Friday, 24 March 2017

New SWISS planes between GVA & UK

SWISS is about to commence the renewal of its Geneva-based aircraft allocation to an all-Bombardier C Series fleet. SWISS Geneva will receive its first such aircraft, a CS100, on 26 March. This will be followed by the delivery of SWISS’s first CS300 and its Geneva stationing in May; and by the end of 2018 (and completion of the 30-aircraft C Series delivery programme), SWISS Geneva will have an all-C Series fleet.
 
 
 
Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) is about to start renewing its Geneva-based aircraft allocation to an all-Bombardier C Series fleet. The first such aircraft, a CS100, will commence operations from its new Geneva base with the start of the summer schedules on 26 March. The aircraft will be used on intra-European services to destinations such as London Heathrow, Dublin and Athens. With its state-of-the-art technology, the Bombardier C Series sets new industry benchmarks in comfort, operating economics and environmental terms.
 

 
Geneva will also be the home base of SWISS’s first Bombardier CS300, delivery of which is expected in May. The larger CS300 offers 145 seats, 20 more than the CS100. By the end of 2018 SWISS’s Geneva-based fleet will consist solely of Bombardier C Series aircraft: one CS100 and seven CS300s. The new twinjets supersede the seven Airbus A320s that are currently stationed there. The Geneva fleet renewal is a further confirmation of SWISS’s commitment to its Geneva base and the whole of Western Switzerland.
 

 
C Series deliveries completed by the end of 2018
The deliveries of the further Bombardier C Series aircraft for SWISS’s Zurich operations are also progressing well. A total of six CS100s are now in scheduled service, and one further aircraft is expected to be delivered roughly every month, rising to two deliveries a month at some points later in the programme. All 30 C Series aircraft should be delivered as scheduled by the end of 2018.
 
www.otp.co.uk recommend SWISS for our ski holidays as they not only offer free food, drinks, seat selection, but winter sports equipment also travels free!
 
Flying from London Heathrow, Gatwick, London City, Birmingham, Manchester, Dublin & Cork, you should be able to find a suitable flight and enjoy the snow.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Andermatt is back on the map !

Andermatt is 1,437m above sea level and has a population of around 1,390 however it's not been a popular place for the British skiers since the eighties.

 With it being a great place for off-piste & free-riding it's now getting popular again with the Brits, and with the brand new five-star Chedi Hotel it's only going to get busier! With billionaire developer Samih Sawiris planning to build six more hotels and 500 apartments. 



 
 
 This development has brought new lifts too with one six-seater chair opening up more black runs on Gemsstock below Gurschenalp, and a whole series of slopes linking Andermatt's smaller sector, Nätschen-Gütsch, to Sedrun, 15km away to the east, and previously linked by train. The final lift will be completed for the 2018/19 season.
 
 
 
And a two stop cable car takes you to the top of Gemsstock, at 2,963 it's a steep, north facing 3.5km red run, not for the faint hearted.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Ski World Cup - Lauberhorn 2017



The sun is shining, the skies are blue and the Jungfrau region has been gifted with two weeks of solid snowfall just in time for the region's annual ski race; the Lauberhorn downhill world cup.

The bars are beginning to get livelier. Skiers and snowboards alike are starting to practice their best moves on the slopes. Everyone knows; the Jungfrau region is about to host a legendary weekend event.


What does the Lauberhorn downhill race entail, and why is it so special to Switzerland?:

  • First and foremost, it is the longest downhill world cup circuit at 4.48km (2.78 miles).
  • Racers will typically achieve speeds in excess of 90 mph, with Johan Clarey setting the record in 2013 at 100.6 mph.
  • It was first held 87 years ago in 1930, so it is now ingrained in Swiss history.
  • It starts on the Lauberhorn mountain located between the villages of Grindelwald and Wengen. Views from the top overlook Interlaken and the plains of Canton Bern.
  • Over 30,000 spectators from all around the world come to the Jungfrau region to be a part of this race and its festivities.
  • The type of race is unique in in that there are combined, slalom and downhill events. The winner of the downhill event receives 110,000 CHF.






The Lauberhorn is deemed to be one of the toughest events downhill racers will undergo in their careers. The course starts at the top the Lauberhorn mountain, playing host to a number of extremely challenging twists and turns, eventually descending over a thousand metres to the village of Wengen. Competitors are pushed to their limits by the course's intimidating jumps, which many would describe as skiing off of cliffs!

Apres, in style!

