The Blue Train Tour | South Africa
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The Blue Train: South Africa's Luxury Rail Escape
Escape to the heart of South Africa in unparalleled luxury with our exclusive Blue Train packages. These curated experiences seamlessly blend opulence with the breathtaking South African landscapes. Journey through lush valleys and witness the stark beauty of the Karoo from your well-appointed suite. Along the way, delight in gourmet cuisine and immerse yourself in the boutique service that defines this iconic rail voyage. Every moment on the Blue Train is an invitation to indulge in a rare blend of scenic grandeur and luxurious comfort.
Overview of The Blue Train
The Blue Train, known as a "magnificent moving five-star hotel," is a hallmark of luxury train travel in South Africa. It offers an extraordinary passage through diverse landscapes, from picturesque winelands to fertile valleys, with special routes to Kruger National Park. Onboard, indulge in lavish suites, gourmet dining, fine wines, personalised butler service and modern conveniences.
Our Blue Train packages cover several key routes, showcasing the country's diverse landscapes and attractions:
- Pretoria to Cape Town: This classic route offers a journey through the heart of the South African landscape. It takes passengers from the historic city of Pretoria, through the scenic winelands and across the vast, arid plains of the Karoo, before reaching the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town. This journey provides a mix of urban and natural landscapes, including picturesque valleys and rugged mountain ranges.
- Pretoria to Kruger National Park: This special route takes passengers to one of Africa's most famous wildlife reserves, the Kruger National Park. This journey offers an unparalleled opportunity to experience South Africa's wildlife and natural scenery. The Kruger National Park is known for its abundant wildlife, including the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and Cape buffalo), making this route a favourite for nature and animal enthusiasts.
Unique Features & Experiences Offered
The Blue Train distinguishes itself as a premier luxury rail experience in South Africa with its unique features:
- Luxury and Comfort: Revel in opulence as you enjoy an elegant and comfortable journey reminiscent of the golden age of rail travel.
- Top-notch Service: Experience dedicated butler service throughout your journey courtesy of the train’s attentive and highly trained staff.
- Gourmet Dining and Fine Wines: Savour exquisite meals prepared by top chefs, perfectly complemented by a selection of premium South African wines.
- Elegant Accommodations: The train offers luxurious De Luxe and Luxury Suites that serve as both inviting daytime lounges and cosy bedrooms at night.
Highlights of The Blue Train Journey
The Blue Train offers a front-row seat to South Africa's natural beauty. Get a chance to witness:
- Picturesque Valleys: Be greeted by rolling hills and lush valleys that showcase South Africa's agricultural beauty.
- Vast Karoo Plains: Marvel at the expansive Karoo, a semi-desert region known for its dramatic, arid landscapes.
- Lush Greenery: Feast your eyes on the lush greenery that adorns the South African landscape, from vibrant plantations to forests.
- Rugged Mountain Ranges: You won’t get enough of majestic rugged mountain ranges that tower over vast plains.
- Stark Beauty of the Karoo Desert: The Karoo's stark beauty is a highlight of the journey, with its arid expanse, unique rock formations and sparse vegetation.
The Blue Train not only offers natural beauty but also a rich cultural experience:
- Historic Pretoria: Start your journey in the historically rich city of Pretoria, known for its architectural gems like the Union Buildings.
- Art and Music: Discover South Africa's vibrant art and music scene along the route.
- Local Cuisine: Savour local flavours with gourmet meals featuring regional specialties that showcase the nation's culinary diversity.
- Entertainment: Enjoy onboard entertainment, including karaoke sessions and performances.
- Cosmopolitan Cape Town: Lose yourself in Cape Town, a vibrant and cosmopolitan city framed by the iconic Table Mountain. From your window, you'll witness the transformation from arid plains to the bustling city.
Planning and Booking a Blue Train Rail Journey
How to Book
- Visit Our Website: Explore available Blue Train packages on our website. Choose the one that suits your preferences and travel dates.
- Contact Our Experts: Reach out to our travel experts for personalised assistance, information, and booking guidance.
- Booking Process: Our team will assist you in securing your spot and confirming your itinerary.
- Reservation Confirmation: After booking, you'll receive a confirmation with essential travel details.
Before embarking on your Blue Train adventure, make sure you have all your essential travel documents, including your passport, visa (if necessary) and rail tickets. Pack your luggage in accordance with The Blue Train's luggage allowance and consider smart-casual attire for dining and evening activities. Be sure to familiarise yourself with the itinerary details, including departure times, excursions and dining schedules. And to ensure peace of mind, think about acquiring travel insurance to cover unexpected events or trip interruptions.
