Taking a trip through the vast and spectacularly picturesque Mount Rigi in the Schwyz and Lucerne region of Switzerland is made all the more remarkable with incredible train journeys on Rigi Railways, Europe’s oldest mountain railway. Since its inception in 1871, Rigi Railways has served multitudes of locals and vacationers looking to make their ascent to any of the nine Rigi municipalities and three luminous lakes surrounded by the mountains.
Widely known as the ‘Queen of Mountains”, Mount Rigi is anintriguingly beautiful destination for all seasons. Holiday-makers and casual day-trippers alike will be spoiled for choice with the variety of adventures waiting to be discovered, both on and off the rails.
Be it with the summer sun shining brightly over mountain peaks and lush green foliage enveloping the railways or through the smooth, snow-capped mountains, “the romance of steam” can be experienced with a nostalgic journey through the mountains on a steam engine and vintage carriages lovingly restored to their former glory.
The return trip on a historic cogwheel railway journey to Rigi Kulm offers panoramic views of the Swiss plateau and the Alps. This is combined with a steam boat cruise on the tranquil Lake Lucerne surrounded by glorious ranges and peaks.
Finally, take in an aerial view of the mountains and its surroundings with a charming cable car ride, where, in the warmer summer months, you can also enjoy an unforgettable culinary adventure with fine food and wine as the cabins are transformed into floating restaurants hovering over shimmering lakes.
Another highlight is the Summer Cavern Dinner held in a 100,000 year old Gruebisbalm cave, large enough to host up to 400 people. Take a train ride to the Gruebisbalm station, then after an easy ten minute trek through the woods of Mount Rigi, the path takes you to the enchanting entrance of the cave, framed by a graceful waterfall and a romantic lake. A delicious summer spread of salads, kebabs and delectable dessert is served on wooden tables surrounded by the soft glow of candlelight as you enjoy a magical night of music and traditional Swiss alphorn playing.
Set your alarm for an early train trip to the top of Mount Rigi to watch a legendary sunrise amidst misty mountain peaks. Accompanying the gorgeous sunrise are the sounds of the alphorn that evoke a sense of poignancy and nostalgia as the day breaks. Complete your journey with a breakfast buffet at the Rigi Event Marquee to charge your body for the day’s activities. Over in the Arth municipality, Mount Rigi hosts the annual Rigi wrestling and alpine sports festival in the summer, one of the mountain’s oldest traditional events. Visitors can expect to witness a lively festival atmosphere complete with a wrestling ring, thrilling fights and a vibrant alpine procession against the stunning backdrop of Mount Rigi.
For a perfect winter celebration, hop on the world’s oldest cogwheel railcar for an excursion thought snow white embankments with a tasty cheese fondue party on board. Sip on an aperitif as you travel under sparkling stars through the gleaming lights of the valley. A trip to these snow-capped mountains is not complete without travelling up to Goldau, Vitnau or Weggis to enjoy swishing down the floodlit slopes on skis or sledge at night-time under the ethereal glow of the moonlight. Beginning from Rigi Kulm to Rigi Staffel or Rigi Klösterli, go on multiple runs of fun in the cool night air, then head over to Restaurant Bahnhöfli for an sumptuous meal to top up the night’s activity.
Mount Rigi is also a veritable treasure trove of hiking trails with varying levels of difficulty. In the warmer months, hike through the greenest of mountain meadows and bright floral fields while enjoying panoramic views all around. During winter, trudge through the snow with a guided snowshoe tour beginning at Rigi Kulm, where a guide will take you through a two and a half hour walk through Mount Rigi’s natural wonders. The trip is complete with a delicious fondue treat at Rigi Staffel and a rejuvenating bath to warm you up at the Mineral Bath & Spa in Rigi Kaltbad. You can also enjoy a romantic and scenic horse-drawn sleigh ride through Mount Rigi trails. Relax with a warm drink and blankets around your shoulders as Haflinger horses gently pull you through a wintry landscape.
