research and abide by the laws and regulations of the countries they are visiting, as well as to check with their airline(s) regarding their rules for transporting drones. Please note that tours are unable to extend the length of scheduled visits and stops to accommodate use of drones. |
|Book & Film Recommendations|
|Many of our guests enjoy reading about their destination - either in advance of their trip or while traveling - as a way of adding context to their visit. Whether reading a traditional guide book, learning about the history and culture, or simply enjoying a fictional novel set in the destination, a good book can add greatly to your experience. Similarly, a good movie set in your destination helps set the mood before you travel. We asked our Tour Managers and staff to recommend books and films which past guests may have enjoyed. The following does not constitute an endorsement of any authors, books or films listed, it is merely a collection of guests' recommendations. |
|CENTRAL EUROPE: Books |
The Eclipse of the Crescent Moon or Slave of the Huns by Géza Gárdonyi
A Modern Midas: A Romance by Mór Jókai
Fatelessness by Imre Kertész
How to be an Alien or How to be Poor by George Mikes
Csardas by Diane Pearson
Who Loves You Like This by Edith Bruck
Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler
Kasztner's Train by Anna Porter
Imprimatur or Secretum or Veritas by Monaldi & Sorti
Europe 101: History and Art for the Traveler by Rick Steves and Gene Openshaw
The Bridge at Andau by James A. Michener
I Served the King of England or Bambini di Praga 1947 by Bohumil Hrabal
Franz Kafka and Prague by Harald Salfellner
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
Old Czech Legends by Alois Jirásek
The Golem by Gustav Meyrink
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
The Good Soldier Svejk by Jaroslav Hašek
William Tell by Friedrich Schiller
The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss
Swiss Watching: Inside the Land of Milk & Honey by Diccon Bewes
A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain
The Lions of Lucerne by Brad Thor
Target Switzerland: Swiss Armed Neutrality in World War II by Stephen P. Halbrook
Swiss History in a Nutshell by Gregoire Nappey
Scrambles Amongst the Alps by Edward Whymper
Why Switzerland? by Jonathan Steinberg
The Miracle of Bern (2003)
The Swissmakers (1978)
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
Third Man on the Mountain (1959)
|Preparing for Your Trip|
| As a courtesy service, complimentary airline seat assignments are requested on your behalf and, when available, are displayed in order of Passenger #1, #2 and so on. Assignments reflect the best available seats at the time of booking. Some airlines and/or fare types do not allow for pre-seating and require this be done at airport check-in only; in which case the display shows “N/A”. Seats are subject to change by your airline(s) including, for example, when there is a schedule change or equipment change after your initial booking; this may cause seat assignments to be changed or even cancelled. Some airlines offer preferred seating for an additional fee; these seats may only be purchased directly from the airline. You will need your family name and the 6-digit airline “Record Locator” which is displayed with the flight details on your reservation. In the event that you change seat assignments directly with your airline, changes will not be reflected on your invoice or documents. At the time that Gate 1 travel documents are issued, the currently assigned seats will be listed based on the assignments stored in your airline reservation at that time. Should you have questions regarding your assignments, please write to us at www.gate1travel.com/contactus. |
|Luggage & Packing|
|Checked bags are typically limited to a total dimension of 62 inches by adding length + width + height (example: 26"+26"+10" = 62”), and a maximum weight of 50 lbs (23kg). Smart Bags with a USB charging port, GPS tracking device and other high-tech features are prohibited as checked or carry-on baggage unless the bag is made with removable batteries and the batteries are removed and stored separately. Many airlines charge for checked bags including flights which begin and end within the USA. The most inexpensive airfare options commonly known as Basic Economy airfares do not include any checked bags nor seat assignments before the day of departure. However, for some airlines, other airfare categories also do not include checked baggage. This will be clearly displayed in our airfare selection and on your invoice. Where available, we highly recommend selecting airfares which include at least 1 piece of checked baggage. Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for checked bag fees, excess luggage or weight charges levied by an airline. Checked baggage allowances displayed on reservation details and invoices reflect the applicable allowance at the time of booking but are subject to change by your airline(s). For your airline’s requirements and fees, visit www.gate1travel.com/baggagefees.aspx. For important baggage information, visit www.gate1travel.com/luggage.aspx. Avoid placing valuables in your checked luggage. Federal law forbids the carriage of hazardous materials aboard the aircraft in your luggage, your carry-on or on your person. A violation can result in five years’ imprisonment and penalties of $250,000 or more (49 U.S.C. 5124). Hazardous materials include explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials. Examples: Paints, lighter fluid, fireworks, tear gases, oxygen bottles, and radio-pharmaceuticals. There are special exceptions for small quantities (up to 70 ounces total) of medicinal and toilet articles carried in your luggage and certain smoking materials carried on your person. Check the Transportation and Safety Administration (TSA) website www.tsa.gov to find out the current list of acceptable items you may bring on a plane before packing. We recommend that you use brightly colored luggage tags, straps or other identifiers to help you locate you luggage upon arrival or to describe it in the event that it is lost. |
|Day of Departure|
|What to do if You Need Assistance|
Whether you purchased your airfare from Gate 1 Travel or from the airline directly, please bear in mind that Gate 1 Travel does not own nor operate the airline(s), nor the airport facilities where they operate. At times, flying can be a frustrating experience, especially when things do not go exactly as planned, and airline explanations can be confusing or even misleading. Should you face a problem, remain calm and seek assistance either from the airline directly or from Gate 1. Please be aware that in most cases, on the day of your flight(s), airlines pass responsibility for your reservation to their staff at the airport and it is not always possible for Gate 1 Travel to intervene on your behalf, either through our reservations system or directly with your airline.