Your holiday begins the moment you step into any of The Blue Train’s VIP lounges situated at Cape Town and Pretoria stations. Guests are requested to check-in at least two hours prior to departure. At the VIP lounges, guests will be kept captivated and entertained with a live performance by a saxophonist while guests indulge in gourmet canapes, snacks and beverages.
The two-night journey between Pretoria and Cape Town allows visitors to surrender to the 'luxury of slow' while taking their time to soak up some of South Africa’s most magnificent landscapes. During the journey, the train is due to stop for an off-train excursion (weather and time permitting), at the diamond town of Kimberley where one can explore the Big Hole and the Diamond Museum.
The Blue Train also travels to South Africa’s Limpopo Province, which is home to the Kruger National Park, one of the world’s finest game parks, and home to Africa’s Big Five. This is a return trip journey which takes place on selected months of the year. Please ask us for more information.
Life on board
The Blue Train, a splendid luxury hotel on wheels, offers two levels of accommodations: the Luxury and De Luxe Suites.
De Luxe Suites will forever alter your definition of what style and class entail. From your elegant and relaxing lounge during the day, it transforms into a subtly-lit bedroom of indulgence during the night. Each Suite has individually controlled air-conditioning system, under-floor heating, opulent marble and gold-fitted bathroom, plush monogrammed towels, to the electronic entertainment options on offer.
The De Luxe coaches each have four suites. One of these contains a double bed
and a ¾ size bathtub with handheld shower, while the others have twin beds with showers.
Luxury Suites extend the offering from a De Luxe Suite even further; by an extra metre of your domain, with twin- or double-bedded suites which offer you long and luxurious bathtubs - private digital interactive entertainment system, with an inviting selection of music CDs and big-screen movies on Blue-Ray DVD.
Your De Luxe or Luxury suites are your home-away-from-home lounges. Relax in knowing that all suites are fitted with WI-FI service that is complimentary to all our guests.
The Blue Train prides itself on the fine cuisine it offers its guests with meals that are companied by a wide selection of South African wines sourced only from some of the finest boutique vineyards. There’s a menu for every taste. Whether you require Kosher or Halal meals, or gluten free vegan options, simply make your needs known at the time of reserving your journey.
The Blue Train FAQsView All
What is included in the price?
With the exception of Caviar, French champagne and external telephone calls, everything onboard is included in the rate.
Can someone with mobility limitations travel on the Blue Train?
Should you or your guests have any special requirements or mobility issues, please do let us know ahead of your luxury train journey. The Blue Train is not completely wheelchair friendly, but it has a customised wheelchair onboard which has been specifically designed to negotiate the train’s corridors. A butler will be on hand to assist guests should they require. Wheelchair users or those with restricted mobility are asked to contact us directly - we would be delighted to discuss personal arrangements and respond to any further questions you may have.
Are children permitted onboard?
Children 5 years and younger sharing a suite with their parents travel free of charge (maximum of two children per suite). Please contact us for the full child policy terms & conditions.
Does the train have Wi-Fi?
Wi-Fi is available in all suites and is complimentary to all guests.
Can the Blue Train accommodate special dietary preferences?
Special diets can be accommodated by our Chef. Please be sure to tell us in advance of any allergies, food-related or not. We will do our best to cater for special dietary requirements, such as vegetarian, vegan, Kosher, Halal etc. Kindly specify any special dietary requirements at the time of booking.
Is there a dress code when onboard the Blue Train?
In keeping with tradition, dinner on-board The Blue Train is an elegant affair. Elegant evening wear for ladies, and gentleman are required to wear at least a jacket or waistcoat or traditional attire. During the day dress code is smart casual.
Can I smoke onboard?
The Lounge Car is designed as a meeting place for pre-lunch, dinner drinks and afternoon tea, and is a no-smoking area. The Club car is ideal for post-dinner Cognac or Cuban cigars. The bar opens as soon as the train commences its journey and closes when the last guest departs.
Do I need to check-in prior to arrival?
Check-in takes place at our VIP lounges two hours prior to departure – where guests can relax to a live performance and enjoy gourmet canapes, pre-departure snacks and drinks
Are there luggage restrictions?
It is advisable to pack an overnight case for the journey, as only a limited amount of luggage can be stored in your suite. Butlers will store additional luggage in the Luggage Car. Although great care will be taken, it is recommended that luggage be insured. Please ensure any medication is kept with you when travelling.
Will I need travel insurance?
As with all holidays and trips abroad, we strongly recommend that you have travel insurance. Please consult with our agents at time of booking and we can assist you with this.