Update – The Glacier Express started accepting bookings again in June 2021!
When it comes to underrated European wine destinations, Switzerland is right up there. The nation produces delicious whites from its flagship variety Chasselas and its Pinot Noirs are capable of matching anything made in neighboring France. Then there are the views: with the breathtaking Alps as a backdrop, Switzerland’s vineyards are among the most scenic in the world.
Taking in these stunning landscapes is the Glacier Express, an eight-hour train ride from St Moritz to Zermatt. In March 2019, the train line introduced a brand new Excellence Class, and in doing so, added a huge incentive for passport-carrying wine lovers to book their trip to Switzerland.
On top of panoramic, uninterrupted views of the Alps, the “most sought-after seats in Switzerland” offer a dining experience rivaling any one of the country’s finest restaurants.
There’s coffee, juice, Champagne, and brioche to start things off, followed by an amuse bouche paired with a cocktail from the train’s exclusive Glacier Bar (which also has its own gold-plated ceiling compass, just FYI).
The star of the show comes in the form of a seasonal five-course menu with paired wines and even more Champagne. And if you still have an appetite after all of this, there’s coffee, a digestif, and luxurious Swiss chocolates to finish.
As you might expect, all of this luxury comes at a cost (and this is Switzerland we’re talking about). A one-way journey from St Moritz to Zermatt in Excellence Class will cost you at least 688 Swiss Francs (around $693) but for a once-in-a-lifetime luxurious train ride — complete with Champagne, lots of Champagne — we’re sure few will complain.