|Arrival & Departure|
|Upon arrival, please complete immigration formalities if necessary and claim your luggage. If your program includes airport arrival transfers, check your voucher for specific instructions, as they vary with every destination. In most cases, you will be met after collecting your luggage or passing through Customs by the local representative who will be holding a Gate 1 Travel sign and/or a sign with your name on it. In some instances you will be instructed to walk a short distance to a transportation counter. The company's name and location will be printed on your voucher. If for any reason you do not connect with the Gate 1 transfer personnel, go to the Tourist Information Desk and ask them to page the Gate 1 Travel representative or phone the number on your voucher. If you are delayed due to lost luggage, phone the number on the voucher or have a companion exit the Customs Area to advise the transfer representative. |
|What To Do When Your Flight Is Delayed|
|Airlines do not share flight manifest information. Therefore, the only way we may learn of a delay or schedule change while you are traveling is from you, the traveler. The sooner you are able to contact one of our offices, the better we can respond. Please refer to the Emergency Assistance instructions on this same document. Gate 1 Travel is only able to guarantee pre-reserved arrival transfers for up to one hour from the scheduled time, no matter the cause. In case you are delayed for any reason, and are unable to follow the instructions on your voucher, please make independent transfer arrangements and retain your receipts. Unused tour services, including transfers and hotel nights are not refundable. Upon you return home you will need to contact your airline and/or insurance carrier to investigate the possibility of reimbursement for any unused tour services. |
|If your program includes departure transfers, instructions will be stated on your voucher or provided locally. |
|Due to local traffic and other extenuating circumstances, we ask that you allow 30 minutes from your scheduled transfer time for our representative to arrive. This includes hotel, airport and cruise transfers. Such possible delays are taken into consideration in scheduling transfers and you should therefore have no concerns about arriving late for your tour, flight or cruise. For transfers from a hotel, let the hotel reception desk or concierge know that you are waiting for a transfer. In the case of a missed transfer, reimbursement for your out-of-pocket expenses will be considered provided you obtain a written statement from the hotel's front desk verifying the length of time you waited, and the time you left the hotel, and a receipt for your transportation with time and date. |
The cost of a transfer is more expensive than hiring a taxi, as a Gate 1 transfer necessarily includes round trip service, or 'dead-leg'. Often the places of call (airports, seaports, hotels) demand entrance and parking fees, where drivers may have to wait for up to an hour. Passengers comfortable hiring a taxi on their own and do not require assistance will save money.
