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The Bargain Corner

Swiss Holiday Card Good for Railway and Buses

December 04, 1988|JACK ADLER

If you're going to stay four days in Switzerland, consider buying a Swiss Holiday Card, which offers unlimited travel on the Swiss Federal Railways, bus service to resorts and towns not on the rail route and lake boats.

This year the card use was extended to trams and buses in 24 cities and towns including Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne, Lucerne, Lugano, Montreux and Zurich.

The card also covers such famous Swiss rail trips as the Glacier Express, Bernina Express and excursions to the Bernese Oberland. These rail excursions are not covered by the Eurailpass, according to the Swiss National Tourist Office.

Pass holders also get a 25% to 50% discount on private Alpine railways and cable cars.

In 1989 the card will cost $155 for four days, first-class, and $105 for four days, second-class. You can get an eight-day card for $180 first-class, $125 for second-class. Fifteen-day versions are available for $220 first-class, $155 second-class. One-month passes cost $300 and $210, respectively.

Until Dec. 31 the four-day card is $140 first-class, $95 second-class. The eight-day card is $160 first-class, $115 second-class. The 15-day card is $195 and $140, while the one-month card is $275 and $190, respectively.

The card is good for six months from the time of purchase.

Another option is to buy a Swiss Half-Fare Card, which allows you to buy an unlimited amount of full-fare tickets on regularly scheduled rail lines, buses and lake boats at a 50% discount.

A one-month card in 1989 will cost $5 more than this year's $40 and a one-year card will cost $65, the same as this year.

You have to indicate the first day you will use the half-fare card at the time of purchase. But time periods of the Holiday Card only start with the first use.

The cards can be bought in the United States from travel agents or the Swiss National Tourist Office, 250 Stockton St., San Francisco 94108, or call (415) 362-2260. If you buy the cards in Switzerland you have to pay in Swiss francs.

Swiss Federal Railways also has a family ticket plan. Parents pay full fare, children under 16 travel free, and unmarried family members between 16 and 26 pay half fare.

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