Mount Rigi is served by an array of hotels, inns, restaurants and shops. More information on on Mount Rigi and Rigi train journeys can be found at www.rigi.ch.
Regent Seven Seas Explorer Cruise To Exotic Destinations
Launching in the summer of 2016, Regent Seven Sea Cruises unveils the brand new Seven Seas Explorer, along with 11 remarkable cruise itineraries to far-flung destinations to whet one’s appetite. Expect classic Regent hospitality, sumptuous accommodations, exquisite dining venues, all-inclusive packages and excursions, on what Regent has dubbed ‘The Most Luxurious Ship Ever Built’.
The Seven Seas Explorer is an elegantly crafted ship with accommodatingly large spaces as well as intimate corners. A selection of 16 opulently designed suite types are available, each featuring cosy sitting areas, private balcony, king-size beds, L’Occitane amenities and generous ocean views. The most lavish suite is the 360 sq. meters Regent Suite with its 89 sq. meter wraparound balcony, private garden, spacious living area, marble bathroom and served by a personal butler.
You will be spoiled for choice with the array of restaurants on board, from continental cuisine at Compass Rose, the flagship restaurant, to elegant gourmet meals at stylish Italian restaurant, Sette Mari at La Veranda. Visit the Canyon Ranch SpaClub for a therapeutic massage and beauty treatment or the Fitness Centre to keep in shape throughout your journey. The ornate Constellation Theatre is a wonderful venue to take in a show or unwind at the Observation Lounge for incredible views through its floor to ceiling windows.
Sailing on its maiden voyage from July 20, 2016, take an enchanting 14 night cruise through the Mediterranean beginning with the glamorous architecture and history of Monte Carlo. Sail to the charming Saint Tropez countryside to explore its villages, wineries and coastal landscape. Observe the Gothic Cathedral on Majorca, enjoy the incredible nightlife of Ibiza or tour Taormina, an Italian town of great artistic significance.
UNESCO Heritage Sites, the city of Valletta on Malta, the old port of coastal town of Kotor, Montenegro and the Skocjan Caves in Koper, Slovenia add to an already impressive itinerary. Your journey is completed in Venice with its classical architecture, jaunty gondolas and famous canals.
For a trip through Greece, Crete, Turkey and Cyprus, opt for the Athens (Piraeus) to Istanbul 10 night ‘Greek Revival’ cruise departing October 12, 2016. Explore historical wonders like the Acropolis and Parthenon in Piraeus, immerse in the picturesque Mykonos, the small town of Patmos with its sparkling ocean vistas and be enticed by Lesbos, the third largest island in Greece and home to 11 million olive trees.
Visit Crete to see the ruins of Minoan palaces dating back to 1500 BC while Limassol, Cyprus offers miles of scenic mountains, fruit groves and ancient historical sites. Antalya, Ephsus and Alanya in Turkey will astound with its history, diverse architecture, exquisite handicrafts and delicious cuisine. This voyage ends in Istanbul with time on hand to explore the historical sites and exotic Bazaars of this renowned city. www.RSSC.com/Explorer
Singapore Yacht Show
Attracting the finest luxury yacht enthusiasts from across the globe, the celebrated Singapore Yacht Show will be held from 23 – 26 April 2015 at the ONE°15 Marina Club in the exclusive Sentosa Cove. Showcasing the very best in luxury lifestyle, it will be a spectacular display of the most prestigious luxury yacht brands, illustrious super cars and exceptional waterside properties. In the balmy Singapore evenings, let your hair down and join like-minded guests at glamorous parties and dinners, experiencing gourmet meals, the finest of wines and engaging conversation over the allure of the high seas in the most elegant of venues.
Preceding the Singapore Yacht Show is the Asia Pacific Yachting Conference from 21 – 22 April, 2015, a regional industry platform for ‘leisure marine professionals from the Asia Pacific’. This conferenc will treat its delegates to a showcase of the foremost global yacht brands and service providers with an exhibition of fine art and classic cars to complete the experience. www.singaporeyachtshow.com