|About Your Accommodations|
|Gate 1 Travel has carefully selected each hotel based on overall quality, location, price, food, service, and cleanliness. All rooms are standard twin-bedded (two single beds) rooms with private facilities. Special requests such as bed types, smoking preference and connecting rooms are subject to availability. Room selection in all cases, unless otherwise reserved, is strictly at the discretion of the hotel's management on a run-of-house basis. Triple rooms consist of standard twin beds or one double bed plus a sofa/folding bed or cot for third person except in the U.S. and Canada, where triple rooms often consist of two double/queen beds for three persons; where available, a fee may be charged by the hotel for the addition of a cot/rollaway. The number of persons accommodated does not dictate the room size. Although available at most 4 and 5 star hotels, the use of air-conditioning abroad differs greatly from the United States, and is often shut down at night and from the end until the start of the summer months. Some lodges and accommodations in remote regions may not have all of the amenities, such as hairdryer, alarm clock and room service, that you might find in a larger hotel located in a city center. |
|Hotel Check-in/ Check-out|
|Hotel check-in time is generally not before 4:00 p.m. and check-out time is prior to noon. If you will be arriving early in the day or departing in the evening, hotels will usually allow you to store your luggage in their luggage room. Ask at the front desk if the hotel can check you in earlier, or let you stay later. |
|At Your Destination|
|Eco & Sustainable Tourism|
|We support global efforts to create a more eco-friendly world, intolerant of any forms of cruelty, abuse and intentional environmental destruction. To that end we ask that our clients maintain a watchful eye as they travel, and report any abuses they may encounter. One of the many benefits of tourism is the shared cultural knowledge and ultimate elimination of negative behavior through education. We rely on your good feedback to enable this element of symbiosis. As you travel and learn about foreign cultures, we ask first and foremost that you practice tolerance and respect for local customs. |
|Tipping is always a matter of personal discretion. For your convenience, please use the summary below as a guideline for recommended gratuity amounts. Gratuities may be paid in local currency or US dollar equivalent where accepted. Please be aware that tipping is considered by many locals to be a part of their normal remuneration and some may approach you for additional "compensation." There is no need to be intimidated by the request, nor should you feel pressured to pay more than recommended. If you become uncomfortable by any behavior you encounter, please advise your tour manager or phone our local office. Numbers are provided in your documents for your convenience. |
|Suggested Tipping: Escorted Tours|
Tour Manager (Coordinator; may or may not act as a guide): US $7 per person per day
Driver (Provides chauffeur services and limited assistance with luggage) : US $3 per person per day, US $2 per half day
Local Guide (Offers in-depth information at specific locations. There may be one or many guides along a tour program): US $3 per person per day of sightseeing, US $2 per half day
Hotel porters and wait staff: Included
|Switzerland - Rounding up the bill is appreciated. Taxi drivers do not expect a gratuity and rounding up the fare is usually sufficient. |
|About Your Sightseeing|
|To ensure a pleasant and fair experience for passengers on our escorted tours, there is a mandatory seat rotation policy on our motor coaches which will be organized by your Tour Manager. Some buses are equipped with toilet facility, however they are strictly intended for emergency use only and often require the vehicle to stop for safety reasons before use. When travel dates coincide with religious holidays and national celebrations, some monuments and sites may be closed, sometimes without prior notice. On these occasions, escorted touring itineraries may be amended to reflect these closures. Occasionally, during holidays and certain periods, and/or due to other unforeseen circumstances including weather conditions, there may be last-minute changes, sometimes after arrival, which may affect the sequence of the tour and locations visited. National monuments and tourist sites regularly undergo renovations, which can obscure the monument's view. No tour will be canceled due to renovations, however Gate 1 will decide based on the conditions whether to amend an itinerary. To respect the privacy of all tour participants, your tour manager will not organize a group photo or collect passenger email addresses for a group list. |
|Land Only Passengers (Escorted Tours)|
|Your tour manager will contact you after your arrival at your hotel. Passengers who have not purchased arrival transfers from Gate 1 Travel should proceed directly to the hotel for check-in. The details of the hotel can be found in your documents. |
|Purchasing Tours Locally|
| On escorted tours, the guides will generally sell optional tours to passengers who have not pre-purchased them. Payment can be made by cash or credit card, unless otherwise noted below. This does not apply to Independent packages. Please see Gate 1 Terms & Conditions for more information. https://www.gate1travel.com/terms.aspx#optional |
|Independent Activities - Gate 1 itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently and with due consideration. Gate 1 is not responsible for any activities not expressly included in its programs. Caution should be exercised when selecting certain activities that may require physical strength, coordination or exertion. Particular care should be taken when considering animal rides, such as on camels, mules or horses |
|Switzerland - The Swiss Franc is the currency of Switzerland. |
|Most people enjoy bringing home at least one souvenir from the countries they visit. However, some find any amount of shopping to be too much while others never find enough opportunities. |
We have built into our Escorted itineraries a few shopping stops at recommended spots. These stops are designed to enhance your experience by providing an opportunity to see first-hand quality locally crafted merchandise which you may not be able to find on your own. Shops are checked to ensure the quality and authenticity of the products they offer, and we limit guides from visiting other locations. In some cases, we plan these stops to provide an opportunity to use clean bathrooms and to stretch your legs. All shops want your satisfaction, and therefore in case of any misunderstanding they ask that you kindly submit your claim to us within one week of the item's receipt. Claims submitted later will be subject to each store’s policies.