The Swiss are predominantly known for three things; cheese, chocolate and beer. The Lauberhorn World Cup is no exception. After the racing has finished herds of spectators flock to the mountain bars and restaurants to begin their nights. The villages of Grindelwald and Wengen swell with visitors; many venues offer attractive after-party deals. After satisfying their appetites with traditional Swiss fondue, most visitors are content with live music and chilled out evenings; ready for the next day of racing. However, for some of the more livelier visitors, the villages of Wengen and Grindelwald do not disappoint...

Still not convinced?

MUST-WATCH video; legendary downhill racer Graham Bell with a body cam going down the Lauberhorn. 






OTP offers fantastic deals on accommodation around the Jungfrau region. It's not too late to come out and enjoy this amazing sporting spectacle! See what OTP has to offer here.


Further information

For the past two days the downhill competitors have had a chance to accustom themselves to the course. Today, Thursday 11th January marks the official opening of the Lauberhorn downhill race. Wengen will play host to this year's party, and race bibs will be unveiled at 18.15. Keep your eyes peeled this week; the Swiss air force will be flying around practising for Saturday's airshow. 

Programme details can be found here

You can't watch the race without purchasing a ticket. Be sure to grab yours now before they sell out! http://www.lauberhorn.ch/en/offers/ticketing



Tuesday, 1 November 2016

The OTP Team 2016 / 2017

Your team!

We are very proud to present your team who will be looking after you when you come on holiday with us this winter.

GRINDELWALD: Tom Szpytman





From London and with a BSc from Southampton University in Computer Science, Tom is the Resort Manager for OTP in Grindelwald and the Jungfrau region. 23 years old and an avid snowboarder, Tom is sure to show you around the slopes!




NENDAZ, Les 4 Vallées: Chris Jenkins




From Doncaster and with a solid background in resort work, Chris is the Resort Manager for Nendaz and the 4 Vallées region, returning for a 2nd season. 23 years old, Chris is an excellent person to show you the region and make sure your holiday runs smoothly.


SAAS-FEE: Tom Senior




From Ravenshead, Nottinghamshire, many of you will know Tom - OTP Senior Resort Manager and back again to charm you in Saas-Fee. Tom is a qualified ski instructor too and not only back with us again, he is in charge of all winter resorts.

ZERMATT: Luke Borton




26 years old, Luke is from Worcester. having travelled extensively, Luke is Resort Manager for Zermatt, is a keen snow sports enthusiast for many years, he is the ideal person to entertain and look after you in Zermatt!



My name is Jeff Michel, and I am the MD of OTP Swiss Holidays. I am so proud of the team we have this season and they will do you proud too. Thanks for everyone who visited us at the London Ski Show, 27th to 30th October at Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, London


OTP Swiss Holidays offers ski holidays to 30 Swiss resorts, so have a look at www.otp.uk and join us this winter for a great holiday. See you soon!




Friday, 7 October 2016

4 Vallees ski update

 
 
 
Brand new snow making network in Nendaz/Siviez
 
 
Right from the opening in December it'll now be possible to reach all 4 Vallees from Nendaz on skis/board!  After a 7.5million Swiss Franc investment in the mechanical snow making network it will now support an additional 5 ski trails which makes up 8 Kilometres! Altogether 53 new snow making cannons have been put in place!
 


 
 
New Gondola in Veysonnaz
 
From Christmas Veysonnaz will have a brand new gondola seating 10 people, it'll be going to the top of the legendary Piste de L'ours in less than 8 minutes! It'll be able to transport 1,550 passengers per hour.



 
 
Verbier opening Party!

 
The winter season will officially start on the 3rd December and Verbier have organised an amazing weekend for you!!
 
On Saturday dress up as Santa Claus and get a free ski pass for the day, as well as another day of your choice in the season!!
  The ski passes will be given out during the group photo at the Chalet Carlsberg at 3pm, you'll also be entered into a lucky draw to win a 16/17 season pass!!



Tuesday, 26 July 2016

The new Gotthard Tunnel Exprerience - Gottardino Train



 

The opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel – a milestone of worldwide significance and a public festival for all ages.



The main purpose of the Gotthard Base Tunnel is to increase total transport capacity across the Alps, especially for freight, notably on the Rotterdam-Basel-Genoa corridor, and more particularly to shift freight volumes from road to rail to reduce fatal crashes and environmental damage caused by ever-increasing numbers of heavy lorries. Another benefit will be to provide a faster connection between the canton of Ticino and the rest of Switzerland, as well as between northern and southern Europe, cutting the Zurich-Lugano-Milan journey time for passenger trains by about an hour and from Lucerne to Bellinzona to 1 hour 25 minutes this is because passenger trains will be able to travel up to 250 km/h (155.3 mph) through the GBT and an estimated 200-250 trains per day will go through the tunnel.





