Chocoholics, ahoy! The Swiss Museum of Transport in Luzern has opened a new ride you are going to love! This themed ride offers a multimedia journey providing insights into the discovery, origin, manufacture and transport of chocolate.
"This is NOT a Lindt ride," said Ernst Tanner, the president of the Lindt Chocolate Competence Foundation.
"Switzerland's chocolate industry plays a key role in the national and international perception of Swissness. In order to develop and communicate the good name of Swiss chocolate, as well as the knowledge and skills in relation to the provenance of the raw materials and the manufacture of the product, the Foundation plays an active role in securing the long-term viability of Switzerland as a center of chocolate excellence."
The Swiss Chocolate Adventure
The foundation spent approximately 7 million Swiss francs on the intimate multimedia experience "The Swiss Chocolate Adventure". The exhibit covers an area of 700 square meters, and each of the ten wagons can accommodate up to six visitors. The attraction can be experienced in German, but there are French, Italian, English, Spanish and Mandarin translations. The journey takes 25 minutes to complete.
Seeing, Hearing, Tasting
Visitors, in the role of passengers, enter an elevator in the shape of a freight container. This takes them on a cargo ship to West Africa and to one of the world's largest cocoa growing areas.
Panoramic screens in the container suggest the sea crossing and the arrival at the port. The adventure presents the entire processing and transportation chain from the cultivation of the cocoa bean, its transport to Switzerland, and the manufacture and sale of the end product.
Seeing, hearing, tasting: This multimedia voyage of discovery appeals to a range of senses!
From Virgin Forest to a Box of Pralines
Visitors are treated to four complementary themed displays during the journey. In the virgin forest, they learn about the cultivation and harvesting of the cocoa bean. The Swissness diorama exposes visitors to Switzerland's agriculture, which delivers the other raw ingredients needed for chocolate production: Milk and sugar.
In the world of chocolate pioneers, visitors encounter those who dreamed up Switzerland's world-famous, melting-in-the-mouth chocolate products. They include François-Louis Cailler, Philippe Suchard, Daniel Peter, Rodolphe Lindt and Rudolf Sprüngli, whose entrepreneurial and inventive flair set milestones in the industry.
The journey culminates with a box of pralines, which visitors are welcome to taste!
Encounter with Professionals
Alongside these educational displays are four industry professionals explaining their roles. They all have a hand in transforming the cocoa bean into the sensory experience that is chocolate: The cocoa administrator in Ghana, the buyer in Switzerland and the quality assurance specialist checking the cocoa beans upon their arrival.
Lastly, the Master Chocolatier reveals which is his favorite chocolate and lets visitors in to the secrets of chocolate making...
Fortunately, the Swiss Chocolate Adventure does not try to compete with classic theme park attractions. For Switzerland, it is a new way of infotainment ideal for families with school aged kids. The exhibit will also be interesting for tourists from all over the world who would like to find out more about Swiss chocolate.
But beware: The final tasting of Lindt chocolate will awaken your appetites to buy a refill at the nearby Lindt store...
(Photographs copyright by Verkehrshaus Luzern)