While shopping independently, we advise you to exercise care and common sense when making any purchase. Always get a formal receipt. And remember that, just like in this country, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is!
About Tax-Free Shopping
Tax-Free Shopping allows shoppers to reclaim the VAT (Value-Added Tax) or GST (Goods and Services Tax) they have paid on their purchases in some foreign countries in accordance with restrictions and procedures as dictated by each country. Refund eligibility varies by country, but may require presenting a scanned copy of your passport at the time of purchase, a minimum amount spent, or providing original store receipts. For more details, check the respective country’s online website, with the shop salesperson, with your tour manager or at www.globalblue.com for specific country regulations and airport operation hours. Please keep in mind that you must apply for VAT refund in the airport of the country the items were purchased and allow enough time prior to your flight for the application.
U.S. Customs & Shipping Charges
You may carry items with a fair retail value totaling $800 into the U.S. Taxes may be applied to the next $1,000 worth of merchandise. U.S. Customs determines the value of your items, often honoring a genuine sales receipt. Items which are shipped home are always subject to duty when received in the U.S. (in addition to shipping charges). Some shops may offer to include shipping and duties in the price but this typically means shipping only to the customs facility closest to you and payment only of the export duties; you would still need to collect the item and pay U.S. import duties. Please be aware that it is illegal to import products made from endangered animal species. U.S. Customs & Border Protection will seize these items, as well as most furs, coral, tortoise shell, reptile skins, feathers, plants, and items made from animal skins.
|Switzerland - Shopping in Switzerland offers a great chance to find the highest quality watches and knives, extravagant jewelry, and gourmet Swiss chocolates. Especially famous for cuckoo clocks, ranging from the simplest models to the most extraordinarily intricate, Swiss craftsmanship is unsurpassed. |
|Your Safety is Very Important|
Prior to your trip, if you are traveling overseas, we strongly recommend that you visit the website of the U.S. Department of State at www.travel.state.gov, specifically the section which addresses International Travel. You should read the tips for foreign travel and travel warnings for the country or countries that you plan to visit. |
It is also important that you do not allow your common sense to take a vacation while on your trip. Here are several tips which, if followed, will save much potential hardship:
If you've purchased an escorted tour program, your travel documents will include telephone numbers of local Gate 1 Travel representatives who will do their utmost to assist you in the event of an emergency. The numbers are printed on your Gate 1 Travel vouchers. Please copy the numbers. Once you relinquish the voucher, you will not have this information. Passengers traveling independently should employ the services of hotel concierges and local authorities.
|Tourist Street Scams|
Pickpockets and thieves can destroy an otherwise wonderful holiday. Be mindful of these precautions to help avoid being scammed or robbed: |
|Local Emergency Phone Numbers|
|Please note: The U.S. uses 120 volts and you can purchase a converter and transformer at most hardware stores for your 120V appliances. |
|Switzerland - The voltage used is 230 volts. |
|Code of Conduct|
|Switzerland - Cleanliness is of utmost importance in Switzerland and even accidental littering can result in a public scolding. Shaking hands is a standard greeting. When being introduced, it is important to shake hands with everyone, including children. Standard courtesies should be observed, and conservative casual dress is appropriate. |
|Food and Meals|
|As specified in each itinerary. Meals are based on the hotel's or restaurant's buffet or set menu. In general, beverages are not included, unless specifically stated. Although Gate 1 cannot make guarantees, every effort will be made to honor special dietary requests submitted in writing at least 72 hours prior to departure at www.gate1travel.com/contactus. Terminology for dietary requests can vary from country to country and options may be limited. Therefore we recommend that you make your wishes known to your tour manager upon arrival, and at each hotel/restaurant. |
|On public holidays, there may be reduced public transportation, as well as limited hours or closures of attractions, shops and restaurants. |
|Holidays - Switzerland|
Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 2: St. Berchtold Day
Jan 6: Feast of the Epiphany
Mar 19: St. Joseph's Day
Apr 7: Good Friday
Apr 9: Easter
Apr 10: Easter Monday
May 1: Labor Day/May Day
May 18: Ascension Day
May 28: Pentecost (Whit Sunday)
May 29: Pentecost (Whit Monday)
Jun 8: Corpus Christi
Jun 29: St. Peter and St Paul
Aug 1: Swiss National Day
Aug 15: Feast of the Assumption
Nov 1: All Saints' Day
Dec 8: Immaculate Conception
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 26: St. Stephen's Day
Dec 31: Restoration Day
Our trip was AMAZING! We cannot say enough good things about our Tour Manager, Dean and our Driver, Vlad. Dean kept everything running smoothly and on time. He also has a great sense of humor and we really enjoyed him! Vlad showed superior driving skills in Germany when we were faced with some pretty bad weather. Vlad also had a good sense of humor and we had a lot of fun with both of them! We really appreciated how great Gate 1 Travel was to work with. We ran into some bad weather from London to Munich and ended up being diverted to Frankfurt for several hours. I called Gate 1's emergency number, and while they couldn't do anything about our predicament, they made sure to keep in touch with Dean as well as the transportation company scheduled to meet us at the airport upon arrival. We were *very* delayed, but much to our surprise, someone was at the airport to meet us and arrange for our ride to the hotel. And Dean had very kindly left dinner in our room. The cities we visited were beautiful and amazing. We learned a lot from the local tour guides and felt it was the right mix of tours and free time. We were also very fortunate to be in a really fun group of fellow travelers. Everything was so wonderful - we can't wait to travel with Gate 1 again!Karla D.