Construction of the world's longest - and deepest - railway tunnel, in Switzerland, is complete.
The NEAT Gotthard Base Tunnel, when it opens to the public on June 1 2016, will transport passengers from Zurich to Milan in two hours and 50 minutes!
Measuring 35 miles, it surpasses Japan’s 14.5-mile Seikan Tunnel, which connects the main island of Honshu with the northern island of Hokkaido.

Work began on the ambitious project, which was funded by Switzerland at cost of around $10.3 billion or £6.5 billion, 20 years ago in 1996. Over 2,000 workers were drafted in to excavate more than two million truck loads of earth from as deep as 8,000 feet below the surface of the earth.





 On 1 June 2016, 17 years after the first blast in the main shaft, the world’s longest railway tunnel officially opened.                                                                                  


The Gotthard Museum is located in a 1834 building which used to be used for stops and as customs house and hotel for passengers transiting on coaches. A visit to the museum will give you knowledge of Switzerland and will be useful to those who wish to better understand the country’s soul. The museum exhibits reconstructions, reliefs, plastic models, documents, arms and uniforms, pieces of art, minerals, rare objects and antique vehicles. The museum often organizes temporary exhibitions. Captions and guided tours are presented in four languages: Italian, French, German and English. Guests may dine in the restaurant or may request the organization of banquets.


SwissPasses.com now offer the unique experience of travelling on the special Gottardino train between 2nd August & 27th November 2016, before the tunnel is open to normal traffic. You also get a tour around the special multi-function train station 800m below Sedrun (approx. 1 hour).


Have a look at http://www.swisspasses.com/classicrail/packages/gotthard/index.htm to take advantage of this unique offer.

SwissPasses.com offer all Swiss Travel System products and OTP offer winter ski holidays to 30 Swiss resorts too!

See you soon!


Sunday, 3 April 2016

Zermatt Unplugged - 5-9th April 2016

“Zermatt Unplugged was one of the most impressive places in which I’ve ever performed.  The marquee among the mountain scenery was absolutely stunning.” – Lionel Richie


It's that time of year again – Spring has arrived, the sun is out, and Zermatt Unplugged is back in town!  So grab your friends, pack your skis and get your sunglasses on for what is sure to be the best edition of Zermatt Unplugged so far.

With a selection of free events on the slopes and in the village, as well as the more exclusive ticketed events to see your favourite artists perform, Unplugged offers something for everyone – skiing and music-lovers alike.


History


Founded in 2007 by Thomas Sterchi and Marco Godat as a singer and songwriter festival, Zermatt Unplugged has increasingly developed into a meeting point for fans of unadulterated sounds, with artists focusing on the acoustic and instrumental aspects of modern music.

It is the only festival of its kind in Europe, and is promoted by some of the major organisers in the Swiss Festival Scene, and backed by some huge sponsors such as Raiffeisen, Hublot, Westside, DS Automobiles, Zermatt Matterhorn Group, as well as many, many more.



Stages


The festival is made up of 12 stages overall, including 3 on the slopes and 9 in the village itself.

Main events will be held in the Zeltbühne Foyer, the famous marquee which has played host to some huge artists including Suzanne Vega, Chris de Burgh, Alanis Morissette, Billy Idol, Lionel Richie, Jason Mraz, Stephan Eicher, One Republic and this year will be headlined by James Morrison.


On the slopes, Sunnegga Sessions, Blue Lounge and  Gandegghütte will be hosting a plethora of free events; perfect for those looking for a musical break between runs on the fantastic slopes that Zermatt has to offer.

For more information on the Venues; including Vernissage, Schonegg, Cervo, Mont Cervin Palace, The Pink and more - head to Zermatt-unplugged.ch.  This is where you’ll be able to find full program details, ticket prices, and how-to-get-there information.


Artists


As previously mentioned, the brilliant James Morrison will be headlining the event. Juanes, Simple Minds, Angus & Julia Stone, Max Herre & Freunde will also be playing on the Marquee Stage throughout the week.


Alex Clare, Lisa Stansfield, Johannes Oerding, Yoav, Chris Cornell, The Slow Show, Tom Baxter, Fraser Anderson and Andrew Roachford are some other big names to look out for over the course of the festival.

Again – full program information available online at Zermatt-unplugged.ch



Editor’s Pick – Ronnie Scott’s All Stars


The house band of legendary London Jazz Club, Ronnie Scott’s, and regular guests of the Gandegghütte mountain lodge will be playing daily, offering extreme Jazz at 3,030 metres above sea level.  As an avid Jazz fan myself, and certain to be on the slopes every day for the festival, I will be sure to visit these guys as much as possible!  For those who prefer their Jazz in more comfort, the All Stars can also be heard in the evenings at the Mont Cervin Palace.



Zermatt Unplugged Official Trailer 2016