The time has come: With the opening of the new 3S cable car from the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise mountain station at 3,883 m above sea level. M. to the Testa Grigia valley station completes the Matterhorn Alpine Crossing. The round trip around the Matterhorn can now be experienced, including the highest crossing of the Alps by cable car at 3,480 m above sea level. M. In the presence of the Valais President of the Council of State Christophe Darbellay, the District President of the Valle d'Aosta region Renzo Testolin and other Swiss and Italian representatives from politics and business, the moderator Michelle Hunziker led through the opening ceremony.
It was an emotional moment for many involved when the symbolic red ribbon was cut on Friday afternoon and the new 3S Bahn Matterhorn Glacier Ride II was officially opened. After years of planning and implementation with great challenges, the construction project was successfully completed and another milestone for Zermatt Bergbahnen was set. So far, around CHF 140 million has been invested in the entire Matterhorn Alpine Crossing project.
Markus Hasler, CEO of Zermatt Bergbahnen, is certain: "The new connection from Switzerland and Italy via the Alps further enhances the offer of Zermatt Bergbahnen and the Zermatt Matterhorn destination. Enabling new itineraries for our existing international guests and opening up new markets will be an exciting add-on product for both individual travelers and small groups. The appropriate price strategy does not promote mass or transit tourism, but rather the experience for individual travelers."
Federico Maquignaz, President & CEO of Cervino SpA, added "The joint product Matterhorn Alpine Crossing intensifies the partnership between Zermatt and Cervinia from offering winter sports to a year-round experience for excursion guests. It expands the offer for both partners many times over, which we are very pleased about."
Sustainability as an important cornerstone
With the construction of the new 3S Bahn Matterhorn Glacier Ride II from the cable car manufacturer Leitner, the Zermatt Bergbahnen have consistently pursued the path to more sustainability in the Alps. Another photovoltaic system is in operation on the façade of the new mountain station, which supplies around 16,875 kWh of electricity per year. This plant complements the large number of existing renewable energy production plants in the Zermatt Bergbahnen area. The godfather of the Matterhorn Glacier Ride II is Anton Lauber, the long-standing head of construction and planning at Zermatt Bergbahnen, who managed this construction site at almost 4,000 m above sea level. M. has led and significantly shaped.
A visionary project
The Matterhorn Alpine Crossing is unique in many ways. The pioneering work on the construction sites at the extreme altitudes on the one hand, and the cooperation between two countries on a project that connects two tourist destinations all year round on the other. Michelle Hunziker says about the generation project: «I am proud to be part of the opening of this unique connection between Italy and Switzerland. For me as a Swiss-Italian, this is a special moment."
Franz Julen, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Zermatt Bergbahnen, emphasized: “As early as 1939, there were initial considerations of connecting Zermatt and Cervinia with mountain railways all year round. Now, more than 80 years later, that vision is becoming a reality. Pioneering spirit, innovative strength and perseverance are part of Zermatt. We believe in tourism. We will continue to develop the Matterhorn Alpine Crossing product step by step. This includes investments in the brand, in events and unique, high-quality experiences between two countries and cultures in the premium segment. The Zermatt Bergbahnen will invest around CHF 200 million in the two lifts and the staging over a period of ten years. With annual cash flows of around CHF 40 million, these investments are responsible for further upgrading the Zermatt Matterhorn destination.”
The Matterhorn Summer Paradise expands with the new cable car connection to the Aosta Valley, where beautiful landscapes and old Walser houses can be explored and activities such as horseback riding, biking, hiking and golfing are offered. On the Theodul Glacier, right next to the new valley station on Testa Grigia, the new snow adventure park SnowXperience Plateau Rosa offers unique experiences for ski beginners from August, as both the complete equipment and ski coaches can be booked and rented directly on site.
Online guide for travelers
The online guide www.matterhornalpinecrossing.com offers useful information such as timetables, prices and an overview of the entire route between the two countries to get you in the mood for the new adventure trip and to plan the various highlights along the route. From 2024, a comfortable luggage transport between the two destinations can also be booked, which further rounds off the experience.