I would like to commend our tour director/manager Dean and our driver Anton. Dean was very knowledgeable about the itineraries and was awesome in making suggestions as how to spend our time at leisure as well as the best local restaurants to sample local cuisine. He was very organized and was very prompt as to departure times. His timing was perfect when interjecting key points as we travel on the motor coach. Our driver, Anton, drives very carefully and very alert. He knows the sites very well and is able to adapt to road conditions and road detours due to construction. This is our first Gate 1 tour and will certainly not be the last. We will definitely recommend Gate 1 to our friends and families.Peter E.
Our recent Central Europe trip with Gate 1 was fantastic. Each trip gets better and better! Our tour guide Kayo (Karol) was punctual, caring, interesting...and very fashionable. It was so fun getting to know him and the other travelers in our group. Each city we visited had its own special highlights, and seeing them was a lifelong dream come true. Warsaw, Krakow, Budapest, Vienna, Bratislava, Prague...I tell people about this trip and they cannot believe what we did, for the price we paid. The hotels were beautiful, the included breakfasts were hearty and delicious, and the several optional excursions we chose helped make the trip even more special. The city guides at each stop were excellent, so knowledgeable and so proud of their countries. We cannot say enough about our driver Kristoff - there were some tight turns and roads, navigating all the border crossings, and he was great through it all. We have missed the Gate 1 trips, and we are so happy that we can resume traveling. We haven't been everywhere, but it's on our list!!Maureen M.
Thank you for arranging such an awesome trip to Central Europe. I love the fact that we did not make stops as a group to purchase things. Sometimes 2 days is not enough to explore a city since half of the day is spent on transporting from one city to another. I will treasure the memories and friendships created on this trip. Kayo was an amazing guide. He was very professional, organized, and accommodating. He made many valuable suggestions about where to eat and what to do. He added experiences of using public transportation which was so appreciated especially in Prague. Thank you again for this trip. I always recommend your company to friends and family. I'm looking forward for more trips in the future!Berlanti M.
Our trip was amazing. And Switzerland was beautiful. We appreciated the stays at Wengen and Zermatt areas. Loved small group of 18. Marija was an excellent tour manager with her local knowledge, her caring attitude, and her quick-to-resolve skill that brought happy results to a few of our adventurous "mission impossible" occasions. Along with our driver, Peter, they both went above and beyond expectations, to ensure we had wonderful experiences. Thank you.Van T.
The trip was fantastic! Thanks to Katie for making the arrangements. Thanks to escort Jolanta and all the local tour guides who brought the cities alive for us. The hotel accommodations were first rate. This was our first experience with Gate1 and we look forward to traveling with Gate1 in the future.Susan B.
I want to write a special commendation for Ana - She was beyond excellent as a tour manager and guide. My wife and I have traveled in over 60 countries as independent travelers and this Gate 1 tour was our first group tour experience. We have frequently hired our own city or regional tour guides and we consider Ana to be in the top 2 or 3 three guides we have used in the world. Her knowledge and ability to answer questions, energy, management skills, ability to anticipate our needs and pleasant light hearted demeanor made our trip a highly satisfactory experience. If this is the caliber of tour guides supplied by Gate 1, SHE is the reason we will choose to travel again with Gate 1 if we want to travel with a prearranged group tour in the future. We wish her all the best in her career.William R.
Thanks for your email. My trip was wonderful! I would recommend Gate1 to anyone and looking forward to travel with Gate1 again soon. Our driver (Ergo) is really good. Our tour manager Brigitte is exceptional She was knowledgeable, friendly, fun and kind. The hotels were ok, I don't expect that much. Overall it was a really good trip.Chanida R.
Our trip was absolutely amazing!! My husband and I enjoyed every moment. We traveled through Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Lichtenstein and Germany. Nicoletta, our tour guide, and Claudio, our coach driver, were excellent! They made the trip so enjoyable. Nicoletta has incredible knowledge of the countries and went out of her way to make it fun. Very efficiently run tour, and we left with postcard like pictures and memories that will last a lifetime! We will definitely book with Gate 1 again!Linda V.
My trip was great!. Our guide Marta, is probably the sweetest, most caring guide I've had on a Gate 1 trip. Poland was very interesting, hotels were fine and the food was good. She and the driver went out of their way one afternoon to take us to the Baltic Sea to the beach. One of the best parts of the trip. She always made the bus trips fun with movies, food, local liquor and stories. Would highly recommend this trip.Deborah H.
Our recent trip to Scandinavia exceeded all our expectations from the Tour Manager to having a really good fun loving group of fellow travelers. The Tour Manager, Wesley was a true gentlemen and a scholar bringing his great Irish humor and conscientiousness to make sure our Tour a great success. He was always available for recommendations and to address the needs and concerns a couple may have. The bus driver, Meiko was both very professional and personable. We enjoyed the itinerary for our trip, the hotels, the optional tours and provided meals, with the journey on the Glacier Express a true highlight of our trip. We truly missed traveling with Gate 1 during the pandemic and are already looking into trips for 2023 with Gate 1.Thomas O.
More than perfect! This trip was very organized and our tour manager Neira is one of the best Gate1travel staff we had! She went beyond her ability to make this vacation an awesome trip experience! This is our 3rd trip through Gate 1 Travel. You guys rock!!! Once again, thank you for your great affordable vacation trip. We're already looking forward to our next trip!Leonardo L.
Our trip was awesome. Our guide and driver were incredible. She was extremely caring and knowledgeable of the history and significance of each city and site visited. This was our third trip and best with Gate 1. Not only was our trip great, but we bonded with our fellow travelers.We are in process of selecting another vacation with Gate 1.Louis B.
Returned home from Switzerland on July 20. The trip was fabulous owing primarily to the tour director Dennis. He was extremely organized. Have over 2000 pictures of a beautiful country. Hats off to Gate 1!James L.
Our trip to Germany, Switzerland and Austria was truly a dream come true! It was so incredibly well orchestrated and provided a beautiful balance of tours and free time. Our Tour Guide, Noel, was phenomenal! He made sure everyone felt included, provided relevant history and detail, and customized recommendations for the person. Conrad, our driver, was so skilled driving the large coach! We were impressed time and again! I would highly recommend this trip!Melissa F.
This was our first Gate 1 trip for my husband Frank and me. We had always heard from my sister how fabulous Gate 1 has been on their trips, but we can't say enough about how great our experience was for our tour through Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. From the moment we met our wonderful tour guide Monique, we knew we were in good hands. Being fluent in six languages, she gave us several common tourist phrases before entering each country. She also gave some great facts about each one, both educational and entertaining! She kept everybody informed about our schedule several times, and she had a printed schedule in the lobby of each hotel to keep us on track. It was like having our mom taking care of all our needs, and always with a sense of fun. We laughed a lot! I had tentatively requested vegan meals, and she personally made sure that happened. She even told me when I should start taking my altitude sickness meds! She was born to do that job, and we would definitely choose our next trip to be on her schedule if possible. Our driver Waldi was also wonderful. We never felt unsafe or not confident in his driving skills. I also have to give a special shout out to Lucia, who was my personal Gate 1 liaison when I became ill two days before we were scheduled to fly home. She made sure our change of transportation took place, and the limo was even paid for by Gate 1. She also made sure I did everything required for our travel insurance claim. Amazingly, I also got a get well fruit plate compliments of Gate 1 sent to our room! Many thanks to all for a much better trip than we even expected, and for making an otherwise difficult situation into a pleasant one! We are sold on Gate 1 and have already told many people about your exceptional service!Barbara L.
My Classic Switzerland trip was awesome. This was my first Gate 1 trip and I was a solo traveler. The itinerary was terrific. Had something for everyone. Sabine our tour guide was great. Very knowledgeable. Of course the weather played a big part in this trip. Having investigated the weather for each stop beforehand indicated we would have rain, rain, and more rain. We had spectacular weather. Hardly any rain at all. The other travelers were terrific too. If I needed help everyone was more than happy to assist. Always had someone to eat with. Hats off to George and Ginger. They took me under their wings and it was appreciated. This will not be my last Gate 1 trip. Loved everything about your group.Sandra P.
The trip was great- Justin was the ultimate tour manager- weather was wonderful- and the sites were incomparable. I will most definitely travel with Gate 1 again and I would highly recommend to anyone. This was my first Gate 1 experience and I was extremely impressed.Maryanne Q.
It was a wonderful tour! Just what I always expect from Gate 1, and why you have all my business. Christina was an exceptional tour manager, and even though Simon (the bus driver) couldn't speak English, I loved his smiles that welcomed us back onto the bus each time. Looking forward to my next tour with Gate 1 - Kenya in OctoberKathy A.
This is our first time going on a Gate 1 tour. It exceeded our expectations. The tour was very well organized, from the flights into and out of Europe, the excellent hotels and their location, the local tour guides and the pace of the various sites we visited. Special mention must be made about the tour manager, Dean and Peter, the bus driver from Warsaw, Poland. Dean was excellent and extremely knowledgeable about every place we visited, going out of his way and guiding us on possible activities to do on our free time. He made sure the whole group was comfortable. Peter, whose driving skills were phenomenal, was a true gentleman, taking care of our luggage and distributing water bottles to all the tour members. My wife and I look forward to travelling with Gate 1 tours in the future.Antonio P.
What a great adventure. This was our first Gate 1 trip due to COVID cancelling 2 Christmas Market tours and i can say it was the best trip i have taken. Gate 1 took care of everything. Great dinners and hotels. Our guide Claire was so knowledgeable and had a vast knowledge of all areas and had lived in many countries. Our trips and guides provided an excellent over view and we had just enough time to venture out on our own. You cannot beat the ease of these trips or the cost. This is an extreme value that most people cannot understand unless they try a trip with you guys. So happy we have a trip already books for 2 weeks in 3 months. Cant wait see you then Gate 1. Salute to all of you there from the booking agents to the flight folks and the actual boots on the ground the guides and coach drivers you all are top notch.Vincent R.
I have traveled quite a bit, but I have to say, this was by far the best trip I've been on. Our Director Julian was outstanding. He made us comfortable, made sure we were always together and safe. He deserves a medal and a raise. He is one of the nicest persons ever. We all loved Julian and Conrad our bus driver. Kudos to them, our trip will definitely be one of the most memorable for years to come. Thank you. I will be traveling more with gate1.Odein S.
WOW !! What a fantastic trip. Even with , or maybe because of Covid restrictions Gate 1 pulled off the Best Christmas Market tour EVER ! Our tour manager Thomas from initial greeting at the hotel till the final night was the picture of friendliness, punctuality, working with each and every obstacle as nothing more than a ripple in the Rhine. For having to adjust to new places , new driver and 13 new friends we had a Great time! Thank you so much for your knowledge, the sincerity, your stories AND all those bus goodies !! If we could pick the pair to travel with again it would be Thomas and Pavlo!Kent W.
Our tour guide for the Alpine Christmas Markets was Thomas and I cannot say enough good things about him. It was extremely challenging with the Covid requirements changing daily and sometimes twice within the same day. He was constantly on top of this, checking what was required of us. He was able to get all of our U.S. CDC Covid vaccination cards converted to a European printout with a QR code which was required for every place that we entered. We were later led to believe that only EU people were supposed to have this. Having it, though, made our travels and entry to events so much easier. He also made sure that everyone had the required tests. I had to take three but there were others who had to take five and he stayed on top of every bit of this. I had to have a 24-hour negative test that was later than the others in the group and he personally walked me to the facility that evening and then helped when I was having trouble registering due to my phone. He was also intelligent, fun, and very well organized. Thomas is definitely a "keeper."Ellen M.
I would like to extend my graciously thank you to Kayo, our tour manager for a wonderful Christmas market trip in Berlin, Prague and Krakow during this difficult pandemic time. Kayo is thoughtful and a good planner to attend the minute details of the needs for all our group members so that we are worry free and just to enjoy our long waited vacation. Our diver, Cashmir, kudos to his absolutely superb driving skills who brings us swirling through the narrow streets in Prague square. Unbelievable! Hat tip to Cashmir. I seriously couldn't think of anything that Kayo could do better than what he already did for us under the current circumstances and limitations. Thanks for giving us such a memorable Christmas market trip and we made some new friends too.Hayley L.
Our tour leader, Jolanta P., was truly wonderful ! She was very helpful, caring, informative, and kept our group on track. She went above and beyond by providing us with maps, things to do, and local history, as well as providing treats to sample. This was a good tour, but Jolanta made it great ! Our bus driver, Andrej, was very skilled at operating the coach, and saved our group time by taking alternate routes when we encountered delays.Mark R.
We were seriously hyped to make a trip during Covid-times. We specifically selected Switzerland to visit as a single, safe, superior, expensive country. Also, that major attractions are outdoors, free from Covid risk. Still, we were again seriously concerned about getting there dodging a phalanx of regulatory travel obstacles, and once there, how we would manage the bureaucracy of national medical rules. But, after the initial indoctrination of procedures by our trusted travel guide, Fred and seeing how easily we guests adapted, t'was smooth sailing on placid Swiss lakes and down-skiing on incredible snow-capped Alps. What makes a tour of like this successful? For us: Obtaining a memorable impression of places during the limited time available. This tour succeeded excellently, a quick and spare overview of Switzerland. Our most wonderful surprises: the beauty of mountains and valleys, the power of money and industrialization. Our companions were uniformly a very experienced group which made our travels all the more stimulating. The tour guide is key to obtaining a rapid cultural impression. Our very experienced guide was Fred (from neighboring Austria), an exceedingly personable retired-CEO who was a fountain of understandable history and geography enroute. For the safety and security of guests, he conscientiously repeated instructions and directions to shepherd us during peregrinations. Regarding planning, we luckily benefited from rare perfect weather, especially in the mountains, and from strategically located, superior hotels selected for us by Gate1. The number and quality of included meals were just right. I missed museums we normally visit. But wake-me-up! In Switzerland it's the mountains and nature that are de-rigeur! Riding the bus was a minor disadvantage, required to transport us from place to place, but was such delight to enjoy the beauty of the passing valleys, mountains, sky, lakes and scenery. A surprising aspect of this swift journey is how small Switzerland really is... we covered a mere 1100km or 680 miles during our sighting of 9 locales. Perfect tours are those you perfect yourself. For us this 10-day excursion succeeded as a gem of an overview of Switzerland. We will travel with Gate1 again.Tibor K.
I had a marvelous time on the 12 Day Classic Romania tour 9/16-9/27. Both our guide Iuliana and our driver Radu were amazing. Iuliana was upbeat, knowledgeable and caring; I enjoyed her sense of humor and the stories she shared with us. I am very glad Radu was driving and not me on those curvy mountain roads! He also had an excellent command of the English language and was very friendly and willing to engage with all of the tourists. You have wonderful ambassadors for Gate1 in these two, and I hope you appreciate them as they deserve to be.Regina S.
It was amazing voyage. As always Gate 1 provided excellent service. Monique, our tour guide made sure we were all safe. She and our bus driver Irene provided outstanding service. As always, I'd like to say thank you to Gate 1. You guys are amazing. We are looking forward to traveling with you, as long as we are going to travel. That was our 25th trip, looking for at least 25 more.Regina R
We loved the experience, and Julian, our tour manager, was AMAZING! Cannot say enough great things about him and how organized and knowledgeable he was throughout the entire trip! This is my third time with Gate 1 and was yet again, a successful trip! It was our honeymoon and the way this was organized was perfect for us and still allowed for plenty of free time. My husband was very impressed and we are already starting to plan our next Gate 1 getaway!!Abby L. Gilbert, AZ
It was awesome and totally exceeded our expectations. Noel is a real asset to your company always congenial, patient and full of knowledge. Have been recommending Gate 1 to all of my friends and several are looking to plan trips with you! Thanks again for this most wonderful experience.Katherine D. Miami, FL
The trip was wonderful. Noel was amazing and took such good care of all of us. The rooms, the tours, the knowledge Noel had for his country and for Europe. The local tour guides and the introduction to their towns and the history lessons were fantastic. The bus driver was patient and kind. He kept that bus so clean and kept us all safe. Good job Gate 1!!Linda J. Lakeside, CA
The Germany, Switzerland and Austria trip was our 15th trip with Gate 1 Travel. Our tour manager Noel was by far one of the best. He was friendly and professional. He commanded control of the group from day one. He stressed safety repeatedly throughout the trip. He gave us plenty of information for each country without overwhelming us. He was able to create harmony among the group, which allowed the tour to be very enjoyable.John W. Rancho Cucamonga, CA